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All Wrapped Up

Are you still struggling to find presents for that fashionista on your gift list? Look no further. These looks have all the best gifts that you can find online or at your local retailer. Makeup - Carl Ray Styling- Anchyi Wei Model – Hanni, Miss Sweden Photographer – Yvonne Taylor Assisting - Michael Taylor Manicurist - Titilayo Banko Producer - John Paul Hamilton Look 1: Surell Fur Collar: $225, available at Bloomingdale’s Giorgio Armani Crystal Dress: $7925, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Alexander McQueen Python Clutch: $2295, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Vintage Earrings, stylist’s own Look 2: Melissa Vap Développé Hat: $495, www.melissavap.com Stella McCartney Blazer: $2085, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Aqua Sequin Pant: $88, available at Bloomingdale’s Celine Trapeze Bag: $3600, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Prada Cutout Booties: $850, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Links of London Britlines Earrings: $370, available at Bloomingdale’s Anchyi Wei Tribal Silver Necklace: $168, info@anchyiwei.com Look 3: Melissa Vap Battement Hat: $485 www.melissavap.com Prada Coat: $2995, Jeweled Collar Shirt: $820 Prada Dress: $2560, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Jimmy Choo Cosmic Sequin Pumps: $795, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase AndreaGems Teeth Earrings: $165 andreagems.com Look4: Melissa Vap Chassé Hat: $325, www.melissavap.com Etro Printed Dress: $1580, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Jimmy Choo Candy Clutch: $995, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Yves Saint Laurent Mirror Heel Pumps: $1050, available at Sak’s Chevy Chase Anchyi Wei Tribal Silver Chain Earrings: $125, info@anchyiwei.com Look 5: Melissa Vap Faille Orange hat: $300, www.melissavap.com/ Reiss Sequin Dress with Detachable Collar: $425, available at Bloomingdale’s Surell Fur Collar: $225, available at Bloomingdale’s Salvatore Ferragamo Gold Bonita Pumps: $775, available at Bloomingdale’s Stella Valle Hippie Harmony Earrings: $96, and Ann Ring: $96, www.stellavalle.com/ [gallery ids="101092,137825,137811,137821,137817" nav="thumbs"]

