“WWD: 100 Years, 100 Designers Book Party at Bergdorf Goodman

“100 Years, 100 Designers” paid homage to a century of WWD news and coverage, and 100 designers who have who have each left an indelible mark on the history of fashion and style. The designers recognized in the book are among the most influential style icons and tastemakers of our time. The book is filled with hundreds of stunning photographs, lavish illustrations and also acknowledges the photographers, editors and illustrators who have made invaluable contributions to WWD for the past 100 years [gallery ids="99414,99415,99416,99417,99418" nav="thumbs"]

Steeping with Charm

In hopes of discovering why tea has grown so popular recently, The Georgetowner interviewed the owners of two local tea shops, Hollie of Ching Ching Cha in Georgetown and Guy of Zen Tara Fine Teas in Bethesda, MD. Tell us about your background and how you decided to open a tea shop. Hollie: 15 years ago I ran into a Taiwanese Teahouse in Paris during my year of traveling in France and decided to have my own. I am chinese from Hong Kong. Guy: I teamed up with co-owner Methee Thavornvongkajorn to open the shop. My background is in architecture and design, Methees' is in the spa industry. We wanted to create a more contemporary version of a tea shop. We actually started looking onto it back in 2007 and worked on become knowledgeable about tea while having a part-time tea counter at the Farm Women's Cooperative Market in Bethesda. We were attending the World Tea Expo every year and took almost 2 years to find the right location which turned about to be less than 2 blocks away from the Farmer's Market on Wisconsin Avenue. We're happy with the way things turned out, the shop is 1600 sq.ft., the largest tea shop we know of in the Metro DC region, we have a separate glass walled tea tasting room where we hold monthly events and true to our Zen name, it is a very relaxing, serene environment focused on tea. Why do you love selling tea? Hollie: I love selling tea because I love tea! Guy: It is a great tasting beverage that is good for you. It is great to be able to go to the shop every day and work with a product that has such positive qualities. It is also a product with a tremendous history that literally has changed the fortunes of more than one country from Asia to Europe to the United States - tea has a great story. Here in the U.S. it is a particularly exciting time to be a part of the tea industry as our country is (finally?) living up to its' potential of being great tea consumers. Right now, we're probably getting the widest variety and some of the best teas we've ever been able to import into the U.S. We have 114 teas at the shop and weekly get customer requests recommendations for just one more tea they would like us to find. What about tea do you think is making it so popular all of a sudden? Hollie: It's a beverage taste delicious and good for health which is a rare combination.Nowadays, most of us are searching for food and drinks that will benefits our health. It's also affordable, and easy to prepare. Guy: Better tasting loose teas are available now - grocery store tea bags aren't the only options (similar to when the coffee industry broke open from a limited number of coffees in a can or "freeze-dried" jars in grocery stores). Consumers are more aware of health benefits. There is also a generational shift in more than one direction perhaps. The baby boomer generation is more sensitive to coffee's effects and seems to be stepping away from caffeine spikes and crashes to the more gentle sustained lift of teas. At the same time for younger tea drinkers, now that there are more contemporary teahouse options that aren't just about lace tablecloths and finger sandwiches, tea has become something hip they are embracing, like what happened with coffeehouses 20 years ago. What is the question you get most when customers visit your tea shop? Hollie: A lot of people come in asking what kind of tea will benefit health or help them lose weight. Guy: It would be a tie between a question and a misunderstanding. The question is about caffeine levels of different teas or between coffees and teas (in general, tea has half the caffeine per cup depending how it is prepared). The other is that loose tea is too complicated or takes too long to prepare. With most mugs and pots coming with their own infusing basket or the disposable loose tea infusing bags like we use at the shop, we can quickly show customers it isn't such an ordeal. What makes one tea better than another? Hollie: A tea is made better by the quality of the leaves, the taste, the aroma, the texture and the after taste. Guy: Tea, like wine, tastes different depending on where it is grown depending on the soil, climate and how the tea is cultivated. Certain regions have produced the best types of tea going back sometimes thousands of years. Limited growing seasons or production will make these teas more expensive. In general, loose teas have a better flavor and are of a higher quality than lower grade teas used in teabags. That said, we always tell customers whatever tea they enjoy is the best tea for them. Some customers prefer pure teas without any floral or fruit blends, others like the wide range of flavored teas that creatively used added ingredients blended with tea leaves. However; like with wine, there does seem to be a path that tea drinkers at the shop progess through from drinking black and green teas to more complex oolong and puerh teas. What is your favorite type of tea and why? Hollie: My favourite kind of tea depends on the season. I like Dragon Well in spring, Dongding Oolong in the summer, Pheonix Oolong in the autumn and Pu Erh in cold winter days. Guy : Very hard to answer. Methee and I have a luxury in buying tea for the shop in that we get to taste and explore literally hundreds of teas a year as we constantly try and select the best teas for the shop. From month to month the favorite changes but a couple of teas that are always on the list are our organic Golden Yunnan black tea, organic Dragon Well green tea and our Cherry Blossom White Tea. Tell us about the teacups and kettles you sell in your tea house. Hollie: Our teawares are mainly from china, taiwan and japan. we use different size and different material of pot and cups for different types of teasdepending on the water temperatures that are needed to brew the teas. For example for green teas, we use a ceramic cha chong(a tea bowl with a lid and a sauce) because the material and the shape of the bowl allows the teas cool rapidly so it won't bring out the bitterness of the teas. When the visual effect is important we will use a glass so you can see the shape and the color of the teas. Oolong will is served with a "kung fung" style tea set containing a Yixing clay teapot, an aroma cup, a drinking cup, an ocean of tea, a tea pool and a dreg spoon. It is quite elaborate and lots of fun to prepare. It's best to always have the hot water accessible or ready on the table because running back and forth to the kitchen is not relaxing.

