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Katie Wilmeth | Photo: Greg Powers | February 26, 2013
“Trending” has taken on a whole new meaning in today’s Twitter-obsessed world. But a true style arbiter eschews hashtags and of-the-moment updates in favor of authentic fashion forwardness. Get a glimpse into the fabulous lives of this DC trio of trendsetters.
Carine and R.J. Krawiec
For bridal atelier owner Carine Krawiec, style starts at home. The owner of her eponymous Georgetown shop may transform would-be brides into fashionistas, but it’s her husband R.J. who’s made the biggest fashion leap since the couple wed in 2008. “I absolutely leverage her expertise,” says the Deloitte exec. “I did not dress this well when I met her.” Carine has been bringing that transformative sense of fashion to DC brides since 2006, when she realized Washington women wanted more fashion-forward gowns. “Traditional with a twist” as she tells it, an aesthetic that has also influenced the couple’s interior aspirations. Set to transform a recently purchased Georgetown row house this spring, Carine and R.J.—in conjunction with DC developer Brook Rose—plan to marry the tradition of Georgetown with Old Hollywood glamour. As for the store, the recent expansion into eveningwear has been the next logical step. And with designers like Reem Acra and Vera Wang in their social circle, one might wonder if Carine and R.J. have aspirations to design. “I’d love to,” says Carine. But for now “having color in my store is a lot different.”
Karen Donatelli knows what she likes. “There are styles that come and go, but I tend not to follow those,” says the mother of four and doyenne of DC charities. With a social schedule that includes chairing gala events for nonprofits, such as Catholic Charities and The Washington Ballet, Donatelli tends to follow her heart when it comes to fashion and home design. Leaning toward the old guard with favorites like Lanvin, Gucci and Chanel for fashion, and Niermann Weeks in her historic Forest Hills home, Donatelli bucks trends by holding dear to classic designs. But with late-night online Bergdorf Goodman trysts and overseas shopping trips, traditional doesn’t trump original. “I dread having anything that anybody else owns,” she says. “And I’ve been pretty successful at that.”
As the woman behind such over-the-top shows as Ringling Bros. Circus and Disney on Ice, Alana Feld could be forgiven for sporting sequins and other stage-inspired ensembles. But, “I don’t wear a lot of princess dresses,” says the heir apparent to Tysons-based Feld Entertainment. Instead, Feld, an executive vice president and one-third of a sister act serving in the top ranks of the third-generation family business, takes her style cues from her whirlwind travel schedule, opting for a casual-chic uniform of jeans, boots and blazers. But don’t be fooled by Feld’s minimalist take on style. With a hand in all aspects of the show, her appreciation for design trends can sometimes be seen under the big top. “Our costumes are whimsical, but they’re influenced by the trends that are happening in the fashion world,” says Feld. Meaning, when the circus arrives at the Verizon Center this month, don’t be surprised if you see a Missoni-inspired trapeze artist sailing through the air.