Friday, February 27, 2009

The First Lady's First Portrait

Here is the First Lady's official portrait. Mrs. O wears a sleeveless, classic Michael Kors dress.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Hats: An Anthology by Stephan Jones"

Beyond the hard core fashionistas out there, not too many people truly pay attention to the milliner; the hat man. Yes, hats make a statement, and have long been a mainstay in fashion, but how many hat designers can you name?
Stephan Jones stands out as an exception. The famed milliner has designed for the likes of Giles Deacon (read my recent review here), Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano.
Jones is the curator for "Hats: An Anthology by Stephan Jones" for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The exhibit pays homage to the hat, including many of his own designs to "everything from a sixteenth-century jester hat to Darth Vader's helmet to My Fair Lady bonnets." (The Cut)
Jones on the collection," This is my very personal anthology of hats, a mish-mash of dates, places, stories and illusion that are squished into a sense of order by a mad hatters logic...It is my own viewpoint from where hats came from, and how they are made, where they are sold to the extraordinary people who wear them."

While personally the only traveling I will be doing to London before May 31st 2009 will be mental traveling, but if any of you out there have the fantastic opportunity to venture to London, check this out (So I can live vicariously through you!)

The District Dish

Three of DC's self proclaimed bloggers in the know, Pam Sorenson of Pamela's Punch, former Miss DC Kate Michael aka K Street Kate and Ebong Eka have joined forces to create The District Dish.
In their inaugural webisode, shot at Kitchen in Glover Park, the threesome discuss district news, events and fashion. I will let you be the judge of this, I would love to hear what you all think.

Happy Birthday To You!

One of my favorite DC boutiques, Urban Chic, is turning 5! The boutique was quite literally one of the first to bring chic contemporary threads to the urban streets of DC. Well happy birthday to you! Urban Chic invites you to come and celebrate the big day on Thursday, March 5th at 5pm. The celebration will be complete with bubbly, shopping and goody bags.

Listen Up Gentlemen!

Fellas, it's time. It is time to banish those baggy and hideous unfitted trousers. Introducing the modern man, and most importantly a man who is modernly equipped in the fitted trouser. Today's New York Times (as I said, I have found much inspiration there lately) featured, "A New Angle on Trousers," discussing the acceptance of tossing those ill-fitting pants of the past for a little sex appeal. "Men have been terrified of wearing pants that are too tight," said Daniel Peres, editor of Details, "so we err on the side of big blowsy pants."
It is important to take this advice with a grain of salt...don't go overboard here. It's essential to balance between comfortable and sexy without bordering on well...feminine.
All in all, I am completely in favor of gentlemen giving a little TLC to the trouser.

Bits of Inspiration: Shades of Gray

New York Times Style Photographer, Bill Cunningham takes us on a visual tour of New York in shades of gray. Cunningham discusses his observations of the heavy focus of grays at Fashion Week in Bryant Park.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Giles Fall 2009

Click here to read my review of Giles Deacon's Fall 2009 collection from London on 212/BLOG.

Mrs. Obama's love affair with Narciso Rodriguez continues

Don't tell the president, but Michelle is continuing her affair...with Narciso Rodriguez that is. The First Lady certainly impressed me with this chic purple sleeveless Rodriguez dress last night at the President's address to Congress. I genuinely applaud Michele for exploring her options, and not sticking to boring pantsuits and stuffy gowns.
She has some fantastic arms!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sparkle Sparkle

Maybe it's the wintry weather that makes us crave shimmer, sparkle and glitz? Well whatever it is, I am in love with sparkle, and it appears I am not alone- even Mrs. O got in on the action (see below). Designers like Vera Wang, Derek Lam and Pamela Roland all picked up this concept in New York at Fashion Week.
Wearable pieces like this Gryphon sequin top make me swoon!

Find it at Intermix.

Oscars Schmoscars...

Forget the Oscars! Who was best dressed last evening? Mrs. Obama of course!
The First Lady hit one outta the park last night at the Obama's first WH black tie event welcoming the National Governors Association. Wearing a glitzy and glamorous gown from native Chicagoan Peter Soronen, Mrs. O topped it off with a crystal and pearl necklace from Tom Binns.
Who ever said the White House wasn't glamorous?

