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Sacai – Spanish Steps – 10.12.2016

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It’s gala season in DC.  In fact one of the premiere black tie events is coming up this Friday night, the Meridian Ball.  Black Tie attire in DC can mean various things based on the event, but the Meridian Ball dress code is certainly one event that stays true to the definition, meaning it is very formal.  I think you can get away with a dress similar to the one I am wearing in this photo if you paired it with different evening shoes because of the decadent details, but I would normally wear this dress for a cocktail attire event.

Politiquette Tip: For a black tie event you should wear a long formal dress, a fancier cocktail dress that is not too short, a formal suit or a tuxedo.  This goes for women and men.

You can shop my dress and other Black Tie recommendations here:

Photo Information:

Photos were taken at the Spanish Steps in the DC neighborhood of Kalorama.  Named for the Spanish Steps in Rome, the steps were built as part of the DC City Beautiful Movement.

Photos taken by Anna Meyer.


Sareh Nouri – Hitched – 12.15.2015


Disclaimer: While I’m not engaged or getting married right now (as far as I know),  I am featuring a local designer who makes beautiful wedding gowns and modeling her dress to show readers how amazing  her designs look when they are worn.

Over the weekend, Hitched Salon in Georgetown hosted a trunk show for Sareh Nouri, one of the most talented couture wedding dress designers to emerge in just a few short years.  I was lucky enough to meet this lovely designer thanks to a thoughtful mutual friend of ours and to learn more about this DC native who now has wedding dresses that are sold in bridal and luxury stores worldwide.

I should start by saying it had never crossed my mind to feature wedding dresses on my blog, but because Sareh and Hitched have a local angle, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  Also, Sareh’s couture gowns will soon be worn for formal events outside of weddings. To this end, keep your eyes peeled during the upcoming awards season.  I have heard that Sareh’s dresses, including the one I am modeling (named “Artemis”) in these photos, may show up in beautiful colors like cadet blue or merlot.   Additionally, for DC women, it’s never too soon to think about what you will be wearing to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in April of next year. Sareh’s designs could be the perfect option.

After moving to the U.S. from Tehran at the age of 10, Sareh Nouri grew up in Northern Virginia and attended George Mason University, earning a degree in graphic design.  For her own wedding, in 2009, she could not find “the” dress, so she decided to design her own.  The experience stayed with her and Sareh began working at a bridal boutique in New Jersey.  Working with dresses from bridal couture greats Reem Acra, Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang, she was again inspired to design a wedding gown — this time a whole collection of her own.  Sareh explored this idea by making six intricately beaded belts, which sold out quickly in the boutique she was working in.  The instant sales of these belts made her realize that there were customers ready to purchase her designs, and so she moved on the wedding dresses.

In 2011, Sareh Nouri dresses were in just two boutiques. By 2013, her gowns could be found in forty stores.  Her success has only continued.  What I love about Sareh is that all of her gowns are made in the U.S.  Her fabrics are only the highest of quality; sourced from world renowned design houses (lace from France, beads from India, silk from Italy), but every dress is made here in America.  The advantage to the location of Sareh’s manufacturing headquarters is that she can work closely with her brides for customization and tailor gowns exactly to their liking.

As you can tell, Sareh’s designs are exquisite.  Wearing her gown had me feeling like I was on a red carpet for the Academy Awards.  I know if I ever have an occasion to wear Sareh’s designs, I will certainly be making that happen.  I also know that many engagements take place over the holidays – remember Sareh, Hitched, and this post when you decide to look for a dress!

Photo Information:  Photos taken at Hitched Salon in Georgetown.

Hitched is co-owned by Katelyn Strasdaukas and Katie Watson.  These ladies are featured in the photo above with Sareh Nouri and were both at the salon when I was there.  They were so lovely to let me take photos and host me and my friend.  Katelyn and Katie grew up together and are best friends.  I love this fact about them.  The entire team at the salon is warm and friendly, I can see why a bride would want to make an appointment for dress fittings at Hitched, it was a great experience even as a non-bride.  Katelyn recently got engaged, but she told me she has not picked her wedding dress yet, I can’t wait to learn what she chooses!  

*A special thank you to my friend Sarah Mamula for your thoughtfulness and help to make this blog post happen.


