Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia Magazine’

How to Extend the Life of your Clothes: 11 Tips from an Expert

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 25th, 2014

By Cate Jensen

Photo by GND Photography, Courtesy of  Carmen Lopez

Photo by GND Photography, Courtesy of Carmen Lopez

Carmen Lopez, Owner of Current Boutique, a chain of award-winning local designer consignment stores, knows clothes. After almost 10 years in business and four locations under her stylish belt, she is no stranger on how to fix an accidental stain on a dress or the wear and tear of life on your favorite pair of designer jeans. Here is Carmen’s list of items to help your wardrobe woes, along with a little Q & A on why these tips and products are so essential to helping the favorite pieces in your closet last.

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Fairs, Fashion Shows and Parties – Oh My!

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

By Cate Jensen

Photo Courtesy of Bishop Boutique

Photo Courtesy of Bishop Boutique

Bishop Boutique’s Third Birthday Bash

One of Old Town Alexandria’s most-loved small businesses, Bishop Boutique, will celebrate the store’s Third Anniversary on Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.8 p.m. with a soiree full of fun, fashion and even champagne. So all fashionistas come out, enjoy the day and shop the boutique’s new fall inventory. A special incentive—a free Loren Hope Bangle gift with purchase.  

Crafty Bastard’s Arts and Crafts Festival

This weekend marks the 11th annual Crafty Bastard’s Arts and Crafts Festival presented by Washington City Paper, on September 27 and 28, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. rain or shine, at Union Square Market. Over 170 vendors will be participating in the event from artisans to craft food trucks. Admission is $5 per day or a weekend-long pass can be bought for $8, children 12 and younger can enter for free. To purchase tickets or find out more on the festival, please visit their informational website.

Ultimate Girls’ Night Out at The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

Pamper yourself with a night out with the girls at Indulge: The Ultimate Girls’ Night Out brought to you  The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. This Thursday, September 25 from 6–8 p.m. there will be exclusive fashion shows from Cache, special retail offers and one- on-one makeovers at this free event. Best part ? The first 200 registered guests will receive a free swag bag filled with fun items for stylish ladies of all ages. For more information please visit the event page.

Farm-to-Table Turns Corporate: True Food Kitchen Opens Today in Mosaic District

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

True Food Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts.

By Susannah Black

The restaurant’s concept is simple: “farm-to-table, organic, local foods,” says Sam Fox, owner of True Food Kitchen. It’s the same ethos which has been driving the modern mom-and-pop shops and now is showing up in corporate America.

The East Coast’s first True Food Kitchen, based on the Mediterranean-leaning anti-inflammatory diet developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, opens today in Merrifield‘s Mosaic District.  

Weil, a renowned doctor, professor and author, collaborates with Fox to create this nutritional menu. With Weil’s assistance, Fox says “all of the food on the menu has been thought out about how it reacts in your body.”  For example, Fox says “a lot of our dishes are gluten-free or dairy-free” and added are “special spices and herbs to reduce inflammation,” as “Andy believes that inflammation is the root of a lot of diseases.” 

Also behind the menu, Michael Obermeier, Fairfax’s True Food Kitchen’s executive chef, relocated to the D.C. area from West Palm Beach after becoming connected with Fox: “Fox found me … I was looking to broaden my horizons and when this opportunity came my way, I kind of jumped on it.” Obermeier reiterates Dr. Weil’s and Fox’s dedication to a menu with nutritionally high standards. “Everything that we do is supposed to be natural … introduce nothing but good products.”

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Cozy Up with DeNada This Season

Posted by Editorial / Monday, September 22nd, 2014

By Angela Bobo

NoVA natives might already be familiar with the unique knitwear that local designer Virginia Arrisueño produces each season with her label DeNada. Each piece is handcrafted in Arrisueño’s home country Peru and is influenced by her Latin upbringing with a focus on intricate patterns and practicality. With the release today of the brand’s A/W  ‘14 collection we spoke with Arrisueño about her creative process, what to expect with the new collection and why her designs are the perfect fit for your fall looks.

Virginia Arrisueño creator of Denada Designs; photo courtesy of Denada Designs

Virginia Arrisueño creator of DeNada; photo courtesy of DeNada

Q: Can you describe the creative process? How many times a year do you travel to Peru to produce the pieces?

