Hostess with the Mostess

Fashion » Hostess with the Mostess

Hostess with the Mostess

blog-miss-lilys_01.jpgFrom left to right: Nella Camara, Dominique Armorer, Kheswa, Miriam Parker

There is no missing Nella Camara. Dressed in a flirty polka-dot cocktail number, five-inch lollipop-red Louboutins, and a feather-festooned beret of her own design, the French-Senegalese hostess at Miss Lily’s, a month-old Jamaican Jerk Hut in Greenwich Village, appears at the entrance like an amped-up cabaret singer from the Forties. And like the rest of the vibrantly-attired women working at the restaurant, she immediately makes you wish you had put more effort into your own outfit. “It’s a fun, punchy place; I wanted the girls to be an extension of it,” says Miss Lily’s creative director Serge Becker, who assembled a lookbook of colorful and wildly patterned fashion images to inspire them. There are no uniforms (“this isn’t Disneyland,” says Becker); each of the employees pulls from her own closet—or someone else’s: On the day of this shoot, Dominique Armorer, a model from Trinidad, was wearing a floral dress that Nella had designed; while Kheswa, a musician from South Africa, was poured into a sequined piece borrowed from Miriam Parker, the restaurant’s manager. As for her own eclectic ensembles, Miriam, an LES-native, tends to raid her family’s closets. “I have a rich, cranky great-aunt who has tons of amazing old Leonard and Cacharel,” she explains. “I’ll mix stuff from her with vintage finds.”

Miss Lily’s, 132 W. Houston St., New York, NY; (646) 588-5375

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