Text by Jay Riedl
Janice Huminska claims that her dress designs appear fully realized in her dreams. She
never sits down to design a season of clothing, instead making dresses as they appear to her mid-slumber. Providing she has been sleeping well, you will always find something new when you visit the Huminska shop on Mott Street in the NoLIta neighborhood of Manhattan.
After graduating from art school in the ’80s, Janice found herself unable to afford art supplies. Her career as a painter may have been short-lived, but it instilled in her an overwhelming desire to create with her hands. She fell into millinery, learning her craft from master hatmakers at Roth Imports who had been making hats and bridal headwear since the ’30s.
Janice eventually created her own hat line, which in turn led her to clothing design. This May, she celebrates 20 years of designing apparel, but the classical detail from her early apprenticeship as a milliner can still be seen in her dresses today.
The dresses have a dreamy, ethereal quality, strongly influenced by the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’70s, yet with their own modern take on a vintage aesthetic. Essentially feminine yet unusually wearable, there is a Huminska dress for almost any occasion. The solid-colored wrap is a perfect day dress ($395). Cowl necks and exotic prints lend an air of sophistication to cocktail hour. Floor-length silk designs make beautiful ball gowns and bridal dresses. The best thing about these gorgeous dresses? They flaunt curves if you have them and create the illusion of curves if you don’t.
Entering the Huminska boutique is like stepping back in time. The charming shop also houses a design studio in the basement, to where Janice will sometimes disappear, only to return with a freshly finished creation. She has an uncanny ability to suggest the perfect dress, often unlike anything you’d normally wear. Huminska delivers a singular experience—the opportunity to be personally styled by a designer who knows how to dress your body in the most beautiful and imaginative ways. huminska.com