Ship Shape

  • Flight Deck
  • Graphic Art
  • Escada Voille
  • Pleasure Cruising
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Bathing Beauties
  • Engineering Degrees
  • Etro Silk
  • Kiton Sport coat
  • Top Shelf
<< Back to Robb Report, March 2006

Sometimes the difference indeed is in the details. With clothing, features that might go unnoticed—the lining, the stitching, the buttons—can also be those that place it among the finest. The same might be said of the yacht Attessa, which served as the setting for this spring’s fashion spread featuring refined, yachting-inspired designs.


Flight Deck Ralph Lauren Purple Label whitecotton two-button jacket, $1,295, Madison pants, $295, and striped boatneck cashmere sweater, $795; Ermenegildo Zegna tan suede loafers, $425; Salt Optics sunglasses, $299; Gucci canvas-and-leather duffel bag with leather trim, $2,200.


Graphic Art Gucci cotton, silk, and cashmere ribbed double-breasted cardigan, $1,385, and silk/cotton pants, $720; John Varvatos polka-dot silk shirt, $198; Salvatore Ferragamo loafers, $450.


Anchored off the coast of Southern California, the 226-foot Attessa cuts a striking profile with its sleek midnight-blue hull and white sides and a helicopter perched on its upper deck. However, her owner, Dennis Washington, is not as interested in discussing Attessa’s obvious grandeur as he is in pointing out her myriad custom details. A private man who shuns the spotlight, Washington, chairman of the engineering and construction company Washington Group International, can be reserved, even guarded. But he becomes effusive when describing how it took more than a month to install a powder room’s stainless steel moldings. He tells how, while walking around the space with a pencil in hand, he sketched the free-form outline for the club deck’s cove ceiling. With equal enthusiasm, Washington notes the Lalique panels that frame the bar, the six-layer glass skylight by artist Markian Olynyk that crowns the grand staircase, and the elaborate towing system that he commissioned for the yacht’s latest addition, a custom 45-foot tender.

Escada Voille Oragami blouse, $380, and Ikat skirt, $680; Jimmy Choo Bellemy sandals, $760; Martin Katz diamond plate earrings, $46,000; Donalli 18-karat white gold filigree ring, $8,950.


Pleasure Cruising Isaia cotton, linen, and silk sport coat, $2,095, cotton shirt, $345, and flat-front wool pants, $395; Domenico Vacca belt, $650; Salvatore Ferragamo silk pocket square, $130; Chopard watch (at Traditional Jewelers), $7,260. On her: Escada dress, $1,200; Jimmy Choo sandals, $395; Martin Katz jade disk earrings, $24,000.


Giorgio Armani sport coat, $1,725; Ralph Lauren Purple Label striped shirt, $325; Salvatore Ferragamo Aviator sunglasses with leather trim, $250, and silk pocket square, $130.

Bathing Beauties Cosabella Mare Tanzania swimsuit, $125; Jimmy Choo Mandarin sandals with blue glass stones, $435; Valente Milano bracelet (at Traditional Jewelers), $7,080; Malo towel, $300. Gucci Anemone bandeau-top bikini, $385, silk cropped cardigan, $895, and python platform sandals, $1,290; Salt Optics Glenda sunglasses, $299; Kwiat diamond earrings (at Traditional Jewelers), $14,500.


Engineering Degrees Ralph Lauren Purple Label sweater, $475, and navy linen Riviera pants, $325; Officine Panerai
watch (at Traditional Jewelers), $3,650.


Etro Silk dress with wooden beads, $1,300; Traditional Jewelers cabochon tourmaline and diamond earrings, $12,900; Rodney Rayner ring (at Bailey Banks & Biddle), $7,720. On him: Giorgio Armani Black Label single-button sport coat, $2,025; Domenico Vacca pin-striped cotton shirt, $490; Ermenegildo Zegna pants, $385.


For Washington, this Attessa, his third, is the culmination of a two-and-a-half-year effort in which he demonstrated an exacting, hands-on approach. “It was a very happy moment when this boat was launched,” says Washington. “Like anything in life that you work really hard at, when it turns out just the way you want it, it’s very gratifying.”

Kiton Sport coat, $3,995, and linen pants, $895, by special order; Domenico Vacca striped shirt, $340. On her: David Rodriguez stretch silk charmeuse blouson tank, $740; Emporio Armani pleated skirt, $568; Gucci python platform sandals, $1,290.

In 2002, Washington acquired the vessel that would become Attessa, the fire-damaged 204-foot Aviva, because it represented an opportunity for him to oversee every aspect of its overhaul, expansion, and reconstruction at Vancouver Shipyards (a division of his Washington Marine Group of companies) in conjunction with the original builder, the Netherlands’ Feadship. “I get so involved in the process,” says Washington, who completely redesigned everything, including the hull lines and the configuration of the decks. “I didn’t want to travel back and forth to Amsterdam every week, so this was a good opportunity for me.”


Top Shelf Ermenegildo Zegna Couture dinner jacket, $2,400, and Ermenegildo Zegna flat-front wool pants, $385, and shirt, $380; Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, $450; Harry Winston watch (at Traditional Jewelers), $44,600. On her: Emporio Armani dress, $948; Domenico Vacca suede-and-crystal sandals, $580; Martin Katz triangle-shaped rose-cut diamond pendant, $210,000; Beaudry diamond earrings (at Traditional Jewelers), $10,010; Vera Wang bracelet (at Bailey Banks & Biddle), $28,000.


Attessa’s reclamation, which was completed last year, demanded the expertise and efforts of more than 180 people, including designer Glade Johnson, captains Ted McCumber and Fred Larsson, and Phyllis Washington, Dennis’ wife of 41 years, who is an antiques dealer. Still, the yacht is primarily the work of Washington, whose ideas and energy are as seemingly limitless as his budget. “It’s a special place for me,” he says. “It was like building my dream, so it brings me a smile.”

Fashion Resources
Beaudry at Traditional Jewelers
, 949.721.9010,
Chopard at Traditional Jewelers, 949.721.9010,
Cosabella Mare, 866.378.4566,
David Rodriguez, 212.398.4257,
Domenico Vacca, 212.759.6333,
Donalli, +41.22.702.0700,
Ermenegildo Zegna, 888.880.3462,
Escada, 800.869.8424,
Etro, 212.317.9096,
Giorgio Armani, 212.988.9191,
Gucci, 888.456.4241,
Harry Winston at Traditional Jewelers, 949.721.9010,
Isaia available at select Neiman Marcus,
Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York, 888.996.7555,
Jimmy Choo, 866.524.6687,
John Varvatos, 212.965.0700,
Kiton, 212.813.0272,
Kwiat at Traditional Jewelers, 949.721.9010,
Malo available at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman,
Martin Katz, 310.276.7200,
Officine Panerai at Traditional Jewelers, 949.721.9010,
Ralph Lauren Purple Label, 888.475.7674,
Rodney Rayner at Bailey Banks & Biddle, 800.651.4222, Salt Optics, 949.673.9044,
Salvatore Ferragamo, 800.628.8916,
Traditional Jewelers, 949.721.9010,
Valente Milano at Traditional Jewelers, 949.721.9010,
Vera Wang at Bailey Banks & Biddle, 800.651.4222,

Stylist: Michael Cioffoletti, Célestine Agency, Los Angeles
Stylist Assistant: Margaret Sche
Hair: Andre Blaise; Makeup: Shiyana
Models: Steven Bruns, Heidi Johnson, Susan Robinson, Jeff Tuttle

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