Oct 31, 2013
11:50 AMStyle & Design
New Haven Fashion Designer's Styles Flatter Women of All Ages, Sizes
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By contrast, during a chat in his studio/shop, Wisdom showed a suit with a cropped jacket that offers more of a “funky professional” look.
“I’m constantly working on inventory,” and rolling out new designs, says Wisdom, noting that demand for his custom work has become a lot more frequent. He creates about 15 to 20 looks for a season—fall and spring—and then stages fashion shows to preview those collections. The fall show was part of a Ninth Square event and it took place al fresco, on a closed-to-traffic Orange Street.
The show to debut the spring 2014 collection is in the planning stages, with just the right venue being sought. And that show will kickoff next year’s branded On9 series of events on the first Friday of April, says Wisdom, who has been in the Ninth Square space for a year and a half. Before that, he was in the Westville section of New Haven for several years.
Wisdom is originally from Jamaica (“That’s when I started designing") and his youth informed one aspect of his aesthetic that he commented on in a New York Times piece about the rise of Ninth Square. Wisdom told the Times, “There’s an old person trapped inside me when I design.”
Asked about the comment, he begins by saying, “Because of the style of the dresses, I’m very vintage.” Walking around the shop, he points to design references to styles from the 1960s—and even a cuff on a dress that evokes the late 1800s.
“The … connection is the fact that I watched a lot of old movies, even as a kid,” Wisdom says, explaining that in Jamaica his family had access to just one television station and it showed classic black-and-white movies. That’s where a lot of his style originates.
The inspiration shows, but Wisdom’s designs are anything but stuck in the past. To see and learn more about the designer, who has been crafting pieces for women and men since 1989, head to his website and his Facebook page, the latter of which has information on sewing classes Wisdom gives in his studio.
The studio/shop is located at 63 Orange St., and the phone number is (203) 891-6691.