What We Love This Month: District of Chic

As we mentioned in our newsletter, we are absolutely loving local lifestyle blog District of Chic! We wanted to chat with the creator and editor, E, to discuss her style and spring trend tips. Here’s what she had to say…
Q: What do you love most about your blog?
A: One of my favorite things is to look back at some of the places my husband and I have traveled and explored around the D.C. area. It’s like having an online scrapbook! I also use it to document my favorite recipes. (which I reuse often in my daily cooking) and favorite restaurants. We’re big foodies!
Q: What do you think is the easiest way to transition your wardrobe to spring?
A: Pairing a nice tailored blazer or sleek leather jacket with warmer weather pieces is a very easy way to integrate spring dresses and tops. At this point, I’m strongly resisting tights so flared denim with high-heeled statement sandals is another great way to bring out spring pieces on cooler nights.
Q: What are your spring essentials?
A: Right now I’m stocking up on bandanas, skinny scarves, and wide belts. They’re an inexpensive easy way to update tried and true staples for the new season.
Q: What is your favorite spring trend this season?
 A: All things 70s! Flared denim, long, flowy dresses. I’m also loving just about anything fringed!
Q: What are your top three things to pack for a spring break get-a-way?
A: My go-tos are always soft knit dresses that won’t wrinkle, denim cut-offs, and light breathable tops. Throw in a pair of heels and a pair of flats and you’re good to go!
(Photos Courtesy of E)
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Vendor of the Month: Dandelion Patch

As promised in our newsletter this month, we sat down with Heidi Kallett of the Dandelion Patch to get some invitation tips. Heidi also shared her perspective on current paper trends and invitation etiquette. After being in the industry for so many years and opening two successful storefronts between Vienna and Georgetown, we were so excited to have Heidi share some of her expertise with us!

Q: What do you love most about your job and what made you decide to open Dandelion Patch?

A: I love so many things about being in this creative, personal, and beautiful event world! But honestly, I mostly love that through our custom invitations we are permanently part of our client’s milestone events: babies, mitzvahs, weddings, birthdays and retirements. We really see the entire life-cycle of our loyal customers.

Q: With so many paper options and designs how do you help couples figure out which invitation design is best for them?

A: We believe that an invitation suite is the first glimpse into the details of the big day. Style, colors, texture and more… custom wedding invitations really reflect the personality of the couple. Usually, when couples come to us- they have an entire pinterest board dedicated to everything from florals to dresses! And as we all know- a picture is worth a thousand words. From a carefully curated Pinterest Board and a couple of dedicated hours, we can help a couple determine their style and create a custom and personal reflection of that style.

 Q: What is the best advice you can give when it comes to invitations?

A: After 10 years of being in the business, I still find that many wedding publications and blogs promote incorrect timelines and etiquette. I realize that you can research online while you’re at work or at home in your slippers. However, a reputable stationer can help guide you through the many necessary choices between paper quality, printing methods, product options, design elements, and those pesky etiquette questions. Honestly, a good stationer will save a ton of time and many possible (and costly) mistakes.

Q: What is your favorite paper/invitation trend right now?

A: I can’t get enough of the watercolor ombre trends right now! Muted pastel palettes with shades of similar colors are hot, hot, hot. I think it takes a talented designer and stationer to pull of the ‘matching’ but ‘not matching exactly’ concept that is so very popular right now.

Q: What are some of your favorite invitations you’ve ever designed? (See below for Heidi’s top picks)

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Photo: Michelle Lindsay

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Photo: Dandelion Patch

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Photo: Katie Stoops

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Photo: Dandelion Patch

Real Bride: Thalia Attinger

 Thalia Attinger and her husband Sam Farnum wed on December 14, 2014 in Montigo Bay, Jamaica at the Half Moon Bay Resort.  As we mentioned in our newlsetter, the couple exchanged their vows on the beach, but only after the skies cleared at the last second! After a romantic beach ceremony, the pair celebrated with family and friends under and open air patio. Guests enjoyed island specialties, including an incredible seafood spread, while sipping on tropical drinks and dancing the night away. The bride and groom ended the night around a bonfire on the beach. Thalia wore a Monique Lhuillier gown before changing into a short white summer dress.

