Philippa P.B. Hughes

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A fixture in the city's thriving underground art scene, Hughes created the Pink Line Project ( in April 2007 to promote local artists, exhibitions and events. Since then, she's become somewhat of an arch-organizer of all things arty, providing an entry point for novices eager to appreciate and collect art. "My theory is the more you show up to stuff, the more comfortable you become, and people start recognizing you," Hughes says. "You become a part of the scene." Her tips? Mingle with artists at open studio days and start a collection with drawings, which are more affordable than photographs and paintings.

Her vintage cocktail dresses and old-school scooter might make it seem otherwise, but Hughes takes a decidedly modern approach to her role in the art world, and her events are anything but quiet, white-walled gallery tours. Instead, she brings graffiti artists, skateboarders, video DJs and local musicians into eclectic gatherings that are as much about social networking as art appreciation. "I like to think of it as creative experiences, versus just visual art," Hughes says. "I like the idea of having 'art' be many kinds of things."

-- Holly E. Thomas

Here are a few of Hughes's favorite finds:

Her dream designer: Vivienne Westwood

A fan of the uber-unique, Hughes buys mostly vintage clothing but covets Westwood's attention-getting, theatrical items [1]. "I wear things that I'm very aware of, and that I know other people will notice," Hughes says. Vivienne Westwood Anglomania squiggle-print blouse, $690 at

Her next purchase: Tracy Feith for Target

One of Hughes's favorite designers, Feith launched a GO International collection last week consisting of Gidget-meets-the Mod Squad tropical-print shifts [2], cropped leather jackets and floral bikinis -- perfect for Hughes's annual surf trip to Costa Rica. Zip-front dress, $39.99 at Target stores and

Her beauty must-have: Kérastase

Hughes treats her tresses with Kérastase products, which are formulated to shield color-treated hair from the sun. One to try: Chroma Reflect Radiance-Enhancing Milk [3], $26 at select salons and

Her ride: Buddy scooter

Hughes relies on a vintage-style Buddy scooter [4] in her signature pastel pink for jaunts between art events. 50cc model, $1,999, and 125cc model, $2,699, at Genuine Scooters of Arlington, 3206 N. 10th St., Arlington; 703-243-VESPA.

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