Mociun, Brooklyn

Caitlin Mociun may have been the author of a cult-hit fashion line for only a few years, but the lessons she learned from that stint — about the way she wants a customer to feel, or about the way a body moves in space — inform nearly everything she does today. That first becomes clear when she talks about her massively successful fine jewelry line, which she launched almost as a palliative to her days as a clothing designer. “I never really liked doing my clothing line, and when I switched to jewelry it was such a different response,” Mociun told me earlier this fall when I visited her year-old Williamsburg boutique. “It seemed to make people feel good about themselves as opposed to clothing, which often makes people feel bad.”

But it’s when she talks about her boutique that you realize that nothing in the shop could be the way it is if Mociun weren’t first a designer. On the layout of her shop, which is more gallery-like than not, with textiles on the walls or sculptures often on the floor, she says: “It’s about people coming in and saying, ‘Can I touch this?’ and seeing adults crouched down on the ground.” As for the way she curates her selection of goods: “For me, it’s first visual impact. Then, what’s it trying to do? Is it just trying to be an art object? If it’s functional, does it work? How does it feel when you’re holding it? If it’s a cup, does it get too hot if you put tea in it? Is it really fragile? I get equally upset when something is badly designed and beautiful, or super functional and really ugly.”

That may all sound a bit anal (which Mociun admits she is) but what it translates to when you visit the shop is a totally freeing experience where you do have permission to get down on the ground — which I indulged to take some of these pictures — and to a selection of wares that’s one of the best in New York, in part because it’s not the same things you see in every design store even if the names are familiar. Here’s a tour of some of our favorites.