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Budding Romance Be the heroine at your own wedding in a gown blooming with floral accents, dramatic ruching or old-fashioned lace

fa s h ion wa s h i n gt on | s u m m e r 2 0 0 9

baggage chic Bound for Bali or Brazil? Sophisticated travelers tell you how to carry on in style michelle, her belle Designer Isabel Toledo chats about crafting edgy dresses and outfitting the first lady flash and carry Rev up your look with a bright bag, from haute pink totes to taxi yellow clutches


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Blossoming Romantics

fashion washington

wow them (and him) as you take your vows in a gown festooned with flowers or dressed up by feminine lace


Jenny Abramson general manager

Julie Gunderson editorial director

Dan Caccavaro editor

Jennifer Barger design director

Scott McCarthy Art Director

Alyce Jones senior editor

Betsy Lowther copy editor

Aimee Goodwin editorial assistant

Ashley Joy Parker staff photographer

Marge Ely contributing Photographer

Lawrence Luk Advertising account managers

Anne Cynamon, Sheila Daw, Diane DuBois Boutique Account Manager

Top Scores

Obsessed by Dress

Bored with your bag? Lighten up with a shocking pink satchel, lemon yellow clutch or another bright tote

Our advice guru reveals her favorite secret boutiques and gets the scoop on the best makeup shades for African-American skin

Scene Stealers Christian Siriano led the fash pack to a catwalk of summer fashions during Bethesda Row’s big style salute, plus sportsmen, socialites and other elites partied in the name of ponies and chukkers at the America’s Polo Cup Gala

Lush Life A guy’s guide to dressing well, a new dangle on earrings, sculptural frocks for summer, and — ahh! — Bliss finally opens its first D.C. spa

Gayle Pegg Administrative assistant

Linda Baquet Advertising graphic design

Willie Joyner Advertising production

Jackie Ellis, Kiara Kerwin, Tara Shlimowitz

Style Setter advertising:

(202) 334-5228, 5224, 5226 © 2009 Washington Post Media 1150 15th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20071

Haute Topic Are those Crocs in your carry-on? Why taking a trip shouldn’t keep you from looking hip, especially if you capture a few exotic fashion trophies along the way

Designer to the first lady Isabel Toledo chats about Michelle’s inaugural finery and getting her start with Vogue’s Diana Vreeland


FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 3

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The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 500 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. Whether it is a wine resort in Argentina, an atmospheric jungle lodge bordering India’s oldest national park or a stunning boutique hotel in the center of Paris whose rooms have been imaginatively designed by Christian Lacroix, the SLH portfolio includes some of the world’s finest hotels. Small Luxury Hotels of the World is offering two lucky readers the opportunity to win a five-night stay at any one of its worldwide properties. With a diverse range of cutting-edge design hotels, palatial mansions, city centre sanctuaries, remote private islands, historic country houses and idyllic resorts, you will literally be spoilt for choice! For more information on Small Luxury Hotels of the World, visit How to Enter: Send an email with your name, address and phone number to Terms and conditions apply. Terms and conditions: Entrants must be 21 and older - This offer is subject to availability - A maximum of five (5) room nights can be requested per hotel, per stay - A minimum of two (2) weeks notice must be given. All food, beverages, taxes, and other incidental costs incurred by the guest are to be settled prior to departure from, and directly with, the individual hotel. - Prize rooms are non- flexible and once confirmed by SLH, no alterations or cancellations can be made. In case of alteration or cancellation, you will forfeit the prize - The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s benefits cannot be redeemed in conjunction with this offer. Guests who choose to utilize their room nights at an all-inclusive SLH hotel will incur an additional charge, which will vary depending on the property selected. Contest ends July 10, 2009.

FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 5

the season’s hip happenings and hot items

shapes, shifted new line

Bridges, paper airplanes, spindly tree branches and other architectural forms crowd the minds of Jill Giordano and Brian Scheyer, the San Francisco design duo behind gr.dano. The citified line’s sculptural day dresses (shown, $298) and crisp, shapely blouses — just picked up at Betsy Fisher (1224 Connecticut ave. nw; 202-785-1975) — suggest days working at an art gallery and nights swanning around just-opened Penn Quarter lounges. Form and function cleverly mesh in all the pieces, like a Greek goddessy top that can be tied several ways and frocks whose full, folding skirts flatter, not fatten, the derriere. “When we start draping, we come up with such unusual shapes,” says Giordano. Luckily for us, they’re quite wearable, too.

on trend

Foot Prints Summer fashion’s wanderlusty vibe means we’re all seeing a pattern here, from “Are-we-in-Bali?” batiks to straight-from-the-Sahara mud cloth. Printed shoes — like Oscar de la Renta’s ikat espadrilles ($395, Sassanova, 1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-471-4400) — lasso the trend’s well-traveled mood without making you resemble an “Indiana Jones” extra. A pair of the bright babies — or a similar style like Bettye Muller’s peep-toes in a terrific South Pacific floral ($375, Simply Soles, 1438 park rd. nw; 800-909-3679) — bring worldly dash to simpler clothing: pleated wide-leg pants, a crisp black shift. “They mix well with things you probably already have,” says Sassanova’s Sarah Cannova. “You may not be going to Bora Bora or St. Bart’s, but wearing something that looks like you’ve been there suggests boho luxury.”

reading list

Prep Talk Ask style savant Tom Julian about his pet peeve in men’s fashion, and the answer is diplomatic but decisive. “It’s time to evolve from the three-button jacket, pleated pant and square-toed shoe,” he says. “It’s basic, it’s fine and it’s over.” In the new “Nordstrom Guide to Men’s Style” ($20, chronicle), Julian assembled an encyclopedic, nicely illustrated primer to help guys put together stylish ensembles, knot a tie properly and make the most of tailors. “Over and over again, men say to me, ‘I get how to buy a car, a gadget or something from Home Depot,’” says Julian. “They want the same approach to apparel. Our response has been to create a systematic way to build a modern wardrobe, from suits to shirts to shoes.”

on trend spa scene

Deluxe Detox Cult beauty brand Bliss has spread its sumptuous, skin-rejuvenating spa secrets from its Manhattan flagship to places as far-flung as Hong Kong. Now, Washingtonians can get pampered, too, when the company opens its first local spa in early July at the plush new W hotel (515 15th St. NW; A menu of 50-plus treatments includes a signature revitalizing triple oxygen facial (75 minutes, $160), a carrot and sesame body buff (90 minutes, $165), and a popular hot milk and almond pedicure (60 minutes, $65). Just-formen offerings like the talon-taming “Manlycure” (30 minutes, $25) mean couples can book spa dates. No time for a proper wind down? The brand’s scrubs and salves are also available to take home for DIY de-stressing.

Lobal Warming Dramatic earrings — last seen in the “Dynasty” era — have dangled back into the gem case. Shoulderdusters range from silver scribbles by D.C.’s Anya Pinchuk ($400-$500, Jewelers’werk Galerie, 3319 Cady’s

Alley NW; 202-337-3319) to Zil’s Victo-

rian lady-gone-hip stunners dripping with topaz ($4,300, Relish, 3312 Cady’s Alley nw; 202-333-5343). Color stars in some baubles, like amethyst, tourmaline and citrine drops from Marco Bicego’s new Jaipur line (shown, $1,780, Tiny Jewel Box, 1147 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-393-2747). “Earrings

bring light and brightness to your face,” says Tiny Jewel Box’s Matthew Rosenheim. “They’re mood-lifting.”

gr.dano photo by dr ake; jacket details by James Wojcik


styled by betsy lowther

Avenue, 5555 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-657-9000)

Valentino leather rose “Vertigo” tote ($2,395, Saks Fifth

photo by Marge Ely

After a damp, drizzly spring, a rainbow finally appeared. It came in the form of summer’s sunny, saturated bags, which are popping up in such notice-me shades as aquatic blue, lemon yellow and nearly neon pink. “A bold bag instantly conveys confidence,” says D.C.-bred, New York-based designer Danielle DiFerdinando, whose Danielle Nicole line of supple leather hobos and patent clutch purses comes in a spectrum of hot hues from orchid to lime. “It shows a bit of personality, whether it’s paired with a dark suit or a summery sundress.” The secret to carrying these style exclamation points? Don’t commit the sin of overmatching by lugging an orange tote while wearing tangerine sandals. “A bright bag stands out more against a contrasting color,” says DiFerdinando. Which means all those Ray-Ban-shaded eyes will be on you, sunshine.

