This past weekend, it warmed up to the low 80's and I saw many a tourist and resident baring limbs and letting arms, shoulders, knees and toes see the light of day. It was glorious. And then the first half of the week returned to cooler temps requiring me to wear a wool beanie as I went for my morning jog. The weather is kind of like WTF. However, style rests for no weather. Meet Amit and Jon. I asked Amit about his style and a few favorite places in DC.
Describe your personal style. Bombay and Savile Row conceived a post-colonial couture love child in Brooklyn and named it Madison, after their favorite haunt. The sartorial family likes to take trips to Nantucket and Italy.
What little known places in DC do you like and think people should know about? Maple Restaurant on 11th St in Columbia Heights. It is a small place that has been buzzing with locals descending on the restaurant for its craft cocktails, carefully selected and individually sourced wines from Italy, and modern Italian fare that is uncomplicated but always surprising. Add to these things the finest wait staff in DC and most diner-friendly management, and you've got the perfect evening or Sunday brunch.
Boathouse at Fletcher's Cove is at the bottom of the sheer cliff upon which Canal Road is situated, halfway between Georgetown and the Palisades. Very easy to miss but not to be missed. You can rent kayaks, canoes and rowboats to use either on the Potomac or on the historic C&O Canal. You can also rent bikes to use on the C&O Canal trail or Capital Crescent Trail.
Where do you shop? New York, Paris, Bombay, New Delhi and online.
When I'm feeling particularly Chelsea, I traipse to Behaviour, a men's boutique with only two locations that sources designers from every part of the world. They are particularly bold with patterns and cuts. If the occasion requires suiting up, Emporio Armani is unparalleled for modern off-the-rack style and Alton Lane has provided my custom-made suits (they are now in DuPont). When I need a Brooklyn fix, I rely on Mary Meyer, a dear friend and breakout Brooklyn star who transforms cottons into comfortable, easy-to-wear pieces with a combination of geometry and asymmetry that is unmatched.
My annual trips to Paris always yield something fun - a blazing rust-colored, shrunken worsted wool blazer with contrast lapels and elbow patches, periwinkle jersey trousers, patent leather lace-ups that kill your feet but are altogether too fun to wear.
I have over 60 scarves and shawls from 10 countries but mostly from South Asia. My favorite Indian designer is Rajesh Pratap Singh, who uses everything from linen to silk to sequins to handmade pieces inspired by traditional South Asian garb, by the British Raj, and by the desert. Nobody does shawls and scarves like the South Asians, and purveyors such as Amarsons in Delhi, Fabindia, and the individual producers in Kashmir are the best places to go. I also have a few brightly printed pieces from Pakistan, courtesy of some obliging friends visiting my ancestral home that I have yet to get to myself.
What music are you listening to right now? Ella Fitzgerald is always telling me to accentuate the positive. I've taken a particular liking to the Very Best, a collaboration between London-based DJ Radioclit and the Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya. They take dance, electro-pop, hip hop, southern and west African beats to a whole new level and you can't possibly stay seated when their tracks come on. Also, AR Rahman, the brilliant and superstar Indian composer and singer.
I love capturing locals on ordinary days showing pieces of their personality through their sartorial choices. If you have recommendations on places Fashion & Philosophers should visit to capture more local flavor, let me know in the comments. My friends and I might be strolling and snapping on a street near you!
Photo Credits: Erica Baker Photography