What to wear to an NYC art opening on the hipper-than-hip, gritty-edgy-skuzzy-slimy-grimy Lower East Side? One that they fly you out to and put you up and wine and dine you because it’s showcasing your entire 30-year oeuvre? OK, it’s my hubby’s celluloid oeuvre. The flicks he made while we were—cue soft focus and the string section—falling in love? I got to star in every last one (#NEPOTISM)!
Dubbed The Semiotics of Sleaze, the installation is all seven Jon Moritsugu features projected on the huge concrete gallery walls at the same time; a bit cattywampus with all seven noise-punk soundtracks blaring at once. Oh yeah, did I mention the space (the über-hip Ramiken Crucible) is so au courant it doesn't even have sign?
You just have to hope for the best and wander down through some kitsched-out weirdness I won't even describe and pray people read the Artforum blurb and come on down.
So, you see my conundrum: How do I one-up all my glitter-encrusted, vinyl-spattered art punk looks of the last 30 years? I swoon over Ooh La La Consignment (518 Old Santa Fe Trail, 820-6433) for most of my chic 'n' unique pickings for gigs like this. I spotted a sparkling zebra sweatshirt dress that was pure '80s insanity and looked divine on my frame. With my chrome-colored locks lopped into a messy blunt cut and a wet slash of red lips, I'd be done. Well, except for the bag. I spied with my beady greedy eyes a 2016 Marni fringed clutch in otherworldly glossy patent indigo leather. Perfection. After all, you need motion with the glittery black and white contrast of zebra. And yes, the shoes. I wore vintage black and white Steve Madden faux snakeskin stiletto booties that have been re-soled at least four times. They rock and I can stand for five hours in them, though if I had known the event and afterparty would have meant standing for 10 hours I might have reconsidered.
An explosion had rocked Chelsea the night before and while Jon and I were having brunch with an old-school entertainment writer pal at a Union Square health food joint, we gossiped and cooed about how good and bad NYC will always be. We romped through Flying Tiger, the Danish technicolor tchotchke shop, and he pointed out some baby blue plastic duck-shaped specs. I cringed, but tried them on and they were the exact needed sprinkle of umami for my delicious art star look.
The duck glasses were $2, the zebra dress was $39, the Marni bag was $125—but you always pay for the bag. You knew that, right? Never pay for the dress and go with a (insert basic bag brand here) bag.
So there we have it. An entire unique freak look that rocked the downtown cognoscenti for under $200, with most of the cake bought in good old "We don't have fashion here!" Fanta Se and the frosting courtesy of NYC.
Santa Fe is and will and always will be a goldmine of style. Just open your eyes and remember, kids: Style yourself for that fantasy "opening" anytime you want. Haunt Ooh La La and Act 2 (839 Paseo de Peralta, 983-8565) when you wanna work the consignment tip. They are insanely style-forward. And though we don't have Bergdorf's or Century 21, we do have Santa Fe Vintage Outpost (202 E Palace Ave.), my favorite boutique at the moment. Jewelry designer Julienne Barth (a genius) and owner Scott Corey (a visionary) bring it major, and the New York Times just did a piece on them, so there!
With some imagination you can hunt and pick and peck and fashion a local look that would make Mr. Lagerfeld take note, or perhaps slowly roll his eyes behind his sunglasses. You may even be able to walk the next day and not have itchy, drippy, bloodshot-bloodhound eyes slipping and sliding around the exquisitely pungent Lower East Side. I love you, NYC. I mean, hey—I'm from New York. But Santa Fe, you have the look, and I want to know better.