From the venue & caterer, to picking out the perfect apparel for both you and your groom, finding the hottest trends for weddings can be a duanting task. We’ve gone to the biggest names in the industry to answer your toughest questions all in one place! ____ Mary Bird ---- Socialite What are three things you look for in a wedding venue? Mary: It should accommodate the right number of guests, inside or outside, depending on the season. You also have to think about accessibility. If you’re having a reception at a hotel, you have the added convenience of being able to put guests up there. What are the top wedding venues in DC? Mary: There are the obvious ones like the Willard, the Hay-Adams, and National Arboretums. The Anderson House on Massachusetts is a beautiful location, and the Fairmont Hotel Colonnade does a lot of weddings, which is very pretty because you have the interior patio there too. The Womens Museum does weddings as well, and they have the most beautiful staircases to come down. Also in the Middleburg area there are beautiful places, with country inns, etc. What’s your favorite thing about attending a wedding? Mary: Weddings are just so special, it’s a wonderful time. It’s the start of a new life for people, and I think its always so special because you have all these people that come together that wouldn’t otherwise at one big party. Its just such a happy time, and a magical occasion. ___ Walter Nicholls ---- Former Washington Post Food Editor Do you prefer a buffet or fully catered meal? Walter: I like a meal because I like being able to stay in one place. I think it’s more elegant to be seated and have service since it is such a special occasion, rather than work a table. How many options should a bride offer her guests? Walter: I would say that three options would be appropriate. I would stay away from lamb. Offer filet, the ever-popular salmon, as well as a vegetarian option. You want to have something that people are familiar with and not get too crazy. What type of food do you like best when you attend a wedding? Walter: Personally, I would love ethnic food such as Indian or Asian, rather than salmon, but that’s what people have. What is the biggest tip you could give about finding a caterer? Walter: I would highly suggest finding a caterer with a really well trained staff, because that makes all the difference in the world. Things can definitely go wrong, but if you have a good wait staff they will know what to do. ___ Barbara Crane & Kathleen O’Meara Abramson ---- Executive Travel Associates What are some current popular travel destinations? Barbara: Tahiti, Bora Bora and Bali are in great demand. They have so much to offer those seeking a fantasy escape: privacy, beautiful beaches and incredibly luxurious accommodations, like over water bungalows, which are so exotic, romantic and decadent, combined with the ability to experience dramatic and mystical scenery. Another fabulous destination that comes to mind is Mauritius with a side trip to Africa for a short safari. Kathleen: For those without the time to travel as far but still wanting locales with fantastic architecture, turquoise water and powdery, private beaches, Anguilla and The Turks and Caicos come to mind. What tips do you have for couples looking for a deal in finding honeymoon accommodations? Kathleen: I would be very careful using the term “deal” when referring to your honeymoon – especially if you want to make it to your first anniversary! It’s probably best to think of in terms of value. An experienced travel agent that works with honeymooners is your best bet for getting the most for your money and the best experience. G: How early should a couple start planning their honeymoon? Kathleen and Barbara: It is never too early to start researching the destinations that you are considering, and it is best to be on the same page, or at least in the same chapter, as your partner. It is also really helpful if you can make a list of your preferences, and then we can help you sort it out. We have excellent ground contacts worldwide so we can usually get what we need in terms of amenities, guides, access to local events, etc. ___ Carine Krawiec ---- Carine’s Bridal Atelier Do you see a trend in brides picking a color while allowing bridesmaids to choose their own style of dresses? Carine: You are always going to see that but I think what they do is pick the color and then the bridesmaids pick the style, all from the same designer. It’s definitely a trend that is a becoming bigger. I think brides are realizing that everything isn’t going to look good on everyone, but they still do have a bridal opinion, they aren’t going to give them full range. What are the biggest styles in wedding dresses this year? Carine: Dresses with a lot of tulle giving it a lot of the ballerina feel. You are also seeing a lot of crystals, not like a heavily embroidered ball gown, but cascading down the dress. Peplum is also becoming very popular, giving the dress a soft wave. Some brides are also opting to stay more traditional with lace. For Spring 2012 we’re anticipating a lot more modest designs for Kate Middleton to wear in her wedding. With a lot of emphasis being put on after parties, women are very interested in having a short dress they can change into for the reception in order to get more comfortable. ___ Carin and Julia ---- Hitched Bridal Couture How long does it typically take for a dress to be made after the initial fitting? Carin and Julia: We generally advise our customers to order their dress no less than 6 months out. A lot of designers take 12-16 weeks so we like to build in a little extra time. What are the current trends in hair accessories and veils? Carin and Julia: I think we still see a lot of people using