A Fashionable Mind: Holly Adam on FashionWhirled’s Friday:5ive

The fashionable Holly Adam and I met through the men’s wear industry but cemented our fashion friendship through our travels in Europe, during the menswear Fashion Weeks held twice a year. She was the protogé of Kal Ruttenstein, the inimitable Fashion Director of Bloomingdale’s back in the day (I’ll never forget the jogging suits and silver trainers that he always wore in flight. ALWAYS.), and an icon whom I followed about blindly — when she would hold court in Rose’s down a little alleyway in Firenza, carousing us for drinks poolside at the Villa Cora or in Milan at the Duca or the Gallia lobbies. In Paris, we’d see her for dinner at Dave’s Chinese or bouncing around with our pal and colleague, John Fowler, at Le Crillon.   She has this deep, infectious laugh and lovely way of carrying herself, a beautiful blended head of grey, even back then, and a style of dressing to die for. I was smitten! Holly left Bloomie’s years ago and Continue reading

Fashion Designer George Carr, FW’s Friday:5ive

Baby, you can drive my CARR….
The luxury fashion label from writer and theatre producer-turned-designer George Carr (http://www.carrnyc.com/blog) not only celebrated its official one year anniversary of existence, the collection just opened at retail this past week. Bloomingdale’s launched the women’s collection for this season last Friday, and Saks Fifth Avenue opened the men’s a week ago Thursday.
FashionWhirled has a soft spot in our hearts for George. He’s a fellow writer, poet and creative soul. And we’re glad to have him in our lives and are delighted to feature him this week in our Friday:5ive.
Fashion designer George Carr
FashionWhirled:  What role does fashion Continue reading

Artist Joy Malin on FW’s Friday:5ive

Our sweet neighbor, Joy Malin, is an artist who most recently has discovered her amazing talent for animal portraits. We’ve seen her over the years, taking canvases of gorgeous florals or figures in and out of the building, sending off her masterpieces in the back of her clients’ cars, conducting art classes in the park and in her apartment.

We mostly see her walking her amazing little guy, Charlies, the cutest little Yorkie you’d ever want to meet, around Tompkins Square Park. Joy and Charlie always have an ebullient hello for Mignon.

Artist Joy Malin and Charlie on the subway

Her darling “child” (she does have three
human children, too!), Charlie, is with her practically everywhere she goes. Most of you know how much FashionWhirled adores its doggie friends and to have them intersect with art, well, it’s almost too much!

Here, a little Friday:5ive visit with the lovely artist Joy Malin.

FashionWhirled:  What role does style, or fashion, play in your life as an artist? How does your personal style inspire the style of your animal portraits?

Joy Malin:  I’m a very simple-looking girl from the outside.  I’m always in black, an old gallery trick, making the art the most important thing in the room.  It is another thing when you walk in my apartment.  Lots of color, lots of fabric layering and not one more inch for another painting!  I like pretty!  I hope my animal portraits all have a little pinch of humor.

Two of Joy Malin’s Floral Series, above and below, that remind me somewhat of Maxfield Parrish

FW:  What made you first realize you wanted to be an artist? When did animal portraits come into that equation? 

JM: The first memory I have of really falling in love with life was walking through a museum somewhere in Europe. Holding on to my grandmother’s hand, feeling the cool marble floor and seeing the most beautiful things in the world surrounding us.  I was lucky to have a grandmother who loved art, and me!  My visits to Geneva to see her and traveling around Europe were all too few and far between. But they were enough to light that fire within me, I knew who I was and what I really loved.  Animal portraits were always in the equation, I think most of the incarnations I have had have been to experience life as a dog!

FW: Who is the muse or inspiration for your art? Do you see your animal portraits as fashionable accessories to a fashionable home? Why yes or not?

JM: The inspiration comes from nature, light and shadow, beautiful color, something that sings “mother earth”.  My muse is every wonderful dog I have ever known.  The unconditional love I am now experiencing from my dog Charlie shows me what love is.  Now that you mention it, I guess I do see my animal portraits as part of a fashionable home.  Without heart, how fashionable can a home be?

