Monday, April 30, 2007

The Dress

Several readers have asked me where I obtained the dress in the photo to the right. Two summers ago I volunteered at the Villa Terrace biennial fundraiser in Milwaukee. The theme was “The Great Gatsby.” Before I jetted to Milwaukee, I was lucky to find the perfect dress nearly across the street from our house at Nana in Washington, DC. At the time, Nana was in a basement in the last in a row of converted row houses at U Street and New Hampshire Avenue, NW. Last year it moved to the first floor of a town house a few doors east. It’s one of the hip boutiques in the U Street corridor. I don't know if they still sell vintage, though.

The 1930s black and pale pink silk and lace gown was priced right ($60) but needed a bit of work. Following the salesgirl’s advice, I took it to the cleaners across the street, where the tailor made it fit.

I completed the outfit in Milwaukee at an antique store in the historic Third Ward , which stocked a trunk full of black and white dress gloves in various lengths. Here are some photos from the ball. Please join us for Gershwin in the Garden this year on July 21. Any suggestions on what to wear?

1528 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
2220 N. Terrace Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Garden Shot

Here is the garden in front of our house, shot at 7:45 this morning. The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 82 degrees.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Peter & Wendy at Arena Stage

Just returned from Peter & Wendy at Arena Stage, which was outstanding. If you do not go to the theatre often, make time for this one. You may want to get your tickets soon. I have a feeling that it will sell out.

Peter & Wendy is a version of the play or musical Peter Pan (which I've never seen) told through the unconventional media of story telling, a live celtic music ensemble and bunraku and shadow puppetry. This sounds like it would be an assault on the senses. However, the minimalist staging, combined with the deftness of Karen Kandel, the narrator, who also provides the voice of all of the characters, ties it all together. She plays that role until May 27, 2007. After that and until the show closes, another actress takes over.

My theatre buddy remarked that Peter & Wendy would be suitable for a 10-year-old friend of hers, and indeed there was a handful of children in the theatre. In my opinion (and it is my blog, so there), starting at 7:30pm and lasting three hours, Peter & Wendy might be asking a bit much. Plus, it's intense.

Peter & Wendy
Arena Stage
1101 Sixth Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
Sales office 202.488.3300

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This Is So Cool

Tonight I went to my first DC Bloggers meetup at RFD and had a great time. There were about 30 of us. I met a pharmacy technician who blogs about . . . working in a pharmacy. Way cool. I also met the author of Latest Obsession (hi neighbor!), and Brokekid, who turned me on to twitter. I know someone with the initials J.M. who would love that. Also check out Broke Kid for the best of YouTube. The author of The KingKab Review and I had a thoughtful discussion about films and reviewing films on blogs. Finally, the author of District Matters, who covers District of Columbia politics and neighborhood issues, inspired me to update my blog more often.

It's started already. Blogs are becoming the primary means of obtaining news and information and soon will overtake conventional news media, i.e., on-line versions of print newspapers, radio and television.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

White Blazer

Today I did the unthinkable: I bought a white blazer. The owner of one of my favorite and most trusted local boutiques, Caramel, convinced me to take the plunge.

So, what’s the big deal? For us DC professional women, the most important question to ask when buying clothes is not
"Will it be in style for the next couple of seasons?" nor is it "Does it make me look slimmer?"
Can I wear it to the office?

To that end, I recommend Caramel across the street from Results Gym on U Street. Caramel is located at Ground Zero of Hip and Trendy, but it is neither pricey nor snooty. Caramel sells distinctive pieces by lesser-known designers, for men and women, and that can be worn to the office. By "the office" I mean Washington, DC, offices, where the goal is to instill confidence based on your creativity, intelligence and good judgment -- not your fashion iconoclasm.

My mission today was to find a blazer to match the long skirts and jeans I wear to work in summer. I envisioned something in basic black, a solid neutral or small pattern that I could slip into in case of an unscheduled meeting or chilly walk home. Caramel had all three options. There was something enticing about the white blazer, however.

White outerwear, I am convinced, is a fashion industry conspiracy to bamboozle us into buying more clothes. White doesn’t just show dirt easily, it advertises the details of one’s personal life: the wayward ketchup quirt, the greasy muffin leaking out of the paper Au Bon Pain bag, the ink from the newspaper carried to work. Dry cleaning solvents cannot restore a white article of clothing to its original fabulousness. (More about dry cleaning solvents in a future posting.) After a few wearings, you have a stained and shabby coat, and voila! madame has no choice but to get a new one. For that reason, I have never bought anything white, except for shirts to wear with a few indefatigable ten-year-old black and navy suits set aside for court dates.

So why did buy a blazer in white, the most impractical of all colors (if white is a color at all)?

A white blazer is bold. It symbolizes a fresh new start. It reminds me that I am expanding my horizons, questioning self-imposed conventions, exploring options I never before considered. And with a pair of tailored beige dress pants and heels, it looks sophisticated.

Coincidentally, I start a new job, in a new field, in two weeks.

Plus, Sarah, the owner, informed me, the blazer is machine washable.

Bold move, but practical.

1603 U Street, NW
Washington, DC