Last Sunday brought us a momentous event: the return of Mad Men. Much fuss has been made over Mad Men being the most stylish show on television—there are style blogs devoted to it, recaps focusing on the symbolism of each character’s costumes, and tie-in ad campaigns from Banana Republic. Mad Men’s crown remains intact this season, even as its characters step into the seventies and experiment with some of the decade’s more questionable trends.
In New York City, it’s always refreshing to see outerwear in March that isn’t a globby mass of black, especially now that the claws of winter have finally begun to retract. Practicality is a less pressing concern, leaving room for some frivolity. Coats can be fun again, not just something you wrap around your body to keep yourself from dying.
The first reasonably warm day of the year feels like waking up with a start from a nap you hadn’t realized you’d been taking. What? What’s going on? How did I get here? Where is all this light coming from? Is that the sun? Why am I so happy all of a sudden? Oh my god is it spring?! Daylight Savings Time is basically a pointless annoyance but in this first glorious week the afternoons stretch into bright eternities and we can almost ignore the melting piles of frozen garbage piled up on the curbs. Ah, springtime in New York.
I’m really getting tired of drawing pictures of coats and scarves. February is a bleak purgatory of dirty snow and frozen sidewalks. By August I’ll be longing for the opportunity to illustrate some fancy coats and outerwear again, but right now I’m happy for anything to break the monotonous parade of knit hats, layers of scarves, and winter-weary scowls. But the end is nigh! Soon the ice will thaw and uncover all the frozen garbage hidden within, like ancient mummies surfacing from a bog.
We’ve all seen unsavory actions go down on public transit. Trains and busses have their fair share of unpleasantries, but the subway is a special underworld into which we creatures of the light must descend in order to emerge, blinking and disoriented, in another part of the city. A few stations have fought valiantly and banished it, but a dark beast still rules uncontested over vast territories of the underground. The name of the beast is No Phone Service.
It’s too blizzardy in New York for fashion right now. Luckily, I was in Stockholm last week eating a bunch of fried herring and observing a whole lot of cool street style and am here to tell you about it and relieve your snowy boredom.
Though the sun : darkness ratio isn’t as extreme in mid-January as it is around the solstice, the hours of daylight in Swedish winter are still precious. Therefore, we spent a lot of time during the day wandering around the streets of Söder, land of a thousand coffee shops and little art galleries and vintage stores.