Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Political Face of Fashion

D.C. Style has uncovered Italian Gattinoni's latest collection, inspired somehow by Nancy Pelosi. (The mag-turned-blog pretends she has some style, but that's not a funny joke.) I recommend these as a conversation starter by talking about them, not wearing them, but to each their own.

Fashion has always been a little taboo in politics. Noting the Capitol Hill uniform of the sober power suit accented (only minimally) by a power tie, its clear that understated style is the norm in the world of political correctness. While some say that the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is merely thinking outside the box with her colorful wardrobe choices, her so-called fashion statement falls short of select pieces from an Italian designer's spring/summer 2007 line.

Enter Gattinoni, who has taken Pelosi's idea and run with it. The Italian's current collection features pieces with some of the world's most influential women printed on them.

What's that, you don’t have a thing to wear to the Democratic or Republican debates? Try donning an elegant frock with Condoleezza Rice’s face on it. Fund-raising fete later in the week? Perhaps a color-block portrait of Hillary Clinton on your skirt is more your style.

If you're not well versed in all things political, jarringly pop-art piece of couture will serve as a conversation piece at least.
To see the article, click here...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Globe-trotting model: 'I think DC is really chic'

OK, so I am posting a lot today (some of which is a stretch to call D.C. politico fashion...) but it's recess for the next week. The new Capitol File was a nice read and I just love the styling they did for the Lauren Graham fashion shoot; she just looks amazing!

Here is a quote I found interesting about "chic" D.C. style from Hilary Rhoda, the globe-trotting, must-have, high-fashion model from Chevy Chase, Md.

CAPITOL FILE: What influence do you think growing up in DC had on your sense of style?

HILARY RHODA: I think DC is really chic, and having grown up there, I think that’s why my style is so classic. You can wear something simple and make it look fabulous without people saying, “Wow, look at that woman! What’s she wearing?” It’s always understated, sexy, and beautiful.
Nice in theory... To read the entire interview, which also lists some of Rhoda favorite D.C. shopping destinations, click here...

Newseum to feature Helen Thomas' sweater

Trying to garner any public interest in the new $435 million museum set to open in October, the Newseum has previewed some of its nearly 600 items that will be on display. The Yeas & Nays boys have listed some of the very influential and historical - though definitely not stylish - wares to be featured:

  • The red sweater Helen Thomas wore during a 2006 presidential press conference when President George W. Bush, after a long hiatus, finally called on the UPI columnist.
  • Slippers worn by Ana Marie Cox when she edited the Web site
  • The vest worn by ABC’s Bob Woodruff when he was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006.
Now I know I am going to spend $20 bucks to see that! (Yeah, I am not joking, when the Newseum opens it will be the most expensive museum in D.C.) What are they thinking over there?

To find out some more of the items that will be on display, click

Discovery: The tie clip is an endangered species

Thank you Paul Devlin (and Slate for allowing him to go on this aside) for showing us a male in the media that understands the need for appropriate accessories and for the importance they hold.

I do not always wear a tie clip, but I feel they are appropriate for certain occasions, especially situations in which it may be necessary to stand up frequently, lean across a table full of food (to say nothing of votive candles), and shake hands. A tie clip is useful for keeping your tie out of your bouillabaisse.

When I set out to find a replacement, however, I made a disturbing discovery: The tie clip has become an endangered species. ... For a moment, I thought Beyoncé might help. In her single "Upgrade U," she sings about outfitting a lucky gentleman with "silk-lined blazers," an "Hermes briefcase," and "Cartier tie clips." Wow! But Cartier doesn't sell tie clips, either, and has not for two decades, according to one of their knowledgeable-seeming sales clerks. ... How did this accessory, once a menswear staple, fall so precipitously from favor?
To read the entire article (you should!), click here...

Lunchtime stroll spoiled by baby blue blah

While taking a gorgeous and leisurely post-lunch stroll a few minutes ago just north of the Capitol I spotted a quite tragic sight - which admittedly there are a lot of on the Hill. I know it is recess and most people are in their most casual of work attire, but there are just some things that should never even be manufactured let alone bought and worn.

