A life animated by a few simple words – not hard to find in INA Chelsea. As if a character in a film traveling cross country, sorting through her suitcase, our model wears t-shirt upon t-shirt displaying text, ones custom made or found, and hyperbolic, her texts exaggerate her. Today, another day below freezing, layer words upon words for warmth: our model wears eight phrases over one black fringed tutu.
From top: Zadig & Voltaire heathered grey, wool "Justin" tank; Jean Paul Gaultier "Amour Soleil" striped mesh tank; Angelee Parlange vest with gold penmanship; Jean Paul Gaultier white sweater embroidered with sequins; men's Marc by Marc Jacobs "Sugar Daddy" t-shirt; anonymous "Homophobes Are Gay" t-shirt; men's No/One white cotton t-shirt; men's Tourne de Transmission charcoal sweatshirt.
Scrounging around, digging to the bottom of the closet, in my belongings I find a wrinkled trench coat, a packet of bobby pins lost between the luggage and a floral cushion, an envelope of tickets, straw slippers. On the hunt for pieces of last spring's clothing to newly incorporate this spring, or even poorly disguise for re-use, these bits and pieces of discarded fabric and ornament quickly become headlong obsessions. Spring flings, with a few hopes and demands looking forward – this is my shortlist for the season ahead.
A Rapunzel braid embroidered on cloth like rope
Fringe shrouding a face, or a leg - as found on a pair of shredded jeans, or here, on the cusp of a turban
A reintroduction of the straight jacket, thickly banded ties bowed
A strand of heavy-handed resin over simple cotton
Thimble-shaped accessories, such as studs, cufflinks, buttons - with rhinestone composition
A woman or man's open vest - the vest usually worn with a three piece suit, worn alone, this time with cuffed denim. I want the vest to have a silk back.
And a putrid orange. Imagine the color of uniforms and goal posts, protective equipment, sports teams.
Above: Royal Gypsy teal & off-white embroidered dress, Noho; Dries Van Noten floral, cotton scarf tied into turban, Soho; Prada full length jacket with tie closures, Soho; Nicole Farhi necklace with geometric resin pieces, Soho; Eddie Borgo earrings with yellow gold and rhinestone, Noho; Dolce & Gabbana black men's tuxedo vest, Noho; Hermes silk scarf, Noho.
Glimpsed through a pair of KBL eyeglasses are the first signs of spring - wanderlust, outdoor games, and garden party intrigue:
Tugging on a Ferragamo scarf in surprise, the player moves geometric Bakelite earrings in the park, the backgammon pieces none other than Chanel pearl-encircled & Hermes navy leather clip ons.
Further into the park stands a sun worshiper. Poised with tennis racket in mid-serve, Prism cat eye sunglasses shield the player from the real opponent - opulent rays.
Hermes, no fashion dilettante, crafts a trench coat to suit tortoise framed spectacles, a fit compliment for an angular face.
Delirious with spring fever, it becomes a brief fantasy to move into an Upper East Side apartment overlooking the melting Central Park ice skating rink.
But then, when would one run in metallic flats to a garden party across a Soho tennis court?
All merchandise found in INA Soho, from top (items not previously cited above): anonymous velvet beret, KBL black framed spectacles; Karl Lagerfeld burgundy jacket with tails, Linda Farrow snakeskin armed sunglasses, Perrin green crocodile satchel purse; Chanel corset worn over a YSL purple jersey tank; Ann Demeulemeester white blouse & KBL tortoise framed eyeglasses; Erickson Beamon gold and gunmetal dangle earring; Vintage silk floral dress with side slits, Repetto lavender ballet flats, Prada kelly green purse with double inside zippers.
The glass slipper is emblematic of Cinderella's story. The shoe that does not fit is always the most coveted shoe, whether in the form of Giambattista Valli or in the form of crystal clear glass.
Left to sort lentils in the fireplace, in the Grimm version of the fairy tale, Cinderella is visited by two white pigeons. The pigeons find her alone in her work clothes: a pair of Marc Jacobs work boots, Marni leather vest adorned in an assemblage of patchwork pins, and lace-up Vena Cava house shoes.
"Peck peck peck", the pigeons ask Cinderella, "do you want us to help sort the lentils?" She turns, surprised to hear pigeons speaking.
After sorting the bad lentils from the good, splendid garments fall from the sky: one Oscar de la Renta bejeweled clutch with satin backing and an Aurelie Bidermann necklace hung with a gold plated horn.
Cinderella departs for the ball in the most unexpected fashion - in a carriage destined for the fate of a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight. At the magic ball, the prince awaits in conspicuous form, wearing a House of Adonis and Aphrodite bow tie and Diesel chain link watch.
As the story goes, Cinderella flees the ball at midnight, leaving a glass slipper behind in her frenzy.
The next day, the prince arrives at Cinderella's stoop in a horse drawn carriage to find his princess covered in ash. He carries her slipper in a Carols Falchi suede pouch.
"You! You are my 'glass slipper'!" the prince exclaims, slipping the pump onto the maid's foot, and meanwhile tossing his Celine scarf over his shoulder.
All men's and women's merchandise found in INA Noho.
Kicking back her red velvet Lanvin heel, Daniela tries on a vintage lace dress for size. To the left, Squirrel borrows Junya Watanabe suspender overalls in an uncharacteristically masculine look, topped off in a Rag & Bone hat with a touch of Indiana Jones.
"Who's that girl?" Daniela models a Karl Lagerfeld silk turtleneck dress.
Don't look twice. That's Squirrelly Milhorn in a rarely seen tuxedo skirt suit: blazer by Givenchy, YSL satin vest & white undershirt, YSL gold chain loafer pumps.
Peeking from the changing room in her Balenciaga kimono, Daniela checks out Squirrel's "school days" outfit - that is, the school of Comme Des Garcons.
As it turns out, it's harder to be a boy than we thought. At the end of the day, Squirrel swings her Myriam Schaefer briefcase in style, meanwhile vowing to find a dirty gin martini and her pumps, in exchange for one pair of gold metal-plated YSL loafers.
Along the apartment floor were strewn clues of the woman, her hair long with a beginning part in the center. Accustomed to nights at home, she disappeared onto the sunny street, a preamble to an uncharacteristic night out. On a table lay an open book with a photograph of modern belongings: a suitcase, an umbrella outdoors on the ground near water.
Her clothes were in the style of the 70s, for which she gushed.
The slender, long-legged beauty wore her blonde hair down over a leather jacket with long, pointed collar - a striking contrast.
I saw the wooden beaded necklace, the beads, rod-like. Further outside of the room, there was her bracelet, in coordination with her necklace.
The last sign of the woman was a chunky wedge mule with an open toe. Then I saw her other mule on its side, on the floor by the bed, underneath it to an extent.
Perhaps before leaving, she pulled on again her bird-emblazoned coat and her black boots, put the red hat on her long white blond hair and took a handbag.
Featured items, remaining as part of the end-of-season sale: Roberto Cavalli silver silk gown with sequined trim, finished with a ruffle (INA Nolita); Margiela men's two-toned vintage leather vest (INA Chelsea); Givenchy fabric covered platform with ankle wrap (INA Soho); Givenchy printed silk dress with affixed plastic darts (INA Nolita); Comme Des Garcons women's black leather boot with ruffle circumference (INA Chelsea); Jean Paul Gaultier men's full length wool coat with yarn embroidered bird (INA Chelsea); Theysken's Theory multi-colored women's pants (INA Chelsea).