WASHINGTON — The Washington social whirl, the Dutch ambassador's wife and fresh flowers attracted a special lunch crowd to the residence of the Dutch embassy this month.
The "50 fabulous Washington women," as the invitation characterized them, helped Jellie van Eenennaam, the wife of Dutch ambassador Boudewijn J. van Eenennaam, honor model Frederique van der Wal, host of "The Invisible Journey With Frederique: Flowers," which aired Monday night on the Travel Channel.
Van der Wal, who moved to the U.S. 17 years ago and parlayed her looks into a modeling career with brands from Guess to Victoria's Secret, was inspired to create the show when a new lily, the Frederique, was named after her.
"The concept was created by me," she said of the Travel Channel program, which traces the multibillion-dollar flower business from field to vase.
Next year, she is to host three similar shows focusing on other oft-used but rarely examined products, such as diamonds or coffee.
Working with flowers is a natural way for van der Wal to connect with The Netherlands' devotion to horticulture.
She said the Dutch people have a traditional side that helps them keep on an even keel.
"The man opens the door for a woman, [that] is fine," she said. "There needs to be a balance."
That balance provided a subtext for the lunch, which was a working event for many of the women.
"Ladies Who Lunch are ladies who do things," said self-described Washington character Tandy Dickerson, pointing to the charitable efforts and fund-raising prowess of those in attendance.
Such luncheons are also vital for ambassadors' wives, often charged with keeping elaborate social calendars.
"This was one of my roles, going out and making friends," said Carmen Ducaru, who helps her husband, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, represent Romania in Washington. "It's very much a results-orientated job. You try to make yourself very well known in the city, reaching out to people and making friends and helping your husband through your friends."
The competition can be fierce, politically and socially."Inside the Beltway it's a melting pot, but it's very powerful, boiling all the time," Ducaru said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast