Open Sesame

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Look who I ran into outside Bryant Park on Valentine's Day



I’d love to say I came, I saw and I conquered but now that I’m back, the only thing I can say is I went and I saw. New York is everything the songs, movies and people say it is and there’s nothing that can prepare you for it if you've never been there.

I tend to think of myself as a pretty worldly person – I’ve seen a bit of the world, experienced different cultures and people and have a pretty open mind when it comes to things like religion, sexuality and culture. I was almost reduced to being iqaba*.

Joburg is not a bad place to live, in fact it’s dope….but it’s not as dope as this...





Times Square surrounds

I was there for work so I didn’t get to see all the things I’d set out to see, you know – the touriststy stuff like Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building etc. Heck, I didn’t even make it out of Manhattan and Brooklyn! I was over ambitious to think that I would get to go to Harlem, The Bronx, Queens and other places of interest in the 12 days I was there for. I mean really!

My days involved waking up early, walking to the subway in –3ยบ weather and getting to work or whatever show I was spot marking, luckily they were all in Manhattan (take all the pretty places in Jhb and Cape Town – put them all together and that’s about how big and beautiful it is), and walking or taking the subway to every place I needed to go.

I wish we had a walking culture in SA – my body’s never been more toned and I’ve lost a few centimetres, just because of the walking. People walk in all sorts of shoes, but winkle pickers or lace up boots ala Doc Martens circa 1994 are all the craze right now.


I couldn’t get enough of these and they were everywhere, worn to perfection. I had to get me some! (Above)

New Yorkers dress for walking – their style is practical but stylised, innovative and ahead of its time, or should I say our time. It’s winter there now and there’s a spillage of boots, black in every shade and fabric, fur jackets, surprise jewellery where it doesn’t “belong” i.e. someone wearing lavish teardrop diamond earrings with a buzzcut and a random knit jersey, the iphone and ipod as quintessential accessories (I had to buy the phone too).


This was the lobby at The Tents at Bryant Park before one of the shows!


Please look at designer Phillip Lim's shoes...yes that's him!


And this is his PR person, Veronica Wu. I don't need to remind you to take a good gander at her shoes!

I can’t get over the shoes and how varied but similar they all were but there were also plenty of glasses/sunglasses and coats coats coats galore - it was all structured flamboyance. It’s what I call Utilitarian Chic – that’s how I would describe the style of new Yorkers – that’s what stood out the most for me. Needless to say, I’m going to emulate as much of what I saw as I can come the winter time.

Okay, here's one more reflection of how obsessed I was with the shoes. Enjoy.
video

I’m not one to go up to people and take pictures of them because they look cool! I have a lot of blogger’s credentials to develop before I can be like Scott Shulman aka The Satorialist. One day.

Next time I reveal more about the actual shows! Start doing your homework if you're serious about an education in the future of fashion: google Rag and Bone, Charlotte Ronson, Jason Wu, Phillip Lim, Yigal Azrouel, Doo.Ri and Cushnie et Ochs.

*Iqaba = a Xhosa word meaning an uncivilised or uneducated person derived from 19th century encounters of white civilised settlers and black “uncivilised” natives. Later on some natives would become civilised and call the uncivilised ones, amaqaba! Yes it’s derogatory but the true meaning of the word is factual more than anything.

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