for the fashion and culture voyeur (like, hmmm, myself?), living in manhattan is like living in some sort of haute heaven. you get to see it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
since it’s quick and easy to do, i thought i’d occasionally pass along word of interesting things i see when i am out on walks or even just looking out my window (i live in chelsea). the masses are right outside my door, literally, and they are a fascinating bunch!
when i say interesting things, i mean trends i’ve noticed (large, small, good, bad), the details about clothing and other items i see that are being worn in interesting and innovative ways, and perhaps even cool art/culturally-relevant happenings i have spotted, and things i think are just plain cool. sound good?
btw: what i see and notice may be different from what others in this vast city may notice, or focus on. it’s all good, no? i’m just gonna tell it how i see it!
if i can snap a pic, and include it, i will (but it’s not always possible or easy w/ baby).
so lemme go ahead and kick this off!
-lots of clogs! i’ve always been a fan of this style of footwear, so perhaps my eye is especially attuned to them. anyway: a gal near the southern end of union square caught my eye on 5/7/09 because she was sporting some smart, super shiny gold metallic clogs (something like these). the day before, i spotted a gal who worked at the utrecht art supply store on w. 23rd street wearing black, closed-back clogs (like these danskos), with a pair of cranberry colored woolen tights, a brown straight skirt that hit at the knee, and a worn sweatshirt. maybe it was something about her features and dark hair, but she looked to me like an arty, modern update of the mousy bookshop-marm jo stockton (played by audrey hepburn) in funny face. in a good way. (aside: am i the only one who likes the old, nerdy, wordy version of her better than the new-fangled, vogue-d up version of her in the movie?? haha!)
-what’s the deal with leggings as pants? this is HUGE here. is this happening other places? i don’t remember this being a thing in san fran when i left, to any great degree, not like it is here. also, where is this coming from? my theory has roots in the following: the growing notion that skinny jeans were somehow not skinny enough, that we’ve now got to get as skinny as possible with our pants, even if that means wearing leggings alone; late 80s/early 90s leggings trend redux; it’s grunge all over again. noting that leggings are now worn (again) with ditsy floral baby doll dresses, beat-up shoes, and ill-fitting, oversized denim jackets and the like, i’m leaning especially hard on blaming this trend on the last bit. also: makes me think that the rear-end is having a moment! these leggings as pants are almost always paired with some sort of boot, from very low ankle style ones with laces, to knee high kicks in leather, rubber (hunter’s especially), and sadly (imo) uggs or something of a similar ilk. looks best (in my husband’s opinion, haha!) if the wearer of said leggings as pants is concurrently wearing well-fitting undergarments that don’t cause VPL. i cannot abide by this butt-baring trend, myself, i’m just far too modest. so while i might wear a pair of leggings, my backside will be forever in shadow when i am on the streets!
-beautiful coats/clothing/bags made of “ethnic” textiles: when i first arrived back in town, i saw a girl (the same girl, more than once) in an absolutely stunning brown and black vintage(?) topper, that had a knee-length swing shape, done up in a hand-wrought african barkcloth type of fabric. since then, i’ve been seeing all sorts of other great world-textiles on people, and on racks at nice places, and i like it: a coat made of gorgeous multi-colored woven guatemalan fabric (probably silk); african wax print fabric bags (you can find some @ abc carpet and home); hand-woven sachels like these sunu bags, made by the wayuu of columbia. i want to ask: do you see people wearing fiber art from other countries often where you live? part of me wonders if world textiles are more popular to wear in a place like NYC, where many cultures live and thrive (people have more exposure/access to such things in a hub like this), and/or also, that the wearing of textiles from far-flung nations might make one look well-traveled or at least fairly aware of if not interested deeply the outside world (the world outside of what one knows/lives, even if said hometown is diverse in nature)…