Tag Archives: New York City

Oscar de la Renta’s New Exhibit

Yesterday my father and I went to the Queen Sophia Spanish Institute on 69th and Park to see Oscar de la Renta’s Joaquín Sorolla and the Glory of Spanish Dress exhibit, which celebrated not only the spanish dress but its culture and customs through dress. Bridal customs, farming attire, flamenco dancers, and matadors outfits were only some of the exquisitely designed 19th century pieces on display. I have never seen such attention to detail and fabric before. It was a sight to see especially when today’s everyday wear dully consists of jeans and sweaters. The exhibit further cemented in me that our culture today really only exists by cycling and recycling past looks and cultural trends like the mod dress for instance. There is nothing new.  So once again once was old is now new again.Which brings me to my next point. Intertwined with the original spanish outfits were contemporary pieces made by design houses like Oscar de la Renta (who has always found Spanish culture at the root of his inspiration for almost every collection), Balenciaga, Ralph Lauren, Christian LaCroix, Eve Saint Laurent, and of course, Chanel. The dresses were all circa the 2000s.

I could only find two of the looks on display online, but if you have a chance to see the exhibit before it closes on March 10th, it could be neither a waste of time nor money.

Balenciaga Fall 2006

Christian LaCroix Spring 2006

 

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Filed under City Culture, Fashion Fixation, Fashion's Finest

My Fashion Inspiration: My Grandmother

For as long as I can remember, going into the city to see my grandma was always a big ordeal. The morning of, I would be yelling down the hallway for my mom to help me figure out the perfect outfit to wear. Everything had to look perfect. Hair straight, outfit coordinated, and make up flawless to cover every blemish of my adolescent ached face. This primping was not done out of fear about my grandma’s opinions, but out of love. I always wanted to impress the women that has had such a tremendous influence on my style. Well to be honest, also because she hated my curly dark brown hair. She always liked how the sun lightly highlighted my hair a golden brown.

My grandma’s traveled the world as a fast fashion buyer in her forties. She would look at what Bergdorf’s and Barney’s were selling and find ways to replicate designers at a much more affordable price. Besides looking at glamorous clothes all day long, her job came with another perk. She was able to travel to London, Milan, and her favorite city, Paris see what European designers were offering and most importantly what European women were wearing. She’ll now tell you fashion today is a disgrace and is nothing like the elegant clothing of the 1950s and 1960s. I happen to agree.

Her career in and love for fashion has rubbed off on me. As a child I played in her closet with my sister every time we visited. I’d put on her Chanel bag and my sister would frolic around in her Fendi. We’d wear her gaudy earrings and parade around in her Upper West Side apartment in her scarfs and vintage jackets. Well let’s be honest, I’m now 22 and still play in her closet. Its fun being the granddaughter of Beatrice, or B for short.

This year my grandma turned 90. To dinner (at the Cafe Luxemburg where Old Hollywood starlets like Laura Bacall like to grab dinner) my grandma was as stylish as ever. Age does not deter that woman. She wore a tailored vintage Prada jacket with a crisp white blouse, black pants and gold vintage bangles. Her hair was immaculate having just gotten her gray scalp touched up to match her dyed-blond locks. Dark green eye liner complimented her gorgeous green eyes and pink lipstick was the cherry on top of the decadent cake.

I have an immense admiration for my grandma. She’s the cutest, most adorable grandma in the world and I am the luckiest granddaughter on earth. Happy Birthday Grandma, my fashion icon.

The pictures I took at dinner from my blackberry are awful but here she is two weeks earlier having drinks with my mom and her best friend Faith (right).

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Central Park

My Grandma lives at 72nd and Central Park West, next to the Dakota where John Lennon was shot. Her apartment also resides right in front of one of the entrances into NYC’s biggest park, Central Park. I am lucky to have a Grandma who lived in one of the best located apartments in Manhattan. I have great childhood memories. There are three special memories I have of growing up with Central Park as my Grandma’s backyard: the Central Park Zoo, Tavern on the Green, and the Carousel. It wasn’t a bad childhood I can tell you that much. I have the fondest memories of a time when I danced the night away with my sister (we must have been 7 or 8 ) at the historic restaurant, Tavern on the Green. I always loved when she took me to the zoo to watch the polar bears play with their toys. And I thank her for putting up with my sister and I because we’d ride that Carousel until the sun would start to set. 

Now the time spent there is seldom and far in between. As a college student I see my Grandma less and less but when I do, Central Park is one of the places we spend love to spend our time together. However twelve years later, I don’t fit on the Carousel anymore and now I feel sympathy and remorse for the poor polar bears who are stuck within the confinement of their small “playground”.

Now my Grandma can’t walk far distances so my Dad and I do the walking and we meet my lovely little grandmother for something to eat at the end of our stroll. My dad and I walk past Strawberry Field as we normally would and stroll through the park always to the east side to see an exhibit at The Met.

I’ve been in that Park a lot without ever living in Manhattan and I’d like to think I’m pretty familiar with it. But I recently took a stroll with my father who took me to a part of the park I had never seen before, The Ramble, a remote area filled with trees and wild shrubbery. It’s an area of the park not overcrowded by runners, bikers, and rollerbladers.

We walked past the Ramble, over the Bow Bridge, into Cherry Hill and towards the other side of Bethesda Terrace (that of course I have been to.) I had never walked over Bow Bridge before. My dad said a lot of film students come here to film romantic scenes. He says “its the most romantic place in Manhattan.” My first thought wasn’t “oh how nice!” it was “ugh, why is it that I’m in the most romantic part of Manhattan and not with my boyfriend (if I had one!). But I couldn’t deny how beautiful the site was even though I was with my father and not a boy; it was honestly breathtaking.

I forgot what the name of the bridge was called when I got home so I took the liberty of looking up bridges in Central Park and Google sent me to the official central park website “Things To See” page. It was here, while flipping through the 28 pages of things to see in Central Park, that I realized despite the hundreds of times I’ve walked through Central Park and regardless of the many memories I have being in that park, I know little about the park I’ve grown up in.

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