Whose Birkin is better?

It turns out that New York is perhaps the hardest place to be undergoing shopping-addiction recovery. This is not a city where restraint and minimalism are encouraged. Manhattan is a place where you can have whatever you want, if you can pay for it. New York is not the place to be if you are a fashion addicted consumerist on a minimal budget. The other day, as I eyed a woman carrying a black Hermes Birkin bag up Fifth Avenue I heard myself think, “why can’t I be her?!”. Ugggggggh, shudder. I mentally slapped myself right then and there. And then last night, I did something utterly cringe worthy. I complied with a chain mail email that claimed if I sent the email along to five people I would be blessed by the financial abundance angel. Judge away. god knows I would.

After four months in New York I have seen both extremities of the fashion spectrum. I’ve watched on in horror as women drop $5 000 in one go on a bag without blinking, and I’ve watched young devotees scour thrift stores for affordable style. The contradiction in accessibility in this city has made me wonder, Would I really want to be able to have it all in an instant?

Believe it or not, I think fashion is best in small doses. Lately I’ve found myself caught up in the race to experience it in big doses, and it hasn’t been fun in the slightest. Greed and consumerism have overshadowed the foundation of fashion: personal style. And as the rich and famous teach us over and over again, money doesn’t buy personal style (or happiness, as it turns out). So after giving myself a severe mental slapping for allowing myself to think I am anything but incredibly lucky, I vow to return to return my focus to what I’ve always found at the heart of fashion: self expression and personal style (which are accessible to everyone and have nothing to do with labels or price tags). The fashion industry is antagonistic and its fleetingness, its constant hurry towards the next best, the next style, the next season, the new, the avante-garde, the future, the up-and-coming, means that it only encourages excess buying, greed and the idea that nothing lasts forever and you always need more. Those people who can always buy more may appear to benefit from this. However, I believe in the ability to obtain any thing you want, the purpose of fashion as a self expression tool would be lost. Uniqueness and oddity overshadows by the ability to have the “classics” (Chanel, Birkin, Prada…). Personal style replaced by the ability to afford pre-determined style.  The exileration and excitment of owning something you know is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase replaced by the boredom at the thought that you can have 100s of the said item. Take Victoria Beckham, for example. The woman has over 100 Birkin bags, her collection valued at $2 million US. Where is the significance in owning such an iconic bag when you have more than most people have pairs of underwear and your collection could feed a third-world country?

What do you think? What would our fashion experience be if we could have absolutely anything? Do you think the ones who can have it all, with the seemingly endless funds, become desensitised? Would a luxury item bought buy said person ignite the same kind of feeling if someone with less than endless funds purchased it? Fashion, for me, is about the chase. About the hunt, the odd, the unique, the different, the cheap, the better, the one no one else has. Without the need to limit myself and search a little further for true Erin clothes at an affordable price, I wonder just what the point of it would be. Fashion, although so often is, should not be disposable. It is economically and environmentally irresponsible to purchase clothes at the rate a lot of women (me included, albeit at a budget level) do and the fashion industry encourages.

A fashionista in New York is spoilt for choice. From the drool-worthy stores on 5th Avenue; Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany, Prada, to the wholesale warehouses in Gramercy, to the up-and-coming designer boutiques in Soho and Greenwich, to the endless supply of vintage and thrift. There’s no limit to what money can buy you in New York. But, after a flurried past month marred by my constant I want, I want, I want attitude I am now slapping myself into line, rejecting the greed that the industry elicits and focusing on maitaining personal style at a budget I can afford, without turning to stripping, and reveling in my luck that I can buy clothing at all.

My dad will be so relieved.


Fashion – It’s An Illness.

It isn’t a rarity to hear me say “I’d kill for that…” or, “oh man, what I wouldn’t give to own that…” when referencing items of clothing I am lusting after. For a long time fashion has been at the forefront of my world, and my penchant for buying clothing the reason I am perpetually broke. However, after four months in New York, I now fear I have crossed the line from obsessed and hit an all out addiction and I’m starting to worry myself.

Hello, my name is Erin and I am a fashion addict.