Get ready to glow this summer with bright totes, primary-cool hobos and neon clutches

Absolutely Vivid

Nancy Gon zalez crocod ile clutch ($2, 600, Neim an Marcus, Mazza Gal lerie, 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 20 2-966-9700 )


Coach “Poppy” patent shoulder bag ($368, Coach, 3259 M St. NW;

Marc by Marc Jacobs leath er turnlock hobo ($49 8, Bloomingda le’s, 5300 Weste rn Ave., Chev y Chase; 240-744-3700 )

Bottega Veneta woven hobo

NW; 202-966-9700)

($1,950, Neiman Marcus, Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Ave.

in crunch amantha” Nicole “S S. Fairfax Danielle 5 12 , ria te 220, Hys patent ($ 48-1615) ria; 703-5 d n xa le St., A

top scores

FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 6

obsessed by dress



AS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN, I FIND THE VAST SELECTION AT BIG BEAUTY STORES OVERWHELMING. ARE THERE PRODUCTS I SHOULD SEEK OUT (OR AVOID)? Your style columnist fears just two things: the resurgence of acid-washed denim jeans and the jam-packed aisles of Sephora. For the latter, we sought out Hollywood makeup artist Sam Fine, who has built an impressive roster of first-name-only clientele — Halle, Tyra, Beyonce — and has just released a how-to makeup DVD for women of color, “The Basics of Beauty� ($25, “The trick to shopping any beauty department is to first prepare a grocery list of what you need,� Fine says. For African-American skin, he suggests gravitating toward cosmetics lines — Stila, Nars and Smashbox are favorites — known for strong pigments that will stay vibrant on darker skin. Surefire bets include brown shadows for day, greens and blues for evening — and just about anything with gold shimmer. (But stay away from silvery shades, which can look ashy.) Another Fine tip for dark skin tones: Skip traditional blush, and instead reach for bronzer, which gives cheeks a luminous glow. Unfortunately, we did not think to ask Fine about how to ace the acid-washed look.

I’m always on the lookout for off-the-beatenpath boutiques. Do you have any favorites?

DO YOU KNOW those T-shirts that claim “Shopping is my Cardio?� Well, in this columnist’s case, it’s very much true. (I would not, however, ever be caught dead in one of those ghastly tops.) I bank major mileage in my Dries Van Noten heels by trekking to my hidden faves, including Old Town’s Chinoiserie (1024 King St., Alexandria; 703-838-0520), a chic home emporium with a tucked-away clothing section full of artsy dresses from cutting-edge labels like Charles Chang-Lima and Yeohlee. Nearby, the just-relocated outpost of Treat (103 S. Asaph St.; 703-535-3294) delivers a constantly updated selection of discounted finds like oversized Bulga totes and airy tops from hip label Sally Tseng. In Bethesda, I’ve snagged Robert Rodriguez sheaths among the stylish assortment at Luna (7232 Woodmont Ave.; 301-6561111) and always head around the corner to Pirjo (4821 Bethesda Ave.; 301-986-1775 ) for artsy pieces by small Scandinavian designers. Even the malls are worth scouring: The easy-to-miss Carol Mitchell shop in Tysons Galleria (1785 International Drive; 703-506-8963) boasts a well-edited selection of innovative pieces from top labels like Jil Sander and Prada.

I want to invest in a few pieces for my wardrobe, but I’m worried about making a big buy that will be out of style in just a few months. Any advice?

