Fashionable Life: Ain’t We Got Style

A series of fashion events dispels the ‘Hollywood for ugly people’ myth, once and for all.

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A bevy of beauties in Karen Millen at Tysons' All Access Fashion

Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that our nation’s capital is undergoing some dramatic changes. Condos, restaurants and bars seem to be sprouting up left and right. Eleven new restaurants from the likes of Stephen Starr and others are opening on the already bustling U Street corridor over the next six months. The food scene just keeps getting hotter with three D.C. chefs getting ready to compete on the next season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” which has already launched the careers of several other local chefs: , Carla Hall and . There are so many art galleries and parties, fashion magazines and fashion-related events, I can barely keep up!

I’ve witnessed this influx of energy and revitalization first-hand, but sometimes it even shocks me! Just last Friday as I was making my way to one of my favorite restaurants, Bar Pilar, I couldn’t help but stop and marvel at the stylish people walking to and fro, as well as the sheer numbers folks walking in every direction. The diversity of people dining together, the “It” girls cat-walking into hip bars or couples and groups heading to dinner and dancing — where are these people coming from?

Of course I have no idea how many are tourists and how many are residents, but the coolest part of it all is that I’m here in the thick of things and I have a camera. Here’s what I’ve been able to document “Bill Cunningham” style, a mix of fashion events and street style. Let’s bury that “Hollywood for Ugly People” label once and for all, shall we?

Tysons Galleria’s All Access Fashion

The annual three-day fashion extravaganza included runway presentations from Anne Fontaine, Elie Tahari, Aram, Nicole Miller and many more. The season’s trends were highlighted, but Washington’s beautiful people were also front and center, sipping, socializing and shopping for a good cause.

Male models backstage at All Access Fashion

Model in Elie Tahari

Model in Aram

Models backstage in Elie Tahari

Some very stylish All Access Fashion supporters

Gorgeous monochrome looks from Elie Tahari

Beautiful sales people at Michael Kors

Models for Juicy Couture

Model in Karen Millen

Like what you see? More runway and backstage photos here.

Jeff Garner’s ‘A Dress to Save The World

presented his collection at Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery as part of the museum’s “40 Under 40” exhibition. Designed in honor of the late Princess Grace, it’s made entirely of organic and sustainable materials with classic silhouettes reminiscent of eras past.

I was so happy to know Mr. Garner would be presenting in Washington. I had spotted his amazing talent back in February while looking for designers to showcase in Fashion Fights Poverty’s annual runway show. Thank you Mr. Garner for coming to Washington and showcasing your elegant eco-chic aesthetic. We can’t wait to have you back.

Designer Jeff Garner (center) with models and musicians for the show

Fashion’s Night Out

The global fashion party that is FNO swept through the DMV, creating a frenzy of energy. People, parties and events where held in so many places, I had no idea what to do first! I decided to hit just a few places: Neiman Marcus at Chevy Chase and Georgetown. No matter where I went, I saw stylish party-goers pulling out all the stops to support local and national fashion retailers.

Let’s not forget how this incredible event began. Vogue’s Anna Wintour created it in 2008 as a way to boost the slumping economy. Now Fashion’s Night Out events span over 19 countries. As the photos below demonstrate, the annual party lived up to its goal to promote and celebrate the fashion industry.

More photos here.

I look forward to documenting Washington’s continuing stylish evolution. Look for more pics soon.

Ciao for now!

— VM

Violetta Markelou is a visual artist specializing in photography and makeup in Washington, D.C. When she’s not documenting the art of transformation with her camera, she spends her time uncovering high- and low-end fashion, jewelry and accessories in vintage and second-hand shops. She shares more of her style insights at her blog The Thrifty Fashionista and its Facebook group almost daily.

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