veils, but it depends on their dresses. We see veils that are short with a lot of volume as well as longer more traditional veils. The venue and personality of the bride are what really affect those things. ___ Louis Everard & Jennifer Nygard ---- Everard’s Clothier Instead of a traditional tux, how would you suggest a groom dress up a suit? Louis: A suit is perfectly acceptable for a wedding, and when a groom makes the decision to wear a suit, it is the accessories which become of utmost importance in defining the look for a wedding. Absolutely the groom should wear a white shirt, which is most formal, and he may wish to try a cutaway collar. The other accessories, such as a tie, bowtie or pocket square should be chosen in a more formal fabric or color but can also be coordinated to the bride or the bridesmaids dresses to give a coordinated look for the wedding party. A nice option is to wear a silk vest that picks up the wedding colors and also gives a nice look when the groom takes off his jacket. What are some ways the groomsmen can stand out? Louis: The groomsmen should never outdress the groom, so the groomsmen attire should be chosen to complement the groom. For example, if the groom is wearing a suit vs. a tux, then the groomsmen should also wear suits or jackets, but not formal attire. We have done many weddings where the groom wears a suit and the groomsmen wear navy blazers coordinated to either a gray or khaki pant. The pants may even be a color such as Nantucket red if this coordinates back to the wedding colors. As with the groom, the groomsmen accessories should pick up the colors of the bridesmaid and the overall wedding for a coordinated look. ___ Adrian Loving ---- DJ About Town What should a couple look for when seeking a DJ for their wedding? Adrian: They should look for someone professional and responsible who has good taste in music, but they also need to be very clear about what they want. It’s hard when I’m approached by the couple and told to play a certain type of music and then friends and family request something different, because then there isn’t much I can do. What song would you rather not hear at a wedding? Adrian: The cupid shuffle, or electric slide. Yeah, I don’t play them, but people ask for them. Any line dancing song...so 80s or 90s. How do you entice the guests at a wedding to get up and dance? Adrian: I usually ask the bride and groom their favorite song and then get on the mic and invite people to come dance with the couple, and they usually do. ___ Heidi Kallett ---- Dandelion Patch How long does it typically take for custom invitations to be printed? Heidi: We suggest that you allow 4 weeks for production of your wedding invitations from date of proof approval. For some people that means that you should begin looking six months before your wedding, and for others that means to start looking eight months before your wedding. It completely depends on your decision-making process and your ability to trust your stationer to create your vision. Would you recommend sending out save the date cards? How far in advance? Heidi: Absolutely. It happens all too often that brides have friends and family that can’t attend their wedding because vacation plans were already made for that year. Typically we suggest to mail a save the date announcement the minute you confirm your date and location. Usually we see this happen around month nine. What styles of invitations are most popular? Heidi: Today we are seeing a throw-back to vintage. Tons of damask designs and ornate fonts are the rage right now. We’re also seeing paper being printed everywhere! Think backsides of invitations, envelopes and tags-- nothing is off-limits! And for color, think rich aubergine matched with platinum and peacock blues and greens and you won’t be far off.
Authentic culture and cuisine from the Umbria region of Italy is coming to Georgetown in form of Via Umbria, which moved into the old Tari space. Via Umbria will open its doors Sept. 27 initially as a pop-up shop with the full store and gallery experience to occur this spring. Located at 1525 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Via Umbria will feature four main businesses, the emporio (the shop), vino (wine), casa (the rental villa in Umbria) and galleria (events and gallery space). Owners Bill and Suzy Menard spent a semester in Umbria, when they were students, and fell in love with the region. They have returned dozens of times since. Inspired by their trips to Italy, the couple opened Bella Italia, a shop in Bethesda, that offers authentic Italian products. Then, the Menards decided to relocate to Georgetown with a new name to develop their concept even further. “We closed on the purchase of a new home for the new Bella Italia. . . . 1525 Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown,” the Menards wrote on their blog. “The purchase has been months – nearly a year – in the making. To say we’re excited would be an understatement worthy of Guinness.” In 2008, the Menards purchased a rustic farmhouse villa in Cannara in Umbria, starting a rental and tour business. In 2013, the couple began importing wines from vineyards near by the rental villa. The second floor of Via Umbria will be a gallery event space to expand the store into a cultural center. Guests are invited to attend events, such as tastings, classes and exhibits and to join book club. Friends of Bill and Suzy, such as chefs, winemakers and artisans from Umbria, will frequently be invited to host demonstrations, hands-on workshops and tastings. Also, there are plans for a cheese counter, an area for cured meats and coffee bar with tasty dry goods. Via Umbria’s website is still under construction and will be up and running in early October.
