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the {faux} new yorker.

30 June 2009

an  a s i d e : I absolutely adore how Miroslava Duma wore the iconic I ♥ NY hoodie.

{a guest post written for The Anthology}

Sometimes I wonder why we get dressed in the morning.

Aside from decency’s sake, of course. Clothing is one of humankind’s basic needs – a bare necessity, so to speak – worn for modesty (at least for some of us), for warmth, and for self protection from the nakedness of vulnerability. Yet through the something thousand years of centuries past, clothing has become more than just a source of shelter for ourselves; instead, it has evolved into a distinctive reflection of ourselves, as individuals, and citizens of a community and its culture. Specific regions are now associated with a unique look, representing a nation, a city, a culture.

And among the list of the most prominent is the highly coveted, effortless, but inimitably coquettish look of the Parisian women. Surely we all fantasize dressing as such a woman, but the Parisian coquettes and likes of Clemence Poesy and Carine Roifeld can limit ourselves from the braver of fashions. Take New York, for example. The perfect juxtaposition of the punk-neon-bright and without inhibitions and subtle sophistication and sexiness of Paris.  Of course this is all in my personal opinion; conclusions I’ve made based upon visits to both cities and endless (yes, endless) hours spent on streetstyle blogs. My disclaimer is but the usual: I am no expert of fashion, merely a seventeen year old girl who muses and mulls over fashion. And loves it.

Excuse my digressive tendencies, and back onto the original topic of New York. The fashions in it exhibit a great mix of who women are; yes, there are excessive amounts of black-clad pedestrians (I myself, a non-New Yorker, am guilty as charged) rushing about the sidewalks. Yet another generalization I’ve made about city-wide dressing, but the dominance of black cannot be ignored. The color is iconic, symbolic of the seriousness of Wall Street, the practicality of the bustling commuters, of the timelessness of classicality in the city, and a hint of dark but demure sexiness. The excessive amounts of black also make it much easier to imitate; the basics include, but are not limited to: patent pumps, strappy heels, opaque tights, little black dresses, pencil skirts, blazers, double breasted wool coats… 

At the same time it seems as if New Yorkers are less inhibited, even if black seems to be omnipresent, and their clothing seems to mirror the corporate nature of Wall Street with the prevalence of menswear-inspired fashions. Embracing trends – the punk-rock inspired women who still look so sophisticated, the grunge-chic, the everything that has potential to look crazy but made chic. Women aren’t afraid to experiment, to stray from the “norm” of societal dressing: a bit more liner than usual, brighter lips, a vintage piece, etc. So long as a bit of that black is incorporated into the ensemble to tone down any of its crazier elements: a black coat, blazer, opaque tights, pumps, the likes.

And what makes these New Yorkers subtlety yet entirely different from the Parisians and Londoners and all other major cities is that those who are tourists of NYC say women are much more “put together”. For better or for worse, really. Parisian women embrace the au naturel face and slightly disheveled hair approach with beauty products. Londoners have no fear in trying the latest and wildest of fashions and beauty looks. But those of New York City always look perfectly done: flawlessly coiffed hair, blown out or curled without a frizz, French manicured nails, with an entire ritual of morning makeup.

One last touch of lipstick, gloss, and mascara. A loose tank tucked into skinny jeans, with a satin-trimmed blazer (black, of course) and black patent pumps. I grab the black Balenciaga motorcycle bag I’ve filched perpetually for myself from dearest mother and run out the door.

I get some looks, both in admiration (or so I hope) and quizzical glances. Do I dress too pretentious for my age and for New Jerseyans? Perhaps. Perhaps if I were to someday live in New York City I’d fit in without a second glance.

Perhaps. 

bisous,

La C.

P.S.: Thank you, Fem of Hearts Bows Kisses for passing to me the “One Lovely Blog” Award!

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67 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 June 2009 5:44 pm

    i want that hoodie!
    its so coool! 🙂 xx

  2. 30 June 2009 5:49 pm

    I love those hoodies! They’re cute.
    And you wrote a nice article!

  3. 30 June 2009 6:04 pm

    I love how hoodies are usually worn on “bad hair days” yet hers is blown out to perfection. Wonderful juxtaposing. 😉

    x

  4. thebaglady permalink
    30 June 2009 6:43 pm

    Wow.

    LC, dear, this is definitely one of THE best articles you’ve written thus far. I love that “voice” you have when you write. So intelligent, fun, a bit coquettish, but still modest.

    I have a virtual girl crush on you?!

    P.S.: Hope that orientation went well !