Today a wander around midtown started innocently enough. My friend and current roomie Holly and I stumbled across a little hole-in-the-wall cafe that had a very Melbourne vibe and bore little resemblance to Starbucks, a rare find in New York. I had my first decent coffee in months. Mega score. However, a few blocks down on W.25th things turned a little pear shaped when I stumbled across a fashion trifecta. All within one block of each other we found a Diane Von Furstenberg Sample Sale (VIP day: not yet open to the public, but we managed to slip in unnoticed, which I took as a sign that I was meant to buy a lot), a Vintage Store run by a fashion mastermind who considers Victoria Beckham a regular customer and a wonderful jewelry boutique, Stephanie & Co., selling good quality, luxe-looking jewelry at bargain prices (between $10-$50). Here I found a chunky gold shield necklace and immediately added it to my running wish list. At the Vintage store I found a Yves Saint Laurent jersey dress from the 80s and basically teared up when I tried it on. And over at DVF, well, do I even need to explain? Blazers, skirts, tanks. Due to my current dwindling budget, I took nothing home with me except for a few sneaky snaps to help me get to sleep at night, but the physical pain I endured when finding these items I couldn’t afford made me ask, just how far am I willing to go for fashion?

Upon stumbling across this fashion jackpot my mood was initially elated ten fold and for a few hours I was on cloud nine. My love of fashion has passed an emotional process and  I now physically feel for fashion. In the presence of the YSL dress I had tingles. Surrounded by DVF: goosebumps. However, as the day came to a close and Holly and I walked back towards downtown empty handed, my mood swung. The further I walked from the stores, the more my stomach ached for the clothes. By the time we reached home I was in an all out funk. My stomach did summersaults when my mind wandered to the YSL dress. I was restless all night, jumping up and down, thoroughly annoying my room mates. I felt deep pangs of jealousy when thinking that other women walked into DVF and dropped $1000’s without thinking twice. When I came to New York I was obsessed with fashion, in fact, I’ve been obsessed with fashion for several years. However, after four months in New York, with its overwhelming fashion saturation, I have been flung into the realms of  an all-out fashion addiction.The good news? I am now more dedicated to my pursuit of making it as a fashion designer as ever. The bad news? I am steps away from turning to stripping to fund my addiction.

  • Disclaimer: For mum and dad reading this: I’m kidding. For everyone else: I’m totally and worryingly serious.

My symptoms include the fact that today I heard myself say “if stripping for one night meant I could buy that vintage Chanel scarf, I’d probably do it”. My first thoughts every morning are those of fashion and to be perfectly honest, I’d rather read Vogue than the newspaper. My mind is consumed by outfit ideas, fashion muses and a never ending how-far-can-my-budget-stretch tally.

As I only have 17 days left in New York, a friend suggested that my intensified addiction will be a short lived one. “You’re not there for much longer”, she said. “Just enjoy it while you’re there”. Good advice, except that on June the 29th I am not flying to Antarctica where I am entirely removed from fashion’s fickle realm. I am flying to London and I fear just about the same amount of overwhelming choice.

What I need is a recovery scheme. I don’t need to distance myself from fashion, per say. I need to remove the relationship between fashion and spending. I need to remind myself that clothes can be appreciated without needing to purchase at the rate New York City encourages you to. I fear a long road ahead.

Wish me luck.

One chicks junk is another chicks treasure

I have a rather shocking revelation. Since arriving in New York three months ago, I have only bought three pieces of brand new clothing. A sweater dress, a blazer and a pair of tan heels.

Dramatic pause for effect.

However. Before my friends who know me as the compulsive shopper I was when I left Melbourne accuse me of lying, and my dad jumps up and down with joy thinking his “there are more important things than clothes” speeches have finally gotten through, I must tell you this:

Since arriving in New York three months ago I have bought 7 t-shirts, 3 jackets, 1 dress, 2 skirts, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, sunglasses and a lot of jewelry.

All second hand. So, while I’d love to report that I’ve cut my ties with materialistic possessions for more worldly pursuits, I’m afraid I have to say I’ve merely changed what I’m buying, not that I’m buying. New York’s incredible array of thrift and vintage stores combined with the street style that dares you to be different has seen me turn from my previous main-stream staples in the pursuit of one and a kind gems. Plus, I want to be one of those people who can say, “Oh I just picked it up in a little Vintage store in New york, darrrrrrling”.

New York is something like a fashion collision site. Fashion from all different cultures battles it out on the streets. Haute Couture still reigns, especially in certain areas, hello Fifth Avenue, but it is being constantly challanged by the realigning emphasis on young up-and-comers. New York validates history and the future equally, making dressing in this city a constant contradictory task.

