Washington D.C. is a treasured destination for people from all over the world who wish to visit the core of America's historic beginnings. D.C. is also a must see city for those interested in authentic American architecture. Spend just five minutes walking around this majestic capital city and you find yourself pulled back in time.
Within the city, Georgetown is a destination of it's own on many levels. Be it for the architecture of the period row-houses, the tranquil beauty of the Potomac river banks, the classically preppy vibe of the University students, or the desire for a fix of fashion or interior design treasures - it's all there.
One recent rainy and gray weekday afternoon, I set out on foot to Georgetown from my hotel on Embassy Row. Embassy Row is a favorite spot for me that never disappoints. Just off Dupont circle, the architecture is overwhelming. The walk to Georgetown is a beautiful excursion and only takes about 20 minutes. One store that stopped me in my tracks along the way was Darrell Dean Antiques. The shop had an excellent example of a mid-century find in their window Two lounge chairs of tubular iron with a muted green tweed fabric by Dan Johnson. I'm a mid-century fanatic, so I had to see more. Once inside I realized that Darrell Dean has an incredibly eclectic collection of seating, lamps, and objects d'art. It is easy to see why the store has such a reputation and loyal following from all over the country. The website has a huge selection of items via a simple search system. The shop is also showcased on 1st dibs.
Not expecting to fashion find, a collection of unique illustrations caught my eye. Hand painted copies of fashion illustrations by designer, artist, and illustrator Ethel Rabin are gems! Rabin drew the illustrations for Berley Studios circa the late 1930's. Berley was a pioneer in the concept of fashion forecasting. The studio provided illustrations of the latest Parisian Couture designs from designers such as Chanel, Pioret, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, etc. This was an extremely important service to American department stores who would base their seasonal buy on what was happening on the Paris runways. Keep in mind, at the time there was no such thing as Ready-To-Wear. Couture was the fashion of Paris. American stores like Bonwit Teller or Lord & Taylor would enter into contracts with these famous houses to reproduce the designs state-side for a set period of time. The department stores would stage in-house fashion shows in their designer salons on 5th Avenue for best customers.
Rabin was an accomplished designer and painter. Her illustrations for Berley were sought after resources for department store buyers. The assignment of reporting on the Couture collections of Paris was also as prestigious then as it is today.
Darrell Dean has 300 of these handpainted copies. They measure 9" x 12" and are in very good condition with a retail of $185 each. Contact the store now to request sketches by color or designs. They make a great addition to just about any decor, or an amazing gift for any fashion fan. Click - Darrell Dean now.