Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Saw What I Saw....

Saturday, May 21st, 3:00 to 6:00 pm.

This afternoon, as sun threatened to turn to clouds and rain, it being the advent of the Rapture and all, I threw on my butter yellow Tom's shoes (last year's linen series) and headed out to run an errand at The Plaza Hotel based Leather Spa.  The ever charming Wilson works there and now that the Superintendent in the building next door to mine has retired without consummating his 25 year long overture of love for me, Wilson could soon replace him.  He has professed love for me for only a year but his ardor is growing with each visit and the visits are more frequent now that my friend Sharon is newly engaged, newly employed and no longer able to come to my rescue with the critical pick up and drop off runs. You get only thirty days to retrieve your footwear repairs so timing is of the essence once you get the call from the Spa that they are ready. Add to this that it could be the last day of the world, and you have a heightened sense of urgency to collect your personal effects and prepare for your journey to the next life.

Where was I? Ah, I hopped on the subway to 59th Street, then headed down Central Park South. The world was outside to enjoy the miraculous appearance of the sun.  Amidst the throngs of people dashing about, I could not help but be struck by a few new Summery looks in the sea of nautical stripe stories which have been repeating themselves daily thus far this season:

I spied:

1. one peachy floral gowned Asian beauty with her suited up beau on the 96th Street station tracks waiting for the local train. Although I missed the photo opp, the site was beyond cinematic.

Orla Kiely "Multi Stem" print,
copyright Orla Kiely

2. many pairs of jeweled flat sandals on leggy girls in short shorts all along CPS.

3. too many Orla Kiely bags slung diagonally over shoulders but the prints are admittedly a stand out.

4. a smattering of polka dots but lots more will come, mark my word, seeing as how we are in the mood for prophets today...

5. and the eye of the storm, eyelet! it was everywhere!  black eyelet peasant top on a bronzed Latin woman outside the MAD museum; white eyelet pleated skirt on a graduate posing for family photos; ecru linen shorts with a scalloped eyelet trim on a twenty something crossing Colombus Circle; red eyelet dresss on a girl at a hot dog cart; whte ruffle edged top on what could have been her twin strolling North (and do not get me started on hair styles or the prevalence of straw fedoras...)

By the time I had gone to Leather Spa and walked back up to Time Warner Center, a new wave of looks had surfaced, themes shifting like the editorial pages in a magazine. It was all about the bold and the beautiful and evocative of exotic and far away places....

1. a gorgeous accordian pleated maxi dress in a strong tribal print outside Marea. black, red, orange colors stood out, lush like a Gauguin painting.

2. a long ink blue and white handkerchief hemmed scarf skirt at the Circle, suggestive of Azulejos tiles from Portugal.

from Wikipedia, Azulejos, file history:
Information |Description=Panel of glazed tiles by Jorge Colaço (1922), representing Henry the Navigator at the Sagres Promonory. Lisbon, Pavilhão Carlos Lopes. |Source=self-made |Date=June 2007 |Author= Alvesgaspar|

3. a striking pair of black and white Ikat inspired lace ups on one daring dude, graphic and tribal.

I hope that tomorrow comes because aside from the fact that Spring seems to have finally sprung, there do seem to be a few fall forecasts already on the street which would be fun to follow -- easy nubby wool drape dusters, top handle saddle bags, and I had to blink twice, thrice, but I reckon I am right by now when I recognize a poncho....


Saturday, May 21, 2011

An American Idol

April 26th, A/A 9:00 a.m flight 336 LGA to ORD:

A tall, silver haired attendant named Natalie, sporting cat eye specs and clogs with her standard navy and gold uniform,  is busy meeting and greeting her First Class guests this morning.  There must be a new, first name basis protocol in place by the airline:

"Hello, I'm Natalie."

"Hello, I'm Natalie."

"Hello. You look so much like my dentist from L.A." she tells the passenger in 1A.

"Hello. Wendell? I'm Natalie," to the gentleman in 2B.

"Would you care for an omelette this morning?"

"What is in it?"

"Wellllll, eggs to start.."

"That jacket looks well on you," the bobbed British blonde (looking a bit like Blythe Danner on a bad day) comments to her in flight colleague just before take off.

"Yes, it does," Natalie replies from the First Class galley.

"Because it's lonnger," the blonde adds.

"I saw one lady wearing it belted and it looked just awful,"  Natalie notes.

"You've got it all going on ....Your looks, your figure (pronounced 'figga')," Blythe comments admiringly, the years showing on her unmade up morning face.

Wendell in 2B is not pleased with the talk, shakes his head, pulls out his earphones and cranks his ipod.

Break in dialogue as we take off.

Upon the pilot's signal that it is safe to move about the cabin, Natalie enters the lavatory.

When she comes back out, her colleague exclaims,"Lovely!"

In Natalie's case, it seems you are never fully dressed without a smile, a fresh coat of red lipstick, and a rhinestone barrette, placed purposefully atop the crown of your forehead, catching a few strands of almost shaved silver hair, not too unlike how a shnauzer might look upon being groomed for Best in Show. 

"Well, with this short hair, I never feel fully dressed until I add this," Natalie states pragmatically.

She is now ready to resume service rounds, clanging pots, pans and utensils in preparation.

"Cereal or an omelette," she approaches each of us again, trays in hand, seemingly having forgotten how the meals have been allocated based on her pre take off interviews.

"Nothing, thank you," I say.

"Oh, you are on a diet," she notes gratuitously.

To the passenger who awakes behind me, she prods: " Alright, Hal, it's about time... I'm Natalie. Cereal or an omelette?"

Beverages get served and trays delivered until Natalie suddenly indicates that she has gotten the orders wrong from the start and has run out of cereal. 

The natives are not pleased, my fellow seatmate deciding to abstain altogether, shaking his head, partly amused, partly disgruntled. "She is something," he mutters under his breath.

Natalie retreats to the galley to resume her chat with Blythe, who comments about returning home to the East coast of London after a year and how much she is dying to have fish n chips. 

"Just once a year!" she declares longingly, as if to ask permission.

They speak about boyfriends, travel, and of course, fashion, and by the time we touch ground at O'Hare, Natalie caps the morning conversation with an editorial on the coats she re-distributes to their rightful owners.

"I love your coat!  What a beautiful color!" she says of the Chanel puffer jacket belonging to the woman in Manolos in 1B.

Of course! It is silvery grey, just like Natalie's coiffe.

Go, Natalie!  You are The American Idol, pushing 70 and in it to win it!

vintage, silver painted plastic American Airlines stewardess pin, 1960's, as found on