Category: New York

Phluid x

Clothes are so ubiquitous it’s easy to take them for granted: fripperies, feathers and function. Except they unconsciously say so much – they are our inner identities reflected back to the world.  Those moments when you have nothing to wear? It’s really because there’s nothing to express who you want to be that day.

But what if the freedom we believe in is really a myth? What if society has conditioned our thinking so much we no longer notice the rules, the divisions and the assumptions they lead to?

And there are many of them: Blue for a boy, pink for a girl, pretty dresses for girls that look sweet but don’t take into consideration climbing trees and protection against skinned knees, trousers for boys that metaphorically take on another meaning, T-bars for primary school girls, running shoes for boys, Pedestal high heels for women: the literal presentation of an object of desire: Look sexy, feel sexy they shout. Taxi shoes! We laugh, the truth covered by humour, falling for the fantasy rather than admit they’re restrictive, tortuous and totally lacking function.

What about sizing? It’s another hidden form of segregation: There’s the designer labels who don’t make anything above a size 14 – what’s the message they’re giving?  That only the rich are perfect?  Or that designers only want to hang their clothes on hangers, not real bodies, real people? But we still let them, maybe one day hoping that person will be us, another part of our insidious cultural brainwashing. What about the clothes store that allegedly offer larger sizes except they never have any in stock? Is it because they can’t understand why someone with that body would want to wear it? Is that really their choice to make? When what’s available for one body isn’t available for another it’s limitation, restriction, and control.

Gender is another straitjacket demanding clothing conformity, every store with racks of clothes marked out for one type of person only, the changing rooms following suit.  Who has decided these divisions?

Certainly not PhluidPhluid is the first gender neutral store that’s just opened in New York as a place without judgement or fear where it’s the clothes that do the talking, not our mental labels. Phluid says we have the ability to imagine a world without ‘because we do’ traditions and outdated rituals that don’t work.  They say it’s up to us to open our eyes and fix it: Acceptance, balance, integrity, intention are so much more appealing.

 

(All pics Phluid)

Personally, it’s such a relief to see a store that celebrates what makes us different whilst cherishing what makes us the same: We think choice is freedom, but it only is if that choice is available to everyone.

 

Laters, Kate x

Peek x

There’s an undeniable delight about being able to step behind the curtains and into the spaces of other people, particularly when theres more than one room.  This is the New York townhouse of Monique Gibson, renowned interior designer, courtesy of Architectural Digest.

(All pics Architectural Digest)

Just look at this one makes me long for summer..

Laters, Kate x

Iris x

In astrological terms it’s the first day of spring tomorrow, which didn’t stop winter having it’s final blast over the weekend. Not that I’m complaining: Bad weather is the perfect excuse to hibernate and indulge in some serious sofa surfing meaning I finally got to see, amongst other delights, Albert Maysles film about Iris Apfel, the beloved New York fashion icon and self-styled ‘geriatric starlet’.

Where Iris hits the sweet spot is not her age, her joy of life or her performance art.  It’s her deep seated belief that style isn’t about fashion or money or even beauty:  Style is about believing and doing.

Until watching the film, I hadn’t realised that Iris had her own shop: Rara Avis, meaning for ‘Rare bird’ where you can purchase her designs and covert a little bit of her.

But it might be more rewarding to follow her sentiments and look at life with a new set of black framed eyes.

Laters, Kate x

Ashya x

The marmite of the bag world: The fanny pack, the bum bag, the bag that is awesomely functional but struggles to be beautiful.  Until now.

Feast your peeks on these beauties: Made by Ashya, a Brooklyn based design label who wanted to produce an unconventional and reimagined look for a luxury bag.

Bumbags have always had a place in my heart – I possess two – but high on the lust list has been a leather utility styled version with a masculine edge: These tick that long sought for box.

The company takes it’s eco credentials seriously – the bags are produced locally in NYC’s garment district, as is the hardware used.

(All pics Ashya)

 

They’re not a cheap option, but that’s the incentive of buy less, buy better.  This is an investment that will just get better with age.

 

Which has to be a good thing.

Laters, Kate x

BY. Bonnie Young x

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A woman of my heart as a true renaissance woman, Bonnie Young has worked in the fashion industry, travelled the world, written a book, amassed an important collection of tribal costumes and jewellery (hashtag-very-jealous). Then returned to Donna Karan, to leave Karan to start a children’s line to suddenly realising that women were actually buying the clothes for themselves (pausing now briefly for a cynically raised eyebrow at the momentary snapshot of society today) leading her to start her own label, BY.Bonnie Young. This was her New York Fashion Week debut.

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It was inspired by nature, the South, the Victorians all wrapped up in a velvet bow with a flair for seventies ease.

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It’s flounces with fierce rather than frivolity – there’s nothing over the top or distracting.

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Each texture, cut, silhouette has a reason.

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It’s totally wearable, totally special, grown up, no-nonsense strength.

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She’s one to watch.

Laters, Kate x

Rachel Comey. Homie.

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Rachel Comey stirs the spirit, lifts the soul and happily shakes it.

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Take her Ready to Wear 2017 collection which she staged, in celebration of 15 years in the business, on the streets of NY in reference to her very first catwalk show.

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How apt: The source of inspiration part of the realism.

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With garments in different shapes and sizes reflecting reality.

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Modelled by real people of all genders, age, figure type yet still sewn together with a signature style.

It’s a gauntlet.

Laters, Kate x

Stunning Storets x

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This is a new label for me: Storets (based in the States, but they do free shipping, even internationally for any purchases over $75) Their USP sings a happy siren song: Interesting fashion with a feminine element that won’t break the bank.

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Prices are roughly $60 – $150..but they look a million dollars – like straight off a red hot catwalk with the cats licking their paws to cool them down.

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The only downside is – and this could be due to the season winding down – when I looked, the only sizes available were small. Maybe that’s how they keep their prices so low..

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I can only hope they expand. In more ways than one.

Laters, Kate x