Behind the Sidewalk Stylers

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Washington is a city of about 600,000 fascinating people, and I’m reminded of that every time I go out in search of a new Sidewalk Style subject or street-style photo for this blog. Over the past few weeks, I’ve photographed a talented jewelry designer with a penchant for cheapie shops (more on that in a sec), a teen hoping to become a professional dancer, and a graphic designer who, when not working to bring PBS into the new-media age, turned out to be half of the group DC Design Babes. It’s proof that each person walking our city streets has an interesting story to tell.

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Paula Mendoza was a drive-by (as in, I saw her and abruptly circled the block to park and chase after her. Not the first time I’ve done this!) I didn’t realize who she was until I approached – Paula and I know one another, though I didn’t know her well until we had our interview. She showed me a few vintage dresses she’d just picked up in Paris, and then we explored the hat selection at Hit Item Wholesale (1406 14th St. NW). Like me, she loves little sketchy cheapie places. There are great summertime fedora-style hats to be had here for $10. Wear one with something girly, like a boho-style flower-printed minidress.

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Valli Ravindran is this week’s subject. While we were discussing Indian designers, she mentioned that her wedding dress was designed by Manish Malhotra. She graciously sent her wedding photos over. She also mentioned the designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, which got me looking up more on Indian design.

Also regarding Washingtonian: you may have heard that they are taking submissions for their next Best-Dressed list, and you should also think about attending their annual Best Of Washington party July 15. It’s always a feast for the eyes as well as belly – this year’s theme is East Meets West, so you can expect dragon dancers, Asian street artists, and A LOT of awesome food and drink (including an after-party at CoCo Sala). PB readers get $10 off the ticket price when they enter BESTFRIEND at checkout, so buy tix here.

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7 Comments so far
  1. Nakea July 7, 2009 7:51 pm

    Glad to see a style post on Paula Mendoza; her pieces are awesome. I have her amethyst muso ring and it’s so many things – organic, volcanic, glamorous, rock candy, art, and weapon of self defense.

  2. Rachel July 7, 2009 8:32 pm

    Yes – I would love to own one of her pieces (some day…). Kaviar and Kind in LA just starting carrying her line, and a to-be-announced spot in NYC will soon, as well….

  3. christopher July 15, 2009 12:53 pm

    wow, does paula do mens jewelry? her pieces have such a heavy, masculine beauty about them…i would LOVE one of those rings!

  4. rachel July 19, 2009 9:08 pm

    Good question. I just shot her an email so I’ll let you know what I hear!

  5. rachel July 23, 2009 1:32 pm

    christopher,
    Yes, she does, by special order. Maybe just contact her via the form on her Web site. Good luck. If you do get one, send me a photo!

  6. G Bea July 10, 2010 5:28 pm

    find her jewelry pretty ugly, I do not like any of her pieces, maybe later on she will design something different.

  7. Paula Mendoza’s Icons : project beltway December 4, 2012 8:42 am

    […] O (Oprah) magazine, and D.C.-based publications including Washington Life and DC magazine (and here on PB, natch). I came across her work in 2008 at *Muleh, which still carries her line (the line is also […]