D.C. Fashion Week Takes It to the Streets

Published on September 23rd, 2012

Lauren Hilton/101 Magazine
Long pencil-thin legs with mile-high stilettos strut down the sidewalks of Gallery Place in downtown Washington. Flashing lights illuminate the dark silhouettes of 6-foot figures, giving life to stone-faced models as they saunter on toward their destination.

Chaotic crowds of curious bystanders stop and marvel with open mouths, some reaching for their phones to capture the almost mystical sight. With the grace of Olympic figure skaters gliding upon ice, one by one, stiletto by stiletto, the figures ascend the steps of the National Portrait Gallery.

Suddenly, they freeze. And for the first time in 15 minutes, everything is still. For the first time in 15 minutes, spectators are able to take in their full surroundings. The people who were once in awe of the dark shadows standing on the steps were now gaping at those standing around them.

For the first time in 15 minutes, the camera lens is not fixated upon the make-shift runway show, but the style of those here for “Fashion in the Streets,” part of the lineup for D.C. Fashion Week.

Hundreds of fashion enthusiasts stepped out to showcase the colors marked as this fall’s staples. The mix of media and patterns and textiles. Appropriately over-accessorized wrists and necks. And shoes that could have been made by Cinderella’s fairy godmother.

“Can I get a picture of your wing-tips?” asks a man dressed in a brown tweed blazer and crisply ironed and cuffed dark wash jeans. He bends down to capture the camel-colored wing-tipped oxfords.

From runway shows to networking parties, D.C. Fashion Week put on a series of notable events, which end Sunday with the 17th International Couture Collections at 5 p.m. Rest assured that “model status” was not a requirement to get in on all of the fashion week action. At “Fashion in the Streets,” it was hard to tell who was a model, and who was simply there to enjoy the night.

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