Archive for the ‘Inside DC Style Factory’ Category

October 15th, 2015

DC Style Factory at Washingtonian Style Setters

On Tuesday, September 29th I had the pleasure of attending Washingtonian Magazine’s Style Setters Event. I also had an even greater pleasure of styling my friend and  Events Manager Jessi Taff for this event. A few weeks before the event, we met at Bloomingdales and  picked a gorgeous brocade Aqua dress. We paired with some killer  Pour la Victoire metallic strappy heels. She looked and felt beautiful.

Now, back to the event…Fashionistas flocked to The Anderson House to celebrate the ten best-dressed men and women in the DC area as featured in the September issue of the Washingtonian.  Invitees included past Style Setters award-winners, fashion bloggers, VIP guests from the retail industry, and members of the media. The event sponsor, City Center, showcased their luxury retailers and restaurants with stylish mannequins, accessory vignettes, and food stations. Every inch of the historic and stunning Anderson House was filled with the latest fashion trends from Zadig & Voltaire, Arc’Teryx, Paul Stuart, Vince, Caudalie, Carolina Herrera, Longchamp and The Great Republic.

I, along with many fellow stiletto-wearing partygoers, kicked up my heels and relaxed in gorgeous lounges designed by Syzygy Event Production while sipping on a speciality cocktail from Mango Tree and eating scrumptious cucumber bites from Fig & Olive. Provisions Catering served delectable fare including an assortment of sushi, coconut chicken, tuna tartar in wonton cups, and mini shrimp tacos. There was even a photobooth donated by Alist Photo Booth to capture stylish guests in party mode. I danced the night away with beats from Bruce Pike Productions.

Some of the Event’s Honorees (From Left to Right): Sara Bonjean, Victor Zapanta, Washingtonian’s Sarah Zlotnik, Carl Pierre, Carl Ray, Cathy Anderson and Mera Anwar

I loved seeing DC put its most stylish foot forward…and getting dolled up myself (new hair!). More than anything, I was so happy to  support my friend, Jessi both before the event, putting together her look, and also the night of Style Setters. Kudos to this amazing woman for a memorable and fabulous night.

To find out more about DC Style Factory Stylist Marisa’s styling services, visit or email her at [email protected]





September 16th, 2015

DC Style Factory Showcases Fall Style at Urban Alliance Event

Last Wednesday, DC Style Factory partnered with PopNod  and hosted a fall fashion event to benefit DC’s  Urban Alliance. The stylish soiree took place on the rooftop of Embassy Row Hotel DC - with a breathtaking view and sunset over Dupont Circle. The evening’s good vibes centered around the mission of the Urban Alliance — to mentor and provide opportunity to under-resourced highschool seniors in DC, Baltimore and Chicago. More than 100 revelers joined us to  support the organization and usher in the fall fashion season.

DC Style Factory styled and produced the highlight of the evening’s festivities — a fashion showcase of the season’s best trends to  wear work and after work. Women’s looks were from Betsy Fisher on Connecticut Avenue, NW. Hair and makeup by Sunny Oh of D Sharpe Style in Bethesda.

Men’s looks were Ted Baker, Hugo Boss and AG denim.  For guys, style topics and trends included monochromatic grey, mixing of pattern and texture, the Chelsea Boot, and how to wear denim on Casual Fridays at the office. For ladies, I talked about updates to the classic trench, the power of the pencil skirt, mixing patterns and menswear-inspired looks that are still going strong this season.

Models were in on the Urban Alliance mission: each of the six looks was worn by Urban Alliance program graduates, mentors,  and  staff that keep the mission wheels moving.  Each model strutted — some eating up the spotlight and photography flashes like seasoned catwalk professionals — around the glowing, lit pool. The guests greeted each model and look with collective “oooohs” and “aaaaahs.”

