There are certain places you can always count on to be awash in activity. Like a meadow after a spring rain, or a coral reef. Or, if you’re me, SoHo – which is my destination of choice lately when I grow tired of keeping myself company and feel like getting out of my skull for awhile by looking at people and shoes. Sunday afternoons are a particularly vibrant time; like early life arising from the primordial ooze, the Bridge and Tunnel crowd materializes from Jersey and Long Island to stumble forth, blinkingly, into Zara and Topshop, set to commence a hungover bargain hunt that verges on biological imperative.
Above all things, the theme here is emergence.
Any intelligent New Yorker without a slightly morbid appetite for energy and voyeurism will go instead on a Wednesday or some other weekday, when the lines for the dressing room don’t stretch quiiiite around the block and the clientele consists more of trend-minded French ladies and neighborhood trust-fund babies, maybe even a few young professionals planning ahead for the weekend by purchasing sundresses and hot pants. Don’t get me wrong; I hit the shops on weekdays, too, and it was on one of these days that I popped into the Kidrobot store on Prince and discovered what is probably my favorite printed tee to come along in years (with the exception of those I’ve nicked from my gentlemen friends).
The shirt is a design by Brit graphic designer Anna Mullin (AKA “Sneaky Raccoon”), and riffs on a previous Kidrobot collaboration from 2010 in which Mullin designed a similarly swan-adorned and poetically pagan Dunny toy. Short of a swan dress, it’s just the ticket: elegant but unflinchingly girly – geometric in a Deco kind of way – and the placement of the swans on the front feels like a total unity of print and form (the shirt itself fits nicely around my ribcage). I rarely wear art tees, but this one puts the emphasis on the woman in the shirt, rather than whatever happens to be tacked on the front – a fact which makes it seem refreshingly, well…fresh to don a signet.
T-shirts rarely make me feel this pretty.
(As for what to wear it with? Sexily casual is the way to go. A pair of knickers lazing around the apartment on a Sunday Funday afternoon would do me just fine; I like these celestial boy shorts from Kiki de Montparnasse).
The constellation Cygnus, Plate 11 from Alexander Jameison’s stellar atlas, 1822.
The shirt in question is pictured here alongside an image of the Cygnus-X Star Forming Region, captured by the Herschel Telescope in 2010. Cygnus-X is one of the richest active celestial nurseries in the Milky Way, located at the glowing heart of the Cygnus constellation (easily visible in the northern hemisphere this time of year, outside the light haze of the city). Look closely and you can trace an etherial outline of the great cosmic bird, in the beating of whose storied wings whole solar systems rise and fall…
But I get away from myself. Time, again, to think about clothes.
Enjoy your Sunday shopping, and have a magnificent weekend, kids! May all your purchases make you feel beautiful and grand. Remember, after all: to noble feathered beasts do ugly ducklings grow.
Kidrobot, 126 Prince St. (Btw. Greene & Wooster), New York, NY; (212) 966-6688
Kiki de Montarnasse, 79 Greene St. (Btw. Broome & Spring), New York, NY; (212) 965-8070
Image of Cygnus-X courtesy of NASA.