Photos by Chris Leaman.
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Last night, the District Line played host to a shindig fit for the Queen. After months of being closed while the store moved from Adam’s Morgan to Georgetown, the men’s clothing store, which carries only British lines, celebrated its grand reopening.
In almost every regard, the launch party brought London to Washington. The party’s 200 guests were greeted out front by a shiny Bentley Continental GT, compliments of Capitol Dream Cars. Inside, the walls were covered with custom paper—London city maps downstairs and hunter green clubhouse soccer prints upstairs—which were designed by the store’s architect Brian Miller. British tunes pumped through the sound system, and the food and drink, which included Bombay Sapphire, Bass Pale Ale and Dean & Deluca’s English tea baskets, kept the crowd more than satisfied. Perhaps the only thing missing was a Buckingham guard.
The biggest attractions (besides the flat screen plasma TV in the sitting area) were the dressing rooms. No red curtains or plain old doors at the District Line: the dressing rooms are hidden behind built-in bookshelves, which house 100 books and trinkets super glued to the wood. “Where are the dressing rooms?” more than one guest asked. The doorknobs are tucked away so discreetly that James Bond himself would be lost trying on a Merc button-down.
Even still, what seemed most surprising was the crowd. 20-something hipsters chatted easily with Georgetown’s preppies. Mohawks were as prevalent as comb-overs. And T-shirts and jeans somehow meshed with black suits and cocktail dresses. Even the owner’s grandparents seemed to fit in. Among the more notable Washingtonians in attendance were DC United’s Ben Olson and Brian Carroll, Philippa Hughes of the Pink Line Project and congressional daughter Jackie Kucinich.
“I think this party dispels the myth that everyone in DC is stodgy,” remarked Kevin Walter, a fashionable government employee who sipped on gin and tonic. “I mean, I’ve never seen a crowd like this.”
Georgetown medical student Erin Reigh agreed: “Everyone here is remarkably fashionable. I think it’s a good gauge of what the store’s clientele is going to be like.”
District Line owner Marshall Thompson hopes so. His clothes range from street wear and denim for college students to high-end suits that appeal to men in their forties. “Right now for businessmen in DC, the official uniform is a navy blazer, khakis and a white shirt,” he explained. “We’re trying to break away from that and make DC a bit more colorful and fashionable.”
If Thomspon has his way, Washingtonians be speaking with an accent in no time.