Not even a nordic blast could dampen the enthusiasm of the fashion faithful at the Wednesday kickoff of DC Fashion Week (DCFW) founded and produced by Ean Williams. Heralded as a celebration of “NEXTGEN” up and coming designers, the DCFW inaugural event sponsored in part by H Street MainStreet emphasized the link between supporting local talent and developing a strong local economy.
“When we come together and encourage students to succeed and our businesses to thrive, everyone benefits,” said Anwar Saleem, Executive Director of H Street Main Street.
The show itself featured a unique array of original garments by local designers. Howard University Junior Larry Easley’s mini wrap dress hand beaded and sewn from upholstery swatches that took him 4 days to create was one of my picks for best in show. For the most imaginative cocktail dress, the easy winner was a one shoulder black confection trimmed in white faux fur by eighteen year old West Potomac Academy student Carlos Valensuela.
Other list worthy show stoppers included Baltimore designer Paco Rogiene's trio of breezy chocolate and white sleeveless summer dresses in varying lengths and the easy comfort of slouchy jersey ensembles styled by Carolyn Thomas, owner of Catwalk Boutique.
For men, the stand out items included a quilted black notch collar jacket with matching 2 button shawl and a grey military style coat with gold buttons both presented by H Street Retailer, Euro Styles.
DC Fashion Week events will be held from February 18-22. www.dcfashionweek.org
- See article as it appeared in the HillRag at the LINK below:
Today, I am declaring a détente. For several months now, my Wish List and my Requirements have been involved in calculated skirmishes that have almost decimated my Spring fashion budget.
It all started in December. Wish List, recalling my legendary gifting practices of years passed, pushed hard for more elaborate gestures of self love. My resulting Christmas swag was epic: a hand painted Clarisonic, jet black pony hair Chanel boots and a Rita Hayworth lingerie cabinet to complete my bedroom suite.
Not to be out done, Requirements retaliated swiftly with a litany of honey (must) do items from truck repairs to plumbing replacements. By February I had no other option but to negotiate peace talks. After all, I was literally one debacle away from wearing the same Giuseppe Zanotti gladiator sandals from the season before. Now what does a stalemate beetween needs and wants look like? ...a fully loaded 6 speed Dodge Challenger, perhaps?
Legally Fabulous (Episode 3)
LegallyFabulous Episode 2 (above)
LegallyFabulous Episode 1 (above)
"Legally Fabulous", created by Jehan Carter (J. Carter), captures four female attorneys by day and socialites by night in the new the "it" city to live in on the backdrop of D.C.'s Obama era. In addition to tv producer turned entertainmnt lawyer, J. Carter, the cast includes former Miss DC and attorney Chelsey Rodgers, event planner and attorney Bisola Daramola and fashion blogger and intellectual property attorney Mariessa Terrell.
Legally Fabulous showcases Washington, D.C. beyond its stuffy political town reputation and brings the spotlight to the city's thriving entertainment, arts and charitable scene through amazing cast of men and women that dominate these arenas. The pilots for both shows will premiere as a three part series that you can only exclusively watch on their respective sites beginning on Sunday February 1st through February 15th.
The margin between success and less than success many times requires an instant replay. By reviewing past experiences in slow motion, we discover the details, the obstacles and the inches gained or lost in the last seconds.
Oh, its about the long money, darling. It's about what happens after the dust settles and the footage is reviewed. AL PACINO (Any Given Sunday) was right. "It's a game of inches." And guess what? I'm not giving up any today!
Yoo Hoo Darling!
Those simply marvelous dolls at The Donne Belle Agency are showing the divine tv pilot LEGALLYFAB, on Sunday evening, FEBRUARY 1st. And YOU, Darling are invited.
The show will be aired at www.legallyfab.com (such a quaint name, eh bien?) at 7:30 o'clock (pm that is).
LOG IN for the first and only screening until the show is released to the all.
Onward, Upward and Over.