Auction of the Estate of Lena Horne

Doyle New York will auction the estate of the legendary actress, singer and civil rights activist Lena Horne on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 2pm, at Doyle New York, 175 East 87th Street, New York, NY. Born in Brooklyn, Lena Horne (1917-2010) began her professional life at 16 in the chorus line at Harlem’s Cotton Club, before moving to Hollywood and appearing in a series of acclaimed film roles. Beginning in the 1950s, she focused increasingly on live performance, becoming one of the world’s premiere nightclub entertainers. Through her many recordings and television appearances, millions more became her fans. The Lena Horne collection comprises approximately 200 lots of elegant costume jewelry, accessories, gowns, memorabilia, decorations, silver, furniture, books and fine art from her home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. For more information visit DoyleNewYork.com, or contact Doyle New York client services at 212 427 4141, ext 207. Or email ClientServices@DoyleNewYork.com. [gallery ids="99603,105045,105039,105041" nav="thumbs"]

Le Decor

The apartments and houses of Georgetown are classic, luxurious and stylish. To optimize your space in smaller or more narrow rooms while still staying true to chic Georgetown style, try these sleek modern storage items or modular furniture options. Organization at it's finest – and classiest. Tillary Modular Seating West Elm (WestElm.com) $149 – $2196 Modular furniture is an easy way to save space in a narrow Georgetown apartment. The pieces of this Tillary seating can be rearranged to fit any space, whether they are together or separate. Try placing both pieces together in a corner or one piece on each wall for a conversation-conducive arrangement. The weighted back supports can also be moved or removed to create an impromptu guest bed for visitors. Peekaboo Clear Nesting Tables CB2 (CB2.com) $199 These clear nesting tables are perfect for use when table space is sparse while entertaining. Position the tables around the room during parties laden with appetizers and drinks and then simply stack them away in the corner to save space. Julius Grass Storage Ottoman CB2 (CB2.com) $499 Need extra storage space for winter sweaters or bulky blankets? The Julius Grass Storage Ottoman can be placed at the end of your bed or under a window as a bench seat (just add pillows). It looks stylish while adding space. Casters on the bottom also allow for an easy move. 6-Piece Cubist Modular Wall Shelf Set CB2 (CB2.com) $199 A beautiful sculptural industrial wall shelf set displays six different dimensions that can be used to store books, photos, or any other interesting room decor. Group together or separately, or even display as free stands on tabletops or a desk for extra storage space. Savannah Under-bed Baskets Pottery Barn (PotteryBarn.com) $24 – $44 The ultimate organizational tool: baskets. Use these rustic Savannah Under-bed Baskets for additional storage space that is out of the way and unseen. You can even substitute these baskets for a dresser and store your clothes under the bed for easy access. Replacing a dresser or bureau with these country-chic baskets will free up additional space in a room as well; the perfect solution when attempting to style a small space. Destination Boxes-New York and Paris (Set of Four) ZGallerie (ZGallerie.com) $119.80 A stylish addition to any room, use these Destination storage boxes for important paper work on desks or stack on book shelves or wall units. They could even be used on the coffee table as the perfect place to store the remote controls. Design-Your-Own-Wine-Racks The Container Store (ContainerStore.com) $29.99 – 99.99 Have an expanding wine collection but no wine cellar to store your favorite vino? Not a problem with this natural, unfinished wood wine rack. The modular design assembles either vertically or horizontally with little to no hassle. The best part: additional sections can be added easily when your collection grows. [gallery ids="100262,106989,106998,106984,107002,106979,107006,106974,107010,106969,106994" nav="thumbs"]

