WASH January 2014 : Page 72

From culture to design, Food to Fashion, an upcoming year has never looked so positively appealing. By katie Bianco, michael mccarthy, erin hartigan, sam hiersteiner, Jennifer sergent and nevin martell photography by greg powers best of tHe city

Best Of The City

katie Bianco

From culture to design, Food to Fashion, an upcoming year has never looked so positively appealing.

Magic Man

If an artist can define a city in transition, Gabriel Mellan (gabrielmellan.com) is it. His current work includes massive sculpture, photography and video. “I make big, loud and often heavy sculptures that sometimes move, illuminate and make noise,” says the artist, who experienced childhood in DC and Maui before spending his teen years in Japanese public schools. His most recognizable work, an interactive sound column dubbed “Heptachord,” challenges our capacity to appreciate our senses. The year ahead for the Corcoran College of Art + Design grad promises more pop-up exhibits at places like Union Market; a photography project in Finland; and filmmaking in China, Bangladesh and Nepal. “I’m really humbled to have a life that allows me to pursue my passion of art and teaching,” Mellan says.

Bodies, Rest and Motion

Susan Shields can hardly believe her good fortune—or the fortunes of those who appreciate dance in the Washington region. As the director of the School of Dance at George Mason University, Shields will host 500 dancers and the public March 8-11 at the Center for the Arts as part of the American College Dance Festival, which lands in Fairfax this year. While four days of performances (including the Joffrey Ballet, March 7-8) are on tap, one of the biggest coups is the program on March 9 in the Concert Hall called A Life of Dance. Panelists for the forum include Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Ashley Wheater, artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet; and Elizabeth Streb, artistic director of Streb and a MacArthur fellow. “We’ll have some of America’s biggest players in dance on hand to talk about the beautiful art form, how it has influenced their lives and where it’s headed in 2014 and beyond,” Shields says. 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va., 703.993.8883, cfa.gmu.edu

Rock of Ballet

With Septime Webre’s masterful Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises last year, The Washington Ballet (washingtonballet.org) once again proved that contemporary ballet can enthrall with theatrics and bombast beyond expectations. From March 5-9 at The Kennedy Center, British Invasion: The Beatles & The Rolling Stones will relive a musical revolution via blazing guitars and staccato movements that would make Mick Jagger proud. With music from the British bands that changed the Western world’s cultural landscape, choreographers Trey McIntyre, Christopher Bruce and Christopher Wheeldon will reinterpret classic tunes—and reveal why all you need is love… for dance.

Three to See


The Kreeger Museum (kreegermuseum.org) celebrates two decades of contemporary art in 2014, and the oasis of cool on Foxhall Road will welcome 14 DC-area artists. During K@20, look for work from William Christenberry, Renee Stout and Yuriko Yamaguchi, among others. Also, see John L. Dreyfuss’ north lawn sculpture installations— following his 2013 reflecting pool masterpiece.


Made in the USA: American Masters from The Phillips Collection, 1850-1970 at The Phillips Collection (phillipscollection.org) will cover two-thirds of the gallery. Those ambitions will be met with work from Georgia o’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, John Marin, Richard Diebenkorn and Milton Avery, among many others. Feb. 22-Aug. 31


While many artistic lives a century ago were sometimes cloistered, it’s clear that Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt—enormous figures in the impressionist movement— had a deep friendship that influenced each other’s work. The national Gallery of Art’s (nga.gove) groundbreaking Degas/Cassatt exhibit will examine for the first time how their artistic banter pushed the boundaries of technique and media choices— and through it all, their work and styles flourished. May 11- Oct. 5

Light Fantastic

The year ahead will see Maurine Littleton, owner of Georgetown’s Maurine Littleton Gallery (littletongallery.com) looking back—and forward. “This is our 30-year anniversary, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with where glass, metal and ceramics are as an art form,” says Littleton, whose father, Harvey, is recognized as the pioneer in the studio-glass movement. Littleton Gallery, which exhibits and reps artistic luminaries like Dale Chihuly and Ginny Ruffner, will launch an anniversary show in March, along with an Albert Paley display, to coincide with the artist’s June exhibit at the Corcoran.

