Friday, April 13, 2012

PowerHouse......another game changer?

Photo credit: Kate Warren of

by contributor Meredith Fineman

ReadySetDC is an artist collective, creative agency and group of DC cultural influence powerhouses, literally – and that was clear at the 5th Fashion/District event last night at PowerHouse in Georgetown.  The organization hosted the fete in a vacant space activated by popular crowd-sourcing start-up and real-estate activation organization VerdeHouse.

The Powerhouse is a historic warehouse located along the C&O canal in the heart of Georgetown.
The night was a nonstop display of creativity – from the guests to the local designers themselves.  Colors and edgy prints filled the PowerHouse as party-goers sipped cocktails from former Gibson GM and current Dunes arts collective resident mixologist Jon Harris. Harris created elaborate mixtures and infusions as patrons shopped accessories, ready-to-wear, and menswear.

Photo credit: Kate warren of

Ora Nwabueze FB photo
The fashion-forward set gathered to mull over the designs of dozens of local Washington designers.  Fashion/District was created in 2009 by ReadySetDC to introduce and support local DC designers for fashion-forward communities of young people. “Where else can you find a diversity of designers and ideas like this,” said Dunes collective founder and event co-chair Ora Nwabueze. 
This year featured designs from local favorites such as menswear designers Hugh & Crye and boutique Ginger Root, as well as up-and-comers in the budding DC fashion scene.

For the past four years, Fashion/District has been centered upon a runway show, but this year ReadySetDC decided to make a few changes. The space was transformed into a showroom aesthetic, allowing patrons to engage more deeply with the designers and pieces themselves. Two stories of mini-boutiques incorporated varying aesthetics among designers and party-goers.

Guests also rode in style - DC car service Uber sponsored the event, offering special access, discounts and a free drink to riders who arrived in one of their town cars.  Guests snacked on treats from Vinoteca, CafĂ© Saint Ex, and Matchbox as DJ’s India Nile and vANNIEty Kills spun a mix of hip-hop and indie music.
Jenny Schretter
Emerging designers have always had a home in Washington, but Fashion/District brings them all together under one PowerHouse roof. One of the designers, Washington-area native Jenny Schretter, says that she loves Fashion/District because her line of jewelry, Kolton J, gets unparalled exposure through ReadySetDC’s events such as these. “I'm really excited about being one of the designers showcased at Fashion District because it introduces my work to Washingtonians and allows me to engage with them personally about the history of the individual pieces, and the aesthetic of the jewelry,” she said.
Another local designer at the event, GW Student and fashion Denizen Erin Yogastrundam of Shop Jeen runs her eclectic mix of jewelry and lifestyle pieces out of her dorm room. “This is my ideal demographic, tons of fashionable young Washingtonians that care about what I’m trying to do,” she said.

For a full list of designers and to learn more about ReadySetDC and Fashion/District, click on the link.