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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 12/22/2005

Janet's Best in 2005 Fashion


All things considered, it was a pretty good year for fashion around Washington. My congratulations to the Kennedy Center for its two brilliant exhibits -- "Fashion in the '40s" and "The New China Chic" -- both of which brought together historical and modern clothing from top designers around the world. It's a pity that both had only a brief run. Equally fascinating and kudos-worthy is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's ongoing exhibition "Style & Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey," which explores the relationship between clothing and power, thereby providing insight into the evolution of today's "it" bag. (The exhibit continues through Jan. 22).

Away from the museums and into the city streets, Mauro Farinelli showed that he knew all about status with the opening of The Denim Bar in Arlington. Speaking a specialist vocabulary, the savvy Farinelli took advantage of jean fever with the area's first store devoted to hard-to-find, high-end designer denim.

It doesn't thrill me like Barney's New York, but I still welcome Barney's New York Co-op for its role in destroying D.C.'s reputation as a fashion backwater. And whenever I pass the new Christian Dior store (like Barney's, part of the new Chevy Chase Collection), I think NYC's Fifth Avenue and Paris's Rue de Montaigne. On even the dingiest of gray, winter days, the place lifts my spirits and convinces me that Washington has finally carved itself a small slice of the fashion map.

But my ultimate bests of 2005 are reserved for the individual owners of independent stores like the aforementioned Denim Bar; Sassanova for sexy and girly shoes; Tabandeh for unusual but not overly expensive jewelry; Relish for cutting-edge designer clothing for men and women; Nana for a mix of vintage and new; and so many more. They keep the city's retail scene spirited and vibrant. And for that, God bless them, every one.

-- Janet

By  | December 22, 2005; 4:00 PM ET
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It's a bit far afield to be considered for Washington, D.C. but there is a terrific store in Annapolis that I would add to your list, if you haven't already checked it out. Sitting Pretty on Maryland Avenue. Lovely selection of clothes from top designers for everything from work to weekends to black tie. Many of the designers can be found at Neiman Marcus, but the selection at Sitting Pretty is hand-picked by the owners, who have excellent taste and filter out a lot of the more disastrous things that you see at the NM or Saks stores. Accessories too, and all in a very fun, chic and lovely store.

Posted by: Christine | January 5, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

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