In New York, Fashion Night Out—the economy-boosting brainchild of magazine empress Anna Wintour—unofficially kicks off Fashion Week. It is glamorous, celebrity-fueled, event-heavy fashion mania. You have to have a plan that rivals a military operation in order to sanely get from place to place.
We’re not trying to take on New York. Here in D.C., we have our own style, and it’s more light-hearted fun. Perhaps because D.C. isn’t all that serious about fashion to begin with (with a few notable exceptions), the evening is relaxed yet still full of energy. It’s full of color, outlandish outfits, fun events, friendly banter and fabulous sales—and it’s been growing every year.
Last night, when Cori Sue and I walked into the VIP pre-party at Dean & Deluca, blinking and trying to regain our sight after all the flash bulbs on the red carpet, I realized that our little Fashion Night Out has graduated into something bigger than it ever was before—but with a D.C. style all its own.
The event was held under a white tent in the alley next to Dean and Deluca—and eventually turned into the Brightest Young Things Lounge, featuring ESL Music and Fatback DJs (both of which happen to be my local faves). We sipped Grey Goose cocktails and vino while staring in awe at everyone’s outfits. There were cameras everywhere, perhaps more cameras than people.
After saying hello to friends and fans, we waddled up Wisconsin to Urban Chic for their fabulous “Shop, Sketch, Style” event, where we were hostesses. The boutique was bustling with beautiful people. It was, of course, a Rebecca Minkoff trunk show, and I was eager to get my hands on the bag I’d been eyeing for weeks.
Those Minkoff bags were on every wall, in every color. And her sparkly ready-to-wear collection was hanging on the racks. I had my eye on a gorgeous olive bag with gold hardware, but a friend snagged it before I rushed to the register. Instead, I landed on a fabulous emerald one, and received a great little Minkoff mini mirror as a gift.
A custom monogrammer was personalizing the handbags, stenciling initials on them in gold or silver to match the hardware. One of our favorite artists, Inslee Haynes, was hard at work at a table sketching illustrations of shoppers—we got one, too! And, with a small donation to Habitat for Humanity, guests were getting their hair curled and teased at the Easel Hair Studio Beach Waves bar.
We sipped on Vitaminwater and signature cocktails, and enjoyed the purse-shaped cakepops from Freshly Baked and cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake emblazoned with Minkoff logos. Every one was in a great mood, and there was no pretentious eyeballing, which I encountered at Fashion Week in New York last year. D.C. is fashionable in its own way, and Georgetown’s Fashion Night Out has embraced that successfully.