Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Invitation to be Social

'Tis the season of the Social List, and we have you down + 1
... even to the White House

he 2008 Social List is Washington's answer to the old-world Almanach de Gotha, that weighty tome across whose 18th-century pages the sovereign families of Europe bled blue. Back then, the list of names was rigid, yet expandable - nouveau-riche Napoleon, with typical Corsican bluster, requested amendments (guess whose family was added?). These days, aristocracy seems, to many of us, as outdated as the French Revolution itself. Instead, we take high society for its modern translation - an institution which gives a bit of structure (not to mention flawless poise, exquisite etiquette and gracious lifestyle) to social order. WL's Social List changes little over the years - and that's what makes it an institution.

Slightly more malleable than the WL 2008 Social List (which, regretfully, I can't get you on - it's all done by committee), is our "Social Year in Review," which deftly picks - and pans - the best and worst "parties, parties, parties!" of 2007.

Fact: invitations, and their requisite R.S.VP.s, are very much a part of Washington's social structure. It all starts at the top, and we've gotten you security clearance this issue: Presidential historian Barry Landau shows us his book The President's Table: 200Years of Dining and Diplomacy; Green Book editor William Rolle hearkens back to a time when the President's table manners set the standards for guest conduct (he recalls when Grover Cleveland, upon pouring coffee into a saucer for his dog, found his cabinet members following suit); and several generations of White House social secretaries assemble for the ultimate portrait of protocol.

In "The Young and The Guest List" and "This Town," we explore the modern state of manners (or lack thereof), while photographer Clay Blackmore captures a few personalities from the WL 2008 Social List in a photoshoot at The Willard Intercontinental Hotel.

The weather outside may be dreary, but in Sweden, there's plenty to see, as you'll find out in our chic winter travel feature. You'll see the Northern Lights from the famed "Grand Hotel" in Stockholm and bundle up in reindeer skins at the ICEHOTEL.

In Washington, maintaining an über-trendy ice hotel would be a challenge, but John Dreyfuss might be up to it. Aided by the collaborative efforts of art dealer George Hemphill, Corinne Bensahel and Dreyfuss himself, we peek inside the architect/sculptor's Georgetown residence and studio in "Inside Homes."

Speaking of building, we ring in the new year with two new additions: expanded dining coverage in "The Dish" with Ann Mah and "Paint the Town" which complements our regular coverage of the New York auction scene with an inside look at art openings citywide (and features Pink Line Project founder Philippa Hughes).

Need more creative food for the soul? Read our interview with Shakespeare Theatre Company Director Michael Kahn in "Verbatim"; PEN/Faulkner gala reader Lynn Freed's contribution "Twilight Zones"; and Renee Drake's "Art and Auction."

Already have the table but still holiday shopping? Our "Last Minute Luxury Gift Guide," "Trend Report" and photographer Len DePas' "Stocking Stuffers" fashion shoot will help you find a suitably stylish gift.

This month, WL takes you to the NIAF Gala, the Lombardi Gala, Cartier's Bleu Ballon watch launch - co-hosted by WL - at hip Lanier club L2, the Sibley Hospital Celebration, Mazza Galleries 30th Anniversary, Ermenegildo Zegna's Tysons Corner boutique opening and an intimate dinner hosted by the Italian Ambassador and his wife for Mr. Zegna at their residence, the Meridian Ball, Care For Kids' kickoff reception - co-hosted by M Cafe - and an exclusive soirée hosted by WL and new French Ambassador, Pierre Vimont, for the C'est Chic! Film Festival (even famed "Un homme et une femme" director, Claude LeLouch, was there). Save the date for the Midwinter Opera Gala, the Choral Arts Society Gala and the return of WL's Young & The Guest List bash in your little black book — while more humble than the Green Book, it's hard to beat.

Readers wishing to get in touch with Nancy can email: letters@washingtonlife.com


Home  |   Where To Find Us  |   Advertising  |   Privacy Policy  |   Site Map  |   Purchase Photos  |   About Us

Click here to go to the NEW Washington Life Magazine