After nearly a decade of selling her exquisitely-draped silk and cotton pieces in San Francisco's Mission district, designer and shop owner Susan Hengst closed up shop and moved her namesake label to the East Village. And while Hengst quietly opened yesterday at 70 East 1st Street, and it's already clear that San Francisco's loss is New York's gain—she even moved production over to midtown.
Located in a closet-sized space, simple hanging racks feature Hengst's signature silk and silk-cotton blend dresses and jumpers that look as though they might float away (which is rather fitting, considering the inspiration for this collection was butterflies), in a handful of delicate colors like ballet pink, light sand, pistachio, and of course, classic black—clearly the former west-coaster studied up on New York style.
While the silhouettes speak to the kind of modern woman with just a few key looks in her wardrobe each season, that's because there's an undeniable timelessness underlying every one of Hengst's pieces, from the old Hollywood-inspired lingerie set ($194) to the wraparound "Oceana" silk dress ($312), and especially the customizable "Dusk 'Til Dawn," dress ($312), a sinuous number that could easily transition from day to night (or, as its name suggests, from night to day).
Hengst is located at 70 East 1st Street.