Since Worn Creative and 1776 managed to bring what is essentially Washington’s entire creative community (no joke—they had a thousand people request tickets) together to hang out in one place Wednesday night at their inaugural Creative Capitol networking event, we weren’t entirely surprised to have landed in a total hotbed of personal style. DC turned it out: Alexander Wang heels, mixed florals, fitted Suitsupply suits, all vintage everything? We love it all. Right this way for some major style eye candy ...
Who: David Neville, 34
Designer, Rag & Bone
Where: Fiola restaurant
What he’s wearing: Rag & Bone—“aside from the boxer shorts and socks.”
How would you describe your style?
The interesting thing about clothes is that whatever a person chooses to wear is usually a reflection of themselves. I like traditional clothes—I would never dress too avant-garde. I also usually dress down. My look is classic and disheveled at the same time. Rag & Bone is an extreme reflection of co-designer Marcus Wainwright and me. If I didn’t want to wear my own clothes, that wouldn’t be a good thing, right?
Any thoughts on Washington style?
To be honest, I don’t really know. I don’t think you can pigeonhole anything—generalizing an entire community by one style is hard to do. Though it seems like the people in DC are insecure about the way they dress.
Brooke says: In case you haven’t heard by now, Rag & Bone opened its first standalone store outside of New York in Georgetown earlier this month. David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the designers behind the brand, hosted a dinner in honor of the opening, and they were kind enough to invite me. Surprise, surprise—his dark cardigan/overcoat combo is the perfect example of the classic, disheveled look Rag & Bone is known for.
Who: Kristin Guiter, 31
Senior director of communications and marketing, Corcoran Gallery of Art
Where: Rag & Bone 'DIY' Dinner at Fiola Restaurant
What she's wearing: Trina Turk shift, vintage jewelry, and vintage turquoise purse.
What’s your lip color?
It’s a mix of Revlon’s Va Va Violet and Sephora-brand lip liner. I mix and layer until I get the color I want.
And how are you planning on keeping that on while you eat?
It typically stays on, which is a testament to my lipstick. I caught a redeye last night, and I’ve had it on since yesterday—it managed to last the night to coffee in the morning to getting to my apartment. I think it’s because do the liner all over my lip, then layer the lipstick on top—that’s the secret to long-lasting lip color.
Is your hair naturally that straight?
It’s actually wavy. I blow it out, then straight-iron, which can last two to three days. It’s not as high-maintenance as you might think, though.
Brooke says: As it turns out, previous Sidewalk Style columnist Rachel Cothran also photographed Guiter (Editor's Note: The Washingtonian additionally named Guiter a Style Setter in 2010). Her reasons? Guiter isn’t “afraid of bold patterns, colors, and interesting jewelry.” Three years later, the marketing whiz still shines with her brightly patterned dress and vibrant turquoise bag, but what I love most about her evolving look is the contrast between her bright clothes and almost goth-glam dark, straight hair, and purple lipstick. She’s a great study in unexpected combinations.
Who: Eric Brewer, 42
Where: American University second-year MFA show.
What are you wearing today?
“Levi’s [pants], which I’m absolutely in love with; a denim shirt that I try to wear this time of year; my ‘attitude’ glasses; and a leather bag from Morocco.”
What do you do for a living?
“I’m known for organizing the DC Tweed Ride.” [Click here for more info on the Tweed Ride]
And where did you get the idea for that?
“I first saw it in London, and it blew me away. I thought that DC needed one.”
Any favorite places to shop in Washington?
“My current favorite is Dr. K on U Street.”
Brooke says: I first decided to photograph Eric because I thought he perfectly exemplified the rugged dandy. Then I found out he’s the organizer of DC’s dandiest event, and it all made sense. This refined urbanite conveys the look and attitude that the ride is all about.
Who (left to right): Aisha Keys, 33, and Sheelah Prince, “20-plus”
Where: Longview Gallery for Fashion: District
What they’re wearing:
Keys is sporting vintage jewelry, jewelry by Tiffany’s, a Gap hat, and Sam Edelman stilettos. Prince is wearing a vintage dress, Jessica Simpson shoes, a Bebe clutch, and self-designed jewelry.
Sheelah, are you a jewelry designer?
“Oh, no, this is just for me.”
Are you ladies involved in the fashion industry?
Keys: “I’m a wardrobe stylist. I specialize in vintage.”
How did you get into that?
Keys: “Because I’m busty and have a small waist and no hips, I could never go into a store and find anything that fit. So I ended up altering everything contemporary I wore. Eventually, I discovered the lady dames of the ’40s, ’50s, and ’70s—what they wore works on me because they had higher waistlines and lower hemlines. I’ve become a walking billboard for [their style].”
Any exciting projects coming up?
Keys: “I’m working on Howard Cromwell. He’s the host of Being Fabulous Rocks, which is coming to Washington TV this summer. I’m the creative director on set as well.”
Freelance journalist, blogger (samanthaonstyle.com)
Where: Union Station
What’s she’s wearing: A leopard coat from Topshop in New York, Diane von Furstenberg silk shorts, American Apparel T-shirt, and a Foley & Corinna bag.
What was your most recent assignment?
“I was recently at London Fashion Week writing for the Weekly Standard.”
