New York City from the air, with the new Freedom Tower standing proud in the background

I missed the island life before we even landed in Charlotte, NC., as we made our way to New York after having spent the better part of two weeks in the Caribbean. We were clearing customs in Charlotte, yes, Charlotte- and I was curious to see just how efficient this Southern airport with its contemporary architecture juxtaposed with white wooden porch rockers would be in processing an International Flight.

I’d heard that it was so much nicer going through customs here as compared to Miami, New York or LA, so I was hopeful! It was indeed mostly painless, with the entire process less than 20 minutes and the customs agents were, well, absolutely lovely! Kind, courteous, patient, and helpful—a far cry from clearing customs in NY or Miami, and sooooo much nicer than going through customs in LA—the worst place on the planet to clear customs!

We boarded the plane for NYC, landed at JFK, and “UBER-ed” our way to the city and were ensconced in the Essex House Hotel before midnight.

The Essex House on Central Park South
Unfortunately for us, there was a movie being filmed at our hotel — all night long.

Side note: If you haven’t joined UBER, you might consider it before your next trip to New York. The cars are clean, modern and do not have that annoying partition wall that cracks your knees between the passenger and the driver. It’s said that UBER is less expensive than a yellow cab in New York- I don’t know about that, but who’s pinching pennies when your treated like a customer vs. a


There’s an app for UBER

Our wake up call came too soon, and we hit the ground running with our first and only appointment with Allen Nazmiyal Antique Rugs.  We usually reserve our first day in the city for walking the streets and shopping the stores for trends, color, fashion, etc…, and there’s no better place to do this than on the streets of New York. At Nazmiyal we saw our first trend- vintage mid-century rugs from Sweden and Scandinavia (though vintage Moroccan rugs remain strong).  

Mid- Century, hand knotted Swedish Rug
Mid- Century, hand knotted Scandinavian Rug
Not Swedish or Scandinavian, but this vintage Missoni textile was so fabulous we had to include it!

These styles include abstract, pop-art, artist-designed, surrealist, and minimalist styles. During our appointment, very single client there was working with one of these rugs! FYI: Nazmiyal is a player- he has the endorsement of Julianne Moore in his ads. 

Trends on the street: For the body, we saw a more trends in men’s fashion than in woman’s. We saw short pants, not shorts, but shorter pants, as in high waters! Tight-leg pants rolled up to make them shorter or pants that were made that way. Untucked casual tee’s worn with shorter length, tight leg chinos, jeans, or shorts worn mostly with Vans and/or flip flops.

Facial hair was de rigueur, as was messy hair— not just tousled, but messy, just out of bed hair- also referred to as “International hair”. Straw hats were everywhere, the kind that make the wearer look like a pin head. For business we saw tight legged shorts with shirts untucked with small, fitted Sport coats that look like you borrowed it from your little 14 year old brother. These worn with dress shoes seemed like a take on Bermuda’s ‘smart casual’ style but without the tall socks. We saw neon colors of orange, yellow, and blue on tennis/sport shoes, and high top leather tennis shoes, worn with everything.  

For the females, we saw a return to more feminine dressing…thankfully.  

The most abhorrent “look” was at Barney’s New York where the sales people–not the clothes on the racks– lacked fashion and style. The sales staff looked just this side of being homeless. Sloppy clothes and dirty shoes, unkempt hair on the head and face- it was truly difficult to tell who was an employee, and who was looking for a handout. If that were my store I’d scrub them all down and send’em packing! There was something terribly incongruous in the look of these Manolo Blahnik shoes and the sales people who would help you with them.  

Is he homeless or a Salesperson at Barney’s?
Would you like someone with clean hands to help you with these Manolo Blahnik’s?
Then you may have to buy them at Bergdorf’s!

T’was not this way at Bergdorf’s, always chic and they have the best display windows in the high fashion retail world.  We loved the fun canine inspired windows, especially the one featuring Stella McCartney, and the dog scratching his ear upholstered in reclaimed vintage tapestry pieces by Parisian design team Frederique Morrel.


TREND ALERT: Bergdorf windows that weren’t of the canine variety were full of color….neon color. From the clothes, the handbags and shoes, and accessories.

Neon is here to stay- get yours today!

We love Bergdorf’s 7th floor Decorative Home Department and we spotted a further inkling of a fur and feather trend with Kelly Wearstler’s Souffle Chair upholstered in black Goat Fur ($18,000) which looked more like Ostrich feathers, reminding us of the Valentino feathered pumps featured in one of their fabulous 5th Avenue windows.

Its dyed Goat hair, but it looked like feathers to us- should have put on my readers!


Fabulous Valentino pants over Valentino feathered pumps

More on Kelly Wearstler: We like her style! She’s an author, decorator, hotelier, clothing designer, and humble to boot. Wearstler has a room dedicated to her home furnishings collection on the 7th floor at Bergdorf’s. What will this West Coast Diva do next?

Kelly Wearstler’s Bauble Box, brass encrusted with semi precious stones.

We loved the fab Brunello Cucinelli fur top (top is an understatement) and fur trimmed shoes, displayed next to the escalator- Bergdorf fabulous!

And speaking of shoes, the price of a pair of designer labeled ladies shoes seemed to average $800. Same for men’s shoes. Whose buying these shoes? It’s crazy I tell you! 

Whew- what a day, and we’re only half way through with it. I gotta stop and give us both a rest! Read me tomorrow for Shopping the City Part II.
Good night moon.

Source: A Design Guy

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