Style Story – The Story of the Flower Petal Purse
5 Winter Boots for Men
Like much of the Northeast, DC got hit hard by winter storms yesterday. Bundling up and preparing to go out in the cold is of great importance, especially when it comes to shoes. (Have you slipped on that ice? Ouch! It’s brutal!) Here are 5 different winter boot options to get guys through the next part of winter.
1. For the Winter Sports Guy
In what has to be one of the greatest innovations ever for the winter shoe, this Columbia Bugathermo Boot is heated. Yup, it contains a heating system with rechargeable batteries. It’s also waterproof and has a temperature display on the exterior of the boot.
2. For the Urban Cowboy
This X-Lace Boot by John Varvatos has a rough and tumble feel. It’s currently on sale at Neiman Marcus for $359, down from its original $789 price tag.
3. For the Guy Who Likes to Mix it Up
The Sorel Caribou Wool Boot combines two different styles while still pulling off a cohesive look. It is also waterproof with a removable wool liner to keep your feet warm and dry.
4. For the Guy Who Likes Function and Style
If a boot and moccasin got together they would create the Air Brandon Moc Boot. These Cole Haan shoes contain Nike Air Technology and are leather lined.
5. For the Traditionalist
Who knew Hush Puppies made great shoes for grown ups? Broker Waterproof Chukkas by Hush Puppies are traditional enough to be worn at work, yet are waterproof so you can actually walk the 4 blocks to your office.
The Story of the Magical Coat of Winter Warmth
When I became a fashion consultant I knew the connection between a client’s internal life and external appearance was going to be the cornerstone of my business. I didn’t want it to be only about finding someone the right shirt (although that is important!), I wanted it to be about how a person felt when he/she wore the right shirt.
The big surprise was discovering how deep the connection between clothing and a person’s self-image can go. Believe it or not, you can learn about so much about an individual’s personality and past experiences by talking about dresses, suits, and heels!
I want to start sharing stories about clothing. Every now and then I will post a “style story” that depicts a piece of clothing and its history. Today is the first Style Story!
DC’s National Swap Day Event at Nana
Here’s how the event went down:
Fashionable DC ladies brought in bag(s) of clothes that they wanted to swap. Volunteers then put together and organized all of the items – we are talking LOTS of clothes and shoes!
Attendees then came back and were able to pick out as many shoes, clothes, and jewelry items they could fit in one bag.
Here’s a glimpse of what happened when we opened Nana’s doors and the shoppers poured in. It was quite amazing!
This event made me a believer in swapping. The quality of the clothes was superb and it was such a joy to watch people discover treasures for their wardrobes.
I came home with lovely dresses and a pair of yellow flats that will be worn on the first day of spring!
Did you attend the swap?
The Phillips Collection & Speakeasy Style
It’s the Phillips Collection’s 90th anniversary! This DC-based art museum launched a year-long celebration with a marvelous event thrown by The Phillips Contemporaries entitled, “Speakeasy: 90 Years on 21st Street.” The best thing about the event? The fashion, of course! Participants were encouraged to dress in vintage styles from the 1920′s. The results were amazing!
Who knew there were so many people in DC who own vintage / vintage inspired clothing from the ’20s?
The Phillips is hosting a free weekend this Saturday & Sunday (Jan 15th & 16th). That means free admission all weekend long. For more information check out the Phillips Collection website here.
Inspiration from Tender is the Night
I’m in the middle of reading Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I borrowed a copy from the library, and it’s one of those lovely old books that has been read and reread so many times that the pages are falling out.
I came across the below passage last night. In this scene one of the characters, Nicole, notices a woman who is getting ready to travel abroad and says:
“That’s going to be the belle of your boat – that one with all the men to say good-by – you see why she bought that dress? You see why nobody else would buy it except the belle of the world cruise? That’s a story dress – that extra material tells a story and somebody on a world cruise would be lonesome enough to want to hear it.”
I love the idea of a “story dress” and how the extra material begs others to notice it. Fitzgerald’s tone is cheeky and melancholy and beautiful all at the same time. Clothing still makes a statement about the intentions, mindset, and desires of the wearer.
Here are a number of modern story dresses. Some of these are more formal than others, but all of these designs contain an element of drama.
Did you know Tender is the Night was written while Fitzgerald was living in Towson, Maryland? (For those outside of the DC area, Towson is a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, and is about 55 miles away from DC.) I have this picture in my mind’s eye of Fitzgerald writing feverishly while being surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Baltimore area - including the fashion.
What do you think? Do these dresses tell a story? Have you ever worn a dress that fits Fitzgerald’s description?
Stationary & Style: An Interview with Hanna Nation of GADABOUT
Have you ever opened up your mailbox to find a handwritten note? The act of sending a card in the mail is a blissful event for both the writer and receiver. Hanna Nation, owner of the stationary business GADABOUT, is making sure her clients say hello and thank you in style.
Hanna’s stationary illustrations include a number of designs that center on fashion. In this interview we talk about her ties to the DC area, her inspirations, and how her stationary is merging with technology.
True to Style: Your stationary has a variety of designs, but there are quite a few that focus on fashion. Can you talk about your relationship to fashion?