Respondez S'il Vous Plait
The DollHouse c/o firstname.lastname@example.org | @SimoneBtrfly
Legally Fabulous Cast: From L-R and Top To Bottom: J. Carter, Chelsey Rodgers, Bisola Daramola and Mariessa Terrell. Watch the trailer and three part pilot premiere of Legally Fabulous exclusively at LegallyFab.com every Sunday at 7:30pm EST beginning Sunday February 1st! Use the hashtag #legallyfab on social media!
Tuesday last, I received an oversized parcel from CK Dexter Haven. The accompanying handwritten note said simply, “Meet a Kindred Spirit – Enjoy, CKDH” The box contained a flat package swaddled in a Nicole Miller Home navy faux fur blanket and secured by a delightful white bow. CKDH, a playwright hailing from Philadelphia, insists that “life is a production” and as such greatly benefits by appropriate hair, makeup and wardrobe. Agreed! So, before the official unveiling, I thought it best to hide my pin curls under a black velvet turban embossed with the wording FASHION STAR and slip on my fav Kimono- this one in silk satin with an image of Pam Greer- a la “Coffy“ stitched on the back . I also thought it would be completely in character to fortify my vanilla chai tea with a few fingers of Pinnacle Salted Caramel vodka. Now appropriate, I unwrapped my surprise with the type of glee reserved for Tiffany blue boxes on an early Christmas morn.
CKDH knows me well. Thus, his gift was sonnet worthy: an original signed painting by Margaret Keane featuring a beautiful, grinning wide eyed baby girl.
Working from home has its privileges and affords a myriad of creative styling opportunities befitting any project, mood, or UPS delivery.
Who Needs An Audience?
Darlings, don’t miss Tim Burton’s newest movie, “Big Eyes” documenting the triumph of artist Margaret Keane who successfully sued her husband, Walter Keane for slander after he plagiarized her art for over 13 years.
I am in the shower halfway through my Secret Agent playlist (loads of John Barry 007 tracks and vintage Mobb Deep) before realizing that the cap on my head is silk not waterproof. This dingle (ding bat) moment, unprecedented since the first time I left the emergency brake off of the Pathfinder, is henceforth to be referred to as “the mad shower cap caper”- a sure sign that Simone has zoned out and left the building.
After canceling all appointments (what else can be done with the Gold 'N Hot blow dryer on the fritz and my BLOND wig on loan to D.A.?), I spend the rest of the day working remotely and trying desperately to reset the clock. It seems to me I am distracted? Whipsawed? Confused? Or maybe I am just COLD!? They (Wikipedia) say monarch butterflies can not withstand cold weather opting instead to a) hibernate or b) migrate away to a warmer climate. Perhaps the ruination of my beetle mania bob was a defense mechanism; a destructive round about way to keep me home bound for a day. The cure is easy enough. I’m told it’s a high of 80 degrees in South Beach.
Have LapTop Will Travel.
Three weeks ago, I bumped (literally) into Fashion Attorney Mariessa T. on 5F (5th Floor of Bergdorf Goodman, NYC). I barely recognized her without her mod black and white uniform. It was 10:00 am on Saturday and she was clad in silver leather Rag and Bone trousers, a caramel Alice+Olivia sweater studded with crystals and retro Prada aviators with blue lenses. Her faux leopard coat was strewn on a nearby couch.
"Yoo Hoo Darling," I purred.
“Simone,” Mariessa gushed. “What ARE you doing in NYC?”
“Looking for elevation,” I said, as I picked up a pair of 5 inch Giuseppe Zanotti platforms.
“Me too.” Mariessa laughed out loud.
“So how was San Francisco?,” I inquired.
“Marvelous!,” Mariessa replied. “You remember model turned IP Attorney Uduak Oduak?
“Well,” Mariessa gushed, "Uduak coordinated the January Fashion Panel at UC Hastings College of Law School and invited me along with LA Fashion Attorney Staci Riordan (of Fox Rothschild) and designers for GrDano (Brian Scheyer and Jill Giordano) to participate. It was thrilling!"