I have never felt as daring as here in New York. My “you’re in New York, there are no boundaries” philosophy has led to some great purchases and unique fashion choices. I have never been so in tune with my own style, removed from what is technically in trend. When I walk into H&M, Top shop and the rest, there is only a certain amount of style to choose from. Ultimately, while the array of individual pieces may appear large, the actually style choice is very small. It’s restrictive and while yes, if I buy from these stores I am going to be in “trend” to an extent, it doesn’t give me the opportunity to really apply a personal style. The style in these stores is pre-determined. But, when buying vintage and second hand, there is complete and utter freedom which I used to find daunting, but now find completely inspiring. Perhaps it is that I now have the time to spend an entire day (and I often do!) buried in one of the many hole-in-the-wall thrift stores, sorting through the junk to find the gem. My belief is that for every 100th waste-of-space piece in a thrift stores, you’ll strike gold.

Why vintage? Not because it is the new thing to do, not because apparently, all the celebrities are now turning to vintage and mixing their $5 000 bags with vintage treasures, but because when buying vintage, you are completely free to make your own choices. The options are endless and it is like drawing an abstract monkey-alien when the teacher asked you to drawn a life-like fruit bowl in art class – fun, your own and alike nothing else.

My advice? When looking for dresses, keep in mind the option of belting because most dresses made in past eras weren’t made to show off the female figure, so whilst it may look like you’re wearing a bag when you first put it on, put a belt around the middle and shorten the hemline a few inches. Thrift stores are the best place to stock up on guys clothing. Namely, T-shirts, shirts and sweaters that we can wear as dresses. There are a lot of sweaters left over from the 90s that can be worn with leggings and heels, and Grandpa cardigans that can achieve the Olsen-boho look. Another tip – check out the guys pants. A pair of worn in, ripped  mens jeans rolled up at the ankle can achieve the perfect (and authentic) ‘boyfriend jeans’ look without a) actually needing a boyfriend and b) spending an arm and a leg on brand new pair.

Fashion is what we make of it. We have more freedom now than women have ever had before, to dress however we want. The lines between trend and classic, old and new, couture and bargain are being blurred and I urge you to embrace it and find your own style treasure in someone else’s  junk.

All that glitters is Balmain; often have you heard that told.

What makes Christophe Decarnin, head designer at Balmain, my absolute hero, inspiration, fashion god, person I am most likely to get thrown into jail for stalking – and everything in between?

Not only do his clothes rock at a couture level on runways and red carpets around the world, but due to his natural preoccupation with accessible street style grunge, season after season he is able to shake the entire fashion scene – from couture to budget and back again. When the 2009 Spring/ Summer collection saw Decarnin send models marching down the runway in harshly structured garments with huge shoulder padding – a look that has been a taboo since the Eighties – not only did high-end designers follow suit and insert shoulder pads where ever they could, but all the way down the fashion spectrum shoulder padding was pinpointed as the style of the moment. Unlike other high-end fashion houses, Balmain style manages to tip toe the line between haute couture and all out accessiblity. Decarnin’s style isn’t exclusive to runways and red carpets. It just as easily manages to rock on the streets of cities around the world.

Runway dreamboat (Anyone got a spare $4, 000 to lend me?):

Street level alternative:

What she’s wearing: levi’s shorts, Zara shoes and shirt. Incredibly cool and entirely within the average price range.

Source: http://www.sincerelyjules.com/2009/08/street-style.html

Then, by the time the shoulder pad style had trickled down to budget stores and, more or less, every garment produced had some sort of harsh structure, Decarnin’s 2010 Spring/ Summer collection hit the runways. Suddenly we are out of the 80’s, and we are doing military all over again. However, as always, Decarnin managed to take some thing old – a style we’ve already seen – and add his own unique twist (soon to be a twist followed by the rest of the world) and make it new again. With embelished epaulets, leather and sky-high heels, Decarnin managed to add a new sexy femininity to the military style. Again, his collection was accessible. Incredibly glamorous, yes, but something more fit for stomping around Glastonbury festival in, or wandering the streets of Soho in, than the red carpet and runways. And again, this new military trend burned straight down the fashion line from high end to budget, and finally ebay, where I managed to pick up this beauty for $30.

And again (just for fun) the dreamboat option:

What I’m trying to get at is this: no other high-end designer’s last few collections have had such an immense impact on street style as my one-true-love, Decarnin. The streets of New York are amass with Balmain disciples. Structured blazers, acid wash jeans, military coats. Most of them, of course, aren’t actually wearing Balmain – they are wearing deisngers who have taken inspiration straight from Balmain shows and transformed it into affordable street wear options. Without a doubt, Decarnin is currently writing the rules of street wear.