Basil Soda Takes America

If you don’t yet know the name Basil Soda, you soon will. This Beirut-based designer is gaining recognition all over the world for his beautiful designs and attention to detail. He’s making a short tour of the U.S. presenting his newest collection before returning to his beloved state-of-the-art “play- ground” in Lebanon. With the release of his third collection, Basil Soda garments are making their way into U.S. shops all over the country. Soda’s ready to wear collection has a couture feel to it, while staying modern, feminine and sensible. This humble designer got his start working with designer Elle Saab, whom he still has good relations with, and considers a big brother. Soda gained experience, and after four years, felt he could go off on his own to begin working on his brand. Though he has already seen great success with his previous collections, Soda never thinks he’s “made it.” “It’s an achievement for the Lebanese to be accepted in the fashion industry, but still, I don’t put myself in this mold because once you...believe in it, then you don’t move quickly, faster.” Soda says, “I have to keep moving, because my aim is to really create a story around the brand.” “Now, fashion, the way we are seeing it, is not anymore only trend. It’s not only colors. It’s not cuts. It’s not volumes. It’s just a statement from a designer that [they] bring into the fashion industry, and this is how you recognize new brands. It’s not the color, or what you like, or what you don’t.” His couture gowns have been popping up all over the red carpet lately. Marion Cotillard, Carla Gugino, Cheryl Cole, Dana Delany and Katy Perry are some of the many stars spotted wearing Basil Soda designs. “Red Carpet will always be our main exercise for the couture. This is where we feel it is giving us quite good visibility,” Soda says. “It is the fastest way to be seen; even the big fashion houses, this is what they are doing and what they are concentrating on.” Basil Soda cites his inspirations for his collections coming from two sources: music and exhibitions, and, the most important, young people, and how they react to fashion. Soda says when it comes to fashion, one shouldn’t be too practical, and should have confidence to wear what one wants. “You should love yourself; let’s say you’re tall, short, a brunette, a blonde, fat or skinny,” Soda says. “The first thing, you should love yourself, whatever it is. And when you love yourself, you can express more. You can be more confident about the things that you choose for yourself.” Soda presented his collection at the René Moawad Foundation Gala at the Ritz Carlton on Nov. 10 to numerous gasps of awe and thunderous applause from the audience. He previewed 45 pieces from both the ready to wear and couture collections, creating a grand finale to an enjoyable gala. “We need to reflect the good side about ourselves. To put a smile on.” Soda says, speaking on character. “This is what we need, this is why we are doing fashion, to be more happy, more relaxed, enjoying ourselves. Green Earthy green hues of emerald, moss or loden can be evocative of a woodsy holiday. Forget what you may think about the Grinch-y color. Soda’s couture dress,? from his fall collection, shows that a smoky green can be alluring and mysterious. More subtly glamorous, it’s a great alternative to red during the holiday season. Accesorize with these Kate Spade sunglasses ($128). Keep the cold out with an elegant fur collar from Brooks Brothers ($298), in keeping with an out- doorsy look. Black Closets during this time of the year can seem like an inevitable black hole. This long wool skirt by Michael Kors is a versatile piece that can transition season to season. This purse by Banana Republic ($98) is a fun evening bag that is more playful than a more plain option. The dress is from Basil Soda’s Ready to Wear line. White Get on the bandwagon with Basil Soda’s breezy winter white dress. You can look like an ice queen with blinged-out acces- sories like these Manolo Blahnik pumps ($1,295) or Alexander Wang purse. Red Soda’s look is ornate, modern and sultry. You can bring the same vibe to your tech accesso- ries and outerwear. This iPhone case by Banana Republic with card sleeves will keep you organized on the go, and this USB drive ring by Kate Spade is the most glam we’ve ever seen. Outerwear is an important part of any winter wardrobe, and this Michael Kors coat is a great piece that will set you apart. With its assymetrical buttons and collar, it’s a modern coat in a traditional holiday color. [gallery ids="101077,137279,137274,137268,137262,137258,137252,137290,137246,137295,137240,137299,137234,137304,137284" nav="thumbs"]

Framed for Fashion

Those who love fashion are quick to associate it with fine art. As artists, designers work to create an atmosphere, evoke emotion and inspire contemplation. Tsyndyma is a Washington-based designer whose suits and dresses outwit the temperature with light materials in autumnal colors. Breezy, wide-leg pants create a strong base, drawing eyes to the masterpieces above. Georgetown milliner Melissa Vap’s handcrafted hats and fascinators are beautiful pieces for formal gatherings. Free from conforming to the body, they are open to take any form she can imagine. Like the best works of art, their beauty is timeless by both looking to the past and throttling towards the future. Be confident in your own look as you transcend these two seasons. Photographer Yvonne Taylor www.yvonnetaylorphoto.com Producer John Paul Hamilton Make-Up Artist Carl Ray CarlRayMakeupArtist.com Hair Darrell Thompson Model Clara Buchanan Designer Tsyndyma tsyndymaonline.com Shop here. Hats Melissa Vap www.melissavap.com [gallery ids="100948,130382,130349,130375,130357,130370,130365" nav="thumbs"]

Summer Sales in the City

As the temperature continues to rise, local store prices are doing just the opposite. Check out this week’s latest sales at some of your favorite M Street shops. Annie Creamcheese 3279 M St. NW – 50% off any single vintage item, if you mention The Georgetowner J. McLaughlin 3278 M St. NW – All women’s items 40% off Waterworks 3314 M St. NW – 25% off beach towels until June 30 City Sports 3338 M St. NW – Up to 30% off on select items The Running Company 3401 M St. NW – 30% off older running shoes West Elm 3333 M St. NW –30-40% older items The North Face 3333 M St. NW – 25-30% off select items Second Time Around 3289 M St. NW – June 29-July 4: 20% off full price on selected items Aldo 3237 M St. NW - Up to 50% off selected items Lucky Brand Jeans 3271 M St. NW – 20% off selected items All Saint 3235 M St. NW – 30-50% off leather and clothing True Religion Brand Jeans 3225 M St. NW – 20% off shorts and select shirts until July 1 Banana Republic 3200 M St. NW – June 30-July 4: 30% selected items BCBG Max Azria 3210 M St. NW – 40-60% off; additional 20% off sale items Anthropologie 3222 M St. NW – $19.99 and up on sale items Intermix 3222 M St. NW – an additional 30% off selected items