Quiet Old Town becoming a Mecca for quality restaurants

While Old Town, Alexandria is technically part of DC suburbia, there is more action going on here than meets the eye.
An influx of fantastic restaurants have hit the cobblestone streets including many of the top DC restaurants according to the Washingtonian: Restaurant Eve, the Majestic, Vermillion, Farrah Olivia and PX the uber fun speakeasy with killer cocktails run by expert bartender Todd Trasher.
(PX in Old Town. Photo courtesy Washingtonian)

Welcome a new name to that list, Brabo Restaurant from restaurateur, Robert Weidmaier (of Marcel's and Brassiere Beck). The restaurant is part of the Kimpton Group's Lorien Hotel & Spa in Old Town, and features two dining rooms: Brabo and Brabo Tasting Room.
I was alerted of Brabo by my lovely friend Caroline Cassidy, who recommends the mussels with wine.

Click here for Brabo's website, and here for the Washingtonian's recent write up.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Drum Roll Please...

Congratulations to all the evening's winners!

Best Picture:
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director:
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Sean Penn, Milk

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Animated Picture:
Best Foreign Film:
Okuribito, (Japan)
Best Supporting Actor:
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress:
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

The REAL Oscar gold

Behold: Gawker gives us a magical look at what the audience REALLY looks like during those non-actor speeches...Notice, Meryl happily counting how many times she has been nominated, Viola Davis catching a nap, Seth Rogan wishing his finger were a real gun, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman wishing he had that gun to use...on the speech maker...

On the Red Carpet with Oscar

The biggest trends on the Oscar Red Carpet appeared to be: metallics, sweetheart necklines, asymmetrical off-shoulder designs, and bold reds.

Best Dres
Leslie Mann shimmers in Pamela Roland. The dress recently hit the catwalk in New York, and I was hoping someone would don the beauty to the Oscars. Bravo!

Marion Cotillard in Dior Haute Couture.

Penelope Cruz in vintage Balmain.I love Tina Fey (wish Fey and Steve Martin would have hosted)

From SJP's fairytale dress to real life fairytale. The beautiful Freida Pinto in John Galliano.

Angelia Jolie in Elie Saab might seem a safe pick to many, but I though it was stunning, especially the sweetheart neckline. Jolie added icing to the cake with the emerald green Lorraine Schwartz earrings and matching ring.

Natalie Portman pretty in pink, in Rodarte. (another sweetheart neckline)

Anne Hathaway in a beautiful and shimmering ivory Armani Prive gown. A huge hat tip at Hathaway for her intro with host Hugh Jackman, who knew she could sing?

Mickey Rourke...enough said.

Love you, but...SJP in Dior Haute Couture. At first glance, I enjoyed the bodice...but upon a second, I realized I wasn't digging the whole "top of a wedding cake" thing.

Kate Winslet in Yves Saint Laurent. I love Kate way too much to put her in worst dressed, but I wasn't too impressed. I did applaud her futuristic molded hair though.

Worst Dressed

Really B? My first thought: a mermaid with really bad curtains. Beyonce, you better watch out for Etta James, she's really coming after you after using her song...again...

My Oscar predictions.

The Academy Awards have descended upon Hollywood. The "be all end all" award ceremony will be even more exciting to watch this year with the fantastic movies/actors and actress' nominated.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader and Slumdog Millionare are all vying for the coveted title of Best Picture.
My prediction: the big winner will be the little film that could, Slumdog Millionare. The low budget flick filmed in Mombai has created an absolute sensation. I also love that the children of the film were actual natives to the area and will be in attendance about heartwarming.

For Best Actress in a Leading Role, I am going with Kate Winslet, hands down. While Winslet is nominated for The Reader officially, she SHOULD have been nominated for her performance in Revolutionary Road. I do also give a nod at the incomparable Meryl Streep for Doubt, and also to Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married. Hathaway will certainly have her moment in the sun soon.

