clos-ette case: Shoshanna

Posted on April 25, 2011 by Melanie Charlton

Nothing gets us in the springtime spirit like a knock-out sundress –and no one does said dress quite like Shoshanna. The native New Yorker has an unabashed knack for styles that are not only feminine and flirty, but ultra-flattering too.  Her other area of expertise – adorable, perfect-fitting swimwear –is also geared toward making women look and feel great. (Just a glimpse of her current collection –chock full of bikinis we suddenly need –has us wanting to hit the beach pronto.) And is if we needed one more reason to adore Shoshanna, she recently launched a line of fun, affordable jewelry for QVC

clos-ette case: Shoshanna

We sat down with the designer to chat about how she keeps her own closet –including an enviable jewelry collection –in impeccable shape.

How would you describe your style?

The first thing that came to mind was pretty classic but colorful, a little bit romantic, with a bit of an edge.

Tell us about your closet.

My closet's really organized. Working in fashion, I have a lot of clothing, the majority of it stuff I made. I have all my dresses organized by the style and the color. I have a whole bar just for denim. Probably my favorite part of my closet are these jewelry drawers I had built and then lined in a very fine velvet. I can see every piece –every ring, every bracelet, every necklace. [We sent Shoshanna some our acclaimed Signature Hangers to take her closet to the next level]

What’s your editing strategy?

I'm constantly pruning my closet. I'm pretty brutal when it comes to getting rid of things. I just feel lighter when I clean out my closet. When I feel like I can't put anything else in there, that's usually what motivates me to start cleaning it out. It's hard for me to get rid of shoes and jewelry, but dresses and blouses don't always hold up over time. I feel like the more I clean my closet, the more I wear the things that I'm seeing. You're constantly finding things you didn't even remember you had, which is a shame but also kind of fun.

What do you with old clothes?

I give almost everything to Memorial Sloan-Kettering. They resell everything, and anything they don't think they can sell, they send to the Salvation Army. So you know that no matter what, it's going somewhere great.

What pieces will you hold onto forever?

I have a really huge love of vintage and statement necklaces. I've been collecting them for a while, and I can't imagine getting rid of any of those pieces. And certain gowns –I think that a lot of it has to do with knowing that you wore them to something special or have special memories [of them]. I keep those in plastic bags in a special closet. There are certain special pieces that I am saving for my daughter, but I do think she's going to be much taller than me! She already almost has a bigger foot than me, so I'm not overly holding onto clothing for her. 

What about your own designs – do you keep all of them?

I don’t keep all of my dresses. For a long time I did, but we were just drowning [in them], and my husband couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to clean them out, and it felt good. But with swimwear, I keep everything. I keep them in these plastic zip bags you can get at the Container Store, and I store them by color and by style, folding them into each other in sideways stacks. That way, you can see everything you have. It makes it so much easier.

What’s your fashion weakness?

Eclectic statement-piece jewelry. They're an outfit changer –they really can change the feel and the mood. They can take the most simple dress and make it like a ‘wow’ statement.  

Where do you find your jewelry?

It depends. I love pieces from Lanvin and Marni. A lot of pieces I’ve found on eBay. House of Lavande has really beautiful pieces that I order too often. I love going to vintage shows – I do for work a lot, and I usually get drawn into the jewelry section and can’t help myself.

What’s your ideal shopping day?
I’m totally a solo shopper. I don’t like to be rushed, and I usually don’t want anyone else’s opinion. I love having days with my friends, but usually I end up buying something that I didn’t want, or I end up not getting something that I should have bought. If I can ever find a day –and it’s pretty rare these days – sometimes it’s nice to wander downtown in the East Village and Soho, finding new designers that I’ve never heard of or seen. I live uptown, and I run into Barney’s all the time – and that’s a great place – but I love seeing a collection in a store, the way the designer wants you to see it. There’s something about seeing the full collection, and not having it cherry-picked by a department store buyer.

What are your must-haves for spring?

I’m really loving those long, flowy, peasant-looking dresses, which I haven’t liked in a long time. We did a bunch this year and they just came in – I was just trying them on, and they feel so right right now. It’s very much a romantic feel right now that love. It’s a little bit softer – everything’s been so hard and edgy, and I think these looser, softer, more romantic fabrics and feels and cuts are nice. You know, peasant blouses, high-waited jeans –I love that whole look. 

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