It's over. Labor Day came and went like Irene. Tons of anticipation and then done. I'd been thinking about it since April hoping that I'd keep my mind on the present and not anticipate summer's end. For the most part I did. I was surprisingly in the here and now for large chunks of time. Visits from family, my mother and Anton's niece who stayed with us for camp for several weeks, culminating with a visit from his sister and another of his nieces. It was fun being an uncle and took me a bit further from myself. As slow as time passed it did find its way into August and then the final stretch. Labor Day has always been bound up with a return to the city and a return to this business. The last escape has always been the Hampton Classic. I remember the first time I went way back before we owned this house and before I drove. Sure, I was already kissing 30 but a late bloomer in some areas. We rented an antique fire trap and I rode my bicycle to the show grounds in the pouring rain. Torrential is more like it, but I went and slogged through the mud as happy as could be. The competition was great to see but for me it was all about the warm-up arena where horses and riders prepared to enter the ring, their dates with destiny. To this day I love the warm-up area best of all. The tension of some riders and the almost zen quiet of others is palpable. Its the horses that captivate me no matter the noise around them. They're so brave, so guileless and willing. They make it all look so easy as they wind up and spring over fences that top the heads of trainers, grooms and helpers standing by. I love the tack, the beautifully made saddles, bridles and the precision of the braiding of their manes and thick, lush tails. The gear that the riders wear is also impressive in its strict, clean lines. I tune out the posturing and the all too obvious celebration of money fondling others with money to revel in the beauty of the sport. It gives me pangs of longing for the days when my horse was a central part of my life, but also brings back the joy I felt with our connection.
It brings to mind a similar feeling - the excitement we felt in the studio just before a collection was to debut - when I realized that the battle was not to be won or lost - it came down to the joy of creation. The collaboration between one's heart and mind, the team that makes the dream real and the good fortune to be able to play the game at all is everything. I'm going to see a number of shows this week and next. Victoria Beckham's in one I am very curious to see. Marc Jacobs is another I'm curious to see. He's on the cusp of a great turning of the tide. Will he ride the wave or be ground under, a victim of the undertow? Ralph Rucci's Chado is sure to be a very high point in the lineup. If there is anyone who understands the importance of digging deep, it's Ralph. Just when I think he's created a new language he comes up with something even more elemental. He shows us that beauty is something that can never be easily named. I love the feeling his clothes give, that fashion can be something that transports one far beyond the narrow confines of trends, or the trappings of celebrity, even beyond the definition of fashion. Big ideas, I know, but look at his work and tell me I'm wrong. After having Run and Jumped, all that's left is to Walk. Starting Thursday we Walk.