Fashionably Fabulous


Carmen Adriana is not like most women, frantically rummaging through their clothes every morning, searching for the perfect outfit.

She always has something to wear. And understandably so, considering the fashionista works as a wardrobe stylist in Manhattan. But when she moved to the East End earlier this year, she was out of her element—suddenly and unexpectedly identifying with millions of women everywhere.

“I have, like, 10 closets full of clothes,” Ms. Adriana laughed. “And I couldn’t find anything that worked out here.”

Hamptons style is less structured, with more flow and brighter colors than the city. Ms. Adriana’s wardrobe needed a makeover, she said. So she gave it one. Simultaneously, she began building a walk-in closet reserved for a shortlist of celebrities and VIPs, which launched last month in East Hampton.

She calls it “FabInjection.”

The first showroom of its kind in the area, the two overflowing racks and shelf space boast 10 designers—primarily based in Manhattan—who represent three fashion aesthetics among Hamptons women: loose linens, colorful Palm Beach-style sheaths and funky avant garde looks, Ms. Adriana said.

Each designer, who must show exclusively with FabInjection on the East End, pays a seasonal fee for representation and the chance to see their clothes on the rich and famous, by Ms. Adriana’s invitation only—Miss USA Nana Meriwether, “The Countess” LuAnn de Lesseps and her daughter, Victoria, VHI host Jackie Mirranne and life coach Gabrielle Bernstein, to name a few, have made the list.

“The people I get up here, it’s super fun,” she said. “It looks like a clothes explosion. I do want this to be a super exclusive club, but I want it to be where people can come up and we can all get naked and put on clothes and jewelry and have a really good time.”

Ms. Adriana sifted through the racks, pulling out a nude, silk dress by Suma Chander. “This is my favorite collection,” she said. “It’s the most like me.”

Growing up in India, Ms. Chander was obsessed with clothing, the Manhattan-based designer recalled last week during a telephone interview from her studio. She loved the fabrics and textiles, the colors and design details.

But she also loved Western fashion. She moved to the United States in 1994.

“After coming here, I wanted to make clothing for the field I was working in, with a punch of fashion in it,” the designer said. “I used to work in J.P. Morgan. I didn’t want to wear Banana Republic and Ann Taylor.”

Her line, which she launched 3½ years ago, is for the young to middle-aged woman—“yet not too outrageous,” Ms. Chander said. It’s all about the flowy, natural fabrics.

Beth Wittig, founder of Slater Zorn, focuses her collection on color.

Inspired by the designer’s days rooting for her favorite college sports teams—both on the field as a high school cheerleader in Pennsylvania and off—Slater Zorn is a logo- and emblem-free clothing line with colors for every occasion, she said last week during a telephone interview. But most important, the clothes are for games.

“The night before, I’d try to figure out what to wear because I wanted to look nice—and make sure I didn’t wear the opposing team’s colors,” Ms. Wittig said. “So I said, ‘Let’s see if we can combine the two worlds, take the things I like to wear and put them into the team colors.’”

She did. But the clothing isn’t limited to the stadiums, courts or rinks. It can also make an everyday statement, the sports fan and fashionista reported.

“Color has been more prevalent in the fashion world,” she said. “For people who like color, and not everybody does, this is the age for them. I do like to wear black, but I like my pops of color. It makes people look pretty.”

Ms. Wittig is a frequent wearer of her own fashion line, she said, but PONO creator Joan Goodman doesn’t wear her creations. Instead, she leaves her big, bold, Italian resin jewelry designs to the collection.

“It’s truly the opposite of me. And I don’t know where it came from,” Ms. Goodman said last week during a telephone interview. “It just happened and as I watched it unfold, I was shocked. There was just this very strong force against being subtle, to make a statement and to be different.”

When searching for inspiration, Ms. Goodman just looks outside—whether it’s at the ocean and sky that she has in abundance outside her Montauk home, to strangers on the street, or the sun’s reflection on a Manhattan skyscraper near her studio.

“It could be anything,” she said. “And I see a lot of different kinds of people wearing it. They can be completely funky and crazy or they can be super sophisticated. And everybody looks completely different, but good, in it.”

On Wednesday morning, Ms. Adriana was rocking a chunky PONO necklace over a striped, tea-length dress with a back cutout, giving her a little edge.

“It ends up working with a lot of things,” the stylist said of the jewelry line. “I find it works across age groups.”

If the customer is of-age, the shopping experience typically begins with a cocktail. Ms. Adriana half-skipped to the shelving and pointed out her wine sponsor—Ice Cream Cellars and Birthday Cake Vineyards. The vanilla- and cheesecake-flavored French wines are on the sweeter side, she explained.

“If you like cheesecake, it’s like drinking cheesecake,” she said. “And then you’re drunk afterward. It’s pretty amazing.”

Then, it’s time for the main event: browsing the Spring 2013 collections, which are available in sample sizes—usually a size 4, Ms. Adriana said, though some run smaller and larger—handed over by the designers.

“Otherwise, this stuff will just go into a closet somewhere, just sitting there, waiting for somebody,” Ms. Adriana said. “Nobody’s using it, except for the celebrities. And guess where all the celebrities are? Out here.”

Visits to FabInjection are by appointment only. For more information, visit

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