Behind the Sidewalk Stylers

Washington is a city of about 600,000 fascinating people, and I’m reminded of that every time I go out in search of a new Sidewalk Style subject or street-style photo for this blog. Over the past few weeks, I’ve photographed a talented jewelry designer with a penchant for cheapie shops (more on that in a sec), a teen hoping to become a professional dancer, and a graphic designer who, when not working to bring PBS into the new-media age, turned out to be half of the group DC Design Babes. It’s proof that each person walking our city streets has an interesting story to tell.

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Paula Mendoza was a drive-by (as in, I saw her and abruptly circled the block to park and chase after her. Not the first time I’ve done this!) I didn’t realize who she was until I approached – Paula and I know one another, though I didn’t know her well until we had our interview. She showed me a few vintage dresses she’d just picked up in Paris, and then we explored the hat selection at Hit Item Wholesale (1406 14th St. NW). Like me, she loves little sketchy cheapie places. There are great summertime fedora-style hats to be had here for $10. Wear one with something girly, like a boho-style flower-printed minidress.

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Valli Ravindran is this week’s subject. While we were discussing Indian designers, she mentioned that her wedding dress was designed by Manish Malhotra. She graciously sent her wedding photos over. She also mentioned the designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, which got me looking up more on Indian design.

Also regarding Washingtonian: you may have heard that they are taking submissions for their next Best-Dressed list, and you should also think about attending their annual Best Of Washington party July 15. It’s always a feast for the eyes as well as belly – this year’s theme is East Meets West, so you can expect dragon dancers, Asian street artists, and A LOT of awesome food and drink (including an after-party at CoCo Sala). PB readers get $10 off the ticket price when they enter BESTFRIEND at checkout, so buy tix here.

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