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Hilary Rhoda, D.C.'s home-grown supermodel

Hilary Rhoda signs a blown-up cover of Capitol File. She graces this month's issue. (Mark Silva for Capitol File

Just think: If Hilary Rhoda had stayed on the same track as her fellow private-school girls, she would have graduated from college already.

Instead, the 2005 graduate of Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington took a detour to the runways of New York -- and a major contract as the face of Estée Lauder cosmetics.
We caught up with the supermodel at a party in her honor Monday at the Mayflower Hotel, hosted by Capitol File -- one of those glossy society magazines promoting luxury goods that used to throw parties about four times as often as it put out issues, though not so much lately. But hey, this was a return to the old days (Scotch bar, steak skewers, chicken dumplings, dessert buffet) so maybe people have started buying Rolexes again?

Hilary Rhoda poses with some friends from high school. (Amy Argetsinger/The Washington Post)Enlarge Image

The magazine put her on its most recent cover, and Rhoda turned out to pose for endless photos on a mini red carpet, her 5-foot-11 frame hugged by a sophisticated little black lace dress that showed a lot of leg. The party was filled with D.C.'s cocktail crowd (lobbyists, PR types, Rep. Kendrick Meek, Luke Russert, Raymone Bain), and Rhoda, 22, would have likely been the youngest one there -- except that her mom surprised her by rounding up a gaggle of her Holy Cross friends to come along, too. Most of them, of course, are now done with college. Does she regret that she missed all that fun?

The young millionairess answered warmly and politely, giving no hint if she was inwardly laughing. No, she said, she logged a fair amount of time on campuses. "I feel like I experienced college by visiting them."

By The Reliable Source  |  December 16, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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