Category Archives: Style

David Bowie, The Next Day

Sticker promoting David Bowie's 'The Next Day' in Georgetown
Sticker promoting David Bowie’s “The Next Day” in Georgetown

At least in my mind, David Bowie’s status as a style icon comes before his music. I have listened to his albums for years, but his image as a flamboyant, sophisticated shapeshifter was what initially drew me to his work.

I regret to say that despite Bowie’s fight to “Never Get Old” on Reality (2003), his newest album The Next Day (2012) is the first on which his age shows, meaning nothing of the quality, only his perspective. Like a retired astronaut, he harkens to stargazing and astro-disco on “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and “Dancing Out In Space”. It’s a fine album, and I’m glad he has not retired.  His fellow countryman Morrissey could take a few notes from him on aging gracefully.

One of the things I attribute Bowie’s success as an artist is his commitment to not over-sharing. I can’t imagine him writing a tell-all memoir. Recording The Next Day in secret gave him the opportunity to surprise us all again. His discretion invites listeners and fans to read more deeply into the details of his work rather than glossing over them.

The two images below are from a three-page ad featuring Bowie and Iman published during 2004 for H Hilfiger, a year after he released Reality. I forget how many years I had them taped up on my bedroom wall. At the time, I didn’t think of them as fashion photographs so much as rock posters. Funny how those lines get blurred.

David Bowie and Iman for H Hilfiger
David Bowie and Iman for H Hilfiger
David Bowie and Iman for H Hilfiger
David Bowie and Iman for H Hilfiger

It’s interesting to see how much the Hilfiger brand, like Bowie, has shapeshifted. These images are miles away from the “Hilfigers” ad campaign of recent years. The looks here are in step with the style and mood of Men In Black (1997) and the first installment of the Matrix franchise (1999), fusing together science fiction, minimalism, and an all black-and-white wardrobe.

Photo by me

Hilfiger ads shot by Ellen von Unwerth

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Lilly Pulitzer, 1931-2013

tumblr_ml2fmdzAJ41qbu6t0o1_500Sunday April 7, fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer died at the age of 81. I thought I’d reflect, since my Dad and I are fond of her work.

The Lilly look is territory I rarely venture into. D.C. is not a coastal city. We’re not having clambakes on the Potomac. There is a time and a place.

I wore a vintage Lilly bow tie/cummerbund set—purloined from my Dad’s closet—to prom in high school and to Senior Ball in college. Pulitzer started something that was completely new that has remained relatively timeless over decades. I’ll continue to wear my Dad’s togs in remembrance of her, when appropriate.

Me finding a snail in my salad at Prom (2008)
Me finding a snail in my salad at Prom (2008)

Illustration by me

Georgetowner Extra: Delivery in Middleburg, Va.

Distribution is an interesting part of my job at the Georgetowner. When I get to drive around and do the Northern Virginia delivery, I see where many of our readers live and what they do, which can help with brainstorming ideas for articles. Delivering to Middleburg is another thing entirely, because the lifestyle is so different there. I thought I’d share where our papers are in Middleburg so readers can find them and enjoy some of the great things the town offers.

My first stop was at the National Sporting Library and Museum. The Museum is currently displaying the work of artist Abbott Handerson Thayer in an exhibit titled, “A Beautiful Law of Nature”. Our art contributor, Ari Post, worked to create the exhibit’s catalogue. Thayer’s work will be on display through May 26. More details here.

National Sporting Library
National Sporting Library

Next, I delivered to the offices of the Middleburg Spring Races. The offices are filled with neat photographs and memorabilia from races past. I wish I had more time to poke around. I loved their duck door knocker—where can I find one?—and office hours. This year’s races will be held on Saturday, April 20.

Middleburg Spring Races Office Hours
Middleburg Spring Races Office Hours
Duck doorknocker
Duck door knocker at the offices of the Middleburg Spring Races

I also stopped at Market Salamander, where I ran into market owner Sheila Johnson, who is also president of the Washington Mystics and cofounder of Black Entertainment Television. I had never visited the market before, and I told Ms. Johnson I was very impressed with the facilities and available foods. Ms. Johnson gave me a scone to eat on the ride back to D.C. Very tasty.

Owner Sheila Johnson at Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.
Market owner Sheila Johnson at Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.
Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.
Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.

I liked Highcliffe Clothiers a lot. The store’s selection carries a lot of things shoppers cannot find in Washington like colorful tweed jackets and… a lot of other things. I dashed in and out, so another visit will be in my future to take it all in.

___ ___ shows me a blazer at Highcliffe Clothier in Middleburg, Va.
Custom clothing expert Mark Metzger shows me a blazer at Highcliffe Clothiers in Middleburg, Va.

My eyes were instantly drawn to a rack of Harris Tweed jackets on sale. Store owner Mark Metzger had me try on one from Highcliffe’s private label collection.

Highcliffe Clothier
Highcliffe Clothiers’ private label. Great jacket.
Beautiful color, but unfit for a Georgetown alumnus.
Beautiful color, but unfit for a Georgetown alumnus.

Great fit (sleeves need to be lengthened). Great fabric. Great color, except that as a GU alumnus, I won’t be wearing an orange sportcoat in the near future. As Metzger said as I put it on, “That’s a lot of jacket.”

Lastly, I saw a cool truck with a cool dog in it.

As I always say, "The South: It's closer than you think."
As I always say, “The South: It’s closer than you think.”

You can find the newest issue of the Georgetowner in many businesses in McLean, Middleburg, Tysons and Vienna, Va.

All photos by me
If you are interested in having issues of the Georgetowner delivered to your business in Northern Virginia, please email me at nico (at) georgetowner (dot) com.

Jordan 45 on Wisc. Ave

Saw this guy at Wisc. & Prospect wearing a Jordan 45 jersey. For those of us scratching our heads, MJ wore number 45 during his short baseball career and afterwards on the Bulls during the 1994-95 NBA season. In a way, the jersey is a local reference since Jordan’s second “comeback” was on the Wizards.