Designer Digs

When word first went out that the Washington Design Center was reconsidering its Southwest location, the buzz was DC’s interior-design devotees might have to look outside the city for their aesthetic needs. But after a yearlong search, the District’s tight-knit design community announced they’d be back and better than ever—21 showrooms will make the move to their new downtown digs in spring of 2014, giving a boost to the city’s burgeoning design district on 14th Street and offering a more accessible, light-filled space. “It’s a shake-everything-up moment,” says design superstar Barry Darr Dixon. “I start every project with what I find here.” Interior designer Syntha harris-Wendel agrees: “Moving is going to really refresh the center. There’s such a hip, new vibe.” 1099 14th St. NW, designcenterdc.com

Lauren’s World

Well-heeled Washingtonians who trek to Great Falls Village Centre now have another shopping lure— designer Lauren Liess’ boho-chic interiors boutique and studio, which opened in December. Liess has since branched out from her decorating business into designing textiles and selling home goods that reflect her style sense. “It’s a natural and casual look,” she says of the contemporary feel. Her finds include a vintage “buttery leather” Danish chair, botanical specimens preserved under glass since the 1940s and undyed Turkish wool rugs. Lauren Liess & Co., 776 Walker Road, Great Falls, Va., 571.926.7825, laurenliess.com


Marina Placido, the Portuguese-born owner of Rockville’s Placido Euro Spaces, knew she wanted to bring a sleeker aesthetic to DC when she opened her kitchen and bath showroom last year. After searching across Europe, Placido, who has been designing in DC for more than 20 years, partnered with Stosa. Th e Italian custom cabinetry line is now exclusively available at Placido Euro Spaces in the DC region. Th is is just the beginning of bringing more modern options to her clients in 2014, says Placido. “We’re definitely getting more modern and sleek. I’m trying to bring out my European heritage.” In September, Placido is headed to Italy for a kitchen and bath fair that she hopes will yield additional exclusive lines for her store. “I’m definitely on the hunt!”

Artisan Hub

Anyone who’s dined at Teddy or Lincoln is familiar with the restaurants’ over-the-top design and decorative elements. Now, the talents behind those and other notable interiors are combining forces at SwatchRoom, a new studio in DC’s Shaw neighborhood. Decorative painter Maggie O’Neill and architectural designer Warren Weixler have formed a one-stop shopping collective of artists, craftsmen, woodworkers and decorative painters for commercial and residential clients seeking that singular, drop-dead decor. 1527 Ninth St. NW, 301. 585.1777, swatchroom.Com


The kitchen designers at Aidan Design look to europe for edgy, modern lighting, such as their newest italian offering, the Beamer by Leucos. Hang them straight in a line or angled, with wires pulled up or let down like a marionette. Now, that’s a show we want to see. 4701 Sangamore Road, Bethesda, Md., 301.320.8735, aidandesign.Com

soPhie’s ReJoiCe

Only a short time into her new DC life, Sophie Blake (sophieblakeny.com) is already adding bling to the beltway. Th e jewelry designer, who is beloved by fashion plates like Ashley Madekwe, Julianne Hough and Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine, moved from New York for love, transplanting her line of art deco-inspired American-made pieces. Much like the city itself, Blake’s self-proclaimed deco-chic pieces are both edgy and classic, inspired by classic art and design, paying tribute to the past, often with vintage stones. “DC is a melting pot of people from different places with different styles,” says Blake. “It’s been so exciting to join such a talented, welcoming place.” Perhaps that’s why the designer’s new collection of lavender- and mint-colored pieces—debuting this month—is titled The Oasis.

Dapper Directory

if Stephanie Olvey has her way, starting a fashion business in DC will soon be as easy as a few clicks of your mouse. As the founder of Fortique (fortique.com), a curated directory of stylists, designers, image consultants and other creative professionals, Olvey aims not just to link clients with service providers, but to help aspiring designers and boutique owners find partners and resources, including website developers, graphic designers, makeup artists and photographers. The site has helped connect fashion photographers with designers to help launch local sock line Nice Laundry and startup StyleCable, and more growth is coming this year. “We really want to be the go-to destination for creative partners,” says Olvey. “it’s hard to get a brand started. We want to give those people the tools to succeed.”

