Singaporebrides | Editors' Notes
I Got a Real Trip out of New York
Although it had been discussed since the Editor went in April last year and Audrie went last October, my visit to the New York Bridal Fashion Week April 2015 wasn’t confirmed until the month before we actually left. It was only when I stared at the flight booking in my hands that I finally let myself get excited. I was flying 15 thousand kilometres for 23 hours all the way to (gasp) New York City! The greatest city on earth, the fashion capital of the world, and the home of the best sitcom of all time.
And incredible, it was. It’s been more than a month since we got back, but I clearly remember the feeling of awe when we were greeted by the American flag at the JFK airport. I was in NYC! It was surreal riding in an iconic yellow cab past the wide expanses of cool grey skies and tall, bricked buildings, splashed here and there with graffiti. Once we pulled into the city centre, everything started to look more familiar. Like I’d seen that fire escape running up that red-bricked apartment before, or that street cart with the falafels. Of course, I had, on every sitcom set in NYC with its iconic grit and loud personality. From the huge billboard screens, to the subway station signs, to the narrow streets flanked by skyscrapers, to the street performers wearing clothes painted silver and bronze (and a couple who were ONLY painted), everything was at once strange and familiar, and completely epic. I’ll admit, my mouth was agape most of that first day, and my phone constantly pointed in front of me, trying to capture all the awesomeness that was New York.
We had got there a couple days before New York Bridal Market began, so I had a happy time being touristy in Times Square, gawking at the gigantic billboards and kiss cam, checking out the Broadway theatres with their flashing marquee lights, shopping at J. Crew and Anthropologie, and eating twice as many calories as I needed. I spent hours walking around the city’s grid system to the agony of my poor feet, finally realising the difference between walking “two blocks” or ten. With the whole city set out in a grid, it’s no wonder people stop in the middle of a road crossing to snap the beautiful, unhindered view down the street.
We took the subway to Brooklyn, and spent a beautiful spring day admiring apartment blocks with those iconic front steps leading up to them, where you sit and watch flaming furniture fall down. Neighbourhoods in Brooklyn were really picturesque, with their curlicue grills, brightly painted doors, and kid’s bikes tucked away in a corner of the small front lawn. I felt all cool sipping a latte in a café on a corner, and at one of the three best pizza joints in NYC, we ordered a small margherita to share. It wasn’t small at all, but it was utterly delicious, so we polished it off. Then, we headed for Brooklyn Bridge.
There were many other people on the bridge with us, some tourists with selfie sticks oblivious of the many cyclists, some New Yorkers in yoga tops and sneakers. The bridge’s steel cables made sleek lines that led the eye to the flags on its turrets, fluttering gently in the breeze. Leaning over the bridge, we could see the Manhattan skyline and the Manhattan Bridge on one side, and on the other, the Statue of Liberty. I felt rather awed gazing upon Lady Liberty with her torch raised high, albeit only as a dark silhouette far away in the distance.
The New York Bridal Fashion Week 2016 runway shows were an exciting whirl of glittering gowns and ethereally floating silks. My heart was aflutter along with the gowns, seeing the exquisite detailing and impeccable cuts in person. The buzz from the press and the many photographers would slowly hush at each show, and the runway lights would flash on as the first gorgeous gown from big names like Jenny Packham and THEIA strutted down the runway. I remember being blown away by the whimsical colour and pure lightness of spirit in Don O’Neill’s designs for THEIA. Gaia Lahav’s runway was an opulently glamorous confection of plunging necklines and glittering, see-through fabrics. Marchesa’s presentation featured statuesque gowns on illuminated pedestals in a regal, gold-leafed hall. Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection was a wild ride into the West, with cowboy hats and bandit black lace. I got to touch the delicate lace of Sareh Nouri’s collection, and meet the talented Liz Martinez. I tried on the ethereal, handmade headpieces by Jennifer Behr. And of course, Jenny Packham’s runway was a thrill. To see her glittering gowns in real life, as they walked toward me, shimmering under the golden midsummer spotlights—it was a waking dream all right.
In between all the glitz and glamour of the bridal market, I turned a year older. With my little birthday treat from the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, armloads of salads, chips, and beer from Whole Foods, and my two wonderful travel companions, I sat down on the green grass in Central Park, along with practically everyone in New York City, out to enjoy the first real spring day of the year. Horse-drawn carriages clip-clopped by, giant huskies lay panting in the warm sun, and squirrels crept stealthily closer to picnickers. We walked off some of our chips and dip along the sakura-lined roads through the park. Following the tiny pink blossoms to the Bethesda Terrace, we joined a crowd soaking in the gypsy jazz, post-rock instrumentals of City of the Sun, and glimpsed a newlywed couple taking photos in front of the Angel of the Waters. We were all walked out by the time we came back to our home for the week, the Jazz Age New Yorker Hotel. Resting aching feet, I pulled out my postcards to write to all the ones I couldn’t celebrate with back home, and filled one with extra small handwriting to commemorate my sixth anniversary with my love. He would have made everything more epic.
Besides visiting Central Park, I also hit all the iconic spots I could squeeze in around the bridal market. I saw graceful skaters in the famous Rockefeller Center rink, watched clouds skim the glittering World Trade Center, grabbed the Charging Bull by the horns at Wall Street, and saw the Empire State Building change colours over a slice of pizza. I walked reverently through the stone halls of the New York Public Library, and watched another couple take wedding photos under the iconic clock in Grand Central Terminal . Of course, I caught a Broadway show—Chicago, no less. It was a glittering, sonorous, and extravagant musical that also provided a lot of laughs. I overheard a loud conversation about a new romantic interest while walking down to East Village to try the Egg Shop, and had super creamy coffee crisp ice cream at Morgenstern’s.
All too soon, our time in the greatest city in the world was up. As I said my goodbyes to New York over an incredibly delicious Shake Shack burger and fries, I was filled with gratefulness (and grease). Thanks, Boss, for sending me on this amazing trip halfway across the world. It still feels like a dream.