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — animal or human, dead or alive — sit for one of your portraits, who would that be and why?

JM: My grandmother, I wish I could thank her again.  Cleopatra, beauty, brains and a great wardrobe!

A painting from Joy’s Figures series

FW:  What words of wisdom do you live by, or strive to live by? What legacy do you hope to leave to the future?!

JM: Smile, you’re forgiven! My legacy, my children.


Duckie Brown Designers Daniel Silver and Steven Cox, FW’s Friday:5ive

Meet menswear designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, the madcap, irreverent design (Steven) and business (Daniel) minds, hearts and souls behind Duckie Brown.
The award-winning designers just

wrapped up a particularly impressive New York Fashion Week, premiering their Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown Tuesday after a wildly successful turn down the runway the week before with Duckie Brown, the line they founded in 2001.
Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown photos (above and next two below) by John Aquino, courtesy of WWD
Within Duckie Brown, every season embraces innovation, wit and exacting tailoring, and, per their press bio, “each collection starts with the shoulder of a man’s jacket and then builds layer upon layer … .”
Just the way menswear should! At least, that’s the way menswear used to begin. Tailored clothing was always discussed in terms of point-to-point, the measurement from shoulder to shoulder, and in the past, the changes within menswear garments were nominal, maybe an eighth, a sixteenth of an inch at a time.
Today, those rules have mostly been thrown out the window. At Duckie Brown, changes can be voluminous, case in point, the pants silhouette from last season, that featured dropped crotches, below, and oversized legs, even in grey tweed.
Duckie Brown Fall 2012, photo by Thomas Iannoccone, courtesy of WWD
The award-winning duo — Duckie Brown received a nomination for the CFDA Perry Ellis New Menswear Award in 2006, followed in 2007 with a nomination for the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year — also are featured in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum show, New York Fashion Now, a retrospective of up and coming American designers, with one of their outfits now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
FashionWhirled got the chance to Q&A them for this week’s Friday:5ive.
FashionWhirled: What role does fashion, or style, play in your lives personally and as designers? How does each of your personal styles inspire or affect your designs for Duckie Brown?
Daniel backstage and….

FW: What made you first realize you wanted to design clothes? Were you always into fashion and how? Tell me about your favorite fashion or designer pieces over the years?

and Steven backstage after their Duckie Brown show at the beginning of Fashion Week


Actor Alan Rickman front row at the Duckie Brown SS13 show. A possible muse?!


FW: Who is the muse of your collection, or of each one of you individually, and how does s/he affect the choices you make for your own personal wardrobe or any style decision you make for the collection’s designs?
FW: If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — wear Duckie Brown, who would that be and why? What would you dress them in and why? How and why would you try to change their style?
FW:What words of wisdom do each of you live by, or strive to live by? What legacy, fashion or otherwise, as fashion designers and as human beings, do you hope to leave to the future?!
Daniel and Steven at their runway walk last week at Duckie Brown

Missoni’s David on FW’s Friday:5ive

Recently, the Meatpacking District became home to an odd new visitor. Here, FashionWhirled visits Michelangelo’s David, as re-thought by the artist dEmo and Luca Missoni.

FashionWhirled:  Would you be so kind as to tell FashionWhirled’s readers what role fashion, or style, plays in your life? 

dEmo’s David a la Missoni:  Con piacere!  Fashion never, ever, played any role in my life. Until now, I have been naked my whole 511 years!  

Sometimes I get to admire a stand-out sense of style that I might see pass me by as I stand in the Galleria dell’Accademia, but unfortunately, I see a lot of bad tourist style. How you call it? T-shirts, Tevas, tube socks. Eccola! My twin in the Palazzo della Signoria gets quite another view, the beautiful Italian women and girls that parade by him every day, with their amazing, inimitable style. E’ un peccato!

FW:  Who is your favorite fashion designer? 

