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Hide Your Running Shoes and Pantyhose: It’s DC Fashion Week

DC Fashion Week sets out to bring class, style and fashion-forward thinking to the area this week.

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We all know Washington gets a bad rap when it comes to fashion. As far as much of the rest of the country is concerned, the area’s official uniform is a standard suit and tie, or running shoes with hose.

But that impression seems to be changing. From photo blogs that document Washington’s growing sense of street style (see Pandahead and Project Beltway) to new designers cropping up, Washington is proving itself as more fashionable city. And DC Fashion Week has, in the six years since its launch, played a major part in this transformation, so make sure to check out the events they’re hosting this week through March 4.

The 2007 DC Fashion Week gets started on Wednesday with a Fair Trade Fashion show at the World Bank, and more great runway shows and events are taking place through the end of the week. Nobody can argue with the event’s mission: “DC Fashion Week was created to increase economic development in the area of fashion design, clothing merchandising and modeling, and to enhance the visibility of the nation’s capital as a center of international fashion.” Noble, eh?

DC Fashion Week has grown to such an extent that this year it’s adding a menswear show. Other events I’m excited about: the Betsey Johnson show on Friday, March 1, at Club Avenue (649 New York Ave., NW; doors open at 10 pm) and the International Collections Showcase at the French Embassy (4101 Reservoir Rd., NW). The full events calendar can be found here. For information on the Betsey Johnson show, call (202) 347-8100; for other information on DC Fashion Week, call (202) 271-7235.