Hanna Nation: I have always felt drawn to those objects in life that define us: the books you read, the music you listen to, the trips you take, the friends you keep and I find fashion and personal style among that group. Clothes are so wonderful to me because they can just as easily remind me where I have been, but also take me somewhere I want to go. That feeling of possibility has always reminded me of my company definition and I hope will always be present in my illustrations.
TTS: How would you describe your personal style?
Hanna: On most days, casually put together or a blend of tailored classics and trendy accessories. I am most appreciative of exotic colors, interesting patterns, and simple shapes that I often end up choosing outfits that make room for all three: sleeved shift dresses in vibrant colors and simple sandals, a loose silk tops with black matchstick pants, men’s button downs with eclectic necklaces…
TTS: I love that your clothing designs cover so many different types of looks. Did you set out to cover such a wide variety (was it a part of a larger plan), or do you find that your interests meandered in such a way that it covered lots of different types of styles?
Hanna: I would love to say I had the opportunity to make a larger plan, but I didn’t. The varying types of clothing designs have all come from an attempt to capture a cultural destination or bring an adjective to an outfit. Because my own interests are so varied, I think that accounts for so many different styles.
TTS: Your stationary products all come with a story. Some of them are literary – you make a reference to The Great Gatsby – but, some of the styles are based on a location like Dubai. Can you tell us a little bit about your process? Do you think of a word or concept first and then draw it? Or do you start sketching and then match it to a story?
Hanna: My designs have come to me in so many different ways and in so many different places that I think it would be impossible to have just one illustrative process. Some started off on small notepad in my purse, or were ridiculous ramblings on the pages of my Moleskin agenda. Others were designed more deliberately. I have just as much of a chance to start sketching and settling on a story by the time it is finished as I do discovering a place or word that encourages a design.
TTS: As a DC person I was so happy to find that you have gotten so much coverage in DC-based publications like Capital Hill Style, Inspiration DC, and most recently with The Washingtonian. Any guesses to why your work has struck a chord with a DC audience?
Hanna: I am so humbled that my work has been welcomed by those publications, each one was an incredible and distinctive experience for me. Having attended Episcopal High School, a boarding school right outside of the city, I have such fond memories there. It was the first place I began to dream of GADABOUT and I know that’s in large part to the city itself. My only guess for my coverage would be that DC resonates with culture and most of my illustrations have cultural tie-ins. Whatever the reason, I am thrilled for it.
TTS: What made you decide to start your own business?
Hanna: Wanting to surround myself with objects that truly make me happy.
TTS: Your business offers an iPhone and iPad app that people can download in order to send “stationary” through email or texts. Can you talk about your decision to go in a technological direction with your stationary while offering more traditional products?
Hanna: There is very little I cherish more than a proper invitation or well-written thank you note. From all of the gorgeous paper out there to the generosity of time to create them, there is truly nothing better. My choice to move in a technological direction was my way of bringing a bit of thoughtfulness and design to those everyday events where there isn’t enough time for a formal invitation or you need a quick way to say thank you.
TTS: What’s next for GADABOUT?
Hanna: Hopefully there will be alot of fun projects going on at GADABOUT in 2011. I am currently working on creating a children’s line for the spring and could not be more excited about it! Adjusting my current designs for prints you can frame is another project that will be on the website soon. Beyond that, I would love to get the opportunity to expand my existing graphic design and brand consultant services. I feel most myself when I collaborate with someone with a creative vision and enthusiasm for whats to come.
Many thanks to Hanna for talking with us about fashion and her business! For more information on GADABOUT go here.
Old Town Boutique District Warehouse Sale
Oooh, another great shopping event! Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 5th. Alexandria’s Old Town Boutique District is having a Warehouse Sale at the GW Masonic Temple from 9:00AM – 4:00PM.
The GW Masonic Temple is located at 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA 22301
Julianna Margulies Steams Up the January Issue of Bazaar
Hello Gorgeous! I was so happy to open up the January issue of Bazaar magazine and find an amazing photo spread of actress Julianna Margulies. Margulies is currently playing the role of type-A Alicia Florrick in the television show The Good Wife. The photos go against character to showcase a very sensual Margulies.
The stylist made some great decisions on this photo shoot. Margulies is sexy, but in actuality isn’t showing that much skin. She’s in provocative poses, but they are suggestive rather than explicit.
Fashion magazines are full of models in their early 20′s (and sometimes younger!). Thus, it’s refreshing to see a 40-something actress who is healthy, beautiful, and vibrant in such flirtatious photographs.
What do you think of this photo shoot? Too much? Did it not go far enough? Do tell!
DC Swap Event on January 22nd
Start the new year off right by swapping! Come celebrate National Swap day at Nana’s new location in Columbia Heights (3068 Mt. Pleasant St.) on January 22nd!
Bring gently used clothing / accessories from your wardrobe and pick up some new-to-you items as we swap our way into beautiful style! It’s good for the environment and for our pocketbooks!
For more information on the art of swapping, check out The Swapaholics.
For tickets to the DC swap event and for more information go here.