I bought these red leather gloves by Imoni at last year’s Intermix Christmas sale, in order to match my New Year’s dress (the open-backed merlot red gown you see here). My hypotheses that both the gloves and the gown would prove themselves as worthwhile investment pieces seems to be holding up quite admirably this fall, as both red and leather have been all over the runway reports and are, it would seem, right on-trend.
(As time goes on, I’ve noticed that the act of shopping increasingly takes on this feeling of forecasting; or rather, that of some practiced skill of calibrated, subjective probability, with a built-in margin of error. You have a certain amount of money to spend, and certain choices to make in order to future-proof your spending; so you stick your thumb to the wind, guide your arrow at the target, and release. With increased facility and a bit of luck, you find you are able sail your dart through time and space and change of trend to hit, ever and ever closer, to the mark.)
I always make a preliminary sweep of available retail when we hit a new seasonal shift. Before I buy, I assess what themes I like or dislike, make note of certain items I want. Then I go home, open up the closet, and take stock. Decide what to subtract (this year, I will also have to remember what I’ve got in storage), and determine how to wear the remainder. Ultimately, I am guiding my arrow – myself – towards the target, the person I wish to become.
And so it was that I made an obligatory trek down to Midtown recently, in this case to reconnoiter the new fall stock at the Barneys on Madison Ave. (I like midtown, I don’t care what people say, even in spite of all the tourists. It’s always full of life, and everything smells of exhaust and those honey roasted street peanuts, the combination of which is one of my favorite smells in the world. I often go to St. Pat’s and light a candle, not because I am particularly Catholic anymore if I ever was but simply because I’m a sap, I like the intention of candles, and I’ve always loved the building.)
Besides, they’ve got Barneys and Saks down there, and that giant new Zara.
And what better setting for a forecast than Madison Avenue?
So I made my trek down to Midtown. I took stock of all the shops. And I noticed, – simply but with a surging well of realization – that the color red was everywhere. In every shop in Manhattan. And that not only was it plentiful, that it was the thing. The thing that looks and feels the best, now. This was very exciting, especially in the wake of the personality crisis that invariably is (for me) “summer dressing;” at long last, with a stroke of Prometheal light I once again understood what was going on in the current, and that what was going on in the current was something that I wanted to be.
“Wearing red” – particularly red leather – was something I already liked and recognized and responded to in my gut. Indeed, the feeling of knowing it looks good now was an intuitive kind of over-excitement, a warm rush in my core and a buzzing in my head, the kind of feeling I get when I am in the zone performing, or studying folklore or linguistics or various forms of esoterica, or reading the work of any author who simultaneously gets it with me and is well ahead of the curve, like Maxwell or Ellis or Dion Fortune — I mean to say, some combination of instinct and enlightenment, like understanding matrices for the first time...you realize that you were wired up to understand it all along. Only now, some invisible hand has finally bothered connect the circuit, and – all of a sudden – you’ve got too many thoughts and too much of everything going all at once, so that any attempt at articulation results in the feeling that Björk describes as “trying to fit an ocean through a straw”…
All I knew was that I wanted something red. Because – gazing stupidly at a rack of Lanvins at Barneys – I understood that red was and is not simply a “trend” this year, or even a color; rather, it is a frequency. A sine of the times.
There’s a warmth and a sensuousness and a passionate, terrible magnitude to it all that I think we now collectively crave, and need.
This is how they get me to buy things. Fascists.
Anyway. I went home empty-handed, disgruntled at the fact that I am too broke this season to risk any big-ticket impulse purchases (though those are the only purchases I’m interested in making anymore, impulse or otherwise; I already own, as it were, plenty of “filler”).
Several weeks (and one red pleather dress) later, I remembered my pair of Imonis. I dug them out, put them on. They felt correct. I had aimed well, with my shooting gloves: I’d invested wisely.
Already I am making a mental portfolio of red-gloved F/W outfits.
(What will I wear them with? Everything, of course.)
Including nothing, as the case may be.