Wisdom Launches Fashion-Foodie Collab

 Designer Neville Wisdom and Restauranteur Derek Bacon have been in cahoots about a collaboration for some time. Now, it’s finally happening. Julie Francois Photo. 

Designer Neville Wisdom and Restauranteur Derek Bacon have been in cahoots about a collaboration for some time. Now, it’s finally happening. Julie Francois Photo. 

Designer Neville Wisdom and Restauranteur Derek Bacon have been in cahoots about a collaboration for some time. Now, it’s finally happening.

Wisdom is a designer known for his quirky, bright and boxy patterns and annual fashion shows. Bacon is the former manager of New Haven pizza restaurant Da Legna, who left to pursue his own culinary vision several months ago. He’s kept Wisdom in the loop—and the results are about to be delicious. 

On May 18, Wisdom’s 2018 spring and summer fashion show will be hosted at a soft opening of NOLO, Bacon new Italian restaurant in East Rock.  Wisdom said that the restaurant—“swanky, modern, with an old style touch”—provides the right venue for the pair.  

“The fashion show changes every year,” he said in a recent interview with The Arts Paper, bobbing around the basement of his Westville location. “It’s always in a new location to keep it interesting. It’s always places people wouldn’t typically have a fashion show … places people may not expect because, we want to bring attention to the place that’s hosting us, but also bring the community together.”

 In years past, he’s had his fashion shows at a yoga studio, downtown’s old bank building, the old vacant City Hall, mActivity Fitness and most recently, the Corsair apartments on State Street. Bringing food into the mix, he said, only made sense.

“NOLO shares Neville’s excitement towards New Haven’s growing allegiance to art, creation, and culture,” Bacon said in an email last week. “Aligning our brand with like-minded businesses is an absolute dream that has been incubating for some time.” 

“We are extremely proud to be hosting this event for Neville at NOLO, amongst friends of the city and many contributors to the conversation,” he added. “Hospitality is an art which we cherish as ours to give to a city with so much rich fabric and texture. The fashion show will be the greatest beginning to our commitment to our community.”

Wisdom added that restaurant’s interior has given him inspiration for his spring collection, but remained tight-lipped on the specifics. 

“It’s a very stewardess vibe,” he said mischievously. He added that he has drawn inspiration and skill from his ‘100 designs in 100 days’ challenge, but “won’t make any copies” of those dresses or scarves for the show or new line. 

It comes in an already big year for the designer. Earlier this month, he announced plans to open a shop at 1090 Chapel St., and he has also been working with local filmmaker Stephen Dest on costuming for his upcoming film Grace

“Working with Derek has been wonderful. Both the restaurant and the show are coming together really great,” he said. 

The fashion show is set to take stage Friday, May 18th at Nolo, 687 State St., New Haven. For tickets and more information, click here.