Without leaving home, Washingtonians have had the luxury of Parisian shopping without subjecting themselves to random searches, having precious liquids confiscated, or the indignity of flying coach. Shining like a beacon across a vast landscape or wasteland (more accurately, innumerable establishments offering watered-down renditions of the WASP-y look/overworked bridal creations/the worst of vintage finds), An American In Paris is truly a find, one of the little treasurers in life that is carefully shared with like-minded friends and other fashionistas. Madame Joelle, the owner of An American In Paris, was formerly a professional stylist in Europe, as well as an international buyer with billions of miles logged all across the world. She has a truly unique gift for being able to see the beauty in every type of body -- and then suggesting looks to enhance the wearer. Her clientele vouch for her ability to make even a door-mouse look and feel absolutely fantastic! She's simply amazing at styling, and really enjoys working with the women who visits her shop. Her selection of special-occasion dresses, unique jackets and trousers, coats, shirts and accessories is superb.
Between fittings, Madame Joelle was able to provide me with some details about her shop. " I hand-select each piece that enters our boutique, which is then scrutinized for quality in every detail before it is introduced to our clients. We support a limited range of designers, and focus especially on small independent American design-houses. This allows us to offer a selection of unique clothing and accessories, which cannot be found elsewhere such as at the chain-retailers or department stores. Right now some of our favorite picks are from the spring lines of DAVID MEISTER, EVA FRANCO, YOANA BARASCHI, BLACK HALO, POLECI, CUE, as sell as SEQUOIA for hand-bags, and FARINAZ for heavenly tops. This winter the biggest trend was the fur-and-fabric combo, cashmere capes with fur collars, lace dresses and pleated skirts. Sequined dresses (worn beneath furs), suits, leathers and refined jewels all translated well from the runway shows to everyday dressing. Yellow, cobalt and vintage green(s) were quite popular colors, when paired with blacks, browns and greys."
Madame Joelle welcomes spring and predicts an emphasis on feminine dresses and skirt, stripes in playful patterns, and lots of florals. Yellow and aqua will be very strong. As will graphic prints, a modern interpretation of the 1920's elegance, and sport-inspired ready-to-wear will continue to be a major trend. For accessories, she advices to load up on python and lizard prints--even down to your shoes. "A yellow-lizard pointed-toe shoe is very very sexy! Keep your bags in crisp colors and clean lines. With influences from Lady Gaga and Kate Middleton all around, things are going to be very interesting."
Please stop in for a visit (1225 King Street, www.anamericaninparisoldtown.com) or schedule an appointment with Madame Joelle at 703 519 8234. An amazing experience with a French-woman who really knows her stuff; and without having to cough up for an airline ticket, you'll be able to now easily get something special for this spring.
PS: Tonight's soundtrack is Johnnie Mathis' 99 Miles From LA.