It might be hot in the city but these men are cool!
I was rushing to an appointment (the dentist, if you must know . . . ) when I was most happily distracted by the following visions of summer loveliness walking down, and near, Madison Avenue. Allow me to introduce you!
First is Patrick – he was off to hear a reading of a musical by a talented friend who has worked on a musical for the past twenty years. “He is just so talented but lacking in chutzpah . . . I mean he would never leave his house dressed like this!”
Running late and resisting the urge to tag along to the reading with Patrick I saw Constantine! How could I allow such a gentleness of sartorial splendour to pass me by?
George, delighted by my request to photo him in Constantine’s wake!
and Marvin, leaning against the wall of Barneys. Marvin had a great smile, trust me! I just didn’t get it in the short space of time!
Thank you all kind gentlemen for your generosity and time, lovely to have met you!
Friday. The day began with a stop at the local coffee shop where the boys behind the counter know my order and almost have it ready for me by the time I get in the door. They really are so sweet and they do a good turn with some dance moves from time to time. This morning, they saw my camera over my shoulder “very nice camera Miss,you take our picture!” I have my camera with me because a friend has asked me to take some photos for her of the High Line, located downtown on the West Side.
They began hamming it up for me (it was a quiet moment) but my camera wasn’t ready and, after some fiddling, I finally took a snap.
From here, I made my way downtown on the subway, fiddling some more with my camera. Please note, I use the word “fiddle” as shorthand for “not knowing what I am doing but hoping it might turn out . . . “
I am not on my own in the subway. Brian Williams is with me. He has a twinkle in his eye.
Through the open carriage door I catch the eye of a subway vendor.
The next stop is my stop. I watch as the train disappears into the dark.
A sparrow in his High Line Loft Conversion
Having taken more than a few shots along the High Line I decided to walk from there, along West 14th St to Union Square but I didn’t get far before I noticed a certain frisson in the air. Big men in black with ear pieces stood on guard outside one building where a black velvet rope implied something in the middle of the day was about to happen. This is the part of town known as the Meatpacking District, now home to fashion designers. But what made the afternoon far more exciting for me were the exotic creatures walking along West 14th St in clothes straight out of the fashion pages. Hardly surprising, as it turned out, for they were on their way to a fashion show, that of the designer Yigal Azrouel.
It’s that time of the year! New York Fashion Week! And, for those who have to absolutely know, I was wearing Old Navy, Levis, shoes by Skechers, and Chanel (lipstick).
Here is a sample of fashion shots as seen from the street -
A sparrow in his High Line Loft Conversion
But, my favourite shot from the passing parade is this one -
and the one I wish I had been quicker on the drawer with is -
Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer, President of the CFDA, muse to many. An older woman who has yet to get her hair cutshort. She came out of a doorway, into the street and walked straight out across the road as though she were the only person on the street. Let alone a dozen with cameras. No-one saw her. Except me! Mutterings amongst the fashion photographers, the floggers, went along the lines of “OMG, wasn’t that . . . . who just walked past?” Yes indeed but lucky me, the street photographer, or sprogger, caught the blur of her passing.
I heard later from new best friends, designer Richard Gray (remember, you heard his name here first!) and JD (ditto) via Twitter that the Yigal show was good but that I didn’t miss out on anything . . .
With that under my belt I finally made my way home, again on the subway, and, with no reading material to hand I browsed through the replay on my camera, looking over the shots of the day. The young man beside me, the train was crowded, we were a tight fit, commented on my camera. He has the same one. He then asked me if I were a fashion photographer? OMG, I wish! But I am not a fashion photographer and I am not too good with the porky pies. But, enough about me, what I asked him, was he busy doing? His eyes glowed. He, Morgan Hartley, yet another new best friend, is preparing to cycle, with a colleague, from Paris to Hong Kong, leaving in two weeks time and taking two years to explore and document “the rise of expanding economies in Eurasia on a ‘micro-human’ level.”
Coming up from the subway I heard, in the near distance, chanting noises. The noise of protestors. Without having too far to go and only a block away from the Russian Consulate I found a spirited protest demanding human rights for Syrians. By Syrians, for Syrians.
It was a long day. Me skirting about the edges of what grips so many, in all sorts of ways. For some it is life, for others . . .
Oh my God, you’re joking! Self-Portrait? I don’t do me! I go on the other side of the camera, it is the closet I carry around with me!
Plus, in my nerdy state of affairs, I struggled with the concept of just what is a self-portrait – a portrait of the self, taken by any one, or a portrait of the self taken by the self? This is not what I should be spending time obsessing about, not at this time of year with Christmas so soon and my preparations to date non-existent. . .
Having posted so many photos of others I am hardly in a position to object to showing something of my face, although I could quietly sit this week out, what with Christmas and everything, but, I found this from the archives – a snap shot taken in a photo-booth with friends. Years ago but what the heck and when I really stop to think about it, it doesn’t seem that long ago. What I have done with the shot is dress it up in some feathers and glitz so that in the event I do see out my days in a nursing home I will be the little old lady over in the corner with the crazy hat, lipstick and jewellery. Whoever has the time to come and visit will see the face of a little old lady looking at them. Behind the lines, however, this is the person who will be thrilled to see them!
Allow me to introduce the charming and most colourful gentleman that is Kenneth. I was walking through the mens clothing section of a store in San Francisco when he caught my eye. His eyes and his demeanour were as bright and as dapper as his outfit. In his 90′s, he chatted about his baseball days playing for the Sea-Lions and about how well he knew Joe DiMaggio and his wife, the one named Marilyn.
He was more than happy for me to take this photo, albeit on the condition I send him a copy which I duly did with pleasure.
Stepping into the world of the late Alexander McQueen‘s Savage Beauty, a retrospective of his two decades in fashion now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is to step into a twilight zone of myth, legend, fantasy and intrigue.