Thus, I was a tad ambivalent when the Balmain 10-11 Fall/Winter show saw a river of gold flow down the runway. Decarnin has now, without a doubt, entered utter and unapologetic glam rock. It’s a little bit 80’s, It’s a little bit Versatilles, it’s a lot bit extravagant. Gold, brocade and leather made for all out Baroque’ and roll.

“I started from a standpoint of classic french couture, like a cardin jacket and trousers from 1970; all very elegant. And then I moved to the court of Versailles. This a pretty good substitute for Versailles, non?” Decarnin explained backstage.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in utter adoration. On the runway, this is new age cool in its most sublime form. What  I am wondering is: Will this style be able to trasform, as his previous two collections have so flawlessly, to street style? Will we be able to pull this off at a budget level? Of the collection, one reported noted that it will be “clearly distinguished from the cheap knock offs.” And  I agree. Unlike his other collections, this look has such potential for pure trashy failure, at a budget level. I shudder to think of what Supre will do with this trend. Will this collection end my much-loved tradition of pulling styles from Balmain runways and adding my own budget twist (Like sewing shoulder padding into pre-loved jackets or buying $30 bargains on ebay)?

Decarnin’s approach to Baroque glamour seems to be more is more is more. But my advice is to keep it minimal, at least to begin with. Keep the all-out bedazzled gold for night time, and during the day keep it subdued. Mix a splash of gold with a black base – a gold blouse under a structured black blazer, for example. A gold belt around a black dress or gold brogues teamed with light coloured pants. Fabric and colour choice will be important too – steer clear of the polyester and tacky shades of gold – go for brocades and silks and a deep, bronze gold. This look is about contradiction – if you’re rocking the glamour on the top, pair it with minimalstic pants. If you dare to try the bedazzled leather pants, make sure you opt for a light top that lets the bottom half do the talking (or, in fact, the screaming).  The challenge this season will be hitting the mark of just the right amount of bedazzled glamour without ending up looking like an 80’s hooker.

Decarnin, game on.

Also, Will you marry me?

My style advice for the upcoming season? Well, to quote Dr Seuss…

“So much and no more! Never more than a spot, or something may happen. You never know what”.

Except I do know what will happen. You will look fucking awful!

Chanel is history (for me).

I have never been into a Chanel store.

My ever present fear that, well, I am  just not worthy of stepping  through the doors, has kept me drooling from afar. As I’ve stood outside gaping at the window displays I’ve imagined all of the worst case scenarios. What if the door man takes one look at me and decides not to let me in?  What if I drop a shoe and break it and can’t afford to pay for it? What if I pull a Carrie-in-Paris and fall flat on my face?  What if them deem me too dirty to touch the all-mighty Chanel and ask me to wear disposable gloves?

I’m a regular Chanel window shopper.I’ve been to every pret-a-porter show online. I have witnessed every Karl Lagerfield interview (Thanks Youtube!). I have a reoccurring dream  that I own a 2.55 handbag.  In reaility, I have a pretty good knock-off. There are those who can afford Chanel and those who cannot. I cannot and I have long since accepted this as my Chanel fate.

But a few days ago one of my best friends (and fashion partner-in-crime) told me about a 2.55 bag  exhibition at the 57th Street store.  Although it breaks my long standing Chanel-from-afar tradition, I decide I must go. Hell, I’m in New York! Plus, it’s an exhibition, they don’t actually expect you to be able to buy the bag. It’s about appreciation of the art of Chanel. And I appreciate the 2.55 bag like it is the Mona Lisa.

So, I hike the 43 blocks it takes me to get to 57th street because I can’t currently afford a cab ride up town, let alone any Chanel. In my head, I envisioned 2.55 bags strewn across tables and counters. A time and place where those of us not down with the 2.55 history could learn a thing or two. A time  and place where (fingers crossed) those of us who will never afford one could even, maybe, potentially, pretty-please, touch a 2.55 bag. I imagined this exhibition to be accessible. To bring the all-exclusive 2.55 handbag down to my level. Not the case. Unfortunately, all Chanel has done (And I give them credit – it’s a good marketing ploy) has renamed the store an exhibition. Yes, the 2.55 bag is on exhbit, but as it has always been, behind a locked cabinet guarded by men-in-black assistant. There is nothing to learn here, except, what I expected, I definitely do not belong. I leave Chanel and backtrack the 43 blocks home. Back in the East Village, where my hobo-ness is nurtured, I get researching. Without any help from those over on 57th Street, I stumble across some interesting 2.55 history. I’m sure there are those of you reading this (Hello, dad) who are thinking – It’s just a flipping bag! What history can it have? But as all things in Coco Chanel’s life, the 2.55 is not just anything… The women was calculating, down to every last stitch.