D’s D:   Questo dipende. Currently, I would have to say Missoni, though that might be just because I am a little predisposed to their designs right now. I hear horizontal stripes make you look bigger, wider, but my body has been out of proportion for hundreds of year, so I think this helps give me an edge. The signature Missoni chevron flame stripe adds a bit of flair and flash to me, too, no? I have been wearing this since the collaboration between Spanish artist dEmo and Luca Missoni. Originally, I was installed in front of the Missoni boutique in Madrid in 2010 for Fashion’s Night Out, making an appearance in Barcelona for FNO there and now for NYC’s FNO. I think I prefer the Meatpacking District the best!

FW: Who is your muse or inspiration for your quiet demeanor?

D’s D:  You may laugh at this, but for centuries it was the Mona Lisa. But now the world is opening up to me. I have seen a lot of beautiful models pass by me from my perch here at 14th and 9th Avenue. [Sigh.] It’s quite a stylish corner of the world.

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — stop be to see you in your new attire in the Meatpacking district, who would it be and why?

D’s D: Ovviamente, it would be Michelangelo. He created me, me — one the world’s finest pieces of design, most stylish pieces of Italian art to date. I would like him to see me modernized, fashioned, legitimized for this time, this era of fashion pop culture. It might kill him, si, but he is dead already. Non importa!

FW:  What fashion legacy do you hope to leave to the future?

D’s D: Hmmm. This is difficult. But, Io suppongo di it would be that even a nude statue can look better with a little bit of fashion in its life. Mille grazie, Missoni. Mille grazie, FashionWhirled. Ciao, bella!

Rufus Apparel’s April Singer Straten on FW’s Fashion:5ive

I first met April Singer Straten a few years ago through one of my bff’s at a Coterie show while the founder, designer and creative force behind Rufus was pregnant with either the first or second of her now three children. She was absolutely adorable and over the years I continued to have the opportunity to run into her as I was walking or working various trade shows. I finally got the chance to see her highly-detailed, wonderfully-executed woven shirt collection at MRket a few seasons ago and then again when she showed for the first time at ENK this past July. With Rufus, her apparel business that incorporates both men’s and women’s apparel, including a three part men’s wear shirt collection, April gives guys top options.  
The native New Yorker majored in journalism before

veering into fashion after school (like me!), her path taking her to Ralph before Nautica, with a stint in London for five years as Nautica’s international team leader. When she returned stateside, she was determined to fill a hole in men’s contemporary dressing, and in 2004, prompted by her boyfriend, she focused on filling the need between the shirt styles that were permeating the market — woven shirts in boxy, classic shapes or super slim European cuts. Rufus was a hit, featuring details like signature red buttonhole stitching or red cufflinks, high-quality fabrics and a cool color palette. Which all ensured, according to her press materials, “the million-dollar revenue that the Rufus brand generated in its first year.”

Not bad for schmattas, as they say in our biz! April is now Mrs. Muse — yes, she not only married said boyfriend, but it’s his middle name that eponymously became the collection’s moniker. They have three young children and April admits that she is continually inspired by her husband’s personal style. Please read on to see how his style initially affected her and all about this special lady on FashionWhirled’s Friday:5ive today.

April Singer Straten, founder, designer of Rufus Apparel
FashionWhirled:  What role does fashion play in your life for you personally and as a designer? How does your personal style inspire or affect your shirt designs for Rufus?

April Singer Straten, Rufus Shirts:  I am inspired and amazed by how people wear their clothes.  Personal style is something that is innate and unique.  I love watching my three year old daughter put an outfit together.  She has very specific likes and ideas.  For me, I like to keep things simple with one little surprise which could be a splash of color or a piece of jewelry or a bag.  That is how I look at Rufus.  We are making shirts with a great fit and luxurious fabric.  We add one little detail that makes it special and that is what we are all about.
FW:  Is red your favorite color?! Why did you name the collection Rufus, which means “red” in Latin? Do you think shirts can change the world?! How and why?

