Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
By Danielle Harvey
Layering for fall isn’t a new concept. However, as hemlines continue to get longer, this season the vest has also updated its shape. By now, you’re ready for those humid days to be a thing of the past. You’ve seen all of the September issues of fashion magazines hit newsstands and temperatures are slowly dropping. So what’s missing? The answer is probably hanging in your closet. It’s that perfect item to give your outfit something extra while also being practical: the vest. From trendy options such as fur and moto styles to more classic pieces, this is one investment you should make. Below are the three reasons why you just can’t go wrong.
Add Color to a Black and White Palette
Whether you’re into bright moto styles or more traditional autumnal hues, adding some color to a black and white ensemble adds excitement to an otherwise basic outfit. This is also an easy way to wear the piece for drinks with friends or while running errands.
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 11th, 2014
By Andy Tran
The DC Shorts Film Festival is back. Starting tonight, 135 short films from 25 different countries hit local theaters in the District and Merrifield, showcasing the talent of storytelling in a two-to 30-minute span. New to the festival: 17 90-minute film showcases with a mix of drama, Sci-Fi, animation, documentaries, comedies and experimental films. Q&As with the filmmakers will follow the screenings, as well as parties.
To get you started, here is a taste of some Northern Virginia talent represented at the festival.
By Jaclyn Noel
“The Champion” is three- to four-minute film that centers on a young boy (played by Xandro Martin) who is enthralled by an Olympic swimming event. He dreams of being on the team, yet his initiative to practice ends with two broken arms. His fascination, however, is undaunted. Inspired by her college roommate, Kelly Marchisio, who had a dream of being a diver when she was a child, Jaclyn Noel directed, produced (with Nick Young) and wrote the film.
‘The Voyage of Discovery’
By Carla Schaffer
What inspires an artist? How do scientists bring their work to the masses in an intriguing way? And, is biology worthy of an artistic work? In Carla Schaffer‘s documentary, “The Voyage of Discovery,” the world of art meshing with science is brought to the forefront. Schaffer interviewed three D.C. artists—Jessica Beels, Ellyn Weiss and Michele Banks, whom she met while working at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)—about the inspiration of science in their creative process, and their goal of drawing interest to what scientists are doing.
By Joe Dzikiewicz
“12-step” is a screenplay written by Joe Dzikiewicz that follows Count Dracula as he enters a 12-step program to rehabilitate his past transgressions. He goes to a bar and tries to make amends with Mina, a damsel in distress who wants nothing to do with him. Frankenstein and The Wolfman also make appearances. Dzikiewicz will participate in the Screenplay Competition that allows the audience to listen to a table reading.
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.)
8,332 per square mile
71.3 percent of adults in Arlington have Bachelor’s degree
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 11th, 2014
By Danielle Harvey
When thinking about what investment pieces to buy each season, many people are looking for transitional staples that can be worn with almost anything. Accessories are the best bet for those who want to stay on trend without buying a whole new wardrobe. In seasons past, the oversized bag or statement necklaces were the go-to for fashion fanatics. Some of us are ready for a change so take a cue from the runways and street style experts and invest in the mini bag. Here are three looks for any stylish situation where the mini bag is anything but insignificant.
“OK, now everyone swipe to chapter 2.”
Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
By Danielle Harvey
Jewelry designer Paige Novick is showcasing her collection of fine jewelry at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland on September 11-12 from 10 a.m-5 p.m. The informal atmosphere is great for browsing the new pieces. Known for her trendy yet timeless designs, she’ll also be featuring her jewelry collection Phyne by Paige Novick. If you’re looking for that special piece or finishing touch for an outfit that you can’t wait to wear, be sure to view her collections before you go.
Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? If that sounds like you, head over to Old Town Alexandria for their 7th Annual Old Town Boutique District Scavenger Hunt on September 18-20. Attendees have the option of pre-registering for the event from September 5-15, which makes the first 200 participants eligible for a Baggu tote bag, printed passport and promotional packet. Stores participating in this event include The Shoe Hive, Hysteria and lou lou Boutique to name a few. Participants in the scavenger hunt also have the opportunity to win prizes and up to $3,500 in gift certificates by completing their passports from visiting each store. Hours vary depending on each retailer, so check out the event website to learn more.
The beauty retailer Bluemercury, Inc. is coming up on 15 years in the business. To celebrate they are offering complimentary makeovers, mini-facials and treatment in-stores and you can visit each of the three locations in Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. Stop by on September 13 from 10 a.m-7 p.m. In addition to hosting the in-store parties, the company is also giving attendees the chance to see their 15th Anniversary Best Sellers Collection. So visit their website for more details about the company or to browse products.
Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 5th, 2014
Leather details and varying heel heights make this shoe so versatile that it can be worn during any occasion. “Fall 2014 is all about the bootie and shoetie– designers have taken it in many different directions which allows anyone to incorporate this trend into their wardrobe,” Kelly Ferenc, owner of Bishop Boutique says.
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Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 4th, 2014
By Angela Bobo
New York Fashion Week is the time when designers dictate what we will be wearing for seasons to come, which is why the who’s who of the fashion world descend on the Big Apple to be the first in the know. We have always been advocates that NoVA has style and the fashion world must be listening as more and more local bloggers have become regular attendees. Two of the lucky few are Sarah Phillips and Michelle Marcinowski of the website 52 Thursdays who are attending 14 (!) shows this season. We spoke with the pair about their road to NYFW, shows they are looking forward to and most importantly—what are they wearing.
Perfect for street style photographers that will be shoe stalking. / Photo courtesy of Sarah Phillips.
The fashion week survival kit. / Photo courtesy of Sarah Phillips.
Spreading the hometown love with fashionable picks from local designer Erika Schrieber. / Photo courtesy of Sarah Phillips.
You can never go wrong with a classic Chanel purse. / Photo courtesy of Sarah Phillips.
Q: What brings you to New York Fashion Week this year?
We are really excited because this is our first time covering NYFW with our blog. Going to NYFW was both our dreams when we decided to collaborate on our blog and we are so excited to have made it in our first year. We are so honored to explore and share our experiences with our readers!
Q: What are your bag essentials to carry you from show to show during such a busy time?
This is so important. We wish we could just roll around a suitcase with us to fit everything that we need, but that would just be ridiculous! Both our bags will carry our iPhones to keep up with instagram, along with external chargers because we know we will drain them within the first hours from all the instagraming. We learned from MBFW in Miami the little time you have to eat, so protein bars and small snacks are a must this time around for energy. Business cards, of course, because you never know who you will run into. Sunglasses, gum and lip gloss are just your day to day essentials and MOST importantly, we are carrying our Cannon 6D and extra camera battery to cover all the shows to share later with our readers!
Q: Most importantly, what are you planning to wear?!
What do you wear to an event where the best dressed people in the entire world are you ask?! Being first timers, we haven’t the slightest clue! Jk, we are trying to stay true to our style, dressed up but comfortable enough to run from show to show. We will be packing a few staples from Addison, classic tees and button downs by Everlane, our favorite rings by Stephanie Sheehan, crops and pencil skirts by local designer Erika Schrieber (gotta represent DC!!), a fabulous pair of J Mendel leather pants we found at Ella Rue, and a killer YSL bag from our friends at Bag, Borrow, Steal.
Q: How many shows are you attending and which are you most looking forward to?
We were super excited to even get approved for press credentials by Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, so when the invitations kept rolling in we were pretty amazed at how many companies wanted us there. We are so thrilled to be attending 14 shows and are especially excited about J Godfrey, Zimmerman and Custo Barcelona and the Altuzarra for Target Presentation. We are looking forward to these big name designers but honestly really looking forward to viewing the newest, first time designers because you never know, we might just discover the next big thing!
Q: Did you do any Fashion Week preparation?
We did a little research on the designers showing and made sure to reserve our seats and set up our schedule for the busy week ahead to ensure we make full use of our time up there. And of course we had to do some shopping to look the part while we are there!
Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
By Danielle Harvey
Get those walking shoes ready for September 18. The Shoe Hive, Hysteria and Sara Campbell are hosting the first annual fashion walk from Fairfax to Royal Street in Alexandria. The event is free and open to anyone. Enjoy cocktails at The Shoe Hive and Hysteria while browsing the latest collections from 6-7p.m. The runway shows at Sara Campbell will feature three categories including casual wear, work attire and evening wear at 7:30p.m and 8:30p.m. Guests can expect to see trends ranging from leather and houndstooth details to peplum tops and animal print dresses just to name a few. The informal atmosphere features a runway carpet with space to admire the looks being shown while people are shopping. With models showcasing options for any occasion, attendees will be ready for any fashionable moment fall brings their way. All three stores offer a free gift with purchase and guests can also register to win a gift card at each location.
“If you don’t Instagram Crossfit, it didn’t happen”