Photos by: Michael Saab

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What We Love This Month: Trunk Club

In our April newsletter we featured Trunk Club, D.C.’s hidden gem for stylish men. In case you missed it, here is a recap!

Originally based out of Chicago, the men’s clothier has now spread around the country with offices in several major cities including Washington D.C. Located near Chinatown, Trunk Club offers private label clothing, custom suits, and other high-end menswear lines. Clients can schedule appointments with their personal stylists in the studio or arrange for a trunk of hand selected items to be mailed to them. If a customer orders a trunk, he has 10 days to try on the items and return them, customers only pay for what they buy, no shipping, and no membership fees. The Trunk Club even hosts special events in-store for their clients! We sat down with Courtney Bishop, a Trunk Club stylist, to answer some commonly asked questions and get her top spring tips for local men and grooms…

Q: What is the best part of shopping with Trunk Club?

A: At our DC clubhouse, Trunk Club members can sit back, relax and enjoy a drink in one of our comfortable, private fitting rooms. Each item is handpicked for our members by one of our professional stylists. We offer everything from accessories to custom clothing all under one roof, making Trunk Club the one stop shop for a man’s wardrobe.

Q: What is the most common question clients ask you?

A: Our members are always asking about the exclusive pieces we carry. Trunk Club has a strategic team of merchandising experts that works with some of the best brands in the world who have created exclusive patterns and designs that are only sold at Trunk Club.

Q: How do you go about figuring out a client’s personal style?

A: At Trunk Club we take the time to get to know our members. It is important for us to build relationships where our members can trust us as their stylists, in picking out the perfect outfits, whether it be for the big day or for a weekend getaway with their family.

Q: How should a groom go about picking his wedding look?

A: We love working with our grooms and brides! It is important for us to meet with each couple to hear their vision for the day. We want to know how their fairytale wedding looks to them and how we can create pieces that fit perfectly into that. I think it’s important to factor in location, time of year and the theme of the wedding. Once understanding these pieces we help our grooms handpick the perfect wedding look.

Q: How do you feel about grooms playing with suit and tuxedo trends?

A: At Trunk Club, we encourage a little playfulness in all looks. Understanding the location and theme of the wedding is important, but adding in a bit of flare whether it be a unique patterned silk lining of a custom dinner jacket or a tailored navy suit with a playful bowtie. As a stylist, whether or not my client knows what they want, I will use my expertise to guide them and create the perfect look for their big day.

Q: What are your favorite trends/ pieces from the latest Trunk Club collection for casual and formalwear?

A: Spring time is one of our favorite times of the year at Trunk Club. It’s tough to choose just one look but I’ve been loving our khaki suits paired with a tight gingham check shirt in a bright spring color and a luxury loafer.

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Bridal Market Trends- Spring 2016

Well, we are back from Bridal Market in New York! As with every season, there is a lot to take in, but we made sure to take note of every trend and report back to our brides! So, here is your bridal fashion breakdown for spring 2016. The top 5 trends are…

Crop Top

For brides looking for something a little more funky, the crop top effect can be a fun and playful look. The key to pulling of this trend is balance, not too low cut and a flowing shape. Just a hint of skin keeps the feel light and lovely.

Rivini

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Mira Zwillinger

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Monique Lhuillier

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Geometric and Linear Embroidery 

Embroidery has been popular for a few seasons now, but this market we noticed very unique embellishments, a little more angular and linear. What’s great about this trend is that geometric embroidery can work on long slinky gowns or full skirts.

Kenneth Pool

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Liancarlo

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Amsale

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Monique Lhuillier

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Cut Outs

In recent seasons we’ve seen cut-outs featured by a sample of designers. However, this market it seems as though the idea of cut-outs was fully embraced. Between ball gowns and sleek silhouettes the edgy trend made a cameo more than a few times.

Angel Sanchez

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Marchesa 

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Amsale

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Half Overskirts

Tulle skirts are such a classic bridal look and brides have always loved them. The idea of an overskirt is great because it provides versatility to brides wanting to switch their look. While providing brides the same flexibility as a full overskirt, the half over skirt gives brides more of a retro look, think Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina… who could forget that iconic gown???