Kicheko Goods – The Kennedy Center – 12.07.2015

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Necklaces by Kicheko Goods 

Kicheko (Keh-check-o) Goods jewelry is designed by a local DC designer, Sarah Bayot.  Her designs are made with great purpose and social consciousness, providing scholarships for children to attend school.  Purchasing 2 pairs of Kicheko earrings can send a child to school for a month.

Sarah and her brand are a great inspiration and I hope a future model for fashion.  With a background in international affairs from George Washington University and a previous career, Sarah has been able to weave together both her passion to help children in the Congo receive education and design gorgeous jewelry.  I find her intention very admirable and love knowing that not only does a purchase support a local artist, but it also helps provide education to a child.

I met Sarah at an event to benefit the DC Public Library Foundation in September.  She was showcasing her designs with other local vendors at this event.  All of the Kicheko jewelry is beautiful, but the parlay cords are what grabbed the attention of my friends and I on that night.  The cords come in many bright colors and can be made any length as they attach magnetically.  There are so many fun combinations that can be put together to be worn on any occasion, including a formal event like attending the Kennedy Center Honors.  I was actually so excited about meeting Sarah and her designs that I forgot to buy a necklace.  My girlfriends both bought one and I have had jewelry envy ever since.  Fortunately that issue is being resolved!

Sarah works with a variety of materials to produce her jewelry in addition to the nylon, woven cords.  I asked her where she seeks inspiration for her designs and she told me “A lot of my inspiration comes from a mix of travels, geometry, nature, a sense of play, creative conversations, and the interplay between materials.”  Sarah is very enlightened to the world and you can tell this not only by her response and the mission of her business, but if you have the privilege of meeting her you will sense it immediately in her energy.

Because this is a DC focused blog, I also asked Sarah what her favorite DC locations are to spend time.  Sarah’s response:

“When I’m in between meetings, I like spending time in the atrium of the National Portrait Gallery in Chinatown.  Several mornings during the week,  I enjoy jogging along the Rock Creek Park.  On a bright afternoon or weekend, I like meeting friends at Union Market or at Maketto for a drink and pork buns.  The Smithsonian and private art galleries are also a favorite.  This is more seasonal, but I love spending time at the FDR Memorial during cherry blossom time in spring.”

I am thankful to Sarah and Kicheko Goods for allowing me to feature them in this post.  You can view and purchase all of the Kicheko Goods jewelry here.  As I mentioned in my post last Friday, Kicheko is a great idea for holiday gifting!


In DC black tie events happen frequently.  Over the many years I have lived in this city, I have been invited to attend many formal events and these invites most always happen at the last minute.  I am an advocate of having a formal dress in your closet for this reason, similar to the Issa dress I am wearing in this post today.  This dress has saved me on more than one occasion.  In fact I was lucky enough to be invited to the White House Correspondents Association Dinner at the last minute a couple of years ago and this dress is what I wore.

I recommend the dress you have is a solid colored and simple dress, it doesn’t have to be black, because you can wear it multiple times and accessorize it in many ways to look different each wear.  The Kicheko Goods cords are a playful way to bring this dress to life.  With so many options of cords, I could accessorize this dress to make it look and appear unique for multiple events if I need to.  Jewelry and accessories are what can help you get away with repeating the same dress, especially in a time where everyone is “insta-famous.”

I had this dress altered to fit me perfectly, tailoring is a must!  Very few items are ready-to-wear as they are sold.  I always keep this dry cleaned and ready to go, along with a pair of spanx and a lint roller.  This is a very simple way to be ready for any spontaneous invitation you receive.  I am sure most readers have received the last minute invite; if you have not and you stay in DC long enough, you will!

Formal Dresses I like:


The Black tie dress code is very specific, however it has certainly relaxed in recent years.  Often floor length gowns aren’t worn to black tie events and according to Emily Post, a female can wear a dressy cocktail dress (or suit) for a formal event.  I think this is acceptable for weeknight black tie events, but I really encourage the floor length dress or black tie tuxedo for a woman who is attending a black tie event on a weekend evening.  I think it is a classy move.  The Kennedy Center Honors took place last night and this is one event where women and men pull out their best, most formal black tie attire.  I have never attended, but I know I would wear an outfit like the one I have featured today.

*The Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS, December 29 at 9:00 PM ET.

Photo Information:  Photos by Anna Meyer taken at The Kennedy Center.