Calling all frugal fashionistas. A new boutique just opened on Wisconsin Avenue, aiming to provide the women of Georgetown affordable clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. The store offers gently used consignment, vintage and new items available for customers to purchase. Pretty Chic hosted its garden party grand opening June 28. Guests were invited to enjoy authentic Turkish food and wine to celebrate the grand opening of Georgetown’s newest boutique, all while shopping the store’s large selection of blouses, skirts, dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry. On Tuesday, July 1, the store will have a celebratory summer sale of 20 percent off all summer tops. The store, located at 1671 Wisconsin Ave., NW, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Restaurateurs Eric and Ian Hilton will open a Georgetown location, as they take over the former Café La Ruche space at 1039 31st St., NW, in early August. Chez Billy Sud will feature authentic Southern French cuisine, craft cocktails and French wine from the wine selection. The new place is south of the original Chez Billy in Petworth that Eric and Ian Hilton own – thus, the name, Chez Billy Sud. They also run restaurants on U Street. “We are very excited to open up a new location in Georgetown,” executive chef Brendan L’Etoile said. “We admire the location of the restaurant in Georgetown for the great potential that the area has. We are looking to accommodate anyone that comes to Georgetown and want to enjoy good French food.” The interior design will remain the same, but plans include some changes to renovate the interior and replace the furniture in the patio. The menu of the restaurant will remain the same as the sister restaurant at Georgia Avenue. “When the weather is warm, we will do a lot of light-cooking with olive oil. Once the weather gets cooler, we will do some richer cooking,” L’Etoile said. “We are excited about opening up a new location in Georgetown and carry on the legacy that Café La Ruche has made over the years.” “Café la Ruche is not closed yet,” said Bill Starrels, neighbor to the restaurant and the local advisory neighborhood commissioner. “We will miss Jean Claude and Cafe LaRuche. He has provided years of good food and been a friend to his neighbors. Chez Billy will pick up the French flair and continue the French tradition.”
The film, “The Politics of Fashion: DC Unboxed,” premiered June 3. Touted as Washington’s first-ever fashion documentary, it showcases the hidden fashion industry of D.C. that is often overshadowed by politics. The event, hosted by Svelte, LLC, began with a red carpet, followed by a screening of the film and an after party, sponsored by Mazza Gallerie. The goal of “DC Unboxed” is to show Washingtonians that there is more to the city than just politics, as told by those who know it best. Elaine Mensah, founder of Svelte, LLC, and writer, director and producer of the documentary, sought to use this film as a medium to share D.C.’s evolution in fashion and retail, as well as to address the future of the fashion industry in the nation’s capital and discredit misperceptions about Washington consumer interest. The cast includes Pulitzer-Prize winning fashion critic Robin Givhan, founder of T.H.E. Artist Agency Lynda Erkiletian, Karen Sommer Shalett, former editor-in-chief of D.C. Modern Luxury Magazine, Kate Glassman Bennett, editor-in-chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and many others. After releasing her documentary, Mensah said she hoped it would bring together the D.C. fashion community and generate interest in investing in the variety of creative opportunities in the Washington area. “DC Unboxed” will have a second screening Tuesday, June 17, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St., NW. For details, visit [thepoliticsoffashion.com](https:/www.thepoliticsoffashion.com). [gallery ids="116395,116389,116379,116384" nav="thumbs"]
This summer’s style turns back the clock and lands somewhere in the 70s. The quiet vibes and relaxed greenery of Sherwood Forest in Anne Arundel County make for a laid back weekend escape. Dig out your vintage suit or shop around for retro cuts and colors mixing old and new this season. Photography Angie Myers Styling Corrie Dyke Hair & Makeup Jessica Ariane for T H E Artist Agency Models Katie Andersen & Michael Ryann for T H E Artist Agency [gallery ids="101739,141974,141980,141978,141962,141967,141970" nav="thumbs"]
