Home Grown Couture: Neville Wisdom


Neville Wisdom, fashion designer extraordinaire, dresses Elm City’s movers and shakers and is the antithesis of fast fashion. His collections are constructions of tucks and folds, and pleats and pockets with patterns and fabrics crafted into sleek silhouettes. His idea for women on-the-go: a wardrobe should transition from the bright lights of a boardroom to the candle lights of a dining room without breaking a wrinkle.

The Tracy collection ($400+): a straight skirt, jacket, and a sleeveless top comes in a variety of patterns and accommodates those that need a size ten jacket with a size twelve skirt and an eight top. What a concept! His line of jersey dresses overlaid with open jackets of the same color, length and fabric move off the body with a sexy-silky swing which makes you feel as good as you look, and that’s not by accident. Neville takes into account how the fabrics feel against the skin, which is sensual and lux.

After spending time at his atelier, he pulled out some one-of-a-kind creations that are a little left of center for his audience. There was the long gray sleeveless vest with a patchwork of star shaped leather and wool pockets (LOVED), and a short silky multicolored jacket that was like wearing a painting (LOVED). A yummy coat, soon to be mine, was loosely constructed with uneven hems and generous pockets offered up in a variety of fabrics. Price points start around $275+. TIP: Ask to see the one-offs.

His fall line incorporates cashmere and wool blends, currently in the form of swatches, sketches and draped mannequins. The unveiling will take place at his epic in-the-street fashion show, now a New Haven ritual. Customers and friends mix with models to strut the runway, streets are roped off, tables and chairs line the stage, music thumps through the town – it’s a blast. Stay tuned for the date, you won’t want to miss it. And everyone leaves with some swag.

Whether he’s outfitting New Haven’s mayor, Toni Harp, for her inaugural ball, or wardrobing the high powered lawyer for a global jaunt, or dressing the mother of the bride to the bride herself, for all those that want ‘individual’ style, Neville has you covered. Beautifully.

The two storefronts; 63 Orange street is open to the public, the Westville location houses the showroom and manufacturing studio which is open by appointment or catch-as-catch-can.

www.nevillewisdom.com    63 Orange Street      903 Whalley Avenue