When I moved into my senior dorm at NYU, I was pleasantly surprised to see a clothing boutique on my block. Now I have walked past a lot of boutiques in New York, but I got super excited about this one because it was affordable. Beacon’s Closet is a consignment store with a focus on designer labels and unique vintage items. Yes their mascot is a hipster baby (or a hipster old man), yes there are a lot of quirky things in there, but they truly have something for everyone. The small, high-ceilinged room was absolutely packed with inventory, with sections for long dresses, clothing by color, shoes, jewelry, hats, glasses, scarves, belts, and handbags. Because there are so many things to choose from, if you put in the time you can find plenty of pieces that complement your personal style. For me, that means feminine and sophisticated. I spent five hours there on my last trip, and this is what I found:
1. Maje top 2. Tibi skirt
Forever 21 earrings
Vintage velvet purse; bracelet from Croatia, from my father
3. Ella Moss dress 4. Lazarus hat
Vera Bradley purse; poster from my mother; Forever 21 stackable rings
Style & Co. shoes
5. Elizabeth and James dress 6. L.K. Bennett penny loafers
Vintage lariat necklace
H&M earrings; Forever 21 bracelet; Forever 21 ring
7. Cynthia Rowley blouse 8. Kors Michael Kors shoes
Forever 21 skirt; custom poster by Sir Shadow, from the 2015 Harlem Fine Arts Show
Vintage clip-on earrings
Xhilaration bracelets; Harajuku Lovers ring; vintage purse
9. Yumi Kim top
Bebe reversible skirt; Jennifer Moore purse
Anna Belen headband; Xhilaration espadrilles; poster from the NYU Bookstore
Bracelet I have had since I was little, of unknown origin; Lady Gaga concert ring; Hello Kitty ring, found on the floor at Forever 21
10. Halston Heritage dress
Van Eli shoes; Charter Club handbag
11. Sportmax dress
Vintage purse with abalone shells and wooden handle
This dress is comfortable and convenient — it zips in the front and has spacious pockets!
Earrings from Iran, from a friend
Bracelets from my mother; Forever 21 ring; Sbicca espadrilles
12. Nonoo dress 13. Marc Jacobs flats
Purse from my great-aunt; clock from Indonesia, from a friend
My wardrobe has always been a mix of fast fashion, vintage, and gifts from family and friends, so I am very happy to have found Beacon’s Closet. They have four stores in NYC, and a website for everyone else! Happy shopping.
I became enamored with the look of full bangs when I was 14. I was reading InStyle March 2007 when I saw this Chloe ad campaign:
I didn’t have the guts to get bangs myself until I was 17. But six years later, I still haven’t gone back.
Bangs, as thick as they come. Topshop headband.
So when another girl has full bangs, I notice right away. And looking through the spring shows, I kept seeing two models with bangs, over and over again.
Australian model Fernanda Ly and Dutch model Marjan Jonkman were everywhere this past Fashion Month: 20 and 42 shows, to be exact. While Ly sticks with her full pink bang glory, Jonkman shows how versatile this hairstyle can be: sweeping them to the side, parting them in the middle, teasing them up, and slicking them back…much as I’m inclined to do on a hot day.
Bangs over eyes = thegloss.com
Chloe ad = heycrazy.wordpress.com
Fernanda Ly headshot = davidwangphoto.tumblr.com
Marjan Jonkman headshot = jamiebakerbackstage.tumblr.com
Fernanda Ly in Dolce & Gabbana = fashiongonerogue.com
All other photos = wwd.com
Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017
Charlotte Olympia has been one of my favorite brands for years. I first discovered them in 2012, in the “Dream On” spread of “First Look” in Elle‘s September issue (which I still have on my shelf). This was a time in my life when high fashion was more magical than real, when thinking about the future felt more a matter of fantasy than practicality, and a purple satin platform with two cut-outs at the toes for eyes and a perfectly placed sequin teardrop captured my imagination. (Similar here.)
Since then, Charlotte Olympia has only become more whimsical, and way more wild. It is unusual for a brand with shoes and handbags but no ready-to-wear to stage a runway show at Fashion Week. But these shoes and handbags justify the fanfare. The collection is tropical, with ripe fruits, palm fronds, bamboo, parrots, and a music record (because why the heck not). The models wore plain monochrome whites and creams to better show off the accessories, until the end, when they wore fruit. It was the most fabulous way I can think of to introduce a spring collection.