With crisp temperatures and the holidays quickly approaching, nothing is quite as refreshing as updating your fall and winter wardrobe. And while it sounds festive, a closet makeover may not bring much cheer when shopping for high-end items on a budget. However, five second-hand stores and consignment shops here in Georgetown are keeping resale upscale, trendy and, most importantly, affordable. Ready to update your fall wardrobe? Let’s get shopping. Buffalo Exchange is a national chain that opened its store at M & Potomac a year ago. The store has both women’s and men’s clothing and shoes as well as women’s accessories. The store is not consignment, but resale where trades are made over the counter and sellers paid on the spot. Those selling items can either receive 50 percent of the sale price for store credit, or be paid 30 percent in cash. Store credit never expires and can be used at any Buffalo Exchange. The Georgetown store’s associate manager Sade Persad says the store buys in items based on what is current and trendy. “From Target to Saks, we don’t look for certain brands.” Persad said. “If it’s something that we feel reflects our customers, we buy it in.” The personal aspect is appealing to Persad, who said the store interacts with customers to cater to what they are shopping for. Inventory reflects local shoppers, making every Buffalo Exchange store different. Persad advised to check out the store frequently as inventory is constantly changing and items can sell within five minutes of being on the floor. Buffalo Exchange works with local charities and also holds a number of promotional events. Buffalo Exchange is located at 3279 M St., NW. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 7 p.m., Sunday. Krista Johnson opened Ella-Rue, a high-end consignment shop, in November 2010. The boutique is named after Krista’s two rescue dogs: Ella, a Pit Bull, and Rue, a Jack Russell terrier. The store is light and bright, and clothes line both walls with two small curtain-drawn dressing rooms at the back. “I designed the store to emulate your super fabulous, hardworking and maybe famous friend’s closet,” Johnson said. Opening a store had been a dream of Johnson’s since she was a little girl. When the economy went sour, she decided to open a high-end consignment store. Both Johnson and store manager Lolly Amons are local, yet their consigners span beyond Georgetown. “We have clients all over the country so our store has closets from Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Hawaii, Palm Beach and South Hampton,” Johnson said. Ella-Rue carries new with tag items from top designers like Shoshanna, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel. Most of the women’s clothing and accessories in the store have an East Coast vibe, according to Amons, and consignors get a 50-50 split of the final sale price. Ella-Rue holds fundraisers for charities and often supports animal rescues. It will host a third-anniversary party in early November. Ella-Rue is at 3231 P St., NW, and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. The newest consignment shop on the block is Reddz Trading, which opened in June. Owner Wendy “Red” Ezrailson opened her first trading store three years ago in Bethesda, Md. But Ezrailson’s retail experience didn’t start there. She and her husband owned Commander Salamander and Up Against the Wall in Georgetown for 40 years, before taking on consignment. Back in her “old stomping ground,” Ezrailson said her vision for Reddz was to make it look like a boutique. “I wanted to make it look really nice inside so people shop in a good atmosphere,” she said. The store boasts bright red doors with accents of red décor on the inside. Reddz merchandise includes brands from J. Crew through high-end designers. Ezrailson said the store is diverse— you could be looking for anything from a Chanel suit for $800 to a J. Crew top for $18. “I like that we have a nice variety in the store—letting everyone in— not feeling rejected in anyway,” she said. The store carries women’s clothing and accessories and men’s clothing, however Ezrailson said she’s waiting for men to bring in items. Shopping at Reddz is all about looking for the treasure, according to Ezrailson. Sellers receive 30 percent for the item or 45 percent in the form of a trade card to use in the store. “You will have a great experience selling your clothes with us,” she said. Trading at Reddz happens at 1413 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. Back on M Street is another consignment chain, whose flagship store started just outside of Boston 40 years ago. Second Time Around has seen a lot of foot traffic in Georgetown, according to the store manager Lauren Broccoli. Broccoli said college students are catching on to the idea of resale. “Clients are telling their friends and it’s a great way to replenish your wardrobe,” she said. Second Time Around carries women’s clothing, shoes and bags at their Georgetown location. Broccoli said the store is special because people are “on the hunt” for something unique but always walk out surprised. The shop stands out because it has a little of everything, catering to an age demographic of 17 to 75, according to Broccoli. Consignment payment with the store is monthly and consignors receive 40 percent of the final sale. Consigning a high-end designer handbag will get you 50 percent of the sale. Clients can keep the sale as in-store credit for wardrobe recycling. Second Time Around is at 3289 M St., NW, and open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. The last stop of chic consignment in Georgetown is Tari. The boutique feel of Tari causes many customers to walk in unknowing it’s consignment. “We try to find our balance within it,” Alida said. “Overall it’s a positive and people enjoy the shopping experience.” Tari takes in moderate brands