Project Gravitas

Project Gravitas

Project Gravitas is coming to our Nation's Capital this Saturday, May 31 - Sunday, June 1.  It's mission - to help the women of Washington, DC find the perfect dress and give each woman the opportunity for dressing with a confident sense of self!  

Founder and CEO, Lisa Sun will be in attendance as she hosts a pop-up boutique inside the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown where she and her talented team will be on-hand to find and fit you for your perfect dress.  Each dress is manufactured with luxury construction in NYC using Italian fabrics, topped with a slimming shapewear secret with each dress named for a woman who has owned her moment in history - including Washington's own Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Project Gravitas dresses are extremely versatile, will work with your existing wardrobe's tailored blazers and work from desk to dinner, which is what all busy DC ladies need, right?!   Plus, they come suited to flatter YOUR figure from fitted black sheaths to A-line lady-like silhouettes, there's a dress for everyone.

Check out one I can't wait to try on, the Diana Dress it!  Oh, and 10% of the proceeds from the Diana dress sales will benefit The Washington Ballet.



Here's a peak at more - to see the rest, see you this weekend!  :o)

The Katharine






The Audrey



This 2-day event - from 11:00AM - 7:00PM daily - is something every DC fashionista must check out!  

If you're interested in attending, RSVP to

Follow @ProjectGravitas on Twitter


Hope to see you there!



In Case You Missed It…


If you weren't able to make it to my Signature Style Series show last week featuring Calypso St. Barth at the gorgeous Capella Georgetown, DC, then this is a post you'll want to check out!  The weather was just right to welcome summer to DC and the rooftop was picture perfect as I showcased some of my favorite looks from the luxury resortwear brand....pieces that hadn't even hit the floors in-store yet!  In addition, Capella donated a portion of the proceeds to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

As guests enjoyed a delicious lunch - prepared by Chef Jacob Esko - and a signature cocktail from the Rye Bar, I presented a collection of perfect pieces for warm weather wardrboes and getaways.  The looks included pieces from their "A Weekend in Jaipur" collection - inspired by the colorful Indian city's raspberry pinks and tiki greens - and their "Chic Tropique" collection -  bohemian pieces embellsihed with sequins and lace.   


Welcoming in the warmer weather, this gorgeous tiki green silk maxi skirt and lightweight white button down is an easy-breezy looks to wear in the city or the beach, dressed up or down (sans the hat and add wedge heels for a dressier looks) it's comfortable and chic all at once.  Plus, the white button down will go a long way in your summer closet as it works with just about everything.


Next up, a gorgeous mint green embellished tunic paired with white skinny jeans but easily could be worn over a swimsuit for a chic poolside look.


The next black and white patterned maxi skirt is a must-have piece for your summer wardrobe since it's so easy to throw on yet boasts much desired attention from it's stand-out pattern.  Pair it as seen with a black tank tucked in or out, or with the versatile white button down from earlier look.


This cream lace embroidered dress is another day-to-dinner piece and is as easy as changing out your shoes from flats to heels with minimal if no jewelry required at all...the sequins speak for themselves.  This dress also offers a very wearable silhouette.  


As many of you already know, I love kaftans!  So, I was thrilled to show this beautiful silk hand-embroidered kaftan.  It's a favorite of mine and again is easy to dress up or down or just throw it on poolside over your swimsuit with some sexy shades and a good book - tres chic!


At the conclusion of the presentaiton, the raffle prize winners were announced and prizes included: a dress from Calypso St. Barth (retail value of $495), lunch for 2 at Capella's restaurant The Grill Room, a Beauty Class for 6 at the Georgetown Blue Mercury, a 1-hour styling session with Yours Truly (April Yvonne), a family photo session with Alumbra Photography and a full-service cleaning and whitening from Washington Center for Dentisry! Amazing, no?! 

Following the show, this pop-up created a boutique environtment for guests to shop on-site all the looks they saw in the presentation and more! 


Yours Truly with models Lauren Avey (left) and Rebekah Pizana (right).  I'm wearing the Hyla kaftan.


 With the Capella Team, GM Alex Obertop (far left) and Director of Marketing Michael Katigbak (far right)


Guests left happy with these fabulous Calypso swag bags!  Below, blogger Elle Choi shows off hers.  :o)


Finally, here's a few more must-have pieces I would highly recommend to my clients!  

(Click on pics to take you to product)

This bright raspberry dress is figure-flattering and provides a beautiful POC against a sun-kissed skin.





This cardigan is absolutely divine - I need it in every color!


Lastly, these wide leg linen pants....


A special thanks to Blue Mercury for providing the make-up for the models and photographer Susannah Marlowe-Galan.  Photo credits: Alumbra Photography.



Have You Scooped Your Ticket?!

I'm sooooo excited for this Wednesday's Calypso St. Barth Resort Wear Show at Capella, Georgetown, DC, and it's gearing up to be an another amazing event in our Style Series!  