The event was just the start of a bigger campaign on to benefit Urban Alliance interns: Fashion with an Impact. Visit this Style Story page on PopNod  and learn how you can shop with meaning. We all know the power of that first impression when it comes to landing a job.  You can now be a part of helping a young person make that great first impression.  PopNod shoppers can  purchase clothing that will be shipped directly to the Urban Alliance and gifted to intern graduates embarking on their professional journey.

The evening was best summed up by one of our models, Johnnie Wallace (he’s the dapper fellow in monochromatic grey) who works at Alexandria Renew Enterprises. Alexandria Renew sponsors two Urban Alliance interns annually, and Wallace mentors these interns:

“I grew up in an ‘underserved’ home and community.  I didn’t have the support or my birth mother to pursue anything past the government assistance or “street” life that surrounded me as a child.  I found mentors in people outside of my home and community that guided me through tough times as a homeless teenager. This  ultimately led to my happiness and success today.  I want to have an impact on youth who may not have the guidance and assistance within their home to soar past their perceived limitations and into higher education, successful careers, and positions as community and family leaders. I strive everyday with my interns to ensure they are proud of their differences and that taking the road less desired makes them stronger than those who have inherited support.  Imagine if every capable adult served as Urban Alliance like mentor to just one youth within our country. We would have less teenage parents.  We would significantly decrease the high school dropout rate and increase the higher education acceptance rate.  We would have less crime and more youth contributing to society and not behind bars.  I am living proof that positive mentorship at an impressionable age can change the course of someone’s life.”

Enjoy some of the gorgeous snaps by E. Brady Robinson of our fabulous evening.  Our team was honored to be a part of  this event, and I know I will remember it for a long, long time.


August 28th, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Northern Virginia Magazine Fall Photoshoot




A month ago, our team had the pleasure of styling a 13-page  spread for the September issue of Northern Virginia Magazine. Our daily work life is rooted in one-on-one client work — real people, real-life style. It was so much fun to step outside the norm and work on an editorial shoot where our style imaginations could run wild.

We conceptuatlized the Neo-Victorian-themed shoot,  scouted, pulled, dressed. Everyone brought something special to the table and the result was magical. Pick up a copy today and check out one of the hottest fashion trends this fall. In the meantime, watch what happened behind the scenes during our shoot (including a torrential downpour).  Special thank you to the wonderful team at Northern Virginia Magazine and my tireless staff ,  N’jeri and Tanvi.


August 21st, 2015

What My Personal Stylist Taught Me: What Worked Then May Not Work Now

I get selfies from clients all the time. It’s one of the most fun parts of my job — seeing in real time the clients I have bonded with happy and excited about how they look.

If you have worked with me, you know there are some tried-and-true Rosana-isms that get the style ball rolling. For example, you’re likely to hear, “We can do better!” when I visit your closet and see that, in fact, we can do better. Then to actually see clients embrace their new style is absolutely the best part of what I do each day.

Last week I asked a couple  of my favorite selfie-taking clients to tell me what is the most important style lesson they learned from me. Here’s what they had to say:


“Julie,” 45

“What worked for you in the past may  not work for you today. My body had transformed over several decades. But I was still putting the same shapes and silhouettes I had always worn over my current body. It didnt’ work. I learned to consider other styles and silhouettes for where I am today.”


“Katie,” 36

“Just because you have kids, work from home, or want to be comfy doesn’t mean you should run around in yoga pants. You can have a relaxed style without looking like you are cleaning your house or going to the gym. You just need the right pieces to do it!”

Ready to learn something new about your style and get on my roster of selfie-taking beauties? Email [email protected] to find out more today!


July 21st, 2015

Style Diary: Last-Minute Dress Shopping from DC to Chicago

Sometimes my job throws me curveballs.

I started working with a new client this summer — a 40-something “desperate Washingtonian real-size woman.” We did an initial consult on her closet and then booked a shopping trip. She was “cusp size,” which means a straight size 14 or 16 is often snug (along her bustline mainly), but a 16W or 18W are then often roomy. Took some creative maneuvering but we got her what she needed before her move to her new home in Alexandria. She was thrilled. I was thrilled. We laughed. We hugged. I sent her on her merry sartorial way.

