A Walk in the Park with Finnley

Finnley is now barking at me with real gusto. We adopted him before Christmas, and he and I are still working on decoding one another’s demands. In the interest of bonding and a poop-free home, I give weight to even his slightest suggestion.

But the barking this time of day is Dog Whisperer 101 stuff. Truth–I know exactly what he wants, but I’m pleading ignorance. I flew back from Denver last night, and I’m tired. Still, it’s almost always the same—me dragging my feet to go on the early, brisk walk Finnley wants. Then once we’re in Central Park, I love him all the more for coaxing me into such a great start to the day.

IMG_7218EIn the 10 days I was in Denver the weather in New York has changed dramatically. Now it’s Spring! Even though Finnley has only been a city dog for a couple months, he falls right back into crowded-street-navigation. He keeps up with the quick crowd as I rush him along to cross streets. I stay vigilant in spotting the “street food” he sucks up. I think he cooperates with our determined walking because he remembers that he gets total control once we get to the park. He can sniff to his heart’s content, and say hello to anyone who will have him. I’ve still got a few months left to blame his affection-sans-boundaries on being a pup. (Editor’s sidebar—at Plumage 59 we believe that dogs are often the very best versions of people. So for our purposes when we say anyone, strictly defined as any person, to us it also means any dog.)

We get to Central Park and the world falls away. For him it’s filled with smells, play and curiosity, and for me…it’s filled with the same! Seriously, for me it’s also filled with daydreaming, calm, inspiration, and lots of joy.

Today we’re headed across the park to see new artistry in Bergdorf Goodman’s windows. When we’re almost out of the park, I think to myself that I should have been taking pictures to capture this morning’s beautiful light, and the juxtaposition of nature with architecture. I’ve also forgotten about Finnley, because he’s in the zone–not so fresh and hyper. This is the sweet spot, when we fall into a natural rhythm. I start taking photos, and looking at them later I decide the sky has a bit of a white-washed mist over the cloudless sky, paradoxically giving it a more intense light.

But wait, I know Countess Luann…in my head.

Emerging from the park, we walk past the Plaza Hotel. I see the weather thermometer on one of the columns that frames the grand entrance. I note that it’s already 62 degrees. This is punctuated by having just passed people ice-skating in the Central Park Ice Rink! In front of me is the newest movie on the Paris Theater marquee—Marguerite. I haven’t heard of it, which is another thing I love about New York—getting to be first. Glancing right I see Beautique, which I’ve passed lots of times before. Each time I wonder the same thing, “Is this the nightclub where the Real Housewives of New York party?” I imagine the inside to need a bit of freshening, with a 90’s-meets-upper-east-side-meets-touristy vibe. I kind of want to go and check it out sometime, but seriously wonder if they’d let me in. “But wait, I know Countess Luann…” in my head.

Heading toward magical, imagination windows at Bergdorf Goodman’s I’m suddenly confronted with…wait, what is this? It’s a wall of trompe l’oeil fakery?! And it’s covering the windows. More renovation. Damn! Then I remembered, that instead we can walk east on 57th and see what key pieces design houses are highlighting in their windows. In the last month I’ve been following the pinnacle of style fervor—Fashion Weeks that begin in New York, then weave through London, Milan and Paris. But figuring out the key trends can be a lot to navigate and pick through.




Across 5th Avenue I first see Louis Vuitton. I’m especially interested in their windows this season. Ghesquiere’s modern, edgy slant is wearable and cool. What I notice first is the latest iteration of Birkenstocks on steroids. Let us regale in the comfort, the elevated look–chained and chunky sandal. Even better that it’s valid to pair them with a sparkly shift. Love the leather pants with double-zipped coolness at the ankles. There are urban leather motorcycle jackets and bubble skirts. Wait! Bubble skirts? Uh-huh. I tick off in my mind the similar leather jackets I have, that I’ll freshen with some take away from Spring 2016—but it probably won’t be a bubble skirt.




Next door is a slash of pink neon and a leopard-print surfboard. Saint Laurent.




Miu Miu is next, and is always a lot of brain damage.  Their irreverent mix of color and pattern is jarring to me.  I am forced to view it with a student’s eye, searching for some formula to understand it.  But this time it’s easier. Black and white, (phew!) with only one mash-up of color to dissect. There’s also a gorgeous houndstooth plaid coat, sliced diagonally by a ruffle of black lace. This blatant masculine/feminine play is topped with a diamante, ostrich-feathered, breastplate collar. This I always get–this profusion of plumage!  The shoes only need one word–behold.





Over at Chanel, skirts over pants are validated for me again. And Dior shows knee-length white summer dresses, topped with super-cropped tops. They are sweet, with an exploded rickrack-scalloped edge.
My eye puts all of this together to suit my plum age (umhum).  Which pieces do I ditch (bubble skirts)? Where do I moderate? Often with today’s trend of combining quite disparate elements, I’m more comfortable in the middle.  So I probably wouldn’t wear chunky sandals with a cocktail dress, a-la-LV.  But I would combine the cool sandals with a more casual, embellished dress.

On our way home I’m lightened, thinking where else can a gal walk her dog and browse fashion like this?  The styles I’m working up in my mind energize me. Ok Finnley, maybe it was also the walk.

Photos: Dawn Bell Solich

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"Buoyed by a community of sensational women, Plumage 59 is the embodiment of that dream that fuses it all together."

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