Simply Sol(e)d.

Posted on October 31, 2008
Filed Under Shopping Events & News | 8,139 Comments

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Local entrepreneur Kassie Rempel of SimplySoles throws open the doors of her first brick-and-mortar store tomorrow in Columbia Heights (1438 Park Road). The sketch above was the only hint of the adorableness that was revealed at the opening preview this past Wednesday:

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Though it's just paces away from the behemoth Target and Giant stores, the boutique is a cozy, intimate nook with a covetable selection of shoes (Butter, Bettye Muller, Taryn Rose, Delman, Chie Mihara...), handbags (Bulga, Cate Adair) and a smattering of other accessories, including Look from London tights. Each shoe in lillybee, SimplySoles' in-house line, is inspired by and named for a well-known female celebrity (I'm a fan of the "Gwyneth," a gorgeously modern neutral in a comfy mid-wedge). I am so impressed by the store, which stocks so many fabulous-looking-but-amazingly-comfortable options that I couldn't pick one, two, or event three favorites. I am very picky about shoes - and clearly, so is Kassie, who has an impressive background (cover of Fortune Small Business, mother of two), and enviably thick and shiny red hair.

So! Go tomorrow, when everything will be 25% off. If you order online, you can still get the discount by entering CHANGE at checkout.
Keep in mind that the store is only open Saturdays 10-5 and by appointment only....

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Unlikely Inspiration: Clinton Portis

Posted on October 31, 2008
Filed Under Around Town, Men, Only in Washington | 4,668 Comments

I still haven’t figured out what to wear for Halloween.

Ugh. I hate myself. I do this *every* year.

Part of my issue is that I don’t want to spend $50 or more on something not likely to benefit my wardrobe.

Halloween is such a great holiday though, especially in Washington where everyone worries about looking appropriate all the time. It’s almost a shame to dress up as someone else. Unless you’re a dead ringer for that person, it’s not terribly interesting. Isn’t it far more fun to create your own character or alter ego? Basically, to be a wild, dramatic version of yourself.

That being said, I was Bjork last year and it was such a fun costume.

A friend and I were talking about this the other night when Redskins running back (I have no idea what that means) Clinton Portis came up. All of you probably watch sports so may already know about his Thursday press conference costumes and alter egos, but I had no idea. I never thought I’d say it, but a football player is my current fashion and Halloween inspiration! Here he is as “Dr. Do-Itch Big:”

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...as "Dollah Bill:"

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...as "Sheriff Gonnagetcha:"

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...as eco-friendly "Electra:"

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as....I have no idea and don't think he did either:

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...and my personal favorite, "Choo-Choo:"

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Choo-Choo came to Washington during the 2007 season to teach the players to relax, have fun, and to dance. I'm taking Cho-Choo's advice tonight....

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Avedon, Yurman, Givhan….

Posted on October 29, 2008
Filed Under Around Town, Events | 2,663 Comments

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What do they all have in common? Fashion and the Corcoran. There are some not-to-be-missed fashion/style events coming up this season at the Gallery, and one is tonight.

Mark your calendars (links take you to more info and ticket availability):

- Sculptor-turned-jewelry-designer David Yurman on November 18
- Project Runway's Daniel Vosovic on December 1
- A talk on Avedon's fashion photographs led by The New Yorker's Vince Aletti and International Center of Photography's Carol Squiers (hmmmmm...no link to this one yet. Stay tuned...)
- Living legend Annie Liebovitz on December 8
- Washington's own Robin Givhan, who will give a talk entitled "Fashion Portrays Power" on December 11
- A whirlwind day of fashion in New York on December 12

The image above is Avedon's Dorian Leigh, Schiaparelli rhinestones, Pre-Catalan, Paris, 1949. Dorian Leigh is often thought of as the first "supermodel" and the inspiration for Audrey Hepburn's character in Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany's. This is not one of the images you see often, but I love her caught in this moment. Browse more of Avedon's fashion photography at the Richard Avedon Foundation.

UPDATE: The Richard Avedon: Fashion Photographs 1945-2000 talk will be December 2. And it will be fabulous.

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Playing Dress-Up

Posted on October 29, 2008
Filed Under Around Town | 5,015 Comments

Last week was pretty event-heavy one, and I had a ton of fun playing dress-up (warning: lots of personal photos in this post!). Tuesday night was the Media Mavens party, where I wore one of my favorite dresses. It’s a 80s Grecian-style draped dress with sequin-embellished batwing sleeves. I bought it at Meeps a while back and it couldn’t have been more than $30.

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As I confessed once in one of my chats, I'm pretty low-maintenance when it comes to makeup. I've been trying to remedy that recently and it's amazing how little effort it takes to produce some great results:

A smoky eye. I've been borrowing my roommate's Hard Candy Palm Palette - specifically the Cyber eye shadow - and have gotten tons of compliments. Trick is to blend blend blend.
False eyelashes. Quite possibly my new favorite thing ever. They are cheap - I scored mine at the CVS in my neighborhood for under $7 - and they make a huge difference in making your eyes pop without looking fake (just don't buy the ones that are ridiculously long). They're easier to apply than you'd think and they really make you feel vixenish. Seriously, I want to wear these to the grocery store.

I also bought some new foundation (I had been mixing the dregs of some mineral makeup, Olay moisturizer and bronzing gel...Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen brand from Wal-Mart, I kid you not). I bought Revlon New Complexion One-Step makeup and I'm really liking it so far. Creamy, good coverage and SPF 15.

On Wednesday Sarah and I ventured off to Washingtonian's Best Dressed party at Charlie Palmer Steak near the Hill. She wore her grandmother's fur jacket, and I wore my great-aunt Dot's (yes, Dot!). It's one of the most treasured things I own because of its family history. They each had their initials embroidered in the lining.

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On Thursday I went over to Muleh to see the Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Spring 09 collection. I ogled the genius bust of "the Carrie dress".....

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...which sells for $18,000 (only 15 available, get yours today...). I snapped a model in a quintessential Vivienne Westwood cut; the dress's fabric features bunches of grapes.

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I tried on the most fabulous dress and shamelessly twirled around in front of the mirrors for a minute or two:

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It was only $1,025.

I ran into Carla from The President Wears Prada while I was there (she's in my Washingtonian column this week). After that, I headed over to Napoleon for a Moet tasting. I love the Studio54-meets-LiteBrite sign they have downstairs above the DJ booth.

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On Friday, I did NOTHING. And it was fantastic. Well, that's not totally true...I went over to my friend Liberty's house and we planned our outfits for Saturday night's Fall Fete at the Corcoran. Good thing, because the dress I wore (a very simple wool dress that was my mom's at my age) had a hole in the seam. Which wouldn't be a big deal if I could manage even the most basic sewing jobs. I'm wearing it here (with Liberty's sparkly belt/necklace, which injected the perfect 70s flair) with the Corcoran's Kristin Guiter and writer Karin Tanabe.

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