Miles & Hyde: Crepe Cakes and Snowflakes
A first snow call for many things: first, a good breakfast. Then? A few episodes of Gilmore Girls and a book or three? Maybe. But iceskating by the Hudson in pretty dresses is always an option.
More adventures from two teenagers with a love of both muck boots and high heels.
Maiden Lane -- Lizzie’s fork cut through nine layers of honey and ricotta crepe cake. She was standing in her satin pajamas on the eleventh floor of our FiDi apartment, about to bite into her breakfast when Fahanny set both hands on her shoulders, sitting her down into the bench behind her.
Lizzie lay her fork next to her plate and sat tall, Fahanny already at work stretching Lizzie's long hair around pop-can-sized curlers.
“Now I do your hair.” It was eight in the morning on Day Two of mine and Lizzie's New York adventure, and our beautician friend from Ecuador had arrived to play fairy godmother.
Lizzie looked down at her plate. She had no idea what was about to happen. I, on the other hand, did. I let my last bite of crepes melt on my tongue before taking a stab at hers.
I knew she wasn’t going to be touching it anytime soon.
The sun was bundled in clouds, keeping warm from the snow that fell like apple blossoms over the city. My first official introduction to New York City snow. It wasn’t exactly dress-wearing-weather, but when I have a tall, pretty friend in my possession, there’s a good chance I won’t let her leave without a photoshoot. I had two Kate Miles outfits that needed shot for my portfolio, so with the acquisition of both a hair and makeup artist and a model, I decided that the stars had aligned for a snowy New York photo session.
Fahanny brushed, sprayed, and tugged at the Hollywood Glamour waves she was producing, moving onto Lizzie’s makeup while they set.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve taken advantage of Lizzie’s picture-perfect smile. The very first day I met her, I was on my way to Portland with my friend Julia for a fashion interview. Julia was going to model for me, and she’d invited her friend, Lizzie, to come along. She didn’t know me a lick, but was a good sport when I asked if she could do me a teeny tiny favor.
All you have to do is stand in a wedding dress and freakishly high heels in front of a panel of judges and smile….
She fit right into the game, with the same effortless grace I’ve seen her take with a mop at the farm —turning heads as other models wondered in hushed voices which agency she was with.
Lizzie’s eyes widened as Fahanny opened her suitcase to reveal vials of nude pastes, trays of vibrant colored squares, and tubes of lipsticks in every shade from bubblegum to merlot.
Lizzie’s expression turned from curious to slightly terrified when Fahanny retrieved a handful of dentil-tool-looking utensils from her bag.
I laughed, sneaking another jab at Lizzie’s crepe cake.
Hours later, Lizzie and I found ourselves dolled up and running through the snow in our colorful Hunter boots.
We both evoked snorts of laughter from passersby at the little skating rink at Brookfield Place. I’d brought back a pair of skates from Oregon, so we took turns trying them out. The vintage skates are black, with heritage tracing back to my grandfather’s childhood, then to that of my uncle’s, with a small “Walt Miles” inscribed on the bottom. I smiled to think of my suit-and-tie-wearing uncle as a reckless farm kid skating around the playground in Central Oreogn.
There's something so satisfying about the sound of blades scraping ice.
It took me back to Christmases at the farm spent with my family on frozen-over ponds. They were wintery days free from chores, and full of laughter as we took turns falling on our faces. I could remember my tiny white skates and the rush of pure joy I'd felt when I first laced them onto my feet. I could remember my white tights and the blue princess dress I insisted upon wearing despite the freezing weather, and I could remember my grandpa carrying me to the pickup heavy with sleep after hours on the ice.
The city’s incessant buzzing was silenced by a thick blanket of snow and the rhythmic song of the Hudson while Lizzie and I skated.
Our laughter bounced off the glass buildings shooting up around us, skipping like pebbles across the river and settling over the New Jersey cityscape. Our cheeks were red from cold, and lashes glittering with tiny snowflakes. Our hands were icy, but the Christmas lit trees that lined the shore in pairs offered shelter from the snow, and a glittering sense of warmth.
Green velvet for me, blue wool for her.
My dress was inspired by a 1950’s pattern I’d been gifted by my dear friend Ronda. The neck is high and cowled to frame the face and elongate the neck, while the back curls down from the shoulder into an unexpected dip. The wide horsehair hem adds weight to the drape of the full skirt, with extra fullness and swing to the back. I paired it with star-print tights and my favorite (but totally uncomfortable) black heels to modernize the cut.
Lizzie’s outfit was made up of my blue wool jacket and a circle-skirt tutu. The jacket has black and navy lined petals appliquéd to the shoulders that add both dimension and edge to the garment. The pearlesque skirt softens the look with nine layers of varying shades of cream and a satin waistband. She wore it with a string of pearls at the neck and classic block heels.
It was after two o’clock by the time we made it in from the cold. We thawed by the heater with bowls of chicken soup and our fuzziest socks. The day was still young and there were adventures yet to be lived, but for the time being, we were content to sit by the window watching the snow fall over quiet streets, savoring the glittery winter wonderland we’d just experienced moments before.
Thank you Fahanny for the hair and makeup and wonderful day!