Zarah Burstein is the owner, founder and creative force behind ZB-Creative, a full service creative consultancy. She’s also a fierce fan of glamour — especially sequins — and hip to the District’s evolving (and elevated) style.
District Fray: What D.C. style means to you
Zarah Burstein: Currently, it’s an exciting time to be in the District, as the city’s style coming out from the pandemic is brand new: from how people dress [to the] design, art, culture and aesthetic. With events in D.C., half the room is wearing strapless ballgowns and the other half are wearing slip dresses with chunky heels and bright red lips. There’s a shift culturally to looks we would see in New York, Paris, London or LA. There is a new cool girl vibe with sequins, feathers and rhinestone belts. It’s no longer about the perfect little clutch and black gown. I think the crux is not to take yourself […] or fashion too seriously. It’s always important to challenge yourself, have fun, try new things, take risks and go for that colorful party dress.
Style icon and/or inspiration
I get inspiration from ‘50s and ‘60s style icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Jane Birkin, Jackie Onassis, Twiggy, Grace Kelly and Eddie Sedgwig. I also love the looks from ‘90’s style icons Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and Kate Moss. My fashion philosophy is getting dressed should be easy and not to overthink it. The goal is to get the nod of approval from a girlfriend, but not to get an eye-roll from my fiancé.
Choosing my one wardrobe staple is like choosing only one place to travel to on my bucket list — impossible for me. But my favorite time to dress for is night. My closet is filled with dresses from short to long and sequined to feathered, [as well as] jewelry and fun heels. My go-to for unique new finds locally is Hu’s in Georgetown and Mindy Lam. And of course, a wardrobe isn’t complete without a hairstyle and color every few months by Jerome Obry and Lacey Obry.
My style is tailored, feminine and classic, yet elegant and daring. I love pops of bright color, prints and wearing things I don’t see on everyone else. I’m really excited about discovering and wearing emerging designers, especially [those focused on being] sustainable and eco-friendly. My aesthetic reflects my fanfare of travel, culture and art. Because I work within events, marketing, design and decor, what’s needed [in terms of] style for each workday depends on what is on the calendar and what part of each creative project I am working on. I find it’s important to dress for what comes to you each day.
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