DC Celine pulls a quick-change artist act in her cube, colleagues on the lookout. Yes, it's a shopping event she's attending, but darn it! it's the first event she's been to in almost a year, so she'd better look good. Camera ready!
Mad dash across the Key Bridge, forgoes any attempt at street parking, heads straight for garage at The Shops at Georgetown Park. Notes parking level. Hits the ATM (MAC machine, thank you very much), knowing full well that, while cards work at the DSS, cash = fast.
Hoofs it up M Street in her Aerosoles heels (can't beat style and comfort), black Loft tights, and Ali Ro standby. Rationale = Ali Ro short enough to play tunic when trying on bottoms, thin enough to try on jackets and tops. Black tights preserve any remaining modesty (not really much left, frankly, but for others' sakes) and still thin enough to not throw off trying on pants.
Stands in line. Listens to gabbing, introduces herself to DC Scout writer also in line. Air kisses and waves with the fabulous Babsie D, her Mighty Assistant, and Joyce of Be That Mom. Notes hose - yes, hose - nude - on two young women in front of her. Sigh. Maybe DC hasn't gotten as far as she hoped.
Nice Mary Washington fashion students hand out programs/maps. Very useful for planning the VIP hour strategy. Goal = black flats, suit. Targets = Sassanova, simplysoles, then suit shopping. She knows DSS isn't necessarily the place to buy a suit, but separates, especially a jacket, can certainly be found.
Upstairs to shoes. Scan, scan. Nada. Neither shoe purveyor has anything particularly basic (not surprising), but there are some beautiful shoes not in her size (9s are notoriously difficult to find at sales).
Sangaree's right there, so off to the racks. Pencil skirt, several sizes, but just not quite right. Oooh! grey higher-waisted, cuffed trousers. Lovely lighter color and weight for summer. Up with the Ali Ro, on with the trousers. Yup. Perfect. $99. Not bad, but not great, so peers at the label. Ports 1961, originally $525. Ok, then. Score deal #1. Attempts the matching jacket, but needs one size larger to accomodate Germanic shoulders and frame. No diminutive Italian here.
(Regret - completely missed that Mona Assemi of mona assemi jewelry was paired up with Sangaree. Lovely baubles. Just wasn't focused on accessories, so didn't pay it no mind. Ooops.)
Through the door to scan some more. Imagine Fashion Apothecary, a place she'd hoped to visit, but just hadn't made yet. Jeans all over the place. Another quick change, and score! a pair of $200 Stitch's bootcut jeans (the softest, comfiest jean ever on the body) for $100. Not on the list, but will replace the very nearly see through Citizens hanging in her closet.
Scan, scan...rush, rush. Assumes her hour is nearly up. Stops by Periwinkle to check out potential suits and jackets by Rochelle Behrens. Lovely, lovely stuff, but just not quite the right fit. Jackets with just a little twist of a big collar for standing up or laying down. Perfect pencil skirts. Fine fabrics with interesting textures.
Not feeling confident in finding anything else, and just about shopped out, stops for food. Mmmm...roasted red pepper, proscuitto, and cheese "grilled cheeses," mini southwestern wraps. Not terribly imaginative, but substantial enough to energize for a trip back downstairs. Helps to run into bundle of energy better known as the Queen Bee.
Ginger. Must visit. Another door not yet darkened, despite ridiculously close proximity. Bean-having is not conducive to boutique shopping. Flip, flip, flip, pretty things, but no inspiring deals. Until she spies a woman about to crouch down by the desk. She goes in and does the same. Said woman nicely backs off, as she thinks DC Celine was there first. A 9.5 and 10 in Modern Vintage riding boot. Kidding, right? Quick, quick, try on. Price check? $50 from somewhere in the $300 range. Promises nice woman she'll "pay it forward."
Pays it forward when she chats with Ms. Spinach, who was looking for well-heeled attendees to capture on film, and known for seeking - ahem - larger sized footwear. They're now boot twins.
That's it. Enough. No more. Food. Water. sweetgreen and georgetown cupcake. Le Parisien (sucker for a champagn vinaigrette) and lemon raspberry. Lenten fast be gone.
Finds a table at which to perch herself - and chat with Kelly of cityshopgirl.com. Has a lovely catchup, and realizes that the crowds still haven't decended. Checks watch. It's not even 6:15 yet.
Wowza. Did all that shopping in about a half hour. Brilliant. Men everywhere would be astounded.
Fast forward through meeting McLean of Deacon Does DC and observing much craziness as the crowds roll in. Finally finds Joyce and crew, and follows them around for a little while (Joyce was just dying for someone to buy a gold formal coat, since it didn't fit her - no dice).
About ready to leave. One last round, say the girls, then drinks and food. Sitting down.
simplsoles. Not interested in anything, already saw this stuff.
Crapola. Perfect. One last deal, and discovers that Cassie of simplysoles has started her own in-house line, lillybee. $195 for $60.
Phew. What a night.