Picture Perfect

A picture is worth a thousand words, but you can change the tone with a frame. A poster in a gold leaf frame will give an image refinement that you wouldn’t necessarily achieve with sticky tape and wall tacks. The streets of Georgetown present you with a variety of framing possibilities -- from sleek black contours, to ornate, neon frames. If you want custom framing done by professionals, stores such as Galerie Lareuse, Georgetown Frame Shoppe and L’Eclat De Verre Versailles offer all types of frames, from gold leaf -- priced from $2,500 to $3,500 -- to simple, contemporary styles. Although many people tend toward more decorative framing options, Kreg Kelley, curator at Galerie Larause, says, “Simple, contemporary and minimalist frames” are a favorite to many of his customers at the moment. Georgetown holds great opportunities for custom framing, but it is also the home to retail stores like CB2 and West Elm. Here you can both find simple and elegant traditional frames, or playful and colorful frames. Here is a sampling of framing options to get you thinking about where and how to frame your heart out: [gallery ids="100308,107962,107970,107967" nav="thumbs"]

Le Decor

A rug can make or break a room – even the fanciest furniture looks shabby when it’s sitting on a ratty rug. But the right rug can transform a room from cold to cozy, from stark to luxurious, or from drab to colorful. Whether you keep it neutral or make a statement with your floor coverings, a rug can tie your space together and give it a new look in one simple step. Check out some of these chic choices! [gallery ids="100356,110063,110059,110052,110056" nav="thumbs"]

Corporate Gift Guide

It’s one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the holiday season: that awkward moment when you hand your coworker another gift card, set of bath salts, “You’re #1” mug, or some other generic gift. While it’s fun and exciting to exchange small gifts around the office – it’s part of the holiday spirit to give to those you spend your time with, after all – sometimes it’s impossible to think of thoughtful gifts that aren’t too personal. Luckily, Georgetown stores are chock full of perfect gifts that will make you the Secret Santa everyone wanted to get. [gallery ids="100399,113185,113167,113193,113157,113201,113147,113209,113137,113177" nav="thumbs"]

Gift Guide: His, Hers, and Ours

One of the most glorious messes in the world,” Andy Rooney once said, “is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” Andy Rooney, or course, said it better than we can. It’s time for holiday magic to begin! So get to shopping and making memories with your friends and family with this “His, Hers and Ours” gift guide. Tea sets from Ching Ching Cha A tea set serves more than its basic function as a method of brewing and serving tea; it is also a beautiful accent to your home décor. A beautiful tea set can tie a room together, make it feel more inviting and add a touch of personal style. At Ching Ching Cha, it’s easy to find a set that will match anyone’s personal style, from earthy to delicate, making it a great place to find a gift. Prices vary chingchingcha.com Bicycle Wine Rack Oopsmark, a company based in Montreal that makes “tools for urban living,” has plenty of innovative and cool products such as USB necklaces and bracelets that convert into smart phone stands. Our favorite Oopsmark invention, however, is the Bicycle Wine Rack, which makes it easy to navigate D.C. streets and arrive at all those holiday parties with your gift for the host unscathed. This is a great gift for any wine lover in your life. $29 Oopsmark.ca Vintage Monte Carlo Poker Set Admit it. It’s pretty cool to know how to play poker. And it’s even cooler to whip out your own personal set of chips, especially if it’s this vintage-inspired dark-wood boxed set. This is the perfect gift for a hubby with a weekly poker night or for a woman with a rambunctious streak. You can thank Lady Luck for all the “thank yous” you get for this present. On sale for $89 RestorationHardware.com Michael Kors Silver Bracelet Watch with Glitz A stylish watch is always a classy gift for a man, but that doesn’t mean that this sleek watch isn’t a perfect gift for the ladies, too. The same watch that looks classic and handsome on a man makes a chunky, funky fashion statement on the wrist of any woman. $195 MichaelKors.com Concord Nickel Badger 3 Piece Shaving Kit Bring all of the charm, quality and nostalgia of an old-fashioned barber shop into your home with this shaving. Crafted for a perfectly smooth shave, this is the perfect gift for any man in your life, from father to husband. $180 GTTobacco.com Molcajete and Pestle Whip up some guacamole in an authentic-style molcajete from Rosa Mexicano Kitchen. This is a great gift for anyone who loves this delicious dip, but it’s also a great gift to keep for yourself! Use it to make some great guac for all your parties this holiday season. $40 RosaMexicano.com Warhol: Headlines Notecards The Andy Warhol print notecards lend a taste of the iconic to everyday life. With 12 notecards and envelopes featuring details of Daily News, you can send out some not-so-ordinary thank you cards to everyone on your list this holiday season. Available at the National Gallery of Art. $10.95 shop.nga.gov Burberry Cashmere Touchscreen Fingertip Gloves It’s not very classy (or convenient) to fumble around with a pair of gloves while trying to answer a text message on a windy winter day . And while cutoff gloves save you from the aforementioned scenario, they leave your fingertips out in the cold. Burberry has come up with a solution: Touchscreen Fingertip Gloves. These soft, knit cashmere gloves have textured thumb and pointer fingertips which are registered by touchscreen technology. No more fumbling and blustering! Keep it classy, ladies and gents. $215 Us.Burberry.com [gallery ids="100414,113387,113438,113430,113397,113422,113414,113407" nav="thumbs"]

