The Women of New York: Meet Annabelle Dexter-Jones

Actor Annabelle Dexter-Jones has always been driven to make her own name for herself, standing out among her creative and talented family. Her rebellion was essential in establishing her own identity. She’s careful to point out that to her, rebellion isn’t about danger, but rather a curious state of mind. “Comfort is death,” she says definitively, and it’s clear that she lives by these words as she brushes aside moments of self-doubt and pursues her career on the screen.

In this film–one in an ongoing series of mini-docs created in partnership with Belstaff–Annabelle discusses the rebellion that drives her spirit of adventure and creativity.

These are the “Women of New York.”

BlackBook and Belstaff Celebrate the Women of New York at Rosette

Allison Sarofim, Rachelle Hruska MacPherson, Josephine Meckseper, Annabelle Dexter Jones, Ann Dexter Jones, singer Sophia Bastian

Monday night, Belstaff and BlackBook joined forces for a dinner at Rosette on the Lower East Side to celebrate the women of New York:  author Julia Chaplin, actress Annabelle Dexter Jones, Guest of a Guest founder Rachelle Hruska MacPherson, and artist Josephine Meckseper. As videos of the honorees were beamed from the cavernous bar area, guests enjoyed summery SVEDKA Clementine cocktails created for the event and named after each of the four women. (Not to play favorites, but the minty Rachelle was particularly tasty.) Soulful singer/songwriter, Sophia Bastian sang as attendees ate delicious, elevated, comfort food, family style. By the end of the night, attendees had spilled out onto the street, everyone eager to continue the party, even in the pouring rain.

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Zac Sebastian and BlackBook’s Editor-in-Chief Jacob Brown

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
BlackBook’s Jon Bond and Annabelle Dexter Jones

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Josephine Meckseper

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Rachelle Hruska MacPherson, Ann Dexter Jones, and Annabelle Dexter Jones

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Bibi Cornejo Borthwick and Maria Cornejo

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Willy Moon and Alex Catarinella

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Doug Keeve, BlackBook’s Publisher Hunter Hill, and Kate Bartel

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Rebecca and Jon Bond, and BlackBook’s Editorial and Creative Director Evanly Schindler

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Allison Sarofim wearing Belstaff

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Sean MacPherson and Rachelle Hruska MacPherson

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Belstaff’s Damian Mould

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Svedka vodka

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Svedka cocktails

BELSTAFF & BLACKBOOK Celebrate The Women of New York
Sophia Bastian’s performance

All Images: Angela Pham/

New York Fashion Weekend Wrap-Up: Part One

While non-fashion folk closed up shop on Friday night to enjoy 48 hours of R&R, the rest of us geared up for two days of back-to-back presentations and runway shows by trading in our 7-inch platforms for flats. You see, dressing cute the first few days of NYFW is fun and all, but after a few rounds of subway, taxi, and – yes – pedicab sprinting to complete an impossible schedule, comfort rapidly becomes key. Sure it’s stressful, but you know what? We love it. Read on for Part One of my weekend show and party highlights, including a chat with Jessica Stam and Terry Richardson–bonus Grace Coddington sighting–after the jump.

Friday’s first stop was the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge at Lincoln Center to catch Stam and Richardson (pictured above) as they unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week key visual, which features the supermodel posing on top of the Concept A-Class in Giles Deacon for Emanuel Ungaro. “I was inspired by Tom Cruise in movies like Top Gun and Mission Impossible,” says Richardson of the high-fashion meets high-action shoot. “I wanted something daring, and I knew Stam had the perfect energy for it.” When I asked Stam if, like Cruise, she did her own stunts, she excitedly responded: “Yes! Always.”

image Next up was the Mandy Coon show at the Metropolitan Pavilion, which featured liquid leather, jaw-dropping jumpsuits, and one of SS12’s top hues: white. Pattern play is another standout trend of the season – and no one did it better than Suno. The brand went all out for their first-ever runway show, which featured hypercolor florals mixed with bold stripes in dresses and separates. The VPL show at Chelsea Piers fittingly promoted a swim theme as well as spring’s high-flying sportswear trend. Models glided down the runway in damp, slicked-back hair and looks that featured neoprene and cleverly gilled accents. I call it extraterrestrial surfwear. Photos: image Friday night belonged to Nicola Formichetti, as Thierry Mugler Parfums celebrated their creative director’s body of work as well as the opening of his pop-up concept store. Guests like Visionaire’s Cecilia Dean, designer Richard Chai, and Elle style director Kate Lanphear (above, right) sipped on Belvedere Vodka as Nomi Ruiz of Jessica 6 performed a series of infectious party bangers. Formichetti kept the party going with his non-stop energy on the dance floor.

image Mega shows like Alexander Wang and Charlotte Ronson featured instantly covetable accessories, like Wang’s to-die-for supersized weekender bags and killer footwear. The brand took spring’s sportswear to the next level by introducing motocross-inspired pieces, fit for his ride-or-die chick muses. (By the way, the show’s attendees were major – I couldn’t leave without snapping Vogue’s Grace Coddington in all her flame-haired glory, pictured above center.) Ronson’s Western-themed collection was just as stellar and debuted my new must-have neckpiece: the belt-buckle choker (sported by Ronson’s sister, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, above right). Photos:

image Saturday culminated with BlackBook favorite Asher Levine’s mesmerizing menswear collection. While last year’s spring show was all about transformation, this season’s theatrics foregrounded mutation. In true Levine fashion, the production was dramatic and thought-provoking. Cleverly blending accessible pieces, like utilitarian pants, with progressive elements–tentacle masks and neoprene latex enamel gauntlets–it’s no wonder that Formichetti is one of the outré designer’s top supporters. It’s inspiring to watch this young designer grow and single-handedly lead fashion to uncharted territories.

Can Le Baron & André Saraiva Save New York Nightlife?

Even with a two-person crew working to tidy nightlife impresario André Saraiva’s new Chinatown apartment for the busy weekend ahead, it’s impossible to ignore the high-pitched shrieks coming from the shower in the back room. Saraiva is “having breakfast,” I’m vaguely assured, with his girlfriend, socialite Annabelle Dexter-Jones. It’s Friday, a quarter past noon.

Construction wrapped only a few days ago on 39-year-old Saraiva’s gallery-white space, just in time for New York Fashion Week. What few objects there are—a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, an unhung coat rack fitted with colorful balls—feel carefully curated. Someone has taken a black Sharpie and scrawled “Annabelle + André = Amour” on a long wooden table; a cluster of black hearts floating below punctuates the sentiment. “Either André and Annabelle were having sex in the shower,” a partygoer will say to me later that weekend, “or someone was strangling a crocodile.”

Born in Sweden to Portuguese parents who moved to Paris, Saraiva has arranged things so that the apartment can double as the semi-official headquarters of Le Baron, the long-awaited stateside outpost of the exclusive, artsy-cool Parisian nightclub of the same name, which he opened in 2004. (Another opened in Tokyo two years later.) Saraiva also runs club Paris Paris and restaurant La Fidélité in the French capital, and Hotel Ermitage in Saint Tropez, but to New Yorkers, he’s best known for his involvement with the Standard Hotel’s Le Bain and the now-shuttered, much-bereaved Beatrice Inn. Now, after months of delay and pending final permits from Bloomberg’s offices, Le Baron, édition Amérique, will open sometime this spring.

Among the handful of people trying very hard to ignore what’s happening in the bathroom—a delighted scream tears down the hallway—are Gildas Loaëc, co-founder of music and Gallic-prep fashion label Kitsuné, and Vincent Darré, the faultlessly dressed interior decorator, designer, and Parisian nightlife veteran. (Last year, he released a collection of crustacean-shaped furniture.) Darré, who arrived only moments before—the day starts late for Saraiva’s tight-knit clan—is sketching designs on a large pad of paper for the interior of the new Le Baron. What look like faux-bois bamboo poles crisscross to form a fence.

