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photos by Dakota Fine

If you’ve been to any arts event around town in the past five years, you’ve definitely seen a slight blond woman bounding between conversation circles, this woman is Philippa Hughes. Philippa has one of the best jobs in DC that people don’t think of when they think of “jobs in DC.” She runs the Pink Line Project, a creative coalition dedicated to incubating the DC art scene. Philippa is also a Best Dressed List:DC finalist.

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Check out these other style profiles, nominate your favorites and come back for more.

BYT: Describe your personal style

Philippe Hughes: Eclectic!  I veer from surfer girl hoodies and cut off jeans to vintage classics to glittery glamour to unique artist made creations.  I tend toward bright colors and strong patterns, even in the gloom of winter.

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BYT: What’s the first piece of clothing that you felt emotionally attached to?

PH: A light blue tweed jacket that embroidered with a big flower made of scraps of material in many different colors and a piece of leather, and satin ribbon sewn around the cuffs and lapel.  It looked like an artist had found the jacket at Goodwill and enhanced it with her own design.

BYT: Has your style been pretty consistent over the years or have you gone through phases?

PH: My style has changed drastically over the years.  When I was practicing law, I had a closet full of blue, black, gray, and tan Ann Taylor suits and sensible shoes, all of which I have given away. Before that I was really into sports and you’d hardly see me in anything but running shorts or sweats and carrying a gym bag filled with a gym towel and swim goggles or a volleyball.

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BYT: What did you wear to your senior prom?

PH: A very traditional long white taffeta dress emblazoned with embroidered red flowers, festooned with frills around the shoulders and bottom hem, and finished off with a shiny red sash around the middle. Ick. No idea what I was thinking.

BYT: Who are your favorite high end designers and low end designers?

PH: High end: Prada!  The unusual fabrics and cuts stop me in my tracks every time. Mid-range: Philip Lim, Trina Turk, Vivienne Westwood, Tracy Feith. Any great deal I can find in a vintage store. Artistic AYA – she is a young emerging DC designer who made a dress for me for the inauguration that was so amazing that I couldn’t walk two steps without someone stopping me to ask about it.

BYT: Do you have any style secrets?

PH: I try not to be too matchy matchy.  I mix fabrics and patterns, and combine tops and bottoms in unexpected ways.

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BYT: What’s the biggest style NO you can think of for women? for men?

PH: Khaki pants for both men and women.

BYT: What’s the biggest style Do for women? for men?

PH: Wear clothes that flatter you and make you feel great.  I’ve seen things that are gorgeous on the hanger but when I try them on, they don’t flatter me and I try to talk myself into thinking it looks ok on me.  I’ve finally learned after many mistakes that I will feel terrible wearing something that I don’t feel great in or that makes my short legs look even shorter.

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BYT: How does grooming fit into your personal style?

PH: I’ve never been able to have long finger nails because of playing sports.  But I indulge myself with regular pedicures and I always choose a bright blue or green polish for my toes.  Otherwise, I am a fairly low maintenance gal, perhaps a holdover from my tomboy days.  No makeup and wash-n-go hair.

BYT: Where do you like to shop?

PH: For vintage I go to www.uesagoods.com. She has an incredibly sharp eye and can spot a Pucci dress in a pile of old duds from a mile away.  Favorite DC places to shop: Lettie Gooch, Muleh, Carbon.  Outside DC: Nolita in NYC and the Marais in Paris.

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Check out previous style profiles and keep coming back for more:

Holly Thomas
Eric Brewer
Jade Floyd

U.S. Royalty
Carole Greenwood
Betsey Lowther
Tyler Larish

and make sure to get tickets for our Best Dressed List Awards CRUISIN’ party on the Potomac, February 11th

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