With the 80 degree weather upon us, it's the perfect time of year for this show, epsecially situated atop the uber-luxury hotel's rooftop!  Come and enjoy the fashions and stock up on your summertime essentials: luxurious kaftans; long, flowy skirts; chic straw hats;  gorgeous jewlery, and so much more...Calypso St. Barth has everything you need for warm weather fashion!

As you know, the last Styles Series show with Elie Tahari was completely sold out, so if you haven't purchased your tickets yet, do so ASAP, because we are almost once again SOLD OUT!

Click below for yours:


Plus, just by purchasing your ticket to the show, you'll be supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and entering to win some amazing raffle prizes, like:

    • a beautiful dress from Calypso St. Barth (retail value of $495);
    • a Beauty Class for you and 5 friends at Blue Mercury Georgetown;
    • a 1-hour personal shopping session with Yours Truly;
    • or brunch for 2 in the Capella's restaurant The Grill Room!

You're going to just LOVE the looks I present from their latest collection while you enjoy a signature cocktail from the hotel's Rye Bar and a delicious lunch!  Be the first to get your hands on the latest shipment of beautiful pieces from Calypso St. Barth - they haven't even hit the floors yet - before they start selling out.  

I hope to see you there!



Where to Brunch: May 9

Welcome to LDC's weekly Brunch Preview, wherein we serve you a restaurant snapshot, some delicious photos, and a few conversation starters (or, at least, what we're talking about at brunch this weekend). Last time, we were at one of our favorites: Water & Wall, in Arlington (yes, Arlington). We'd love to see where you go, sample from your plate, and hear what you talk about -- promise to tag us on TwitterInstagram, or on your other favorite site? It just might make an appearance here... 

Silo919 5th St NW, DC (Nearest metro: Gallery Place Chinatown); 202.290.2233
Some people like loud restaurants. They impart the sense of a party, of eventfulness, of something going on. If this is you, then head to Silo. If this is not you, then stop reading.

Ok, you're still reading. Welcome to the Loud Restaurant Club! And welcome, specifically, to Silo. Its stripped-down decor is beautiful, but all that exposed brick and concrete does nothing for sound absorption. Which is ok by some people -- just don't claim you weren't warned. 

Located on a still-sleepy stretch in the Mt Vernon Square area, a few hundred feet from Busboys & Poets (and steps from the collapsed strip club), Silo represents the changing face of this neighborhood. Its strip club days are quickly passing, to be replaced by cute restaurants filled with brunchers like us (don't hate). But the cute restaurants are still finding their own identities as well. After opening earlier this year, Silo recently revamped its menu (Swiss fusion wasn't trending) to make it more "Modern American" -- think Sweet & Sour Wings, and burgers epically topped with gourmet goodies. 

And we could see the menu getting a little more revamping at some point. The burger is delicious, but all the onion-carmely-Gruyere gooeyness meant that the actual burger patty kept sliding awkwardly out from the bread, like some strange birth scene in an alien movie. My friend finally put the burger down and opted for a fork and knife. Meanwhile, neither member of the "Eggs Benedict Duo" was, technically, a Benedict. But that's a quibble. The kitchen does a fabulous job with the all-important potatoes and eggs, and the cocktails are glorious. If you insist on mimosas, then the bottomless option is only $14. 

What we're talking about at brunch this weekend:

How to Use Twitter to Your Advantage – Part 2

Insights from a new media pro on using Twitter to become a thought leader and cultivate an online audience.

By Bernadette Perez

Last week, we began our venture into describing the career-building power of Twitter with Tara Maller. As Associate Director of Communications for the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project, Twitter has been an integral component of Tara’s day to day agenda in this new role, enhancing exposure and awareness for The Franklin Project. Today, we continue this discussion…

What is the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute and how do you use Twitter to promote the Project and its mission?

The Franklin Project is a new venture by the Aspen Institute, which envisions a future where a year of fulltime national service—a service year—is a cultural expectation, a common opportunity, and a civic rite of passage for every young American. A young person would discharge his or her national service obligation by either serving in the military or as a civilian by completing a fulltime service year through programs such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. For a service year (which would be completed at some point between the ages of 18-28), a small living allowance is provided, so that all young Americans have opportunities to serve. 

We just started using Twitter to promote the Franklin Project mission, and we’ve been working with the Aspen Institute and our partner organizations to truly elevate the commitment to national service in this country. Part of this is making national service an active conversation in the media – both through traditional media and social media. The @AspenInstitute and @FranklinProj Twitter accounts both help us to accomplish this and enable us to interact with others doing truly inspiring work and serving our country in different ways.

How active are you on Twitter? On average, how many times do you tweet throughout the day?