Darré collaborated on several upholstery patterns with artist Pierre Le-Tan, the father of Olympia Le-Tan, an artist and former girlfriend of Saraiva’s. On Sunday night, Saraiva will throw Le-Tan and filmmaker Spike Jonze a champagne-soaked, friends-only party at his apartment to celebrate their collaboration on the short animated film Mourir Auprès de Toi [To Die By Your Side], for which Olympia handcrafted winsome characters out of felt. (Olympia is perhaps best known for her literature-inspired accessories, which emblazon made-up covers of masterworks on book-shaped purses.) A little after 7pm, an intercontinental confederation of vaguely bohemian fixtures—some of whom accompany Saraiva on his global party circuit—will arrive: designers Charlotte Ronson (Annabelle’s half-sister), Waris Ahluwalia, and Johan Lindeberg; Oscar-nominated actor Rinko Kikuchi; Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon; and actor Clémence Poésy. Before the party is over, Saraiva will slip away to attend an event at Milk Studios called Annabelle + Andre = Love Collaboration Release. image

“Andre’s got way more friends than I have,” says Loaëc, a slight man with large ears and crisply scissored dark hair. “You’ll see, you’re going to be his friend in two minutes.” Loaëc and Saraiva recently released a compilation CD called Kitsuné Parisien featuring a line-up of mostly unknown acts based in the City of Light. Saraiva did the artwork for the album cover, and Loaëc, who releases Kitsuné compilations a couple times a year—he worked closely with Daft Punk for 15 years—took care of the tunes. “I was thinking we should do a French compilation, and then something Parisian to make it even more interesting,” he says of the dancey-druggy mix. “We get along well. I’m really a fan of his sense of style. I was never into graffiti whatsoever, but I thought his Mr. A character was fantastic.”

Loaëc is referring to Saraiva’s penchant for tagging walls, bar mirrors, and garage doors with his trademark figure, Mr. A, which looks like a cross between Jack Skellington and Rich Uncle Pennybags. Saraiva claims to have been beaten by four gendarmes for spray-painting a train as a teenager. His notoriety in his hometown, however, has made this particular type of nocturnal maneuvering a challenge. “Mr. A, he’s really chic and elegant for graffiti,” says Loaëc.

Just then, Saraiva and Dexter-Jones appear. “It’s a miracle!” says Darré. “It’s the nouvelle vague!”

Saraiva is petite and handsome. He’s wearing artfully tattered jeans, a thickly-braided silver bracelet, and a chunky sweater over a well-muscled torso that once appeared on the cover of his good friend Olivier Zahm’s Purple magazine. Before he sits down, he amiably rubs my shoulders, points at Darré, and says, “Did you know he’s my favorite? He’s a genius. I always liked him and one day I became friends with him.” Coffee is requested. (Darré asks for green tea. Does he have a second choice? “Dirt-tea.”) Dexter-Jones, a blonde sylph in a schoolboy blazer and a bow in her hair, sits on the floor across the room near a socket into which she plugs her phone. “I had to find a reason to be in New York,” Saraiva says, peering at her with an unblinking gaze. Later, he’ll kiss the tip of his finger and wiggle it in her direction.

Darré, Loaëc, and Saraiva, in roughly descending order, speak English with the kind of French accents that linger on parts of the vocal chords most Americans are incapable of stimulating. When they use the words “nostalgia” and “naive,” which they do often, I come to realize they mean the more Latinate definitions of the words—essentially, guileless. “André is very naive,” says Darré. “He likes to go out every night, to present, ‘Oh, this is a friend of mine—he is American.’”

“Nightlife is the soul of the city,” says Saraiva. “It’s true. I think nightclubs are sometimes the most interesting way for culture and people to spread through the city.” He has a soft, lean-in-closely voice, the kind of pipes you can’t imagine barking across a dance floor. “If there wasn’t nightlife, there wouldn’t be freedom, ideas, creation, poetry. D’accord, Vincent?”

Loaëc answers first. “It’s very political.” He appears half serious, half ribbing—an orientation he often has toward Saraiva. “They close the clubs because you don’t have the right to dance.” He’s referring to New York’s superannuated cabaret laws.

