Fashionable Life: Best Dressed Guest

is a vintage vision in white, beaded silk.

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We loved that the back of Violetta’s beaded gown made just as big a statement as the front. (Photo by Yassine El Mansouri)

Here at Washington Life we see more than our fair share of party guests and their sartorial choices. Each week, we will feature our favorite “Best Dressed Guest” from recent events we have photographed and share a few words of advice from the well-groomed Washingtonian.

Violetta poses with WL’s associate publisher, John Arundel. (Photo by Tony Powell)

It takes a seasoned fashion eye to spot a vintage gown that can not only work for a sophisticated Washington soiree, but can stand out in a crowd of couture. But photographer and visual artist Violetta Markelou nailed that mission at WL’s seventh annual Young and the Guest List party, held on December 17 at Arena Stage. Dressed in a stunning floor-length, beaded gown that she purchased from her friend’s Los Gitanos vintage collection sold at Rue 14, Markelou was told she that she was “a vision.”

“I believe your fashion is an extension of who you are as an individual, [and this] dress speaks to my personality,” says Markelou.

She accessorized the show-stopping dress with a second hand Elie Tahari fur shawl, vintage earrings, Nine West heels and a clutch she scored in a NY boutique.

Violetta paired her vintage gown with vintage earrings, Nine West heels and a clutch she scored in a NY boutique. (Photo by Yassine El Mansouri)

Markelou is known around the WL office as the queen of vintage, and we are constantly green with envy over her finds. Naturally, we picked her brain for advice when shopping vintage and she let us in on her secrets, which included “look, and look often” and “when you find something, get it tailored right away.” For Markelou, making vintage work is all about the fit.

Make sure what your wearing fits you well. It doesn’t matter what it is or what it costs. If it fits and flatters your body, you’ll look like a million dollars.”

Violetta Markelou is a visual artist specializing in photography and makeup in Washington, D.C. When she’s not documenting the art of transformation with her camera, she spends her time uncovering high- and low-end fashion, jewelry and accessories in vintage and second-hand shops. She shares more of her style insights at her blog The Thrifty Fashionista and its Facebook group almost daily.

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