There are no rules. Sometimes I'll send out one tweet. Other days there might be more than ten. For work-related tweets, I'll sometimes schedule them on HootSuite, but I tend to just tweet when I feel like it or when I’m killing time between meetings or waiting for someone who is running late to a meeting. To me, Twitter should not be forced. You have to get into a rhythm and something should move you in a certain way to make you want to RT (retweet) it, favorite it, or create original tweets about it.

How has your presence on Twitter been valuable to you?

For me, Twitter is valuable because it allows everyone to have a direct voice to a mass audience that is unfiltered, unscripted, and unedited by others. In other words, I have complete and full control over what I say and how I say it. And there is no limit to the reach it may potentially have and no time limits – just character limits. I can tweet from wherever I want, whenever I want, about whatever I want. Twitter has also greatly assisted me professionally by allowing me to stay on top of news and interact with people in a way that is different than simply sending an email.

Personally, I also love the serendipity that is inherent in Twitter. You never know who is going to interact with a particular tweet or what opportunity may result from a tweet. Just like with most things in life, it is like a big game of roulette. You throw a lot of chips on the table in the form of ideas, opinions and interactions and you don’t know which one is going to manifest into something interesting or spectacular. I've met work contacts via Twitter and used it to arrange meetings. I've ended up in a Twitter conversation about sanctions with Fran Townsend, a former Homeland Security advisor to President Bush and national security analyst with CNN, which resulted in a meeting with her about career and media advice. I’ve also used it for professional networking and to interact with individuals with whom I work and are in my field. 

There have been some fun (and very random) Twitter interactions. For example, an article I wrote for CNN Opinion about women at the CIA was retweeted by David Harewood, who played David Estes on Homeland, which was pretty cool. Recently, I even used Twitter to get a meeting with Twitter and visit its DC offices, which was really awesome.

What advice can you give to women in DC looking to create a Twitter presence/personal brand and/or attract followers in a specific industry/field?

Think about the audience you are trying to attract and the reason you are using Twitter. There may be multiple audiences, and multiple reasons, so you need to calibrate your tweeting accordingly. For example, I tweet on behalf of myself, and I also tweet to promote the Franklin Project's mission at Aspen Institute, which is an extremely important mission. I create engaging content, while showing some of my personality and interests, so that my audience can feel more connected to me. I also try to promote the work of individuals I admire or whose work I like.

It is particularly important for women to be active on Twitter given their underrepresentation in more mainstream news outlets relative to men. We need to make a concerted effort to change this, and Twitter lets everyone have a voice. We should be doing our best to leverage this platform to heighten our voices on politics, technology, national security and other fields. I make a conscious effort to promote women’s voices particularly in the foreign policy realm. Given I do some of my own media work and publishing, I've used Twitter to distribute and promote my articles or clips, while promoting the work of my organization on a daily basis. Twitter is more like an art than a science – and it is essentially your own public canvas for ideas, thoughts, opinions, commentary, photos and conversations.


So, learning the basics of Twitter, while seemingly daunting at first, can become easier by adjusting to the language of Twitter. Twitter's own site offers the basic principles to get started. Additionally, Hootsuite, an app that allows busy users to calibrate tweets so that you're always staying relevant, is a great resource to maintain the consistency your followers see. You can directly download HootSuite (along with Twitter!) as an App on your Smartphone or tablet.

Twitter is today's version of what CNN's Breaking News alerts used to be. Follow who/what you like and what you're interested in. Often times if you know a person or company that are akin to your interests, check out what they’re tweeting along with who they follow. While most of us can't be the Kim Kardashians or Bill Clintons of Twitter, the brand you decide to create, or path you'd like to make in marketing yourself, is up to who you follow, what you comment on, and who you invest your time in. A simple tweet commenting on your favorite journalist's article or retweeting a link that resonates with you can open doors, and thus, opportunities...and if that door doesn't open right away, just keep tweeting!

About the Interviewee
Tara Maller 
serves as the Associate Director for Strategic Communications for the Franklin Project and as a research fellow in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation. Previously, Tara worked at BrightWire Inc., where she served as the managing editor and managing director of Operations, Americas. Tara has also served as a military analyst at the CIA and published articles with,,, Bloomberg View, Al Jazeera America and The Huffington Post and appeared as a commentator on Bloomberg, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Al Jazeera America and HuffPost Live. Tara is a member of the Truman National Security Project and a fellow with the Millennial Action Network. Tara received her B.A. from Dartmouth, M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago, and Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT.

About the Author
Bernadette Perez 
received her undergraduate degree in International Relations with a concentration in U.S. Foreign Policy from American University in Washington, D.C. After her undergraduate studies, Bernadette spent several years at education policy think tanks in Washington, D.C., followed by serving at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in the Worldwide Government Policy Department. Upon departing from MPAA, Bernadette moved to Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia and spent the year traveling and touring that area of the world. Upon returning to Washington, D.C., Bernadette attended Graduate School at Georgetown University, graduating in May 2013 with a Masters in Liberal Studies and International Relations.

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