On Tuesday night the Fashion Group International of Washington, a non-profit professional development organization, hosted its inaugural “Rising Stars” awards ceremony honoring the District’s emerging talent in fashion, style and beauty.

Yes, fashion and Washington can exist in the same sentence. Stylist and FGIDC board member Lauren Rothman of Styleauteur, who was on hand to present an award, said there’s more style in D.C. than people realize. Just ask “Rising Star” nominee photographer Kate Warren, who showed up in a liquid blue Zac Posen gown that looked fresh off the runway.

Emotions flowed as a freely as the champagne at Fabio Trabocchi’s Casa Luca as many of last night’s honorees stepped to the podium to tearfully thank the friends and family who believed in them. Perhaps the most moving moment came when JoElle Lee, founder of JoElle Skincare and First Lady Michelle Obama’s personal aesthetician, accepted the beauty award by calling her supportive husband her “rising star.”

The East Wing beauty team was out in full force (minus one Mr. Johnny Wright) with Carl Ray, Mrs. Obama’s personal make up artist, also in the crowd. He said he was excited about the first lady’s up-coming trip to China (minus that long plane ride) and had one piece of advice for the Washington woman looking to blend in with the beautiful people that are increasingly taking over the District’s sidewalks: “Enhance pure beauty, don’t overdue it.”

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