Most stylish New Yorkers: Rosemary Ponzo

The stylist makes basic black anything but boring with head-turning hats and eye-catching accessories.

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  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo layers a zipper tunic and matching collar---both handmade from fabric scraps and nonworking zippers by local label Sohung Designs (sohungdesigns.com)---over American Apparel leggings. "They are a basic staple of mine," she notes.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Metallic gloves from Patricia Field lend a futuristic vibe to sterling silver Elsa Peretti cuffs from Tiffany & Co. "I always purchase in pairs," says Ponzo, adding that "Liza Minnelli has the same set." Ponzo wears rings on nearly all of her digits, including her Cartier gold wedding band on her ring finger, a silver stretch ring on her middle finger and a gold-and-diamond vintage piece she inherited from her mother on her index finger.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    This diamond snake ring was a gift from Ponzo's former assistant before she moved back to Mexico. Ponzo wears it alongside a Bulgari platinum-and-diamond ring from the luxe label's Art Deco collection.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo calls this statement-making (and eco-friendly) topper made out of painted sticks a "fascinator." It's the creation of emerging New Jersey designer J.R. Malpere. "I had met him while lecturing on costume design and styling at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and I suggested he design headpieces," she explains.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    A frothy tulle Oscar de la Renta shrug adds drama to a Haute Hippie sequined dress, both from Bergdorf Goodman (754 Fifth Ave at 57th St; 212-753-7300, bergdorfgoodman.com). "The fun part of fashion is mixing fun pieces with serious ones," says Ponzo.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo swears that these suede YSL pumps "are surprisingly very comfortable."

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    "You can fit a cell phone in this clutch, but that's about it!" declares Ponzo of her Herve Leger handbag from Max Azria (409 West Broadway at Spring St; 212-991-4740, maxazria.com).

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    These oversize jeweled earrings are from Prada (575 Broadway at Prince St; 212-334-8888, prada.com).

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    This glittery Anh Volcek (anhvolcek.com) hat is made out of melted plastic. "I met Anh at a Think PR press preview, and she said this hat is just so me," recalls Ponzo. "She is making me a red one to match my signature red lipstick, which I have been wearing since I was 13 years old---way before Madonna and Gaga."

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo designed these fingerless arm sleeves, which are handmade from a stretch sequined fabric.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    "I call this look 'Lady Gaga meets the Orient Express,'" jokes Ponzo of her one-of-a-kind Barbara Tfank silk brocade floor-length dress. "I got into this look from my many visits to China and Japan for costume-design projects."

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo purchased this vintage Spanish fan from local milliner Ellen Christine (ellenchristine.com). "It comes with its own carrying case in black leather," Ponzo enthuses.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Velvet cuffs, adorned with Swarovski crystals, add dimension to a pair of ruched leather sleeves from now-closed boutique Plein Sud.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    This headpiece created by British milliner Piers Atkinson is composed of two open fans attached to a headband.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Balenciaga platform wedges from Bergdorf Goodman complement the outfit's geisha vibe.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo discovered this "coat dress, gown or anything you want it to be" at AllSaints Spitalfields (512 Broadway between Broome and Spring Sts; 646-862-1832, us.allsaints.com) while walking around Soho one day. "I had to have it for its versatility and fun look," she explains.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    This collar chain necklace is from Dolce & Gabbana (825 Madison Ave at 69th St; 212-249-4100, dolcegabbana.com). "It is heavy!" admits Ponzo.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Gucci strappy platform sandals anchor Ponzo's romantic gown with a bit of edge.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo scored this Peter Bettley feathered headpiece at Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Ave at 49th St; 212-753-4000, saks.com).

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Both the sheer long-sleeve top and sleeveless brocade tank are by Morgane Le Fay (morganelefay.com). "The hoop slip is used as an underpinning for period costumes, but I enjoy wearing it as a peekaboo effect," explains Ponzo.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    "This is my homage to Chanel," says Ponzo, who wears the brand's interlocking C necklace with vintage Chanel belts that she wraps around her neck. "I was going to sell them, but when I attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Chanel exhibit and saw my accessories on the mannequins, I reconsidered. These are collector's items!"

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo scored these Chanel earrings at consignment shop Designer Resale (324 81st St between First and Second Aves; 212-734-3639, designerresaleconsignment.com). "The manager, Christine Serrano, tells me that whenever a Chanel piece comes in, it's gone within a day or so," she says. "The power of the label. I was so lucky to find them."

