News & Politics

A Jewel-Filled India-Themed Party at Georgetown’s A Mano Boutique (Photos)

The A Mano Shop showed off new items by designers from New Delhi and Jaipur.

Outside the A Mano shop on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, as the India-themed party was getting underway. Photograph by James R. Brantley.

The party at Georgetown’s A Mano shop was focused on items from India, but it was
difficult to ignore the array of timely political tchotchkes owner
Adam Mahr had on display by the front door. “Democrats are buying all the cuff links and ties,
which are sold out,” he said, “and Republicans are buying the ice trays.” Far be it
from us to analyze what that means, though maybe Democrats have had it with ice and
reputedly buttoned-down Republicans are well-stocked with ties and cuff links. Our
personal favorite was the red tree ornament that featured a smiling and waving George
W. Bush. His reaction to the 2012 election?

But, as mentioned, the party was a tribute to high fashion items from India, in particular
the vibrant silk jackets and scarves by New Delhi designer Vivek Narang, jewels from
Jaipur-based Amrapali, who claim to be “jewelers to the stars” of Hollywood and Bollywood,
and a book-signing for
Jacqueline Lundquist, who wrote
Indian Journeys, and whose husband,
Richard Celeste, was US ambassador to India during the Clinton administration. Unfortunately, Celeste
missed his flight from Colorado to DC and so was not able to join his wife, which
means he also missed the chance to sip tamarind margaritas and mango martinis and
nibble on bite-size samosas and spinach fritters from Heritage restaurant.

Many guests flocked to the area of the store where Narang showed off his handmade
silk jackets—some short, some below the knee—ranging in price from $450 to $675. The
silks are overdyed in deep and bold shades, as are the color-blocked silk scarves,
which are $75. Mahr said the scarves sold out, but more are on the way. He also
carries evening clutches custom-made in India with semiprecious stones and gold threads.

The flashiest star of the evening was a ruby-and-diamond Amrapali necklace that was,
according to Mahr, once worn by an actual star,
Penelope Cruz, during Oscar party season. It was available for sale for $20,000. He also has Amrapali
rings for $1,700. Comparatively, for that special someone, the George Bush tree ornament
is $35.