LET ME TELL YOU a little secret that devoted fashion followers have been keeping tucked away in their Proenza Schouler PS1 totes. Early summer is actually a prime time for closet updates, thanks to the pre-fall collections offered by many of the top design houses. As the summertime counterpart to late winter’s resort lines, prefall focuses on transitional items that — unlike spring and fall runway styles — aren’t focused on major trends. “Because pre-fall pieces aren’t overly seasonal, you can get much more wear out of them throughout the year,� says Nancy Pearlstein of Relish (3312 Cady’s Alley NW; 202-3335343), who’s bringing in Narciso Rodriguez’s pre-fall line of neo-Asian sheaths in June. Other highlights: MaxMara’s delicate, origami-pleated pencil skirts and draped cocktail dresses (available at Bloomingdale’s, 5300 Western Ave., Chevy Chase; 240-744-3700), Michael Kors’ painterly black and white abstract sheaths (Neiman Marcus, Tysons Galleria; 703-761-1600) and Diane von Furstenberg’s sleek one-shouldered jersey frocks (Urban Chic, 1626 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-338-5398). Stick to simple shapes, mid-weight fabrics and classic palettes, and you’ll get plenty of mileage from these pieces for seasons to come — unlike, say, a pair of summer’s wear-’em-if-you-dare harem pants.


ILLUSTR ATION BY SYDNEY VANDYKE /ART DEPARTMENT Friday, June 19 at noon: Live fashion chat with FW editors Jennifer Barger and Betsy Lowther To sign up for an email reminder, go to




What’s in Store

calendar of advertiser and editorial fashion selections

june 09 Starting in June, TREAT will be open 5 days/week (Wed-Sat, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sun, 12-6 p.m.) in a new, larger location at 103 South St. Asaph Street in Old Town Alexandria.

Log on to FW’s blog for constant D.C. fashion scene updates. We’re tweeting, follow us! @FWupdates

Fan Us!

We’re on Facebook.

Fashion.Washington. Together at last.

June 26-28 – Summer Solstice Shop-a-thon in the Old Town Boutique District. Join us for a weekend of exclusive shopping discounts, gift with purchases and special events. Shop Unique. Shop Boutique.

july 09 July 24-25 – Harriet Kassman Bridal Salon. Pattis Bridal Trunk Show. 5300 Wisconsin Avenue, NW. 202.363.1870.

august 09

August 1-2 – MidCity’s Dog Days of Summer sale. Features discounts, trunk shows and other specials from boutiques in the 14th and U Streets area. Including Rckndy, Caramel and Lettie Gooch.

Ad Graph.x Ph. Duilio Bitetto

Boffi Studio DC 3320 M Street, NW Washington DC 20007 tel. 202.333.7555

style setter

FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 9

I’ve been into so many different concepts over the years, like architecture and origami.” Did you always want to be a designer?

I learned how to sew when I was very young and always made my own clothes. But I never thought of fashion as a career until I interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early 1980s when [former Vogue editor Diana] Vreeland was there. I fell in love with the work of all the masters. That’s when I realized it was what I wanted to do. What was it like to apprentice under a legend like Diana Vreeland?

Hues in the White House

Isabel Toledo chats about making clothes for Michelle Obama, working with Diana Vreeland and why hula hoop dresses rule for the record, the color is “lemongrass.” Isabel Toledo should know — after all, she designed Michelle Obama’s golden green inauguration ensemble, a shimmery lace sheath and matching coat that awed viewers and stumped newscasters who clumsily tried to explain its elegant, effervescent hue. In an instant, the 48-year-old Toledo, a New York-based Cuban-American long championed by the fashion world (and nearly unknown outside of it), was catapulted to fame. Toledo’s 25 years of boundary-pushing clothes, including that inauguration outfit, will star in a mid-career retrospective from June 17 to Sept. 26 at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology ( Those who can’t make it to Manhattan will have a chance to admire Toledo’s work in D.C. when she and her artist husband and longtime collaborator, Ruben, stage a fashion show at the Embassy of Switzerland this fall. b e tsy low ther

Inspiring! She was full of energy and always so in love with whatever she was doing. She really loved clothes and the culture of fashion, and I respected that a great deal. One always thinks of fashion as such a frivolous thing, but she really understood its impact. When she looked at a Balenciaga, it was like she was looking at a Picasso. How did you launch your own career?

When Ruben and I got married [in 1984], we had to find a way to make a living. Ruben took my clothes from the closet — I don’t even think I knew about it — and brought them to Bendel’s and Patricia Field. Both stores placed orders. He came home and literally said, “We’re in business.” How would you explain your aesthetic to someone who doesn’t know your designs?

