Most stylish New Yorkers: Charlese Antoinette

Whether she's on a fashion shoot or film set, the stylst and designer displays a dramatically adventurous dress sense.

0

Comments

Add +

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    To create this multilayered look, Antoinette tops a pair of royal-blue Gap jeans with an H&M white mesh top, an army-green Nanette Lepore (nanettelepore.com) jacket and a Mirage Leather vest that she snapped up at a Steven Alan (stevenalan.com) sample sale. "I bought it aged and worn," she says. "The leather is supersoft."

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    On a thrifting expedition with a friend in the Frankford area of Philadelphia, Antoinette spotted this rabbit-fur jacket. "We were freaking out about it because it was so cool---the shoulders are crazy!" she enthuses. "The price on the tag was illegible, so I thought it was $75. It was $15!"

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    A graffiti-print scarf from Shawlux (shawlux.com) provides a vivid backdrop for a trio of necklaces. The gold leaf necklace, inspired by one of her tattoos, was a custom-designed gift from a friend. Antoinette added a pyramid and six shooter charms to the interlocking Monet pendant, picked up at a flea market on U Street in Washington, D.C., and made the third necklace using a vial and other items from Brooklyn Charm. "It's filled with beads and pieces of a rock that has cleansing properties," she explains.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Antoinette received these clear-framed Grey Ant sunglasses (greyant.com) from the owner of a fashion PR company. The diamond heart earrings were an impulse buy while accessory-scouting for a commercial in a jewelry store on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The fringed ear cuff is a new design from her Charlese Antoinette accessories line, available on her web site (lovectgdesigns.com).

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    On her right wrist, Antoinette flaunts an eclectic stack of bracelets: turquoise beads from up-and-coming clothing and accessories line MaRCH (launching on March 21; marchgarments.com), a multicolored woven bracelet by L.A. T-shirt company WkShp (wkshpla.com) and blue beads a friend brought back from Ghana, bracketed by gold-and-printed-cotton bracelets by Cheek-ie (cheek-ie.com). The brass fringed cuff is from her eponymous collection, while her glittery gel manicure is the work of freelance manicurist Casandra Lamar (917-748-5413): "We met on a shoot, and now she always does my nails."

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    This foxtail was a gift from Quasim Johnston, who designs men's clothing label Paper Brown Bag (paperbrownbag.com). "I'm thinking about adding it to one of my coats as a collar," Antoinette says.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    The stylist-designer recently customized what she calls her "model's-day-off boots" with spikes from Spikes & Leather via eBay to give them added edge. "I got them from Steve Madden (locations throughout the city; visit stevemadden.com) years ago---they're my favorite to wear on set and for running around in the city," she adds.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    "I love black-and-white plaids, stripes and graphic prints, so I had to have it!" gushes Antoinette of this plaid jacket by Piko 1988 from Urban 1972 (urban1972.com). She wears it with a perforated-leather top from H&M and a knit miniskirt she reworked from a vintage piece: "It used to be an oversized sweater, and the stripes were horizontal!"

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Antoinette's pearl-embellished round shades are by Brooklyn sunglass brand Atomagalactic (atomagalactic.bigcartel.com). "My friend Mari J Brooklyn, a freelance Japanese PR agent and photographer, [introduced me] to them---apparently they're being worn in Japan!" The tassel earring is her own design, and a lick of bright orange Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense satin lipstick (makeupforeverusa.com) enhances her pout.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Most of Antoinette's body adornments---"a mixture of traditional and Japanese-style art"---were created by Jaz of Greene Ave Tattoo (212 Greene Ave between Cambridge Pl and Grand Ave, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn; 718-622-1577, greeneavetattoo.com). "The peacock is in memory of my grandma," she says. "She was proud, fashionable and beautiful, inside and out."

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    These black-fabric-and-gold-chain bracelets are from Cheek-ie. "The designer, Angela [Barrow], is a supercool, stylish lady herself," notes Antoinette.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Tiger-print H&M tights make leopard booties look even wilder. This vertiginous wedge pair is from Kelsi Dagger (kelsidagger.com), one of Antoinette's favorite footwear lines. "I use them a lot for shoots," she reveals. "[The shoes] are affordable, and the looks range from everyday to edgy."

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    "H&M has a lot of cool pieces right now," confides Antoinette. The aqua coat with black patent-leather pocket flaps and the alternating-black-and-sheer nylon leggings both came from the Swedish superstore. Antoinette bagged the purple cow-print sweater at a thrift store in Tacoma Park, MD. "It reminds me of something Jeremy Scott would have made a few years back," she says.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    "I love this Dusen Dusen bag because my laptop fits in it perfectly," raves Antoinette, who also admires the designer's graphic prints.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    The fashion fanatic made this bold necklace by recycling a purse handle and a gold chain that were lying around her studio.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    These neon-yellow-heeled neoprene wedges are part of H&M's spring collection. "I was in the showroom the other day and begged them to let me borrow them," admits Antoinette. "Being a stylist has perks!" The socks, a gift from her mother, provide a contrasting pop of pink. "She always sends me cool socks," she says.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Attracted by the "beautiful gold buttons," Antoinette scooped up this vintage Austin Reed blazer in a Gaithersburg, MD, Salvation Army. She shrugs it over a white shirt and slim-fitting blue pants, both from H&M's spring collection.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    This knotted lace-print fabric necklace is another Cheek-ie buy.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    A hot-pink wool jacket with ruffled pockets by Tulle (tulle4us.com) gives structured trousers girly appeal. Antoinette spotted the high-waisted vintage Lauren by Ralph Lauren pinstripes in a vintage shop on Grand Street in Williamsburg. "I can't remember which one," she admits. "There are so many good ones around there!" 

