It’s no secret that the Obamas have a longstanding relationship with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. With two magazine covers dedicated to the First Lady and glitzy, Wintour-hosted political fundraisers all over the world, the iconic EIC and creative director of Condé Nast has more than proven her allegiance to Barack Obama’s White House.
Roles reversed Monday when the First Lady made a trip to New York to place Wintour in the spotlight. Right on the heels of one of DC’s most fashion-packed yearly events—the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (to which FLOTUS donned a stunning one-sleeve Marchesa gown)—Michelle Obama made an appearance at the opening of the Anna Wintour Costume Center at Manhattan's Metroplitan Museum of Art, just hours before the museum kicks off its infamous annual gala.
“I’m so impressed by Anna’s contributions not just to fashion but to this great museum,” said Obama, dressed in a printed Naeem Khan dress and addressing a star-studded crowd featuring such fashion A-listers as Grace Coddington, Donatella Versace, Franca Sozzani, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
After cutting the ribbion inaugurate the museum’s new $40 million wing, Obama went on to describe a student-focused “fashion workshop” she plans to organize with Wintour at the White House—a step in the right direction for DC’s growing rep as a fashion capital: “The idea [behind the workshop] is to show young people what it takes to succeed and how important it is for them to commit to their education. Anna understands that those of us who have been blessed with opportunities to succeed have an obligation to reach back and bring others along with us, and not just with words and praise but with meaningful sustained support.”
For better or worse, designer Alexander Wang is notorious for nailing the art of surprise. His presence at fashion-packed Coachella this weekend was no exception: Attendees received invites to a party he was hosting, without any clear indication of the cause for the celebration—but as soon as the words “Alexander Wang x H&M” were projected onto the walls of the Indio Performing Arts Center, the reason became clear. H&M confirmed the news a day later: The beloved designer is creating a fall collection for the wallet-friendly retailer.
Cue our uncontrollable excitement for what could be among the best of the (arguably overdone) retailer-designer partnerships: Wang, whom H&M creative advisor Margareta van den Bosch calls “one of the most important voices in fashion today,” is poised to bring a coveted edginess to fast fashion that is so often missing at the young-professional-friendly price tag. The label’s high-end aesthetic, channeled through sleek silhouettes and a neutral palette, exhibits the type of stylish minimalism that looks equally at home in the office as on a night out on 14th Street: Think white button-down blouses, knee-length skirts, and structured jackets, all with such trendy upgrades as perforation and asymmetric cuts. Less girly prep; more sophisticated edge.
The collection hits stores November 6—and lucky for us, DC’s three new H&M locations (in Chevy Chase, Georgetown, and soon downtown) will make shopping the line much easier than collections past. We’ll update with more details about the partnership as they’re revealed.
We couldn’t help but let out a little excited squeal when we spotted this photo on Tysons Galleria’s Facebook page this week, effectively announcing the pending arrival of a new Prada boutique. (Could it be the influence of one Olivia Pope?) And just a week before that, the center posted a similar shot spotlighting the signage for a new Saint Laurent. These openings signal a big coup for Tysons, and for the city: Each store will be the first of its kind to open in the Washington area. No details yet—save a projected opening timeframe of spring ’14—but stay tuned!
In other shopping news, this week Washington Business Journal reported word of a permit for construction of a Kate Spade New York store at the downtown City Center development. Kate Spade (which also is opening a new location in Tysons Galleria, to add to stores in Georgetown and Pentagon City) joins Tumi, which was the center’s first confirmed retailer. And while there’s still nothing more concrete than hopeful buzz regarding rumored Uniqlo and Topshop stores, we’ve got our fingers crossed that these soon-to-open fashion faves will mean more stylish stores to follow.
The Georgetown shopping district will get another popular designer name next month when Tory Burch opens the doors to a new boutique, her first in Washington. Burch, who rose to fame with her now-iconic Reva flats, and her chic lady-who-lunches New York City aesthetic, opened a store at Tysons Galleria in 2011.
The new location is currently under construction at 1211 Wisconsin Ave., which formerly housed Bebe. Her team tells us the Georgetown boutique, scheduled to open November 1, will be an “accessories only” concept. Makes sense, as accessories—from sunglasses to iPhone cases, small leather goods, handbags, jewelry, even a brand new fragrance—are Burch’s sweet spot.
Tory Burch joins several other national and international designers and brands that have opted to open stores in the Georgetown area in the past couple of years, including Billy Reid, Suitsupply, Rag & Bone, AllSaints, Gant, Jonathan Adler, Massimo Dutti, and Frye Boots, which hosts an invite-only opening bash this evening.
Catherine Malandrino for Kohl’s DesigNation
The Parisian designer brings a ladylike line of dresses, pants, and blouses in blacks and whites—like this cutout leather dress seen on Olivia Palermo—to Kohl’s for its third DesigNation collection, all priced under $130. Previous collaborations involved Derek Lam and Narciso Rodriguez. Launches September 27.