Mini Vacations

Travel around in style as hot as the summer weather. Gear up for summer with fun fashion and cute cars. Grab your ride at Passport MINI-Alexandria. Photographer: Yvonne Taylor Stylist: Stara Pezeshkian with T.H.E. Artist Agency Stylist assistant: Bridget Thompson Hair: Belinda King Models: Angela Sipper and Monty Ashton-Lewis MUA: Kim Reyes Producers: John Paul Hamilton [gallery ids="100798,124415,124405,124411" nav="thumbs"]

Dive Into Summer

Swimsuit season has officially arrived. Be a vibrant vision in bright, bold colors, while lounging by the pool as seen here at the Lavender Hill estate. Photographer: Yvonne Taylor Stylist: Stara Pezeshkian with THE artist agency Stylist assistant: Bridget Thompson Manicurist: Natasha Ray Makeup: Kim Reyes using MAKE UP FOR EVER for T.H.E. Artist Agency Photog assistants: Michael Taylor and Ximena Brunette Hair: Belinda King Model: Kelsey McGuire from CIMA Talent Management Location: Lavender Hill in Upperville, Va., is on the market; listing by Thomas & Talbot Real Estate [gallery ids="100857,126826,126821,126816" nav="thumbs"]

Summer Sales in Georgetown

Summer sales in Georgetown this week are heating up. You don’t want to miss out on these great deals. J. McLaughlin -- 3278 M St., NW – Final markdowns up to 75% off until the end of July. Design Within Reach -- 3306 M St., NW – Floor sample Sale, always ongoing; upholstery sale starts Aug. 2. Yves Delorme -- 3320 Cady's Alley, NW – Sale until July 21; 20% off storewide; excludes mattresses. Poggenpohl -- 3324 M M St., NW – Display sale (see store for more details) Baker Furniture -- 3330 M M St., NW – Save big at the floor sample finale. City Sports -- 3338 M St., NW – Up to 40% off spring and summer merchandise which runs through August. Bo Concept -- 3342 M St., NW – Floor model sale; a sale with any material and any layout until the end of August. End of season collection sale now through August. Revolution Cycles -- 3411 M St., NW – Trek summer sale ends July 22; free calendar has rolling coupons; previous year bikes on markdown. Running Company -- 3401 M St., NW – 30% off old model shoes The North Face -- 3333 M St., NW – 25 to 35% off selected items plus an additional 20-30% off spring items. Annie Cream Cheese -- 3279 M St., NW – Buy one; get another item half off. Lacoste -- 3146 M St., NW – Up to half off Sports Zone -- 3140 M St., NW – Shorts are two for $30. T-shirts, including women’s tank tops, are buy five for $20. Up to 25% off accessories. Barney’s -- 3040 M St., NW – Sale up to 75% off Juicy Couture -- 3034 M St., NW – Additional 30% off sale Cusp -- 3030 M St., NW – Up to 65% off, end of season sale. Niccolo -- 2928 M St., NW – Up 20% off Charm -- 2910 M St., NW – Up to 30% off Hu’s Shoes -- 3005 M St., NW – 50% off on select shoes American Apparel -- 3025 M St., NW – Swim sale up to 50% off; sunglasses up to 50% off; jewelry up to 50% off (excludes watches); t-shirts are two for $3; bras three for $25; men’s shorts are 50% off. Diesel -- 3033 M St., NW – Up to 50% off on men and women’s apparel; 25% off men and women’s denim. Brooks Brothers -- 3077 M St., NW – Up to 50% off; spring pants and polo shirts 40% off; all shorts 40% off; women’s apparel, 40 to 50% off, depending on item; spring suits 40% off. Steve Madden -- 3109 M St., NW – Additional 50% off; 10% off for student discount; 15% off for military discount Urban Outfitters -- 3111 M St., NW – extra 30% off

