washingtonian style setter | personal style can be deemed a sartorial biography which echoes ones life with all of its affairs. the family traditions, the culture, the personal beliefs and the social history are all aspects that influence the identity and the image of the self. different aspects of life resonate in the clothing that one has in their wardrobe. the clothing that one chooses to wear. because a visual identity portrays information of ones environment and ones experiences. ones hopes and possibilities. with the research of a sartorial biography it can be possible to explore a deeper level of understanding about ones self evolution. a sartorial biography can be seen as visual wardrobe research or an exploration of the self through different timelines. this way fashion can be examined as a translating vehicle and an evolving narrative of the self. the observations of different timelines do not necessarily resonate in a chronological order, but as a collective whole, as a combination of memories, creating new meanings and interpretations and feelings. it's all about the feels.

i wore this exact ensemble at our 1st collaborative installation with urban outfitter, yes, the multi-national corporation. we named it #urbannomaddc, learn more here. on that momentous day, i choose to wear a mix of my current favorite vintage pieces drawing energy from times past. the early 1900's edwardian silk bias cut skirt and 1970's matador studded jacket by gado gado. atop my head rests my favorite vintage derby hat gifted to me by a former lover. as a plain $7 white tank, one of a hundred that serve as the glue to many of my outfits, completes the look. i wore this in june 2015 and as i prepped for this shoot in september, it was a given. 

i repeat outfits. that is my style. i carry the energy of moments - one to another. to another. #urbannomaddc marks a momentous achievement for me. for us. so i carried that energy to this shoot to remind self of the power of staying true to self. to reflect oneself unapologetically. even when it hurts. to speak ones truth. to carry ones culture. never dull my light. 

washington dc, we continue to tell our stories through art. through style. through aesthetic. through time. i am forever inspired by you. the style setters who never grace the cover of a magazine. who don't attend the "it" parties. yet create. work. dream. and build community + culture. everyday. grateful to you.

| #xodvf @washingtonianmag #stylesetters #partydown #bestdressed | all #vintage to include edwardian skirt + gado gado matador jacket from my personal vintage collection + white tank @tjmaxx + @louboutinworld so kate patent pumps.

| grateful to be named @washingtonmag style setter. such a rich experience to share my must shop @nubianhueman + fav hangout spot @leicastoredc + how to find great #vintage @nomadyard. huge thanks to the washingtonian magazine team to include editor sarah zlotnick + photog @sean_scheidt_photography + makeup artist @ryankellymua + @laurenjoseph et all.

huge thanks to rachel cumberbatch for the #bts captures.

read the full feature and pick up a copy on newsstands now (wait, do those still exist?).  | xoDVF

Desirée Venn Frederic is a Sierra Leonean born writer and installation artist of Geeche and Maroon ancestry. Her work pulls heavily from her transnational experiences and understandings. The artist and thought leader explores identity, ownership and contemporary ideas in aesthetics. As the founder of Nomad Yard, a globally minded vintage shop in Washington, D.C., Venn Frederic creates a playground for those who love culture, history and rare antiques steeped in stories. She uses her work to negotiate multiple strata of marginalization being both undocumented and an aboriginal indigenous woman. She is an interior designer creating experiential spaces and interiors. She is a community organizer and founding member of Artist Union DC, with a keen interest in cultural studies and artistic expression. She is particurlarly interested in the ways in which fashion, visual culture and critical theory inform, shape and encourage discourses surrounding the socio-economic, political and cultural. Venn Frederic has shared her creative interests as an exhibiting artist with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center drawing parallels of her own personal immigration detention in 2013 to the criminalization of human existence throughout history. She holds degrees in Fashion Merchandising, Business Management and a certificate in Community Advocacy and is fluent in French and Krio. As a speaker, she has engaged TED Talks as well as audiences at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, The National Endowment for the Arts National Maker Faire, Ted Talks, Made in DC Maker Summit, General Assembly, and Creative World’s Creative Economy Summit. As an ambassador with Define American, the activist shares her personal journey to expand the narrative of immigrants. She exists via the internet sphere simply as @xoDVF. She is a mentor to 2 college aged creative entrepreneurs and loves vintage kimonos.