Virginia’s premiere shopping destination, Tysons Galleria, has been a staple since I can remember. I bought my two prom dresses there at Neiman Marcus, and would frequent several shops with my mom on the weekends. This October marks Tysons Galleria’s 25th Anniversary, and to kick off a month of festivities, its agency on record, The Aba Agency, invited four fashion and lifestyle bloggers for a day of pampering and shopping.
We started the morning with a beauty breakfast at Saks Fifth Avenue, where makeup artists at Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown and Clinique showed us how to achieve two of the season’s hottest looks, the ombre lip and a contemporary smokey eye.
We then headed to the Saks Fifth Avenue Salon & Spa upstairs for a lavish manicure with OPI’s latest fall colors. I, along with Carlis Sanchez of Spicy Candy DC, LaShawn Daily of All Things Fashion DC and Nycci Nellis of The List Are You On It, were the lucky editors chosen to participate on the day’s long event.
We then headed to Debeers to talk diamonds and try on some very jewelry. If anything can turn a girl to putty, it’s a sparkling diamond. Maggie, who heads the boutique, gave us the history behind the brand. We tried on pieces from the Debeers Adonis Rose and Aura Collections, as well as bridal pieces and colored diamonds.
After peach Bellinis and diamonds, we made our way to Anne Fontaine to learn about the history of this beloved brand. I didn’t realize that Ms. Fontaine started with the little white shirt as the foundation for her brand. Designed and made in the Saint-Germain district in Paris to this day, the quality and craftsmanship of her entire product line is incredible.
I was also surprised to hear that the Anne Fontaine brand was the first to make couture collars that are still popular to this day. Patrons and shoppers of this brand can shop for a cause this October by buying the pink shirt with proceeds that benefit breast cancer research.
Our next stop was at the Michael Kors boutique where his sister-in-law Michelle walked us through the season’s must haves. On the list is the silver Miranda bag, a stunning tote with quilted sides perfect for work or play, the large gold Michael Kors watch, the stunning gold aviator sunglasses, mixed prints and lots of arm candy. The coolest part about this Michael Kors store is that they stock exclusive pieces.
Micheal Kors signed a bag and donated a bag to the “In the Bag” handbag auction to support the American Red Cross. Valued at $1,195, the bag will be on auction this month. To learn more, visit www.redcrosspurses.com.
At Karen Millen, we discovered the reinvented British label and the season’s hottest trends. For fall, masculine pieces with a feminine touch are a must have, mixing prints is a do and a statement coat can spruce up your outfit.
Karen Millen’s collection also has incredible accessories like hand printed scarves, glittery pumps and durable handbags. There is a little bit of something for every style and with amazing fit, finding something for your fall wardrobe is a cinch.
We also made a stop at the Villebrequin swim shop for a crash course on the luxury swimsuit brand. The brand was founded in Saint-Tropez in 1971 by Fred Prysquel, who drew inspiration from the French beach town. Villebrequin, which means crankshaft in French to serve as a random reminder of the founder’s fascination with automobiles, is loved by celebrities and socialites and its line of swim trunks for men and boys is luxury at its best.
At over $200 a pair, detail to attention and quality is key. There are over 200 prints in the collection; the swim trunks come with a water wallet to ensure credit cards, hotel keys and money don’t float away; there are eyelets at the back and below the waistband to prevent billowing when leaving the water; and the trunks are fast drying.
The brand’s limited edition Golden Turtle trunks are embroidered with 24 karat gold and go for $8000. The Villebrequin store at Tysons Galleria is getting a pair. And ladies, Villebrequin is coming out with a collection for us too. Can I get a woop woop?
Christmas came early at Elie Tahari, where they rolled out the red carpet for us. We were welcomed by the staff with their top picks, which included tailored jackets with fur details, patterned boxed clutches, fur trimmed winter coats and to die for shoes.
The biggest surprise was being gifted a pair of shoes from the Elie Tahari fall collection. There were so many styles to choose from and at the end of our shoe excursion, each of us chose something different. Knowing that I didn’t own a single pair of leopard pumps, I snagged the leopard platform pumps that are so comfortable, I will probably be wearing them all season.
We also got a lovely portrait by Richmond, Va. based artist Michael Birch-Pierce, who created each of our portraits using his sewing machine. A session with Michael lasts just five minutes but you walk away with a beautiful image that can be framed. His talents have been recognized by the White House. Find out more about his work at www.michaelbirchpierce.com.
We wrapped up the day at Emporio Armani, where we were greeted with champagne and Armani Dolci chocolates. We also went through the Far East inspired collection, which had rich with vibrant colors and prints. We also discovered the next ‘It’ fabric, neoprene, used to construct everything from coats and blazers to trousers and skirts.
The month-long celebration continues this with a personal appearance by Donna Karan Global Vice President of Communications, Aliza Licht, popularly known as @DKNY on Twitter this weekend, October 12th.
Blogger Bryan Boy will also make an appearance the following weekend, October 19th. Click here to buy tickets.
There even more festivities all month long at some of your favorite stores. Click here to see the entire schedule.