    • 30 June 2009 6:49 pm

      thebaglady: Awww thank you so, so much! Reading your comments always make me smile (: And the orientation went pretty well – it was just so drab!

      the fashion inquisitor: Thank you, darling!

  5. thebaglady permalink
    30 June 2009 6:43 pm

    P.P.S.: Congratulations on the award! You deserve it!

  6. 30 June 2009 6:46 pm

    I absolutely love this post and your insights. I love your comparisons and how different styles from New York, Paris, and etc are so distinguishable. I am in love with your writing =]

  7. Airam permalink
    30 June 2009 6:59 pm

    I agree with thebaglady, this is one of yourbest posts ever (and I pride myself in having read the majority of your blog, so I’m not just saying it to be nice or polite). Not only is the content and your opinions a great read, but it feels like it’s an actual person writing this; someone with a voice that is rather original and also rather adorable. Keep up the great work, darling!

    • 30 June 2009 7:00 pm

      Airam: Thank you so much! It means the most to me when you say that because I do know you’ve read most of my posts (:

      Zoe: Perhaps we’ll see each other in our black blazers (;

      bisous!

  8. 30 June 2009 7:43 pm

    nice new set up here, it seems like it got changes around a bit.
    i loved reading this entry.
    i’m hoping to go to new york next year for a trip. i only went there when i was little and don’t really remember it. when i go i’m going to try to get as much out of new york as possible. even though you are a jersey girl, maybe i’ll see you by chance. look for the girl with a black blazer and i’ll look for you in your black blazer!
    ha ha, as if we’d be the only two people wearing black blazers.

  9. 30 June 2009 9:03 pm

    What a brilliant article, La C! Not living anywhere close to LA, NYC, London or Paris, I am a faux (insert all the above), but that’s the fun in dressing up, you can dress on how/who you want to be, or the person you want to project, so WOO HOO to dressing ‘pretentious for your age and for New Jerseyans’ (I mean that in a nice way ;))
    xx
    CC

  10. 30 June 2009 9:09 pm

    Oh the effortlessly put together appearance of the New Yorker. you also find that with the model-off-duty style. It’s amazingly done, and NYCers do it practically naturally. keep dreaming, girlie. See you in the city, someday? lol

    xoxo Mo

  11. 30 June 2009 9:10 pm

    Great post. I love that photo.

  12. 30 June 2009 9:23 pm

    wonderful writing, my dear. congrats on the award and the guest post of course.
    i wait for the day when you’re officially a new yorker too :]

  13. 30 June 2009 10:52 pm

    This is fabulous; I love it. And that picture is to-die-for. And the new layout? J’adore! 🙂

  14. 30 June 2009 10:53 pm

    Honey, you have it down. I heart NY, and love Paris style as well. You write so well. Love it.

    http://www.FabBrunette.com

  15. 30 June 2009 10:55 pm

    Ah, that is exactly how i feel (excepy I’m not even from new york)! Brilliant piece of writing, it flows so well!
    XOXOXO
    Libby
    http://fashionconfectionairy.weebly.com

    • 30 June 2009 11:00 pm

      Libby: I’m just a Jersey girl (; And thank you so much! You’re the sweetest!

      Margarita: Thank you, darling!

      Cafe Fashionista: Merci beaucoup (: I wanted to change it up a bit!

  16. 1 July 2009 12:11 am

    i’ve been told i dress like i’m “from NY,” and i’ve always taken that to be a compliment. now if i can only dress like a Parisian! while those women may look “au naturale,” there is a certain classic sophistication that exudes from that disheveled hair and seemingly hapless layering. i can’t put my finger on it, but those women are SO good at it.

    and thanks for the comment!

  17. 1 July 2009 4:21 am

    This is sucha great post! I’ve always wanted to hear your opinions on how women in those cities dressed! I think after reading your thoughts, I think I’d fit in better with French women since I don’t like to wear makeup and like my hair to be a little messy. But to me, it seems like French women have this effortless way of dressing that they look good and chic whatever they put on. It must be their confidence and attitude. xxoxoxoxxo

  18. 1 July 2009 4:49 am

    Fabulous post, really interesting.
    I understand what you mean about dressing differently to your area. For me it is hard. I have grown up with a European family and that style has been bred into me, I still live a very European lifestlye compared to that here in Australia. Now I am 15 I dress completely different to this girls here my age. But back home In Europe I just fit in with a different edge of travel.

    xx

  19. 1 July 2009 4:58 am

    what a great look, and i love your piece!

