Oct 17 2013
Photography by Donnell Culver
When Racked NY named Spiritual America as one of NYC’s 38 Essential Shopping Experiences this Fall, they hit the nail right on the head. This quaint, Rivington Street boutique has interesting details in design and propping and as many nuances as the clothing available in store. It’s minimal, concise, very familiar and very cozy. The fresh white walls offset the hardwood floors and give a feeling of rest and relaxation at home, while the custom, spider-web inspired ceiling lamps allure visitors and trap your attention. If you’re not sold by the product and the intricate design then the couch in the rear of the store will make you do the trick. When seated you’ll feel like the trailblazing divas of yesteryear, one that enjoys smoking from her long cigarettes, wearing a fur throw and listening to jazz or blues. The retro couch sits in front of a standalone white wall in a picturesque way that calls for modeling, unwinding or just getting lost in your own world. You have to feel it to believe it. Spiritual America is an experience that can’t be skipped, and when you meet the store owner, Claire Lemetais, you’ll understand why the store is so welcoming and charming.
We stopped at the store to see Claire and couldn’t help but photograph her outfit and talk about her style.
This interview was recorded on September 26th, 2013.
What’s with this heat? Are you ready for Autumn yet or are you enjoying this last bit of Summer sun?
I happen to love the heat so I’m happy to still be wearing sandals today and hopefully till the end of the month!
Which season do you prefer for getting all dressed up?
Fall is probably the best season for dressing up, as it is transitioning and enables us to be more creative, layering, mixing summer and winter wears, pairing skirts with boots and sandals with heavier jackets.
I’m from Paris and that may be the thing I miss the most, the mid season’s wardrobe versatility.
Do you feel that you relate more with American style or Parisian style?
My style has evolved greatly since moving to New York City, which has the best street style diversity and influences [in my opinion], but when it comes to runway envy, Paris definitely wins! So I guess the best of both worlds.
Bulge sweater by Hussein Chalayan, hex necklace by Iacoli & McAllister
How would you describe your personal style?
I like minimal silhouettes and color palettes. You’ll see me mostly in black, greys and white with pops of really bright colors and fun accessories. I rarely wear prints but love them when they are a unique design like this scarf (from MILLENEUFVENTQUATREVINGQUATRE, which means 1984 in French) versus a repetitive pattern.
Any style icons you reference?
No specific icon comes to mind. I take inspiration from the designers who create innovative looks each season, but definitely looking forward always rather than referencing the past as I’m not big on vintage.
Pulse bangle by Erin Considine, edge ring by Alibi and Amethyst Bow Ring by AESA
Are there any pieces from this season that you can’t wait to add to your wardrobe?
This season is really strong for outerwear, so I’m excited to get all these amazing winter coats in the store and hopefully in my closet too!
Any wardrobe malfunctions you’d like to share?
I ride my bike to work everyday while wearing fashionable outfits, so I get into all kinds of wardrobe malfunctions, but no one is really there to notice so it’s all good.
Any advice for the stylish bike riders of the world?
You can wear ANYTHING on a bike! Forget the athletic gear, it’s all about style for me no matter the situation! And hey it’s way easier to ride with heels than to walk in heels.
Leather Panel Leggings by 10 Crosby Derek Lam and Sandals by By Malene Birger