 My creative process begins in my workspace. We have a showroom that is located in Washington, D.C. Listening to a lot of instrumental music, I’ll start to sketch. Once I feel that I have a good design concept, I’ll start to experiment with textures and different stitches

DeNada Oversized Collared Shawl AW14; photo courtesy of DeNada

DeNada Oversized Collared Shawl AW14; photo courtesy of DeNada

on my knitting machine or with my knitting needles. And from there, I’ll start to create patterns. The whole process is very personal. And the only people who get to see my sketches or samples are either my husband or my sister.

 Once I have my samples made, I’ll travel to Peru to work with a group of artisans, who I have been working with for years. I travel to Peru one to two times a year, and am very fortunate to have this opportunity. I love the culture, and to see my extended family yearly is wonderful.


Q: Why did you decide to incorporate colors like charteuse, mauve and slate into your AW14 collection?

 I like to joke around and say that I am a complete Gemini when it comes to designing. One season, I will design a very focused collection, and then the following year I will create a collection that is the complete opposite. Last year, I created a collection of bulky knits in a color palette that included somber shades of olive, gray, red, and black. And this year, my collection is on the lighter side and in brighter and bolder colors. This year is also the first year I got to create custom colors for my collection. With that freedom, I definitely went for my gut feeling and chose colors that I always loved and wanted to incorporate into my designs.


Q: Fall fashion is upon us. What is the best way to wear one of your scarves this season?

 Colder temperatures calls for layering, and scarves are great accessories to accent any outfit, plus keep you warm. The majority of our scarves are designed to be worn in more than one way, giving our customers options on how to wear them with their fall wardrobe. For example, indoors our infinity scarves can be worn simply draped around the shoulder or when outdoors, double wrapped around the neck for a much warmer and cozier feel.


 Q: Any plans of expanding your knitwear line to include sweaters and other pieces of clothing?

 Definitely! We’re always looking to expand our collection. This year, we decided to include shrugs and wraps along with our scarves, hats, and gloves.


 Q: Where are your designs sold locally?

 Locally, we are sold at Redeem, located at 1810 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009. Our showroom, located at 52 O Street NW is also opened to the public, by appointment only.

DeNada Hooded Mauve Infinity Scarf; photo courtesy of DeNada

DeNada Hooded Mauve Infinity Scarf; photo courtesy of DeNada


To view the full collection, head over to the website.


The Possibilities are “OneClique” Away

Posted by Editorial / Monday, September 22nd, 2014

By Cate Jensen

Photo Courtesy of One Clique

Photo Courtesy of OneClique


Over the past few decades there have been many fashion trends that either gets a round of applause or a big thumb down from the public. Think back to UGGs in the early 2000s, the controversy that the high-waisted shorts comeback sparked a few years back, Birkenstocks that have now begun to make a fashion statement again or the fedora hat that every woman seemed to give a try, at least once.

While each trend that comes from the fashion world is not an automatic yes for every person, there are some that start and stick – think the skinny jean. With an open mind, consider this new trend you are about to read about and decide, would you rock this?

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Cosmo Couture 2014: A Presidental Affair

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 19th, 2014

By Cate Jensen

Haute Couture Award Winner 2014; Photo by Cate Jensen

Haute Couture Award Winner 2014; Photo by Cate Jensen

The 5th Annual Cosmo Couture event that took place this past Thursday had all the pomp and circumstance one would expect to see at an event that with a Presidential theme. While a star, spangle and banner party is nothing new in the Northern Virginia area, Cosmo Couture is a unique and special event all on its own, put on by the International Interior Design Association’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter, headed by event chair, Pedro Nunez.  The rules: An architecture or interior design firm is paired with a manufacturing company to produce a couture creation, having to use at least 85% of materials from that sponsoring vendor, varying from metallic fibers to lights. This year 25 teams competed against each other for six different awards.

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Hungry For Linkage: Pig Roast + Historic Manassas Restaurant Week + Good Year for Virginia Apples

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 19th, 2014

Courtesy of

successo images /

By Susannah Black

River Bend Bistro hosts Port City Brewing Company’s first pig roast on Sunday: a whole hog from Serenity Farms in Maryland will serve as the main course along with side dishes like balsamic-braised swiss chard, applesauce, corn on the cob and fried pig ears. ($45/pp) [Port City]

Historic Manassas Restaurant Week begins this Sunday, with such restaurants as Malones, City Square Cafe and Carmello’s participating. [Historic Manassas Restaurant Alliance]

Society Fair and TNT on Columbia Pike are expected to close its doors for business by the end of this month. [ARLnow].

