Fashionable Life: Ain’t We Got Style, Part Deux

by Editorial

Stylish Washingtonians shine at a plethora of fashionable events.

By Violetta Markelou
Photos by Violetta Markelou, unless otherwise specified

The fab 5 behind new fashion magazine neonV. See full photo below. (Photo by Michael Kirby Jr. MOK Imagery)

So remember my last post about Washington’s rapidly changing style scene? I bet you thought I was hyping it all up. Well I’ve got more evidence that our nation’s capital is a style capital.

Just before the holidays I attended CapFabb’s (Capital Area Fashion and Beauty Bloggers) annual media and spa event hosted by Kara Manos of Politics of Pretty. Fashion bloggers from all over the area came to network and sample beauty products in support of the Washington Spa Alliance in the event space known as T-squared. This fantastic space is located above Tari designer consignment boutique. Sea Catch of Georgetown provided delicious oysters and ceviche while Versailles vodka provided nice libations mixed with Honest Tea.

Bloggers mingled while sampling the latest in beauty by Aveda, Evolve Organic Hair Care and Nail Taxi, which provided complimentary manicures. The evening ended with the an awesome swag bag give-away provided by Jessica Hoy and Sylvie Laughney. I was delighted to find that the bag contained a Sonia Kashuk tote, perfect for beauty junkies like myself who love to load up on products. There were also generous samples of Vichy La Roche Posay and offers and discounts from local beauty retailers.

Jessica Hoy, Kara Manos and Sylvie Laughney

Whitney Stringer of Pamela’s Punch

Stylish fashion bloggers

Lisa Amaral of Evolve Organic haircare and guest

Adra Williams and Alida Sanchez of Tari boutique

Sea Catch Restaurant Executive Chef Nathan Coons

Check out the video re-cap here. Sign up on to receive daily updates on local fashion-related events and news. And don’t miss a beat on the latest in beauty. Subscribe at Politics of Pretty for all the latest by Kara Manos.

The fun didn’t end there. It was only the beginning for a bustling week of fashion events. Just a few days later, holiday-inspired pop-up boutiques were in full swing, proving that they aren’t just another retail gimmick. Pop-up shops are an economic way for emerging artists to show their wares without the pressures of monthly sales and rents, while exposing new customers to the event space. I had absolutely no clue where or what O St. Studios was before Saturday. My friend and fellow D.C. resident didn’t know what Montserrat House was either. We both learned about some cool spaces that day and had fun shopping at the same time.
I started at GWFCC‘s and Jessica Penzari’s Toast event at Barcode. The event showcased edgy American designers LaureLuxe Metal Couture and Be & D. A yummy brunch buffet complete with Mimosas had shoppers grooving to tunes and shopping away.
I too got wrapped up in the frenzy and bought three pieces of Laura Luxe metal couture.

Violetta Markelou (in some very cool earrings by LaureLuxe) and Jessica Penzari (Photo by Marcus Bennett)

Jessica Penzari wearing LaureLuxe Metal Couture

Designer LaureLuxe putting one of her signature pieces on my foot (Photo by Marcus Bennett)

One of my LaureLuxe purchases. Chain ankle and shoe accessory. Gotta love it! (Photo by Marcus Bennett)

Later, I popped into D.C. Flea’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Extravaganza at Montserrat House. DC flea, a monthly pop-up market, is the brainchild of Dafna Steinberg (I Found That Vintage) and Philissa Williams (Thembe Fashions). DC Flea showcases men’s and women’s vintage clothing and accessories by local sellers like Speak Vintage. The “Ugliest Christmas Sweater” style and some spiked eggnog made the event even more colorful.

Speak Vintage founder Cassandra Strafer at Montserrat House

As if that wasn’t enough for a Saturday evening, the launch of new fashion magazine NeonV was in full swing at Pure Lounge. The ladies of Chic Makeup Geek and The Model is Wearing (a.k.a “the fab 5” of Stephanie Mills, Michelle German, Kimee Brown, Tanekeya Word and Carmela Wingfield) are making their longtime passion for fashion come true through a biannual online magazine “for the contemporary peculiar woman, exposing the cultural continuum in fashion, art, beauty and travel.”
I have to take my hat off to these beautiful ambitious ladies. The magazine is gorgeous! Beautifully printed with photographs and thoughtful content to match, the ladies that are NeonV are off to a sizzling start. I look forward to seeing these avant garde style-setters succeed.

Full shot of the ladies of NeonV magazine: Kimee Brown, Michelle German, Tanekeya Word, Stephanie Mills and Carmela Wingfield
(Photo by Michael Kirby Jr. MOK Imagery)

Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Mills and a magazine supporter (Photo by Michael Kirby Jr.  MOK Imagery)

Le Book: NeonV magazine (Photo by Michael Kirby Jr. MOK Imagery)

Some very dapper NeonV magazine supporters (Photo by Michael Kirby Jr. MOK Imagery)

The last event I attended that Saturday night was a pop-up boutique at Ulysses Room, a multi-level studio loft and creative event space featuring fashion, art, photography and film by artists like The President Wears Prada, DeNada and Kelly Towles. The event featured the new Blue’s Hard Goods (formerly Rue 14) vintage clothing accessories by Tara Papanicolas Los Gitanos vintage line and handmade jewelry by Saint Clair Jewelry. It also featured the dynamic duos Ginger Root Design’s Erin Derge and Kristen Swenson McCoy, and Eric Brewer and Nicole Aguirre of Worn Magazine’s coveted finds from their newly launched online boutique WornAbroad.

Chelsea Alexander in Los Gitanos Vintage from Blue’s Hard Goods

Tara Papanicolas and Andrew Nguyen of Blue’s Hard Goods

Jewelry designer Cameron of Saint Clair Jewelry

Tired yet? We’re almost done. Just days after that mega fashion-filled weekend, Robert Finfer, co-founder and CEO of Tomahawak Capital LLC hosted GQ’s “DC Men of Style” party in honor of the magazine’s “Style Guy” and renowned author Glenn O’Brien. Ryan Seelbach and Eric Lund of The Huxley graciously invited guests to their new bar and lounge to toast the fashion industry veteran, as well as the Fall/Winter GQ Style Issue. Gift bags were generously provided by The Grooming Lounge and included their products. Other swag bag participants included a belt from Top Rank Vintage, silver collar stays and gift certificates from Michael Andrews Bespoke, gift vouchers from Suit Supply, tailoring discounts from Ginger Root DC and gift cards from Hugh & Crye menswear.

GQ’s “The Style Guy” Glenn O’Brien

A very dapper guest with O’Brien

Lauren Moore and The Huxley owner Ryan Seelbach

Jessica Hoy, Principal Neu Profile

NARS makeup artist Yaneek Proctor and wardrobe stylist Quincy Jones

Tomahawk Capital CEO Robert Finfer and Glenn O’Brien

B&C Bespoke Custom Clothier designer Sim Khan and Maggie Johnson

L. Kiyana Roberson showing off the spiked wallet she made herself

Mark Drapeau and Pamela Lynne Sorenson

Dandies and Quantrelles founder Eric Channing Brewer

Victor Diaz Zapanta and Erin Derge of Ginger Root Design

Sylvie Laughney and friend

Washington Lobbyist Michael Woestehoff and DC Thrillist editor Leo Schmidt

Glamazon Diaries’ Makeda Saggau-Sackey and Kiki Ryan

Phew, I’m exhausted! I’m going to rest a bit, but please, I highly encourage you to keep making Washington the amazing and fashionable place it’s unfolding to be!

Ciao for now,
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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