The Reliable Source

By Lavanya Ramanathan
Thursday, October 30, 2008

Designing for Your Dreams

Going in, it seemed as if Los Angeles designer Rami Kashou had the fourth season of "Project Runway" in the bag. He had, after all, already dressed the likes of Jessica Alba, already had his clothes featured on Tyra Banks's talk show.

By now, we all know that 22-year-old spitfire Christian Siriano banged out a collection of moody, European-looking architectural suits and gowns for Fashion Week. And that ultimately it was he who left with the adoration and, oh yes, that mondo check.

Talking with Kashou by phone last week, we got the sense that the premier purveyor of the Greek goddess drape is totally cool with how it all turned out.

"It's been great," Kashou says of the eight months that have passed since the Bryant Park show. "I've done the Home Shopping Network for Scoop. . . . I'm working on my own line for the Home Shopping Network." There is the spate of special orders -- wedding gowns, cocktail dresses. Dita Von Teese and host Heidi Klum have joined Alba in wearing his clothes. For Kashou, "Runway" brought press and made him nearly a household name, and that, he tells us, is what he was after in the first place.

How one keeps his chin up in the face of a little loss will be among the subjects Kashou will discuss next Thursday when he visits the Phillips Collection in conjunction with its Phillips After 5 art-and-drinks soirees. (We're telling you about it early because we expect that by next Thursday, all the tickets will have been snapped up.)

"I want to talk about what it takes to keep a dream alive," Kashou says. "What it's like to be a 5-year-old and have a dream" and turn it into reality at age 32. The talk (titled "Making It Work") will be "about passions and emerging business and 'Project Runway,' " he says. And he'll tie his work in with that of "wrap" artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

So what does Kashou think of Washington fashion? Having been to the city recently, the very L.A. designer says: "It has that New York sense of serious. People aren't flashy or crazy." (A comparison to New York? We'll take it!)

For Washington's budding fashionistas, he suggests only: "Have a little more fun. Obviously politics is a priority, and they have better things to worry about. But there's nothing wrong with being smart and fashionable at the same time."

Kashou visits the Phillips Collection next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for his talk are $15; Phillips members, $10. Admission to the special exhibition is extra, but the ticket includes Phillips After 5 admission. 1600 21st St. NW. Call 202-387-2151, Ext. 247 to buy tickets (this will save you Ticketmaster fees, too) or visit http://www.ticketmaster.com (search "Rami lecture").


ON STAGE Stella The be-suited trio of Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and David Wain met 20 years ago at NYU and went on to create the cult TV sketch show "The State" and summer-movie sendup "Wet Hot American Summer." And we suspect they might just be responsible for today's massive numbers of ironic hipster dudes and their close cousins, haters. Now, after a hiatus of a several years, Stella is set to go back on tour, performing at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue on Dec. 2. Tickets are $27.50 in advance; $29.50 the day of the show (but shows at the venue often sell out, so don't wait). Doors open at 7 p.m. Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Get tickets through the synagogue to save service charges. Call 202-408-3100. To get tickets through Ticketmaster, call 202-397-7328.

CONCERT "The Mexican Odyssey": Post-Classical Ensemble's Journey Through Time Artistic Director Joseph Horowitz, Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Mexican cultural historian Gregorio Luke cap off a week of heritage events with a concert Nov. 6 featuring works by such composers as Carlos Chávez, Silvestre Revueltas and Mario Lavista, which taken together are intended to tell the story of Mexican music and visual arts. Pedro Carboné on piano and Roberto Limón on guitar will be joined by the Georgetown University Chamber Singers for the performance. $25-$45. Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. 202-547-1122 or visit http://www.harmancenter.org.



LITERATURE Old Dogs Are . . . Well, Let Gene Weingarten Tell You The Pulitzer Prize-winning Post columnist, along with Pulitzer-winning Post photog Michael Williamson, teamed up on "Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs," a book in which the always-entertaining Weingarten pays tribute to man's best friend in its golden years. The pair talk about the project tonight in a Smithsonian Resident Associates Program. $25; members, $15. S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. Get tickets at 202-633-3030 or visit http://www.residentassociates.org.