I just saw Fox News' Greta Van Susteren in front of the Phoenix Park Hotel wearing the most horrific baby blue pant suit (it might even have been a polyester blend - that's how bad it looked.) Maybe the reason she was hiding behind her shades was the fact she knew just how bad she looked. I wish I had my camera or even cell with me so I could share it with all of you (not to induce any nightmares, but just as an FYI not to wear). The thing I don't understand is why she always looks so shlumpy. When you make that much money, and probably even have your own stylist, there is simply no excuse: The bad hair. The constant frown. The sloping shoulders. And of course the wardrobe. Fox, I plead, please do something with that one.

Memorial Day is over and ... Tucker is looking forward to dresses?

Ever so typical for Politico, they did yet another totally pointless "story" asking D.C. bold facers stupid questions. Today's: What does summer mean to you?

One of the high points of today's feature is the answer given by Tucker Carlson (you know, the guy who got a lap dance on "Dancing With The Stars" last season):

Sweat and summer dresses. One makes up for the other.
I did have to laugh, though, when Mitt Romney spokesman Kevin Madden answered with some ridiculous personal joke dissing some Politico staffers - and they actually published it! (just shows how desperate they are to fill space during recess.):
It means that [The Politico's] Patrick O'Connor is digging through his clothes hamper for his one pair of "jorts." And [Politico's] Jonathan Martin is spraying starch on and ironing his favorite pink Izod polo shirt.
To read all of the answers, click here...

Dressing the D.C. press corps

The Post's William Booth has some funny musings on his experiences and observations at Cannes, and he even offered up some fashion tips for Washington reporters. Though while I agree with him that there needs to be a change in the overall drab, dull and totally unimpressive wardrobe of the press corps - and France is definitely a destination to look to for fashion-forward wares - I wouldn't even joke (I am assuming he is just having one big laugh here!) about having our White House correspondents wear short shorts and high heels.

Seriously, the Washington press corps has something to learn from my Cannes colleagues.

Fashion tip? Some of the reporters here wear short shorts and high heels. Their questions get answered. Also, today we spotted a guy with a press credential around his neck, and his shirt completely unbuttoned, like Fabio. And it worked for him. Henri Behar, the French journalist and film critic who emcees the official news conferences, favors two earrings, scarves and the occasional headband. And you know what? He rules.
He actually used the phrase, "he rules..." To read the entire article, click here...

Friday, May 25, 2007

‘D.C. Madam’s’ Vanity Fair Photo Shoot

Not that I particularly understand where Vanity Fair is going with this one - who really wants to see THAT?!? - the Yeas & Neas boys got another great tidbit:

Following her appearance at Nathans of Georgetown’s Q&A Cafe on Tuesday, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, aka the “D.C. Madam,” went to a photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine. Photographer Jonathan Becker took the shots. “It went just fine,” Palfrey said. “Similar to my Q&A experience, the Vanity Fair shoot for me was a fun and much-needed distraction from months of tremendous stress and worry.

“The photographer was one of those wonderfully unique characters a person gets the pleasure of meeting every once and a while in life.”
To read all of Yeas & Neas, including a cute pic of Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) walking his dogs while wearing a striking red tie, click here...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Get Sen. John Edwards’ Hair

It was a very good fashionably gossipy day for Jeff & Patrick:

If you’ve always wanted one of Sen. John Edwards’ $400 haircuts, now’s your chance. Duvall’s Hair Co. in McPherson Square put a sign outside its salon Wednesday advertising the “John Edwards Presidential Special. Only $400. Walk-Ins Welcome.”

Of course, haircuts at Duvall’s don’t really cost $400; the average price for a male haircut is $30, says salon owner William Duvall. And Duvall isn’t trying to pick on Edwards too much, especially since he may end up voting for the guy. “I like Edwards,” Duvall said. “He’s a good guy.” But Duvall, a Democrat, still is considering a vote for Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Despite the sarcastic nature of his sign, Duvall admits that Edwards’ hair looks pretty good. “As someone who’s been in this business for 50 years, I think it’s worth the $400,” he said with a laugh.
To read the rest of this article, click here...

