If you’re not sure of the difference, stay tuned.
Lisa Wu-Hartwell is betting that her new clothing line of that very name will make sense to both.
“I wanted very classical, elegant pieces, but still a little flirtatious. I think these days a lot of women overexpose themselves to get attention,” said Wu-Hartwell of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
The 18-piece collection, including skirts, tops, jumpsuits and dresses, debuts at an invite-only showing tonight in Midtown.
This won’t be Wu-Hartwell’s first foray into design —- she oversees Hart to Hart Baby and Wu Girls Design jewelry, both of which she has scaled back to focus on Closet Freak —- but she is quick to admit she’s no designer.
“I’ve always loved fashion … the ‘studying’ I have done is going to retail shops for years and knowing quality,” she says.
Rather than go it alone, Wu-Hartwell hooked up with Atlanta-based designer and American InterContinental University graduate Evelyn Lambert. A transplanted Brit, Lambert originally dreamed of owning an airline, but after landing in Atlanta in the mid-’90s and sensing a lag in fashion, she thought she could make a difference. She started designing handbags, and later added an upscale fashion line.
Closet Freak was initially envisioned as T-shirt-oriented casualwear. But after chatting with Lambert and viewing sketches, Wu-Hartwell had a change of mind. She and Lambert opted for more detailed and dressed-up clothing, which they describe as comparable in style and price to the fashions at women’s retailer Bebe.
There are jersey dresses with ruffled necklines, strapless jumpsuits with blousy pant legs, bubble skirts and print blouses in sheer silk chiffon and silk charmeuse. Colors are bright —- purples, greens and pinks —- for spring; and there are florals, animal prints and basic black.
Atlanta shoppers could see some items in local boutiques soon, Lambert said, but manufacturing details have yet to be nailed down.
Proceeds from Closet Freak, which Wu-Hartwell considers more of a movement than just a line of clothing, benefit the Big Hart Foundation, the Hartwells’ nonprofit organization to aid children and female victims of domestic violence.
For closet freaks, meaning those who love their closets, or closet freaks, as in those who dress ladylike in public but ramp up the sexy behind closed doors —- or for anyone who happens to have an alter-ego (see the “Real Housewives” pole dancing episode from Season 1) —- Wu-Hartwell says, this one is for you."