At the tail end of January, when it’s usually so cold in New York that it
actually makes people angry at god, we got a 60-degree day. It
was absurd. If it had happened in early March, people would have
impulsively gone to work in shorts and tube tops, but this caught
everyone so off guard that they instead stood confused on corners
in bubblegoose and wool tights. And because of this single day
of sartorial suffering, New Yorkers, of course, cursed the heavens
for being so unpredictable. This is how we cope in this city—with
open and irrational hostility—especially when it has to do with our
outfits. It’s what makes us the cream of the evolutionary crop, and,
in a coincidentally apropos twist, what also pushes the envelope
of Big Apple style in the new millennium. Designers or just
wearers, we are driven to change by a sudden distaste for things,
sometimes because they happen when we don’t want them to,
but usually because they have become too commonplace.
In 2010, this is particularly prickly, because what used to be
uncommon is now totally routine. If everyone is covered in quirky
tattoos and wears thousand-dollar outfits, the only way to stick
out is to walk around with a permanently indigo face (I’m talking
to you, dude who goes to the gym on 23rd) or, ironically, not do
anything ridiculous at all. The weirdest person I’ve seen all year is
the 30s-ish guy wearing pleated slacks and a button-down on the
L train at 8:15AM. If anyone from Williamsburg had been going
to work at that hour, they would have pulled the emergency cord.
Nicki Minaj, Yeasayer and Gil Scott-Heron strangely all seem
totally normal. This is not to say that they are typical in any way,
but that they live with their extraordinary talents in an exceptionally
ordinary manner, where many people in this town do the opposite.
Ba-da-bing Pt 2! So, my goal for this spring, whether the almighty
decides to make it rain or make it snow, is to first stop saying bada-
bing after every joke, and second, to level everything out and
find my comfort zone, because the last thing New York needs is
another unremarkable weirdo.