One way to time travel through the history of Neville Wisdom is to raid Eva Landau's closet. If there's anyone in New Haven who owns the most Neville Wisdom pieces–and vintage pieces at that–Eva would be top contender.
She discovered Neville Wisdom nine years ago, when Neville opened up his Westville shop. Eva–a Westville native–was taking a walk from the synagogue with her mother when she decided to check out Neville's designs. She instantly fell in love with his original, whimsical, and made-to-measure clothing, and started coming back almost every week to browse and buy a Neville dress.
At that time, Neville was traveling to and from Jamaica and Connecticut while designing clothes of a vibrant aesthetic wrought from those frequent, inspirational voyages to his homeland. The pieces in Neville's first collections reflect his love for the lush earth, vibrant flora, and pristine nautical blues of St. Mary (his hometown), and Kingston.
...Neville's first collections reflect his love for the
lush earth, vibrant flora, and pristine nautical blues
of St. Mary (his hometown), and Kingston.
"Back in the day, I would get a dress for $90," she laughs. They were Neville's unique sample designs. "Since then, the price has definitely gone up. You would never be able to do that now," she says, "Of course, I'm very happy for him."
One of her pieces, is nine years old. "Every dress has a story," she says."One of my favorite Neville pieces is the tan and black dress that my now fiancé bought for me. I had showed him the dress in Neville's Orange Street window on our second date and he got it for me a few weeks later for my birthday!"
"One of the ways being a teacher is rewarding is that
you see results every day"
One functional feature common to almost all of Eva's gorgeous Neville Wisdom dresses is the pocket. As an elementary school teacher, pockets are a necessary feature for her–making her luxurious paisley silk jersey dress and nautical empire silhouette day dress totally functional and accommodating to her hectic job.
Albeit crazy, she describes her job and students with pride and fondness, "One of the ways being a teacher is rewarding is that you see results every day," she says, "In some careers, it takes years, even decades, to see significant results." Eva teaches fifth grade students, and will be moving up with her students this year. "I would describe my lifestyle and career as busy, chaotic, and rewarding," she says.
"Every dress ...
has a story..."
"I love owning Neville's pieces because no one will have one exactly like it and I know it will fit me and look good," she says, "Walk in and find something you like, and Neville will make it look good on you!"