Describing my own work is the hardest thing for me to do. I’ve been into so many different concepts over the years, like architecture and origami. I don’t like to define things, because it solidifies it. I prefer not to be labeled. Someone once described me as a “radical classicist.” That sounds pretty good. How would you describe your customer?

Daring women. Individuals. I’m not a big label, so those who search me out really make an effort. They love the work, and that makes me happy. Michelle Obama is a longtime customer. Did you know she would be wearing your dress to the inauguration ceremony?

I thought she was going to wear a black and white dress, which she actually wore later to Buckingham Palace. My mother-in-law called [on the day of the inauguration] and said, “She’s not wearing black and white. She’s in beige.” By the time I got to the TV, she had already gone inside the church, so I had to wait for I don’t know how long. Finally, she came out. What a beautiful moment, to see her smile, to sense her confidence. You could just see that she felt really beautiful. I started to scream. She seems to have a real sense of style.

You know, she looks like Michelle Obama. And that’s what I love about that woman: She has her own style, and she picks what she likes. She might wake up in the morning and say, “I thought I wanted to wear this black dress today, but I actually feel like wearing color.” When you have a prescribed wardrobe, you don’t live in the moment. Michelle does. Your retrospective covers 25 years of fashion-forward designs. Any favorites?

I do feel an attachment to this one dress that people disliked a whole lot, even in the studio. I called it the “hermaphrodite” — it’s a weird, amorphic shape created by hula hoops. I think it only made it in the runway show that season because I pushed and pushed. It is a bit peculiar, but it’s a beautiful dress that later birthed so many different designs. I’m still evolving that pattern today. It sounds like a good lesson in staying true to your vision, no matter what.

You got it! You just described Isabel.

above photo by inez van l amsweerde and vinoodh matadin; lower photos courtesy of isabel toled0

haute topic

FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 10

As a traveler, you make nothing but first impressions. Dressing well is universal, and it helps you get treated well.”

The Getaway As Runway Traveling shouldn’t be a roadblock to good style, and it might land you fashion trophies

travel brochures set the bar for vacation fashion higher than Hong Kong’s towering skyline. If you believe their marketing hype, you’ll need Anna Wintour’s furs and sunglasses to shop in Paris, and Gisele Bündchen’s bod — and weensy bikini — to frolic in Sao Paulo. And where the heck do the babes in cruise ads store those mile-wide sun hats on their flights to Hawaii? Unless you leave town with a trunk-lugging assistant, dressing with the same panache on the road as you do at home might be as fruitless as Don Quixote’s quests. But jetting to Bhutan or Barcelona shouldn’t mean entirely jettisoning your sartorial sense, even though practicalities (fabrics that resist roll-on wrinkles, shoes fit for cobblestones) seem to trump glamour. “I wish I had a Wonder Woman jumpsuit for travel. Your wardrobe has to do so many things,” says D.C. writer (and frequent flyer) Melina Gerosa Bellows, author of “The Fun Book for Girlfriends” ($13, Andrews McMeel). “So I try to not overpack. I’ll put in my go-to black pants, white T-shirts and lots of accessories, which add style without taking up much room.” Still, the need for comfort in transit shouldn’t cause you to morph into the Lesser American Sloth, so step away from the Juicy tracksuit. “You’d never wear a bikini top and skirt to dinner at home, so it’s a bad idea in Key West, too,” says TLC network stylist Andy Paige and author of “Style on a Shoestring” ($17, McGraw-Hill). It’s fine to pack flat shoes, but there’s no excuse for bringing clunky Crocs, unless you’re 3 years old and building sand castles. “I try to look put-together, even if it’s just ballet flats, jeans and a cashmere sweater for the plane,” says Samantha Brown,

