Most stylish New Yorkers: Molly Crabapple

The founder of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School enjoys grown-up gothic glamour.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    A 1960s brocade coat scored on eBay (ebay.com) makes a bold statement while allowing Crabapple to stay bundled up.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Crabapple wears an opal ring that was a gift from her father, alongside a mood ring "found in the sofa cushions after a particularly depraved party."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    This bejeweled skull-and-bee ring is from Alexander McQueen (417 W 14th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves; 212-645-1797, alexandermcqueen.com). "I liked the work-and-death metaphor," explains Crabapple, who layers Sephora by OPI Only Gold for Me polish over an Orly blue hue.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Black tights that Crabapple scored for $2 at Conway (locations throughout the city; visit conwaystores.com) keep her feet warm beneath Miu Miu--knockoff heels purchased on eBay.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Crabapple calls this chiffon fringed scarf "much battered and much loved." She haggled for it at a Marrakech souk 11 years ago.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    A bow-printed H&M blouse paired with a BCBG high-waisted pencil skirt create a ladylike, demure look.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    This Abraham Lincoln cameo pin is by California artist Mark Ryden (markryden.com). "He's an extraordinary painter of candy-colored, big-eyed, vaguely sinister girls," notes Crabapple. "He was giving these out to anyone who came to his [gallery] opening in costume." Crabapple donned a violet brocade dress from Modcloth (modcloth.com) to earn her adornment.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Wrist-length crocheted gloves from Enz's reference the Victorian era.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Crabapple picked up this formfitting, cap-sleeved dress from the Alexander McQueen boutique during an end-of-season sale. She allows a red, lacy bra from London label What Katie Did (www.whatkatiedid.us.com) to peek out for subtle sex appeal.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    These elbow-length leather gloves were custom-made for Crabapple by LaCrasia. "They measure your hand and everything!" she says of the process. "Sometimes I rig out the fingertips with connective silicone dots so I can use my iPhone [while wearing them]."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    "When I got my first big paycheck, I went into Bergdorf Goodman (754 Fifth Ave at 58th St; 212-753-7300, bergdorfgoodman.com) looking like an ink-stained guttersnipe, watched as the clerks ignored me. I bought these shoes as a little symbol of victory," recalls Crabapple, referring to her red-soled Christian Louboutin stilettos.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Crabapple received this blue velvet coat as a gift from performer Kim Boekbinder (kimboekbinder.com), whom she describes as "a traveling rock star who periodically shows up at my doorstep with trunks of seasonably inappropriate, fabulously sequined clothing for me to store."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    If you look closely, you'll notice that this A-line skirt---hand-sewn by porn star Stoya (stoyaxxx.com)---features a macabre skeleton toile.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    This butter-yellow scarf was a gift from a friend and lends a cheery burst to an otherwise somber outfit.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

A 1960s brocade coat scored on eBay (ebay.com) makes a bold statement while allowing Crabapple to stay bundled up.

Molly Crabapple, 28, artist (mollycrabapple.com), Financial District

Her personal style: "Grown-up goth girl with an Anas Nin fetish."

Her inspirations: "International art stars and bohemian Paris."

Favorite stores: "Beacon's Closet (92 Fifth Ave at Warren St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-230-1630 * 88 North 11th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-0816 * beaconscloset.com) is the best place to find a $20 beaded cocktail dress. Enz's (125 Second Ave between St. Marks Pl and E 7th St; 212-228-1943, enzsnyc.com) is crocheted-gloved, cinch-waisted, pinup heaven. And LaCrasia (1181 Broadway at 28th St, eighth floor; 212-803-1600, lacrasia.com) has custom gloves in any bizarre configuration—the type they make for photo shoots and Broadway."

Her signature accessory: "A green fringed scarf I picked up at a bazaar for 50 in Marrakech, Morocco, when I was 17."

Favorite designer: "Amber Ray Accoutrements (etsy.com/shop/amberray) makes glittery, sometimes surreal hair adornments that are more than a little addictive."

Her New York style icon: "Lola Montez, who was born in Ireland, buried in Brooklyn's [Green-Wood Cemetary] and made countess of Landsfeld in between. Lola was a courtesan fabulist, a faux-Spanish dancer who stared into the camera with straight defiance and badassery."

How her style has evolved: "I started making a decent living and thus stopped shopping exclusively at thrift stores and Strawberry (locations throughout the city; visit strawberrystores.com). I also stopped buying those Lip Service (lip-service.com) black gothic schoolgirl skirts with the giant diaper pins."

Favorite salon: "Isaac Davidson at Wigbar (373 Broadway between Franklin and White Sts, suite E3; 212-233-0908, wigbar.com) does my extensions, but I dye my hair black myself with a bottle of Revlon dye from the drugstore."

How her career influences her style: "Since I work from home, my work style is usually my underwear and my boyfriend's old sweater. Dressing to go outside requires a bit more thought. And my hands are always ink-smeared—real artists don't do manicures."

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