Gift Guide: Off the Beaten Path

“One of the most glorious messes in the world,” Andy Rooney once said, “is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” Andy Rooney, or course, said it better than I can. The pillowy, warm spirit of the holidays stays in our hearts, like that sweet nip of a mimosa, sipped fireside, which tastes like the sun dawning on Christmas morning. We are in the season of crinkly wrapping paper and sugared gingerbread cookies, floating in the transition between fall and winter, where a hush descends upon the skies and our workloads bow with the weight of a thousand last-minute details to tie up before the holidays arrive. But, above all, we are in the season of giving. And there is no equal to the feeling you get when your loved one lights up at the sight of that perfect something you found just for them. But finding that perfect something is no small task. With an increasing array of options in our ever-eclectic city, shopping has become a downright treasure hunt that would test even the prowess of Captain Jack Sparrow. But we’ve been decoding the holiday shopping treasure map here at The Downtowner, weeding out the decoys and misleading detours and pinpointing exactly where the “X-mas” marks the spot. Here are some of the hottest hidden gems in the retail world, from gadgets and unique cooking accoutrements, to a disguise for your MacBook Pro and - believe it - a fire you’ll actually want in your house: HAUSFIRE Is it a portal? An R2D2-style android? Does it predict the future? None of the above. But it can simultaneously warm your home and make any space chic at warp speed. This indoor-outdoor Hausfire fireplace by Modfire combines the warmth and coziness of a hearth with the sleek, sophisticated design of modern sculpture. The eco-smart burner is safe for use inside and runs on clean-burning ethanol. Each Hausfire is unique and comes in a variety of colors, but all can efficiently heat and light a room. Price: $2,250 Modfire.com APOSTROPHE ORANGE PEELER Oranges are a great food to eat during the winter – their high Vitamin C content keeps you healthy and their sunny citrus flavor keeps you happy and in a summery state of mind. What’s not so happy is those sticky little orange pieces that are impossible to get out from under your nails. The Apostrophe Orange Peeler from Alessi is a sleek, palm-sized device that can easily fit in your lunch box. Price: $27 Alessi-Shop.com BOOKBOOK BY TWELVE SOUTH The BookBook, which transforms your MacBook Pro into an antique novel, is the perfect gift for literature fanatics who also happen to be technology junkies. The ridged leather case and stiff spine of the BookBook provide shock absorption and the distressing on the cover ensures that no two are exactly the same. Twelve South also makes BookBooks for iPhones, iPads and MacBook Airs. Price: $79.99 – $99.99 TwelveSouth.com TEA INFUSER SPOON There’s no question about it: tea is in vogue. And since tea is in vogue, so is the ancient ritual of brewing, steeping and pouring this delightfully warming and healthy beverage. Bring your tea into the 21st century with this Tea Infuser Spoon, which eliminates those annoying little bags, turning brewing a cup of tea into an elegant, simple process. Price: $3 Pier 1 in D.C., MICROVISION - SHOWWX PICO WVGA LASER PROJECTOR Is that a projector in your pocket? Why, yes, it is! This Pico Projector (so called because they are the smallest projectors to date, roughly the size of an iPhone) can hook up to any Apple device, including iPhones and iPods, to project an image up to 200 inches wide on any surface. And because it’s a laser projector, that means no wasted time fiddling with the focus. Weighing just 4.3 ounces, it can easily fit in a pocket or purse and is a dream machine for movie buffs and techies on the go. Price: Currently on sale for $124.99 (from $299.99) BestBuy.com [gallery ids="100422,113597,113620,113613,113606" nav="thumbs"]

