The wardrobe artist

Singer C.J Cole with Rayann. (photo by Will Dendis)

“Most people only wear about 20 out of 100 items in their closet or fashion jewelry box,“ says Rayann Fatizzi, owner of Rayann’s Creative Instinct, an eclectic women’s apparel and accessories boutique on Route 212 between Saugerties and Woodstock. Fatizzi finds resistance to the urge to purge emotionally aggravating and also a tremendous waste of space and environmental resources,

Guilt over wasting money on ill-considered or vanity purchases prevents many women from culling never-worn items from their wardrobes. Many have also inherited handbags and costume bijou from their grandmothers, great-aunts or mothers that don’t suit their individual style. They too often feel obligated emotionally to keep these items at the ready, even at the high price of closet clutter.

“Too many women have so much unnecessary shame and baggage about past purchasing mistakes or things in their closet that no longer fit,” says Fatizzi. “We need to cover ourselves for decency, of course, but we also want to convey at a glance who we are as a person, and that’s where I can really help. I believe in dressing each day as if it were your last, but I don’t believe in being uncomfortable.”

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Rather than being a complete waste of space, it’s obviously greener and more charitable to donate unused items to thrift stores. At least there’s a chance the garment will become productive for someone. But stained, soiled or mundanely strange items rarely sell anywhere. Clothing and other textiles comprise about four percent of the municipal solid-waste stream. It’s thought that North America on the whole generates about twelve million tons of the stuff annually.

Organizing a clothing swap is another closet-cleanse option. A group of people get together socially to trade unwanted wearables. Disputes are a risk. In this economy, there’s likely to be someone who’s looking for something they can resell on Ebay.

Fatizzi offers her services as a more professional solution. She has the credentials and following to make the following oddball bargain actually happen. If you bring her 40 items you never wear, she’ll help you find ten garments and accessories you’ll never want to take off. She’ll also rework antique costume jewelry into custom pieces on similar terms.

Rayann’s not going to guarantee she has every one of those desirable items in stock on the day of your free consultation appointment. But she’ll find them for you at an extravagant discount off brand-new current retail. She’ll also come to your house and help you weed your wardrobe, as well as organize your closet in an appealing, easy-to-see way, for $25 an hour, with a $75 minimum.

“My new idea is that since women today tend to own too many clothes,” she says, “I’d like to help them make the transition from owning 50 things they habitually avoid to cherishing a streamlined, wardrobe of select items they always feel terrific about wearing. I’m kind of a Dear Abby closet harvester. I’m here to give you good advice.”

 A loyal following

“I don’t cater to the high-end, money-is-no-object consumer,” says Fatizzi, whose career as a nostalgic costume set designer for moviemakers, including Woody Allen, took a sidestep in 2005 when she suffered a brain aneurysm. The veteran Saugerties merchant and milliner soon regrouped. Over the past two decades, in seven different entrepreneurial incarnations, Fatizzi has developed a loyal following among Ulster County’s fashionably funky women, sometimes selling to three generations within the same family.

There is one comment

  1. Abbe "Miss G" Graber

    Rayann is TRULY one of the MOST creative people I know.
    She is always out-doing herself whether it’s with jewelry, clothing,
    artwork, or her creating different styles from her vast collection of vintage,
    antique or modern clothes selection. A true artist with tons of passion !!
    ps. Her husband makes the most incredible hats, scarves, gloves, socks
    and objects d’art with beautiful yarns bursting with color and creativity.
    Her shop is the cutest and everything is always beautifully displayed.
    A must stop on your travels down 212 between Woodstock and Saugerties.

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