New York State of Mind: Street Style
“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” – François Rabelais
New York. It’s an iconic city; a labyrinth of people and of culture, of yellow taxicabs and high-rises, and of course, beautiful fashion. It oozes youthful ambition and romanticism – a destination for dreamers and for the bold believers; for people who are in the meantime, confined by the limits of their location. They are stranded in a New York state of mind, convicted by their passions, until they can wake their dreams for a reality in the city that never sleeps, until they can embark on the search for a Great Perhaps. For Carrie Bradshaw, that meant becoming a writer, for The City’s Whitney Port it was building a successful career in the fashion industry, and for Miles Halter in John Green’s Looking for Alaska it was simply leaving a place where he was invisible in the hopes that something better awaited him. And the Great Perhaps, and by extension New York is just that, a place of uncertainty and ambiguity, but above all, excitement.
A city so great that it was the subject of Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel’s music. It is New York’s very hopefulness that makes it so infectious; an icon of glamour and escapism, a setting so powerful that it has served as a pseudo character in so many books and television series’. But wherever you are know that New York is a state of mind, a symbol of the plethora of promise the world offers.
The sartorialists and the socialites, the bankers and the businessmen, the attorneys and the artists. New York is a vibrant village of people from all backgrounds who come to the city in search of something, and it is this very collection of difference, this multitude of people that makes the street style in this city so remarkable. John Green theorized that “maybe our favourite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” And the same is true for fashion, just as reading is a collective effort between the writer and the reader, fashion requires a keen eye, an artful taste because people are not merely hangers.
New York City houses the crazy kids – the fiery, confused, and untameable, the ones with an invincible spirit. The ones who fear mediocrity, foolish enough to believe that they must at the very least search for the Great Perhaps – one must attempt to do something remarkable. And even if they don’t quite know what yet, it doesn’t really even matter because they’ve already been tainted by the bright lights, the cigarette scented blues bar in midtown, or the fashion – or maybe it’s a combination. Regardless, it’s too late, New Yorkers are a lost cause. And maybe you don’t understand the appeal, or you know someone who just doesn’t seem to get it. But who cares, New Yorkers aren’t meant to be understood and neither is their style. Because like New Yorkers, the fashion is just as interesting, as eccentric, as remarkable, and as endlessly fascinating.