LoveShackFancy is in full bloom.
The 700-square-foot store at 390 Bleecker Street, which opened last week, seems to belong to another time. Hand-painted watercolor prints inspired by 19th-century florals, and used in LoveShackFancy’s spring collection, were incorporated into the store, as a wall treatment, and for lining the inside of an antique armoire. The proprietary prints also cover vintage furniture.
Floral garlands festoon the store’s facade and climb down walls like vines, while jacquard vintage ribbons, custom pink moire fabric, gilded moldings and upholstered walls are among the other features that lend the space a Miss Havisham quality. The store follows a unit that opened last summer in Sag Harbor, N.Y.
LoveShackFancy founder and creative director Rebecca Hessel Cohen worked with London-based interior-designer Fran Hickman, who created Moda Operandi’s Belgravia showroom in London, and New York-based Mike Moser, to achieve the slightly faded, romantic aesthetic.
“My mom’s house looks exactly like this. There’s my mood board with lace, ribbons and other inspirations,” Hessel Cohen said, pointing to a wall with watercolor studies of pale roses, a straw hat and white vintage dress. “My mom made that [peach-colored] dress for me. It’s a mini version of one of my bridesmaid dresses.”
Hessel Cohen in 2013 started the business after she couldn’t find bridesmaid dresses for her wedding. Working with a patternmaker, she designed long, chiffon halter gowns, and said the best ideas “always come from not being able to find something.”
Wearing a dress from the LoveShackFancy collection, her long, blonde hair braided into a single plait and tied at the end with ribbon, Hessel Cohen has a sense of wonderment that fits the dreamy, uber-feminine brand, but belies a strong business savvy.
“I do my market appointments at the Ritz in Paris,” she said, adding that models pose languidly in the hotel suite, which she decorates with all the LoveShackFancy trappings.
The Flora dress is a key style, with embroidery layouts from the neckline to the bottom hem. “Most women start with this Victorian dress,” Hessel Cohen said, adding that the Anjie, which has a small V-neckline on top of a flat, fitted waistband and puff sleeves, is also perennially popular.
Pastel tie-dyed silk slipdresses along with hand-dyed versions of existing dress styles are on tap for spring. Dress prices range from $325 to $795; tops, $95 to $375; swimwear features patterns with vintage bouquets, $260 for bikini sets and $270 for one-piece suits, and girl’s dresses, $125 to $295. There’s also a large selection of mommy-and-me styles.
Hessel Cohen expanded into knitwear, including cardigans and mock-turtlenecks in sorbet shades with loose-knit details and hand-sewn mohair bobbles, $395 and $425, respectively. Nightgowns are in the works and Hessel Cohen has begun testing home products in preparation for a larger collection.
In addition to Bergdorf Goodman, Moda Operandi, Net-a-porter, Galeries Lafayette, Brown Thomas and Harrods, Hessel Cohen said the brand has “a huge boutique business. Their buyers buy for a specific customer, so we’re not getting all of the returns.
“I wanted a lot of heart and soul. The neighborhood is the perfect mix of eccentrics, artists, creatives, kids, dogs, young and old,” said Hessel Cohen, who lives on a nearby West Village street. “I wanted to create an experience that’s authentic to what inspires, me especially the artisans and dealers I’ve met while traveling in Europe.”
LoveShackFancy’s assortment is rounded out by ancillary brands such as Stephanie Fishwick stationery; Oriza L. Legrand, an 18th-century French apothecary, and Gigi Burns hats. The store offers one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that can be further customized, while belts, hair bows and other accessories can be personalized with a collection of ribbons and trims.