who globe-trots as host of the Travel Channel’s “Great Weekends.” “As a traveler, you make nothing but first impressions. Dressing well is universal, and it helps you get treated well in shops and waited on at restaurants.” Old-school packing rules (“no” to linen, “yes” to knits) can mean you arrive refreshed, not rumpled. But a T-shirt touting another jaunt (“Ithaca is Gorges”) won’t wow natives or other travelers. Instead, go for easy-to-layer cardigans and a worldly chick’s secret weapon: the frock. “I’m on a book tour now, and I’ve got eight knit dresses in my bag,” says Paige. “They’re whole outfits you can dress up or down.” The joy of an escape also includes outfitting yourself to suit the surroundings. Yoga wear fits a Napa spa; a cocktail gown — maybe Lanvin? — rules for dinner in Paris. Blending in both keeps you safe (“Jeans shorts and a camera make you an easy mark in Rome,” says Brown) and allows you to cloak yourself in another culture. “I think about how I want to feel when I arrive,” says Bellows. “I just went to Mexico and didn’t want to look J. Crew. I took gauzy shirts, dangling earrings and metallic sandals.” Capturing fashion trophies — a colorful Thai scarf, Navajo turquoise earrings — on the road can even improve your trip. “Most women are up for a retail safari,” says Bellows. “And if you get an unbelievable gold necklace in India, it’ll remind you of your trip when you’re home.” Still, before you snag a style souvenir, consider how it will come across in your real world. “I pick up accessories, which are easier to incorporate into your wardrobe than, say, a sari,” says Arlington personal shopper Cathy Phillips. Brown, who loves trolling boutiques in strange cities, also encourages restraint. “You don’t want to come home and say, ‘Why did I buy this sombrero?’” Besides, it probably won’t fit in your carry-on anyway. Jennifer Barger

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FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 11

hothouse power: ruching gives rosa clara's silk gown ($4,862, Hannelore's, 106 n. lee st., alexandria; 703-549-0387) a screen-siren vibe. the simplest of accents — vintage millinery flowers, celluloid earrings, ($30 and $18, accessories of old, 4822 st. elmo ave., bethesda; 301-760-7228) and a faux pearl necklace by carolee (worn as a bracelet, $55, lord & taylor, tysons corner center; 703506-1156) — let the dress be the center of attention.

love in


on summer's romantic bridal gowns, everything's coming up rose-trimmed, sweetly draped or covered in lace photos by marge ely styled by neely barnwell dykshorn



hen Alice Roosevelt — the spirited daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt — got married at the White House in 1906, she wore orange blossoms in her hair and a silver brocade-accented gown. Modern D.C. brides probably don’t want to imitate her passé pompadour or whopping 12-foot train, but the season’s fresh crop of aisle- or beach wedding-ready dresses do channel the sort of scene-stealing, flower-inspired embellishments Roosevelt used when she said, “I do.” These range from Vera Wang’s big-as-a-sunflower silk posy pins — meant to grace the waist or shoulder — to Lela Rose’s feminine ball gown festooned with a field's worth of organza poppies. Lace — whether it’s traditional, intricate guipure or contemporary laser-cut stuff — also summons a romantic mood. “It has a special, oldfashioned quality, but it looks fresh when it’s done in modern shapes,” says Carin Rosenberg Levine of Georgetown's Hitched (1523 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-333-6162). “Interesting back details, like little bows or tiny pearl embellishments, sell well for us,” says New York designer Nicole Miller, whose sleek, Turner Classic Movie starlet styles usually include just one “aha!” element: horizontal pleats unexpectedly ringing the bottom half of a full skirt, a floor-sweeping bow on the back of a slim satin gown. Such subtly stunning dresses leave room for you to bloom on your big day, whether you say your vows in botanical splendor (like our bride, who was captured among the trumpet flowers and exotic palms of Wheaton’s Brookside Gardens), or with your toes in the sand, clasping just a simple bouquet. JENNIFER BARGER



“Interesting details, like little bows or tiny pearl embellishments, sell well for us.”




FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 14

old-fashioned lace meets a newfangled shape on elizabeth fillmore's flapperish gown ($6,490, Promise for the savvy bride, 4931A st. elmo ave., bethesda; 301215-9232). play up its slim lines with long strands of faux pearls ($50-$60, lord & taylor) and simple studs ($10, lou lou, 7125 Bethesda lane, bethesda; 301-652-0048).

