When you can’t be two places at once….

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…enlist others! That’s what I did this past Saturday when I found myself unable to attend two significant events (ARTINI and Fashion For Paws) that were taking place at the same time. I attended ARTINI in my MK-like dress, above, and Lesley Benn, the flame-haired, couture-wearing fashionista (I’m starting to embrace the word) of Washingtonian Best-Dressed fame, attended Fashion For Paws and contributed her thoughts and photos.

At ARTINI, I sampled some truly couture “artinis” – martinis inspired by works of original art from students at the Corcoran College of Art & Design. One of the mixologists used Capri Sun pouches for their drink, serving up what amounted to a flask-like drink that proved popular with the boys. I am absolutely going to steal that trick for future parties. And the event got an “A” for Absinthe. Not only did several of the drinks feature the legendary brew, but there was an entire Absinthe bar upstairs, where white leather couches were surrounded by trays of white rose bulbs floating in water.

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Janine Tursini in a fierce cobalt dress (you should have seen the back..and the zippers…) and Dissident Display’s Adrian Loving in a vintage navy leather jacket.

I snapped my Sidewalk Style column wearing a dress that’s pure Spring inspiration (you’ll see her in tomorrow’s column), and can say that I felt, in general, very inspired by some of the looks I saw. Photographer Liz Gorman was there in a fitted yellow skirt, a white v-neck tee, and leather jacket. Knowing her fashion savvy, she probably scored it all for a song (by the way, she’s having a photo show at Tryst this Thursday from 7-9; I think Maria is coming with me). The Washington Post’s communications guru Kris Coratti was there in a killer Marc Jacobs leather dress, and the Corcoran’s own Megan Harmon wore Betsy Johnson’s tiered pink mini-crini skirt that as of yesterday, was in the window of the Georgetown store. And she wore it with silver hi-top Converse! I’m a little mad at myself for not taking more photographs!

Betsy Johnson’s playful frocks also made an appearance cross-town at Fashion For Paws. Here’s Lesley – striking a pose of her own in a wickedly sculptural Comme des Garcons dress – and her photos and account:

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Lesley appreciated model Jackie Akoko’s natural swagger (her legs go for MILES) and this PYT, “gorgeous in a strapless Thread Social dress.”

“What a shame that two fun, must-attend District events for me and many of my friends were scheduled on the same night. But when one of them contains both ‘fashion’ and ‘paws’ in the event title, it wasn’t much of a contest from my own standpoint. If there are two things at the top of my love-list, it’s dogs and fashion. So unless a Clive Owen Meet-and Greet was the third, I was on my way to the Italian Embassy on Saturday night for the Washington Humane Society’s third annual Fashion for Paws.

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“One of the adorable models from the runway – and her owner, Andrea Rodgers

The sold-out fashion event seemed to be a massive success, certainly in terms of the lines to get drinks and snag cupcakes. Oh, and of course in terms of the charitable donations to the Washington Humane Society: I think I heard through the slightly muffled sound system a number in the $500,000 range. As I watched the roughly 40 or so DC personalities walking as models on the elevated runway, I couldn’t help but wish for some jeweled panties or fashion road kill moments. Other than a couple of less than cooperative model dogs, the runway show itself wasn’t especially memorable. The looks themselves were provided by a host of stores and designers –many from Saks, but also Betsy Johnson, Lacoste, Caché, Anthropologie, and Nicole Miller, among others. And they were fine, if a bit uninspired in terms of fashion (think conservative, casual, professional) — understandably I suppose, as DC seems to like to live up to its reputation in this respect.

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“Lesson: Not wearing black can be a good – very good – thing. Gorgeous in Julie Haus.”

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“This woman stood out with great personal style.”

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“Just as I wished to see an evening jumpsuit, she walked by!”

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“The shoes that proved my theory: If you’re stalking a pair of intriguing shoes that are unlike any others you’ve seen, they are going to turn out to be Dries Van Noten.”

Sugared up on Hello Cupcakes and Red Bull and teetering on 5-inch Jil Sander platform pumps, the focus of this fashion lover and the life of her camera’s battery quickly became the crowd, not the runway. At an event for fashion and animal lovers alike, some just loved the animals, I safely concluded. Aside from some egregious violations of the Code of Women’s Undergarments – a handful of visible bras (not just shoulder straps but entire bras!) and then that one otherwise lovely bra-less wonder – the fashion was overall impressive.”

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