A woman is posing for a photo outside of the Perry Belmont House in Dupont Circle, her arm draped delicately over the open butterfly doors of a McLaren parked in front. A Karl Lagerfeld-esque man, hair tied back into a sleek gray ponytail, saunters by, but he’s opted for clear tortoiseshell glasses instead of the late designer’s signature black tinted shades. With every turn of your head, you catch a glimpse of the unmistakable red bottom of a Louboutin heel.
You would think you were at New York Fashion Week or a swanky A-list Hollywood premiere. Which is exactly what Fashion Night Ignites co-founders Zarah Burstein and Indira Gumarova wanted, as they used the event to try to foster the District’s fashion scene. At least the kind of fashion that comes with a hefty price tag.
To kick off the evening, which was a collaboration with the embassies of the Czech Republic, Malta and Slovenia, models paraded down the runway, tulle and beads galore, in a show inside the Beaux-Arts mansion featuring designs from Maja Stamol, Dur Doux, Burnett New York, Poner and Charles & Ron. One glitter-covered gown with a sheer underlay (think Rihanna’s famous naked dress) evoked audible gasps of admiration from the audience, which included government employees, D.C. athletes’ significant others and Instagram influencers (yes, we have those too).
After the show, partygoers mingled in rooms that showcased traditional dress from the host countries. Absent from the scene was arguably the District’s premier fashionista, who is also a Slovenian native — Melania Trump.