Beltway Bespoke

Finding the perfect fit often means finding the best tailor to do the nips and tucks. But local fashion entrepreneurs Arti Anand and Komal Kushal Raj are eliminating the middleman with Numari (numari.com), their DC-based customclothing line. “We’ve had trouble fi nding clothes that fit right and realized that it wasn’t just the two of us,” explains Raj. “So we decided to build the solution ourselves.” Newly launched, the company offers several modern, work-friendly dresses, all designed by Project Runway star and Halston vet Bert Keeter. To place an order, DC customers reach out by email and answer questions about lifestyle, favorite pieces and color ideas, then fill out measurements online with specific tools and instructions (local customers have the option to meet for measurements in person). Once the order is placed, the dress will be ready in three to fours weeks based on your precise measurements. It’s tailor-made for the modern age.

Center of Swank

Hitting your stride at 25 is a beautiful thing—just ask the minds behind Tysons Galleria. After a year that included the opening of Kate Spade new York and a relaunched Cartier, the luxury hot spot—which just celebrated its 25th anniversary—will welcome top designers Prada and Saint Laurent this spring, for a retail lineup that rivals Rodeo Drive. But rather than rest on its top-label laurels, the Galleria will continue to grow and expand. “We want to make this the best merchandising mix there is,” says the Galleria’s general manager, Rich Dinning. “As successful as we are, there are always new elements to add and ways to improve.” 2001 International Dr., McLean, Va., 703.827.7730, tysonsgalleria.Com

Prodigal Chef

Among many promising signs for Washington’s dining scene, one stands out: Young chefs like Jeremiah Langhorne—whose sizable talent means he could cook anywhere in the world—are landing here to open restaurants. Langhorne, 28, is from Virginia and returned recently after spending four years—including two as chef de cuisine—at McCrady’s in Charleston. The award-winning restaurant has been a driving force in the last decade’s Southern food renaissance, and Langhorne gained Ph.D.-level experience with Executive Chef Sean Brock’s unique brand of cultural-culinary preservation, local sourcing and modern technique. The young chef has sights set on Shaw for his upcoming restaurant—slated to open this summer— which will feature a wood grill and a large hearth. “I’m excited to draw from this area’s rich history and source from the Chesapeake, the Piedmont and the Blue Ridge,” says Langhorne. “I want to create a modern regional cuisine.”

Custom Quench

A growing number of sophisticated regional brewers have partnered with renowned epicureans to craft one-of-a-kind sips for restaurants. The new multimillion-dollar Bluejacket (bluejacketdc.com) has already created two dozen synergistic libations, including Figure 8—a collaboration with pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac—who modeled it on the sticky toffee pudding she serves at Birch & Barley. Red Hen’s (theredhendc.com) co-owner and sommelier Sebastian Zutant is aging DC Brau’s Penn Quarter Porter with the lees of RdV Vineyards’ Rendezvous blend in Bordeaux barrels from Linden Vineyards to create the chocolatey, cherry-accented Dorcia. Meanwhile, two Maryland breweries—Flying Dog and evolution—are producing Natural Selection, a malty ale with plum and caramel notes. “i’ve never left a collaboration without learning something,” says brewmaster Matt Brophy. “The beers you make are always something you wouldn’t have created without that outside influence.” Poste’s (postbrasserie.com) executive Chef Dennis Marron is joining forces with DC’s 3 Stars to create a caskconditioned saison concoction made with hops and herbs from the restaurant’s patio garden.

Sea Change

Chefs are now looking beyond the pasture to the sea for exquisite burger inspiration. At Et Voila, chef Claudio Pirollo hooks guests with a ground round made of mussels, while Decanter’s executive chef Sébastien Rondier’s prime patty features calamari. Over in Penn Quarter, a shrimp burger angles for diners’ affections at Proof, and Central’s lobster burger is always a catch.