FILM Midnight Movies Return to E Street For eight weeks, Landmark's E Street Cinema brings back midnight screenings on Friday and Saturday nights -- not mere late-night showings of new releases but cult films that you can rarely catch in theaters these days. It all starts with the very curious new horror movie "Midnight Meat Train," which (and we say this having watched the extended trailer) you might want to mentally file somewhere between "Black Snake Moan" and "Snakes on a Plane." In the coming weeks, look for "Pulp Fiction," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and the brilliant "American Psycho." Each movie plays both Friday and Saturday night. $10; students, $8; children and seniors, $7.50. Midnight every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 20. 555 11th St. NW. 202-452-7672 or get tickets in advance at http://www.landmarktheatres.com/tickets.

THE SCENE Bhangraween With DJ Rekha We have fond memories of DJ Rekha's regular Basement Bhangra parties at New York's S.O.B.'s. Those dance nights, which put Punjab's drum-heavy bhangra music squarely into the lexicon of in-the-know partyers, is now more than 10 years old. Rekha also manages to fill the Black Cat at least once a year, and on this visit she takes to the turntables on Halloween. $13. 9 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. 202-667-7960 or get tickets at 202-397-7328.


ON STAGE "Bollyb!end" D.C.'s Dhoonya Dance troupe's first full-length production, set for this weekend at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, blends moves inspired by the glam films of Bombay with the folk traditions of other parts of India, belly dancing and hip-hop. If, after DJ Rekha, you're dying for more of that pounding dhol beat, this is where it's at. $20; $15 in advance. Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lang Theatre, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993 or visit http://www.atlasarts.org.



FOR FAMILIES "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" If you're looking for freaky flicks in time for Halloween, the AFI Silver is showing a handful this week, including its annual "Nosferatu" screenings with live accompaniment tomorrow (get tickets soon, since it's usually a sellout). If you have little ones to consider, the kiddy offering is "Were-Rabbit" (2005), the first full-length movie featuring the clay stars of the Brit short films. The pair use their "Anti-Pesto" device to try to safely snare the creature that's eating up the town's gardens as a vegetable competition nears. $7.50; younger than 12, $5. Today and tomorrow at 5 p.m., Saturday at 5:45 and Sunday at 5:15. 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-495-6720 or get tickets at http://www.afi.com/silver.


ON STAGE Two Times the Beckett Spooky Action Theater's latest production is actually two: Samuel Beckett's "Ohio Impromptu" (a short work with two characters, Reader and Listener, the former an apparition sent to offer a tale to the latter) and "Krapp's Last Tape" (a one-act about a man who makes a biographical recording each birthday). The show is pay-what-you-can tomorrow through Sunday. (Regular shows, $15; students, $5.) Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday at 2 p.m. through Nov. 23. Montgomery College, Black Box Theater, Philadelphia and Chicago avenues, Takoma Park. For details, visit 202-248-0647 or visit http://www.spookyaction.org. For ticketing, call 800-494-8497.

CONCERT Ameranouche: Jazz in the Style of Django Reinhardt Montpelier Arts Center's fall jazz series (whose shows are regularly sold out) ends with tomorrow's concert by high-energy Gypsy jazz trio Ameranouche. The group, featuring two guitarists and a bassist, draws from American and Gypsy traditions. $20; seniors, $18. 8 p.m. Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Rd., Laurel. 301-953-1993.



THE SCENE Howloween? The Hotel Monaco Alexandria's Doggie Happy Hour closes for the season with the annual Howloween costume contest. Get yourself and your dog into matching costumes and head over to the hotel tonight for the event, a benefit for Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Judges will pick winners in categories including best "political pooch," most glam, and the most creative pet/owner costume combo. Complimentary gourmet doggie treats and fresh water bowls will be available for all canine friends, and humans can enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Free admission. 5-8 p.m. 480 King St., Alexandria. 703-549-6080 or visit http://www.doggiehappyhour.com.

FILM "The Big Lebowski," for Charity Nihilists, unite! Tonight, catch a charity screening of "The Big Lebowski" that will feature door prizes, a costume contest ("Lebowski" gear encouraged, but no one will fault you for coming as Harry Potter, we're sure) and raise money for services for the homeless and low-income families. $12 at the door. 9 p.m. Old Town Theater, 815 1/2 King St., Alexandria. 703-683-8888 or 571-289-4597.


FILM "All Hallows Scream" The Spooky Movie Film Festival brings four hours of campy, horror-filled films (three shorts and one feature-length movie) to this Halloween bash hosted by Count Gore De Vol and featuring a performance by Karlos Borloff and the Monsterminators. A costume contest kicks off at 11:30 p.m. $10. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. 703-486-2345 or get tickets in advance (recommended) at http://www.arlingtondrafthouse.com.

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