Fashion, Icons, And Inspiration In New York

A Day With Icons

Dior New Look Dress

Yesterday I was up and out the door early to catch the last day of the “Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” exhibit at The Met. I’ll be writing more about this exhibit and its impact on me in detail soon. It was phenomenal! I’m glad I arrived early, as the crowds began to thicken quickly. I was able to get up close and capture some of the details on the incredible haute couture pieces on display. I never purchase exhibit catalogs, but forked over the $50 for this one as I really want learn more about these pieces and processes in depth.

Above, Dior’s “Bar Dress” that launched the New Look.

Below: Fortuny pleated gowns, and a detail.

Fortuny pleated gowns

details of Fortuny gown

After finishing with this exhibit, I spent a couple of hours wandering the European painting section of the museum, which included some iconic Goya, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Breughels, and Turner pieces, to name just a few. I find myself most drawn to portraits these days, and love examining not only what is conveyed with the subject’s pose and expression, but also the details of costume and surroundings. If I had a few more days here, I’d definitely spend at least one of them exploring more of this amazing museum.

Bryant Park 42nd and 6th

In the afternoon, I met up with another icon, Lyn of Accidental Icon! We’ve exchanged emails a few times over the last year, and I’ve been so inspired by her style and approach to fashion. We met for coffee here in Bryant Park, and sat and talked for over two hours. She’s just as delightful, intelligent, stylish and thoughtful as you’d imagine from her blog. I wish we’d had more time!

And on a wardrobe note, I’ve been wearing my stretch crepe slim ankle pants almost non-stop. The weather has been all over the place temperature-wise (mostly warmer) and they’ve been comfortable and feel polished enough even for meeting friends for cocktails and dinner.

I have a couple of days in town still, and lots more adventures planned. What’s your favorite New York spot?


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  1. September 6, 2016 / 5:26 am

    MOMA! I love that museum…. but pretty much any place in New York or Long Island City is fine by me. I’m so happy you go to see the Manus X Machina exhibit; it appears to be gorgeous!

  2. September 6, 2016 / 6:24 am

    The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminus. You must go!!! Be dressed up. No jeans or sneakers allowed. That’s like catnip to you, isn’t it?
    Did you see the movie “Dior and I” about Raf Simons at the helm of Dior? He goes back to the Bar dress. So interesting.
    And when I see Fortuny I think of Proust and “Remembrances of Things Past.” He was obsessed with gowns. For another movie, see “Time Regained,” with Catherine Deneuve as Proust’s main character, Odette, and Emmanuelle Béart as Proust’s crush and Odette’s daughter (and what a resemblance!!!), and even Deneuve’s real daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, as a later crush. All in Fortuny….

    • Francoise
      September 6, 2016 / 7:11 am

      Just read that the Campbell Apartment has closed but will reopen with new owner and more casual dress code. Hope they don’t mess with the decor. It looks so interesting in its present state.

  3. Honey Bee
    September 6, 2016 / 6:50 am

    My favourite place was the Frick Museum. How great that you got to see that magnificent exhibition at the Met! Hope to get to the Met on my next visit.

    Honey Bee

  4. stylecrone
    September 6, 2016 / 7:08 am

    How wonderful to see you enjoying the thrill of NYC! Fabulous photos!

  5. Meg
    September 6, 2016 / 7:12 am

    I took my daughter to see Punk- From Chaos to Couture at the Met Museum a few years ago, it was stupendous. She has a framed poster from that show in her apartment now. We did a great deal of museums that trip, enjoying them all, from MOMA to the Met to the Ground Zero park. There is a tiny little restaurant across the street from the MOMA 54th street door, called Mozzarella and Vino- a great place for a delicious lunch or light dinner. And it so happens to be less than a block from the Manolo Blahnik store.

  6. MJ
    September 6, 2016 / 7:14 am

    MOMA and the Campbell Apartment are excellent suggestions. I’d add the Neue Galerie, with the highlights being the magnificent Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer (aka the Woman in Gold), and the coffee house. But it’s closed today. You can also just stroll up Park Avenue in Midtown, looking at the sculptures in the median and the fountain at the Seagram Building. Enjoy the city!

