Stepping into Cloak & Dagger‘s newly minted retail space is a bit like walking into an English countryside foyer. The rear wall of this East Village boutique is decorated in vintage chocolate paper patterns, wall-mounted antlers that add a cozy touch, and long-stem floral arrangements that are simple and elegant. A series of well-used vintage suitcases rest on the polished oak floors. The mood harkens to an epicurean past of ease.
The crown jewel is the shop’s periphery, where recessed racks house the Brooklyn-based label. The line, also called Cloak & Dagger, recalls a past of gaiety and luxury framed within a modern context, just like the store itself. “I wanted to make clothes that were fun and comfortable to wear yet chic and refined,” says the petite Cloak & Dagger designer, Brookelynn Stearns.
Case in point is Cloak & Dagger’s spring /summer line: effervescent dresses are grounded with modern curve-hugging shapes, an unexpected skort jumpsuit with utilitarian pockets, bow-tie sleeves, and a button-up blouse that are far from stodgy with sleek pleating and modern prints. The look is timeless with spot on fits, decadent fabrics and thoughtful details.
For fall look forward to Great Gatsby inspired looks: swing coats rimmed with fur; silky, and deep-v baby-doll dresses; and dark floral prints. The mood is one of playful innocence that belies a premeditated sexiness.
Because of the current economic mood, Stearns has worked to keep production and pricing practical without sacrificing quality. While a Cloak & Dagger piece may still be an investment purchase, it’s an intelligent one. Few labels can be so blithely worn and even fewer designers could pull off a collection that enmeshes past with present so brilliantly.
For a reprieve from the bustle of the East Village and a reminder of halcyon days of the past, pop into the quiet, and cozy Cloak & Dagger boutique.
Cloak & Dagger 441 E. 9th St., New York, NY 10009, 212-673-0500