NEW YORK CITY
Everyone in life can recall the story of their first love. For me, my first love wasn’t a person, but a place—New York City. There’s no place even close in America when it comes to entertainment, food, culture, architecture, and of course fashion. Growing up in Kentucky, I was always obsessed with the Big Apple. I was a weird little kid running around the hay field moving bales in a New York City Tee. All I would ever hear from relatives on the subject was that I would be mugged or murdered my first day. This couldn’t be further from the truth. My first visit was on September 30th, 2008. I was in Connecticut for work and a group of coworkers decided we should take the train to New York for a couple of hours. The excitement equivalent to a child on Christmas Eve consumed me. As I stepped out of Grand Central Station and my foot hit the pavement for the first time, I felt as if I had taken my first breath. There was a million cultures mixing and creating the world’s busiest runway. In the blink of an eye you could pass a lady in a stunning brand new Gucci Dress and 4 inch Christian Louboutin stilettos and another girl wearing florescent red tights and a vibrant Betsy Johnson Dress. Every person that passed me seemed to have just stepped out of a Vogue magazine- so fresh and their styles read like a bestselling novel—so well developed and put together. I knew in that moment that I would strive to be here every chance that I had. We as a society are influenced a lot by what hits the runway shows in New York. Sure, some of the outfits are over the top and completely unrealistic for everyday wear, but these looks inspire clothes that trickle down to major department stores everywhere and it's something you might not even notice when you shop. The best way to describe it is from a scene in Devil Wears Prada:
Miranda Priestly: You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world know that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.
So, whether you realize it or not, New York has influenced you as well. If you’ve never had the ability to go, my best way to describe it to you is that in my opinion, America’s Heart Beat (and wardrobe) are created by the feet that pound the streets of New York City every day. Until next time, Let your Fashionista Flag Fly, my friends!