Wishing you a safe and restful holiday weekend.
Wishing you a safe and restful holiday weekend.
The most festive fabric around, tartan comes to life this time of year as folks start dressing for holiday parties and getting in the season’s spirit. Long a preppy staple, tartan also played a starring role in fall collections from Saint Laurent and Carven. The toast of the tartan season happens this weekend at the 65th Annual Tartan Ball, hosted by the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel to benefit their Washington Scots Charity & Education Fund. We did a little investigation on the storied fabric with some help from Ball co-chair J. Ashton McRae. Patterns are specific to a Scottish clan; each clan can have multiple tartans and many tartans have multiple variations based on color/dye–“ancient” and “modern” as well as “hunting” (usually a green base–like camouflage) and “dress” (a Victorian creation inverting the background to show more white, as the Victorians felt it looked better at formal occasions). Brooks Brothers, a sponsor of the Ball, has debuted its own tartan in partnership with Royal Warrant kilt maker Kinloch Anderson. Last year, we enjoyed the Ball as a guest of Brooks, sipping Scotch and appreciating the Highland dancing and bagpipe music. (PS: We’d be remiss in our tartan talks if we failed to mention The Adventures of Tartanscot, designer Scot Meacham Wood’s blog which is a great seasonal inspiration–notably his annual holiday decorating contest.)
BELT: Smathers & Branson // ANTLERS: Early 20th C. Antique // KILT (WHITE): Carven // KILT (RED): Saint Laurent // TOTE BAG: Brooks Brothers // CUMMERBUND & BOW TIE: Brooks Brothers // CHEST: 19th C. English Antique // BRACELET: Kiel James Patrick for Brooks Brothers
“Kate the Wasp” is one of our dear friends and our favorite cluelessly entitled white woman. This year, she attended the Harriman Cup with Lauren, and we asked her to tell us about her experience at the event.
Kate the Wasp: Attending the Harriman Cup has been a dream of mine since, gosh – probably 3 days before the event when my friend Lauren texted “I have an extra ticket to a polo match on Saturday, lmk if you wanna come.”
Like most white women, I’m intimately familiar with the dynamics of a polo match: white men do business, white women (perhaps some who are prostitutes) dress up and keep their personalities subdued. I intended to do further research on attire, but unfortunately, Pretty Woman isn’t on Netflix, so I had to rely on memory.
Lauren and I got ready together that morning, which I think was critical to the success of the day. Between our combined use of aerosol hairspray products, I was too “high” and the mirrors too smoggy to notice that at 5’11”, a cameltoe inevitably accompanies a jumpsuit.
My approach was, as it always is, to fashion my hair after the contestants on Toddlers and Tiaras. Dolly Parton said “the higher the hair, the closer to God.” I say, “the bigger the curls, the smaller your entitlement by comparison.”
We arrived at the “polo grounds” – I’m told to use those words, though it was more like a long driveway and a field – to find the party in full swing. While yes, I’d semi-expected valet and to be greeted by a white-gloved server with a tray of mimosas and low carb hors d’oeuvres, it was nice to take a moment to look out over the “grounds” and really take in the scene.
Necessary & Proper: How would you describe it?
Kate: Pastels gone wild. “Wild” of course, is a relative term – anyone lifting their cardigan was merely exposing a button-down underneath. There seemed to be a real sense of community and camaraderie. As if the unofficial slogan was “say it loud, we’re the 1% and proud!!” But not like, that loud. You get it.
I wasn’t totally focused on the “sporting event” part of it until they called us out to the field to stomp the divots. I took special enjoyment in that portion, given I’d traveled without Xanax that day and “stomping” was a great way to release some
frustration rage I was harboring about an under-performing Instagram photo.
At this point, things get somewhat hazy. I think I’d been overserved – I remember drinking chard out of a plastic cup, and then thinking “these cups are probably only half a glass so I can have twice as much” and also “I need to keep drinking to distract myself from the fact that I’m drinking out of a plastic cup.”
N&P: Did you actually see a horse or no?