  20. 1 July 2009 5:14 am

    joli site et manière intéressante de glisser des mots français dans tes textes.

  21. 1 July 2009 5:22 am

    just read the explanation about your name : very clever and creative. Tu as tout à fait raison sur le sens des mots “couturier” et “couturière”. Et “la couturier” sonne bien en Français. Un peu décalé, un peu sexy, mélange des genres, un peu comme un pantalon (chanel) sur une femme, ou un tailleur (ysl). bises de Paris.

  22. 1 July 2009 5:37 am

    she’s so cute!~!

  23. 1 July 2009 6:37 am

    Thanks so much for writing this beautiful guest post for the Anthology!

    Je l’aime!

    Kelsey

  24. 1 July 2009 7:13 am

    Living in NJ myself, I can say, it isn’t too pretentious for some areas. Some areas are all about the P.~Mary

  25. 1 July 2009 7:40 am

    Great post, you write very well, especially for your age! (I didn’t know you were only 17). I would love to go to New York some time, as I am living in one of the most unfashionable countries of the world.

    • 1 July 2009 7:45 am

      Iris: Thank you sooo much, darling! I actually revealed my age in this post, in which [nearly] everyone was surprised! You really should visit New York City one day; it is such a lovely place!

      The Anthology: No problem! (: I had so much fun writing it! Thank you for giving me that opportunity!

      la flore et la faune: Merci beaucoup! J’ai essayé d’être créatif dans le choix d’un nom pour mon “blog”; je suis tellement heureuse que vous comprenez! Merci, merci! (I am so sorry, my French is quite horrific!)

      bisous!

  26. 1 July 2009 8:57 am

    stopping by to say hi! Love the post and lovely pic too!
    xoxo
    Iole

  27. 1 July 2009 9:20 am

    Love the aviators with that hoodie!!

  28. 1 July 2009 10:08 am

    Lovely! I enjoyed reading this alot! Blah I know how you feel about dressing too sophisticated for New Jersey (actually I’m just an hour or two away in Pennsylvania!!), as I feel I dress too differently for my high school. Blahh to the hallways where jeans, graphic tees, and overly flat ironed hair rule =( At least some people get it.

    • 1 July 2009 10:20 am

      S. Elisabeth: Thank you, darling! That sounds exactly like my high school, lol! Of course I do succumb to that tee-jeans ensemble when I’m exhausted, but I do attempt to dress it up with a pair of boots or pumps! The ironed hair – ah yes, I know!

      bisous, darling!

  29. 1 July 2009 10:18 am

    I love that hoodie with Chanel sac…Haha!

    XoXo

  30. 1 July 2009 11:26 am

    I really like this post! I never put my finger on what identifies new yorkers, but this sounds like it. It makes me want to live there so bad! If only it were a bit warmer…

  31. 1 July 2009 11:28 am

    Beautifully written article, darling! Well done!

    xoxox,
    CC

  32. 1 July 2009 11:59 am

    Woo, great idea to have guest bloggers !! Especially when the articles are such fascinating and well written, congrats !

  33. 1 July 2009 1:06 pm

    bonjour La Lovely!
    it’s been ages and ages since i last popped by, but your articles are as beautiful and true as ever ♥

    hope you are doing well! 😉

  34. 1 July 2009 2:07 pm

    the girl looks so casual lovely, totally effortless. i think it’s important to get dress for one sake in the morning and find what looks good and not just following fashion blindly. visiting paris, women were are all elegant but almost effortless. NYC women, on the other hand, were more artifical for some reason.

  35. 1 July 2009 2:30 pm

    Rereading this I realized it’s YOUR article… of course ! So sorry for the gaffe xD.
    And I forgot to say before, I feel like the only city ‘ comparable ‘ to New-York is Rome. Everyone – not the tourists, ça va sans dire – is ‘ put together’ even if very modest… AND it’s still joyful and expressing.
    So of course I have fun wandering in Paris in Berlin, but I am a Roman in the hearth and in the style, I guess… and I totally understand that N-Y feeling ! I already miss that by the way !

    • 1 July 2009 2:42 pm

      rossovelvet: It’s quite alright! (: Yes, yes! I love the fashions in Rome; my friend had taken lots of photos of the streetstyle there once, and I am very much enamored with how beautiful the looks are.

