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9 Dec

Alexis Bittar Unveils Holiday Tree at Riggs Hotel in

Washington, D.C. — Luxury boutique hotel Riggs unveiled its holiday tree Thursday night with a festive holiday cocktail with the jewellery designer Alexis Bittar.

The soaring 18-foot-tall creation is reflective of the designer’s style: oversized swans perched on the branches of sentimental pink feathers, pearl garlands and high-shine tinsel, which flutter because the lobby doors swing open within the Riggs’ historic lobby. “For me it’s all the time about mixing the world of accessories with fantasy, sculpture and art,” the designer told WWD.

Tiny message-in-the-bottle quotes which might be tucked between the branches from famous women, including Eleanor Roosevelt, pay homage to the hotel’s famed First Lady Suites.

Speaking of first ladies, Bittar shared his last tree design was back in 2014 for the White House, commissioned by First Lady Michelle Obama. “That one was a bit more traditional” he laughed, referring to the more provocative nature of this tree, which incorporates round breast ornaments in various flesh tones, which he named “Menagerie A Tree.”

“This tree is de facto focused on femininity and play on surrealism and fantasy, with the swans and the tinsel and quotes from famous women that I really like, including Michelle and Nina Simone.  Tucked into the tree is where it gets a bit naughty,” he said with a wink, referring to the nipple ornaments.

Since his reentrance to fashion after buying back his brand last 12 months from Brooks Brothers, Bittar has shown a commitment to inclusivity, especially focused on women. A longtime favorite of favor icons from Iris Apfel to Beyoncé, Bittar also shared his excitement seeing a recent generation adorned in his work. Activist and singer Lizzo was decked out in Alexis Bittar headpieces and jewellery to the People’s Selection Awards earlier this week.  “I used to be getting the photographs of Lizzo as she was getting dressed and it’s all the time incredible.”  

Also for the vacation season, Bittar and Riggs will offer a special “Gem Service Menu” to hotel guests. A nod to the hotel’s heritage as a former bank, a security deposit box of Alexis Bittar pieces will likely be kept on-site for a jewelry-on-demand where guests should purchase a last-minute piece before a festive fête or a vacation gift while staying at Riggs.

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