AS: I do love red!  It’s strong. It’s bold. The line pays homage to my husband who’s a red head and was nicknamed Rufus as a child.
I think shirts are a large part of the world but won’t necessarily change the world.  My goal is to try to change the world within the shirt world.  Our shirts are classic yet eclectic.  Our distinctive approach to the mixing of colors, fabrications and patterns, coupled with our trademark fit, are the recognizable features that have become uniquely Rufus. 

FW:  Who is your muse and how does she/he affect the choices you make for your wardrobe or any style decision you make? 
AS:  My husband is my muse.  He wore pants in that yellow/brown workwear color with a sweater vest and a French cuff shirt on our first date.  I thought mixing workwear with a dress shirt was bold.  Although he is not really a fashion guy, he taught me how to mix ideas and simply not to take it all too seriously.

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — wear Rufus, who would that be and why? Which shirt(s) would you dress them in and why? How would you try to change their style?

AS:  I would have loved to dress JFK Jr. in Rufus.  He is the definition of our brand; classic yet eclectic.  He could have worn the mainline with a suit or our casual shirts with shorts while he biked around town. 

FW:  What words of wisdom do you live by, or strive to live by? You have a family, 3 children, I think…what legacy, fashion or otherwise, as a noted fashion designer and as a human being existing in our world today, do you hope to leave them?
AS:  “Pay attention to the details.”  People usually concentrate on the big picture and lose site of the small details.  It’s the chocolate on the pillow, a thank you note or red stitching on a shirt cuff that can make all the difference.

Fashion Farmboy Bjorn Nasett on FW’s Friday:5ive

If you’ve been reading up on your FashionWhirleds, you know that I was recently featured in a post on Bjorn Nasett’s website, Fashion Farmboy (you can click here to read, if you haven’t already). And if you do know that, you already may know that Bjorn and I met during New York Fashion Week a couple of years ago, during an IFB seminar. We hit it off swimmingly, as fashion compatriots, as fellow bloggers delving into new journalistic fashion waters and as lovers of thrift and style. He touched my heart and soul forever when he sent me a little book called “The Lady who was Beautiful Inside” (Edward Monkton).
Bjorn in cool shades during NYFW last season, when we met for coffee at a local Starbucks near Lincoln Center
Bjorn has a fabulous outlook on life and style, all smiles, niceness and clever creativity that truly

comes from the heart, and I greatly value and appreciate our new-found friendship. His background amazes me. Model, photo fashion stylist, vintage clothing buyer (he has an Etsy store here), hair stylist, makeup artist, fashion writer and now fashion photographer (he’s coming to NYC to shoot the runway shows during NYFW next month). Not only does he really actually come from a farm — he was raised in Rockdale, Wisconsin, sort of near where my sister was born (Oshkosh, b’gosh!) — but he bravely left those environs for Madison at the tender age of sixteen, where he immersed himself in the art and performance world. As a model, then an entertainer at various infamous clubs (including one of which was frequented, scarily enough, by Jeffrey Dahmer at the time), he landed in Milwaukee where he worked as a sought-after club performer for thirteen years from age 17 to 35. Covering the days of disco, punk, and rock ‘n roll of the ’80s, Bjorn was named one of the city’s top performers by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 1991, during what he refers to as the “mini-Warhol scene” that was transpiring in that town.

We ARE spreading the news! Bjorn, as beautiful inside as he is outside, photographed by John Grant Photography.
Bjorn went on to work as a self-taught makeup artist and hair stylist (named top hairdresser in the city by Milwaukee Magazine in 2007), as well as a fashion stylist on commercial and editorial photo shoots with layouts featured in publications like MKE, a hip Milwaukee weekly, before he ended up as a fashion writer at Milwaukee Magazine and then style expert with a weekly column for Amazing Goodwill. His clever upcycle ideas and repurposing tips never cease to – well – amaze me!
I’m counting down the days until I can spend some quality catch-up time with him this upcoming Fashion Week.
Until then, here is Bjorn, our latest Friday:5ive feature, where FashionWhirled asks 5 pertinent questions to a prominent fashion star. Read on to be illuminated!
Photo by John Grant Photography

FashionWhirled:  How and why has thrift become a passion for you? With your role as Goodwill’s fashion expert and a background as varied as growing up on a farm to being a model, hair stylist, writer (what aren’t you able to do?!), what part does vintage or thrift play for you in every aspects of your life, professionally and personally?