Take a closer look…
And look, what did I tell you?
“Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017” by Nina Jones. WWD. 19 September 2016.
Kitty pops. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Cats have it made. They get to stay up all night and sleep all day. The Aristocats said that everybody wants to be a cat. Grumpy Cat got her own movie and consequently earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Twitter has started celebrating #Caturday every single week. Everything is awesome for cats…right?
Kizu the kitty. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Unfortunately this is not the case. Every year, 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are euthanized because they were not adopted soon enough. That’s 200,000 more cats than dogs. According to a survey, 27 percent of people looking for a new pet say they would not consider a cat.
Kizu and her human, Katie Cassidy. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
What, exactly, is their problem? According to a survey by Pet Smart Charities, 43 percent of pet owners would describe a cat owner as “weird or quirky”, and 49 percent of pet owners believe in the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. Just to reiterate how stupid this is…a Crazy Cat Lady is an unmarried woman, especially an elderly woman who has never married, who lives alone with at least three cats. She probably has never married because she is unattractive, has an odd personality, and has no sense of style. Her house will smell like cat litter and be covered in cat hair.
Katie Cassidy with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt and a cat. (www.facebook.com/OfficialKatieCassidy)
My chief issue with this stereotype is that pets are supposed to make people less lonely. There are plenty of singletons out there who get a dog for the same reason a “cat lady” gets a cat. I think the root of the problem is that, since cats are lower-maintenance than dogs (usually smaller, know how to take a walk by themselves), a given household would be able to support a greater quantity of cats than dogs. And the quantity thing freaks people out. Of course, the average number of cats in a cat household is only 2.1, versus 1.6 for dogs in a dog household. And again, two cats might be easier to take care of than one dog. The cat lady stereotype might sound silly, but it has a terrible consequence for the little kitties who don’t get adopted.
A poster for the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. (Fresh Step)
Cat-eye sunglasses, a cat-ear headband, and a cat-faced clutch. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Fashion Week to the rescue! Actress, blogger, and cat owner Katie Cassidy partnered with Fresh Step litter to host the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. Held at the Lori Bookstein Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, the feline lounge was open to the public and free to attend, provided that everyone registered and RSVPed. There was a runway show “for the modern cat lady”, with looks that celebrated cats’ huge artistic and sartorial influence. Said Cassidy, “From cat eye glasses and leopard prints to kitten heels and cat-faced flats, feline-inspired fashions have infiltrated runways for many years.” Guests could leave with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt. And a cat, of course. The Humane Society of New York, Zani’s Furry Friends, and The Little Shelter all brought sweet little kitty-bits who were ready to be adopted.
Katie Cassidy with a cat who can’t wait to get adopted. Erin Cebula and Katie in their best cat ears. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
My view on this is that if a cat is not adopted it should be released into the wild. In Turkey it is less conventional to consider the cat a companion animal, so you see cats out on the street the way you see pigeons in New York. Not everybody wants a new pet. Pets are loving and rewarding, but they are a lot of work. That said, if someone is in the market for a new pet, they should give cats and dogs the same level of consideration.
Lulu the kitty. Luna the kitty. Divided leopard-print coat.
I have had 9 cats in my life: Scampi, McGonagall, Salud, Lulu, Double Tuft, Kit Kat, Scarlet, Princess, and Luna. (Don’t worry, not all at the same time.) Even I didn’t know that this was a problem. I had blissfully assumed, along with most others I’m sure, that everything was fine in the world of cats. That’s why it is so important to spread awareness of this issue through campaigns and events, and Fashion Week is the perfect place to do it.
Greenwood, Jennifer. “Study Reveals Public Opinions About Cats and Cat People.” Pet Smart Charities. 19 May 2015. http://www.petsmartcharities.org/blog/study-reveals-public-opinions-about-cats-and-cat-people
“Feline-Inspired Fashion Show at Fashion Week, NYC.” Santa Monica Observer. 12 September 2016. http://www.smobserved.com/story/2016/09/12/lifestyle/feline-inspired-fashion-show-at-fashion-week-nyc/1932.html
“Pet Statistics.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics
“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” American Veterinary Medical Foundation. http://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx
Two days after the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Week show, Tommy Pier was open to the public. Located at the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan, Tommy Pier was a carnival first and a pop-up shop second. Upon stepping onto the dock and squinting in the bright sunlight, it actually took awhile to find the clothes. But you knew they were there. Having to look for them made it more exciting.