“When I go to cities and there’s no graffiti and no nightlife, they’re dead cities,” says Saraiva. “There’s no creation.”

“Like which ones?” asks Loaëc.

“Every place I go.”

“Yeah, but give me a name.”

“Like, cities in Eastern Europe.”

“They have nightlife in Eastern Europe.”

“Yeah, but when do they have nightlife and a big graffiti scene? Those two go together. When they don’t have those two things, most of the time, it’s kind of a fascist country.”

Graffiti is how Saraiva first became involved in club entrepreneurship. “Graffiti takes place at the same time as nightlife. That’s the relation,” he says. Does Saraiva dare to leave his calling card on New York’s streets?

“I don’t even care about going to jail. I’ve been. The thing is, they would never allow me to come back here. Never come back? That’s tough… ” He looks at Dexter-Jones.

“You’re getting wise,” says Loaëc.

“I’m getting… mature.” Everyone laughs.

“Mature!” says Darré. “So mature.” image

Much later that night, at Le Bain, the summery half of the top floor of the Standard Hotel famous for its Jacuzzi-fueled bacchanals—the Top of the Standard (ubiquitously referred to as the Boom Boom Room) occupies the other half—Le Baron hosts its contribution to New York Fashion Week by officially taking over the space. Saraiva and hotelier André Balazs opened Le Bain together—“I really like people who have the same name as me,” jokes Saraiva. There’s a line at the door downstairs; upstairs, it’s surprisingly tame. People are having fun, but not indulging in the frenzied, flesh-baring, hedonistic behavior that made Beatrice Inn a legend. Absent, too, are the bold-faced names that the crowd, dressed in the leathery plumage of Fashion Week, most likely came here to see. That’s because Saraiva is nowhere to be found.

Around 2:30am, I venture next door to a relatively empty Boom Boom Room, where I find Loaëc and Lionel Bensemoun, one of Saraiva’s original partners in Paris’ Le Baron. Bensemoun is wearing a ’70s-era psychedelic button-up and dark glasses. He’s friendly and ready to laugh, and instructs me on which arrondissements to visit when I’m next in Paris (the 8th and 10th). Loaëc explains that Saraiva has thrown out his back. “Annabelle, she… ” For lack of the word “piggyback,” he makes a motion like he’s slinging on a large backpack and winces.

The next night, Saturday, Saraiva’s back is healed—but that doesn’t make him easier to find. The Boom Boom Room is packed to the gills for a Purple and Zac Posen party. The coat room is too full to accept any more winter parkas, and there’s more pushing, squeezing, spilling, and groping than usual. Sharply-dressed men slip the bathroom attendants money, then vanish together into one of the ladies’ rooms. “The music sucks,” says one jostled invitee.

But here, at last, are the celebrities. Jared Leto is wrapped in what looks like a patterned Slanket, wandering blankly with a coterie of model-types in tow. There are many actual models. Actor Chloë Sevigny and the Misshape’s Leigh Lezark pose for photos and then check the results. Artist Francesco Clemente and actor Paz de la Huerta, in a silvery liquid-tight dress, rush by conspiratorially. Designer Alexander Wang dances with characteristic abandon. Despite Purple’s reputation for well-oiled loucheness, there’s nothing particularly sexy about this party. There are too many cameras for that; everyone is too self-conscious. A little after midnight, Tolga Al, one of several Le Baron employees managing the event, shuts off entry to the Boom Boom Room, hoping the crowd will thin out. image

According to Saraiva, Le Baron will be different. “It’s going to be even more tough,” he says of continuing his clubs’ notoriously discerning door policies. “The club is going to be empty. Everyone’s going to be waiting outside.” While he’s half kidding, Saraiva does admit to a lifelong obsession with legendary nightclubs like New York’s Studio 54 and Paris’ Le Palace, institutions that for a generation not only reflected but defined those cities’ subcultures. Studio 54’s owner, Steve Rubell, was known to leave his dance floor desolate as flocks outside crowed for entry.