The Skinny on Gore's Book Flap

The Yeas & Nays guys uncovered an interesting and quite inconvenient truth about Al Gore:

Gore’s photo on [his latest book, “The Assault on Reason,”] shows him looking remarkably svelte (you’ll recall that Gore has been dogged for his weight gains as of late). When was the photo taken? Way back during the Clinton administration, it turns out. Photographer Callie Shell confirmed that the photo was taken in “either 1999 or 2000.”

You know what they say: “Always put your best face forward.” Even if it was eight years ago.
I guess I can't really blame the guy. To read the entire article, click here...

Wristful Thinking

Brad Pitt once designed jewelry but wished he was architect Frank Gehry. Now Gehry’s pulling a Pitt and designing bracelets (like the one at left, $350) not buildings. These and other Gehry accessories are available exclusively at Tiffany & Co. (5481 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-657-8777;


Wine and Fashion for a Cause
What: A fashion show with D.C. Divas (Women's Championship Football Team) and wine fro
m Washington Wine Academy to support three local charities helping women and children: House of Ruth, Boys & Girls Club and College Bound. The players/models will showcase wares from local designers and boutiques.
When: Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday - 6:30 p.m. reception/silent auction; 7:30 p.m. fashion show; 9 p.m. documentary
Where: Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; 703-486-2345
Tix: $20 in advance; $25 at the door

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Quotes of the day: Elizabeth Kucinich

a serious job is no excuse took Elizabeth Kucinich's most-recent chatter and had a field day. An excerpt:

“I have never noticed [the age difference] at all. ...Dennis is a very mature but young-at-heart gentleman and we complement each other."

(Elizabeth Kucinich, 29, on what she thinks of her husband and their 31-year age difference)

“Can you imagine what it would be like to have real love in the White House?”

(Elizabeth, reminding women like Hillary it's important to still give your husband "real love," and by "real love" she means...uh-huh, yeah that)

On the outset, I should
dislike these two. Elizabeth, a ginger-haired hippie from the English countryside who lists her occupation as "Politician's wife!" and spells Christopher Walken as Christopher Walking on her MySpace page, and Dennis, a twice-divorced Roman Catholic vegan who looks like every cute child TV star who's unfortunately grown into a cute adult, may gravitate toward everything from which ... I shy away such as peaceful resolutions, careless misspellings, Tofurkey and Christmas Mass, but somehow, if I might borrow the lazy analyst's crutch of an explanation - they just seem to work.

And in addition to both enjoying Elizabeth's tongue piercing, the Kama Sutra (the film, not the book, incidentally) and long-distance e-mail flirtations, these two kids have also managed to stop sending naughty pictures back and forth just long enough to make their mark on DC's social scene, a fact no doubt helped by the reality that not even the two of them take Dennis' bid for the 2008 presidency very seriously.

She may be 6 inches taller and 31 years younger than her man, but you have to admit, it's quite refreshing to see a political couple who you don't immediately assume has slept in separate bedrooms for the past decade
. ...
To read the entire blog, click here...

let's french comments on D.C. style

Our indie-fashionista friends over at panda head interviewed Washington-based band let's french on their personal style and their take on the D.C. scene. Here's our favorite question:

PANDA HEAD: What's your take on DC style, in general?
LET'S FRENCH: Seems a little conservative sometimes, but we are still inspired by the people we see and meet on the street. Ummmm, one thing that there's nothing cool about is wearing your government-issued ID out.
To see the whole interview, click here...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Face Time: Tim Gunn

Express' Kristen Page-Kirby talks political fashion with native-Washingtonian Tim Gunn:

Women love him. Men want to be him. Tim Gunn — the impeccably garbed mentor on "Project Runway," author of the new "Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style" ($18, Abrams) and host of Bravo's upcoming "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" — expounds upon the White House, the beauty of the black leather blazer and forging a signature look. ...

