While my three years here is hardly a twinkling of time compared to most New Yorkers, I’m as heartbroken as anyone to be leaving. An embarrassing amount of tears were shed! (A startling first for someone who’s moved 17 times and lived in nine different cities.) The reasons for the move are at once complex and uninteresting. Far more exciting is this: starting sometime in July, I’ll be dividing my time between San Francisco and Urbana-Champaign, between the boyf and the co-blogger/confidante sister, writing and revising my manuscripts (yes, plural)! Working in the same town—indeed, same house—as Mimi, bodes well for our productivity on the academic writing and blog posting fronts. So look forward to more frequent posting—I know, promises, promises.
With my days in New York City numbered, everything I do is saturated with an uneven mix of sadness, appreciation, and nostalgia (I remember the first time ____; oh my god, is this the last time ____?; oooh, I love ____!) It’s because of this relentless internal monologue and the incredibly gorgeous weather that I splurged a bit today at the Phillip Lim sample sale in the Garment District. Something about clear warm days, pop-up sales, and the possibility of detecting one-off dresses among the racks and piles of haphazardly strewn clothes and aggressively proprietary women shoppers in various stages of disrobement (no fitting rooms at sample sales) for 50-70% off makes me sooo happy!
Partnered with my good friend Thuy Linh, whose sample sale shopping technique—and there is a technique—is one of the most finely honed there is, I nabbed these two dresses. For $230 each, they’re a little pricier than most sample sale dresses but still a great bargain compared to Lim’s store prices. I was also happy to see only one Almond colored Double Fan Pleated dress there. I happened upon this particular dress at the 3.1 store in Soho last Fall during an especially productive shopping trip with Mimi and her lady love Fiona. (Photos of this dress will no doubt be posted after June 20 when I make an honest man of the boyf.) Instead, the sample sale racks were full of the other bedazzled and yet somehow less dazzling version of this dress. Still, the women who tried it on looked great and got me so excited to finally wear mine soonish.
Of all the things I love the most about New York City, sample sales rank highest. (I much prefer the smaller individual designer sales to the huge multi-designer sales [à la Billion Dollar Babes or the overrated Barneys Warehouse sale]). I love that New Yorkers, men and women alike, not only adore fashion but scrutinize it as well. It’s not unusual to hear casual debates about independent and luxury designers, the political economy of fast fashion vs. slow fashion, the practicality of harem pants, cuts, drapes, etc. I love that fashion is not simply a part of the economic life of the city but its cultural life as well (numerous museum and gallery exhibitions are dedicated to fashion). I love that my neighborhood is always teeming with people whose dress is uptown conventional as well as those whose styles rise to the level of sartorial stuntsmanship (see Fashion Sprung). And I love that even the most misanthropic New Yorkers will queue up as quickly for a fashion event (the line snaking down Broome Street the cold April morning Topshop finally opened remains newsworthy) as they would for a street food vendor (the Dessert Truck is always busy no matter how low the mercury drops) or for Magnolia cupcakes. Sigh.
Until I make my way back here, I’ll have to be satisfied with reading the many many (many) fashion and style blogs based in New York City, writing about it, guest lecturing on it (see Fall Fashion Forecast), and of course shopping my closet.