The nostalgia and yearning of city life has been an inspiration since antiquity. While pastoral idealism has certainly had its impact on many creative processes, fashion has always sat squarely in the camp of urbanism.
While Atonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, in E Minor "From the New World" is our favorite for a certain kind of longing and aspiration that speaks to the hard scrabble world of American immigrant urbanism that built our textile industry, there is another kind of urban symphony that speaks to American dreams.
They are dreams are not of longing, but of completion and success. Naturally we are referring to George Gershwin who is our go to guy when it comes to a certain era of cosmopolitan creation. It is inspiration for those that have already made it. He plays on a kind of perky insouciance that says there is no hoping only being as the kind of cocky optimism that plays out across the American cultural heritage. He gave us An American in Paris which practically defined the genre of American cross cultural ownership of the urban landscape. Strangely nothing is more American than a pretty lady and her beau swanning about Paris claiming French haute couture for a certain quirky American constituency.
But with the Euro beating the dollar the kind of naive ownership that American style have long had over modern cities even beyond our borders is crumbling. We cannot borrow and reinvent against other's cosmopolitan culture anymore. We simply can't afford it. We say however to let go of Dvorak and go again for Gershwin when dressing in our American Not Quite in Paris staycation attire.
Let us hope that these style inspirations help us remember more of the Gershwin and less of the Dvorak in our urban landscape. This kind of confident ownership is sure to turn our currency around and annoy the crap out of the Parisians as we again claim rights their crown jewel. Even if we have to do it from a café next door on our staycation we say emulate the Parisians. After all, we are a nation of comeback kids and second chances. We say be dressed to be an American in Paris, since any day now a chic pair of black pants and a black shift might be required as we traipse about humming Gershwin on a wild spending spree at our favorite Right Bank boutiques.