I bet the people with very dramatic outerwear in the colder months are the same people who stun you with interestingly-bared skin in the summer. Some people wear clothes because they like the garments themselves (and are required by law to more or less cover themselves up), but others seem to use clothing as mere framing devices for their bodies. It’s similar to the use of negative space in visual art. Sometimes the parts of the canvas you don’t paint on can be as interesting as the parts you do, and the absence of clothing—not necessarily in a provocative way—holds its own drama and tension.
A Vikki Dougan-esque backless dress would be sensational enough on its own, but framing it with an enormous floppy hat pushes it over the edge of greatness. Also, this was late at night on the A/C/E platform at West 4th Street, which is far from the grossest subway stop but still enveloped in that special grime and aroma. Maybe I should be used to elegant apparitions like this appearing in inelegant places by now, but I’m not quite that jaded yet.