Hi friends! It’s been quite a bit since I’ve gotten a chance to update Magic-Ala-Mode, but such is life. Yet with the holiday season in full swing, it felt appropriate to take a look back at a photoshoot I did a few months ago with my pal Shanté Grossett. Not only is she a super skilled photographer, but she absolutely gets my aesthetic and indeed produces some fantastic work. The other reason I wanted to start posting these is that – believe it out not – Christmas is right around the corner. And what does that have to do with my photoshoot from this past summer? You’ll just have to see.
While we took some warmer weather pictures in Central Park first, I wanted to focus on the shots we took closer to my favorite department store for this post. But more on that in a moment! When discussing with Shanté the vibe I was going for, I’ve always wanted someone to capture me walking around the city near one of Manhattan’s beautiful, classic structures. And while the store in question is more on the newer side of things, the building it’s housed in has a lot of history to it. Shanté did a fantastic job of making all of my silly dreams come true with these photos, and I felt even more like a heroine in a 2000’s era rom-com (which is basically my eternal life goal.)
One of the staples of this part of Manhattan is The Brooklyn Diner on 57th Street. With its retro checkerboard presentation and classic Americana food, its become quite the tourist destination for many of those who visit the Big Apple (especially before a show at Carnegie Hall, which is down the street.) If you’re looking for luxury meets hometown feel while visiting the city, this place basically has you covered (and features one of my favorite nostalgic breakfasts.) Shanté caught me feeling at my absolute cutest in front of this little slice of comfort amid the city streets.
If you’re a local or frequent visitor, you likely already guessed the department store I was gushing about – the Nordstrom Flagship! Just a stone’s throw away from Columbus Circle/Central Park, this place always makes me feel like I’m walking into a museum of fashion. And while I use that word to describe many similar stores in New York City, I feel like only a handful are as welcoming and beautiful as Nordstrom. Why is that? Well let’s just say that most of the lovely shops in Manhattan have a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity. Yet when looking through the racks of Nordstrom, they provide a much more accommodating experience for clients of various kinds.
This is especially true when it comes to their plus-size options. Though they still have a long way to go (especially compared to Macy’s at Herald Square, who isn’t perfect within the category either), Nordstrom offers a lot of plus-size garments in various sizes, price ranges, and styles. Again, the section isn’t perfect, but it’s probably the retail brand that has come the closest to evoking the shopping experience I’ve always wanted when it comes to plus-size shopping. Old Navy is still the best when it comes to sizing options, but Nordstrom is at the top of the list when it comes to more alternative/high-quality fashion selections.
In addition to their products for plus-size customers, they also have an incredible make-up and fragrance section, a shoe bar to die for, and accessories that all cater to various price points. And when you combine that with their fantastic food offerings at the flagship store (including the bistro that is honestly among my favorite places to eat in the Columbus Circle area), I can’t speak highly enough of this magical retail location.
But why am I writing about this now? Especially when these photos were taken months ago, and lord knows Nordstrom isn’t sponsoring this post by any means (but I would love if they did, wink wink.) Well, as a New Yorker born and raised, seeing the shops get decorated for the holiday season is one of the most comforting sights for me. It evokes nostalgia that, as cheesy and ridiculous as it may sound, brings me all the joy in the world. And though Nordstrom might not be known for their decor compared to their other competitors a few blocks down, there’s something about going shopping at such a store like this during this time of year that really makes me smile. Can I afford most of the things in these stores? No. But maybe I just love being around the beautiful clothes, the smells, the sounds – it’s a silly fantasy I like to live out from time to time.
So do you have a holiday tradition (or just a special place) that makes you feel the same magical silliness? Do department stores also feel like ever changing fashion museums to you? What holiday decorations are you the most excited to see (especially in your home area?) Tell me in the comments below.
Until next time, stay magical!