"Let me text you the facebook link," Mariessa added.
Our conversation continued for about 8 more minutes. Then Mariessa, black fedora pulled dangerously over her left eye was out the door clutching her pre V-DAY purchases (Wolford back seamed hosiery, Stuart Weizman leopard print booties and Tom Ford lip lacquer in Cherry Lush).
Always Fashion Forward.
It’s 9pm on New Year’s Eve (NYE). It's also snowing in Gstaad, Switzerland. By now the majority of the hotel guests have left for various fetes around town. After a week of wraps, hot and cold waxing, pummeling and sulphur body treatments, I am alone and feeling almost meditative as the new year approaches. Well, almost… Truly, it is impossible to participate in an internal dialogue when every 15th minute, Jean, the bartender offers me another drink. This one is pink gin and gifted by a financier who a moment later raised his arm in salute from the safety of the lobby bar. After 2 quick sips, the fizzy, like the champagne cordial delivered earlier was soon discarded in a nearby potted evergreen.
I don’t for a minute imagine that my sparkling personality contributed to all of the furtive looks and generous compliments that I received during my NYE (lobby) vigil. Most assuredly, I had intentionally curated a specific aesthetic for the occasion.
Not exactly dressed for dancing, I was wearing an elaborate deep black body suit of stretch nylon with fasteners by Suki Cohen (Sarah Cohen). For once, Sarah’s sculptural foundation pieces with clean cut-outs suitable for outer and under wear were discreetly hidden beneath a floor length modernized tea gown trimmed in silver mink. (Find more on Tea Gowns here)
My crystal slippers were discarded at the foot of the navy blue settee. This move enabled me to easily slide my left leg up and over my right knee revealing crystal seamed Wolford stockings (Bergdorf’s, of course) that twinkled in the flickering candlelight. When the New Year finally made her grand entrance, she found me and my epic To Do list scintilating with gusto in front of a roaring fireplace.
The theatricality of my NYE’s celebration makes me want to laugh out loud. When you style your life with intentionality, even your miniscule efforts are rewarded.
It’s finally 2015. If it's gold you want, start the spinning cycle now.
Waltzing along Fashion Avenue was not even the highlight of our most recent jaunt to NYC. This go 'round we spotted an opulent lady ostrich wearing rouge and jeweled cashmere leg warmers. She was completely out of her element, though, being 7900 miles from SE Africa. But really, is anyone dressed to the nines ever completely out of place on 5th Avenue? It wasn’t like she was traveling solo. Perched 6 feet up, atop a mass of white feathers, sat an enchanting ballerina quite erect dripping in creamy pearls. Perhaps that is what I’ve lacked all along? An ostrich accomplice - whose keen eyesight coupled with her outrageous height and super spectacular plumage can identify, enchant and out race any would be adversary. On second thought, me thinks we’re time enough for any would be FRENEMY.
I have seen this movie about 55 times already. It always ends with a soft caress, several tearful farewells and three clicks of a ruby red slipper. Each click is like a wake up call. DING. You will have to say goodbye to the tin man et al for now. DING. You cannot remain in OZ. DONG. This is not the end of your adventure!
In the WIZ, Ms. Ross aka Dorothy leaves Emerald City with way more than a new pair of sparkly work heels. She leaves with a stronger sense of self, more courage to face the unknown, a real knowledge of her own heart and wisdom to guide her on and over the next hurdle.
I'm feeling very DIANA today. I've got a PowerBook named TOTO, a blue streaked bob and a master P-L-A-N.
Three CLICKS, darling! And its on to the next....
I was not able to actually travel to Paris to see the Dries Van Noten exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, but the image that Marsellius sent of the butter cream colored column gown covered in butterflies was enough to send me over the proverbial edge. The exhibit located in the Palais du Louvre's western wing opened in March 2014 and featured many dream garments that inspired Van Noten to create sumptuous pieces. Though Elsa Schiaparelli created the original butterfly frock that I’d initially coveted over email, Ms. P in DC was able to conjure up a believable version for me to wear to a wedding for the Johnson’s held at the Greenbrier Resort a few weeks ago.