L’Wren Scott at Banana Republic
The edgy designer brings a stunning palette of deep reds, violets, and black to a collaborative holiday collection at Banana Republic, launching this winter. The line will boast faux-fur accents, playful prints, and dazzling gems on its 50-plus dresses, pants, blazers, handbags, and more. Launches December 5.
This post has been updated to reflect new information obtained from the store's public relations representative.
The end of summer signals a pivotal moment on the style calendar: the launch of fall collections, the emergence of new trends, and many glorious months of coat-, boot-, and scarf-wearing. While these staples fluctuate in design from year to year, one piece has for decades remains unchanged: the leather riding boot. Perhaps no label does cool, durable leather better than Frye, and in just a few days, it’ll be easier than ever for Washingtonians to attain the best of the trend—the leading brand is getting some new digs in town.
While there's no word on exactly what day it opens, a spokesperson tells us the Frye flagship store will likely debut on Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest, shortly after Labor Day. It will mark Frye’s third US location after New York and Boston; a fourth, in Chicago, is in the works. And the 2,700 square-foot location, situated inside Georgetown's historic Vigilant Firehouse, couldn’t be more fitting: it falls right in line with Frye’s century-plus reputation of crafting iconic leather goods that manage to be simultaneously rugged and ultra-polished. Its heritage is so significant to Washington, in fact, that a 1960s-made pair of Campus boots are on display at the Smithsonian.
While you’re shopping, keep an eye out for Frye’s just-launched anniversary collection, which boasts limited-edition versions of the Campus and other signature designs to commemorate its 150th birthday.
Frye will soon open at 1066 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-733-5223.
Dubbed the collaboration to revive collaborations, 3.1 Philip Lim for Target may be just what we need to restore our faith in designers going cheap (let’s not even talk about that Neiman Marcus holiday collection). The Chinese designer, praised for his perfectly tailored womenswear and blogger-beloved totes, creates a refreshing mix of sleek blouses, blazers, structured pants, and more—all of which, in true Philip Lim fashion, are minimalist yet incorporate stunning details that offer just the right dose of edge—like the barely there embellishment on the collar of this crewneck. Coveting Lim’s leather handbags but cringe at the pricetags? You’ll appreciate that the collection, which launches September 15 and starts at a cool $19.99, includes some stunning handbags that are nearly identical to the real deal. Now, mark your calendars, and peek at our faves here.
Word is that the now-empty Filene’s Basement spaces in Metro Center and Mazza Gallerie will be filled by Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, respectively. Huge bummer: We held out hope for something much more interesting, considering both locations are already home to one or more discount retailers. No news yet on what will fill the final Filene’s slot on Connecticut Ave. [Washington Business Journal]
Why was Michelle Obama left off Vanity Fair’s annual best-dressed list? The Daily Beast has a few theories, but we still think it’s a sorry oversight. [The Daily Beast]
Ever wonder what would happen if you just stopped washing off your makeup altogether? A more intrepid reporter than us did just that. For 30 days. Not surprisingly, the end result was pretty gross. [Daily Mail]
Fashion site Who What Wear added another title to its stylish group this week: Byrdie, which will focus on all things beauty. We love. [Byrdie]
As avowed bargain lovers, it feels like we’ve been waiting for the new Chevy Chase H&M outpost to open for practically forever. And finally, it’s time: The store officially opened for business today!
Yesterday we scored a pre-opening glimpse at the sparkling 22,000-square-foot store, which sells not only trendy women’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry but also an entire floor’s worth of dapper men’s suiting and casual duds, plus a sizable section of adorable kids gear. Unsurprisingly, it was awesome.
Want proof? Continue on for a eye-candy-loaded tour of the new store, then click through the gallery (bonus!) of eight items we’d snatch up immediately—all affordable and fab, of course. And if you suddenly have to “leave early” from work because you’re “sick” and then find yourself exiting the Friendship Heights Metro, we won’t tell.
(And in related news: H&M’s long-awaited e-commerce is HERE, you guys. The US shopping site quietly launched sometime after midnight on Thursday—after months of delays and only some vague hinting.)
Effortless cool, relaxed comfort, and a measure of wear-anywhere versatility: pretty much the ideal combo, right? And it’s also why we were stoked to learn that designer Steven Alan—who perfects that elusive vibe in his collection of cool-kid basics—just signed a lease to open up shop in Cady’s Alley come September. Alan, who launched his first shop in New York in the mid-’90s, is known for his fine-tuned curation of emerging designers, plus an eponymous line of men’s and women’s styles that marry vintage-inspired yet contemporary silhouettes with a dab of spot-on edge.
The smallish 670-square-foot space most recently housed Muleh’s pop-up shop, and it shares the cobblestone street with such high-style neighbors as Relish, Bonobos, and Design Within Reach. It’s just one more in the growing list of limited-distribution, fashion-favorite labels that have landed in Georgetown in recent years, such as Billy Reid, AllSaints, and Rag & Bone. We’re digging the influx of style that the neighborhood’s been enjoying as it transitions from mall stores and tourist traps to fashion-forward destinations—and we’re excited to see what’s next in the queue.