Written and photographed by Jennifer Harlow.
Being in our nation’s capital the evening before the Presidential Inauguration is like being in Hollywood during the Academy Awards. Amongst the backdrop of the United States Capitol, the majestically looming national monuments light up the winter sky. The city was filled with a vibrant energy and an incredible effervescence that flowed.
The many inaugural balls entice a true melting pot of people to dress in their most glamorous attire in celebration of our elected president’s term and his promise to create a better tomorrow. Stepping inside Washington, D.C.’s historic Arena Stage at The Mead Center For American Theate and inside the Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance, an event that paid tribute to the ongoing struggle for peace and justice worldwide, I felt honored to be dressed in one of Washington D.C.’s very talented designers, Elizabeth St. John. Elizabeth created a stunning silk satin charmeuse strapless gown with hand draped bodice, wrap style skirt with an asymmetrical hem, waist sash and a bit of Swarovski bling.
The sold out Busboys and Poet hosted event attracted nearly 2,500 attendees and brought together a group of peace loving activists, poets, actors, authors and musicians. After listening to guest speakers, Danny Glover, Alice Walker and Ralph Nader, the multi-cultural guests exemplified the passion of activism and social justice. As the evening progressed, the music of Sweet Honey in the Rock, the ultimate Sohel, and Moby allured the men and women alike to tap into their collective rhythmic souls and dance the night away.
With a gathering full of culturally diverse people, the theatre illuminated with bright indigenous custom attire symbolizing exotic places from around the world. With global design representation, women dressed in traditional African Dashiki dresses detailed with extraordinary embroidery while other attendees were adorned in classical brightly colored saris inspired by the rich tradition of India.
As I departed the Peace Ball, the thought occurred to me that fashion as a verb means to design, construct, build, devise and dream up, which ultimately is the premise in which our country was built. In dreaming up and designing new ways to adapt in an ever changing world, our country in a sense is a fashionable place to be. I felt proud to be an American, but more specifically, I felt proud to be living in a very fashionable Washington D.C.