Eat BBQ and drink Mad Fox Brewing Company’s Keller Kolsch, Defender APA, Stir About Oatmeal and Saison on Saturday at the Beer Bourbon BBQ Festival  in McLean. [Mad Fox]

Experience an authentic German food buffet, drink beer by not-yet-opened Portner Brewhouse and play board games in Alexandria today at Okto-Board-Fest. [Portner Brewhouse]

Stephens City apple farmer Dudley Rinker says that despite this summer’s “dry spell,” apple pickers can expect “a fairly large crop for 2014.” [NVDaily].

Technically, It’s Still Summer: 7 Season-Spanning Chambourcin Rosés from Northern Virginia Wineries

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Photo By Susannah Black

Rappahannock Rose Fizzy 2013/ Photo By Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

What is a dedicated drinker to do while moving from summer to fall? Jim Livingston of Hartwood Winery suggests that a a chilled Chambourcin Rosé is “naturally good for transitioning” from summer to fall because of its “dry, lighter…. and very refreshing” tasting notes. This rosé, a medium-bodied, fruit-forward, off dry, wine with mild earth tones and herbal notes, will satisfy summer’s dedication to drinkable, light wines while providing the richer, fuller notes of a colder-weather wine. Here are seven wineries in Northern Virginia that offer a noteworthy Chambourcin Rosé. 

Dry Mill Winery 2013 Chambourcin Rosé
Winemaker Karen Reed describes this $20 rosé as “reminiscent of summer’s first strawberries,” finishing with noticeable acidity and mild sweetness. / 18195 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg.

Hartwood Winery 2013 Rappahannock Rosé
This $19 French-style rosé won the bronze metal at Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.  General Manager Beverly Livingston suggests the “soft cherry-like flavors” and “hints of citrus” are well-suited to “light foods.” / 345 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg.

Hidden Brook Winery 2010 Rosé
Tasting room manager Ken Strasberg suggests “this is not your typical rosé;” it is “very spicy” and collaborates with a “blend of lemon, blueberry, grapefruit and blackberry.”  This $20 wine pairs “great with Thai and Mexican.” / 43301 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg

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From City Bartender to Country Farmer, Gary Hall Opens Brassicas Farm Fresh Market & Cafe

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Photo by Stefanie Gans

By Susannah Black

For the last eight years, Gary Hall worked at various establishments in various positions: bartending and cooking at Local 16 in D.C., bartending at Rocket Bar in Chinatown, and bartending and managing at Chi-Cha Lounge on U Street. While Hall’s work history gave him experience within the industry, he says he eventually became “interested in growing ingredients locally.”

Last year, Hall’s desire in “providing fresh, healthy, seasonal food in an accessible way” inspired him to temporarily move from D.C. to Loudoun County in order to open Brassicas Farm Fresh Market & Café. “I decided to give it a shot,” says Hall. 

Opened last month in Aldie, Brassicas is both a restaurant, market and farm. The locally sourced ingredients on the menu are as close by as the restaurant’s backyard, where a large garden provides much of the menu’s produce and the chickens living on the land provide the eggs. Other products are sourced from Quarter Branch Farm, with cheeses from Oak Spring Farm and George’s Mill Farm and smoked bacon from Spring House Farm, all in Lovettsville

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Transforming Arlington

Jay Fisette, chairman of the Arlington County Board.

Jay Fisette, chairman of the Arlington County Board. Photo by Erick Gibson.

Arlington planners focused on smart growth and innovation decades ago. Now their plans are paying off, as Arlington attracts new business, new industry and new investment, and gains a national reputation as a place to live, work and play. —Allyson Jacob

The views are similar: planes at Reagan National Airport take off and land with regular rhythm. The Capitol dome and the Washington Monument dominate the skyline. Bikes, buses and cars fill streets lined with up-and-coming restaurants and retail shops. Though they reside in separate corridors—Arlington Economic Development (AED) in the Clarendon Boulevard Court House building and the new offices of Disruption Corporation on Crystal Drive—they represent a vision and a plan for the county.

For a decade or so, Arlington has been considered a great place to live, work and play. American urban studies theorist Richard Florida, writing in Atlantic Cities in 2012 as a follow-up to his 2002 book “The Rise of the Creative Class,” named Arlington the most creative class county in the United States, second only to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Florida, a former professor of public policy at George Mason University, currently directs the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, is a global research professor at New York University and is the founder of the Creative Class Group.

