Christian Siriano is Fierce at Redwood

Christian Siriano at Bethesda's The Front Row Fashion Show; Photo by Lisa Shapiro

Christian Siriano at Bethesda's The Front Row Fashion Show; Photo by Lisa Shapiro

On Friday evening, May 15, 2009, I attended Bethesda Row‘s runway event “The Front Row“, featuring local fashion and beauty retailers for a summer and exclusive fall designer preview. The fashion show featured merchandise from local Bethesda Row retailers such as Ginger, Urban Chic, Tickled Pink, and Luna.

This exclusive event was a hit due to special celebrity guest, Bravo’s Project Runway season-four winner Christian Siriano (pictured on left).  Mc’ed by local blogger celeb, Pamela Sorensen, of popular local website Pamela’s Punch, the show was packed with folks of all age ranges, perhaps just to sneak a peak of Siriano, who was sitting in the front row with his mother, Joy and sister, Sharon (and a slew of bodyguards).

Evidently, he was feeling a bit under the weather and did his best to rally at the event. Despite some fan push-back and rumor of disappointment of Siriano’s engagement with fans, he was kind enough to agree to sign a fashion program for my sister, Christa, who is a huge fan. I also witnessed him graciously pose for a photo with a press dinner attendee.

Just before the fashion show, Redwood hosted a VIP reception where local press, restaurant folk, and PR reps hobnobbed with other big whigs while sipping Siriano style-themed cocktails, such as “Fierce” created especially for the event by Redwood mixologist Justin Guthrie. Barbara Martin, (who I haven’t seen in over 15 years) Director of The Patton Group was responsible for putting together the spectacular runway event and Heather Freeman, Media & Public Relations and her team put together the fabulous Press Dinner set on the outdoor stone patio of Redwood restaurant.

This was my first look at Redwood and their new Executive Chef, Blake Schumpert, who had been on the job just three days; however, Chef Schumpert is not without superior culinary experience. His resume is quite impressive including working with recent James Beard Foundation National Outstanding Chef award winner, Chef Dan Barber of New York City’s Blue Hill. Chef Schumpert has also worked with world- re-known Chef Michel Richard at DC’s Citronelle and was Executive Chef of Cleveland Park’s Ardeo from 2003 to 2006. Just before coming to Redwood, he was Chef at Millie’s in Richmond, a diner-like space with simple, seasonal food.

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