Noteworthy Newbies: Rachel Antonoff

Laurel Pinson
Noteworthy Newbies: Rachel Antonoff
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Designer Rachel Antonoff has been an indie designer darling — acclaimed by style editors and bloggers for years — but in many ways it seems this season she’s really starting to come into herself. While the designer has long been beloved for her unabashedly girly aesthetic (picture oversize collars and flared skirts) Antonoff has, of late, found herself evolving into something a bit more, well, herself.

“It’s kind of hard to put into words,” says the designer. “I started the line making things I would want to wear, but I don’t want to wear costume-y, poofy skirts anymore … The sweatshirt that we did last season was, for me, kind of a big turning-point because I was like, ‘I want to wear a sweatshirt, I’m just going to make one for fun even though we definitely won’t put it in the show.’ Then we did and it reminded me that the rule of thumb — to what I want to wear — does work and is good because the sweatshirt went over great.”

The new Antonoff aesthetic still has some points in keeping with the label’s roots, but with some new additions. “There is still the feminine edge, but there is definitely masculine as well. I wouldn’t say it’s as girly as it was,” says the designer.

For the past two years, Antonoff has made a cozy little studio in the heart of New York’s Garment District her commercial home — surrounded by props from old Fashion Week shows and memorabilia that runs the gamut from ballet slippers to marionettes. While some may find it small, she loves it. “I love this small space,” she tells us. “I just really feel that it’s this very cozy space and the ceiling is so high and I love my little shoe corner that we created. I really like everything about this office, it makes me feel comfy and happy.”

Here, take a peek into Antonoff’s cozy-and-dreamy studio, and get a sneak peek at one of the pieces from her new Spring 2013 collection!

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Designer Rachel Antonoff poses next to a decorated wall in her cozy studio, which is situated in the heart of New York's Garment District.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

The fantastical decor in Antonoff's studio is mostly from one of the designer's recent presentations for Fashion Week. "It really dresses up the office," she says.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

A cheery illustration hangs right behind Antonoff's desk.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

The charming space boasts tons of little details and treasures, like a floral crown hanging on the end of a rack.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

Antonoff's cheery mood board for her Spring 2012 collection.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

Antonoff claims she gets all her best ideas when she's jogging. "I go for runs and just listen to mustic and I think about ideas and that sort of spawns more ideas and that's when it happens, almost exclusively. Then I have design meetings ... and we build out from there. It actually does all happen here, but the beginnings of it start in Central Park."

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

All around Antonoff's office, one finds little miniature paper sketches of clothing. "These are very beginning sketches," she says.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

Antonoff may be the creative force behind the label, but she also works with a freelance design assistant, a pattern maker, and others. When she's putting together the collection, Antonoff says, "It's like a whole puzzle."

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

For spring, Antonoff tells us she is most excited about this particular print -- a lush, green pattern featured on this collared blouse.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

There are a few treasures in Antonoff's studio that have been around forever. "The ballet shoes have been there since the beginning," she says.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

Antonoff says the little puppet hovering over the studio reminds her of her father. "No one can get over how much it looks like my dad," she laughs.

Photo: StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson/StyleCaster / Laurel Pinson

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