Popular opinion on Florida’s theories might be cooling, but his research into economic development, and into which elements make a successful urban environment, have consistently pointed to Arlington as a model of what it takes to attract and retain a creative core of residents that support and grow an economy. Arlington has the highest density of 25 to 34 year-olds in the country. All that talent has brought new businesses, startups and venture firms to the area.

Twenty years ago, Arlington was a government town; Rosslyn to Ballston was an “old, deteriorating corridor,” according to Jay Fisette, chairman of the Arlington County Board. Now it’s a destination for cutting-edge industry and venture capital firms.

Fisette is in his fifth term as chairman of the board, and for nearly 17 years, he’s been working to ensure that Arlington is a center for smart growth—a term originating from the Environmental Protection Agency that involves mixed land use, a variety of transportation and housing choices, walkable neighborhoods and encouraging the community to collaborate in decision. The result is a county is labeled “innovative” as well as smart.

“Arlington County was an innovative organization before I got here, in the context of planning land use,” Fisette says. “Smart growth (means) not doing it the cheapest, fastest way, (but being) strategic.”

Innovative initiatives abound in Arlington County: a community energy plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2050, and a 10-year capital infrastructure plan that includes broadband fiber initiative for public facilities and schools—which now includes leasing broadband lines to the private sector— are just a few. “(You need) courage, creativity and planning,” says Fisette. “Local governments that are good are thinking long term, thinking outside the box, beyond the next profit and loss statement or election.”

A recent example: TandemNSI. The company is a public–private partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia, AED and a private venture capital firm, Amplifier Ventures, founded and managed by Jonathan Aberman. TandemNSI launched in February 2014 to “better connect federal research and development labs with a highly curated community of innovators in cyber, data analytics, additive manufacturing [3D printing], robotics and geospatial engineering,” according to Jennifer Ives, former director of innovation and strategic partnerships and current advisor to the company.

TandemNSI helps private companies take advantage of declassified technology to build solutions for national security. “When tech is declassified, the private sector can commercialize,” Ives explains. “The Commonwealth is involved because [declassifying and commercializing tech] helps grow and create a larger job market. How do you leverage the technology? Create new businesses around it.”

Aberman founded TandemNSI out of the Ballston Innovation Initiative, a similar and successful program he funded and piloted in 2013. When he and Ives were looking for a physical location for TandemNSI, Arlington was a natural fit, says Ives. “Arlington has three [national security] agencies—Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)—clustered within two blocks of one another. Arlington is the ‘bullseye.’”

More companies are making bets on Arlington and taking advantage of the smart growth and innovation that Fisette and his predecessors have worked to obtain. Ashburn-native Paul Singh has divided his time between Silicon Valley and the district for most of his adult life, starting, selling and investing in companies. His most recent creation is Disruption Corporation, a research company for the private investment market. One arm of Disruption is the Crystal Tech Fund (CTF), a $50 million venture fund for entrepreneurs that are between seed and Series A funding rounds.

“I went to Bishop O’Connell and Fairfax High School and my memories [of Arlington] are clouded,” Singh laughs. “We would go to Court House or Clarendon and get hammered. Arlington was suits and defense—corporate. That’s what the industry was. Now, tech is the future.”

Companies in the CTF portfolio (six as of press time) can opt to work out of Disruption’s offices if they choose; Singh’s perch on the 10th floor is spacious with room to expand. Part of the reason Singh bet $50 million on Arlington is a local ace in the hole: commercial real estate giant Vornado owns 26 buildings in Crystal City, and Singh likes the idea of working with a single entity.

“Vornado is one of the largest real estate companies in the country,” Singh says. “[I can call and say] ‘Danny Boice from Speek [a CTF company] wants to live close to work.’ One landlord can roll out the red carpet.” But it’s more than convenience. Vornado has invested $10 million in the CTF. (Singh is quick to mention that Vorndao didn’t get special terms.) “They want to build a city. I need to build a city where the importance of tech is outlined. What we do here will vastly influence all the other [industrial] sectors,” he says.

“Tech isn’t a bunch of kids in a corner watching porn,” Singh adds. “It’s entering the mainstream. We’ve never done a good job explaining why tech is important.” With Disruption, Singh plans to change that.

When asked where he will be in five years, Singh’s response echoes the goals stated by Aberman and Ives: “Push[ing] circles of venture capital, high-growth companies and economic development together.” In Arlington.


Arlington County By the Numbers

25.8 square miles

215,000 (Jan 2014 est.)

Pop. Density:
8,332 per square mile

71.3 percent of adults in Arlington have Bachelor’s degree
or higher

(September 2014)

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