Shaw Thing

Massive development projects like Th e Howard Theatre, the Marriott Marquis and the O Street Market have brought major energy to Shaw, making it particularly interesting for culinary entrepreneurs. In 2014, a wave of openings is expected, including a new Mexican concept from Richard Sandoval, a low country cafe from Derek Brown called Southern Efficiency, the relocated version of Dean Gold’s Italian restaurant Dino, a sips haven called Right Proper Brewing Company and a cozy resto dubbed Ivy and Coney from the team behind Kangaroo Boxing Club in Columbia Heights. We’d say 14th Street will get a run for its culinary money.

Sweet Surprises

These four risingstar pastry chefs look to handcraft 2014’s most memorable morsels. Blue Duck Tavern’s Naomi Gallego specializes in surprising sweets, like a coffee fl oat with a tobacco-sugared doughnut. Cari-Anne Hamer earns top marks for her blue ribbon pies at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Kelsey Pitta of Ted’s Bulletin is the high-end doughnut diva and Nopa Kitchen + Bar’s Jemil Gadea has elevated maple-pecan sticky buns to new heights of gloriously gooey goodness.

Full Circle

ejoice! Soul Cycle (soul-cycle. Com), the sweat-drenched spinning class favored by hot-bodied fitness fanatics in New york and L.A. is finally arriving in DC. The studio is scheduled to open in the West end early this year, after much lobbying on the part of District devotees. “We’ve had an overwhelming amount of requests from DC for the past three or four years,” says Gabby Cohen, a spokeswoman for Soul Cycle. “Obviously, DC has an incredibly dynamic scene. The demographic is so vast, as is our ridership.” Already anticipating its popularity, Cohen says the cycling studio is scouting additional locations in Bethesda, Northern Virginia and DC. “i think there’s a good chance you’ll see more than one in 2014.”

Blushing Beauty

The hottest club in town this year doesn’t have a velvet rope—and you don’t even need to wear makeup. Blush Med Institute (blushmed.com) in Bethesda, an innovative beauty clinic, has been gaining in popularity since its official launch late last year for its nononsense attitude toward skincare and maintenance. “It’s a futuristic place,” says Dr. Arleen K. Lamba, Blush Med Spa’s founder. “We acknowledge that we live in a society where it matters how we look and how we perceive ourselves.” Lamba—who dreamed up Blush Med Institute after battling bad skin herself in her 20s—takes a comprehensive approach to her client’s care, starting with a skin assessment and then recommending an ongoing regimen that could consist of everything from medicalgrade facials or chemical peels to customized skincare products mixed at Blush’s Beauty Bar (created with the same scientists behind Lancôme). For Lamba though, it’s not just a one-time transaction. Once a month, clients come in for a treatment, but just as importantly, they review their skin’s progress. When Lamba was struggling with her own skin, she says, “I felt like no one was quarterbacking my care. It’s important to check in all the time.” Look for Blush Med Institute to expand into Northern Virginia in 2014 and for additional treatments to be added to its impressive menu.

On-the-Go Glamour

Beautified (getbeautified. Com), which streamlines the booking process for last-minute spa and salon appointments, is slated to arrive in DC this spring. Already a smash success in New york City, the app has partnered with local beauty bars like David Rios Salon, Salon ilo, Blowout Bar DC, The Boutique Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.

About Face

Makeup artist to the stars and DC fixture Erwin Gomez has just launched his own cosmetics line. With a focus on multifunctional, high-performance products (that eye shadow doubles as a lip gloss in a pinch), Erwin Gomez Cosmetics (karmaerwingomez.com) represents Gomez’s 30 years of experience. “It’s been a dream of mine since I became a makeup artist,” he says. “I’ve worked with so many cosmetics, and I felt I could create something special now that I had the experience and the credit of my name.”

