March 30, 2011

In Case You Missed It: District Sample Sale Recap (Guest Post!)

Thanks to Real Girl Runway's Deb Vaughan for this great guest post while we're in France! Want more? Check out her great pics in this slideshow.

{Committee Member Erika Martin-Hughes with co-founder and Real Housewife Mary Amons}

Outsiders may think Washington, DC is all suits and startched shirts but last night, DC’s fashion forward proved them wrong. Attendees to the biannual District Sample Sale wore their most stylish ensembles to one of the premier fashion events of the season. With over 30 fashion vendors and boutiques to choose from, there was something for everyone.

What’s New for 2011

The big news on everyone’s lips? A new location -- the sale moved from Georgetown to the Vornado/Charles E. Smith Green Building on L Street for its 10th installment.

A venue change wasn’t the only exciting update for the 2011 District Sample Sale. The new accessories pavilion was a great addition. Vendors specializing in accessories were in a separate space from clothing and shoe boutiques, affording shoppers the opportunity to plan their shopping strategy, and a two-level venue allowed for easy browsing. Once again, VIP tickets were a hot commodity; although general admission shoppers were queued at least 50 deep a half hour in advance of the sale start. One shopper said that the chance at the first pick of the merchandise was well worth the additional ticket price. She had already scored some great deals before the VIP hour ended.

{Clothes from Cupcake}
The Bargains
Even with the upturn in the economy, shoppers were looking for a bargain. There were lots to be found. Designer dresses for $50 and under, Tory Burch espadrille flats for less than $75, and tops for less than $30. Wink had designer jeans for $50. Premier area purveyors such as Emily Grace, Ginger, Rue14, and Simply Soles sold merchandise for up to 90% off.

A dress bought by one patron was a true steal. She eyed the dress in a boutique a month or so ago. As luck and the fashion goddess would have it, she found the dress at DSS for 70% off of the original price. Statement necklaces from Queen Bee designs were also priced at fantastic discounts.
{Georgetown Cupcakes with a special DSS monogram}
The Extras
A new dress and shoes begs for coiffed hair and expertly-applied makeup. The cosmetics experts from Neiman Marcus staffed the beauty bar and applied the season’s latest colors. The skin care gurus from Kate Somerville dispensed advice and samples of their products. Blow-outs and styling provided by the top notch staff of one 80 Salon gave patrons a fresh look for the evening as well as an opportunity to sit and relax during their shopping marathon.

Power shopping requires power fuel, in the form of cocktails, treats and tunes. There was hearty fare from Ping Pong Dim Sum, Current Sushi, Kababji, and CafĂ© Bonaparte. Svedka Vodka and the Flying Dog Brewery supplied libations and there was sparkling water for those choosing not to imbibe. Tasty treats from Georgetown Cupcake and Dolci Gelati tempted guests. Judging by the crowd, many chose to balance out their low fat sushi with a little cupcake fix. The sounds from 94.7 fresh FM’s Tommy McFly and a great DJ kept shoppers pumped up.

Those willing to gamble a bit could try their hand at the silent auction. Offers for weekend getaways were offered, along with hand made chocolates, wine tastings and gourmet fare. Yoga, Pilates and gym memberships for those wanting to stay fit were available. Fashion and beauty seekers could bid on a DVF clutch, jewerly, and luxury costmetics and dermatology services.

As if the limitless bargains weren’t enough, the host committee gifted VIP patrons with goodie bags containing samples from popchips, one 80 salon, Kate Somerville, Stila, Smatwater, and more.

The Cause
Lest we forget the reason for the sale, proceeds from the event will go to the E. L. Haynes Charter School. The school’s mission is that every E.L. Haynes student of every race, socioeconomic status, and home language will reach high levels of academic achievement and be prepared to succeed at the college of his or her choice. Haute committee member Erika Martin-Hughes remarked that it was fun to shop and have the proceeds go to a great cause.

The founders of the event, Real Housewife Mary Amons, Shannon Haley, Liberty Jones, Barbara Martin, and Jayne Sandman, have created a fantastic event for Washingtonians to mix fun and charity. Without their hard work and that of the committee members, the event wouldn’t be possible. Co-founder Barbara Martin said that special thanks go to Shannon Haley, who leads the group in Operations and Logistics, for her efforts this year.

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