I don’t know very much about the finer points of aging gracefully, but am pretty sure it involves limited color palettes and houndstooth. At least, that’s what the chic older ladies of New York have led me to believe. The Upper East Side isn’t one of my usual haunts, but any self-respecting people-watcher knows that every once in a while you have to visit unfamiliar places to refresh your eyes and see what life looks like with a view of the East River. Also, a lot of museums are up there, which was the reason for my sojourn into that part of town. (There’s an Egon Schiele exhibit at the Neue Galerie right now.)
It’s Halloween! Wearing your costume out in public and to your job is generally frowned upon as unprofessional in the workplace, but I suppose it depends on your job. However, there are plenty of ways to express your spooky, costumed spirit without showing up at the office dressed as a sexy dinosaur.
My favorite instagram account right now is @fashiongrandpas, which as you might expect documents sightings of dapper elderly gentlemen. It’s refreshing to see older faces applauded for their style when most fashion blogs, not to mention the mainstream fashion world in general, cater to the young. Style isn’t something that stops after a certain age—it shifts and changes as subtly but surely as our personalities and interests do over time, and eventually we’ll all arrive at whatever personal aesthetics were waiting for us all along.
Stoopin’ and starin’
The art and science of sitting on a city stoop is a delicate one. If it’s your own stoop, you can lounge with proprietary pride, sitting at eye-level with passerby while you smoke or take a phone call or stare at your neighbors’ windows. If it isn’t your own stoop, however, you rest uneasily. There’s nothing technically wrong with parking yourself on someone else’s stoop for a few minutes, but it still feels like you’re intruding. When an actual resident opens the front door to come down the steps, do you smile? Apologize? Sheepishly explain that your feet hurt and you just needed to sit for a minute but it’s fine you can leave? Jump up and pretend you hadn’t just been taking up a bunch of space that didn’t belong to you? Ignore them and keep staring at your phone? (This one is the New York Way.) What is the Emily Post stance on stoop appropriation? Inquiring minds and tired butts want to know.
Twice a year, Fashion Week descends upon New York like a swarm of well-dressed bees. There are clothes! There are models! There are famous people! There is media attention! Here’s my brief brush with fame for the week: on my way to sketch night on Tuesday I was annoyed to find my path blocked by a herd of excited people staring at the door of the Belstaff store on Madison Ave. Uggghhh, I thought, get out of the waaaay. A small army of photographers were laying in wait with cameras at the ready, each of them dressed in black. Which celebrity was about to grace us with their anointed and highly-paid presence? And out sauntered a grinning David Beckham in a leather jacket, followed by a trail of lesser-known models, also in leather. It was a really nice jacket.
My fashion world has been very exciting lately! Monday night, as you may know, was host to the Dîner en Blanc in Battery Park. This was my second year attending and it did not disappoint, but I’m planning to cover that in a future Art of Style post. Today I’m going to talk about what I saw the day before the Dîner en Blanc at this year’s Afropunk Festival.