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    "The circle in the heel is made of actual jade!" boasts Ponzo of her Chanel peep-toes.

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Ponzo wears head-to-toe Comme des Garons. "The top's fabric is made to look like a full layer of roses," she muses. "Rei Kawakubo, the designer behind the label, is so over-the-top that her pieces are timeless."

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    "These heels are the highest pair I have ever worn," says Ponzo, referring to these Herve Leger cutout stilettos. "The soles have tire traction, so there's no slipping, and the front of the shoe has large elastic bands to hold your feet in."

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    This satin bow hat with a crystal brooch is from Kokin New York (1028 Lexington Ave between 73rd and 74th Sts; 212-628-1981, kokinnewyork.com).

Photograph: Ilenia Martini

Ponzo layers a zipper tunic and matching collar---both handmade from fabric scraps and nonworking zippers by local label Sohung Designs (sohungdesigns.com)---over American Apparel leggings. "They are a basic staple of mine," she notes.

Rosemary Ponzo, "Aquarius," costume designer and fashion stylist (rosemaryponzo.com), Chelsea

Her personal style: "It varies from moment to moment. There are times when I will wear a designer outfit from head to toe, but then just when you think, Okay, this is overkill, I will add my own twist to it. I mix runway pieces with vintage and then top it with something I found from a street vendor. I have taken clothes and worn them upside down or inside out; I've worn two dresses together or two headpieces together to create my look. I also love mixing evening wear with daytime outfits. Sparkling jewelry is a great energy source for me on a rainy day."

Her inspirations: "It can come from anything or anyone. New York is a treasure trove of inspiration, and I love people-watching. Just the excitement of walking along Fifth Avenue and seeing the display windows and the myriad of people in all their different styles pushes my imagination buttons. Isabella Blow and Anna Piaggi have also been huge inspirations to me, regarding the headpieces and hats they wore."

Favorite stores: "Patricia Field (302 Bowery between Bleecker and Houston Sts; 212-966-4066, patriciafield.com). As a friend and colleague, I truly admire how she has brought back fashion with a passion. It's where all your fantasies of glamorous outfits come to life, and I can never leave without finding something amazing. The first time I passed by LF (150 Fifth Ave between 19th and 20th Sts, 212-645-1334 * 149 Spring St between West Broadway and Wooster St, 212-966-5889 * lfstores.com), I thought the store was going out of business; it was in complete disarray, with clothes, shoes and accessories all over the place. But places as such are where you can find that hidden treasure. Reminiscence (50 W 23rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-243-2292, reminiscence.com) is another great find. It takes some digging, but you might come up with your next evening coat or evening gown. I also love the Family Jewels (130 W 23rd St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-633-6020, familyjewelsnyc.com), where everything vintage is so well-cared for. When I need an extra boost, I will go in and come out wearing a '30s cloche with a Herve Leger skintight cocktail dress."

Favorite salons: "I go to the John Barrett Salon (754 Fifth Ave between 57th and 58th Sts, ninth floor; 212-872-2700, johnbarrett.com), where I have found the most innovative and style-conscious people in New York. Antonio Velotta cuts my hair; he is always aiming to please and create a great look for me. Mauricio Ramos does my Liza lashes and is a great friend as well. He knows I need lots of lashes. I love the venue because it is a beautiful place with beautiful people who provide great service, and they make the best cappuccino! My favorite spa is Beauty & Wellness Day Spa (124 E 40th St at Lexington Ave, fifth floor; 212-983-9577, spabeautywellness.com), where I have massages and laser facials with Corrina Michalitsianos. She is the only one I trust with my skin."

Her signature accessories: "These are the three items I do not leave the house without: the deepest, darkest red lipstick; my black leggings, even under evening gowns; and my Liza lashes."

How she describes New York style: "It's a double-edged sword and runs the gamut from genius to insanity. The energy in New York only fuels this immense lifestyle of creativity. When I am out in New York, I am prepared to be taken on a new and exciting journey that is different every moment. Nothing remains the same."

How her style has evolved through the years: "I have taken more risks than ever before. One of my biggest evolutions is wearing fun headpieces. I think they complete an outfit, and now that fascinators are back thanks to the royal wedding, we may see more and more of them."

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