  7. September 6, 2016 / 7:49 am

    Oh, exhibition catalogues are my downfall — I couldn’t have resisted that either! There’s nothing like seeing these haute couture garments up close for yourself, but to bring the details back to mind, the catalogue photographs are so satisfying. What a marvellous time you’re having and you’re still managing these lively posts so that we can enjoy New York as well. Thank you!

  8. Cathy D.
    September 6, 2016 / 8:27 am

    My favorite museum in NYC is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka the Met). I’ve been a member since 1980. I also adore the Frick Collection for its intimate atmosphere, glorious art and feeling of early 20th century opulence. You should visit it if you possibly can.

  9. September 6, 2016 / 8:30 am

    A walk on the Highline and a walk across the Brooklyn bridge are always on my list — both wonderful ways to admire the city. Also the Brooklyn Museum has Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party on permanent display; it’s a celebration by unique table settings, of women in history and well worth seeing.

  10. Deborah Lindsay
    September 6, 2016 / 8:32 am

    One of my favorite shopping spots is Liberty House, on the edge of the Columbia campus. I discovered it when I was attending seminary. Wonderful stylish flowy clothes in linen, bamboo and other great fabrics. I love that place! On graduation day, friends and family from all over went there after the ceremony!

  11. nell
    September 6, 2016 / 9:31 am

    I never tire of Fortuny dresses. They are a marvel. If I am remembering right, Mary McFadden actually has some and wears them in real life. Thanks for the up close photos.

  12. nell
    September 6, 2016 / 9:35 am

    Or maybe she just designs them in the Fortuny pleated style? Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

  13. Catbird Farm
    September 6, 2016 / 10:11 am

    Another vote for the Frick. Also Strand Books, Balthazar, ABC Carpet & Home, Union Square Market . . .

  14. Katie
    September 6, 2016 / 10:35 am

    The High Line for sure. It is beautiful regardless of the season. AND it’s near Diane Von Furstenburg, Stella McCartney and other showrooms. Fun!

  15. Kellee
    September 6, 2016 / 11:21 am

    I love the Highline and Chelsea Market. People watching in Central Park and the Strand bookstore! Love NYC!

  16. Sandra
    September 6, 2016 / 11:55 am

    A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge is a delight and the views are wonderful. I agree with the previous poster who recommended Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie. Paola’s is a wonderful Italian restaurant on the upper East Side.

  17. Judith Murdoch
    September 6, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    Many years ago I visited a friend living in the upper East side (70th & 2nd). I liked how quiet it was. It felt residential while at the same time, there were quirky little shops nearby, good restaurants, etc. It was nice to visit stores and museums then return to this quiet little neighborhood. It was like being able to decompress after being in busier, higher energy parts of the city.

    I love your park photo btw, Susan. You look beautiful!

    • Susan B
      September 6, 2016 / 12:49 pm

      Thanks very much, Judith!

  18. LizK
    September 6, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    This was such a fabulous exhibit!

  19. Kristien
    September 6, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    Fifth Ave at Christmas has my vote. Although the crowds are enormous, the storefronts are magical. One year Saks was covered with giant snowflakes created by light. It has been a few years and I only live 4 hrs. away. Time to return.

  20. Nicole
    September 7, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    Love New York and echo many of the faves noted here. I have the most nostalgia for the years I travelled to New York twice a year and got to stay at The Sherry Netherland Hotel. It’s a residence also, so we ran into people like Charlie Rose. Doormen, elevator operators and dinners at Cipriani’s-could pretend to be a real New Yorker for a week!

  21. AnneElise
    September 9, 2016 / 7:13 am

    Another vote for the Frick. Worth it for the Fragonard room alone. And the Carnegie Deli on W 57th might be a cliche, but it’s fun and tasty too.

  22. September 10, 2016 / 7:15 am

    Like you, I am such a California and Southwest girl, with some time in the Midwest too. New York is a mystery to me that draws my interest endlessly. I am trying not to be jealous of your amazing trip. Seeing the exhibit, and then other things at the Met. . .and meeting Lyn! Wow. In my whole life, I’ve only had two very brief trips to NY, one for a family wedding, and one for a conference. Less than a week of time total. One day, I really do hope to go back. I’ll use your trip as one of my inspirations.

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