How a Style Star Gets Into the Spring of Things
There are truffle fries, Campari Spritzes, and walks in the park involved. In collaboration with Prada.
Ever want to take a temperature test (you know, crowd temperature) on whether or not spring has hit yet? Get thee to Washington Square Park, pull up a seat on a bench, and witness: Are there cherry blossom trees in some stage of bloom? Eleven million tourists trying to capture them? A myriad of bare legs and arms on display where sleeves and pant legs probably would have sufficed? Chances are we’ve hit it. After all, we’re firmly in the camp that believes spring is really a state of mind rather than a season.
Creative Director at The Sartorialist and fashion illustrator Jenny Walton knows this just as well as anyone. For one, it’s kind of her job. As she explains, “I work closely with my fiancé, and he shoots out on the street every day in New York. We really start to notice when people are prematurely putting on their shorts and sandals and are ready to go.” It’s also the time of year where long walks with her dog, Charlie, take center stage, as does her wardrobe of off-the-shoulder tops and positively spring-y full skirts. Ahead, how she gets back into the swing of things (plus, why she’ll always be a Miuccia fan girl).
What spring’s really like in New York City:
“The winters are so harsh in New York, and everyone is chomping at the bit to get outside. There’s a renewed freshness in the air that you can feel.”
Her ideal spring day:
“I’ll walk my dog, Charlie, around Washington Square Park, and it’s just a really nice energy. They have two dog parks there, one for small dogs, and one for big dogs, so while she plays and has a blast, I just enjoy the sun. She loves to be chased. I was a student at Parsons, so you have a lot of the New School students there, you have a lot of NYU students there. It’s such a perfect New York meeting point where so many different types of people meet, and [it] has this liveliness just because there are so many students around. That’s very invigorating to be around.”
How her wardrobe changes every spring:
“I think because we live in New York and we have truly four seasons, you have to have several wardrobes. You go from one day wearing a winter cashmere coat, to the next day staying in denim shorts and sandals.”
“I like a lot of things that at first you look at and aren’t totally sure about—that take you a few weeks or a few months to warm up to the idea of—and then before you know it, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I need that!’”
Her favorite look from our shoot:
“The off-the-shoulder top and very full, A-line Prada skirt. I like that all the prints are kind of similar within the same family, but with nice little changes in the colors to make each piece special.”
Her warm-weather closet MVPs:
“I love a lot of crop tops and backless tops and easy summer dresses. I wear a lot of off-the-shoulder tops with big full A-line skirts. That’s the kind of silhouette that I really like in the summer. I wear a lot of sandals, platforms, and wedges. My toes can finally be out and…stretched! [laughs]”
How she styles her favorite spring accessory:
“I love all of the straw Prada pieces. To me, straw is the quintessential spring accessory and symbolizes that feeling. You wouldn’t really wear a straw bag in the winter. It just wouldn’t feel right! They look really great with the flat sandals that I’m wearing, or with a platform in a natural material, like a raffia. It’s keeping within the same family, but still feels light and spring-summery.”
Yes, Prada is a hobby:
“I’ve loved Prada for a long time. I buy a lot of older Prada now, as I love a lot of older collections that I didn’t necessarily have the money to buy when I was a fashion student, but now I can hunt those pieces down and find stuff that I was obsessed with. It’s a favorite pastime of mine.
“The first thing I bought was probably at their Soho store. It was this amazing white, fluffy winter coat with this beautiful blue floral pattern in a fluffy mohair, lined with this amazing baby-pink silk. My fiancé got it for me for Christmas on super sale, and it was amazing.”
Her favorite warm-weather haunts:
“We come to Gemma a lot. We live right near La Esquina and Seamore’s. There’s a wine bar right across from us, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, it’s nice and low-key. There are so many outside places. We live in a police building, and there is like a little private garden.”
Her spring aperitif of choice:
“I actually drink Campari Spritz and Negronis throughout the year. I like Campari a little bit better than Aperol! I also love Dark and Stormies, which are ginger beer and rum. Delicatessen has the best truffle fries with this aioli, and the best Dark and Stormy. The most insane combo.”
“I love that she mixes things that might be kind of considered ‘ugly,’ but mixes it with something classically ‘pretty,’ so it’s this unexpected combination that draws you in.”
Why she’s a Miuccia fangirl:
“In terms of design, I’ve always been a big fan of Miuccia’s, both what she designs, but also her personal style. I love that she mixes things that might be considered kind of ‘ugly,’ but mixes it with something classically ‘pretty,’ so it’s this unexpected combination that draws you in... She’s ahead of the trend a lot of the time. It’s really inspiring.”
Where you’ll catch her looking for creative inspiration:
“We go to a lot of museums—the Frick or the Met or MoMa—but I also go to The Whitney and The New Museum down here. I also go to Metrograph on the Lower East Side a lot, because I love old movies.
“Even just walking my dog around the city is such an inspiring thing to me. I think I get more inspired when I’m not necessarily thinking about something, but sketches just kind of come through your head. When you walk with people and see how they’re dressing and what they’re wearing, you just start bouncing ideas off of that.”
What’s next for her:
“My most exciting thing right now is that I’m really getting back into illustration. The past few years I’ve been traveling and learning a lot about the world, and now I’m taking more time to step back, take all of that in, and produce things to share with the world based off of what I’ve seen.”