For many young New Yorkers, Beatrice Inn was a similarly elusive and directional club. “I don’t know the people I want,” says Saraiva of the new Le Baron. “I know the people I don’t want. I don’t want any people who do TV. I don’t want any people who have cars. I don’t want any people who go to Marquee or 1Oak. If you go to 1Oak, never come to Le Baron.” Consider yourself warned.

A close friend of Saraiva’s, DJ Rachel Chandler, helped start a weekly party through Paul Sevigny (another close friend) at the Beatrice, as it was called, possessively, in 2007. “Hopefully it will give back some of what was lost when Beatrice was shut down,” Chandler wrote of Le Baron in an email. “It won’t ever be the same, nor should it, because Beatrice happened at a specific time in a specific place.” Says Saraiva, “I miss Beatrice. When people used to say, ‘Let’s go to Beatrice,’ it was sincere, like, ‘Let’s go to a place we like.’ And New York is missing that. We go to places where it’s okay to go, but there’s nowhere we feel is ours.”

Saraiva explains that his idols past and present—“Most of the artists I like are dead”—are nightlife people. Experience, however, has taught him that sometimes it’s better not to meet the people you most admire. Darré agrees. “You know the stories of Proust?” he asks. “It is this: You dream about something and you think it’s the best in the world, but after you meet it, you’re very disappointed.”

I haven’t seen the real Mr. A all night. “He’s here,” a publicist insists. But I’m reminded of something Saraiva said to me earlier: “I always tell the people who work with me to never say that I’m away, to always say, ‘I just saw him, he’s somewhere.’ It works.” I toggle over to Le Bain, where Olivier Zahm is performing a mashed potato-like twist with a young woman. Paul Sevigny occupies the DJ booth, where Tolga Al later tells me he will stay for nearly four hours spinning “New York music.” As I’m getting ready to leave, I spot Saraiva in the liminal zone between the two clubs. He kisses both my cheeks and disappears into a sea of revelers.

Back at Saraiva’s apartment, coffee has finally arrived. Dexter-Jones has removed her blazer to reveal a navy shirt striped with red, which perfectly matches Saraiva’s own navy sweater with red stripes. She buries her face into his neck, the two murmuring to each other. “I think André is a brand also,” Loaëc says. “When you go to Le Baron, you actually know you’re going to see André there, living in the place.”

“He’s in New York, he’s in Paris,” says Darré. “I don’t know how he has time to do it. Maybe there are many little Andrés. A clone.”

Photography by Ruvan Wijesooriya.

Annabelle Dexter Jones & Andre Saraiva’s Eyeglass Love

There comes a time in every young man’s life when he needs to settle down. He swims around the dating pool until he finally finds “The One,” and after taking her out to A-list parties at the young man’s club, introducing her to his friends Marc (Jacobs) and Tommy (Hilfiger), and painting the town red (literally, with the young man’s graffiti can), he takes the next step in the relationship and puts a custom-made pair of eyeglasses on her face. They live happily ever after. So reads the fairytale romance “Andre + Annabelle for Illesteva.”

Obviously, they should’ve tapped me to do the press release for these Valentine’s Day-themed glasses. The specs, featuring Saraiva’s signature artwork, and “Annabelle + Andre = Love” inscribed inside of the temples in Andre’s handwriting, will be released this February—only 80 glasses worldwide. They are handmade in France and retail for $270. Naturally, they will only be sold at the two places in the world that support such romantic narratives: Colette in Andre’s Pris, and Opening Ceremony in Anabelle’s native New York City.

image A symbol of their love and devotion.

image Andre’s “Mr. A” tag.

image Cute pair.

image The couple for Harper’s Bazaar.

Main Photo: Annabelle and Andre from Purple Diary.

The Interventionist: Annabelle Dexter-Jones

Annabelle Dexter Jones is forced to brush her hair and conjure old memories of the Upper East Side.

