Sunday, October 17, 2010

DC's Finest Designers

For those that do not know, I am from the nation's capitol: Washington, D.C. I was born and raised here and have never lived anywhere else (as of yet). This city is very diverse, so you will see all types of cultures and styles from people who have come here from all over the world! So, I have put together a few looks from some great local designers with a range of creativity from an eco-friendly line to a line with a bit of Caribbean flavor to it. I have also found some boutiques that also carry local designers lines in their space. Let me show you what my great city has to offer!

Toucan Boutique
1911 9th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Toucan Boutique started with a mother-and-daughter team who wanted to bring warm, tropical fashion to the chillier climates of North America. they saw a need for unique, casual clothing, and knew that some of the unknown talent they had seen on their travels needed more exposure. Their mission is to exhibit a new generation of designers, both American and international, who offer men and women greater originality and freedom in casual clothing. For its opening, Toucan Boutique presented two Brazilian brands that are known for their exclusive designs and prints: Cantao and Redley. Now they  have expanded to include over 12 different Brazilian brands and 8 diverse American designers. Toucan also wants to continually present new style, art and creativity, so they will dedicate an area of the site to talented women artisans who will display hand made products, such as costume jewelry and shopping totes, online for the first time.

"About Us." Toucan Boutique-Exhibiting New Designers. Web. 17 Oct. 2010. <>.


This ambitious brand, created by Sanne Sehested Nielson and Lene Boesen in 2007, was created for the "laid-back fashionista". Both the asymmetrical top and the printed leggings are parts of this raw, but yet sophisticated line. This look is the perfect mix of simplicity and complexity.

Hot Air

Don't think that its just all about the ladies! Toucan Boutique carries men clothing as well. Hot Air clothing was created in 2007 by an award-winning director by the name of Chike Ozah. He has created videos for artists Kanye West, Mos Def and Lela James, which makes for a very visually creative guy. This line is definitely unique and daring overall. This striped hoodie is perfect for this fall season though.

***On Friday, November 5, 2010, Toucan Boutique will  be hosting "Fashion Friday" @ Level X Lounge. Come and see the hottest in Holiday Fashion and Winter Wear 5:30pm-7:30pm. Come and sip Toucan's Signature Drink and be entered in the raffle for  $50 gift certificate to Toucan Boutique. For more info and to RSVP, follow this link: Hope to see you there! :)***

*For those of you who do not live in D.C. or nearby, you can still order these pieces online @

1425 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Middle Suite)
Washington, D.C. 20007
Dana Ayanna Greaves, playfully known as Artistic AYA, lives and creates in Washington, D.C. Born to a Barbadian dad and Trinidadian mom, she infuses her work with a multiculti aesthetic rich in prints, texture and color. Her creations range from hand-rolled paper jewelry to one-of-a-kind silk dresses that reflect her background in visual art, interest in music and love of the stage.Dana Ayanna completed a 2010 apprenticeship with the Shakespeare Theatre's Costume-Crafts department. She instructed jewelry workshops at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and received the Eleni Epstein Award from the Fashion Group International. ARTAYA (an extension of Artistic AYA) is a collection designed with artitstic, modern and multicultural consideration. Set to launch this October, the presentation will feature the designer's first spring line. Her designs are worn by musicians Erykah Badu and concert violinist Stephanie Matthews and her products have sold to a growing list of international clients. Dana Ayanna's paintings and illustrations can be seen at exhibitions  throughout the DC region.

"The Designer." Artistic Aya & Artaya by Danna Ayanna Greaves. Web. 17 Oct. 2010. <http//>.

Image of Electric Studs

These pair of earrings are very daring and bold, but gorgeous! A great mix of blues and greens make this look really earthy, but fun!

Image of Face

She not only makes jewelry and clothing, she paints as well. This portrait uses colors that wouldn't normally be used in a portrait. But she finds a way to make it work for her and it turned out exquisite! The lilac pops in a soft, subtle way that brings a unique warmth to her face.

Image of SOLD OUT Silk Tribe Earrings

I am in LOVE with these earrings! Too bad they are sold out :( but nonetheless, the silk tribal fabric is manipulated in such a way to make them appear to be butterflies floating from your ears. Simply beautiful.

***On Saturday, October 30, 2010, there will be a fashion show called Bohemian Boss, celebrating the grand opening of ARTAYA at 7pm in Industry Gallery. The fashion show will be showcasing  fall and spring ARTAYA collections. There will also be musical performances, a cocktail reception, souvenir suite and spinning the records will be DJ TJ. For more info and to RSVP, follow this link: Hope to see you there! :)***

*For those of you who do not live in D.C. or nearby, you can still order these pieces online @

ReVamp/Ginger Roots Design
1530 U Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
ReVamp is run by Erin Derge and Kristen Swenson. Erin grew up in southern Wisconsin. Coming from a long line of talented sewers, she started using her mom's old Kenmore at the age of seven and eventually went to school for costume design in Minneapolis. Kristen is a farm girl from rural MN. She was the youngest of three girls and since her family couldn't afford to buy much, she began sewing purses out of clothing she outgrew. Kristen came to D.C. with her fiancee exactly one year ago with only one goal in mind--to find a job sewing anywhere. She met Cathy at Treasury who had been seeking an in-house seamstress for the store and Kristen got her start repairing vintage items and tailoring in-house garments. After starting the small business known as ReVamp, which offered eco-friendly clothing design and custom tailoring, she also began to cultivate a customer base outside of Treasury. Very quickly she found herself falling behind with the amount of work and considered giving up. Meanwhile Erin in Minnesota was recently laid-off from sewing costumes for Sesame Street Live and found herself waitressing and antsy. In one phone call, Erin agreed to move out to D.C. and thus ReVamp became a team. The ladies got to work, but almost immediately it became apparent that they had outgrown the extra bedroom in Kristen's apartment and needed to find a larger space. In a month and a half, they renovated their new storefront/sewing studio, while maintaining their customer orders and patterning/constructing the Treasury in-house line Ouroboros. Ginger Root Design is now open and ReVamp finally has a home. Ginger Root Design offers tailoring and eco-friendly clothing design for men and women, local/independent art and jewelry and vintage accessories.

"D.C. Fashion Week: Erin Derge and Kristen Swenson, ReVamp-DCist." DCist: Washington DC News, Food, Arts & Events. Web. 17 Oct. 2010. <>.

These are a few examples of some vintage pieces that can be transformed into more modern looks. I absolutely adore the look in the middle! Very sharp and strong separates, that when put together will show the world that vintage doesn't have to look ancient.

Here are some jewelry pieces that have the perfect colors for this season. Definitely great pieces to wear to Thanksgiving dinner with your family.

*Come by and bring in your vintage clothing to be tailored to perfection specifically for you! Unfortunately, for those of you that don't live in the area, you won't be able to use these tailoring services. But if you are visiting DC, Maryland or Virginia, don't forget to pack some vintage clothing with you and stop on in Ginger Roots!


  1. I love DC....I'm not to far from you.

  2. O cool! :) I'm definitely going to attend both of the events I posted here so if you can make it, that would be cool!