 Tom Miller, owner of Beauty Hair Salon where Bjorn works, with Bjorn during NYFW

Bjorn Nasett, the Fashion Farmboy:  Growing up on a farm, re-using and recycling wasn’t a virtue, it was a necessity!  My mother, Audrey, was someone who could always find beauty in everything.  A coat of paint, or a remodeling of one of her old jackets into a suit of clothes for one of her children, wasn’t only thrifty, but truly brought her joy.  In a small way, I try to let people know that style and fashion exist in your thought process, and that can be manifested in many ways, including items found thrifting or elsewhere.  Really, though, enjoyment of what you wear, and fully owning that experience is what sincerely means great style to me.  Whether it is the latest from Marc Jacobs, or a hand-me-down from a friend.  Making anything you wear into YOUR personal style is what fashion has and always will be about, no matter what anyone says.

Carlos Miele runway show fashion snap by Bjorn

FW:  When and where do you shop for the special pieces you find? How do your finds change you emotionally, psychologically? What criteria do you use in making the decision to recycle, reuse, renovate or reinvigorate a thrift find to sell on your Etsy shop?

FFB:  When I shop for items to re-sell, or wear myself, I only shop at charity thrift stores that have some benefit to the community they are located in.  Many people do not realize that stores like these often provide vital, even life-saving programs to people in need of assistance.  Too often we judge others by the clothing on their backs and not the content of their character, so I’m very proud to support these organizations.  The criteria I use is pretty simple, quality, design, and wearability.  What good is something vintage if it is unwearable?  Then it becomes a costume, and that’s fine for Halloween, but not for everyday wear.  I search for classic silhouettes on my thrice or more weekly shopping trips!  When shopping thrift, you must have a plan of attack.  I always do dresses first, quickly skimming the rack without looking at every piece, next is jackets, blouses, etc.  I don’t spend more than an hour in any one store.  If I do then there must be tons of great stuff, which I pile in my cart, and carefully inspect last, before I check out! [Ed. note: We must go thrifting together!]

Our feature hero with one of his Greyhound pups

FW: Who is your muse, why is he/she your muse and how does he or she affect the style decisions you make?

FFB:  As a kid, I grew up watching the black and white movies on the late, late show.  I was mesmerized by the stylization of the women’s clothing in vintage films.  Even though this may sound predictable, I particularly loved the Hepburn’s, Audrey, and Katharine! They were always chic and sophisticated throughout their lives.  I often think of them when shopping.  Would this be suitable on either of them?  Since they both epitomize great personal style, it is no wonder they’ve become iconic.  Plus, thinking of them helps me restrain my crazy inner Mrs. Roper, who loves wild prints and over the top accessories!!  Not that that’s a bad thing!  I also loved Cary Grant, always stylish, rakish, dapper, all those adjectives!  He’s at his most stylish in “To Catch a Thief”  his casual look with the neck scarf just slays me!  In a good way of course.  He was handsome and fashionable all the way into his waning years.  LOVED his big black glasses later in life!

Audrey Hepburn starred with Cary Grant in the 1963 movie “Charade”

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — visit your “pop-up shop” on Etsy, who would that be and what items would you want to dress them in or want them to purchase as their own?! Which piece(s) are your favorite(s) and why?

FFB:  I would love to have Chloe Sevigny visit.

The iconic Chloe Sevigny

Why?  Because she’s fearless when it comes to fashion.  She wears what she likes whether she’s criticized by the “Fashion Police” or not.  I would want her to wear this beautiful vintage 60’s coatdress made of ivory silk.

