October 21st, 2014

Inside DC Style Factory: New Service, Gift Shopping

We realize Halloween is not even here yet. BUT…we are all about planning head over here at DC Style Factory.

This fall/winter season, we are launching a new service: gift shopping. Stylist Jenn Barger will be spearheading this new service. With  years of experience sniffing out the perfect gift for any and every occasion, Jenn will make your holiday  season stress-free and FUN.

Call 301.793.1075 or email dcstylefactory@gmail.com today for more information and to book your initial consult with Jenn!

October 20th, 2014

Fall Weekend: Spinosaurus, Global Food and My New Scarf

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This past weekend, I truly felt it for the first time: Fall. Like many families, we had a weekend chock full of kids’ sporting events. I’ll be honest, we do love being an active, busy family, but I am looking forward to a winter of very little activity where we hibernate and subsist on warm baked goods.

But back to this weekend. We did make it out to one of our favorite places in the city — the National Geographic Museum. Every time there is a new exhibit  we head down to 17th to check it out. We’ve seen them all — Planet Weather Patterns, Pirates, Peruvian Gold, Pompeii…the list goes on. The last few times, we have gone in the afternoon and then done a family dinner out at Ted’s Bulletin on the way home (breakfast for dinner, anyone?)

We don’t do the hectic Smithsonian museums very often. Nat Geo  and the National Building Museum are our go-tos. We always learn something new (all of us)  and it just feels…leisurely, which is what we all look for during the course of a weekend.

Currently, the museum has a Spinosaurus exhibit open until April. We’re talking the biggest and baddest meat-eating dinosaur to have walked the earth. When we told the kids this guy was even more ferocious than a T-Rex? Hello! Sold.

So we trucked down there in the late afternoon and were not disappointed. What was surprising is that it was not the Spinosaurus in all its spined-and-slanted-sharp-teeth glory that grabbed and held our attention. It was the Food: Our Global Kitchen.

I mean this exhibit had it all: heart (check out the video about how meals tie us to our cultures); a conscience (an actual display of how much food a family of four in the U.S. wastes each year); and the wow factor (an interactive cooking/recipe electronic table).

We all left hungry and excited to try out new recipes. And, I am definitely shopping the Farmer’s Market this weekend ;)

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What I wore: De Nada Design Infinity Ladder scarf, Gap skinny jeans, Rebecca Minkoff Hudston Moto cobalt crossbody, J.Crew cashmere poncho.

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October 16th, 2014

Spotlight on Local Boutiques at Fall Style Event

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DC Style Factory returned to DC Noodles on U Street last Thursday to showcase the latest looks of the season — this time partnering with local boutiques Betsy Fisher, GoodWood, Proper Topper and EmporiumDNA. Modeling the looks were local bloggers and fashion mavens Monling Lee, Tammy Preston of  A Loyal Love, Jessica McFadden of A Parent in America and Maria Jose Ovalle of A Very Busy Mama.

Our business is about working with individual clients to put their best food forward; it’s about personal style, and what looks/feels good based on your body type, personality and lifestyle. We believe it matters. For that reason, when we styled our bloggers, it wasn’t just about what we thought looked good on them, but also what they  felt good wearing.

We all had a blast eating, drinking, laughing, and oohing and aaahing over all the the gorgeous fall looks (oversize coats, printed silk track pants, ponchos, leather moto jackets, menswear-inspired  sleeveless blazers, and oh the color!).  Happy jacket-sweater-boot season to everyone and a special thank you to  all who came out to join us!

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October 14th, 2014

Celebs, Aiming for Runway Riches

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Veteran style scribe Teri Agins  has covered the business and the buzz of the fashion world for more than two decades at the Wall Street Journal, where she pens the popular Ask Teri column. Known for her incisive commentary on everything from couture trends to marketing mishaps, she just wrote a new book, “Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities are Stealing the Spotlight from Fashion Designers” ($28, Gotham Books).

It catwalks through the trend toward actors and singers morphing into fashion entrepreneurs, delving into the good (the Olsen twins superlative, simple garments for The Row), the bad (Lindsay Lohan as a brand ambassador for Ungaro) and the just plain bizarre (there are dozens of Paris Hilton accessories shops in the Middle East and South America). We chatted with her about the star-studded read just before she appears in DC October 20 to chat about it with Washington Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan at Mazza Gallerie

 

Why did celebrities get so interested in fashion?

Blame it in on the internet! It created all these new media channels that needed to be filled with information. It made celebrities get bigger and bigger, and they started to say, ‘Hey, I can be a designer too! I’m an arbiter of taste, and I have an army of social media followers.’

 

Isn’t a lot of it about money, too?

Yes — the bigger issue is that famous people are trying to find ways to monetize their fame. They’ve been robbed of money by reality shows, and there are no more $20 million paydays in movies. So if you are somebody famous, you want to get paid for your fame.

 

Some celebs just dabble in fashion, but what about the ones who really become known for it, like the Olsen twins or Victoria Beckham? What are they doing differently from say, Lindsay Lohan or Justin Beiber with his cologne?

The difference is they are doing it full time — it’s not just something on the side. Fashion is a full time job. And with The Row, the Olsen girls really found white space. They knew there was a critical mass of affluent women who wanted really cool basics — the perfect leather leggings,  a perfect T-shirt.

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What happens if celebrities do an endorsement or a deal, and it doesn’t turn out well? You talk about a collaboration between the Kardashian sisters and Sears that ended up being pretty dismal.

Well, I don’t think it hurt their brand. And the last time I checked they were doing another collection for kids with Babies R Us (Kardashian Kids ). So yes, the product was kind of shabby at Sears, but the Kardashians brought in eyeballs to look at Sears like never before. None of those girls would’ve walked into Sears unless it was to buy a grill or washing machine. So that did work. It got people in the door.

 

The book also talks about how traditional designers — Michael Kors, Tom Ford – have realized they, too, have to be celebrities to sell their clothes. Why is that key?

I think Michael Kors is a great example — he was an immediate impact on his business after joining “Project Runway.”  He went on it hoping to make some noise, and he suddenly had a young group of adoring fans. Now most of these designers are savvy — they know they have to have a celebrity factor in their wheelhouse. It’s about getting people to care about them and see them as a person.

 

You talk a lot in the book about how we’re a dress-down nation now. How has that changed fashion?

Dress down nation happened when dress codes went away in the late 1990s. It meant people were spending less money on clothing, because casual wear doesn’t go out of style quickly, and it isn’t expensive. And the fashion industry had to figure out how to keep people buying. So they created expensive handbags and zeroed in on shoes. And in turn, you know see celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker with their own accessories lines.

To hear more from Teri Agins next Monday, purchase tickets for her Washington, DC event online .

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Post by DC Style Factory stylist, Jenn Barger. Jenn has 13 years’ experience working as a fashion  journalist in the nation’s capitol. Her DC Style Factory clients include professional Washingtonians looking to add unusual, funky pieces to their classic DC wardrobes. She specializes in vintage shopping and is an expert in combining pieces with history with new, modern looks. Email dcstylefactory@gmail.com to work with Jenn.

October 3rd, 2014

Investment Piece: Vince Sweater Tunic

There are some clothing pieces to invest in — pieces that are unique, can be worn many different ways and have staying power in your closet. The pieces that have these qualities in my own closet are Vince pieces. They are those elevated basics. They are not flashy, shiny or ruffled, but they do have an understated cool. I recently purchased this cozy cashmere Vince sweater tunic for a client. We styled it no less than 10 different ways with items from her own closet. And I know she’ll be wearing it for years to come.
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What special pieces are you investing in this fall/winter?