Thawing concrete aside, I draw on the dead of winter for wardrobe cues. Furs are worn in combination with gowns, velvet eyelet lace in combination with motorcycle boots, and stomach-baring vests atop leather leggings.
A Sophia Kokosalaki rose silk gown hovers above the frozen sidewalk. And as spiritual insulation, Dolce & Gabbana heels are bound into place with metallic leather stars.
Marc Jacobs blush mohair grazes a grey lamb vest by Chloe worn underneath, and in hand, a vintage leopard hat. Fur on top of fur on top of fur.
Slung alongside this Erdem velvet lace dress, a pair of patent Louis Vuitton Mary Janes wait to displace the street weary motorcycle boots. All black attire is nevertheless backless, letting skin show through in contrast.
All merchandise found in INA Soho, from top: Hermes charcoal beret, Alaia faux fur jacket, Sophia Kokosalaki mauve silk dress, Dolce & Gabbana black suede heels with gold and silver stars, Fendi petal pink and coral sequined flower clutch with periwinkle tulle; Marc Jacobs mohair coat, Chloe grey fur vest, Alexander Wang leather trousers, Chanel grey flannel with black patent capped toe pumps, leopard vintage hat; Erdem velvet black lace dress, Lucky motorcycle boots, patent leather and silver capped toe Louis Vuitton Mary Janes, black leather clutch with black patent bow detail.
Ever wonder how to wear a velvet blazer? I heard one man ask another, "What do I wear with navy blue velvet?" and the advice, "a blue shirt of the same color" sparked this blog post featuring monochromatic men's looks - four velvet blazers, below in four variations: solid black, solid brown, solid blue, solid cream.
All men's merchandise INA Union Square: Balenciaga black dress shirt, cowboy boots, Kroon corduroy and velvet blazer, Gucci linen and embroidered pant; Etro velvet chocolate blazer, Jil Sander corduroy shirt, Ralph Lauren Purple label pant, Bergdorf leather oxford boot; Valentino navy blue velvet blazer, Woolrich cream & blue plaid wool scarf, Ted Baker navy shirt, Voradi sunglasses, MySuit suede pant, Diesel blue suede boot; Prada cream cotton velvet blazer, Prada cream button-down, Rag & Bone white jeans, Pierre Hardy distressed leather boot, Goorinbros tan felt hat, Scotch & Soda leather gloves.
As I often say in the store to customers, during our fall and winter seasons, "this and that outfit look very English Countryside," by which I mean to indicate an array of plaids, pleats, brimmed hats, button-up shirts underneath three button cardigans, laced oxfords or riding boots. If every trend has its season, then English Countryside takes its place in the colder months when layers necessitate a peeking-through check stripe.
All merchandise INA Chelsea: Dries Van Noten silk, men's striped maroon scarf; men's Ann Demeulemeester navy, wool long vest, Dolce and Gabbana white button-down with gray circle print, Burberry brown leather strap cotton hat; women's vintage striped fur coat, Miu Miu pleated plaid charcoal skirt, Bottega Veneta tan, cotton and lace shirt, Piazza Sempione burnt orange suede heeled loafer; Adrienne Landau fox vest, Steven Alan wool plaid long-sleeved shirt, ALC olive miniskirt, Manolo Blahnik chocolate heeled ankle boot, Louis Vuitton monogrammed backpack; men's Burberry navy & white hearts button-down shirt, Hermes leather gloves, Tommy Hilfiger navy velvet hat, Rag and Bone cashmere blazer.
Every year is a chance to start again, with New Year's Eve as the aging year's crowning moment, nostalgically setting the tone to come. In addition to an endless selection of sequined numbers, INA has an understated wardrobe to offer for New Year's Eve, with INA Men housing both men and women's suited looks, glancing back to a most memorable moment of 2014 on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival when celebrity women overwhelmed the carpet in tuxedos.
All looks from INA Men: Saint Laurent wool black coat with velvet collar, Dior pants with white stripe, Christian Dior belt, Jimmy Choo shearling loafers, Emporio Armani button-down tuxedo shirt, Cor Sine Labe Doli ceramic bow tie, Hermes black leather gloves, silk polka dotted scarf; Saint Laurent metallic gunmetal blazer, Match Play Adidas black sneakers; Givenchy dress shirt with star collar, vintage bronze bracelet with pearls; Margiela tan sweater vest, Christian Dior grey cashmere men's coat, Thom Browne wool gray pant, Saint Laurent metallic leopard loafer.
Larger than any year previous, this year's INA Holiday party included the employees of our six stores, most recently Union Square. And Giorgione, Italian restaurant on Spring, hosted us for a third year, passing wood fired pizza all around between orders of lamb chops and linguine with clams. Thanks this year to Gina, employee at INA Union Square, for bringing her Instamax camera - all polaroid pictures are courtesy of Gina, who turned party guests at ease, catching them with a certain aplomb.
Dancing until the end, Giorgione closed as the last party goers were still mid-movement.
This year at the INA Holiday party, an all black attire held reign, with only a couple in white tuxedo jackets.
... and a couple more in grey stripe.
Tricks and treats abounded as anyone may imagine.
But who needs anything else, when you can just dance a tango?
From day to day, I read a book on the train entering and returning from the city. Usually I read a book set around a fictional character, although this month it is Christian Dior's autobiography: Dior by Dior. The book details the life of a humble man designing a fashion line, and without an explicit aim to do so, winning an Oscar in Dallas, Texas with his first-ever collection called The New Look, designed at the age of forty.
He at times modeled his lines after French monuments, once, the Eiffel Tower and the Cupola. He says, on designing, "I was always searching to alter the general attraction of woman and enliven her silhouette. The material ought to live on her shoulders, and her figure live beneath the material."
With Dior as our inspiration, below are a number of cold weathered shoulders found in INA Noho.
All Items located in INA Noho, from top: KittinHawk leather shoulder pads; R13 leather, fur lined and khaki vest; Torn sweatshirt with metallic shoulder; Torn cable knit sweater with fringe shoulders; Skingraft leather shirt with transparent striped shoulder; Burberry men's cream sweater with epaulette; Iro black jacket with leather shoulder; A Detacher gray dress with one exaggerated, blousing shoulder.