Fashionable Life: Passport to Style

by Editorial

The Shops at Wisconsin Place hosted Passport to Style, a high-energy fashion event—all for the benefit of two local charities.
By Tyler Sullivan

Fashion Showcase at Passport to Style. Photo by Alfredo Flores.

Mixing music, models and style, The Shops at Wisconsin Place’s signature annual event, Passport to Style, combined local fashions, food and philanthropy, all in one high-energy evening out in Chevy Chase.

With the right blend of everything for the style-conscious consumer, the sophisticated crowd of 400 of DC’s highest priests of fashion and stylish shoppers came out of the rain and dined, drank, mingled and bought—donating the night to fun, fashion, and charity. Proceeds from the evening benefited two well-known local charities, Hope for Henry and the Washington Humane Society’s Fashion for Paws.

Guests gained entrance to the soiree with the purchase of a $20 ticket, donated in full to either charity (or both, if so generously inclined). With their donation, guests received an evening of wine, gourmet snacks, runway fashion and prize giveaways.

The Shops’ Courtney Retzky, director of marketing, and Marketing Coordinator Melissa Lavita appeared to be all smiles by the evening’s turnout, despite the driving rain outside. “We’re thrilled,” Retzky enthused.

From Rue La La’s red carpet social-snaps to Rosa Mexicano’s night-stealing “sexy guac”—not to mention Georgetown Cupcakes‘ donated peanut butter cupcakes—guests appeared to bounce around the floor, visiting vendors and circling the night’s runway with style tips from emcee Kelly Collis of 94.7 Fresh FM on the trends of fall and winter fashion.

But though the food and flash were captivating, Passport to Style’s runway show was the highlight of the evening. The show was focused on “transcending,” one of the major elements of this fall and winter’s fashion, said Lydia Santangelo, who was in charge of each model’s flawless attire and cohesive essence. “It’s all about the combination of high and low, transcending looks with a keen eye on luxury… conservative, but with a twist.”

Santangelo also discussed a few key trends this season that the show hoped to accomplish. Texture and fur—real or faux, and an overall low-velocity sheen were top on her list. “Last year was all about shine,” Santangelo said, “but this season it’s more about a subtle glow, the mix of high and low, and the day-to-night look.” The night’s runway contributors were many, including Adolfo Dominguez, BCBG MAXAZRIA, Bloomingdale’s, Eileen Fisher, ILORI, Talbots, and White House | Black Market.

Each outfit revolved around some major themes and guidelines for this fall and winter—leather, shine, color blocking, and a look the program called “The Lady,” a revisit of the 60’s classics. Others contributed to the models’ overall looks. Anthropologie donated funky accessories, while Old Town Alexandria’s Circe Salon and Sephora took care of hair and make-up.

Yes, even hair was bestowed with do’s and don’ts. Long and straight with a center part, hair with a slicked back front, a bob style with strong front fringe, and low-slung ponytails were the night’s featured suggestions.

Organizers called this year’s Passport to Style a resounding success–it was certainly an event Washington Life was proud to sponsor. Despite the driving rain outside—just ask the servers doling out the guacamole for Rosa Mexicano who stood ankle deep in a slosh of rainwater—guests sailed off into the evening with ear-to-ear smiles and bags full of goodies, with a new stamp in their fashion passport.

Roma Johnson, Tara De Nicolas, and Gaelle Garraway. Photo by Alfredo Flores.

Diane Murphy and Susan Nixon. Photo by Alfredo Flores.

Diane Murphy and Susan Nixon. Photo by Alfredo Flores.

Runway show at Passport to Style. Photo by Alfredo Flores.

Runway show at Passport to Style. Photo by Alfredo Flores.

View more photos at our Smugmug Gallery.

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