Conventional wisdom has it that Washington can't dress. Images of wonky guys in suits and women in white sneakers on Metro ensure the town's reputation as frumpy in the national imagination. In honor of D.C. Fashion Week, which kicked off Monday, TBD's Lisa Rowan consulted designers and merchants for their take on Washington fashion. The bad news: we're still frumpy. The good news: we're getting better!
D.C. fashion: "Not that bad"
"I don't think D.C. is that bad. It's a little more uptight. Careful."
Dawn Han, designer.
Washingtonians too focused on power to embrace fashion
“There’s definitely a push to become a more fashionable city. Overall it’s very difficult because the mentality is different, people are focused on power and prestige and...don’t see fashion as an art. The city has a long way to go.”
Aaron Griffith, label president.
D.C.'s men not unlike hip-hop duo
"A lot of the guys dress like OutKast.”
D.C.: untouched by the Lady Gaga factor
“I just don’t see it, there’s not a home for it. It’s like the Lady Gaga factor where it’s suddenly OK to be a little outrageous. There’s really not that market in D.C. saying it’s OK.”
Daniella Kallmeyer, designer.
Designer knows little of D.C. but declares stores "wonderful"
"I can't say much about it, but I do know there are some wonderful stores there that buy our products."
Yoana Baraschi, designer.
Washingtonians' fashion is not bad just "different"
"D.C.'s fashion goals are different from other areas in the country because we are focused on work-based fashion. So, there is a practicality there.”
Kaarin Moore, wardrobe consultant.
Washingtonians "claim conservativeness"
"D.C. is conservative, classic, and irreverent. The cool thing is that people claim that conservativeness.”
Kely Muccio, boutique owner.
Store manager aspires to make D.C. less dry
"My goal is to change the opinion of fashion in D.C. You don't have to be dry to be taken seriously."
Jenny Zinn, store manager.
D.C. must step up
“People in D.C. are so political. New York is more about lifestyle. [Lifestyle clothing] will work in D.C. when they’re ready to step up.”
Bukola Are, designer.