Photography: Emily Johnston Anderson
Californian “flower-child” Laney Crowell of Downtown Romantic is currently enjoying her city lifestyle in bustling Manhattan. This city girl enjoys evenings spent at the MoMa, dinner out with the girls, researching new cooking recipes, shopping at local favorite (ADAM), and wandering the quaint streets of the West Village. This chic fashionista stands by her philosophy of mixing edgy with feminine (in both dressing and decor) for a look that is completely downtown romantic!
What was the inspiration behind your blog Downtown Romantic?
I was strolling around SoHo with one of my best friends on a Sunday afternoon and out of the blue referred to my style as “downtown romantic.” The next day my blog was born. Having worked in magazines and in fashion for the past six years, it was important to me that this blog be about my passions, whether they be on trend or not.
How would you describe your personal and home décor style? Do you think they reveal part of your personality?
My personal and home décor style are the same: über feminine with a slight edge. So if I’m going to wear a frilly chiffon dress, I balance it out by throwing on a leather jacket. Along the same lines, in my apartment, I have gold-leaf vintage furniture mixed and matched with more modern Jonathan Adler pieces. My style reflects my personality: I’m a flower-child Californian at heart, but I can hold my own in New York.
“In New York, you need a big jacket to get through winter. I love the vintage-y, unique vibe of this one.” Joy Cioci jacket, 3.1 Philip Lim dress
What inspires you on a daily basis?
It’s hard not to be inspired in New York — everyone here has such amazing, unique style. Even the décor at restaurants is breathtaking! I’ve referenced the chandeliers that cover the ceiling at Imperial No. 9 in more than one interior design conversation. If I’m feeling art deprived, though, I like to go to the MoMA after work and wander around the Impressionist floor. The colors of the Matisses and the angles of the Picassos make me dreamy, and I can’t help but to go home and paint or take photos.
“Grouping books together by color is one of my favorite interior design tricks that I learned from my grandmother–and I’m particularly in love with this all-white grouping.”
“This bottle of Nina Ricci perfume may be one of my favorite pieces of décor–the Lalique twin doves are just so elegant.”
“There’s nothing better than a sparkling clutch to make an outfit feel special. I’ve collected these over the years at various flea markets and vintage stores, and I get an incredible amount of use out of them.”
“I have a whole closet just for dresses–my favorites are the ones that can transition from summer to winter and back again.” Stella McCartney pink dress, Jill Stuart cherry dress.
Are you an online shopper or do you prefer shopping in person? Who are your favorite designers?
I get most of my fashion inspiration online, so in a way I do shop online. But in general, I like the experience of walking into a store, feeling the fabric, and making sure the fit is spot on. Since I’m a Phoebe Philo groupee, I’d have to say that Chloé and Celine are hands down my ultimate lust-worthy designers. A local favorite is Joy Cioci. She’s new on the scene, but her pieces are the definition of urban femininity–I pretty much want her entire Spring/Summer collection. And of course, I wouldn’t get to work on time without my ever-expanding collection of Equipment blouses. I pair them with pencil skirts from Zara and Miu Miu pumps for easy, go-to office outfits.