Crystal Couture In Review

Workday Wednesday Fashion Show

The Gossip on 23rd Runway Show at Crystal City Couture

On Wednesday, I headed over to Crystal City for dinner with friends and then a stop at the Crystal Couture Work Wear Wednesday event. Housed inside loft-like industrial space, the large room was set up with vendors selling work wear outfits, a runway, a cash bar, and complimentary mini-cupcakes from Red Velvet Cupcakery. Techno music echoed through the space, and the Sex and The City Movie played in the background. It was girlie to the hilt. After reading Don’s review of Tattoo Tuesday, I was expecting tons of photographers, but mostly there were twenty-somethings stopping by after work to shop the wares.

Although Crystal Couture isn’t quite over yet (there are still events happening through the weekend) I was able to chat with Angela Fox, the President/CEO of the Crystal City Business Improvement District, all about what she loved, what went wrong, and what the event meant for Crystal City.

Inside Crystal Couture

The Crystal City Couture Space on Crystal Drive

(Me) What are the attendance numbers for the event? (Angie) We have ranged from 200 to 800 people per night (which is conservative but solid and very much what we predicted for an inaugural event).

The themes (like Wedding Wednesday, Red Hot for Valentine’s Day) were funky, fun and creative. How did you choose them? We had a blast with them. First, we set a goal of covering the fashion gamut and then having fun with mixing alliteration (i.e. Tat-Tuesday, Work Wear Wednesday, and Wedding Wednesday) with holidays (Freaky Friday for Friday the 13th, Red Hot for Valentine’s, and First Ladies of Fashion on President’s Weekend), and key styles/themes we thought would be fun (Denim Day and Drag Brunch). It was a very open and creative team process from the daily theme to the color of the room to the type of food, the movie shown, the hairstyle, and the daily drink.

Which night had the highest attendance? Freaky Friday, Tat-Tuesday, T-Shirt Tuesday were all over 500 people – and great fun! But, the busiest night was definitely Sexy Saturday Lingerie. We were pushing people out after 10 p.m. – the boutiques were still selling!

What is the funniest thing that has happened during the events? We’ve had so much fun with this whole thing, and we’ve definitely had daily belly laughs working through the various details. It’s hard to say what the funniest thing was – though the Freddie’s Follies Drag Queens had us in stitches. They were awesome!

The most disastrous? This has been a very well-run and smoothly executed program. Though each night has a series of “invent and fix as we go” issues, there’s been nothing disastrous…except we don’t think that METRO closing from Pentagon Station southward during our first weekend helped us much in the beginning.


What do you hope to achieve for the Crystal City area through this event? The mission of the Crystal City Business Improvement District is to change the way people see, perceive, and experience Crystal City. We think Couture has definitely moved the bar in that area. Initial reports before the event were along the lines of “fashion in Arlington? no way!” but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. In terms of the audience, people come, they are amazed by the space “WOW – This is really cool! Who knew??,” they shop, they taste, they watch the fun fashions on the stage, they see a different kind of Crystal City than they expected, and they leave smiling.

It’s also a low stress opportunity to shop and get some great deals. In terms of the boutiques, most of them are extremely delighted by the smoothness of the event, the ease of set-up, the runway, and they are delighted to be a part. They have enthusiastically asked us to do it again – and many boutiques that are not official participants have attended and asked to be part of next year. So, the reputation and experience of CC in their eyes only gets better.

The one other thing that makes us feel good about this event in terms of Crystal City is that other areas have told us how awesome and bold it is, and a few even said that they planned to steal the idea! We love that!! We hope that it will be replicated in many places – it’s a great thing for retail and a community!

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

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