About the Cover and Site Isadora wears a silk Lela Rose gown with an organza flower-dotted skirt ($7,995, Hitched, 1523 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-333-6162), a faux pearl necklace (worn as a bracelet, $55, Lord & Taylor), faux pearl earrings ($10, Lou Lou) and a vintage millinery flower ($30, Accessories of Old). She's pictured among the Birds of Paradise and spiral ginger plants at Brookside Gardens, a 50-acre botanical expanse in Montgomery County, Md., where a conservatory full of tropical flowers, winding vines and trickling ponds conjures faraway, exotic climes. It's a popular site for weddings, which often take place in the holly-bush-framed gazebo or among the colorful roses of the fragrance garden. Brookside is also open to visitors daily. 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, 301-962-1400; shot on location, brookside gardens special thanks to leslie mcdermott styling assistant: ashley joy parker photo assistants: Fredi Reiher, Beverly Nazaroff Hair and makeup: victoria stiles/T.H.E. Artist Agency model: ModeLogic for Wilhelmina Models

FA SH ION WA SH I NGTON | summer 2009 | 15

scene stealers the best of who, what and wear at the capital’s poshest parties

The Front Row Fashion Show Bethesda Row, may 15, 2009

Christian siriano knows that in fashion, you’re either “in” or you’re “out” — or, in Bethesda Row’s case, you just might be outside. Heidi Klum would surely have approved of the shopping zone’s spring runway show, held under the stars as part of a three-day fest of all things chic. Guest-of-honor and Annapolis native Siriano was suffering from a fierce cold, and it’s no wonder — with his ready-to-wear line, a new maternity collection, upcoming collaborations with Payless shoes and Victoria’s Secret cosmetics and a book in the works, he’s been nonstop busy since his “Project Runway” win. His post-show plans? “I’m sleeping in and watching bad TV, because I never get to do that at home in New York,” he said. What They Wore

Eva Jurkevics grad student-to-be

Christian Siriano fashion designer

Angelica Talan actress

Shannon Cusello salon manager

After the threat of rain, the balmy night set the scene for a flock of breezy frocks. Shannon Cusello popped by Urban Outfitters on the way to the fete, swapping her dark top for a daffodil yellow tank. “The sun came out and I thought, ‘I need color!’” she said. One item rarely spotted: flip-flops, to Siriano’s delight. “I’d love it if women would finally stop wearing flip-flops everywhere,” he said. “Ladies, take two more seconds and put on some cute flats. It looks so much better!” B e tsy Low ther

America’s Polo Cup Gala poolesville, md., May 8, 2009

you could’ve said that mud was the new

black at the Land Rover America’s Polo Cup Rockin’ the Runway gala. But the rain-soaked grounds at the Capitol Polo Club and the dirt on people’s shoes didn’t stop a crowd of haute guests — including event co-founder Michaele Salahi (above right, far right) and local advice diva Andrea Rodgers (of — from dressing up to take in a fashion show (left) and concert by “American Idol” star Michael Johns. Sure, a few Louboutins sank into the muck. But everyone, including the American and Australian polo players who would play in the next day’s match, seemed to enjoy the fete. “I’m still smiling,” said Rodgers. “Just look at me from the ankles up!”

What They Wore

Christina Michelle jewelry designer

Sarah Connor student

Seth Obed polo player

Andrea Rodgers advice diva/philanthropist

Rodney Foster fashion consultant

Women scored points in cocktail frocks and Ascotworthy hats, but it was the polo players in their knee-high leather boots and blazers who embodied the spirit of the evening. “It’s muddy, but everyone still looks great,” said event co-founder Salahi. This held especially true for fashion consultant Rodney Foster, who accessorized his slim suit with the ultimate luxe add-on: an Hermès Birkin bag. “I knew everyone was going to be wearing black suits,” he says. “I wanted to stand out.” ashle y joy parker

front row photos by l awrence luk ; america’s polo cup gal a photos by marge ely

summer dresses + new prints From short babydolls to flirty maxis, smocked paisleys to bright florals... we have the dresses that’ll make you the center of attention. Find it all on 2, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and select stores. Macy’s by Appointment.

Call Linda Lee & her personal shoppers for our free service. 1-800-343-0121. For store locations and hours, log on to

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5/11/09 4:48:41 PM

Summer Fashion Issue 2009