Something strange happens when you run into Annabelle Dexter Jones — you breathe a sigh of relief. With her unaffected disposition, natural beauty, and teasing grin, this young bon vivant exudes a genuine elegance that takes the usual capricious cocktail tête-à-tête back to a calm sincerity. When she’s hob-knobbing about town, one can find Annabelle looking carefree in her cultivated downtown style … a sensibility she says is a product of being a little sister. As the younger sibling of DJ Samantha Ronson and fashion designer Charlotte Ronson, this style assertion rings true. She mixes a tomboy aesthetic with playful pieces from Charlotte’s line.

Since she usually opts for jeans and T’s — and even brings out her old Dr. Martens from time to time — we offered up a very girly palette for her to test. After flat-ironing her baby blond locks, she shimmied into a lacey J. Mendel frock, then hopped the Eldridge‘s bar with a glass of wine in tow. “This dress is beautiful” she said, though she was fearful she possessed the capacity to “ruin it.” Since she is usually found wearing a tangle of simple necklaces she “never takes off,” we proffered a tangle of weighty Lulu Frost chains to add a bit of edge. She took another necklace, and in her own fashion, wrapped it around her wrist. Truth be told: We could have forced her into any couture or girly number; Annabelle’s relaxed and charming personality shines through whatever she seems to wear.


You are off to school at Bard, but you are a New York girl. I happened to end up at a school that I really love, and I didn’t have to transfer or anything. New York is home. It’s not far, you know … it’s two hours upstate along the Hudson River. It’s beautiful up there, so I love being able to get out of the city, and I have my own space up there. The only distractions are the ones I create myself. There’s like one bar. And growing up here, there are too many people, too many cracks to fall in. It’s the middle of nowhere, and the sky’s always pretty.

It’s great to look at things with fresh eyes. Speaking of, what is this you are wearing? I’m wearing a gorgeous J. Mendel. This dress is so beautiful.

Would you normally wear that out? I would. But I would probably ruin it somehow, like with the wrong shoes on or something.

You always seem like you’re a downtown kind of a girl … you’re not quite uptown. Yeah, I grew up on Central Park West and 74th Street until I was 11 or 12 years old, and then my mom wanted to move downtown, and my dad did too even though it’s beautiful up there. We had a little park in front of our townhouse. I went to school uptown, at Chapin. And all my friends are like, “You know, if we come downtown to your house, are we going to be able to find a cab down there? Like, What’s it like?” They would always freak out, and I would always say to my mom, “I wish I lived uptown. All my friends live on the Upper East Side.” But by the time I was 14 or 15 or something, I was so happy that I was living downtown because there’s so much energy down here. So many different types of people.

There is a lot of variety, especially in fashion. My brothers and sisters live downtown. Central Park West is beautiful, one of the greatest places to live, but also you walk for a mile and it’s all residential buildings where people are living. I feel like I walk out of my house and right into the center of everything.

What’s your favorite place to shop? Charlotte Ronson!

Do you hang out with your family a lot? I’m super close with all my siblings. Really close.

Do you guys go out together? Yeah, we go out together a lot. Well, Charlotte lives here, and we spend a lot of time together, and then I visit Samantha a lot in LA. She moved out a few years ago. I’m still trying to get her to come back and be a New Yorker. And Mark’s between here and in England. I’m going to see him after this. He’s working, because his studio’s here. My other brother, Alexander, who’s a musician, I see all the time. It’s great having so many siblings because I’m automatically popular with all of my friends. I don’t have to worry about that. And just being the youngest, I learn so much from them. There are lots of things that you learn that you only can learn on your own, but it’s nice to have that support system always looking out for you, especially in New York.

What’s your favorite place to go out? I like the Corner Bistro. That always seems to be a trip. We call it Corner Field Trips. My mom moved out of our townhouse at 16th Street and got a new place on 9th and 6th, but in between we were living at the Bowery Hotel so I spend a lot of time there. There are a bunch of little places in the Lower East Side that I love. My mom’s friend, Mark Thomas, just opened this place called Delicatessen. It’s great.


Do you normally wear big accessories like this? The necklace looks so heavy! Usually, I have ten necklaces that I have to untangle like once a month, because I don’t really take them off. … I have this one huge bracelet my godmother gave me for my 18th birthday. It’s a Hermes big chain bracelet with buckles and everything

The link one? Yeah, I always wear that. I lose things a lot. I don’t wear earrings a lot. I begged my mother when I was ten to get my ears pierced. And I got them pierced, and I never wore earrings. My mom was always so strict when we were growing up because she’s English.

