White By Design. That story has raised my antenna, ever on the lookout for extreme displays of white. It has inspired a series of White By Design stories, this being the 4th.
In New York City, choosing white takes on a spirit of defiance. Analogous to She's Too Tough To Care, wearing white is like saying I don't care that white makes no sense in New York City. We have rats, graffiti, pollution, dirt, and grime, but I will wear white anyway.
I have a pair of white bucks, which I wrote about in One Size Too Small. I have always gotten a very strong reaction when wearing them in the city. Apart from being a style whose time is long gone and unfamiliar to many, white suede is perhaps the ultimate act of defiance in the selection of shoe color and material to be worn in New York. Wearing white also sends a message that a person is willing and able to go the extra mile in maintaining such a color choice in the city. In White By Design, I said:
Used badly, white can be a horrific choice - everything is mercilessly revealed with white. It is also deliberately and conspicuously impractical, making a statement about luxury and the ability and willingness for maintenance. The decision to use white in an unforgiving city like New York makes a particularly strong statement.
Black has been fashionable for eons, particularly in New York, where it is the color of choice for the downtown hipster. It is not uncommon to see individuals who dress entirely in black, head to toe. Black is cool, and when in doubt, black is safe. Given that thinking, what is safer than to dress entirely in black?
However, I do not recall seeing the polar opposite until yesterday. While waiting to cross the intersection at Spring Street and Broadway, a woman's wardrobe screamed out at me, so much so that reaching for my camera was not even a conscious decision but rather a reflex action. She was dressed (perhaps overdressed with a down jacket) in white from head to toe, topped with gray/white hair.
It was reminiscent of an LP I have kept for its startling cover image - Edgar Winter (an Albino) with white hair and beard, wearing a white suit and fur on a beach with white clouds in the background, akin to the polar bear in his natural snowy environment. Edgar, my friend, and the woman on Spring Street all share that passion for a color that nature often gives us. Or, when in New York City, and man-made elements conspire against nature to offer such pristine beauty, then it must and will be White By Design...
My musings on the color white: White By Design 2, White by Desire, White by Design 3, The Perfect Gift, Off-White by Design