‘Pumped Up’ style in the capital continues to push on and inspire.

Story and photos by Violetta Markelou

I may sound like a broken record, but I can’t help but continue to write about Washington’s rapid change. The parties, launches and shows just keep on coming!

I’m Pumped Up

This time we start with an event celebrating the District before it became the city we know today. The sold-out opening for Corcoran’s newest exhibit ‘Pump Me Up‘ even had D.C.’s VIP crowd trying to bust down the doors. What attracted me to the show were these words: Go-Go. Though I didn’t live in D.C. in the 1980s, I was a fan of Go-Go music and attended several shows in the 1990s. I was thrilled to see an institution like the Corcoran pay homage to a significant part of the city’s evolution.

Although the city at that time was mired in crime, drugs and scandal, it had a thriving culture of organic music called Go-Go and an underground punk and graffiti scene. Corcoran Contemporaries along with exhibition curator and filmmaker Roger Gastman beautifully showcased this intriguing time. Against a backdrop of punk and Go-Go paraphernalia lining the walls and Go-Go tunes blasting through the sound system, Henry Rollins as guest DJ shared stories of D.C. and his discovery of that subculture. Though some attendees didn’t have a clue about this once-vibrant phenomenon or were too young to remember the District then, they were clearly having a good time learning about it.

The opening of “Pump Me Up” kicked off an event-filled weekend of all-things ’80s that included the sold-out screening of Roger Gastman and Joseph Pattisall’s documentary “The Legend of Cool Disco Dan” at AFI Silver theater.

If you missed out on all that ’80s fun, don’t fret. The exhibit is open through April 7 and there are several events in support of “Pump Me Up” still to come.

Marcia Claudio and Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton

Nylon Magazine’s photographer and assistant in amazing leather jackets.

Colorful guests

“The Legend of Cool Disco Dan” filmmakers Roger Gastman and Joseph Pattisall

Fans of all stripes and patterns.

Loving the cool gray patterns and ‘do’s.

Guest DJ Henry Rollins addresses the crowd.

Jennifer Matta, PR manager for PCI Communications and Danny Moisin

The Hamilton Live’s Jennifer Vinson and Lia Seremetis

A Go-Go family with amazing hair to boot

Dressed up and dressed down, done right.

A guest with Brightest Young Things founder Svetlana Legetic

Henry Rollins and DJ Steven Faith

“Pump Me Up” in situ

A former graffiti artist poses in front of a portrait of himself.

The white tuxedo jacket makes another appearance.

Cassidy Kara, Audrey Fix Schaefer, Jared Harris and Jennifer Vinson

Scene of the sublime

Fashionable Conversations

Open Source Fashion, a New York-based networking group and online fashion community founded by Pavan Bahl has opened a Washington chapter. The group’s mission — to connect fashion industry professionals and become a resource for innovators working in the fashion industry worldwide — seems to be off to a great start.

I’ve been to the first two and both have provided plenty of food for thought about the future of D.C.’s style community, not to mention some great networking. The meetings have brought together an eclectic group that has included Refinery 29’s Holly Thomas, tech expert Peter Corbett, Washington, DC Economic Partnership President & CEO Keith Sellars, AARP The Magazine editorial art director Diane Holton, and Image Granted, LLC owner and chief style consultant Grant Harris.

OS Fashion’s arrival to the DC fashion scene is very timely and Pavan seems to be bringing all the right movers and shakers together. If you’re interested in being a part of the discussion, I’d highly recommend joining the group and attending an upcoming event. You can do it here.

Founder and CEO of iStrategyLabs Peter Corbett and OS Fashion founder Pavan Bahl

An eclectic panel discussing D.C. fashion.

Stylish attendees

Svelte’s Elaine Mensah and a friend

A fashion-forward group

Though there have only been two meetings thus far, OS Fashion generated a good crowd of Washingtonians interested in the future of D.C. style.

Dandies & Quantrelles founder Eric Brewer and Grant Harris

OS Fashion offered thoughtful discussion and a chance to network with Washington’s fashion insiders.

Go Kate Shoot’s Katie Warren and Eliot Payne

I’m going to say ciao for now, but not before I leave you with a few more images. These were captured at Crystal Couture 2013.

As the great Bill Cunningham said: “Those who seek beauty will find it.”


A killer backless dress on the runway

An uber stylish and beautiful attendee

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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