Fashion by Instinct

Joey Wölffer is a style icon on the East End.
A Photo Essay by Lori Hawkins

Style is your calling card when it comes to the Hamptons. As summer arrives, so does a heightened sense of fashion and style. This assignment took me from gardens to garages on a whirlwind tour of East End fashion and style. It took unexpected turns and around every bend was an epic view. From artists to architects, I saw styles that were classic, eclectic, bohemian and rocker. My subjects seemed to trust their instincts and wore what made them feel comfortable. My style is one of blacks and grays, but I do make a switch mid-summer to whites and creams. I am a big fan of the muumuu dress in cotton and linen and I occasionally throw a blue one into the mix. – Lori Hawkins

Bastienne Schmidt

When I first met Bastienne years ago, I photographed her walking into the Parrish museum covered head to toe in red. Recently at her home, she was equally as colorful wearing all warm hues, orange and yellow. She looked like one of her Typology of Women pieces. There’s clearly a connection between her artwork and color scheme. Bastienne enjoys the feel of fabrics, she loves clothing with different textures, and bright colors. Color gives her joy and she feels she looks better in color. She goes to The Retreat Boutique Thrift Store to buy gently used clothing. She loves to curate and pull together old and new. Her father was an archaeologist and she feels like she in her own way, sorting through things to find the perfect article of clothing, She was happy to be wearing her heels, Prada, as she recently broke her ankles getting off a bus after a women’s march. I think we’ll see Bastienne in a practical utilitarian workman suit, most likely orange, or another bright color, very, very soon.

Enzo Morabito

Enzo is a man that doesn’t waste time. I was going to photograph him on the wharf and when I asked which home he was selling as I pointed over to the large homes on the water, he said there’s one over there but you can’t see it. Enzo said “let’s go there”. We landed at Christie brinkley’s home. He sat in her chair laughing that he fools his friends telling them he sews his own colored buttons on his shirts and offers the same service to them. His shirt was Eton, made in Sweden, sold by Ed Archer, on Main Street in Southampton. Shoes were Bruno Magli.

Victoria Fensterer

Amagansett-based garden designer Victoria Fensterer is a self-taught horticulturist that has a strong sense of design, both for interiors and gardens. She played a lot in the garden as a child and her mom gave her a lot of space to play and experiment in the garden. She enjoys some straight lines and a strong framework for lots of interesting billowy, “loosey-goosey” plants. Her gardens are designed to have structure in the right places. She’s well known for her work rehabilitating Grey Gardens, in a way that the Edies would’ve wanted it. Her linen jacket is Michael Kors, which is great for cool mornings and evenings. Her hat — Victoria is never without a hat — is from Roberta Roller Rabbit. Trousers are cotton by London Jean, with pockets to hold her cell phone, etc. Her linen top is Banana Republic and boots by Ralph Lauren.

Joey Wölffer

Joey Wölffer is a style icon on the East End. Not only is she a co-owner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard, but she also opened a retail store, Joey Wölffer, at 11 Madison Street in Sag Harbor. Other locations include Palm Beach and the mobile Styleliner Truck. Joey’s style is a mixture of all things she loves, a lot of vintage, a lot of pieces she found on her travels, some designer, some Zara and lots of international designers. When I met her, she was wearing vintage necklaces, a vintage kimono, her pants were Veronica beard and shoes were by Valentino. The bracelet with her daughter’s name on it was made by Atelier Paulin.

Kelly Nickels

Kelly Nickels owns a design company, The Montauk Salvage Company. Kelly, once the L.A. Guns bassist, sits in his garage, or what looks like a man-cave, describing how he incorporates his lifestyle into a brand. His theory of “salvage, reclaim, reuse”, can be seen throughout his man-cave. He has a saw blade sitting there, also a “JAWS” surf board that was thrown away, that now sits in his garage, he has a mix of random curated found objects. He told me motorcycle stories, he recently went to Sturgis. When looking at all his artwork on his website,, I can feel Kelly’s authentic self, it’s a mix of music, art and biking. He wore a leather jacket by Icon, black jeans by American Eagle and boots by Timberland. My favorite was his vintage hat from the 1940s, which he found at a thrift store in Indiana for $40.

