Privilege Blog

A Deconstructed, Imaginary, Celebrity, Mom’s Afternoon Out At The Standard High Line Biergarten

How’s that for a title?

As you all know, lots of requests float toward us in the blogosphere. Most often I decline. (This post here posited the life I might lead if I accepted more broadly.) However, I do participate in offers, when a good giveaway is involved, or when I find the merchant requesting particularly interesting. The oddest experience of course being the Sodastream live video announcement featuring Scarlett Johansson and Mohawk Man.

Recently I got a request involving no goods at all. The only quid pro quo would be mention of the post on social media streams. A woman named Kendra Thornton, who looks to be in her late 30s, runs a PR firm, does television segments on travel, attends social functions in Chicago, and has 3 kids ( so maybe she’s early 40s), sent me an email. “Dress me for a visit to the Standard High Line!” it said.

Despite the odd, random, clearly-marketing-driven-but-not-clearly-by-whom setup, I couldn’t resist. It’s New York, and a boutique luxury hotel at that.

How did I choose her outfit? Just as I would if anyone wanted suggestions on what to wear in a similar situation.

  1. Understand the wearer’s preferences and constraints. From the Internet, it appears that Kendra favors solid colors, a tan, and is happy to show a little collarbone.
  2. Understand the locale, and the zeitgeist. I knew Manhattan, I love Manhattan, but I live in the California Bay Area. I’ve been to the High Line park, but never to the hotel. So how fortunate that Duchesse had recently returned from the city bearing tales of corset tops and floating skirts.
  3. Understand, or in this case imagine, a Use Case. While the Standard High Line has several places to eat – one of which apparently you can only enter if you are that fabled Manhattan creature, Cool Enough – what do I know of all that now in my suburban life? But I never forgot summer afternoons in the city. You’ve braved the urban grit in sandals, walked through the streets only looking, you find a chair as the heat is just turning and sit, in shade, and feel the day’s passing and a faint thrum of subway.
  4. Survey the totality for that moment of aesthetic Yes.

Here goes.

Untitled #188


  • A corset top by Alexander McQueen, in black, because, Manhattan, check.
  • A floaty skirt, but toughened just a tad with chambray, check.
  • Tan and black sandals in the leather-crafted look kicked off, I believe, by the Ancient Greek brand. We are not sure the shoes will work for ping pong, we will wait for the imaginary report back.
  • Wrapped metallic bead bracelet, gold post earrings (sold out, but from here), because, summer.
  • A bucket bag, in this year’s newest silhouette, by the largely sold-out trend originator, Mansur Gavriel (tan/black/brown still available). In blush, because, sophisticated, and she got there early.
  • Red, red lipstick, to be noticed, and to fall in with Jo Goddard and Zooey Deschanel. A slightly more Maker Faire look than Kendra’s usual.

I trust her to cut loose a little and choose her own beer.

The final component of this request was to include some text in its entirety. Read this with head cocked quizzically.

“Designing the Fashion Forward Mom

Are you interested in fashion? Do you love putting together just the right outfit for any occasion? Now is your opportunity to help a hard-working mother have a stylish time at one of New York’s hottest hotels. In Kendra’s Fashion Challenge, you will provide trendy advice to a busy mom who could use a little help in putting together a beautiful wardrobe.

While The Standard, High Line Hotel is well known for its variety of fine-dining and entertainment opportunities, you will be organizing an outfit for the Top of the Standard. At the Top of the Standard, not only are there provided calming beverages during the day, such as tea, but in the evening the lounge picks up energy with live Jazz music and specialty drinks. In this light but fine dining experience sophistication is a must, and so too is an outfit that can look good in both the sunset and the moonlight.

As is known across America and across the globe, New York provides the most unique fashion and travel opportunities in the world. This means that striking attire is a necessity. This is the Big Apple we are talking about here, don’t just design something that will look good, think of something that will stand out and make people take notice. In the city of bright lights, brilliant artists, and cultures from every place imaginable, it’s your job to make any person want to turn their head and take notes. This isn’t just about astounding others however; remember that this dedicated mom wants to have a fun night out on the town. Looking fantastic should not have to be uncomfortable, or in need of constant maintenance. Think fashion forward without all the fuss, think sophistication without all the seriousness of a catwalk. This is New York, looking stylish comes naturally.”

As you see, I broke the rules by choosing the Biergarten, by dressing down, by any number of things. I suspect I’ll be forgiven. This is all imaginary. The request seems to have been made to increase Gogobot’s social media profile – the outfit will almost certainly never be worn.

