In addition to just about everything else in DC, the local arts scene is burgeoning and it’s really exciting to see how many ridiculously creative people we have living and producing beautiful artwork here. The WEARHOUSE event at the Anacostia Arts Center and Honfleur Gallery was an opportunity to get to know local fashion designers and jewelry makers at a night time market that felt more like a party with a DJ and mixed drinks. Note to self – drinking while shopping is dangerous to your bank account.
Before I admit to all of the things I bought and the fun designers we met, I must say that if you haven’t yet visited the strip of Good Hope Road in Anacostia where these galleries are located, you must. The quality of the artwork on display here is excellent and there’s a great community vibe that is so supportive of local artists. There’s even a cafe located inside the Anacostia Arts Center for a snack and coffee. They hold all kinds of great events here too, so it’s worth checking out their events page regularly.
Thanks to Instagram, I recently happened upon local jewelry designer Alissa and her design studio Off On a Tangent. Alissa and her husband Tom are both architects by trade and the jewelry pieces are inspired by great works of architecture around the world. I fell in love with her work and couldn’t resist ordering a necklace that was inspired by the stunning new African American History Museum right here on the National Mall. It was through them that I learned about the WEARHOUSE event, and I was excited to see all of their pieces in person and choose another one.
Another gem of a shop inside the Anacostia Arts Center is Vintage and Charmed Classic Clothing. They provided the clothing for the live window models at the event, who were completely still for so long that we didn’t realize that they were real people until one of them moved ever-so-slightly. My friend Mimi (who is a fashion hound like me) and I spent a while going through the great clothing, jewelry, shoes and bags in this small shop. And I came away with some new earrings because I rarely leave a vintage clothing store empty-handed.
Over at the Honfleur Gallery, we discovered the black and white screen printed bags of Printed Wild. I loved the clean and bold patterns inspired by nature and finally decided on a square pouch bag because of the unusual shape. Like Off on a Tangent, you can buy Printed Wild products (which are not limited to just bags, by the way, but also towels, pillows and other household stuff) online as well as get lucky enough to stumble upon them at events like this one or find them in small specialty stores around town like Salt & Sundry.
There were so many other great fashion makers who we met and whose work we admired. And based on the turnout, I think it’s safe to say that the event was quite a success. I know it was for me! I would love to see the nurturing and supportive community of local artists and designers continue to grow, and I can help that happen by not only buying these local products but also telling as many people as I can about them. Shop local, indeed!