 Photo by Bjorn Nasett

I just think it would give her a wonderful sense of refinement, very Jackie O.  My favorite piece however, is a full circle skirt from the 50’s that is made of black wool felt and imprinted with a gold floral filigree design and rhinestone embellishment.  It is a crazy beautiful piece!  I found it on the Christmas Tree Skirt rack at a thrift store.  They had no idea it was a vintage Dior inspired skirt!

 Photo by Bjorn Nasett

FW:  What words of wisdom do you live by, or strive to live by, and why? What advise would you give to others?

FFB:  Wearing a great big smile is the best fashion accessory of all!  Being as inclusive as you can, rather than exclusive with fashion advice to others, and to seek what is meaningful to you in your life, and the rest will fall stylishly into place.

Styled by Bjorn Nasett

Friday:5ive with Interior Designer Jill Danyelle

 Jill Danyelle is my hero. And for that, we are featuring her this week in our Friday:5ive.
 This former therapist who now counsels clients in interior design projects has produced a new project in such a highly stylized manner that I am dying over her concept. It’s something I keep trying to do, but am thwarted by my lack of letting go (yes, even if in this tiny space I call home, where it’s easy to curate and hard to not hang onto). She has edited down her closet – and of some of the most fabulous designer vintage pieces, may I add – of Prada, Comme des Garçons, Yves St. Laurent, allowing her amazing “cast offs” to be adopted by friends and fellow fashion lovers at a pop-up shop in the midst of her friend Kate McGregor’s Lower East Side boutique, Kaight.
Jill Danyelle and Kaight boutique owner Kate McGregor
Kaight, a retail pioneer in the eco-fashion movement, is all about sustainable fashion, so an upscale resale vintage pop-up shop is the perfect fit. And Jill is no stranger to
the world of sustainable fashion. In 2005, she initiated fiftyRX3, an online project “examining the crossroads of style and sustainability.” Photographing everything she wore for a year, she “created a small collection of clothing, including a dress made from broken umbrellas that she reclaimed from the streets of New York.” According to her website, the project won her much international press, with mentions in ELLE, Madame Figaro, Glamour, NYLON, PAPER, I.D. and The Chicago Tribune, including mention in several books on sustainable living.
 Jill in her fiftyRX3 recycled umbrella dress
Kicking of her two-week sale Tuesday night, nestled in the tiny back annex of the store amid racks of her old “friends,” Jill hosted a wine and canapé-type soirée that seemed right out of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” with some of the stylish clothing to match. Jill appeared very Holly Golightly in her wrap dress that could be worn six ways, zhushed with a gold fabric tie belt. All that was missing was the long cigarette holder and the hair on fire!

Jill in the versatile 6-way wrap dress that she found at a
vintage store near her parents home in Florida

FashionWhirled:  How and why has vintage become a passion for you, and, with your background as a therapist, what role does vintage play for you psychologically? How do you use fashion as “therapy” for yourself?! 

Jill Danyelle:   I suppose I am just a fan of beautiful things in general. Once I actually learned how to design and construct a garment, however, I also really appreciated the quality and detail you can find in some vintage pieces. Additionally, vintage can be a way to bring some character and originality into your wardrobe – and your home.

When you stop and think about it, clothing is the possession with which we are probably most intimate. My background as a therapist really doesn’t factor into it, but I think, for all of us, clothing can be laden with such a variety of meaning. It can be your uniform, your identity, your creative outlet, your protection, etc. 

Jill in her fiftyRX3 recycled cashmere dress

I wouldn’t say I use fashion as therapy too much. After fiftyRX3, a project where I photographed what I wore every day for a year and wrote about the items in terms of sustainability, I began to really want a cohesive, leaner, more functional wardrobe. I edited out a lot. I have a fairly casual lifestyle, so it was kind of ridiculous to have a vintage Oscar de la Renta ball gown taking up space in the closet. That said, it can be fun to dress up, so I did keep some pieces that come out to play once in awhile. 

FW:  When and where do you shop for the special pieces you find? How did you prepare yourself emotionally to let go of the vintage pieces you “put up” for adoption at the Kaight event going on for the next couple of weeks? What made you pick the pieces you did to include in the event?