For Best Actor in a Leading Role, I am going to say Sean Penn. I know that comeback kid Mickey Rouke is the favorite here for The Wrestler, but I simply think Penn deserves the golden man for his stunning portrayal of Harvey Milk in Milk.

Best Director will go to Danny Boyle for Slumdog question in my book.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role is a little tougher to guess. I would venture a guess that it will be between Penelope Cruz for Vicky Christina Barcelona, Viola Davis for Doubt and Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler. Out of the three, I'm going with Viola Davis for her short-but powerful performance.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role will most likely and respectfully go to the late Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight. While I think Ledger MADE the most recent Batman film, I also LOVED long shot Michael Shannon for his humorous, brutally honest and shocking performance in Revolutionary Road. I also carry a flame for Robert Downie Jr...maybe next time Mr. Handsome...

With less than an hour to go until show time, I better hurry up a post my predictions. I will be posting as winners are announced and of course on the dresses and after parties!

Many locals receiving big praise.

In terms of restaurants, the James Beard Award is the Oscar of the culinary world. The Washingtonian reported the semi-finalists were named this week, and including many familiar DC names. The finalists will be named in May in New York City.
Amongst the mix, we find some hometown favorites such as:

Outstanding Restaurateur
Ashok Bajaj (*Bombay Club, the Oval Room and Rasika)

Outstanding Chef
*José Andrés (Minibar)

Outstanding Restaurant

Best New Restaurant

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Johnny Monis (Komi)

Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional
*Todd Thrasher (Restaurant Eve)

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
*Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve)
*Anthony Chittum (Vermilion)
*Haidar Karoum (Proof)
Peter Pastan (Obelisk)
Tom Power (Corduroy)
Vikram Sunderam (Rasika)

* designates my personal faves...duh.

also, some advice for Dupont Circle's Obelisk: get a website!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fare thee well New York Fashion Week.

As we prepare to say hello to London Fashion Week, we first must say goodbye to New York.
So, thoughts?
There were several prevalent trends to hit the runway, many anticipated and some shocking.
I enjoyed the escapism. Yes, it is rough out there and yes some forgo fashion in such times- but creativity and art does not cease.

1. Attention to Tailoring-Michael Kors(first two), Phi2.Head, Shoulders, knees and toes- Altuzarra, Michael Kors and Jason Wu (photo courtesy OntheRunway)

3. Beige -Narciso Rodrigeuz, Derek Lam
4. Futurism- Rodarte
5. NEON! -Narciso Rodrigeuz, Marc Jacobs & Michael Kors (last two)6. All Cut Up- Preen, Alexander Wang, Wang, Proenza Schouler
7. Furs -Phi, Ralph Lauren, L'Wren Scott8. Less is More:Minimalism- Calvin Klein
9. All Tied Up (with lace)- Alexander Wang
10. Madhatters! (photo courtesy Coco's Tea Party)
11. On the Fringe- Alexander Wang.

Christies auctions collection of late YSL

The late designer Yves Saint Laurent left over 700 pieces of art that he and partner, Pierre Bergé collected over a 50 year span. Though times are tough, the once in a lifetime collection is certainly creating a stir. The collection includes pieces by Duchamp, Brancusi and Picasso. Though encountering a recent hiccup over entitlement from the Chinese government, Christies expects a successful turnout for the late great Laurent collection.

It's Oscar Time! (almost)

Tomorrow night those famous golden men will be handed out. It's Oscar time...look for future posts devoted to the coveted movies (and dresses).
Old Town's Vermillion is throwing a fun Oscar party complete with themed drinks, one representing the 5 best-picture nominees. Beginning at 5:30pm, click here for more info on Vermillion.
Vermillion offers a fantastic wine selection, great entrees and live music. If you already have Oscar plans, make sure to arrange another evening to venture into Old Town to try Vermillion!

L'Wren Scott Fall 2009

Here is my review for 212/BLOG on L'Wren Scott Fall 2009. Enjoy!

Mary Kate...Duh

Little Ms. Mary Kate @Fashion Week.
Just love her style
White blazer=amazing!