Photography by Trevor Smith

Micaela Erlanger

Stylist

| West Village

To many a clothes-loving, fashion-fantasizing teen’s chagrin, working in fashion isn’t playing runway dress-up; it’s schlepping said runway pieces over your shoulder in 30+ lb. garment bags to and from a shoot (most probably, in 93 degrees or below zero too). In reality, there’s nothing glamorous about this glamorous industry’s behind-the-scenes— it’s hard work, until maybe, just maybe, you score what our fashion contemporaries like to call a “big break.” Though in stylist Micaela Erlanger’s case, we’re not sure the word “big” does her break justice: not only did she land one of the biggest up-and-coming Hollywood stars as a client, but she catapulted the actress to “muse” in just one night. Of course, we’re talking about Lupita Nyong’o here, and that infamous baby blue Prada frock she donned at the Oscars back in 2014. Thanks to that ingenious styling stroke of Erlanger, Nyong’o landed on every best dressed list in town, not to mention metamorphosed into fashion’s latest leading lady. Yep, we’re pretty sure “epic break” is more Erlanger’s speed. Not that she hadn’t laid some serious groundwork– the stylist was born in New York, grew up in Connecticut, and after studying fashion at Parsons New School for Design, she earned her styling chops assisting Annabel Tollman (celebrity stylist to Scarlet Johansson among others). When Erlanger was ready to break out on her own, it didn’t take long before she had her own A-List client roster: Michelle Dockery, Olivia Munn, Common and Jared Leto included. In fact, Dockery is partly responsible for the eventual Erlanger-Nyong’o dream team: while working together on the film Non-Stop, Dockery told Nyong’o she knew the perfect stylist for her, then made the intro. As it turned out, she couldn’t have been more right. We’ll let you guess, then, just who was behind winner Tatiana Maslany’s red hot Alexander Wang number at last night’s Emmys… already coming in at the top of best dressed list’s this morning, we may have another Erlanger-frocked icon on our hands, kids. Here, the stylist sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I love Omen (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for Japanese, Wild (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for the best gluten-free pizza (their “Wild White” is soaked in truffle oil and is divine), Meme (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for Sunday brunch (I could live on their frittata) and Sant Ambroeus (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for an early bird, weeknight dinner (the salmon is delicious… and, of course, so is every single pasta).

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee from The Elk (MAP IT, x). It’s just around the corner and it has the best atmosphere and the strongest coffee— it’s the perfect neighborhood spot.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Narcissa (MAP ITBOOK ITx). Everything is delicious, but I am in love with the “Carrot Wellington” (their vegetarian take on the classic beef dish). Also, they always put fresh berries in their salads which is such a tasty touch!

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: I love a dirty martini. The Waverly Inn (MAP ITBOOK ITx) and The Mark (MAP IT, x) make nice ones, and I love the roof bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel (MAP IT, x).

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: The Clocktower at The Edition Hotel (MAP IT, BOOK ITx).

GIRLS NIGHT OUT: The Rose Bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel (MAP IT, x) is always a chic choice. I also love Turks & Frogs (MAP ITx) for a bottle of wine and cozy corner.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: Probably Balthazar (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), or Raoul’s (MAP IT, BOOK ITx)— it doesn’t get more classic than that!

MUSIC PICK: I love classic rock and the stuff my parents raised me on. I have a record player that is the greatest gift I bough myself for Christmas a few years ago. I do have to say the top-secret hip-hop playlist at Charlie Bird (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) is definitely great— who doesn’t love the original ‘90s rap scene? I also love live music and live right by the piers on the West side; they have live music in the summer— everything from rock to classical— and it’s so nice to sit in the grass with friends and some wine and just relax. On another note, I have to admit that I want every single SoulCycle playlist I hear!

BEST BRUNCH: I love Hudson Clearwater (MAP IT, x), Buvette (MAP IT, x), Meme, and, of course, Café Cluny (MAP ITBOOK IT, x). Also, I recently fell in love with The Butcher’s Daughter (MAP ITx) and Jack’s Wife Freda (MAP IT, BOOK IT,  x). Brunch is a big thing for me so my list goes on and on… I also can’t deny how consistently epic the unlimited brunch spread at SoHo House (MAP IT, x) is.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Central Park… Or at the dog park.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Spoon (MAP IT, x) for the Italian niçoise salad. When I’m on appointments uptown, I love Freds (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) too.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Ice cream from Van Leeuwen (MAP IT, x).

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: My routine— I have a pretty consistent schedule and it keeps me sane. I also miss the energy of New York and my puppy, Oliver.

REGULAR AT: I am a regular at a handful of West Village restaurants— at a certain point, they even know what I like to order! I love that I feel like family whenever I come in.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: The Waverly Inn is ALWAYS a good idea.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Westville (MAP IT x). I have them on speed dial.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: I love BG (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). I always get dressed up in a full “look” when I go there— it’s so chic and the ladies that lunch there make for especially good people watching.

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: The pier by the West Side Highway or Great Jones Spa (MAP IT, x).

GO-TO GETAWAY: I travel so much for work that I love a staycation more than anything. However, I discovered my ALL-time favorite place last summer… it’s a little island called Pantelleria; it’s off the coast of Sicily, surrounded by water, and absolutely beautiful. You can see the coastline of Tunisia on any clear day. It’s magical. I am seriously considering buying a vacation home there.

CLOSET CHECK: I think my personal style is pretty classic and feminine with a sense of playfulness. I love vintage and pieces that tell a story. I mix in those “lucky” finds with of-the-moment pieces from designers I work with. I don’t have a ton of time to shop so I swear by Net-a-Porter, and, for vintage, New York Vintage (MAP IT, x), A Current Affair (x) and Marlene Wetherell (MAP IT, x)!

BEST HOME DÉCOR: EBAY! I love Ebay— I have found some special things for my apartment on there. In fact, my office is entirely decorated from the site. I think my love for vintage translates to home because I also love Chairish and 1st Dibs for special finds. I work with Amy Courtney who is an incredible interior designer so she helps put together my vision of modern vintage glamour in a very contemporary way. I recently started collecting art the past few years (my sister is an artist) so I now have an interesting array of pieces that make my home feel alive. Unfortunately, I have run out of available wall space so it’s looking like I might need to move to support my habit soon!

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Jo Malone (MAP IT, x) and Diptyque (MAP IT, x) for room scents and soaps.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: I love Aedes de Venustas (MAP IT, x) for rare and unique perfumes.

FIT PICK: I am a little obsessive with health and exercise. I have my trainer, Ben Archer (x), who kicks my butt at least 5-6 times a week (we do a lot of strength and cardio training, and he got me into boxing which I love). He finds new ways of  pushing me to be the best version of myself; he’s a wonderful coach. I am in the best shape of my life. I also meditate at MNDFL (MAP IT, x) 2-3 times a week. And, when I can, I love to squeeze in a good sweat session at SoulCycle (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: During fashion week a few years ago, I had a client in town who was staying with me. We wound up going out after some super chic party, all dressed up to the nines. Somehow we found ourselves singing show tunes at 3 in the morning with live piano at a gay bar in the West Village. It was a quintessential New York City moment and one of those nights that you simply can’t plan for. CP

Micaela’s New York

From L to R: First Row:

From L to R: First Row: Gramercy Park Terrace; Carrot Wellington from Narcissa; Inside MNDFL; Turks & Frogs. Second Row: Pizza at Freds at Barneys; Inside Buvette; Cones from Van Leeuwen; Breakfast at Meme.

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