The Performer, Outside Madjet, U Street

Posted on December 27, 2007
Filed Under Men, On The Street | 5,148 Comments

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I noticed this man through the Madjet window as I walked past. He was having drinks with a cluster of men. I stepped in and explained to him what I wanted, and he hopped up without a lot of hesitation, which surprised me a little when I realized he didn’t really speak English. When we were almost done with the shot, one of his friends joined us and explained to me that he was a relatively well-known performer and would be at Dukem later that night.

Love the look but this photo also reminds me how much I like red and gray together.

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Project Beltway Interviews: Katherine Kennedy

Posted on December 22, 2007
Filed Under Interviews, Women | 6,658 Comments

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Last weekend outside of Cafe Milano – Katherine in a rare pant-wearing moment.

Katherine Kennedy was in town last weekend from London. In typical it-girl fashion, she was posing at a party at The Park in a navy blue satin dress mere hours after landing, looking just as – if not more – glamorous than the other girls who’d had hours to prepare. You might be wondering who Katherine Kennedy is. I heard of Katherine before I ever came to know her. You might call her a socialite, whatever that means in Washington. She’s regularly asked to host charity events and she shows up frequently in the party pages of local mags like Capitol File and was asked recently to be the “socialite columnist” for Verse Magazine.

The night this article came out in the City Paper, I went out to Clarendon Ballroom for a concert with “KK” and a few others, and it was the first time I’d ever seen her in jeans, much less a pair of pants. Since I didn’t really know her all that well yet, the article put me in the position of anthropological observer (which I love as you might know, and why I love Angela’s articles on people in DC). She is overwhelmingly good-natured — the girl making sure no other girl was lost as we moved through the crowd — with a magnetic persona and a kind of social mojo that is pretty fascinating to be around.

Katherine and I caught up last weekend over drinks. Read on for her favorite thing to wear on a plane, what she thinks of being dubbed a “socialite,” and why she thinks brunettes might have more fun.

Tell us a little about yourself: where you went to school, how you ended up in Washington and then London, what you wanna be when you grow up.
I’m from Los Altos Hills, California – grew up a Cisco kid in the Silicon Valley. Went to college at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles (graduated in 2005) then got my masters in business and technology from Georgetown in 2007. I’m studying ecommerce at the London School of Economics hoping to get my phd. Peruse.com started as a class project for an ecommerce course at Georgetown. When I grow up I want to have a talk show using the media as a platform to promote people who “do good” (non-profits, etc – similar to Oprah’s Angel Network). I also want to start a charity for MEN. I was diagnosed with MEN 1 and sporadic carcinoid syndrome when I was 15 in 2000. Its kind of funny it’s called men – the root of ALL of my problems! I owe a lot my ambition and success to the illness as it gave me the chance to live as if I were dying and seize every moment (thus graduating high school and college each a year early, selling a company, traveling the world, etc). I want to start a charity that gives teens who are faced with serious illness a chance to live their dreams in fast forward. I am also selling my jewelry designs at We One You Two, with the proceeds going to the start-up of my foundation.

Favorite thing in your closet and why?
I am absolutely obsessed with my black Burberry trench. I truly believe that you can invest in
fashion, and it is probably my best investment yet. Always classic and appropriate in just about every setting, combining fashion and function… Plus, if you’re wearing a nice coat it doesn’t matter what you have on underneath!

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Ice skating on the Mall in her Burberry trench.

What do you think of being dubbed a “socialite”?
I think the term socialite is pretty hilarious, showing that I have come along way since the times when I would wear orange Umbro shorts that went down past my knees sticking out two inches beyond my plaid school uniform. I admit I have been a little overexposed even for my own liking, but have been blessed as I have been given the opportunity to promote many good causes- including fashion based ones like being a face for Fashion Fights Poverty, a model in Fashion For Paws, and a board member of Suited For Change and Menzfit. I’m not exactly sure how I got dubbed a socialite, being that I came to DC with academic ambitions at 20 years old and never made a sex tape a la Paris Hilton, but as long as I can use my name to help the numerous good causes in the District, I am okay with whatever they will call it.

How would you describe your style? Any signatures or style quirks?
I hope my style is portrayed as a hybrid of classic elegance and eclectic charm. I tend to disregard what is hot this season but mix in some runway ideas into each season’s wardrobe. I wear pearls every single day- something atypical hailing from California – but I try to wear funky, imperfect ones, never the traditional round 16-inch strands.

You’ve gone from CA to DC to London. How has your style changed or evolved depending on where you’ve lived?
I believe that every person’s fashion sense is a work in progress. In California I was obsessed with Juicy Sweats and Uggs. When I moved to DC I realized it may not be so appropriate for a twentysomething to have the word “Juicy” inscribed upon her bottom so I opted for more classic pieces and learned to dress to fit my body, not the trend of the moment. Living in London has given me the courage to be a bit edgier with those classic pieces, trying out different cuts and accessories.

Half of the time I look around London wondering if the hobo look was in, and the rest of the time I’m awestruck and staring at girls who can pull off tights with shorts without looking like my mom in the ’80s. Washington is really conservative so it’s quite a trip seeing Londoners walking around in huge bell bottoms, furs, and elf-toed boots. The eclectic mix in such an internationally savvy city means there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly…but has definitely made me envious!