As a neighborhood carnival, Tommy Pier matched its peers in every way. There were rides, there were games, there were fries, there were donuts, there were temporary tattoos, there were photo booths, and there were long lines of people twisting and overlapping in every direction.
Rides: the Tornado, a Ferris wheel, and another spinning ride (not pictured).
Gigi’s Boxing Club, est. 2016.
What are carnivals without prizes? I think I found Nemo…and his extended family.
The quintessential yummy, unhealthy food.
A temporary tattoo parlor. The line for the nail salon.
The atmosphere was excited and a little surprised. “Do we have to pay to get in?” I heard one girl say. No, we did not. People slowly approached the games and food stands, as if they wanted to first make sure it was okay. After all, it’s rare to see a premium brand present itself in such an irreverent and accessible way. Yet once a few people stepped up to the booths, everyone else followed.
More food! Including lobster rolls, one of my favorites.
Nails by Valley and Hilfiger Records.
I found a little wooden house midway down the pier with a Tommy x Gigi sign and a rope chandelier. Inside the collection was neatly displayed, apparel on hanging rods and accessories, underwear, and perfume on shelves. The cash register was in the center so shoppers could walk in a full circle. This was useful because the little shop was packed. Tommy Pier opened at noon that day, I arrived at around 1:00, and already the displays were sparse. There were three sales associates wearing matching navy blue Tommy Pier t-shirts. Though there was little room to walk, the customers treated the merchandise with more respect than you would see at a typical crowded retail store. Customers picked their things up. Customers re-folded. Customers hung their hangers back on the racks. (I worked in clothing retail for five years. I notice these things.)
Inside the pop-up shop.
In addition to this shop, there was an identical little shop on the other side of the pier, as well as a Tommy Vintage Shop. This shop was smaller than the others and offered sweatshirts, jerseys, and other sporty logo apparel.
At the far right corner of the pier was a little nook with three wooden benches painted like the American flag. People took selfies and pictures of their friends, asked strangers to take their picture, or simply sat down to rest in the heat, which had to be over 90 degrees. It was also the perfect place to look out at the other piers, the East River, Brooklyn, the helicopters in the sky, and the commanding buildings of the Financial District.
Taking a break from the mayhem. Vintage star and moon earrings. Heart pendant from my mother. Chain from AJ’s Jewelry.
My sweet little purse on the American flag bench. If you look closely, it has anchors on the buttons. Vintage purse. Eton ring watch.
The boating lifestyle that inspires the Tommy Hilfiger brand.
At one point a large commercial boat called the Zephyr docked at the pier, its passengers disembarked, and the crowd briefly doubled in size. A little “fashion week” isn’t about to disrupt business as usual!
Paloma shoes with what could very well be life preservers.
A statue on a cobblestone street in the Seaport district.
To give some context, here are the best looks from the actual fashion show:
(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)
(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)
Anna Wintour attends the seaport extravaganza. (Getty Images)
Doutzen Kroes, Martha Hunt, and Taylor Swift check out the carnival. (Getty Images)
It was fun, and I was really happy I went. It felt good to see so many people enjoy the new Tommy Hilfiger collection. Premium, contemporary, and luxury brands worry about “overexposure”, when their brand is worn by so many people that it isn’t special anymore. This does happen. This happens with discounts and outlet stores, and certainly with counterfeit merchandise. But I do not think this will happen with public events like Tommy Pier. A brand can always decide its exclusivity with its price points. If anything, I think wider awareness of a brand by all people will confer even more recognition and prestige to those who buy and wear the clothes.
I think it’s important for the fashion industry to cater to consumers and stage fun events like this. There is a misconception out there that clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and accessories are just “things”. The term “experience economy” has been used to describe the shift of consumer spending to experiences over things. Yet spectacles like Tommy Pier prove that not every consumer good falls neatly into one side of the binary. Fashion has always been about more than just things; it is beautiful images, it is icons, it is the spirit of a brand, it is the excitement of shopping, and it determines much of the way we present ourselves when we embark on any other kind of experience. Tommy Pier presents the possibility of finding new fashion, knowing its back story, and living in it — not just putting it in your closet.
As seen from above! (blog.thestorefront.com)