JD:  I shop in vintage and thrift shops and flea markets wherever I find them and find a fair amount of things on eBay. Now, however, I am mostly shopping for clients’ homes in these places. I will still look at vintage pieces for myself at times, but I already have enough, so rarely buy – maybe the occasional thing of beauty. I have a thing for pretty dresses from the ’70s and ’20s. Maybe I should start having dinner parties again to give us all an excuse to don our fancy frocks. [Yes, please! – editors]

I had no problem letting go. I have been editing my possessions over the last few years and don’t have a ton of attachment to them. I had more of a problem with seeing something pretty sit in the closet and not get worn because it no longer fit my lifestyle or it never really fit my body well to begin with. It isn’t all vintage at the Pop-Up Shop, there are some contemporary pieces, too. If I thought a piece was in decent condition and someone else could use it, I put it in the pile. I also like that there are a variety of price points from $10 to $300. This isn’t really a money making endeavor – it is more about recycling! 

FW:  Who is your muse and how does she (he?) affect the choices you make for your wardrobe or any style decision you make? 

JD: I dress for myself. I love to pull out the vintage pieces I have and make an effort, but that is not always practical on a day-to-day basis. I want to be a wearer, not a collector, so I am just as fond of a great t-shirt and pair of jeans. I have six of the same J.Crew t-shirt and it is a staple in my wardrobe. Imagine my sadness when I discovered holes in one, as they don’t make them anymore. I am busy, so I don’t want to spend my days ironing and running to the dry cleaners, things that wash and wear well are always a plus. 

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — visit your “pop-up shop” at Kaight, who would that be and what items would you want to dress them in or want them to “adopt” as their own?! Which piece(s) over time have you considered your favorites and why?
“I love this jumper dress thing I found at an East Village thrift shop. It reverses to
a more shiny silver fabric and can be dressed up or down, but it needed a new
owner to breathe life into it, so I put it in the sale.”

JDI don’t know about notable, but the individuals I care most about already showed up – my friends. I didn’t want them to feel pressured to buy anything, though. I actually refused to let my friend buy some shoes because I felt they were too big – and she was buying two other pairs already. I just want people who will wear the items to “adopt” them. I love the silk Oscar de la Renta skirt and top and the Yves St. Laurent skirt, because I am drawn to their beautiful, ethnic-inspired prints. The Galanos dress is just impeccably constructed. I swoon over the interior as much as the exterior of the garment. The Tao Commes des Garcons shirt and skirt set is also amazing – that is a piece that really needs to get out of the house and be seen. And who doesn’t like a pair of vintage Maud Frizon gold cowboy boots?

FW:  What words of wisdom do you live by, or strive to live by, and when you’re working with a client to create an environmental living space, what advise or spiritual/philosophical directive do you give to them? And, I know you strive to maintain a sustainable environment within your world of style, how do you do so on a daily basis?

JD:  I try to live with love and positivity as guiding principles. I am in no way perfect, but I try to ask myself… am I doing what I love? am I treating people with love? When you are acting with love in mind, it is hard to go wrong. I may have negative moments, like we all do, but I try to put positive things out into the world and surround myself with positive people.

An East Village apartment, designed by Jill

When I am working with clients it is less about directives and more about collaboration. Every client is different, but most are happy to go on the journey. They enjoy the process of learning more about design, different periods and styles and honing their own sense of style. We definitely go through a lot of visual references and some are surprised at the things they like. The job is primarily about taking what the client is drawn to and pulling together a space that tastefully reflects who they are and also functions to meet their needs.

After we have worked together for a time, clients usually begin to develop trust. Maybe this is when the philosophical/spiritual discussions come about more. I had a client who lived in less than 500 square feet, with very limited closed storage, but still had all of his notes from college. Another client’s partner had left the home after they spent seven years together there. He needed help redefining the space, filling in some holes that were left and making it his own. He had a big bedroom and bed, but only one bed side table. I insisted that he have two. I wanted him to create the space for his future partner. Again, it varies depending on the client. I don’t think people always realize what a huge impact their home can have on their life… I sometimes call it design Prozac. Two great references are Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure and Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui [by Karen Kingston].

