Jessica Totillo, who managed Mount Kisco’s Knoyzz boutique for one-and-a-half years, saw an opportunity when Knoyzz closed its doors. In May 2009, she launched Purple Passage in the newly vacant location of her former employer. Here, Totillo tells us what’s hot now that temperatures have cooled.
What’s in this season? The military look is in full force, with lots of button-downs with epaulets on the shoulders. Lace is literally everywhere and velvet is coming back. Both are really timeless—you can wear a fabulous lace blouse or velvet blazer year after year.
What are this season’s big colors? Army green, gray, navy, and black, plus a lot of khaki.
What do you recommend as one must-purchase item? A skinny cargo pant in denim or chino. I like the one by James Jeans—they took their famous twiggy legging and turned it into a cargo and it sells for about one-hundred eighty dollars.
Who is your favorite designer? D.E.P.T. brand, originally from Amsterdam. Their leather bomber jacket is a classic at two hundred eighty-nine dollars.
Where do you shop other than your own store? I like Aldo in The Westchester for shoes.
What’s your favorite item in the store now? A creamy beige faux fur vest from D.E.P.T. that sells for one- hundred twenty-nine dollars. You can throw it on over your T-shirt or over your dress.
What under-the-radar designer should we keep our eyes out for? Jenny Han from New York. She does silk dresses and tops with ruffled details—really gorgeous, feminine stuff that’s just beautiful.
Your best advice for making your fashion dollars go furthest? Invest in the things you wear the most—which is why I spend good money on my jeans, because I wear them every day.