Op-Ed: Why National Publications are Flocking to DC
by ATFDC Contributor Kelsi Zimmerman
On weekdays in Washington, DC most people you will see are wearing uniformed suits and ties while on the weekends the National Mall is flooded with tourists in brightly colored t-shirts, socks, sneakers, and bucket hats. Somewhere in between a fashion-forward scene is on the rise.
More national fashion publications have been buzzing around the streets of DC to scope out what government officials, White House staff, and correspondents are wearing. This year it looks like they have had more to write home about.
In March 2012, Elle Magazine regarded DC’s new found style and placement on the fashionable city maps as being “so first-term Obama.” Polished, traditional, preppy shapes, but with bolder mash-ups of fabrics, well endorsed by Michelle Obama now flood the streets. Mrs. Obama’s style is relatively endorsed through retailers all over the city. Boutiques such as Lou Lou on Wisconsin Ave NW are good places to find statement jewelry pieces resembling those worn by the First Lady.
The First Lady’s wardrobe in its entirety has been a strong influence in getting DC’s fashion industry noticed, election year or not. The sightings of Michelle Obama in a designer such as Alexander McQueen who was known for his innovative designs, has inspired Fashiontonians to add color to their traditional work uniforms. And it’s actually happened! The trickle-down affect has definitely been implemented throughout the Capital over the past four years as women on Capitol Hill, have been spotted wearing edgier pieces now, in comparison to the ultra-conservative Laura Bush era.
Then of course there is the rare-bird, those locals found throughout the District of Columbia who do not work for the government, that sport a more modern and innovative sense of style. Where unlike downtown, patterned garments, leather and metallic are all more common than blue and red ties. The artistic subcultures throughout the city in its various neighborhoods and the Fashiontonians who were born and raised here bring cultural inspirations to the not-so traditional, non-government employees.
It could be DC’s music scene with its own subcultures-street music, jazz, hip-hop and emo as well as its fashion-forward listeners getting DC noticed in the fashion world. Each genre of music inspires the “rare-birds” to endorse their own sense of style. Hip-hop club goers embrace the current craze for must-have basketball sneakers. While emo music fans (emo music which is a product of the Washington, DC, originating from punk-rock in the ’80′s) will find their dark vintage clothing from one of the areas’ various vintage stores. Whether it is Georgetown’s Deja Blue skinny jeans, or Mt. Pleasant’s Nana for anything in between to acquire their local style.
Whether it is Michelle Obama that cannot stay out of national fashion magazines for her traditional style altered by dashes of color, that is getting DC noticed in the fashion world, or on the opposite side of the spectrum; the local music scene, and its fashion-forward followers, Washington, DC residents are now being noticed by fashion publications of all sorts for the their style. In fact, just this past Saturday Jun.9 Glamour Magazine was spotted around town getting “street style” shots of Fashiontonians. It is safe to say that DC’s citizens are not just the poster children for “What to wear for a Government Job” anymore, but representatives of a city with an up-and-coming style seen as classic with an urban edge.
Featured Photo Credit: SpicyCandyDC
A 21 year old Maryland Native and Senior Fashion Merchandising major at Stevenson University fashion has consumed Kelsi’s life from a young age and continues to as she travels to experience the fashion scenes from various cities across the world. Kelsi is thrilled to be back in the DMV and help bring to light the rising fashion scene right here in DC.