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Heaven, With Hangers

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1. The chandelier is French and 100 years old; she found it in Freeport, New York.
2. Kamps keeps a host of perfumes, but her regular is Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel.
3. The hangers are from National Wholesale Liquidators and are always facing in the same direction.
4. When Kamps’s mother moved from her childhood home, Kamps rescued the Snoopy piggy banks.  

Yana Kamps
Style Adviser, East Village

Tell us about your closet.
It was originally a guest bedroom. My architect said, “For resale, you should not get rid of a third bedroom.” But I had the last laugh. Vision is more important than numbers; I’ve turned the apartment into every girl’s dream.

What was the apartment like when you moved in?
You’d die; no, you’d die. Imagine Berlin after the war.

How would you describe the look now?
Old meets new. The apartment feels modern—my architects worked on the original Helmut Lang boutiques—but I kept the prewar charm in the moldings and furniture. It’s very Louis XIV meets Philippe Starck.

I love the chandelier.
It’s 100 years old from France, but since I bought it in Long Island, it was a fraction of what it would be in Manhattan. As soon as something crosses the Hudson River, it becomes five times more expensive.

How’s everything organized?
I’ve collected shoe boxes for years, and I fill them with stockings, leg warmers, veils, belts, and gloves. My flats are in boxes, but my heels are on the shelves. They stand tall like me.

How tall are you?
Do I have to say? After I moved here from Germany, I felt like Snow White in a country of dwarves.

What else do you keep on the shelves?
Family photos, board games, old Marlene Dietrich movies. And a Snoopy piggy bank I got when I was a child, since you always have a penny somewhere.

I also see old diaries. Are you surprised by anything you wrote?
You just think, “Thank God I got smarter.”

What about the boxes of Barbies?
My fashion-editor friend and I sometimes play with them and pretend they’re wearing the current collections. I even get outfit ideas from Barbie, but things always look better on her.

And you’re a stylist?
I like to say, “I give style advice and opinions.” Everyone today is a “stylist.” All these kids from Brooklyn put cowboy boots with a cocktail dress and call themselves stylists.

What’s your favorite part of the closet?
I like the frosted-glass doors. If someone comes over, you can ransack the apartment and throw everything in here. And it’s the only room boyfriends aren’t allowed into.

Are your friends jealous?
They don’t need to be—they’re all invited in! In the middle of parties, my friends will sometimes say, “I want to be wearing something else.” So we change.


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