You take a couple of shots at D.C., even though it's your hometown.
I do, but I also celebrate [socialite] Deeda Blair, with whom I've had a fascination since I was a kid. Style in D.C. all emanates from the White House. The Kennedy years were so fantastic, such a high point, and then the Johnsons
moved in and it was all over.

Is there a presidential candidate you're pulling for, style-wise?
I wish there were. I had such high hopes for Hillary, and now she's wearing a uniform that's just too masculine for her.

EXPRESS: When she was first lady, headbands just exploded.
She had a huge influence, but she's mellowed since then. I hope New York state hasn't done this to her. New York City certainly hasn't.

To see the whole interview, click here...

Dressing for TV: Bright colors and no armpits

Just in time for the live-camera debates, The Hill staff gets and gives advice for dressing for the camera. An excerpt:

The key, says Megyn Kelly, co-anchor of Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom,” is bright colors. She and other Fox correspondents have a style department that oversees their ensembles. “I was a corporate lawyer and my entire wardrobe was black, brown, navy and gray,” Kelly recalls. That might be acceptable in a courtroom, she says, but for TV, “it’s dull and not interesting to look at.”

Now her wardrobe is bursting with “reds, yellows, purples, pinks and oranges.”

As A.B. Stoddard, The Hill’s own TV personality, notes, “Turquoise, purple, red and orange may have gone out of fashion 15 years ago, but they are still the most flattering on television. Banana Republic Beige and chalk-gray are hip but can add several years or make you look nauseous.”

Men have to get it right, too. They “can’t wear a suit that’s purple,” Kelly says, but a purple necktie or one with patterns is good. A blue shirt looks exceptionally good on TV — Bill Hemmer, Kelly’s co-anchor, “has about 30 different shades of blue for ties and they all look great,” she says.

... You can go too far, though. On last Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Richard Perle, former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, wore a blinding orange tie with a matching leather watchstrap. Didn’t work.

Too shiny is also a no-no. “On women a silk blouse does not usually work,” Kelly says.

And forget about going sleeveless. “I object to seeing any armpits on air. I don’t need to see that.” Who does?
To see the whole article, click here...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mitt Romney is just so damn tall and good-looking, so he looked damn good. ... The charcoalish navyish suit was stately, not too intense, and had just the right amount of sheen. The patterned, lighter blue tie looked fresh against the crisp white shirt. And he had clearly hit the tanning bed…”

— Project Beltway, in regards to the male dressing during last night's GOP debate

Dressing VIPs in McLean

The Washingtonian's Leslie Milk discovered an interesting tidbit:

First Lady Laura Bush wasn't the only one to have a dress designed just for the White House white tie dinner for the Queen. But while Laura went to New York for an Oscar De La Renta, Second Lady Lynne Cheney has a designer much closer to home. Kwon's Boutique in McLean has been designing her gowns for years. Kwon also designs for Janet Langhart, wife of former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and lots of other A-listers.
Kwon's Boutique
1350 Beverly Road #102
McLean, VA 22101

Clothes That Work

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

Her Capitol Hill look: “Updated tradition­al—suits by Ellen Tracy or Elie Tahari with straight skirts or trousers. For warmer weather, I really like a pink light-wool skirt
suit I have.”

What she’s buying for spring: “White shirts by Brooks Brothers or Calvin Klein, and I’m looking for a new basic khaki trench coat.”

Work carryall: “A brown leather Furla tote—it’s a good size for holding files.”

Signature jewelry: “A gold necklace or strand of pearls.”

Where she shops in Washington: “I’ll run into Filene’s Basement or Loeh­mann’s—I prefer to buy things on sale. After all, I’m a conservative.”

What she's wearing: Blackburn buys good-quality, tailored pieces,
like these two old favorites: a wool and silk FĂ©raud pantsuit and a
silk blouse by Gasp.

–Photograph by Matthew Worden; text from April Washingtonian magazine