Her Focus

perspectives on fashion, photography, and lifestyle

Seeing Red: Fall 2012 RTW

I have many reasons to blame for my love of the color red:

  • My first set of pom poms,
  • Playing field hockey for the Crestwood Comets,
  • A collection of tshirts in the appropriate sorority colors, and
  • An undying adoration for the red coat worn in the last scene of “Love Actually.” 

While my rationale sounds a bit like a line out of “Clueless,” it doesn’t make my obsession with the color red any less.  This is my second post on red in just over a year of this little blog’s existence. So to say that I was ecstatic with the amount of red on the runway during this fashion week would be an understatement  (And yes, I mean actual red, not red paint a la a PETA demonstration).

Much of the rest of fashion week has been an odd disappointment for me so far.  Tibi, one of my usual favorites, just didn’t strike the right chord with an entire line of box shapes. I can’t stomach Prabal Gurung’s electric blue. Herve Leger looks more socially inappropriate than usual.

But the reds… the reds were perfect.  Classic, yet cutting edge.  Wearable, yet daring. Fashion forward, yet flattering.  In a month filled with valentines and long stem roses (and CPAC attendees, for my fellow district residents), the town is painted red.

One of these years, I’ll make it to the shows in person, and I can guarantee that when I do, I’ll be the girl in red. In the meantime, check out my favorites from Fall 2012 RTW. (Photos courtesy of New York Magazine’s Cut Blog and its wonderful fashion week coverage.)


St. John


Monique Lhuillier


Rag & Bone

Assigned Reading

It’s Superbowl Sunday, which means no time for this football fan to write.  Still, even Eli Manning can’t keep me from fulfilling my new year resolutions. 

Below, I’ve listed a few of my favorite blogs, all categorized under “district favorites.”  These blogs highlight my favorite aspects of my favorite city, so add these to your google reader and enjoy getting to know DC a little better this week.   

  • Refinery 29:  With outlets in six cities, Refinery 29 provides fresh, reliably entertaining content each day.  Of course, I’m biased to the DC outlet, but check out the feeds for other stylish cities too, such as New York and Chicago.

  • Eater DC: What’s the fun of dressing up if you don’t have anywhere to go?  Eater DC keeps me up on the latest restaurant openings around town.  Because of this blog, my list of “must go” places keeps growing, and growing, and growing… 

  • DCist: Staying up to date on the news in this revolving door city would be an exhausting task, if it wasn’t for this website. 

  • Capitol Hill Style:  I’ve been a devoted reader of CHS since Spring 2010, and my obsession has only grown over the years.  In our little district apartment, Belle’s daily three posts are a nightly topic of conversation.  From style picks to overall professional advise, CHS satisfies the working girl’s appetite.   
  • My Closet in Sketches: While she doesn’t blog specifically about DC, this skilled sketch artist does live in the district.  Her drawings of outfits inspire me to both dress better and get out the “pencil and pen” for some artistic expression.

Supportive Shopping

While the title suggests a post on why retail therapy trips are my chosen form of self-recovery (because let’s face it… a new pair of flats has more healing power than a glass of red wine ever will), I’m headed in a different direction today. 

This Sunday’s Washington Post included an article by columnist Robert McCartney, in  which McCartney shone a light on the holes in a few radical groups’ smear campaigns against the Girl Scouts as of late.  These groups, using mostly social media protests, have “encouraged parents to boycott cookie sales, pull their daughters out of scouts and push churches not to provide meeting spaces for troops.” 

As a “product of the Girl Scout system”  (yes, I am THAT girl who went all the way through from daisy troops to getting her Gold Award), I am absolutely appalled that any group would want to discourage a time tested model that encourages girls to develop life skills.   

Instead, let’s take a new approach on retail therapy.  Here are a few products that are both satisfying buys and also supportive of our fellow women. And now I have a new excuse for my shopping habits:  To make the world a better place and be a sister to every girl scout!  


Kate Spade’s Hand in Hand Bangle, supporting Women for Women

Still stuck in 2006 and wearing rubber bracelets to show your philanthropic endeavors?  I’m all for rose gold bangles for a cause.  As an owner of the piece, I can attribute to its classic look and conversation starting appeal. 


New Balance’s Winter Vest, supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation

On a daily basis, my clothing preferences trend towards neutrals.  Yes, I’ve been accused many times of wearing white on white, or unintentionally pulling together an all black outfit.  But when it comes to gym time, I love to break out the color.  What’s more inspiring when burning calories than thinking of women fighting tougher battles than yours?


Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick, supporting Dress for Success

One of my favorite fashion forward women, Bobbi Brown built an entire beauty product line based around enhancing natural beauty, not changing it.  Bobbi Brown contributes $25,000 annually, along with a large number of product donations, to Dress for Success, an organization which helps underprivileged women with interview and job skills and attire.  


Samoas, Thin Mints and Trefoils, supporting Girl Scouts of America

Finally, make sure to take a moment this year to support your girl scouts and purchase a box of your favorite guilty pleasure treat— whether it be frozen Thin Mints (my Achilles’ heel) or a Saturday full of Samoas.  Personally, I’m a fan of buying “a box here and there” to spread the smiles that it brings to a young girl’s face when you exchange the $3.50 in your wallet for a box of classic deliciousness. 

Ladies Who Power Brunch


Waiting for the latest Vanity Fair magazine to arrive in my mailbox is a monthly practice of patience for me.  As always, February’s edition did not disappoint, but my favorite article was not a tribute to my favorite Hitchens or a profile on the ever beautiful Clooney.  Rather, I practically ate the pages of Bob Colacello’s “Revisiting the Ladies Who Lunch.”

As Elaine Stritch so famously sang, the women of Colacello’s article graced New York City establishments such as Colony Club and Le Cirque for midday meals, where no one actually ate.  He writes a marvelous time travel piece, which made myself and others I’ve shared it with hungry with the desire to have been a guest at one of these lunches, filled with jewelry, celebrity and perfect hair.

Recently, this lady and a few of her good friends have been dining across town, dressing to the nines and attempting our best modern day Jackie O impersonations.  From BLT Steak to District Commons, we’ve been testing out the capital’s finest eats.  To get a dinner together requires a weekend night without previous commitments and reservations ahead of time.  It’s practically more work than throwing a benefit. 

So in this city, where long work hours restrict luxurious midday meals, the buzz is Sunday brunch.  Even an out of town guest came along for a recent Sunday brunch trip to DC’s take on New Orleans, Acadiana (which was well reviewed by a favorite blog of mine, the Bitches Who Brunch).  While indulging in rounds of decadent “pain perdu,” our table of five enjoyed laughs and a chorus of “mmmmmm’s.” 

But instead of a light conversation on the latest charity events, our meal included a serving of election news, with a side of career goals, and a dash of feminism.  I’d blame it on one too many mimosas, but I’d be dismissing the truth.  Just like our 1950s counterparts, it isn’t the decor, or probably even the food, that brings us together for a meal. Rather, it’s the conversation with friends… ours just spins a little more Wonkette than Dior. 

Bring it on, Meet the Press.  We have our own roundtables, with both politics and pearls.