I suppose the innumerable butterflies in various stages of flight placed strategically throughout the dress, would soon have its desired effect. A hurricane was coming. But when?
See Schiperreli’s famous frock HERE
In the 1970’s Vivienne Westwood opened “SEDITIONARIES” boutique at 430 Kings Road Chelsea, London with her husband Malcolm McLaren. The boutique became infamous for churning out distressed t-shirts emblazoned with provocative slogans and imagery. Many years later, Westwood admits that much of the “punk” artwork was created to not only titillate but to challenge societal norms. Today politicizing fashion by juxtaposing everyday images with more subversive ones is not so unusual. Take my favorite femme fatale, Marilyn Monroe. On a recent trip south of the Mason Dixon I encountered a side of Marilyn that I had never seen. Instead of retreating behind a hand full of sedatives, the 2014 Marilyn is head up, full frontal, barrels blazing. The altered image resonates as most provocative images do. How different would Marilyn’s life have been if she could handle a firearm?
Read up on a Fashion Icon: VIVIENNE WESTWOOD: new biography by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly launched October 8, 2014
The fifth contractor agreed with the previous four. It will be damned difficult to install the claw footed high back soaking tub three feet from the canopied bed.
Simone, true to form said little. Instead, she tilted her head, blinked her large bright eyes and met his gaze with a faint smile.
He countered by gesturing wildly, shaking his head emphatically and repeating his pronouncement with more ferver.
"There are no water pipes on this side of the room," he sputtered. And, "anyway, why would anyone want a bathtub twenty feet from the loo?"
Obviously, he has never visited the Mansion on Forsyth Park (Savannah) or seen series one episode four of MissPhryne Fisher's detective stories.
Doesn't he know all DOLLIES require an elixir on occassion.
Take away her 20 minute soak and her hearty Cotes du Rhone red and even our sweet little butterfly just might meet them where they are....with a sword at the ready instead of a wand!
Fashion veterans prefer not to simply survive August in DC. Instead we want to "slay" by consistently arriving perfectly coifed despite the heat index. Being the cool spot in the room requires some planning though. Obviously natural fibers help. But frosty libations imbibed just prior to wilting ensures that the 8 am you is still recognizable way past 10 pm. When in MidCity anytime between 11 am and 11:30 pm consider slow sipping a frozen strawberry swirl margarita: tequila back optional. Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th St NW.
I’ve always enjoyed celebrating July 4th in the city. When else can you drive sans gridlock from MidCity to the Palisades in less than 12 minutes? Opt for a Palace 5ive branded skateboard instead and you may just shave an extra 3 minutes off even this commute. In the seven years since its launch, Palace 5ive (2200 14th St., NW) has cemented itself as the premier DC destination for hard skater apparel, boards and footwear. Preferring roller rinks to asphalt, I never kick pushed for fun. Yet, I recall watching the ESPN X-Games skate board competitions back in the mid 90’s and being awed by the superior skills of athletes like Tony Hawk.
