The most alluring things about the small island of Manhattan is its versatility. Every neighborhood, if not every block, has something unique to offer. The Upper East and West Sides are where the wealthy elite spawn from, while the tourists dominate Midtown in their I heart NY t-shirts, and Chelsea, the Village and further down each have their own characters.
The street style is mind-blowing – whether it be the arty crowd or the uber-cool Greenwich village set – there is bound to be a place in New York that will make you feel at home. Wherever you go in New York and whatever you wear, the city will embrace it and you will find true inspiration and expression if you embrace it too!
Taking inspiration from Gossip Girl, The Upper East Sider is polished and posh. Saturdays are spent strutting along Park Avenue from one designer store to another, while Saturday nights are spent at the SoHo House and the Boom Boom Room. Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen are the style icons of this crowd, wearing heels for everyday tasks and having a new dress for each society event!
They take their style directly from the runway to the streets, with “it” bags, killer stilettos, and a lot of over-dressing. Think skirts, dresses, cute day blazers and clever accessories. Look towards designers who know a thing or two about tailoring, such as Roland Mouret, Michael Kors and Donna Karen or Dior and Chanel for something more fun! Don’t be afraid to look preppy or proper, that’s what it’s all about!
The Rock Chick
This is for the coolies who hang out around the Lower East Side music scene, whether they have a note in their heads or not. They frequently trawl Orchard Street for a vintage bargain and venture out to Brooklyn when they get want to check out the latest hot band.
The uniform is leather jackets, denim, lots of accessories and a serious attitude. They are likely to be in a band. Their style inspirations are Debbie Harry and the younger ones might even look up to Ashley Simpson and Taylor Momsen, another Gossip Girl. They translate the Spring Summer 2011 looks of Balmain and Burberry Prorsum to put their own unique stamp on it.
These are the girls who walk around New York with all the insider knowledge on what’s hot and what’s not. They’re organizing photoshoots, their dressing celebrities, and paying close attention to every magazine on the news-stands to tell them the who, what and where of the fashion scene.
Like the Uptowners, they too are a polished bunch. Somehow, on their notoriously small salaries, these girls produce fabulous and up-to-date outfits, put together with their creativity and keen eye, rather than their credit card. Inspired by the likes of Whitney Port and Olivia Polermo, they aren’t just walking the walk but are talking the talk. They’re well connected and need to have an outfit for all occasions.
Their catwalk taste varies according to their own personal style, but designers that push boundaries, such as Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and new talent are who they pay the most attention to. One thing is for sure – they know what’s on trend and how to wear it.
Wall Street Chic
Every day thousands of New Yorkers venture way down to the bottom of the city to their swanky office jobs, and their attire is a very well-dry-cleaned suit. They may not have much choice in their work wardrobe but that doesn’t mean they can’t spend their hard-earned money on a designer suit. After all, you wear it every day!
These high-powered business women look towards Ann Taylor, Chanel, and Prada, while delighting in the latest Tom Ford Women’s collection, and all that might come from his return to womenswear. However, these are New York women so they add a little spice to their office attire with a slick pair of Christian Louboutin’s or Jimmy Choo’s.
The artist is a sweeping term for the real showstoppers in the city. These are the people keeping street-style photo bloggers in business with their eclectic style. They are inspired by everything and anything and wear what they feel like, mixing vintage, with high-street, with designer in a way that defies fashion stereotypes, boundaries and trends. Lady Gaga is most definitely one New York lady who falls into this category.
I refer to them as “artists” because their occupation is usually something creative, whether it be fashion, writing, performing, or designing. They tend to frequent the East and West Village, where the mix of boutiques, bars, cafes and quirky stores provide them with places and people just as inspiring as they are.