Furry Furry Fashionable

I am still basking in my post Inaugural ceremony glow. I have taken my time writing about what I saw and felt that day in DC.  A couple of days ago a friend sent me a link to The New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham’s photos of what people were wearing at the Inaugural ceremony. I had seen them and this is what I replied back:

I saw this.
I love Bill Cunningham’s on the street photos.
I must say he did take my photo once at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, I was carrying an armload of peonies and wearing my vintage waterfall print skirt.
I was leaving the market, on my way home walking toward 5th avenue.
He sprang up from behind me and I was blinded for half a second by super bright white light.
I did not have time to protest.
I didn’t know who he was.
He didn’t ask if he could take my picture.
But he stepped back looking at me and said, “Marvelous”.
How could I protest after that?
I see him from time to time there.
And once riding his bike in Central Park. With camera around his neck of course.
I would love his job.
So I”m surprised he didn’t have better access for the Inauguration.
I disagree with him on his comment about “no fashion” among the spectators.
I was in fact surprised to see just how sophisticated and elegant a lot of women looked.
And to stand outside in the frigid air for several hours no less!
A lot of women had on high heels!
That I didn’t understand.
Two women brushed by me — very fancy — fluffy Donna Summersesque wigs (or weaves, though wigs would’ve probably been warmer — they weren’t wearing hats), one in a long pink mohair cape and high heeled boots.
Faces done. That cape was really stunning and made me rethink my outerwear choices.
I seriously felt like I was on my way to pick apples or stir my compost heap.
I haven’t seen that many full length fur coats in one place in a very long time.
Even the men were wearing them.
But the weather was the ideal condition for them.
It was nothing for a half a dozen women to walk by all in full length black mink coats.
Like they were going to church.
They reminded me of my mother and her friends and my aunt going to the Ebony Fashion Fair in the 70s.
They would get completely dressed up to go to this fashion show in downtown Chicago.
My mother didn’t own a fur, didn’t care to own one, but she’d borrow her friend’s coat just the same, to go over a new dress she’d sewn overnight.
I was reminded of all of that.
What these women were wearing and how they were wearing it hit me in a much deeper place than any of the women he shoots crossing Fifth Avenue and 57th Street near Bergdorf’s.

The women in DC were not trendy.
And yes, in that vein not fashionable.
They were wearing a lot more than those sweeping fur coats that day.
And he said he would have surely regretted not being there.
I certainly agree.

Here are other joyous spectators I captured on Inauguration Day.

Tell a friend, or two, about this post…


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