Berta Bridal

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Carolina Herrera

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Monique Lhuillier

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Off the Shoulder

This is such a classic neckline and we are so happy to see it getting attention again! The neckline is not ideal for everyone but when it works, it works. The downside to the off the shoulder cut is that it restricts arm movement, however we have seen in the past that some brides don’t mind, as long as they like the look!

Rivini

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Monique Lhuillier

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Marchesa

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Vendor of the Month: Marigold & Grey

In our April newsletter we featured Marigold & Grey a boutique gift basket company that specializes in the design, preparation, and delivery of custom welcome gifts for weddings and other special events. We also chatted with the owner, Jamie Kutchman, to learn a little bit more about her, her company, and her fabulous baskets!

Q: How did you decide to start Marigold & Grey?

A: It was crunch time, a couple of weeks before my own wedding, when I realized how tricky it is to find unique, one-of-a-kind items for welcome gifts. I wanted thoughtful and locally-inspired items since all of my guests were making the effort to travel in from out of town. After all the time and energy that went into the gifts, I returned from my honeymoon and heard that some of our welcome bags were delivered to the wrong hotel by mistake. Some guests received a gift and others did not…embarrassing! This immediately got me thinking about the need for a boutique welcome gift company! At the same time, I was becoming increasingly more and more unhappy in my corporate career. I was financially successful but inside, I felt stagnant and unfulfilled. So, in April of last year, I resigned from my job (on a conference call, actually!) and in mid-November, I launched the e-commerce website that you see up and running today.

Q: What is the best part about using Marigold & Grey?

A: When brides, grooms and planners use the design-your-own-gift function on the website, in just 5 to 10 minutes and a few clicks here and there, they have a beautiful, well-designed set of welcome gifts ready to welcome their guests to town. If done the traditional way, it can take days and weeks to research ideas, source the items, wait for the items to ship, and then assemble everything. The month or so leading up to a wedding should not be filled with last-minute stressful tasks such as welcome gifts. It should be spent celebrating with friends and family. I love taking some of the stress away!

Q: What is the process you go through with your clients?

A: Clients can work with us one of two ways. The first is to use the e-commerce website to design their own gifts from start to finish. They first choose a packaging option (box, bag or basket) and then add the contents they’d like inside (snacks, beverages, toiletries, keepsakes).

The second way is to take advantage of our Concierge Gift Design Service. Clients provide us with their wedding style, location, gift budget, and color palette and we put together a gift design for them that matches their overall vision.

Q: What is your favorite gift item to add to baskets?

A: Oh, this is a tough one since there are SO many items in the collection that I absolutely love. But if I must choose one, it would have to be the Neighborwoods Cedar Map Coasters of Washington DC! These are high-end, unique, handcrafted, functional and smell amazing.

Q: What is your favorite gift basket you’ve ever done?

A: Hmm. Another tough question! I’d have to say a garden-inspired basket I designed for the Bowties & Bubbly bridal show back in January where each room at the venue had a distinctly different design. The design for this particular room was a garden party with a bubbly bar and tons of greenery. I loved the soft, lush, feminine, organic, luxurious feel of this basket. I’d definitely love to be a wedding guest receiving this as a welcome gift!

Photo credit: Krista A. Jones Photography

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Real Bride: Kellie McKnight

As described in our newsletter, Kellie and Ivan were married in Puerto Rico on May 25, 2014 after knowing each other for over a decade and dating for seven. Through the years, multiple deployments, major surgery and a long recovery period they made it through it all. We are so happy to share this magical wedding, especially because Kellie is one of our own CBA consultants. Kellie wore a Badgley Mischka gown, Peter Langner veil, Cheryl King bracelet, Maria Elena earrings and rosary… plus a custom garter made by our seamstresses.

The bride and groom got married among family and friends in a secret garden ceremony, in a hidden park in Old San Juan. Their reception took place in one of the oldest buildings in the city, Hotel El Convento, a converted convent. Everything about their day was a celebration of their roots and the essence of their “old world” romance.

Photos by: Ryan Joseph Photography 

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