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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 05/16/2012

Bethesda Row hosts a weekend of shopping, dining, catwalking and special events


A model wearing clothes from Bethesda store Daddy & Son walks the runway at The Front Row in 2011. The weekend celebrates local retailers with a runway show, discounts and activities for fashionistas, shopaholics, families and even pleated-pants-wearers hoping to up their style. (Abby Greenawalt)
The District may not be known for its style, but this weekend thousands of Washington area women will swap their flats for stilettos and head to The Front Row, a weekend of shopping, dining and cat-walking at Bethesda Row.

“It’s an opportunity for the D.C. crowd to show that they care about the fashion industry,” said Barbara Martin, principal of BrandLink DC which has put on the event since it began in 2008.

The Front Row typically includes trunk shows, a fashion show and the screening of a stylish flick, but this year’s event is catering to more than shopaholics. It will offer activities and discounts for foodies and families, as well as a book signing by beloved Bravo host Andy Cohen, whose book, “Most Talkative,” hit shelves last week. Cohen is a believer in the District’s fashion scene.

“The Real Housewives of D.C. were proof that there are more than just pockets of chic in the nation’s capitol,” he said in an e-mail. “That being said, the men of D.C. need to do away with their pleated pants. Join the flat-front generation!”

Here’s a taste of what’s going on this weekend:

Thursday: The Front Row kicks off with a film screening of “God Save My Shoes” at the Bethesda Row Landmark Theatre. The documentary digs into the relationship between women and their shoes, spotlighting designers such as Manolo Blahnik and Pierre Hardy. Stick around after the show for a Q&A with producer Thierry Daher. 7:30 p.m. First-come, first serve. RSVP to shoes@brandlinkcrsvp.com.

Friday: Following Cohen’s book signing, Bethesda Lane will become a 40-foot catwalk. Ten models will showcase 75 looks from Bethesda Row retailers, including a preview of Fall 2012 trends. Stores will stay open until 9 p.m. so that attendees can shop the looks straight from the runway. Book signing at 5 p.m. and runway event at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: As The Front Row’s family-friendly day, “Chic Child on the Row” is like fashion week for the junior set. There will be Lego tables and arts and crafts stations along Bethesda Lane and pizza making classes at Vapiano. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Megan Buerger is a reporter for the Washington Post’s Local Living section. Follow her on Twitter@meganbuerger

By  |  12:23 PM ET, 05/16/2012

 
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