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Tailoring meets tribal chic: This buttoned-up blouse, designed by Boxing Kitten (boxingkitten.com), is made from the West African wax-print fabric Ankara, explains Antoinette. While shopping for a commercial, she spied the slender chartreuse belt in an Ann Taylor Loft (loft.com): "I was shocked I found something there I liked for me!"

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    Antoinette picked up this multichain necklace with iridescent beads at a flea market on Washington, D.C.'s U Street.

  • Photograph: Richard Burrowes

    "If I like something, I wear it out," says Antoinette of her favorite leopard flats. "I bought them from Steve Madden last summer and proceeded to wear them every day until it got too cold."

Photograph: Richard Burrowes

To create this multilayered look, Antoinette tops a pair of royal-blue Gap jeans with an H&M white mesh top, an army-green Nanette Lepore (nanettelepore.com) jacket and a Mirage Leather vest that she snapped up at a Steven Alan (stevenalan.com) sample sale. "I bought it aged and worn," she says. "The leather is supersoft."

Charlese "Chay" Antoinette, 28; stylist and costume designer (charleseantoinette.com); Bushwick, Brooklyn

Her personal style: "I'm going through a neon, futuristic punk phase right now."

Her inspirations: "My designer friends, people-watching, futuristic fashion of the '60s and '80s, and Japanese street style. Also, I watch a lot of sci-fi and anime films. And my endless vintage quests all over the world."

Favorite stores: "Opening Ceremony (33--35 Howard St between Broadway and Crosby St; 212-219-2688 * 1190--92 Broadway between 28th and 29th Sts, 646-695-5680 * openingceremony.us) is by far my favorite store in New York. The lines they carry are to die for; some of my favorites are Pamela Love, Rodarte, Imitation (they have an amazing collection made of vintage 1920s fabric right now), KTZ, Suno and Delfina Delettrez. I always leave the store really inspired. I love the mix of vintage and contemporary designers at No. 6 (6 Centre Market Pl between Broome and Grand Sts; 212 226 5759, no6store.com)—one of my favorite [labels] there is Ashish. Min-k (219 Mott St between Prince and Spring Sts; 212-219-2834, minknyc.blogspot.com) always has really interesting finds from South Korea. I'm obsessed with all the finds at Brooklyn Charm (145 Bedford Ave at North 9th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-689-2492, brooklyncharmshop.com) for making jewelry. If you need help, they'll make your jewelry for you for a small fee with things you've picked out."

Her signature accessories: "Right now, I'm obsessed with my clear Grey Ant sunglasses and my gold leaf necklace, which I wear almost every day."

Favorite local designers: "I love my friend Samantha Smikle's accessories line TNEMNRODA (tnemnroda.com). Her jewelry has an urban-glam feel, with lots of chains and semiprecious stones on glasses, rings and cuffs. I've been supporting her since Day One, and she keeps getting flyer and flyer. Dusen Dusen (dusendusen.com) out of Brooklyn: I love Ellen [Van Dusen]'s use of print and color."

Favorite New York style icon: "I can't list just one, but I aspire to be like all the New York ladies on Advanced Style (advancedstyle.blogspot.com). My future self has appeared several times on that site!"

How her style has evolved: "I've maintained a love of color since childhood. In high school, I started to play around with deconstructing clothing. I would rip up jeans, dye and bleach them, and wear them with my Jordans and a T-shirt I designed. Growing up in Gaithersburg, Maryland— where there were only malls and everyone dressed the same—inspired me to take risks in order to stand out and be different. In college, my style became more refined and intentional because of my added knowledge and love of designers such as Alexander McQueen."

Favorite salon: "I got my hair braided at an African hair-braiding gallery in Gaithersburg, Maryland, while visiting my family for Christmas. Normally I get my hair cut by Troy D. Johnson of YHYF (Your Hair Your Flavor, 240-751-7674), who comes to your office or home. He's very attentive and listens to what you want, adds his own idea and executes the style."

Favorite pampering spots: "I love Spa Castle (131-10 11th Ave at 131st St, College Point, Queens; 718-939-6300, nyspacastle.com) because you can stay all day, and eat and swim on the rooftop in the summer. I get lots of massages because I'm always sore from carrying shopping and garment bags. My favorite massage place is Fishion Herb Center in Chinatown (107 Mott St between Canal and Hester Sts; 212-966-8771, fishionherbcenter.com). It's bare-bones but they do great massage and reflexology."

How her profession influences her style: "Since I'm a freelancer in a creative environment, there's usually no dress code, beyond no open toes on certain sets for safety, so there's a lot of room for creative expression. Because I am a wardrobe stylist, I have to represent myself as one, so I put a lot of thought into what I wear every day. I find that if I'm working on a film that's set in a particular time period, I'm in that style mode for at least a month. For example, when I was assistant costume designer on the movie Robot and Frank, I ended up loving a lot of the brands we discovered, such as United Nude and Dusen Dusen, that were the right fit for a movie set slightly in the future."

How her style at work differs from life outside of her job: "I pretty much dress the same, except I rarely wear heels or short skirts on set. I need to be comfortable and able to run around and get down on the ground to fix the models' shoes, pants, etc."

See more in Shopping + Style

Users say

0 comments