I have been enjoying wearing French designers lately; for the style and aesthetic, the fabric, the fit – and well, the feel! There is something so elegant about the look and feel of a French-made piece of clothing. I asked Gabrielle, friend, owner, and curator of my new favorite boutique, The Collective, just what it is that is so appealing about French designers. Here is what Gabrielle said: “Working with clothing for the past 5 years, I’ve noticed that French and Italian designers just know how to tailor clothing to a woman’s body. For example, Cinzia Rocca coats are some of the best I’ve seen. I think this is part of the reason we, as American women, look to the French women for inspiration… they wear classic, well-tailored items that look effortless… and no matter what we classify our ‘style’ as, I think most can appreciate the “effortless” vibe.”
Ooh, effortless – that is the word! Dressing has been effortless.
Outift (mostly French): Coat, Maje; sweater A.P.C.; pants, The Row (American); shoes, Talbots (American)
Photos by Abrina Hyatt
There’s something about wearing vintage clothes in the middle of Soho, NY. Maybe it’s the cobblestone streets or imagining the lives of the individuals within those streets, but vintage suits just fine. That’s the thing about vintage: it’s not like anything else you will see at a mall and you probably won’t see another person wearing the same thing. It’s unique for you. This soft, leopard jacket that I purchased at my friend Gabrielle’s store, The Collective, is one-of-a-kind. I almost didn’t get it because of the extreme 1980’s style shoulder pads (which I thought were too much for me), but Gabrielle encouraged me and I am thrilled that I did. So when I found myself in Soho on a beautiful and amazingly warm day for October, I smiled in my shorts, knowing that I was the only one in that moment who looked like me!
Jacket, vintage; shorts Kohl’s; t-shirt, Rag & Bone; boots, Coach; socks, Wolford
I was reminded of the magic of consignment shopping last week when I attended the launch of Gabrielle’s boutique, The Collective: the joy in finding the unexpected. And even more joy in bringing it to your home and closet. This whimsical Balenciaga Paris knit dress caught the corner of my eye and I knew it was special – but something I never imagined owning. The minute I tried it on I knew that we were meant to be together! Go to a consignment shop looking for something specific and you will never find it. But go to a consignment shop with an open mind and you may find a treasure of your own!
Dress, Balenciaga Paris; boots, Sigerson Morrison; tights, Wolford
With a background in psychology, art, and philosophy, Gabrielle Newkirk, left her full-time job for a retail position as Manager of Anthropologie. But that wasn’t enough for Gabrielle – she wanted to be closer to the customer, closer to the connection between customer and clothing. And closer to the shopper who wants to shop without expectation, but to shop with purpose to find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that will reflect her personality. With inspiration from watching her Aunt Margie, who had a strong sense of style and never listened to body type rules of fashion, Gabrielle became a collector of beautiful things for herself. And eventually, Gabrielle was drawn to the world of consignment shopping.
This week, Gabrielle’s dreams of sharing her collections and owning and running her own consignment shop come true, as she launches her own boutique – The Collective. The Collective will be a place for designer and on-trend pieces – clothing and accessories – from established stores like Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, to smaller, modern stores like Madewell. Gabrielle wants to build a community of women – consignors and customers – with the hopes of building relationships and providing them with options they will not see anywhere else. Gabrielle’s own style is eclectic with a touch of bohemian. Someone once described Gabrielle’s look as if she rolled out of bed looking great, without giving it too much thought. Don’t we all want that, to be our own collectors, too??