Saturday, February 27, 2010
Scene: NV Magazine Events
I've always admired those who accomplish more than they talk about (I'm not one of them). A slight nod to your ivy league pedigree, hard knocks education, or handyman skills infers there is more to you than you have time to speak of. Shouting it out has its time and place, but also its limits. When practically or authenticity isn't the point and being seen is all that matters, what is there to offer beyond the items or status you acquire? There's better ways to show you've got it, more appropriate methods to show you fit in. That goes for everybody.
Living a life of self-understanding and recognition requires that you are intimately familiar with your center, the place that you came from. Living a life bigger than yourself requires that you are fluid, adaptable, and accepting in moving through unfamiliar territory. Getting the full benefit of both means appreciating what's unfamiliar to you while bringing something that is uniquely and authentically yourself to the table. If both is what you seek, what you always want to look for in examples to follow are the people that know their place in and can adjust to their immediate universe, but are guided by a set of individual principles and a personality that is all their own, giving them them a certain universal "je ne sais quois" that separates them from the crowd.
I enjoy NV Magazine's after-work events just for that. The monthly/bi-monthly gatherings, held in dimly lit lounge-bars, act as sort of a middle ground and style stress test for black professionals, creatives, and aspirationals with a dollar (or two) and a dream. One or two-hundred good looking, 20-30-something year-olds sport a collective mash-up of Wall Street, modern business casual, nightlife savvy, and hipster chic. I take style queues from the people who mix high-low attire best : a casual suit with sneakers and a fedora, the fitted jeans with the white v-neck and vest, the faded army shirt and oversized shades, or whatever looks quality, hangs casually, and stands out in the process.
Those outfits - grounded in classic basics, up to date in modern twists, and rounded out by individual caches - can bend and flex through a night out in NYC's diverse and finicky nightlife scene. One outfit can sink in to a Williamsburg hookah bar, dance through a Flatbush or East-Brooklyn Caribbean basement party, get second looks at a mainstream Midtown mega-club, or walk right into the ultra-hip downtown locales hidden away for the city's elite. The best pull it off without the borish pre-meditated look of a catalogue or super-fad. It's the how rather than the what you wear that matters most. And it's a great place to start for those who don't know where the night will take them next.