Satin Doll

Photo Credit: Photographer, Digital Touch Ups Yvonne Taylor www.yvonnetaylorphoto.com Makeup Lauretta J. McCoy www.laurettajmccoy.com Stylist Ope Majek www.opestyle.com Hair Leah Watson Model Fola NYC [gallery ids="99614,105076,105073" nav="thumbs"]

Historic DC Weddings

Imagine your wedding day as national headline news, read from DC to Des Moines. You, your groom and your guest list are the subject of Washington’s biggest event of the year, and anyone who’s anyone is going to be there. Marjorie Merriweather Post became accustomed to this tradition, as the bride in four of her own weddings, and the unofficial wedding planner for each of her three daughters. As the daughter of Charles William Postum, the founder of Postum Cereal Company (now Post and General Mills cereal) Mrs. Post was a distinguished socialite, with an eye for putting on spectacular events. A regular host of Washington socialite dinner parties, Mrs. Post had a remarkable list of contacts, including Washington’s elite. Pulling from these contacts, Mrs. Post created the guest lists for each of the weddings she planned. These traditional white weddings stood apart from the rest because both the bride and her guests were all Washington socialites, and the events they attended were guaranteed to be grand. Both as a bride and a planner, Marjorie Post had an extraordinary ability to envision an event from start to finish, scrupulously putting every last detail in place. In her second wedding to E.F. Hutton, Mrs. Post coordinated everything from her dress and flowers down to the color of the icing on the cake. Very interested in fashion, Mrs. Post’s wedding dresses reflected the most prominent styles of the time. The first dress she wore to her 1905 wedding to Edward Close was very traditional, featuring a high collar and more fitted bodice. This changed drastically by her 1935 wedding to Joseph E. Davies, when she wore a dress of true Hollywood glam made of velvet with a seven-foot train. By her fourth wedding in 1958, she chose to embrace the popularity of the shorter gown, despite being nearly 70 years old. Besides having an incredible eye for design, it was the way in which Mrs. Post carried out these events that made them a cut above the rest. By sending out reminders before the event occurred and thank-you notes in appreciation of all those attended, Marjorie Post had perfected the role of a socialite in gaining the respect of all who knew her. Although Mrs. Post’s gatherings had a reputation for extravagance, and her guest list filled with Washington’s most powerful names, many of the traditions were no different than weddings of today. As a bride herself, Marjorie Post certainly had her bridal opinion, picking the color, style, fabric and design of her bridesmaids’ dresses. As the mother of three young brides, Mrs. Post had a strong hand in navigating their weddings as well, using her contacts to secure an amazing event. Just as today, historic Washington socialite weddings were a monumental moment in the bride’s life, the planning as much of an event as the wedding itself. In observing the traditional ways weddings have been done in the past we can all gain a greater appreciation for the traditions we still carry out today. For more information on Marjorie Merriweather Post visit the Hillwood Museum’s upcoming exhibit featuring all four of Mrs. Post’s wedding dresses and many other wedding artifacts. [gallery ids="99594,105020,105009,105016,105013" nav="thumbs"]

Dive Into Summer: Make a Splash with Summer

Swimsuit season has officially arrived. Be a vibrant vision in bright, bold colors, while lounging by the pool, as seen here at the Penthouse Pool and Lounge on U St. Jodi King - Photographer and Wardrobe Stylist Sarah Mattis - Photo Assistant Tyler Larish - Hair Richard Bernal - Makeup Model: Sherita DeHonney of Stomp Model Management Model: Gabby Downing of CIMA Talent Management Location: Penthouse Pool and Lounge located on U St. [gallery ids="100858,126834,126823,126829" nav="thumbs"]