There is a special kind of excitement and anxiety associated with selecting an outfit (or rather, an entire suitcase full of them) when your intention is to impress. For me this usually involves playing “dress-ups” or a mock fashion parade of mixing and matching, experimentation and accessorising that one of my girlfriends must dutifully endure (okay, okay, they love it!). Never have I deliberated, packed and repacked so much as in the lead up to my first journey to New York. I was so determined to impress that city and have it reciprocate my affection that this process consumed me in the preceding days...and weeks!
As a die-hard Sex and the City fan and recently addicted slave to Gossip Girl, I held certain expectations of the competition I would have in my bid to win the city’s heart as I pounded the pavement on Madison and 5th, Park and 7th avenues. Surely passing arms would swing a sea of Speedy’s, Spy’s and Paddington’s, slender frames would be swathed in couture from Alexander McQueen to Zac Posen and skyscraper high Loubs and Choos would become passé. While I pride myself on a wardrobe of old faithfuls and a handful of high streets, dotted with designers and a few vintage treasures, I felt completely out of my league at the prospect of walking alongside the Carrie’s and Blair’s, Serena’s and Samantha’s...but I discovered my concerns were entirely erroneous.
My first lesson came as I touched down in NYC...and my luggage did not. Assured that it would arrive by the next evening I was faced with the prospect of meeting my lover (New York that is) in my cattle-class creased clothes and simple sandals. My obvious instinct was to immediately fork over for some fabulous threads. After all, I usually happily raid the racks without any such valid reason. But whether it was my fear of being refused entry to any desirable shops in my aircraft attire (nightclub bouncer style) or my blind stubbornness, I decided I would cope. A quick detour to Victoria’s Secret was a non-negotiable (mental note...Mother was right...always carry a spare set of smalls!) before we reached the TriBeCa loft we would call ‘home’ for the next ten days. As my partner sourced emergency caffeine fixes, I managed to turn my tired dress, some safety pins, one of his business shirts and some makeshift accessories into what I believed to be a pretty damn hot little outfit. So, it was not the first date with the city I had dreamed of, but more a ‘like me or leave me’ encounter. [to be continued]