OFFICIAL BLOG

Fieldnotes

"Priceless but Useless" — Children of the Anthropocene

Published by Wednesday Martin
In the industrialized West children are “priceless but useless.” We value them but don’t expect them to contribute to the household in any real way. Mine were surprised when I told them to rake the backyard.
In the industrialized West children are “priceless but useless.” We value them but don’t expect them to contribute to the household in any real way. Mine were surprised when I told them to rake the backyard.

Developmentalist Jean Piaget famously observed that "play is the work of children." But in some places, work is the work of children. And that's not a bad thing.


An Evening with Karl Lagerfeld; Tiina Laakkonen; and My Stylist Christian Mesheshma: Adornment Practices in Manhattan

Published by Wednesday Martin
I attended “An Evening with Karl Lagerfeld to Benefit Lincoln Center.” Karl is endlessly quotable, refined, entertaining and deeply eccentric. He might call this combination “modern.”
I attended “An Evening with Karl Lagerfeld to Benefit Lincoln Center.” Karl is endlessly quotable, refined, entertaining and deeply eccentric. He might call this combination “modern.”

Everybody knows New Yorkers are fashionable and fashion-centric and often fashion-eccentric. We're the center of the US fashion industry and hello, we have Bill Cunningham!


Dior and Chanel — High Art?

Published by Wednesday Martin
Here I am with Chanel event hostess Suri Kasirer. The hard working mother of three wore Chanel, and looked amazing. Pardon my Prada!
Here I am with Chanel event hostess Suri Kasirer. The hard working mother of three wore Chanel, and looked amazing. Pardon my Prada!

In an era of multinational conglomerates controlling dozens of fashion brands, and designers designing for more than one house, or moving from one to the other, what is a fashion brand? What is a fashion designer? And how and why do women choose the ones they do?


Lunch (and identity) on the (lower) Upper East Side

Published by Wednesday Martin
I had lunch with my friend Barbara at Chat Noir, E. 66th near Madison, recently. It’s teeming with ladies- who-lunch types. The east side in the 60s and 70s skews older than Carnegie Hill.
I had lunch with my friend Barbara at Chat Noir, E. 66th near Madison, recently. It’s teeming with ladies- who-lunch types. The east side in the 60s and 70s skews older than Carnegie Hill.

  


Fieldnotes: Baby CZ Opening and Childhood on the Upper East Side

Published by Wednesday Martin
These girls came to the store opening with their mothers. In Manhattan, children accompany their parents just about everywhere. I saw a six-year-old boy with his dad at a Wagner opera once.
These girls came to the store opening with their mothers. In Manhattan, children accompany their parents just about everywhere. I saw a six-year-old boy with his dad at a Wagner opera once.

The Manhattan tribe I study lives in a state of ecological release. Basically, that means life is good. As is the case for the fortunate of the industrialized world, subsistence is a given — my tribe are not struggling to get enough calories for themselves and their kids to avoid starvation, not by a long shot. They are not at war (even when their country is). There is little competition for abundant resources. And they face no predators (now that Bernie Madoff is in jail).


Strange Fall Rites of the Manhattan Tribe

Published by Wednesday Martin
Photo by Rachel Bowie. We stand right in the street to hail cabs. Often in the bike lane. Sometimes a cyclist will high five you as they bike by, no kidding.
Photo by Rachel Bowie. We stand right in the street to hail cabs. Often in the bike lane. Sometimes a cyclist will high five you as they bike by, no kidding.

Manhattan may be the exception to the adage "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." It's hard to come back to a smelly, noisy, cramped town after a beachy, rural summer idyll. Lots of us hate it — complaining about being back in town after time away away (in the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket, most often) is a Fall tradition here. But distance and absence have certainly make the city look more fascinatingly strange, exotic and foreign to me after 11 weeks at the beach (don't hate me — I worked while I was there!) Manhattan and Manhattanites, now I see you as you truly are — a tribe (or collection of tribes) with rites, rituals and ways of being and doing that truly set you apart.


Letter from Manhattan: Understanding New York Fashion Week

Published by Wednesday Martin
“Standing” is both a place and a hazing practice at New York Fashion Week. The uninitiated and low ranking do not get seats. Wearing the designer’s accessories or clothing is a demonstration of loyalty and belief.
“Standing” is both a place and a hazing practice at New York Fashion Week. The uninitiated and low ranking do not get seats. Wearing the designer’s accessories or clothing is a demonstration of loyalty and belief.

Manhattan is a town of tribes. And there is no tribe-ier tribe than the fashion tribe. They speak their own language, in which they express their own concerns to themselves and the rest of us who care (“Fringe is trending”; “Alexander Wang is the new Marc Jacobs”; “The yellow story is holding on”). They are migratory and exotic, traveling where their Vuitton luggage and schedules take them: New York City, London, Milan and Paris are the tribe’s habitus. And they live in another timeframe — for them, it’s all about Spring/Summer 2014 in the early days of fall. But as a New Yorker, I like to think they are somehow ours, that they live with us here and now, and always will.