Everyone has their own image of New York. Mine is shaped by its icons like Bill Blass, Eleanor Lambert, Diana Vreeland and Iris Apfel, their legacy and contributions to fashion- and hours of Gossip Girl and Sex and the City reruns, portraying NYC as the city of hardworking people, lived by style provocateurs, where fashion is reinvented everyday by ordinary people of all walks of life. I think of The Beats, Andy Warhol, the stardust floors of Studio 54 and Carolina Herrera, whose subtle elegance I’ve come to identify with New York’s upper class.
One might think the New Yorker a slave to fashion, but fashion here serves its residents. Its renowned ‘Effortless Cool’ is an attitude, the result of the city’s rich history of arts, bohemian counter cultures, diversity and heritage, brought by the people who once came here and made New York their home. The New York style has always been about character, individual identity and liberty of expression, one that is boundless, bold, outspoken, genuine, soft, simple and flamboyant all at the same time. The Garment district- roughly defined from 35th to 41st streets and between Fifth and Ninth avenues- has played a significant role in not just New York’s history but moreover American history, where fashion has always been a key element of historic events and milestones, from the civil war to World War II. It is where fashion Week was born and where American designers emerged from the back rooms of the Garment District, sealing the faith of American fashion, with Eleanor Lambert as its pioneer.
Compared to the méticuleux and decadence of Paris, New York offers creatively mixed looks between high fashion and affordable- edgy, original and elegant- but never decadent. The New Yorker doesn’t seek perfection, but puts personality and practicality first- yet you’ll find women fearlessly walking ten blocks on stellar heels. It represents a destination to me, where fashion is in a constant dialogue with its relationship to everyday-life. It’s hard not to fall in love with New York, once you’ve been there. The city has her flaws, but like its residence she is savvy. And whether it’s Chuck Bass or Mr.Big- no love story is perfect.