There comes a time, once a year that I get a little bit homesick. I imagine Ghent at dusk, the glowing christmas lights, the smell of Belgian waffles and the sound of christmas carols entertaining the airwaves and for a moment I wish I had not booked that ticket to Punta del Este in Uruguay. Call it Christmas blues or temporary insanity but this what I ponder when I walk to Daphne Javitch’ apartment on the Lower East Side. Did I make a mistake? Should I change my ticket? As I walk up the stairs I brainwash myself ready for sun and sand – this is what you need, Natalie! – and by the time I enter the door my nostalgia is just a faint memory and clears my head space for a completely new sentiment, that of muted envy: Daphne’s loft is beautiful. I want.
I don’t know Daphne very well. Our mutual friend Johnny Misheff insisted we meet and shoot together, “because you guys both have great style and love vintage!” Daphne considers herself somewhat of a Stephen Sprouse collector. By now she has about 6 pieces and some paper napkins she got from a friend. “I love Stephen Sprouse because his clothes are amazing!” she exclaims. “They’re cool and weird, but still look good. The fit is often super simple, but there’s always a detail that’s perfectly considered and the prints and fabrics are insane.” Her relationship to vintage is “long-term and committed” and stems from the kind of nostalgia that makes you yearn for a time you never lived. Her style is feminine, compact, sexy, classy and fun or as she likes to sum it up, “chic muppet?”. She gravitates “towards classic pieces very much inspired by the style icons of the 60’s and 70’s like Romy Schneider, Goldie Hawn, Francoise Hardy, Mary Richards… “. Her favorite color is “true navy blue” because it “begs the question “is that black?” Navy makes all the other colors look richer, brighter and better,” she believes. And she loves a bit of fun and humor in her wardrobe. “I like clothing with a narrative, and not too serious,” she concludes.
Daphne studied Art History and Theater at NYU and was a Costume Designer for 10 years before she started an underwear line called TEN, which is inspired by those same 70’s style mavens, and Bo Derek in particular. “They were smart, playful and straightforward women. My kind of sexy. The original TEN style is a full seat cotton bikini – think 1970s babysitter – and the concept is that they’re everyday undies that are suitable for an unexpected sexy situation! We also released the first TEN bra (for the small chested).” The packaging design, I piece together, is a custom airmail envelope, based on Godard’s cartoonish imagery. “It also references sending your crush a pair of cotton knickers in the mail,” Daphne winks. How’s that for a stocking stuffer? TEN sells at Opening Ceremony in New York and Tenundies.com.
Daphne was born and raised on the Upper West Side so she won’t get homesick any time soon but she admits she shares my end-of-the-year dismals. She’s off to Brazil for the holidays and like me, she’s had some trouble getting excited. For one, she booked her ticket so last minute she has to fly to Canada first, then Sao Paolo, then to her final destination. But what worries her more is that she left all her summer clothes in Los Angeles. “Since the journey is so nuts, the only thing in my Christmas stocking is a pair of sandals and a bikini!”