Four Designers, Four Neighborhoods, One H+M Blouse


Four neighborhood influencers put their spin on a $49.99 H+M woven-cotton bow blouse.

Noho: Candice Pool Neistat, jewelry designer

Her style: “Right before I turned thirty, I accepted and settled into the fact that I wasn’t really a hair-and-makeup girl,” explains Candice Pool Neistat, the designer behind the fine-jewelry label Finn. These days, Pool Neistat’s closet contains a consistent lineup of timeless basics — white tees, chino shorts, jeans, and a perfect black sweater — and she’s happy to call herself a preppy tomboy. “It’s about being comfortable,” the Texas-raised designer adds. But even tomboys appreciate a little sparkle here and there, and for Pool Neistat that’s the pavé diamond eternity band she wears. (She is in the jewelry business, after all.) “Since I don’t really dress up, jewelry is the one thing that lets me feel a little more polished,” she says.

The look: “I usually love jeans that are a slim fit or a looser boyfriend fit,” Pool Neistat says, citing her distressed-denim jeans by AMO as a perfect combination of the two. Sockless Gucci loafers and employing the blouse’s sash as a tie belt complete the pretty but fuss-free look.

Chelsea: Sofia Karvela, stylist

Her style:
When Sofia Karvela moved to New York fifteen years ago, her style was decidedly different from what she wears now: “I arrived an underage rebel, wearing underwear and pumps out to dinner, and now I’m a working and baby-obsessed mom living in oversize shirts, skinny jeans, and flat mules.” These days the 32-year-old Chelsea resident tends to fall back on a monochromatic, neutral palette of timeless, “anti-trendy” pieces — including an Ann Demeulemeester blazer stolen from her mother that she’s kept for years — while outfitting women of varying personalities and aesthetics. “It keeps me sane,” she explains.

The look: Despite her attraction to neutrals, Karvela retains an impulsive streak. “This reflects my daring side,” she says of her floral-skirt-and-leather-jacket ensemble, which she’s boldly kicked up a notch with a pair of pumps and sparkly socks. As she puts it, “It’s all about going with that impulse.”

East Village: Alix Verley Pietrafesa, fashion designer

Her style: Though Alix Verley-Pietrafesa’s workday uniform of dungarees, striped tees, and motorcycle boots conveys a rather functional aesthetic, the fashion designer’s more intrinsic style is anything but minimal. The daughter of a French artist mother and an Italian father with a generations-old textile legacy — both “sublime sartorialists,” she says — Verley-Pietrafesa finds that her own dressing habits reflect the global eclecticism found in her line, Alix of Bohemia. “It’s essentially the best way I can convey what I feel inside: colorful chaos,” she says of her handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces, including ornate jackets with intricate, folkloric trim details.

The look: “Kinda Georgia O’Keeffe meets Annie Hall. I hate girly.” Striped trousers, contrasted with leopard-print flats and a poplin-sleeve jacket from her own line, offer up a sense of texture — topped off with a clever use of the blouse’s tie: “I can never resist a good piece of headgear.”

Bushwick: Third Fernandez, designer

Her style: “I think if there’s one word that applies to everything I wear, it would be ‘fluidity,’ ” says
Third Fernandez. “My style can be so varied.” Fittingly enough, Fernandez herself is a hard figure to pin down with just one descriptor. A part-time model, transgender advocate, and recent Parsons School of Design grad, the 24-year-old is currently working on a gender-neutral fashion line to debut this month. Fernandez tends toward fashion pieces with a kind of languid chicness and likes to play with waist-accentuating shapes and shoes with a bit of lift to them. “Always high heels — always,” she says, laughing.

The look: “Because of the kinds of stores in my neighborhood, my clothes are often vintage or retro-centric,” Fernandez says of her Seventies-inspired fall look. Along with her Roger Vivier buckle pumps and high-waisted pants by Yune Ho, Fernandez has incorporated another trademark element into the ensemble: a covered neck. From turtlenecks (seen here) to silk scarves, “it’s become a uniform,” she says.

[This is part of the inaugural Village Voice fashion issue during New York Fashion Week — from an in-depth profile with Lola Kirke and the best vintage finds in NYC to this season’s hottest goods and more.
Check out the rest of the fashion issue here.]