I say almost certainly because Manhattan is a very big city, with industrial-strength capacity to surprise, as a summer afternoon slips into evening. Someone might be wearing a black corset top with chambray skirt even now, they might be reapplying red lipstick on the High Line.


Affiliate links may generate commissions.

22 Responses

  1. Love the outfit, and I would most certainly wear it walking around Manhattan, or anywhere, on a hot summer afternoon. I’ve never been to Germany to see the real thing, but your biergarten photo reminds me of the biergarten’s of my youth in central Texas and the photos on the hotel’s website make it appear to offer a welcome respite at the end of a summer afternoon. I can almost imagine stopping in for a while, although the hotel’s website makes the place seem far too cool for me.

  2. I love, love, love those sandals!! And the High Line. And beer :) Although, from the pics on their website, the crowd looks more like drunk 20 somethings & B&Ters, than celebs.

    1. Patsy, The two times we walked through the High Line Park, I saw non one who had too much to drink. We did see families, children, sweethearts, elderly people. It was idyllic.

    2. @Patsy,
      Oh, not the High Line itself! Sorry for the misunderstanding! I meant the photos that the Biergarten has on it’s own website. I’ve been to the High Line many times (usually off season) and agree, it’s idyllic. And a great use of what used to be a horrendous eyesore and dangerous, to boot.

  3. I love the outfit and the accompanying text. The juxtaposition of the imaginary and the real is very post-modern. Or something.

  4. Love the entire outfit, lipstick, accessories and style mood it sets. Love everything about it. She will definitely wear yours Lisa!

  5. Love the ensemble and were I still in my 40’s I would have worn all of it in a heartbeat. Now the skirt is too short and the corset a bit over the top in my mid-fifties. I still have the bucket bag though from the last time they were the thing. Mine is black and tan D & B and would totally go with the outfit. Your taste is impeccable, Lisa.

  6. I LOVE the High Line Park. I’ve been there twice–both times strolling through the park in its entirety. It is so inspirational and enjoyed by so many people. I did not know about the hotel. However, I do have a book based on the High Line Park. It is a children’s book titled The Curious Garden by Peter Brown and is based on the history of the High Line Park.

    Great outfit. One of my profile photos on FB has been a photo of my husband and me at this park.

  7. What a sexy yet comfortable ensemble! I just came back from having a Berlinerweisse at a Montréal beer garden.

  8. Have to admit that is a great title! I still haven’t been to the high line in my last few trips to the city. So I don’t really know the ambience it is supposed to evoke and I don’t see it as many backdrops for fashion editorials but I like your curated outfit in anycase!

  9. I have yet to visit a The Highline Park, but it’s on my list. And so is that darned Mansur a Gavriel bag…natural or black. Great ideas for a might out, Lisa!

  10. Adore the skirt. You find cool stuff, Lisa. Thanks for all the great ideas! What would you recommend for women a decade older than Kendra?

    1. @Alex in Seattle, I don’t know! I’ll be visiting NYC in July, however, so I will keep my eye out and report back. I’ll probably just wear BF jeans, a tank, a utility jacket, and Birkenstocks. With big earrings and men’s watch. Go disguised as a Californian, in other words;).

  11. Hello Lisa,

    Well, we have enough trouble getting ourselves dressed without considering Ms Kendra’s sartorial needs, but you do seem to have sorted out a great outfit for her.

    The High Line is such a fabulously creative idea which seems to have spawned a number of copies throughout Europe. It is so good when run down areas in inner cities are revitalised in this way and attract people into them once more.

    We can well see her in the black corset, just the right touch of edginess that such a venue would suggest. Indeed, perhaps we shall seek it out ourselves….and the sandals…..and the skirt…and the bracelet…

  12. It’s a great outfit, and quite a sexy top. It is very NY, but would work anywhere I suppose. Good choices!

  13. Gosh, Kendra’s copy makes me blush to be a marketer! (I often have to blush for sub-standard marketing… in fact I frequently shout at TV ads when I happen to catch them in passing).

    Still, your post is lovely as usual. I’ve never been to NYC, but now I’m in England, there might be a hop across the Atlantic in my future.

  14. Comfortable, but not underdressed. It’s a formula for many summer social situations. Nice job.

  15. Now I’m coveting that corset top, which was completely unexpected. I love the whole outfit. Fortunately they probably don’t have the corset top in my size, so I don’t have to find a way to justify spending $800 on it.

Comments are closed.