Debra: Day Into Night

[Photos: Ari Seth Cohen, Text: Maayan Zilberman]

One of the qualities we love most about our magnificent friend Debra is her ability to make casual garments look like evening wear and vice versa. We spent the day together recently, and since a day with Debra so easily turns into a multi-activity affair, it was important to dress suitably for “Day Into Night”.

Debra says she likes to layer a lot of “like fabrics” so the look is pulled together and not too bulky. For a morning walk by Gramercy Park, she pulled together this look with an anorak from H&M, a “gifted” ruffle-collar windbreaker from Victor & Rolf, and layered purple leather gloves.
Debra really stays true to her philosophy that if you don’t spend much on clothes, you can have more fun with them and not feel precious about mixing and matching.
Without the anorak, her afternoon outfit is perfect for sitting at ABC Carpet & Home (one of her favorite spots for tea). She loves the ruffled collars in these nylon fabrics, because they retain their shape while being suitable for the day’s drizzly rain. I love these kinds of fabrics too, nylons (or parachute fabrics) that are traditionally used for athletic wear, but here they are made to look luxurious.
Debra tells me one of her favorite pieces is this navy blue shirt dress that ties at the waist. It’s great because it gives the illusion of wearing either a skirt or a jacket, and can be worn like a shirt tied around the waist (see Proenza Schouler) or like a loose jacket (as per Rick Owens)…

As it got darker out we decided to sit in the beautifully renovated Rosebar at The Gramercy Park Hotel. The lighting was perfect for highlighting Debra’s many ruffled collars, which taken into an evening setting, looked glamorous and regal.

What I love most about Debra here is how consistently she takes her mix of “thrifted and gifted” and “wears it without it wearing her”.

  • Amen!!!. Great post. I do love Debra as from now.
    Sigue con tu maravillosa tarea de traernos belleza a raudales.
    Sacramento from Andalucía- Spain

  • Anonymous

    When I grow up, I want to be like Debra.

  • LOVE seeing her on your blog. she is stunning, and so genuinely stylish — it's fun to see people in designer stuff, but *more* fun to see someone WORKING affordable pieces in quirky ways.

  • I love Debra too!

  • sandra

    Debra you're too hot! You can wear anything…

  • I believe you can only really achieve such looks when you have a certain age, a good sized and copiously loaded wardrobe and plenty of free time to try out new outfit ensembles. So many years of thrifting and collecting oh so many beautiful pieces must have its rewards.

  • Hey cool blog!
    Please visit my blog and tell me what you think about. I hope you'll be one of my followers.

    Bye LB

  • Debra is a constant inspiration–I try to remember the advice she has given on your blog when I go shopping in thrift stores!

  • Diane

    I believe that seeing the likes of Debra today and yesterday Ilona, should inspire a person to step outside of the box and be more creative with what we have. Why not? I am way too safe! Maybe you shouldn't look in the mirror before leaving the house and take off one accessory!

  • I love that she shows you don't have to lose style with age. She looks gorgeous, stylish, on point with trend and age appropriate!

  • Love her look. Could be a college student, could be a housewife, could be a hip as hell sr. citizen

  • What a fantastic blog!!!
    very interesting!!!
    chacun sont style!!!!!

    enjoying your blog from Taipei!

  • Lina

    Notice that none of these ladies suffer from the ubiquitous mature age overweight. You need to be rather svelt even then, to be glamorous … oh well.

  • Glorious Debra! She is always so comfortably, yet glamourously, put together! A true beauty. xxoo

  • Love this style. It's both function and fashion, and most definitely doesn't wear her. She owns her look, her life and it show. One gets the sense that Debra surrounds herself with beauty but doesn't live in a fantasy world, she is dress and ready proper for real life and true living.