Read more

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Some Light Reading….and Thoughts on Holiday Parties

Posted on December 20, 2007
Filed Under Everything Else, Men, Women | 7,993 Comments

Sorry it’s been oh-so-quiet on PB recently! The shortage of on-the-street posts has been a combo of me feeling slightly more hermit-esque in the winter months coupled with the fact that it’s really freaking cold out.

Perhaps now is a good time for a little light reading. Because if you’re at work today you’re not really doing anything now are you?! Catch up on some of the stuff I’ve done for Washingtonian here.

And check out a recent Politico article I was quoted in about dressing for the holidays. The audience was the Hill crowd, but a lot of the article’s advice applies to everyone attending a holiday function, work-related or not. There’s a lot of sparkle and satin in the stores and often it becomes to ubiquitous and cheesy-looking that it makes me want to scream. It’s smart to be choosy with that stuff.

That being said, not going overboard doesn’t mean you let your outfit go unfinished. This is probably the thing that irritates me the most. So many women think only about the dress that they forget or half-ass the other details, and this is what makes or breaks your look. Young women especially have this issue. They’ll wear a strapless dress with the same tiny earrings they wear to the office, and they grab their too-casual everyday canvas handbag as they dart out of the door. Buy a structured clutch ladies. You don’t have to spend a lot on them because they’re so classic that there are a ton of adorable (and well-made) ones around at thrift and vintage stores. I recently picked up a gold one for $10.

So, the dress. Women think, “oh, I can’t wear black because it’s boring.” Listen to me: It is NOT boring! It’s versatile and a fantastic canvas for a slew of holiday looks that you can change dramatically with accessories. If you spend the money to buy a “nonboring” dress, it’ll be so memorable that you probably won’t want to wear it to another party later in the week. And because you spent your budgeted amount on the dress, you half-ass the other details like shoes and earrings….bringing us around to the aforementioned issue.

While we’re on this subject, a laundry list of my thoughts for women:

Think about an incredible pair of shoes in jewel-toned satin. Don’t wear open-toed shoes with hosiery. And a big one: don’t wear a wrap. They look so OLD. This advice isn’t just for the young ladies – older ladies, don’t wear a wrap either, please. Everyone looks better in a dressy jacket or cropped coat instead (I was in Forever 21 the other day and they had a lot of surprisingly sophisticated and expensive-looking options). And for God’s sake girls, but on some lipstick!

And guys, I’m sorry, but those holiday themed ties and matchy cummerbund sets are awful. I don’t care if you do it every year or if it helps you strike up conversations. Just.do.not. It’s appropriate at the Santa Soiree and nowhere else. You are a professional man, and professional men earn points with classic, tailored style. I think guys (especially guys on the Hill) would be smart to just ramp up their normal look – a fitted suit goes a long way in my book.

Anyone have a tip on holiday party dressing or great outfit to share?

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Project Beltway Interviews: Daniel Roger of We One You Two

Posted on December 18, 2007
Filed Under Interviews, Men | 5,345 Comments

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Though I’m not sold at all on the name, We One You Two does offer some covetable clothing, especially upstairs (it has a townhouse-y feel). We One You Two’s space was formerly occupied by I.D. — which everyone, including We One You Two Creative Director Daniel Roger, then an I.D. part owner — admits was not terribly fashion-forward. Roger was looking for something more fashionable, and he and his cadre of young female partners including Thalia Attinger, Krista Johnson and Judy Mayka seem to have accomplished that. Among the labels, there’s Franco Mirabelli suiting, LA-based lines MK2K and Poleci, and Israeli line Lia Kes (which I have to say I saw first in Washington at On Lokation). Slightly more casual clothing and accessories are housed downstairs, including some cute faux Kenneth Jay Lane bangles for $10 each. Roger is particularly excited that the store will soon carry L.A.M.B. and Hollywould. Here’s what he had to say, in his thick French accent, about the store and his personal style.

We One You Two is having a party tonight….

What are you wearing?
Hugo Boss jeans, Le Chateau Canada jacket (“I bought it at least 25 years ago”), Lucchese boots, Ralph Lauren pocket square and glasses from French line Eye’DC

Where do you like to shop?
Anywhere and everywhere, but I admit that I shop mostly in Paris. I’m there about twice a year. There, there are boutiques everywhere you go. You don’t have to go into somewhere like Saks or Neiman Marcus to find good things. I go to Le Printemps (Paris) for shoes. I love my shoes.”

What’s your style philosophy?
I think it’s all in the attitude. And I do have an attitude. Mostly I think personal style means being yourself, whoever that is. Too many people try to be someone else, and it’s hard enough to just be yourself.

What are your thoughts on style in Washington?
There could be more personality there, but DC is changing for the better. Women dress up more and look better than the men. I’ll go to dinner and see couples out, at a nice place, and the women look great…hair, makeup, a nice dress…and the men look like slobs! DC is changing though, and we’re excited to be a part of that.

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