In terms of my own sustainable style, it is a lot about balancing what I love with what I need. I live in a small space and need to be practical, so if I both love and use something, then it is a keeper. I think when you start there and thoughtfully consider these things, then you will be happier with what you have and less likely to want to replace it.

That’s it, like “This is Your Life” in clothing. Yves St. Laurent said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

*All photos except those from Kaight event provided by Jill Danyelle

Friday:Fi5e with Arjan Khiani

Don’t tell me you don’t meet great people while walking your dog in this city.
For several years I’ve admired this one gentleman and his tiny Yorkie who live in the ‘hood and play in the park in front of my place. Sometimes he has his head shaved, showing off his intricate scalp tats, sometimes he’s got the coolest striped shorts or military-style jacket on, always he has his little one prancing, so well behaved off leash, next to him or cuddled securely in his arm.
Andy and Gypsy
When we finally meet Gypsy and doggie daddy, it was kismet, since Arjan Khiani — Andy, as he’s known — is a
designer and former LES retail shop owner.  During the tenure of his Ludlow Street design boutique, Body Worship, Andy was no stranger to the world of high-rolling fashion, major celebrity and a unique design sensibility, brought into relief no doubt from his Indian heritage. I adored hearing about his new projects and their progress, related in his very cool slight accent. Recently, he’s been testing the waters with a jewelry collection that’s now selling at Anthropology (more on that later) and an organic gourmet product line, Steve and Andy’s, that he launched earlier this year with his partner, Steve Marino, a makeup artist.
Steve and Andy’s at my place, ready to be eaten!
Steve and Andy’s Candied Orange Peels and Steve and Andy’s Orange Marmalade is the love child of their collaboration in the kitchen, using only organic ingredients and a special process of sugar coating dried orange peels for the candy and the fruit for the marmalade. It’s USA-made and leaves no waste, according to the founders, who are establishing an organic kitchen just outside of the city.  Steve and Andy’s has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and in celebrity green rooms (former clients per Andy and his LES shop: Britney to Madonna to Steven Tyler and beyond). The product is available at Dean & Deluca, and getting ready to drop at popular organic food outlets in the near future.
 I’ve tried both the peels and the marmalade, and if you are searching for a sweet and somewhat spicy-infused orange treat that’s nutritious and a healthy alternative to candy, you will love this organic delectable.
This week, Fashion Whirled welcomes Arjan Khiani and his latest couture confections, Steve and Andy’s, to Friday:5ive.

FashionWhirled:  What role does fashion play in your everyday life and how does what you’ve done in the past, career-wise, translate into what you’re doing now with Steve and Andy’s gourmet products?

Bagels or toast, anyone?!

Arjan Andy Khiani: Style creates fashion. That said, it is very important for me to tap into that creative force as often as I can and when you are able to touch that part of your soul is when magic happens. It is exactly the same philosophy that I use whether I am designing clothes, jewelry or food. You see, you can’t really think too much about what it is you want to do or how you do it…you really only do it when you give yourself a choice. Steve & Andy’s gourmet products are an experiment on how we can have fun with all the exotic ingredients life has to offer!

Steve and Andy’s Candied Orange Peels

FW:  Who is your muse and what importance does he/she play in your business life and in your personal life?

AK:  My Soul. I al(ways) listen to it. It is that almighty voice that has helped me make all the decisions in my personal and business life for 26 years now. No regrets and still having fun!!!

FW:  If you could have any notable person, dead or alive, collaborate with you on a daily basis, either from a fashion standpoint or in general, who would it be and why?

AK:  Madonna. Here is one woman who knows Creation.

FW: What is your most revered, favorite piece of clothing that you either own now or previously owned and why do you place importance on it?
AK:  I am a very specific shopper… Comme des Garcon, Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood. I treasure all of their pieces. In all their quirkiness they are able to translate the essence of design.