The 2.55 was brought out in Feburary (2) 1955 (55). The 2.55 was one of the first handbags to have a shoulder strap. In the past women had clutched their handbags in their hands. But ball-busting Coco decided she wanted to be able to use her hands, like the men. So she intrdouced the chain strap, inspired by the strap found on soldiers bags. The colour of the lining represents the colour of the uniform at the convent where she was raised. Iconic to the 2.55 is the inside zipped pocket. Well this, of course, is where the minx hid her love letters. Coco decided she needed access to easy cash – like the men – so the outside flap is where she stashed extra cash. Coco named the 2.55 lock the “Mademoiselle Lock” because she never married. Most importantly, it is said that the 2.55 was designed by Coco because she couldn’t afford, nor did she like, the bags in fashion at the time .

Coco Chanel did not want the bags other women had. She didn’t envy any one else. She believed unwaveringly and solely in her own style. Coco Chanel didn’t ‘fit’ into the world she found herself a part of. She couldn’t afford the clothes that were fashionable at the time – She was a misfit. So what did she do? She changed the way. She didn’t change the way she dressed so that she was in style – she changed the way everyone else dressed so that she was in style. Her fashion evolved out of a brilliant concoction of defiance and necessity.  She looked around at the bags in style, said screw that (And I do believe she would have said screw that) and made the 2.55 bag in all its chain glory. And perhaps herein lies the end of my Chanel 2.55 obsession. I am taking a leaf out of Coco’s book and (ironically) dialing back my love off all things CC. Because I am setting out find my own style, to be entirely different. I’m not going to pine after bags I will never afford. I shall revel in the bags I can afford (even the ones I buy out of trollies  from strange men). I want a bag that has my story attached, my life sewn into it. As Coco Chanel said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different”.

And, like a sign from god – the Chanel god, at least – (I promise I am not shitting you) a hipster in motorcycle boots and a leather jacket just walked by the cafe I’m sitting in with a canvas bag scrawled with Fake Chanel and I believe even the ever sullen and pissed off Coco would have to let out a little giggle at that.

Cause I’m in New York, baby.

My current situation (being on the other side of the world from everything I know, that is) has me questioning, just what makes me different from the Yanks. And, of course, I’m hitting this from a fash perspective. The ultimate question. How much does my Australian-ness influence the way I dress? If, at all.

At best, fashion is merely a representation of what is going on around it; the situation it finds itself in. In pure simplicity, proof of this is the fact that fashion is forever constrained by the season. Winter fashion must adhere to cold weather, summer fashion to light fabrics etc.  But on a deeper cultural level proof of this is that we can thank WWII (and fabric rationing) that shorter hemlines were ever considered an appropriate clothing choice for women. Fashion is the child of culture, society and economics and it will never stand alone.

Fashion, in any given country, is never removed from it’s own national identity. When fashion happens in Australia, it isn’t, as in Britain, against the backdrop of grand history. Or isn’t, as in New York, against the backdrop of being the best city in the world. This is it, the fashion here must be the best in the world. In Australia, It is viewed against the backdrop of what Australia is perceived as: a place free of much seriousness, a place where we ride kangaroos and end each day on the beach, beer in hand.

People often use the example of Australians wearing denim shorts as proof of our casual fashion sense. However, this style is only perceived as casual because in Australia, weather that permits denim shorts goes hand in hand with a beach culture – which is casual in essence. Is it really that the clothes we wear are casual, or that the clothes occur within the constraints of a perceived ‘casual’ country? I see plenty of denim short wearing New Yorkers. But here it is against a backdrop of urbanism at its more extreme, not sand and surf and thus is perceived as being a more austere style. And when Miss Moss stomps around London in denim shorts, the world views it as rock and roll glamor, paying homage to London’s punk music scene of the 1970s. What is the ultimate difference between the style of denim shorts here and denim shorts on Bondi beach? The cultural context it is being viewed within.

In actual fact, although it is the more austere and more significant city, I’m seeing that New York style is ten fold more colorful, creative and mellow than Melbourne. There is no wrong way to dress in New York, and the street culture defies you to to be different.

“You’re in New York. The city that never sleeps. Go on, do something crazy, I dare you.”

