INA Nolita has an array of nighttime looks and executive pieces, not least of which are deep-hued vintage dresses and skirts.
Leah models a Giuseppe Zanotti sparkle, peep-toe pump with a vintage Herve Leger bondage dress.
Moving into fall, over one shoulder rests a black leather quilted Chanel jacket: an afterthought or staple to any outfit, much like stingray purses.
This season, look for any excuse to resuscitate an old classic: the Manolo Blahnik studded t-strap heel. It is glitzy and youthful, dainty even - a good pair with cuffed denim or this Alaia black wool skirt and tuxedo blouse.
Enough room to hold a phone, select cards, and lipstick, the clutch is a significant buy, without which, evenings would be lost to shuffling through oversized bags. See above: an iridescent skin fold-over by Hayward and below, a Chanel half-moon black leather quilted clutch with attached golden Cs.
All merchandise featured from INA Nolita: vintage red Herve Leger v-neck bondage dress, Giuseppe Zanotti sparkle charcoal peep-toe pump, Chanel black, leather quilted jacket; Alaia fuschia three-quarters dress, Elena Ghisellini calf leather bag with stingray center, Charlotte Olympia black leather pumps with studded gold; Alaia black wool skirt, black Kiki de Montparnasse tuxedo blouse, Manolo Blahnik black leather t-strap pumps with silver studs; J. Mendel silver satin strapless dress, Brian Atwood pink & orange snake, suede strappy pumps, Hayward metallic skin clutch; Chanel red tweed skirt with matching jacket and gold buttons, D & G black lace bustier, Brian Atwood gold patent pumps, Chanel black leather clutch with gold details.
The artillery belt is a fad, while quickly out of style, that returns with panache in some version or another season in, season out. I sold my own artillery belt years ago. It was too harsh, heavy and militaristic, but I turned to the racks to discover its latest resurgence. Below are many belts by Balmain, a designer every season slinging the belt on low hip or high. To be found in INA Noho are a slew of wrestling belts endowed with metal, a method of cinching fallen fabric away from a high waist.
Ina Noho: Dolce & Gabbana lace sheer skirt with Balmain white wrestling belt; Vintage belt with gold drop-link chain; Balmain black metal wrestling belt; Yves Saint Laurent black and green polka dotted suit with Balmain quadruple-buckle and lace-up belt; Ralph Lauren brown suede lace camisole with Balmain quadruple buckle safety pin belt.
Meet our most coveted models this season, Ella, left, and Tess, right. Around Ella's neck is a heart pendant, and looped several times around Tess's wrist - a navy and gunmetal chain - complimentary to each first-day-of-school outfit, carefully laid out the night before.
Is it any coincidence that the beginning of Fall Fashion Week and ready-to-wear fashion shows coincide with the first day of school?
Ella glances back at Tess to see her red, red leather Isabel Marant boots, and Tess, in turn, stops in the presence of Ella's Hermes lamb muff.
Fall toppers include a Comme Des Garcons cropped capelet, modeled by Tess, and above, Ella's Eugenia Kim felt wide-brimmed hat wrapped in a golden chain.
Never too early to think about dancing, and the first school dances - luckily, the choices for evening wear include a Marni lattice-work dress covered in translucent discs, left, and an Alaia pony haired triple buckle belt cinching a velvet Calvin Klein dress, right.
If any fashion look is to be long-lasting, it first must survive the school yard. Suited for the classroom, Tess wears a Theory vest accessorized with over-the-knee Stuart Weitzman boots, and Ella a Stella McCartney blazer, accessorized with a Junya Watanabe and Loewe patchwork purse.
All looks, INA Soho.
Look One: On Ella, Chanel white tweed dress, Eugenia Kim brown wide-brimmed hat, Robert Clergerie patent loafers, Hermes lamb muff, Chanel vintage pearls; On Tess, Elizabeth and James striped t-shirt, Isabel Marant red leather boots, Comme Des Garcons capelet, Laura Ashley velvet beret, and Comme Des Garcons patent purse.
Look Two: On Ella, Marni Spring 2009 evening dress, Walter Steigner white leather loafers, Kotur iPhone case & purse, lavender costume Oscar de La Renta ring; On Tess, Calvin Klein velvet black dress, Alaia pony belt, Louboutin leopard mules, Suno leopard pony-hair purse.
Look Three: On Ella, Steven Alan plaid shirt, Stella McCartney pinstripe blazer, Steven Alan black cashmere hat, Alejandro Ingelmo black and gold sneaker, Junya Watanabe and Loewe purse. On Tess, Louboutin silk scarf with legs in pumps, Theory lamb vest, Stuart Weitzman suede grey boots.
Time is neither here nor there, exiting one season and entering another, necessitating layers. Day wear and night wear exist as separate but morphing entities. A wardrobe of transitional objects begins to be built: linen jackets, cotton hats, and shoes that hint at the warm day trailing off into a colder ending.
Still summer to be sure, a python and shell Alaia sandal summons the heavier skins and furs associated with fall.
The black espadrille is the perfect transitional sandal - an outdoor balcony sandal - black later masking the straw at night.
A plain brimmed hat with a solid band is New York's most ubiquitous accessory, and also the ultimate transitional object from beach culture to pre-fall sport, the Polo match.
All merchandise found in Union Square, from top: Vivienne Westwood rubber slingbacks with gold ball; Ixiah basket-weave top with metallic beaded trim; Alaia python and shell sandals; Polo linen men's blazer; Valentino men's black espadrille; Victor & Rolf pinstripe men's cotton blazer; Raf Simons for Adidas men's sneaker; Comme Des Garcons navy cotton men's brimmed hat.
It is the end of summer in the local neighborhood. Doors are still open, people still taking to the street. Seamus, dressed in a Burberry trench coat and Rag & Bone straw hat, points to the teardrop jewels in Harper's Bazaar, reading pages aloud to the locals who have a permanent residence on the outdoor benches.
The summer never reached its full heat; swimmers meander in and out of the pool, the water nearly past-season for wading. A Sonia Rykiel purple cashmere hat and Pleats Please braided scarf are worn poolside over a Junya Watanabe nautical stripe.
Yet another seasonal pleasure in August - sifting through end-of-season merchandise. Seamus decides between two pairs of sunglasses while astride a bicycle. He trades a Chanel blue-tinted pair of sunglasses for vintage oval lenses. Caught between three summer identities: private detective, diligent shopper, and model, which pair of glasses should it be? And more importantly, a Row box purse, or Marc Jacobs black leather satchel? Or a simple Miu Miu wallet, the receipt still inside?
The final weeks of an up-to-70% markdown sale continue at Union Square, as in all INA locations. "All that glitters is gold," they say, but gold found its setting clutched in matte grey, black leather, and rhinestone, and all significantly reduced.
Side view: Jimmy Choo rhinestone clutch with satin lining.
From the side and above, Gucci black leather clutch with gold leather interior.
Zadig & Voltaire black leather fold-over studded flap purse, opened and closed.
At an angle: Miu Miu crushed metal leather night pouch.
Diagonal view of Donna Karan shell flap leather purse with metal fasteners.