Dresses

Self-Portrait – Columbia Room, Tasting Room – 08.23.2016

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Columbia Room’s FAQ states the following regarding their dress code:

“What should I wear?  Why not dress to the nines?  But we only require that you wear shoes and are reasonably covered.”

This response sums up exactly why Columbia Room is such a Washington, DC treasure.  Tucked away in Blagden Alley, the management and staff are personable, down to earth and make all clientele feel right at home.  However, despite the relaxed dress code and familial vibes of the location, it is undeniable that Columnbia Room will certainly be one of the most elegant venues you will ever have the privilege of sipping a craft cocktail in. Consequently, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do “dress to the nines” for the experience that you are treated to in their Tasting Room.

The Tasting Room decor is breathtaking.  The focal point of the room is the handcrafted mosaic mural behind the long bar where guests are seated for each tasting. The mosaic maintains the clever genius of Columbia Room.  Historic by nature, the mural pays homage to drinking history and includes personal symbolism throughout.  There is an official Columbia Room crest, and staff are represented by their corresponding Chinese Zodiac animal all under the watch of a beautiful fairy princess — a tribute to Columbia Room’s, co-owner Angie Fetherston. Crystal chandeliers, a burl wood tasting bar, luxurious leather seats and gold accents add to the opulence of the room.  As a friend of mine says, you approach an evening in the tasting room “as if you’re going on a date…and the date is with the handmade mosaic on the back wall.” Translation: perhaps put the same thought into the way you dress as was clearly put into the creation of that mosaic.

In addition to the decor, the staff truly makes experience.  There are few bartenders who are as passionate and thoughtful about their craft as Derek Brown, owner of Columbia Room.  He is a historian and constant student of alcohol.  He understands how to make a setting come alive through his art.  Every cocktail that he has created is well researched and designed to represent a specific time and experience.  It is easy to see this passion in the cocktails you order, but even more apparent if you have the luck of meeting him. While it’s tough to say for sure when you’ll find Derek in the Tasting Room, you will absolutely have the pleasure of meeting JP Fetherston there.

One of the warmest individuals you will encounter, JP is also passionate and exceptionally knowledgeable about the cocktails served at Columbia Room.  More than simply memorizing the menu, JP helps design each cocktail, the result being that he can explain in great depth during your tasting why each ingredient was selected.  With JP behind the bar, I can guarantee you will have an incredible and enlightening experience.

Of course, the cocktails are the headliner at the Columbia Room.  Always presented beautifully, the cocktails are thematic, seasonally appropriate and made with the finest ingredients.  The drinks served allow you to escape the city outside and take you to the refined and magical universe that is the Columbia Room.

The “Tasting Room” is a seated and ticketed that offers two menus: a three course and five course menu of cocktails paired with snacks.   You can see the Summer Menu here and book your experience here.

Photo Information:  Photos by Anna Meyer.

Thank you to Columbia Room for your hospitality for this shoot.

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Blazers

Zadig & Voltaire – Columbia Room, Spirits Library – 08.17.2016

politiquette7.10.16 (47 of 101)-1 politiquette7.10.16 (49 of 101)-1 politiquette7.10.16 (51 of 101)-1 politiquette7.10.16 (53 of 101)-1 politiquette7.10.16 (55 of 101)-1columbiaroom (1 of 5) columbiaroom (2 of 5)Jacket by Zadig and Voltaire  Shoes by Vince Camuto  Jeans by J Brand  Top by Raquel Allegra

As I’ve said before, I am a huge fan of sequins.  So, when I saw this jacket at Zadig & Voltaire earlier this summer it was game over.  I had to have it. CAUTION: Sequins can quickly look cheesy and/or matronly when styled inappropriately, which is most certainly NOT a good look. That said, there is almost always a way to incorporate sequins into an outfit for a modern and edgy look, especially when donned in a setting as fabulous as the sparkling detail on my Zadig & Voltaire jacket.  A setting such as the Spirits Library at Columbia Room. Wearing this jacket with all white for summer and a sheer navy tie-dye shirt underneath gives the sequins the exact breath of fresh air that they need in order to make the look work.