Due purely to the amount of people here in New York compared with Australian cities, there is a freedom to express exactly who you are. In fact, there is a need. Express who you are, and do it loudly, or you’ll fall through the cracks. The blend of ethnicity and culture has created a dynamic place where anything goes, and thus it is a much more casual fashion style than Australia. You don’t have to defend your fashion choices as much here as in Australian cities. The amount of people and monumental size of the overall culture has removed the pressure of needing to be part of a perceived ‘sub culture’, or part of anything at all. There is an arrogance about personal style in New York.  The fashion culture in New York goes something like this.


Case in point.

A girl just walked by the bar on Avenue A I am currently sitting at wearing a Hanson t-shirt (whatttttt?) a tutu and louboutins. In Australia this would have to mean something; have to mean she is part of a particular subculture.  But in the context of being a youngster in the East Village of New York, it can simply mean anything and she doesn’t have to justify it. Maybe she loved Hanson (she wouldn’t be the only one). Maybe it was the cheapest T-shirt at the thrift store. Or maybe she’s making some dark statement about the irony of pop music which has gone straight over my (mainstream) head. The ultimate difference than if she were in Australia? Here, she can wear anything she wants. Because she is in New York, baby, and that says it all.

Australian style isn’t casual, or at least, it isn’t any more casual than American style. It is just a style occurring within the constraints of a country where people ride kangaroos to school and beer flows from the taps. (or so they say…)

And it is both an asset and a grave disadvantage that fashion will only ever occur within the boundaries of the culture it is within. My advice? Be sure to expose yourself to as much international fashion as you can and, oh yes, take regular trips to New York.

No you’re not good enough or rich enough, this is yoga for everyone

So, after too many dinners and lunches and okay, fine, the occasionally breakfast consisting of New York pizza and beer (is there anything better??) in the East Village, I decided I need to inject some form of exercise into my otherwise blissfully peaceful New York afternoons. So, me being me (fundamentally lazy when it comes to exercise), I decided jogging around Central Park wasn’t a realistic option. (Anyway, what if I bump into Ed Westwick shooting a scene and I’m dripping with sweat?). I walked straight past all of the fancy gyms that are dotted around the city (Heeeelllo, my budget is $20 a day and any splurge I may allow myself is going straight to a Vintage store on W Houston Street where a DVF shirt is waiting for me). In the end, my general lack of motivation to do anything that involves any real physical exertion led me straight to the big Y.

Yoga. Yes! Bingo. What could be more wondrously contradictory than spending an afternoon in this bustling urban jungle on the top floor of an apartment building finding my inner zen? So I began research. Due to my current budget and desire to have enough money at the end of the week to go and claim the DVF shirt, I shot straight past any studio that looked… well, nice.

Then over sushi and beer on Avenue A, a friend suggested Yoga to the People, a hidden studio on St Marks Place in the East Village.

St Marks Place? I like what I’m hearing! St Marks is lined with nice bars, cool stores and home to my local Pinkberry! So after I’ve kicked some yoga butt, I can reward myself with a Pinkberry.

$10 “suggested donation” per 1 hour lesson? I REALLY like what I’m hearing. Hot body, inner zen, pinkberry and DVF shirt all suddenly seem within reach.

So after I rolled myself home from the sushi bar (too much sushi and beer consumed way too quickly!) I get googling.

How incredible refreshing. Yoga without the BS. Yoga without feeling like a total uncoordinated child when I can’t do the downwards dog. Yoga that means by Saturday I will be in possession of my new best friend, the DVF shirt diligently waiting for me on W Houston.

I’m no yoga expert. And I have plenty of friends who will probably disagree with what I’m about to say. But personally I believe, Yoga is Yoga. There isn’t too much to it. It all makes me feel the same (warm, stretched, lighter, freer) regardless of the price I’m paying. In fact, I think the only problem with yoga is the pretension that so often goes hand in hand. Yoga is just a bunch of stretchy moves designed to create a “knowing glowing feeling” and the fact that this place seems to recognise it for what it is, makes it my new favourite place.

So, three times a week I trot down to YTTP, pay less for a lesson than I do for my daily coffee habit, stretch my (very un-stretchy) limbs and reward myself with pinkberry and a drink on St Marks afterwards (perhaps this won’t actually help counteract all of the pizza eating). but I truly recommend it to anyone in the area, who, like me isn’t rich enough (or silly enough) to go into a regular yoga studio and pay 80 bucks to just stretch.