to high-end designers and vintage pieces. “Always expect to find some little treasure here,” Alida said. The store is affiliated with D.C. Fashion Foundation and supports local designers by featuring their pieces every season. Tari has both women’s and men’s clothing as well as women’s accessories. Owner Sara Mokhtari builds relationships with clients through the store’s unique consignment process. Consignors have a 50-50 split. Items in the store are marked at 65-75 percent off retail and new items with tags are marked at 50 percent. Consignors get a 60-40 split if they make the sale for store credit. “It’s always great to take a peek in because you never know what kind of deal you will find,” Alida said. Tari is located at 1525 Wisconsin Ave., NW., and open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through [gallery ids="118755,118752" nav="thumbs"]
Gala season is in full swing. And as inspired by this issue’s fashion editorial, everyone also has a different ball on the mind - - basketball. As your Saturday nights fill with black tie affairs and your March Madness brackets continue to bust, make room for the season’s starting line-up featuring Jimmy Choo and others embracing the sporty chic sneaker trend. As seen all over the runway, take these court-friendly numbers to this season’s best balls. [gallery ids="101682,144152,144154,144133,144136,144141,144144,144149" nav="thumbs"]
Redskins apparel, evening and bridal wear, swimwear, menswear and children’s clothing – Marymount University’s 2014 student fashion show, “Portfolio in Motion Uncut,” highlighted a bit of everything. The lines of alumni were also featured at the May 1 show, inspired by industrial art. Designer Jhane Barnes was in attendance and received Marymount’s 2014 Designer of the Year Award in recognition of her innovative menswear and textiles and her creative use of mathematics in the design process. Jummy Olabanji, Emmy award-winning reporter and anchor at WJLA-TV, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Olabanji also teaches a fashion research and communication course at the university. In the professional-quality production, created by the fashion merchandising students, the jury-selected garments were modeled by Marymount students from across the university. Set design, lighting, music and choreography provided a clean, minimalist, cutting-edge environment to showcase the innovative fashions on the runway. In addition to the senior lines, there were themed scenes that included fashion-forward Redskins fan wear and garments made from fabric donated by Eileen Fisher, Marymount’s 2012 Designer of the Year. [gallery ids="116549,116565,116559,116541,116556" nav="thumbs"]
From the outside, D.C.’s startup hub 1776 looks like any other downtown office building. The lobby is bathed in dark marble, and an I.D. is needed to proceed to the elevator. But step onto the top floor and you land on a shared office space and event venue mash-up, filled with young entrepreneurs and startups working in the physical home of their virtual business. From artists to techies to fashion, 1776 houses a mix of businesses and hosts various events in the space after hours. On April 23, online retailer Stylecable will host its official launch party with a pop up shop and evening with the store’s local designers. Uyen Tang, founder of Stylecable, started the site a year ago and went live in November of 2013. Tang started her business after traveling as a Foreign Service officer and collecting a wardrobe that spanned the world. “People would say, ‘Oh, my gosh, where did you get that?’ and I would have to tell them a random country, where they couldn’t access it,” Tang said. Her original idea behind Stylecable was to bring those hard-to-find pieces to the U.S. market and showcase emerging fashion designers. After leaving the Foreign Service, Tang received her MBA from Wharton Business School, worked in management consulting for a little more than two years and then took the plunge into starting her own business. After researching online retail options like Etsy, Tang took classes through the Founder Institute and launched Stylecable. “Designers can really shine on the site,” Tang said of the connection shoppers can have as a fan of the 13 and counting designers featured on Stylecable. Currently, all of the site’s designers are entrepreneurial women selected by Tang who also hand selects all of the products to fit Stylecable’s “modern and edgy” style. In the future, Tang is looking to explore men’s wear, a brick and mortar store and a pre-order function on the site for designers to show their upcoming designs. The pop up party on April 23 will host around 500 people and give shoppers the opportunity to feel and try-on the products. Sarah Cecelia Jewelry will be one of the many local designers at the launch party and will give a demonstration of her jewelry line. The party runs 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 1776, 1133 15th Street NW. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.com/e/stylecable-pop-up-party-tickets-10939208467. Visit Stylecable.com/ to learn more about the designers and see their products.