      Rachel: Ahh, Rachel! I’m doing quite well, thank you. How about you?! ❤

  36. 1 July 2009 3:38 pm

    i love that look♥

  37. 1 July 2009 4:03 pm

    I enjoyed reading your post so much! You’re a really good writer, really articulate.

    xx

  38. 1 July 2009 5:45 pm

    Such a wonderful post 🙂 Paris for me shall always about women who dress with an intimate knowledge of their own bodies. They know what looks good on them, and usually stick with it. London is a city which sees just about anything go, so it is easy for anyone to fit in. But, I love how New Yorkers seem to have an effortless, put together, and yet oddly functional, look. It really is something amazing.

    • 1 July 2009 5:54 pm

      dapper kid: That is precisely why I find fashion so fascinating; I love how each major city has its own style. Each an every wonderful in its own way (:

      Ale: Thank you, darling!

      bisous!

  39. 1 July 2009 8:54 pm

    Better to be overdressed than underdressed. Rock on with your stylish self!

  40. 1 July 2009 9:55 pm

    you would fit in, without a doubt.

  41. 1 July 2009 10:08 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post. You are a natural writer and it’s clear you love fashion a lot. Your blog is really quite good!

    • 1 July 2009 10:19 pm

      Isabel: Aww thank you so much darling! That means so much to me!

      Sasha: Haha (:

      bisous!

  42. 2 July 2009 3:20 am

    I like the outfit. Very cool, and very laidback!=)

  43. kristine permalink
    2 July 2009 9:24 am

    wow.

    i really think this is one of your greatest posts EVER.
    it’s beautiful, flowing, yet smart. saving this one in my favorites, mos’ def’!!

    I LOVE LC!
    [heheh]

  44. abdcforever permalink
    2 July 2009 9:25 am

    yahh i totally agree with everyone on

    1. i luv that girl’s outfit – my style but chic-er?
    2.i luv how u broke down the city style so we cud understand & copy it.
    3. luv the way you write, girrl!

    • 3 July 2009 2:48 pm

      abdcforever: I love Miroslava’s take on fashion; it’s a bit quirky, part trendy, but so, so chic! She made the hooded sweatshirt fashionable.

      & thank you!

  45. 2 July 2009 11:45 am

    balenciagas FTW ♥

  46. didi permalink
    3 July 2009 11:51 am

    Great article ❤
    I think my style has always been kinda NY but I wish I could figure out how to loosen up and achieve Parisienne style … I try but just look messy 😛 and not in a good way … as you say, le sigh …

  47. Alize Morand permalink
    3 July 2009 7:22 pm

    Oh she is so cool!
    The story? A-MA-ZING! You could be a writer, I really got into it and felt like I was in NY, having a manicure and the most perfect blow-dry! I love how NYorkers are so put-together, it takes a lot of effort and is not necessarily a bad thing, contrary to what most French women would think, because they believe it’s ‘too much’, when many are just too lazy to achieve such a look! Finding the right balance that works for you and doesn’t make you feel overdressed or overdone, while looking chic and in your favourite looks is the key, but not necessarily easy! Loving the description of various city styles though, soo true! 🙂 xx

    PS: I’m in love with your new sidebar and sexy Abbey Lee header! Super-glam!

    • 3 July 2009 7:27 pm

      Alize: I’m so flattered to hear that (: I try, haha. Abbey Lee is my current favorite model!

  48. 4 July 2009 8:56 am

    Here’s a personal fact:
    It took me forever to realize that Cute Hubby doesn’t want me to primp right away in the morning. He likes to see me with my hair disheveled, make-up smudges, and stumbling around with my coffee cup. It makes him think he might have had something to do with that, and then he thinks I’m beautiful.

  49. 4 July 2009 9:51 am

    I love this pic 🙂

  50. 5 July 2009 2:28 am

    your blog is really cool, classy and well written !

  51. 5 July 2009 5:33 am

    wow, you’re only 17? i would never have guessed that, you write so amazingly and sound really intellectual! you could definately have a successful career at a magazine. i’m following you now as every post i’m reading is fantastic 🙂

    • 6 July 2009 6:51 am

      Rosa: Thank you so much (: I should hope so one day (: You are much too sweet; I’m blushing!

  52. 6 July 2009 4:44 pm

    As a native New Yorker gone a stray some years ago….NYers are always on-point! It’s in the air! When your in NYC you just get caught up and style takes over! Inspiration is in the street thats why I appreciate the sites that showcase streetwear vs the glossies.

  53. Valentina permalink
    31 January 2010 9:16 pm

    I’m surprised that no one has noticed yet, but that’s Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue US in the background))))

Trackbacks

  1. the {faux} new yorker. « la couturier
  2. ysl p a r i s i e n n e « la couturier
  3. what’s in, what’s out {2009} « la couturier

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