You have a tattoo, speaking of strictness. Oh gosh. Oh no, it’s okay. I got an “S” when I was 19 and dating this guy. It was my first love, so I got an “S” and we broke up, and I turned it into an “Oops.” And then this was a song that my dad wrote, and this is one that my mom doesn’t know about yet.

Are they okay with that? I got tattooed with one of my best friends. And I also had a bat mitzvah too, so she’s not really happy about that. It’s not kosher to get a tattoo.

Can you describe your style? So much pressure. I stay at my mom’s, and sometimes I stay at my dad’s. Sometimes I’m up at school, so I have three closets, and I just take whatever’s there.

Who would you trade closets with? Whose style do you really admire? I like my closet. And my biggest influences are probably my older siblings. Because when you’re a younger sister, you look up to them. So probably a combination of my sisters, because Samantha’s a little more kind of tomboyish, and Charlotte’s really girly, so I’m a little bit of both. I like wearing beautiful dresses and that kind of thing, but I also like wearing sneakers with them. I never get my hair done unless it’s a shoot or something like that, so my hair is never really brushed.

What kind of trends do you hate? It depends upon what you consider a trend to be.

Straw fedoras. Okay, fedoras. Fedoras, I have a thing on fedoras. My sister is always in a fedora, and I think she wears it perfectly, but I also think like you have to be authentic in what you’re wearing. It’s easy to open up a magazine and wear exactly what everyone’s wearing, but you have to make it your own.

Do you remember the first fashion risk you took, like going into your mom’s closet? My mom’s closet has been my favorite closet ever. She was always taking her own risks with me. I was always in small dresses since I was ten. But after that she’ll always find me in those cotton, stretchy Betsey Johnson dresses. Remember those? And Doc Martens. My favorite Doc Martens had flowers all over them. I would wear those all the time.

You had a break from the Doc Martens, and now they’re back? They say if you wore the trend when it first came out, don’t wear it again, but I don’t believe in that.

When you’re going to a classy event, what designers do you usually look to? Charlotte? Charlotte Ronson every day. Zac Posen I love. And he’s so great. He’s also a friend of the family, and he really knows how to make a woman feel like a woman, you know? And I love his dresses. They always fit so well and are so beautiful. My mom has always loved Chanel, so if I can ever grab a piece with her, it’s a jacket, or skirt, or blouse. I love this J. Mendel so much, and Matthew Williamson.

So you have ten minutes to get ready for an event … I always have ten minutes to get ready for an event.

Me too! What’s the most important thing you have to do to get ready? God, getting ready always seems like — okay — [messes her hair].

You throw your hair up. I’m really bad at brushing my hair. You’ll never see it as neatly as it is now. I like to either wear sneakers or my favorite shoes ever — I got a couple pairs of YSL shoes, these really high ones with the huge platform. It’s my favorite shoe, and I was always kind of a tomboy until I found these amazing shoes.

What’s your favorite thing that Charlotte makes? Does she ask you advice about what she makes? Yeah, when I was younger, and she’s a little bit older than me, so when I was still at home she was a few blocks away in her own place. Samantha and her got a place together, so I would always sleep over there and we’d go over her designs, back when she was just starting. At the top floor of our house there was a bathtub, and we’d be dying T-shirts and tank tops, so ever since then. She’s come a long way, and every season gets better and better.

She’s no longer doing it in the bathtub anymore? [Laughs] This year it’s in the tents.

Get Annabelle’s Girly Look Want to add some flirt into your fall? Try on some light frocks anchored with bold accessories to anchor Annabelle’s look.

Necklace: Dirty Librarian Chains Shoes: Roberto Cavalli Dress: Lorick Dress: J.Mendel


Stylist: Kristian Laliberte, Photographer: Matt Fried, Producer: Cayte Grieve, Venue: The Eldridge
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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.

The Interventionists:

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