February 2016

A feature on the home of Janet Russo
and artist Bill Jacklin. Click for larger versions.

Photo: Simon Upton © The World of Interiors

Photo: Simon Upton © The World of Interiors


by Suzy Gershman

The Best of New York: "Nantucket regulars will remember that Russo had one of the island's most charming boutiques there for years.She closed that but found herself in Nolita , where she sells the same whimsical blends of vintage clothes and homestyle. No one does the look or captures the spirit of downtown better than Russo." [2002]


Front Row by Cathy Horyn
"Prints Make a Big Comeback"

"It used to be said in fashion that prints don't sell. Well, think again... Janet Russo started selling printed dresses on Nantucket some 20 years ago and has built a business on sweet hippie chic, with a store on Mott Street. 'We're selling more than ever this summer,' she said." [June 18, 2002]


A Guide to the Best Stores in New York

"Russo's little vintage-inspired dresses, skirts, and tees ($60-$400) have a way of working their way to the front of the closet season after season. Try them on, then check out her collection of vintage eiderdown quilts, jewelry, fabric bags, and Chinatown dolls." [Fall 2002]



"NYC BOUTIQUE ALERT. Got a hankering for something fabulous--and out of the ordinary? ...Head to one of Manhattan's newest (and coolest) boutiques... JANET RUSSO at 262 Mott Street for romantic dresses and miscellaneous chinoiserie." [September 1999]



"When it comes to ultra-hip feminine dressing with a timeless edge to it, there is one name that stands out - Janet Russo. Having been the queen of prom-dressing in the 80s, with her tiny upper Madison Avenue boutique, Janet is back with her classic style...the timelessly elegant and care-free look. Having traveled extensively since closing her [Madison Avenue] store, the new Janet Russo location expresses an international flavor. From her antique English quilts to Vietnamese dolls, her store expresses a whole unique lifestyle that compliments her simple and classic designs." [May 2001]



"Known for her perfect summer dresses, Janet Russo has returned to the retail scene after closing her Madison Avenue store five years ago to take time off to be a mom. Now she's in Nolita with her precious, ultrafeminine dresses, suits, skirts, tops and tiny bags, suitable for the Hamptons Classic, summer weddings or sitting pretty on a neighborhood bar stool. While the palette is mostly pastel and, well, summery, Russo's signature Liberty prints are beautiful. Each garment is nicely constructed--the sundresses can be worn without a bra even by you busty gals. Item of the season: tiny bloreo shrugs with au courant three-quarter-length sleeves. Everything about Janet Russo is sweet and sexy in a subtle way, with prices that won't break the bank. [June 1999]



"In the mid-eighties, Janet Russo was the prom-dress queen. Her tiny upper-Madison Avenue boutique was the first stop in the search for the perfect gown. Though Russo closed her store in 1992, she continued to collect fabrics and objets - both vintage and new - in her numerous travels to France, England, Bali, and Vietnam. Now she's put her collection to work and opened a Grandma's-closet-of-a-shop on Mott Street, where her vintage fabrics reappear as handbags, her Liberty of London cottons and Chinese silks as girly frocks with names such as Audrey, Veronique, Donna, and Sophia. Happily, Russo does perfect little black dresses and evening creations too, like strapless and bustied gowns - sweet in pales, drop-dead in black. And she carries Mary Beth's designs: Beth was doing bed-jackety cardigans trimmed in velvets and vintage finds long before Voyage (from $45 for a small pouch bag to $250 for the Audrey to $550 for a bias-cut floral silk dress to $900 for an evening gown). [June 1999]



"Calypso no longer has a Mott Street monopoly on island garb: Janet Russo, who started selling clothes on Nantucket more than ten years ago, has set up shop down the street. Famous for flowing cotton sundresses and silk frocks ($245-$450), the well-traveled Russo intends to move beyond the usual vacationwear by stocking rare pieces from a round the world. Hand-crocheted Vietnamese bags sold out during the first week, but Russo still has a collection of traditional Vietnamese high-necked blouses in pink, yellow and gold ($65). Other pieces include Indian shawls with tiny sewn-in mirrors ($150). Those preparing to hit the country club might consider one of Russo's made-to-order ball gowns ($900) - the pastel fabrics and elaborate skirts will remind you of your first party dress." [June 1999]



"Shopping in Manhattan, where do you start? There are three main shopping areas. With InStyle you will find the sharpest and the best stores, of which many definitely do not appear in a tour guide.

JANET RUSSO in Nolita: For the beauties of the night such as Heidi Klum and Stephanie Seymor, delicate silk dresses and feminine clothing woven together as light as dreams." [November 1999]



"E la regina del vintage piu sexy, ultrafemminile, romantico. Abiti Anni '50, mini cardigan e coprispalle dal sapore retro, gonne che hanno nomi di donna: Audrey, Sophie, Veronique. Prevalenti i colori pastello, ma anche, per la sera, un nero da vestito per uccidere." [Marzo 2000]



"Of course Fifth Avenue has your Bergdorf Goodman, your Saks and your precious Tiffany & Co. And you'll undoubtedly hit Soho, where you'll swoon over Anna Sui and prostrate yourself at Prada. But just a step off the beaten path brings you to shopping Shangri-las less well-known to visitors. Elizabeth and Mott Streets in NoLita (stands for North of Little Italy) are chock full of petite boutiques that frequently out-clothe the pricier and more generic stores. Calypso, with its flower-child-goes-upscale vibe, is a perennial favorite, while Janet Russo has flattering, feminine, frenchy designs that will smarten up your next cocktail party.