The Interventionist: Refreshing Fashion for New York’s Nocturnal Set
Holly GoNightly is back from her hiatus (not rehab, like the rest of yous) with a fresh new series to add to her nocturnal adventures. With a little help from Matt Levine’s The Eldridge, and a society stylist intervening in the wardrobes of some stylish ladies, she pulled off a major feat (and fete). Here begins a style study of six ever-seen girls about town.
New York Fashion Week ended in ashes what seems like years ago, and with New Yorkers returning from the far off fashion festivities in Milan and Paris, so many of us are staggering about the city looking a bit peaked. Fashion overload, along with the shows, after parties and after-after parties, has bred fashion rehab- the intervening sobriety of mending marginalized cocktail conversations, curing jet lag, eradicating new addictions (Marc Jacobs spring bags for one) and, more importantly, restoring sapped closets.
While some of you are just returning from Promises Residential Treatment Center, we decided to play doctor on the wardrobes of some of our favorite nightlife denizens. You know these girls; Annabelle Dexter-Jones with her lax down-town cool, Dabney Mercer, the apposite of UES élan, Lisa Salzer with her Spartan canvas dripping with Lulu Frost jewels, Nicole Fiscella, the prep school gossip girl, the discerning Annabel Vartanian, and the retro thrifty trio of Au Revior Simone. Not that our subjects needed much of an intervention, their polished, carefully cultivated personal style jumping from their Patrick McMullan shots. We instead wanted to invent a ‘what if ‘situation, a sartorial Trading Places of closets in which we tempted our subjects to step outside of the box (and stylist, and personal shoppers, and favorite stores) to experiment with some key fall fashion trends, the likes of which they wouldn’t normally think to wear- from Moschino to a custom-crafted J. Mendel cocktail dress.
What was supposed to be an innocent one-on-one shopping experience with six of our favorite party hoppers advanced into a full fashion affair. Wine and couture brought the girls out to the elusive members-only Eldridge for an exclusive photo shoot. With Kristian Laliberte acting as a stylist, Gradient Magazine’s Matt Fried behind the lens (and diligently trying not to reveal too much of the Eldridge’s clandestine design), we managed to convince the girls to shimmy into gainsay garments. Those that were in the upper 70’s found themselves in the deep LES. Our favorite prepsters were suddenly scenesters. The product of our intervention? Their opinions were swayed, the Eldridge outed, if only a little, and we’ve got six fashion fairy-tales to pair with our nightlife narratives over the next few weeks. Like your AA meetings, we’re wondering if their new looks will last.
Our Subjects of Study:
1. Annabelle Dexter-Jones: Admits to ‘not brushing her hair,’ this au natural beauty is often found on carpets everywhere wearing her favorite Charlotte Ronson T (her sister is the fashion talent) and Chuck Taylors.
2. Nicole Fiscella: As Isabel, usually seen as Blair Waldorf’s back up in Gossip Girl, this elegant fashion player is no minor character. Though usually captured in school skirts and oxfords, the former model is up for trying anything, with a little push of course. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, and she did it.
3. Dabney Mercer: The perfectly coiffed (ringlets, blond) perfectly cuffed and cosseted, the stylish younger sister of Tinsley Mortimer is always in the spotlight for her gilded image. Here she ventures into something tougher, still gilded (just on a gold floor).
4. Lisa Salzer: The talent behind Lulu Frost, and the elegant neck oft seen under the gorgeous neckwear, Lisa tells me she is into a simple silhouette for fall: ‘little blazers and jeans.’ But the girl looks so good when she glams it up.
5. Annabel Vartanian: This ginger haired beauty usually pairs elegant lines with her fiery hair, but the poised heiress was eager to break her standard.
6. Au Revoir Simone: Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard), and Heather D’Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard) confided that stylists always put them in the same thrift store looks during shoots. Not much of a departure from their usual pared down panache, the three showed up in simple day dresses and sandals: left in cocktail numbers and jewels.
7. Kristian Laliberte, Stylist: Controversial? Maybe at times, but his brash honesty pairs nicely with selecting clothes for the ladies often seen on his arm. Here he roughs the girls up a bit, forcing even his most stylish of arm candies to try a new trend.
8: Matt Fried: Photographer The brains behind the beauty of Gradient Magazine, Matt came on board to capture the girls’ reactions to their tested attires