February 5, 2023

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Rachel Comey collaborates with the New York Review of Books

Inside the crowded Rachel Comey store on Crosby Street in SoHo on Thursday, readings began around midnight. When the audience applauded memoirist Vivian Gornick, who read from her book “Unfinished Business: Notes for a Chronic Re-reading’, she made a remark about her somewhat unfamiliar audience: ‘So it’s not just the clothes, but also the books that turn you on. “

Indeed. This was a fashion event that probably had an unusually high concentration of writers in attendance. Many have worn Comey designs from their wardrobes, printed jackets and tall boots, as well as dresses, tops and pants that are part of the designer. In association with The New York Review of Booksthe literary magazine edited by Emily Greenhouse And the art is directed by LeAnn Chapton, a longtime friend and creative partner of Ms. Comey.

Fashion and literature may make for an unexpected marriage, but they have recent precedent. Written by the author, Ottessa Meshvig flash fiction for Proenza Schouler’s fall 2022 collection, often featuring supermodels like Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber current reading As part of their off-duty style. This was the last flirtation between the worlds of fashion and literature, a flirtation in which each side would obtain a portion of the social capital from the other. That might explain the touch of self-awareness in the air, as the writers seem to be more fashion-conscious than usual.

We asked some of the attendees—many of whom work in the magazine and publishing world—what they read and whether good taste in books can translate into great taste in clothes, too.

Interviews have been edited.

what are you reading?

I’m reading Lewis Mumford’s memoirs. I’m doing a new book – I’m going to write a book about City College. My memory was that Lewis Mumford attended City College in the 1920s. I read this book years ago, so I hope I’m right! I’m about a quarter of the way.

What do you wear when you write?

you are kidding! what to wear? T-shirt and sweatpants. I just get up in the morning, put them on and sit down.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

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Yes sure. haha. Not in the sense in which we are gathered here, I don’t think so. I don’t know! They may have ideas about the New York Review that you’re not aware of and these clothes. But certainly with regard to the evolution of your language, the evolution of your social being – absolutely.

Would you wear a dress with your own byline on it?

No. would you?


Program Coordinator at Books Beyond Bars

what are you reading?

There is a book called “The Joy of Being Hated”. Part of the human experience is realizing that we are not always liked and not everyone will want to be our friend.

What do you like to wear when you write?

I usually wear a fun sock-band shirt and comfy socks.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

at all. Because I think it helps you to be more personable because you become part of someone else’s world.


Salter homeowner

what are you reading?

speedboat. It was nice because I had him take it out with me, and the classes are so short I could do it while I was on the train.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

I hope that is the case. I think it can make you a deeper, more complex person, and that will translate into your personal style.


Master of Fine Arts student at Columbia University

what are you reading?

I just started a book called Woman. I’m taking a chapter on 20th-century Italian autobiography. I also readSeptology“- I’m almost done.

What do you like to wear when you write?

I don’t usually look that good. I tend to write in the mornings in coffee shops. I don’t take a shower. I go straight to the Hungarian Pastry Shop at 111, Amsterdam and write for only two hours. I usually wear my gray seersucker pants, and I have this really soft green blazer that I wear almost every day.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

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I think literature these days has become an aesthetic in itself. You can develop an aesthetic based on the idea that you enjoy reading. An even better version of this if you have your own independent reading interests – maybe you’ll always read something super slick and maybe even make you a little more stylish.

what are you reading?

I just startedThe seven satellites of His Excellency AlmeidaAnd it’s a recent Booker winner. Very well. And I just started an audiobook called Legends & Lattes, which sounds like ‘high fantasy and low stakes.’ It’s a good mix.

What do you like to wear when you write?

The most comfortable clothes. I want flexibility.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

What leads you to read more broadly, which is curiosity, can lead you to be more personable. Curiosity leads you to more experimental clothes, and that can be a lot of fun.


Editor and publicist at New Directions

What do you like to wear when you’re editing?

I think covid has changed what people like to wear during the day. I’m a huge Rachel Comey fan, but I usually wear pants and Commes des Garçons and T-shirts and stuff. Comfortable clothes.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

No, I don’t think so. I don’t see any association, which I think is pretty obvious if you go to any book party. But that is why there is something so sweet and amazing about this collaboration.


what are you reading?

I am reading a translation of a wonderful Egyptian poet named Iman Mersal, entitled “threshold. Translated by Robyn Creswell.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

at all. Reading is something that brings you inside you. Some people get themselves in so far that their insides reflect outward, and I think that’s what you see here with these very fine people.

Would you wear a dress that has your own secondary line on it?

I’ll be fine with that. Once you write something, you kind of let go of it, so whatever happens to it afterward is part of the writing process.

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what are you reading?

Heidi Golavets: I’m reading a book called “Left for Dead” by Nick Ward, about a guy who sailed the Fastnet 1979. There was a very terrible storm in 1979, and he was abandoned and left for dead on his boat. Not literary! But I’m learning how to survive the bad weather and let go of all those who love me.

Sloane Crosley: I’m reading a slightly older book, “The Long Goodbye” by Megan O’Rourke. I’m working on a book about grief. I also just finished The new Emma Klein. Usually I do the smoke book series a little more.

What do you like to wear when you write?

Mrs. Crosley: Whoever says anything other than “bathrobe” is a filthy liar. I wear two bathrobes: one is a disgusting old robe that used to be all white. One is a vintage kimono for when I feel like I want to be in a movie about a writer.

Ms. Golavets: I pretty much wear the pajamas I slept in.


what are you reading?

I’m reading John Fosse’s “Sepology” – probably like a lot of the ladies here.

What do you like to wear when you write?

I actually like to wear an outfit instead of sweatpants because I need to feel like there’s something interesting going on in what I’m wearing. So I like to dress up to write.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

Undoubtedly! yes. It makes you a more interesting person, and I think being interesting is the most elegant thing ever.


what are you reading?

I just started reading a book on the art of letter writing. In today’s age, we have kind of lost touch with writing handwritten letters. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I wanted to improve my calligraphy a bit.

Do you think reading can give you a better sense of fashion?

Yes, I think the words can be almost like wearing an accessory. It is a great way to add attitude, gesture or feeling to the way one presents themselves.