Monday, September 20, 2010

dc fashion week -- a probably pretty accurate pre-review

Get ready, everyone, it's the most mediocre time of year again! That's right, it's time to pull your most fancy ill-fitting pants suit out of the closet and dust off your square-toe, box-heel shoes because it's DC Fashion Week! And this year the event is serving up just as many oxymorons as ever.

Before moving onto the "fashion," though, let's start with the sponsors. Move over, New York! Get out of the way, Paris! Suck on this, Milan! The only Fashion Week being sponsored by AARP this year is DC's!

No, really. AARP is a sponsor. Some of the others, who are equally as hip and fashion-forward, are über-hipster publication The Washington Times, an apartment complex in NE, and Roomorama, which Google tells me is some kind of Craigslist for finding short-term rentals. So yeah, New York, you can keep your sh*tty sponsors like Maybelline and Mercedes in your pocket! WE'RE DOING JUST FINE HERE! (For a city whose idea of haute couture is Brooks Brothers.)

And also, who needs the tents in Bryant Park when you have various embassies and the Doubletree Hotel (um, seriously) in Crystal City to host your events? In fact, since most of DC Fashion Week isn't even technically in DC, we should probably just change the name to World Fashion Week! TAKE THAT, EARTH!

But enough about the stale bread of this puke sandwich, let's take a look at the head cheese, Fluff® and rat droppings that make up the meat! Unfortunately, most DC Fashion Week designers are smart enough not to post their work on the Web (I imagine because it makes it a lot harder for assholes like me and legitimate fashion critics to critique), so short descriptions will have to suffice:
  • Ukraine will once again grace us with its top tastemaker, Aleksey.
  • Awkward acronym-lovers APOSOL (Aspiring People Overcoming Situations of Life) and Descai (Distinctive, Elegant, Style, Class, Attitude and Intrigue) will show their very sophisticated collections of sweatshirts and booty shorts.
  • Compound noun makers Divanista (Diva + Fashionista, duh!) and Glamfurs will do whatever it is they do -- they could not be Googled.
  • Alliteration specialist Glamorous Gowns by Glynn will show Glynn's glamorous gowns.
  • Brazillian swimwear designer Carioca will show a lot of speedos with words on the crotch.
  • Heydari will bring her best C-game (the "C" stands for "curtain") to DC.
  • Leona Edmiston will come all the way from New Zealand to show her RTWTAT (Ready To Wear to Ann Taylor) collection.
  • L-Shandi will bring all the things she's sewn from McCalls patterns to the runway.
  • Chicos called Samira Atash. They want their designs back. However, what's good enough for Chicos is good enough for DC!
  • Silva Designs will make their models look like clown hookers.
  • And Victor Hou will make his models look like regular hookers.
But alas, not every designer of the week seems to have been inspired by some combination of Forever 21, Talbots and a basement full of taffeta scraps. Andrew Nowell, Konstantina Mittas, Liliya Poustovit and Knaf Couture all have a point of view that, while perhaps not totally my taste (although some of it is actually very nice), at least shows something interesting and new. I guess the bigger question for them is, why are they here?

An even bigger question, though, is where do you think the DCFW after party will go down? I'm guessing either the Pentagon City Mall or the Motel 6 in Alexandria. They'll leave the light on for you. Although you might want to turn it off if you're dressed in most of the clothes from Fashion Week...

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sit back and wait for my VIP invite to roll in.


Sara said...

So I remember that DC actually had pretty decent fashion sense when compared with cities like uhm Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs. Hello sweats with words on the butt, fake uggs with salt stains, and baggy oversized sweatshirts with the name of some sports team, better yet if it's from high school. And what did we just see from summer? Flip flops that looked flopped out, shorts so short that the pockets stuck through. Remember in middle school when that used to be trashy? Well, it's not anymore! My all-time favorite is some ultra tight tank with belly rolls sticking out. Yes, we really are a fashionista's dream here in the Midwest.

Lisa Rowan said...

AGREE! Also, a jab at Chico's earns you 3,00000 cool points.

Anonymous said...

Funny as hell!! Bumperstickers I'll be selling at DC Fashion Week:
"Welcome to Washington DC, the nation's newest fashion capitol...where Beige IS the New Black."

All seriousness aside, I've been trying to get a volunteer gig at this thing for weeks (I'm a Frustrated Fashionista Transplant from L.A.). As a former fashion school attendee (fancy for drop-out) and a current cosmetology student (can't say where lest I be flogged), I figured it would look good to have DC Fashion Week on my resume as I try to become a big fish in DC's little Potomac. I have to say that your take on it makes me feel a little bit better about the three rejections I got when I attempted to render my "services."

I've resolved to read about it in the Express and then use the Vogue Patterns designer's pages to line my pet newt's aquarium.

Seriously,thanks for the chuckles!!

Peter said...

Funny post but to be fair to the DC Fashion Week crew, only one of the events is held out of DC at the Double Tree. One was held at the Textile Museum (which was beautiful), one at the Ukraine embassy and another at the French embassy. I do like the variety of the designers, they have almost what. . .30 of them from all over the world and not just locals. I mean some of the stuff is not my cup of tea, but I get it.

I thought your post was a tad bit harsh however. Sure, DC is not known for fashion but at least someone is trying to do something and they are doing a helluva good job trying.

Marissa said...


Oh no, that is definitely a myth. DC is notoriously frumpy. Maybe not in the Midwest way, but in the way that involves a lot of pleated khakis. It's like in the Midwest they don't try so that's their excuse. But in DC, they actually try, however, they do not make it work most of the time...


Ever since they got Michael Phelps's mom to be the spokeswoman, well, mocking of it can't be helped...


You're welcome. And, really, if you're serious about fashion, I would not feel bad about not participating in Fashion Week. It's probably a compliment to get turned away actually. It's funny. DCist is doing interviews of local designers, yet the ones they're choosing to profile don't have a spot in the show... I guess they're too talented???


I agree, I was very harsh, but that's the nature of the fashion business, or art in general. Expect criticism. Hell, I expect it on this blog because the writing I do here I consider more of an art than any sort of journalism.

I just think this whole DC fashion week is a bit over-trumpeted. There are some really great local designers here, but almost NONE of them are in DC fashion week. Instead, they fly in a bunch of middling "international" folks so they can call this a world event. It's not good. Seriously, when AARP is your sponsor, something is very wrong...

Anonymous said...

That must be u in the picture! If so, it's quite understandable why your review is so confused and ridiculous because obviously you don't know a damn thing about TRUE fashion!

Marissa said...


I'll take that as a compliment. Bruno has a fabulous figure!

And for the record, if you're in the fashion industry (or anything having to do with the arts), you should probably learn how to deal with criticism.

Anonymous said...

i actually think dc fashion week is way better than the shit baltimore has been trying to do for the past couple years i wish they would stop

dcfashionweeknovelist said...

how is the general seating? thinking of buying tickets to general seating (front row seats are sold out). will i be able to see anything?


Anonymous said...

This was too funny, I was rolling on the floor. DC Fashion Week sucks.

Anonymous said...

Lol! Will you be giving your opinion to this year's show?

Anonymous said...

DCFW is a long-running scam. It cons consumers out of fees for worthless products and services. It exploits ignorant and inexperienced models and designers. Please avoid this disreputable event. DON’T GO! The company’s and founder’s tax-exempt status is a hoax.