Fashion Forward: Discovering Big Apple fashion
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 22:04
New York City prides itself on being the city that never sleeps—a statement I can personally vouch for. Once, I stayed up for 24 hours to see it for myself, and the city kept its word quite honorably.
It was two years ago in Times Square when I was on set as a wardrobe assistant for the film “Not Waving But Drowning,” filming our last shot with a crew call from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. As a 19-year-old suburban girl, being thrown into the city alone was the most mortifying and incredible experience I’d ever had. With a MetroCard and map in hand, I was running around from Queens to the Upper West Side, shopping in SoHo, doing fittings in Tribeca and ending up in a random artist’s studio in Williamsburg. While I was “that girl” lugging a suitcase around the subway, I learned the MTA system like the back of my hand. So last weekend, I decided to revisit all my favorite city spots and find some fabulous fashion along the way.
Located right off Bedford Avenue lies Brooklyn’s vintage heaven on earth—Beacon’s Closet. I found the store on a mission to dress a homeless character for the film, but, ironically, I left with an overload of treasures for myself. It was just as I had remembered it—a spacious warehouse filled with dozens of vintage racks, color-coded and perfectly arranged for me to sift through for hours. Every time I go, I’m like a kid in a candy store, wide-eyed and ready to play dress-up with the amazing collection of retro pieces. I’ve scored a black Cynthia Rowley vest, a white Salvatore Ferragamo jacket and an amazing DIY metal-studded vest that could possibly give me tetanus if I’m not careful, but was just too awesome to pass up. Chelsea’s Market and The Brooklyn Flea are also great places to find one-of-a-kind pieces.
The magic of the city’s vintage stores is evident in the new HBO series “Girls,” which depicts a group of 20-something Brooklyn girls trying to find themselves and figure out life. Though the show is not fashion-centric like “Sex in the City,” the clothing translates wonderfully and reflects each of the characters’ personalities. According to “Girls” costume designer Jenn Rogien, she pulled loads of pieces from Beacon’s Closet—all the more reason to love the store.
Heading out of Brooklyn on the L train and into SoHo, some of the more traditional shops appear. Though stores like Forever 21, Zara, H&M and Madewell can be found in Delaware and Pennsylvania, SoHo’s are twice the size, so sales are frequent and inventory is plentiful. Topshop, Uniqlo and All Saints are popular international clothing stores that can’t be found in your local mall. Down at the west end of Bleeker Street past the cool specialty shops and record stores is the Marc Jacobs store, which sells not only his designer pieces but an awesome collection of books and affordable accessories. My favorite is his cute and durable canvas tote that holds their borderline obnoxious yet funny logo—Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs In Collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs.
The most fascinating aspect of New York City is that inspiration can be drawn just by walking around. Art, fashion, culture and creativity thrive on every corner—all you have to do is observe your surroundings. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is my favorite place to just sit and think—from gorgeous European paintings to an amazing collection by The Costume Institute, it’s easy to spend hours getting lost there. Bedford Avenue is like a catwalk in itself, with pedestrian fashionistas strutting down the street in eccentric outfits. Though designer deals and thrift finds are affordable, there’s nothing more invaluable than creativity. My Cynthia Rowley vest—$20. Marc Jacobs canvas tote—$35. Getting inspired by a city that never sleeps—priceless.