Then I got an email from her with “Semi Emergency” in the subject line. In the midst of moving, shopping for work clothing, etc., she had forgotten that she hated her formal party dress options. And she had a wedding. That Saturday. In Chicago. Flight Thursday…and it was Monday.

“No problem!” I cheerily emailed her. I started strategizing how I would make this work on a tight time frame with what I knew would be slim pickings during this mid-summer season.

First step — local. I went and scouted Nordstrom and a few other retailers. The plan was to put on hold dresses for her to try on by herself after work.

Nope. We are not Mother of the Bride.

Nope. We are not Mother of the Bride.

As I guessed — slim pickings. Nothing spoke to me and, knowing her personal style, I knew she would NOT be happy with the selection. No-go on the local stuff. We would have to take this search online and do some overnighting. We went on ASOS and founds some great options on ASOS Curve that fit her style.




She loved the ASOS dresses. I told her to order stat!

ASOS is in England so we were going to be cutting things rather close. But, she was game for doing the overnight shipping. Except…in ASOS terms that actually takes four days (buyer beware).

Back to the drawing board. Time was ticking. She would be boarding a plane soon and there was no time left to order or scrounge up a local dress that she would be “meh” about anyhow.

The Nordstrom in downtown Chicago is pretty spectacular so I decided to figure out how to get some stylish eyes out there to help me secure some dresses for my client to try on.

I texted my bestie.

“Help. Client traveling to Chicago for wedding. Stop. Can you head to Nordstrom and look at dresses? Stop. I will send you pictures of what we want, plus sizing and body-type specifics. Please say, “yes.” Stop.”

My friend Rachel is stylish. I mean she is in a cool indie rock band out in Chicago with her husband. Truth be told, she keeps ME hip. But, she hasn’t worked with styling individuals, body types, etc. I knew I would need to give her  specifics about my client, tell her what departments to go to, and have her send me pictures. I sent her pictures of some of the ASOS dresses my client really liked. I knew keeping it simple was key. We were on a tight time frame and would need to just get the fit and silhouette right. No party dress bells and whistles.

Understated chic was going to the name of this style game.

I texted my client and told her I had someone in Chicago that was going to pull dresses for her to try on Friday morning before her friend’s wedding on Saturday.

“You are my hero!” she wrote back. Well…I haven’t found the dress yet, I wanted to tell her. Don’t count your chickens, right? But I am a professional. As in a PRO-fessional shopper. Which means I get it done. No matter what. There is no crying in professional shopping… or giving up.

The search was on. It was early evening, and I was at the pool with my kids when pictures started streaming in from Rachel:

"Too work-y."

Too work-y.

Sheer lace back won't accommodate bra.

Nice but maybe not festive enough.


The lace back won’t accommodate a bra.

 "Cute but it is an evening wedding and yellow feels a little too daytime."

Cute but it is an evening wedding and yellow feels a little too daytime.

We found a few promising dresses at Nordstrom. Pretty simple LBDs. Silhouettes looked good. Had Rachel put them on hold and let my client know exactly where to pick up.

Friday morning I messaged my client: “Up and at ‘em!” (Yes, I can also be a style drill sergeant). I wanted to make sure she had a least a couple of dresses to choose from by that afternoon. The wedding was the next day! She messaged me that she was on her way, and I waited in nervous anticipation for her texts.

Tick, tick, tick.

Tick, tick, tick.

Fingers crossed. Sweating. Please let this work. Please let this work. Please let this work.

First picture came through…with this message:



She paired her new LBD,  with a fun cape-like detail around the arms, with Franco Sarto wedges we had purchased for her during our DC shopping excursion. My client went to her friend’s wedding and felt beautiful.



And me? I lit a candle for the style gods…and ate a bag of (celebratory) cookies.