Any Fashion Week wardrobe essentials?
“I was mostly wearing these boots and flat motorcycle boots. Walking around London, I couldn’t deal with wearing heels too much.”
Tell us about your blog, Samantha on Style.
“I like to focus on the intersection of fashion and politics as well as runway style from different Fashion Weeks. I write a lot about Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton.”
Do you think Kate Middleton has the chops to be a fashion icon?
“I think she’s getting there. Her outfits are really spot-on for what her role is. I think she has a very classic, attractive style.”
Jewelry and clothing designer, Artaya
Where: Ginger Root Design for the “Meet the Artist Night: Introducing Jennifer Jeremias” event.
Tell me about your label. [Artaya was named one of the area’s most promising talents in an August 2010 Washington Post Magazine article.]
“Artaya is a women’s-wear line, and it’s for what I like to call the ‘bohemian boss.’ It’s for a woman who’s a risk taker and who balances whimsy and wit.”
Do you remember where you got any of the pieces that you’re wearing?
“I know my mom gave me two of these pieces. I made the necklace.”
Any wardrobe favorites?
“I’m really into bralettes right now. I don’t own any, but I’m planning on wearing some this summer.”
Who did your hair?
“I did. I was going for a whimsical, braided look.”
Any upcoming events for Artaya?
“On April 14, my line will be featured at ‘Fashion: District,’ which is taking place at Longview Gallery. It’s hosted by ReadySetDC.”
Dana’s cool vertical hair and the colorful graphic elements of her outfit exemplify the bright and bold aesthetic she goes for in her designs.
Where: Conner Contemporary Art Gallery at the opening of the Zoe Charlton and Mia Feuer exhibits.
Why are you here today?
“I love Conner Contemporary, and I love Mia Feuer. I was eager to see what she’d do. I know her from around the traps.”
What kind of photography do you do?
“Romantic, f---ed up, figurative stuff. I’m a fine-arts photographer.” [Editor’s note: Gaitán’s most recent exhibition, a series of still lifes that visualize human subjects as meat puppets, was titled “Sweat Meat Cherry Whip Flip.” Images can be found on Gaitán’s Web site.]
Does your style of photography influence the way you dress?
“I never thought of that, but it must because I just shoot what I like. I look ridiculous, so I think my pictures are kind of ridiculous.”
Describe your sense of style:
“Homeless drag queen.”
Awesome. So what exactly goes into a “homeless drag queen” outfit?
“A Target jacket, Target jeans, eBay necklaces, and a belt from a thrift store. The shoes are from an online store. I got the bag at a one-pound store in London. My rings are also from London.”
Know of any good places to shop around here?
“I wish! I recently went to the Unique Thrift Store off Gallows Road in Falls Church—they have some really good stuff there.”
Brooke Says: The Mia Feuer sculpture show was a feast for the eyes, both in the art and in the artsy and outrageously dressed people there. Victoria caught my eye because she was working an all-black goth/punk look in a sea of hipsters. Her fabulous fuchsia glitter pumps obviously sealed the deal.
What she's wearing: J. Crew shirt and pants, a Burberry pea coat, and Sperry Top-Siders. The bag and hat are from Urban Outfitters.
I like your hair. Why did you decide to go short?
"I'm going to my internship right now, so I figured I needed a 'business' cut."
Do you have any wardobe staples?
"I like the hipster-prep look, so Urban Outfitters and J. Crew. Anything comfortable."
Brooke says: When I first spotted Sabrina, I wasn't sure if she was a boy or a girl. But tiny details—such as the shape of the shiny check pattern of the jacket, and the ribbon on the cloche hat—are subtle giveaways of femininity, despite an overall masculine look. I liked the monochromatic but contrasting textures of her hat, bag, pants, and shoes.
Who: Somkiat Umkerd, 38
Owner, U Street’s Dr. K Vintage (1534 U St., NW; 240-888-6284)
Besides being one of the few places in Washington to focus on men’s vintage, what else is unique about the shopping experience at Dr. K?
“I try to make friends with every customer. I talk to them, find out what their style is, and the next time when I go ‘hunting,’ I find pieces that I think they’d like. Also, sometimes people come wanting something cheap, something on sale, like what you’d find at Buffalo Exchange. I don’t do that. I see my clothes as unique and something someone would want to keep for years, not wear it once and throw it away.”
How do you pick your inventory?
“[For men], I don’t buy based on what I think would sell but by what I like and who I imagine wearing it. I buy women’s clothing based on the women who walk in here.”
What’s your favorite city for vintage?
“Every city has its own style. Los Angeles has a lot of ’70s, ’60s, ’50s, and bohemian stuff. New York has a lot of ’30s, ’20s, and even things from the Victorian Era.”
You’ve been in the vintage business for 15 years. Any customers of note?
“In 1992, Ralph Lauren came to me and bought pieces.”
Brooke says: Upon hearing three people expounding the wonders of a man called “Dr. K,” I decided to pay a visit to his vintage store, known for its menswear selection. Turns out Dr. K is Somkiat Umkerd, an exceptionally sweet and accommodating gentleman. His outfit, while basic upon first glance, is elevated by personal touches, such as the metal jewelry covering his wrists and fingers, and the sweep of pomade through his hair.