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.