Autumn Rose Williams

Autumn Rose Williams was recently crowned Miss Native American USA. She was born and raised on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Long Island. When I met Autumn on the Shinnecock Bay, she was wearing her Eastern Blanket regalia, with ornate beads made of wampum. Everything on her regalia was made by hand, including the crown and sash which were beaded by hand. She personally made her wampum beaded belt. Autumn’s advocacy work speaks volumes of her character. She traveled to North Dakota with members of her nation and sister nations in support of Standing Rock. She also traveled to Washington, D.C., last year to help conduct the closing prayer at the Women’s March.

Lynn Blumenfeld

Lynn Blumenfeld, partner and founder of Blumenfeld + Fleming in Montauk has another side to her. She’s also known as Lynn Blue, a singer. She describes her look as “aging bohemian rock.” Lynn performed at the Montauket, right across from her home in Montauk. When I met her right after playing she was high on adrenaline. I asked what she was wearing and she begin ratting off every detail. The belt is “The People of the Labyrinths”, shoes are Converse, silver key by Laura Michaels, chains bought on eBay, white embroiled jean jacket and black jeans by G-Star. None of that really mattered as it was really her personality that pulled it all together. Without her laugh, the look would’ve been just okay; it was her laugh and smile that pulled it all together.

Nick Martin

Nick Martin is an award-winning architect based in Sagaponack, New York with his roots in the arts. His eye for detail and understanding of the craft and construction allows for beautiful, timeless architecture.

I photographed Nick at a construction site in Sagaponack. Previously that day, he had a construction site meeting, an acoustic concert for the Sagaponack Common School, where his six-year-old is in kindergarten, and also a client meeting. He was sporting a car of his same age, a 1968 Ford Galaxy 500. He dresses with a modern, versatile look that allows him to seamlessly go from a client meeting then to a construction site, with the simple act of rolling up his sleeves. My favorites were his Varvatos boots. He was wearing an Elie Tahari shirt, and Varvatos pants. Although his boots were perfect, I think I should introduce him to Red Wing boots.

Alberto Blanquel

Alberto, originally from Mexico City, is into flowing fabrics as was illustrated with his white linen pants. He wore a grey t-shirt, but after inspecting his closet it was full of vests that he adds on to t-shirts to dress up his look. He and his husband, Robert Mclain, share a beautiful home overlooking Three Mile Harbor. With pickled white oak floors and in general neutral furniture, Alberto has begun coloring in his black and white drawings adding color to the house. Alberto is anti labels as he doesn’t like to advertise for free for others. However, any of his drawings could be presented to Gucci, Hermes, or Etro to use to create gorgeous patterned fabrics.

Carissa Waechter

Carissa of Carrisa’s the Bakery, defines her baking style a bit “just not perfect” for “perfectly rustic.” Her clothing style, street style, white T-shirt, with rolled up sleeves, black pants, with trendy sneakers that look little bit up with splashes of edible water color that’s dripped down on to them. Her clothing style is similar to a blank canvas as is her cakes that are white, and ready for some color. Her workday begins at 4:45am which means she needs to be comfortable. She tries to structure her time either having a behind the scenes day-in meetings, on the computer; or a creative day-in the kitchen, decorating, painting, sketching the next few cakes. She doesn’t like to mix the two, it’s much cleaner and more efficient to keep them separate. I knew I liked Carissa’s style, it’s very similar to my own when separating the not so exciting days, with the ones that are creative. Carissa’s creations are not only a treat to look at but a treat to ones taste buds. Honestly her cakes were the best I’ve ever had. Stop in to try one, 68 Newtown Ln, East Hampton, NY.

Michael Cohen

When I met Michael at 1770 Restaurant, as he was preparing for a wedding reception, he was calm, cool and collected. His attention to detail was sharp. He stopped me from photographing a beautiful orchid, and said, “not that one, this one.” He did the same thing and swapped out an arrangement of hydrangeas for another one. At six-foot-two, he seemed to find clothes that fit him perfectly. He wore a theory jacket and pants and Cole Haan shoes, but his real style came from his socks. He wore a pair of argyle socks with a bright purple pattern. He feels socks are “an accessory for men, but they need to be comfortable.” His favorites range from argyle to polka dots, and must be colorful. I think Michael’s awareness of his socks has improved his style from head to toe. With his knack of managing 1770 and all the details, his charm and in addition, his clothing choices, he adds the perfect finishing touch to 1770.