Kate: I do recall seeing the horses and cheering them on. Well, I thought I was cheering them on, but apparently security didn’t care for me yelling “TRAFALCA ARE YOU OUT THERE? YOUR MOM IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL” over and over. It’s like: forgive me for being moved by Ann Romney’s story, ya know?
N&P: Is this the closest you have ever been to a port-o-John?
[Ed. note: Kate refused to speak of her experience with the public toilets at Harriman Cup, due to, as she explained it, “acute PTSD from using them at the Goooga Mooga Festival.”]
N&P: What was the highlight of your day?
Kate: After the races were over – and I’d blown my vocal chords shouting “MITT 2016!!!!” – we all gathered under the tent for an amazing dance party. It was like a wedding, but I didn’t have to bring a gift and deal with questions about whether I’m “seeing anyone special.”
N&P: What do you want to see more of next year?
Kate: Deeper reserves of chardonnay.
Along with the college students and legislators returning from summer break, we’ve come trudging back to the District for you, dear reader. Remember us? We come bearing good news–Drizly, an alcohol delivery app, has just arrived in DC and is ready to help you stock the bar for your next party. Here are a few of our favorite early fall libations, made with booze readily available on Drizly’s smartphone app. BYO ice and start mixing! (And just because we’ve left you for so long, enjoy $15 off your next order of $30 or more with code “NP15″).
NEGRONI • Put down the Aperol Spritz–August is over. We like a nice, cold Negroni for its complexity of flavor–kind of like the Manhattan’s Italian cousin. • 1 part Tanqueray No. 10, 1 part Campari, 1 part sweet vermouth. Stir or shake over ice and garnish with a lemon peel. COUPE: CB2 // COCKTAIL PICKS: Ralph Lauren // COCKTAIL SHAKER: Asprey
GINGER BEER MARGARITA • A light refresher for a balmy early-fall day. Mixing up a pitcher means you’re not running back and forth to the bar. • 10 oz Casa Noble Crystal tequila, three cans ginger beer, 1 tsp. agave nectar, juice of 3 limes. Combine ingredients in a pitcher and serve over ice. PITCHER: William Yeoward // TRAY: Mark & Graham // GLASSWARE: AERIN for Lenox
PHILADELPHIA FISH HOUSE PUNCH • Find a boozy use for your CSA stone fruit by throwing them in this crowd-pleasing punch. • 2 cups sliced peaches, 12 thyme sprigs, 1.25 cups simple syrup, 1 liter Appleton Estate Rum, 2 cups Cognac, 1.5 cups lemon juice, 1 cup peach liqueur. Arrange peaches and thyme sprigs along the bottom of Bundt pan. Fill pan with cold water and freeze to make an ice ring. Pour simple syrup into punch bowl. Add rum, Cognac, lemon juice, and peach liqueur. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Add 6 cups cold water to punch; stir gently to blend. Remove ice ring from Bundt pan and float, rounded side up, in punch. Ladle into glasses filled with ice. PUNCH BOWL: Lenox
FISHERS ISLAND LEMONADE • If you’re having early-onset seasonal-effective disorder, crack open a can of Fishers Island Lemonade. The preppy cocktail is a blend of vodka, whiskey, and lemonade made famous (and produced) by the Island’s Pequot Inn. While it’s not yet available in our area, we expect them to wash up on our shores soon.
Whether by bus, bike, or boat, here’s to cruising into a fabulous July 4th weekend.
5:43pm // Palm Beach, FL // Lauren waits patiently for Van to pick her up for a Memorial Day BBQ la dolce vita-style on a Vespa–the island’s most spirited form of transportation. The print-happy party crew included close friends and family (and Chester the dachshund), swilling rosé, swatting mosquitoes, and kicking off summer.
ON GIRLS ∞ DRESSES: Lilly Pulitzer
11 AM // Logan Circle back lot // Easy-breezy silk, drawstring pants are my favorite spring staple – this cool, comfortable pair from Intermix works at any time of day.
10:35am // 33rd & P Sts., NW // During that awkward in-between season–when winter’s in the rearview mirror but it’s not yet spring–it’s nice to stick with a neutral palette.
11 am // Dupont Circle // The 70 degree calm before the snow storm. Oh, DC, when will you just let it be spring?