Comfort Zone

After a monthslong renovation, Th e Spa at Four Seasons hotel Washington, DC (fourseasons.com/washington) recently unveiled a new look. Th e chic space ups the luxe factor with everything from a completely overhauled steam room to new tables in the treatment rooms to gorgeous cherry blossom murals in the pool area. “Th e physical space is the same, but it’s very noticeable there’s been a change,” says Julia Boeminghaus, Four Seasons’ spa director. “It now matches the overall feel of the hotel—soft and soothing.” Th at feel also goes for the newest, exclusive treatment on the spa menu. Th e Cold Stone Massage turns the standard hot-stone massage on its head, with cool white marble drawing heat from the body to provide deep relaxation. Soothing, indeed.

TOP FIVE: Hot Artists To Buy Right Now

Leigh Conner of Connersmith (connersmith.us.com) gives us her picks for contemporary art’s rising superstars.

1. Katie Miller—The gifted painter (artistkatiemiller.com) will have a muchanticipated second solo show at Connersmith this spring. “There’s already a waiting list for her paintings,” says Conner. Collectors such as Fred Ognibene, and Don and Mera Rubell already own Miller’s work.

2. Leo Villareal—Conner presented a new body of Villareal’s (villareal.net) work— digital light sculpture—at Art Basel in Miami and will present an installation in DC in the coming year. “The artist is working on several major large-scale commissions—look for announcements soon,” Conner says.

3. Janet Biggs—“This video artist’s (jbiggs.com) revelatory new work is based on her recent journey down China’s Silk Road,” says Conner. “Her star continues to rise with international exhibitions, including the first Cartagena Biennial.” Connersmith will show Biggs’ new work in 2014/15.

4. Agniet Snoep—The Dutch image-maker (agnietsnoep.nl) shoots unforgettable still life from the natural world. “She first appeared in DC at the (e)merge art fair with Amstel Gallery in Amsterdam,” says Conner. “Since 2011, her work is highly sought after in America. Look for big things in 2014.”

5. J. J. McCracken —The sculptor and performance artist (jjmccracken.com) constructs what he calls immersive installations that are activated by everything from sound to taste. “He’s a very exciting artist,” says Conner, and 2014 will see him completing a new body of provocative work.

TOP FIVE: Design Center Buzz

1. Outdoor Chic—Designer Bunny Williams’ first line of outdoor furniture will be on display at the Century showroom, just across town from husband John Rosselli’s antiques shop. The 14-piece line channels the look of Treillage, Williams’ and Rosselli’s garden and antiques shop in New york.

2. NYC Connection—Designers don’t have to travel up 95 to purchase from the venerable rug collections of Doris Leslie Blau, its first showroom outside New york. “DLB ventured to DC because of the overwhelming sophistication the city portrays,” says Nader Bolour, DLB’s president.

3. London Calling—British fabric house Romo is also a new kid in town, with its DC showroom being only one of seven outside London. Expect to see a jolt of color and contemporary design across the century-old company’s five lines, which also include wallcoverings.

4. Alfresco Designs—Hungry? The Brown Jordan showroom will start offering the company’s line of outdoor kitchens. From cabinetry and countertops to grills, fridges, sinks and bars, the collection will be displayed in a screen porch against a photo mural of the showroom owner’s farm.

5. Color Me Barry—Barry Dixon is collaborating with Charleston metalsmith Peyton Avrett to combine glass, onyx and “heavy-gauge bronzes and irons” in the form of tables, chairs and lighting for the J. Lambeth showroom. Design inspirations include the magnolia pod and the shape of a mosquito’s leg.

TOP FIVE: Boutique Openings for 2014

1. Glam Spot—This March, Dupont Circle welcomes a fashion fete with the opening of shop-within-a-shop concept emporium (emporiumdna.com). The clothing, handbag, accessories and shoe boutique will include in-store retail spaces from Michael Kors and Vivienne Westwood, along with a larger space carrying Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Zoe, Torn by Ronny Kobo and MinkPink.

2. Island Time—Breezy boho style coasts into Georgetown this spring with the opening of Calypso St. Barth. (calypsostbarth.com) The tropics-inspired line will carry a colorful selection of womenswear, including billowy caftans, maxi dresses and other resort-ready looks.

