Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Vote for this year's most innovative, inspiring, and promising designer or boutique.
Maayan Zilberman and Nikki Dekker The Lake & Stars
Designers Maayan Zilberman and Nikki Dekker debuted with their line of coquettish lingerie. The label name is a Victorian phrase alluding to a woman's exceptional prowess in the bedroom. Read More
Originally published on February 12, 2007
The Lake & Stars Lingerie
Nearly midnight, and restlessness was starting to set in. Even the moon looked pale.
Suddenly, a knock at the door. Jon pulled on a fedora and let her in.
The same hair, perfume, and drumbeat followed her fatal curves. She wore nothing but a meticulously tailored Opportunity Trench from The Lake & Stars. She looked like a million.
Then she untied the belt. Now here was a dame who lived according to her own rules: tootsie bra, garter, and bikini in ivory and peach (to match her flawless skin). A slow twirl revealed vintage bra clasps, rivets, and the panty’s peek-a-boo cutout.
It was bold; it was sultry; it was wearable. Soon, she’d be wearing Jon, too.
“There’s more where this came from,” she whispered, thinking of double-strap chemises, camisoles, and delicate bikini bottoms.
“Look here, baby …” he said.
She was getting too close.
But that’s why they call them intimates.
Photo Credit: Sarra Fleur
Mary Kathryn Wells Smart Fitzjerrell
Arkansas belle, NY transplant, and self-taught designer Mary Kathryn Wells brings bright plaids, gold lamé, and a little Southern charm to her collection of East Village punk party attire. Read More
Originally published on May 1, 2007
Prim and Properly Punk
The evening starts out innocently enough. A chaste yellow sundress. Intelligent conversation. Pimm’s cups.
The clock strikes midnight. Suddenly, bawdy jokes. New dance moves. Make-out sessions in the bathroom. Sunrise. Taco numero dos on the street corner. Taxi to work.
Unconventional. But polished. That’s how you roll. Mary Kathryn Wells, too.
The designer and Little Rock native brought her proper Southern upbringing and sewing machine to Manhattan, where she dreamed up Smart Fitzjerrell, a line of ladylike frocks, tops, and bottoms with a little edge.
You’ll thank her for party dresses that can take you from baby shower to dive bar, a seersucker bubble skirt that looks awesome with combat boots, and hot shorts that are tiny but tasteful. Yes, ma’am, there are crazy fabric pairings like preppy silk plaids, lace hems, Peruvian-style ribbons, and gold lamé trims.
Wells designed the styles to accommodate all kinds of girls — especially the curvy ones.
Now that’s some Southern hospitality.
Available online at smartfitzjerrell.com.
Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato Lizzie Fortunato Jewels
Twin prodigies Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato developed their line of handcrafted accessories while still in college. Their take on charms, headbands, and necklaces is totally fresh. Read More
Originally published on October 17, 2007
Double Your Pleasure
Lizzie Fortunato Jewelry
The Wakefield twins’ drama paved your teenage years. But after Kidnapped by the Cult (#82) and Don’t Go Home with John (#90) hit too close to home, the Sweet Valley girls were promptly dropped from your clique.
Feel the void? Meet the next generation of cool: Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato, the 23-year-old twin wunderkinds behind Lizzie Fortunato Jewels.
Here’s an aesthetic that’s fresh and bold: woven rope earrings; braided necklaces; and breastplates painstakingly sewn from string, beads, tassels, and buttons. Elastic headbands dotted with gems and charms are meant to be worn across the forehead, flapper style. Whalebone chips (from a 19th-century French board game) make dainty pendants. Even guys might wear the Wyoming arrowheads plated in brass and 18-karat gold.
Design-minded Lizzie and business-savvy Kathryn combined their antipodal genius to create LFJ in high school, later selling their designs from their college dorm room. Nowadays they’re legit on the LES.
Known as one step closer to Happily Ever After (#134).
Available at Albertine, 13 Christopher Street, between Greenwich Avenue and Waverly Place (212-924-8515); Shop, 105 Stanton Street, at Ludlow Street (212-375-0304). To see styles, go to lizziefortunatojewels.com.