Today, attending the 2014 Palace 5ive Go Skate Day activities, I am still amazed. But I am also fascinated by the “cool” that most skaters project. Hours dedicated to perfecting a craft explains the confidence. But the fashion investigator in me maintains that the Palace 5ive gear - flat technicolored sneakers with thick soles by Vans or Nike (Jordan) SB high tops, loose graphic t-shirts (some pressed by the Palace 5ive staff) and boards to order make all the difference. Since skateboarding is not only here to stay, but is also growing in popularity, consider becoming a member of the Palace 5ive family. But, like any clique worth joining, you have to be invited. Get your login and password to access the re-launched website today. www.palacefive.com
As always the Independence Day theme throughout the DMV remains squarely within the Stars and Stripes borders. But, if you really want a mash up (LA/NYC street couture meets Rosie, the Riveter) version of the red, white and blue, visit Rosie's and Rockers located at 2001 13th St. NW. Here, seasonal options for the ladies are more pin up than hoe down. Find Betty Paige inspired dresses with leopard detailing, belted capris with clever cutouts and fitted peekaboo tops with black dotted mesh tulle. And, for guys, think rock god with plenty of ironically worded t-shirts, edged out gothic jeans and moto leather. I'm currently digging the SourPuss branded nautical striped cotton (ice) skater dresses and retro patent leather handbags. I also love the irreverent jewelry, punk inspired socks and aviator sunglasses priced to move. Ah, the power of a perfectly curated aesthetic. From the crimson walls to the new signage to the original art, Rosie's is consistent. This may explain why after 20 minutes with owner Mateen I suddenly wanted to pin curl my hair and identify a metal band to follow around the country. (www.rosiesandrockers.com)
Batting eyelashes with a twinkle and a twirl is a full contact sport that I perfected long ago in fashion school. So when the Durell lash glue made a double back somersault off the sink and into the loo, I landed in a conundrum.
It was 7:30 am. Picture me swaddled in a black hello kitty kimono facing a perfect storm of events, including a fashion trademark round table at Arent Fox and Ciroc cocktails with Fashion Attorney Mariessa Terrell There was no time left on the clock for a dash to Beauty Mart on 7th and S. But, neglecting the Simone brand was not a viable option.
What would you do?
The same thing as famed costume designer Edith Head: make blue tinted eye glasses de rigueur whilst taking over the fashion world.
Hearing Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s savory radio voice (The Splendid Table) inspired me to take the Missoni sweaters out of the stove (where they’re being stored for the summer) and bake a carrot-ginger birthday cake fit for a Diamond District (DC) princess.
Then watching Rene Russo (size 0) slink around the Metropolitan Museum of Art in The Thomas Crown Affair catapulted me back to reality.
Baking a cake means eating a cake. And wouldn’t it be oh so much better if one could actually sit down in the khaki YSL jumpsuit for the duration of the plane ride to Reykjavik, ISK (Iceland) tomorrow night?
(Side Bar: Icelandic vacays are now cheaper than a rountrip Bolt Bus ticket to NYC!)
Am now on a jet speed texting my assistant with directions to call Deborah (of Chatmans’ Bakery on 9th St.) ASAP for a few dozen carrot cupcakes fit for my fav April Birthday darlings: Mariessa T., Lloyd T., Jr., Deanna J., Nichole M., Wanda S. and Emerson B. Federal Express is a wonder.
Three raspberry bellini’s and I am fit and fabulous and apparently not using my indoor (private jet) voice. Must remember to turn down the volume before asking the svelte steward for a fourth fluffed pillow.
ZUOUSH! Its just nerves.
How many times is one asked to memorize the perfect toast for MT’s 26th birthday? (10 times) But in Iceland?! (1 time)
April birthday babies are a special lot and they deserve to eat Deborah’s birthday cake in Iceland with me and about 40 other dolls teetering on the cusp of SUPER Stardom.
Even if you never become Princess of Monaco, you can for about $160 smell like one. Or at least that was my reasoning for purchasing Gin Fizz, a perfume formulated by Lubin. The Lubin French Perfume House was founded in 1798 by Pierre Francois Lubin who became quite famous for creating perfumes for the Imperial Court. In 1955, Lubin perfumer Henri Giboulet continued the tradition and created Gin Fizz as a tribute to Princess Grace Kelly, a charming American actress best known for her roles in Alfred Hitchcock movies including, “Rear Window,” “To Catch a Thief” and “Dial M for Murder.” Named after the cocktail in fashion during the 1950‘s, Gin Fizz combines Sicilian lemon, juniper berries, irises from Florence, Turkish jasmine and vetiver grass. To the chagrin of the four other perfumes languishing atop my dresser, Gin Fizz has become my new favorite applied generously thrice a day to captivate the imaginations of everyone in my vicinity.
Simone Butterfly has been investigating fashion with a twinkle & a twirl since 2003.