3. District of Style—Mosaic District freshens up with the opening of Londons Bathecary’s (shoplondons.com) first local retail location this spring. The store will stock top British perfumes, gifts and soaps, including Penhaligon’s, Floris London and Geo. F. Trumper.

4.Pop Fashion—Blink and you’ll miss most pop-up shops, but this year Union Market (the purveyor of all things artisan and chic) will host Thread (unionmarketdc.com/thread)—which first debuted over the holidays—throughout the year. Thread will feature local designers like Anthom boutique and Ernest Alexander menswear.

5.Franco Fete—Sandro (us.sandro-paris.com) will bring a piece of Paris to Georgetown when it opens its first local boutique this year. Adored by Francophiles for its structured blazers, fitted dresses and trendsetting boots, the line also has an ultrahip up-and-coming menswear collection, headed by designer Evelyne Chétrite’s son, ilan.

TOP FIVE: 2014’s Most Anticipated Openings

1. Alba Osteria—Roberto Donna found inspiration in italy’s Piedmont region when crafting the menu for his new Mount Vernon Square eatery, which is set to be open this month. House specialties include agnolottial brasato and chestnut pasta, while the wine list concentrates on italian and local vintages. 425 I St. NW, albaosteriadc.com

2. Fiola Mare—“When you dine on the Mediterranean, there’s not a menu,” says chef-owner Fabio Trabocchi. “you simply choose from the day’s catch.” There will be a similar setup at his seafood-focused Georgetown-waterfront eatery–which will highlight whole-fish preparations, raw crudos and, of course, his famous lobster ravioli– when it opens this winter. 3050 K St. NW, Suite 101, fiolamaredc.com

3. China Chilcano—José Andrés marries eastern and Western culinary traditions with his latest eatery, debuting at the end of the summer—down the block from Oyamel. Time-honored Chinese techniques will be applied to Peruvian ingredients. Plus, plenty of piscos to sip while you consider what to order. 418 Seventh St. NW

4. DBGB Bar & Kitchen—Later this summer, celebrated French chef Daniel Boulud brings his casual-but-classy New york City eatery to the upcoming CityCenterDC complex in downtown. “it’s a French bistro meets an American tavern,” he says. “you can pop by for a burger and beer at the bar.” dbgb.com

5. Menu—Chef Frederik de Pue’s latest three-pronged concept—a market, a bistro for casual gatherings and a more formal restaurant that echoes his sister spot Table—rolls out in the next 60 days in the same space as his now-shuttered Azur. 405 Eighth St. NW

TOP FIVE: New Pampering & Fitness

1. New in Navy Yard—Aura Spa (auraspa. Net), part of the sexy Vida Fitness empire in DC, will get its fourth location this fall. Opening in the burgeoning Navy yard neighborhood, the newest spa will measure 5,000 square feet, with four soundproof treatment rooms and plenty of amenities.

2. Core Beliefs—SolidCore (solidcore. Com), which opened its first DC studio in late 2013, is set to open two more locations—one in Virginia and another in the District—in 2014. The city’s only Pilates studio to offer classes on the megareformer using the Lagree Fitness method was designed by local design firm Studio3877.

3. Marquis Arrival—The local hospitality industry is abuzz with the spring 2014 arrival of the Marriott Marquis (marriott. Com), the city’s largest hotel and official headquarters for the convention center, but it’s the 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness facility that will have local fitness fans checking in.

4. Pure Bliss—Bliss Spa (wwashingtondc. Com) at the W Washington DC is giving guests a boost after too many holiday indulgences with their newest treatment, Firm Baby Firm. The name is cute, but it’s the skin-tightening trick that will have you in a bikini by spring break.

5. Just Relache—This spring, Relache Spa and Salon (marriott. Com) at the Gaylord National will launch a brand-new menu. Look for revamped facials and body treatments at the luxe location, which includes a couples’ treatment room featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the Potomac River.

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Best+Of+The+City/1598892/190269/article.html.

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