Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Best-Dressed Windows in Town and a glimpse behind DRESSED, the film

Don't walk by Ginger in Bethesda Lane without stopping to check out their windows. Always innovative and very clever, they are clearly the best-dressed windows around. I snapped these on designer Thursday during Bethesda Row's Boutique Week. That night we met furniture designer Barclay Butera at Urban Country and then wandered over to Landmark Bethesda Row for a screening of DRESSED.

Afterwards, we met the designer and subject of the documentary film, Nary Manivong and the director, David Swajeski. What I especially liked is that the story shows the power of perseverance and the results of stubbornly following your dreams. Swajeski told me that they are taking it to different schools--most recently in New Mexico--showing it to students to convey the message that no matter how bad it seems, there really is a way out. Manivong was an abused child whose parents finally abandoned him and his siblings when he was 14. He went from living on the streets to designing a collection for New York's Fashion Week--and after a series of mishaps, finally showing that collection. The documentary shows the gritty side of the fashion world and the hard work it takes to succeed. Manivong told me he was inspired by the pictures in magazines and thought, "I can make people look like that." Fashion was also his disguise--his escape--from the brutal reality of his life. As Tim Gunn would say, he certainly "made it work"--in a big way. He has partnered with Ally Hilfiger to form the NAHM line, which launched this fall. The name is comprised of Hilfiger's and Manivong's first and last initials. It means water in Manivong's native Laotian. Here are some snaps from the after-party at Jaleo.

Nary Manivong posing with a guest

...and chatting with another

The  most fabulous shoes (Nine West! she said)

Mingling, chatting

I loved this ensemble--coat, hair, the whole thing.

David Swajeski chats with a guest

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