Modern Wings

With their traditional high backs and winged arms, wingback chairs provided much needed warmth but very little eye catching creativity. Yet there have been a few designers (past and present) who have taken liberates with the body hugging silhouette and created pieces that will not only stand beautifully by any fireplace, but provide the perfect conversation starter. From investment pieces to functional art, a modern wingchair can add not only comfort but be the perfect place to curl up and read this year’s first issue. Wegner Papa Bear Chair - Designed by Hans Wagner World renowned for blending a variety of natural material in his classic designs, Hans J. Wegner has received many international accolades for his work. Like many other Wegner chairs, The Teddy Bear Chair seems to refer to the animal kingdom with its characteristically playful and organic design. The chair received its name after a critic had referred to its armrests as, ‘Great bear paws embracing you from behind.’ The Egg - Designed by Arne Jacobsen The Egg sprang from a new technique, which Jacobsen was the first to employ: a strong foam inner shell underneath the upholstery. Like a sculptor, Jacobsen strove to find the shell’s perfect shape in clay at home in his garage. The cooperation between Arne Jacobsen and Fritz Hansen dates back to 1934. Fritz Hansen products, including The Egg, can be found at Furniture from Scandinavia by Annette Rachlin in Georgetown. Metropolitan Chair and Ottoman - Designed by Jeffrey Bernett for B&B Italia In 1996, Jeffrey Bernett exhibited his first collection at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York and was honored with the Editor’s Award for “Best of Show.” The Metropolitan is an inviting swivel armchair and ottoman. Its high back is the perfect mix of Italian sophistication and comfort, while the neck rest is held in place with magnets to make it adjustable for people of all heights. Klasse Wing Back LoungeChair- Designed by Polly Westergaard The Klasse wingback chair is based on the traditional iconic British wing back chair, which has been used and adapted through centuries. The sleek finish of this adaptation combined with the natural materials used ensures a contemporary, eye-catching piece. Polly Westergaard explores elements of past trends in her work, updating traditional designs for contemporary living, drawing on the influences of historical pieces and examining the ways in which these designs can be re-invented to function in today’s interiors. Wingback Chair, Black Legs Designed by George Smith A series of upholstered furniture inspired by the 18th Century British Gentleman’s Chair. The frames are made of wood from sustainable forests and stuffed with layers of natural cotton and boar bristle. The chair comes upholstered in one of 15 colors of mohair velvet. The British designer, Tom Dixon, a designer, a brand, and a personality, has been a fixture of many a design show. Dixon established his namesake design firm in 2002. Tom Dixon recently teamed with the traditional British upholstery company George Smith to create this one of a kind piece. Big Chair- Designed by Jens Risom Built on a walnut frame with unusual angles and three peg legs, Big Chair still provides the body hugging effects of any wingback chair. Risom was highly influenced by his father, an award-winning architect who encouraged Jens to pursue academic studies in business and contemporary design. Jens Risom is regarded as the last bastion of mid-century modernists. Star Treck Chair - designed by Roberto Lazzeroni Built of either American Cherry or Walnut, the Star Trek chair takes on the fimialiar form of a traditional wingback chair. The chair defies all logic of the material its constructed from. With basic elements of the classic, Lazzeroni takes liberties by using heat resistant materials and plywood to create the frame. The chair was designed for Ceccotti Collezioni. Lazzeroni has had a very dynamic career, in which he is engaged on several fronts today, with prestigious collaborations, art directing and designing of interiors and contracting throughout different parts of the world. [gallery ids="100456,115490,115481,115443,115473,115465,115458" nav="thumbs"]