It’s no surprise that Ann French Emonts, owner of the new women’s-clothing store Darling (1 Horatio Street; 646-336-6966), used to be a Broadway costume designer. Take, for example, her first window display: a red halter-style silk chiffon dress with a fan strategically placed to produce the full Marilyn effect. It literally stopped traffic, and Emonts hasn’t been able to keep the dress in stock. (Also on her résumé: After working on Broadway, Emonts taught at St. Ann’s High School in Brooklyn, where she showed future fashionista favorite Zac Posen how to sew.)
Her small shop mixes clothing she designs and makes herself (fun asymmetrical skirts are $55 to $65; plaid pleated miniskirts are $95) with a selection of long tailored jackets by Earth Speaks ($210), of-the-moment tweed separates by Jill Michelle (jacket, $278; pants, $185; tweed skirt, $145), and lingerie by Mary Green (the mesh-with-lace boy shorts are very popular). Wednesday nights are especially spirited—the store stays open until 11 p.m., and shoppers are offered wine and champagne while they browse.