The Spirits Library at Columbia Room is a first-come, first-serve intimate bar setting where you can enjoy creative specialty cocktails or just about any other drink you can imagine.  The Library seats about twenty people, has comfortable leather chairs and a bookcase filled with liquor, many of them vintage with a bottle dating back to the early 1800s.

The service is equally as spectacular as the setting.  Upon arrival, you will be greeted and seated by Library Manager, Dante Datta.  Dante exudes a calm and collected presence no matter how busy the bar is and goes out of his way to make guests feel welcome. Additionally, you will be served by one of three talented and knowledgeable bartenders, who will ensure you get exactly what you are looking for.

If you have not yet checked out this space, I highly recommend making it a top priority.  Columbia Room is open TuesdaySaturday. I guarantee it will be the most decadent library you’ve ever visited. Cheers!

Look for one last post from the Columbia Room “Tasting Room” coming soon.

Here are some other sequin picks I like to wear now and into the fall:

Photo Information: Photos taken by Anna Meyer at Columbia Room in their Spirits Library.

Thank you to Columbia Room for your hospitality for this shoot.

Dresses

Vilshenko – Columbia Room, Punch Garden – 08.09.2016

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One of my favorite places to grab cocktails in DC is Columbia Room in Blagden Alley.

You may recall the original Columbia Room was located in a side room of The Passenger, where Derek Brown first created a place for the “fine sipping” of cocktails.   Now housed in this new location, Columbia Room has grown up to an provide an even more astounding experience where continuously innovative cocktails are served.

There are three distinct spaces at Columbia Room, each with its own concept and cocktail menu to match. Each area inspires one to dress for the occasion and compliment the venue. The most recent addition to the trio (though the first one you’ll encounter at Columbia Room) is the Punch Garden.   As you might have guessed, the Punch Garden is outdoors. Accented with bright blue chairs, edison-style string lights and an array of flowers, this colorful space is matched with refreshing punches and bottled summertime cocktails.  The decor and drinks offered on the Punch Garden go well with flirty dresses for women and lightweight, light colored clothing for men.

The Punch Garden is the vision of the radiant Adriana Salame Aspiazu, you met her here during Miracle on Seventh Street.  Adriana is one of the many bartenders who bring the amazing soul of Columbia Room to life.  She always keeps the spirit of the space alive through her own romantic-bohemian style choices and her sparkling personality.

Until the summer ends, this is a wonderful place to spend your nights outside.  The photos I am featuring today are taken in the Punch Garden.

I will be sharing more about the other Columbia Room settings later this week and next.

Photo Information:  Photos taken by Anna Meyer.

Thank you to Columbia Room for your hospitality for this shoot.

My dress and other similar styles:

 

Other

Rimowa – Union Station DC – 08.03.2016

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I am very happy to say that I am finally back in DC for a while after having been on the road for two solid weeks.  My time away at the RNC and DNC was fantastic, however it wouldn’t have been as easy without having the right luggage.

Luggage is an investment, it is not cheap, but when you travel frequently it is so worth it to have durable, lightweight, rolling luggage.  A few years back I discovered suitcases made from “polycarbonate” a plastic like material.  The shell is made to protect your items, and maintain shape.  The material is also very light.  After I purchased my first suitcase made of this material, I have not turned back.  I am a big fan of Rimowa, but Tumi and Samsonite also make great bags that are similar.  I have tried others but have not been impressed and they have fallen apart.

In addition to using my suitcase for travel I use it for all of my Politiquette photo shoots so it is really important that it is durable.  My Rimowa has been rolled miles around DC and it has been exceptionally durable!

For easy travel, my luggage tips are:

  • A hardshell suitcase
  • Lightweight material
  • 4 wheels that roll all directions
  • Buy from a retailer who will assist you if you have a problem with the suitcase.  You want a retailer who will easily replace something.  I purchased mine from Zappos and they were great when I had an issue.
  • Save the fancy leather luggage for trips in the car, not Amtrak or the plane where it will guaranteed get knocked around and dirty.
  • Ask for luggage pieces as a birthday, graduation, wedding gift.  Helps eliminate the financial burden of having to buy an entire set on your own and people love giving gifts that people will actually use!

The carry-on bag I use by Rimowa and other luggage I like here: