September 13, 2011


Rachel Roy Silk and Cotton Blouse, Rachel Roy Skirt, Kate Spade Shoes

Despite all of the hustle and bustle of New York Fashion Week, I could not forget that Sunday was the tenth anniversary of 9/11. As much as I love September and late summer, 9/11 always looms on the calendar. I've gone back and forth about posting about 9/11. My blog provides inspiration, frivolity and a dose of happiness, but it's also a reflection of me. 

While growing up, my father would tell me stories about his watching the World Trade Center go up, from across the Hudson. It took six years for the first building to go up and people were transfixed by the construction. I always found this amusing because the World Trade Center seemed like it had been there indefinitely to my childhood eyes. The towers were my marker. Easily identifiable in the skyline; when you spotted the towers you were headed south. I loved the chaotic pace of offices. As a family we would visit the World Trade Center shops or pass through the towers in route to other destinations downtown. My aunt worked at the World Trade Center, so there was a familiarity. My aunt was working in the World Trade Center during the 1993 attacks and had to be evacuated. I was too young to remember much about the 1993 attacks, but my aunt was shaken, but safe. 

September 11, 2001 was a beautiful Tuesday late summer morning. There was a perfect blue sky. It was the era of Rudy Giuliani; and the city, for better or worse, had a grittiness. I remember, coming out of my first class and running into a classmate who was hysterical. I remember she was so upset that I couldn't process what she was telling me. She grabbed my hand and I remember entering a classroom with a TV just as Flight 175 hit the second tower. 

I'm not comfortable with going into great detail about that day, but I'm from an area that saw a lot of loss of life. I called my parents on their various phone lines, but the phones were jammed. It would be late in the evening when I was able to get through. I alternated calling my parents while shaking and watching it all unfold. Then the tower collapsed and I felt paralyzed. I clasped my classmates hand and prayed for all of the people we knew who worked and passed through those buildings.  

The coming days and months were very touch and go. My best friend insisted on sleeping over because she couldn't get in touch with her dad. I found it hard to sleep for months. I would close my eyes and think of the acrid smell that lingered or the smoldering rubble. No one wanted to be alone. There was this sense of taking things one day at a time. The city and the world changed. I'll never forget all of the missing persons notices posted downtown, and how they weathered and stayed up until they turned to dust; or my brother's classmate, who after a few days of not making contact with her father, was asked to provide his toothbrush to aid in the identification process. It was purely terrifying. Sadly, it's a feeling that too many people throughout the world have felt. 

In spite of all the grief, I've encountered many stories of hope. The punctual family friend who never hops off the train in the morning, but hopped off that particular day because she wanted a bottle of water. The neighbor who took the longer route to work just because... For every story of heartbreak, I know someone who has triumphed and used this tragedy to relish the simple things. People who have changed careers and found a way to feel more fulfilled. People who spend more time with their families because they realize just how special that is. September 11th humbled us. 

I think it's important to take a little time out to reflect. So, this is me, spending a little time at one of my favorite peaceful spots. Everyone needs a peaceful spot. I'm wearing a Rachel Roy silk and cotton blouse and a Rachel Roy skirt. Both were purchased a few years ago. The line has been rebranded from a designer line into a contemporary line. It's a line that I like for its' femininity and subtlety. I love that she did pleats before they were a trend. There's something  classically beautiful about Rachel Roy's clothes.  Utter frivolity, but sometimes you need the little things to pull through. 


  1. wow, what a story. i guess all these events make one reflect upon life .

  2. Beautiful, sad post. I am so sorry for what your family, friends, (and everyone else in that incredible city) went through.

    Who can forget where they were on that day? I remember being in India on holiday and calling my best friend, a native New Yorker to see if her family was ok. She lost her 25-year-old cousin - he worked at the WTC. It was heartbreaking.

    I lost someone very close in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. I don't know if we ever really move on from something like that - it's not just tragic, in the way that an accident or a premature death is, there is something infinitely worse about a deliberately-executed act of mass murder. It baffles and angers and saddens me, all at once.

  3. Wondered if you (and the other readers) had seen this amazing, inspirational piece in the September issue of Vogue -

    Her courage and eloquence blow my mind.

  4. the nyanzi report- That's exactly it! You really learn to reflect and appreciate life. I think a lot of times we all spend a lot of time and energy on things that simply aren't important.

    Ammu- It's very hard to articulate this into words. None of us will ever forget where we were that day. It was just so horrifying. That's awful about your best friend's cousin. I just remember how excited I use to feel when I visited that building (I always loved the busy hustle of the office building). It's overwhelming to think that so many people were very young and just settling into their first jobs. I think about that a lot now as I build my own career.

    I'm sorry about yout friend in the Mumbai attacks. It's awful and senseless. I remember being at the gym with a guy whose family was living in Mumbai when it flashed accross the TV. I only knew him from the gym, but I felt so awful for him.

    Lauren Manning's article in Vogue was the first article I read in the September issue. It was very eloquently written. I remembered her from when she carried the torch. She displayed such courage and grace. Such an inspiration.

  5. I'm actually surprised how difficult it is to read stories like yours and countless others, even after 10 years. 9/11 is significant to me in the sense that it made me see the world more clearly, and I always thought the actual trauma of the tragedy has receded for me somewhat, but I was surprised how affecting it was to read about it all over again.

    Thanks for sharing such a personal story, and you look wonderful as always.

  6. this is beautifully written. i don't think i will ever forget what happened that day. thank you for sharing your story with us! peaceful spots are needed, i think-- just a place to escape the rest of the world and be quiet and reflect.

  7. I didn’t realize how 9/11 impacted me until the ten-year-anniversary. I was in university when this happened and the fear really paralyzed me. Now I realize the decisions I made about my education were made because of that fear.  It seems instilled in me even now. Oddly when I look at my watch or the clock..half the time it is 9:11 and I’m always reminded. I didn’t even live in NYC at the time. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have lost somebody or to have simply been here.
    So it is important to have  “frivolous”  outlooks, for they are a distraction of all the fears in life and a reminder that the world and life is for the most part, beautiful.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I have read a few 9/ll stories on blogs these last few days and they are all heartbreaking. I don't even live on the same continent but I remember vividly what I did that day - I had just returned home from a hike with my classmates and switched the TV on around the exact time when the second plane hit the tower. It was hours before I even took my hiking shoes off, it was completely paralyzing. I can't believe it has been ten years already.

  9. Lin- 9/11 certainly changed the way I see the world. It doesn’t feel like it’s been ten years in many ways and then I think about how there was a point when I couldn’t imagine there being a plaza or a memorial. When I think about that I see how far we’ve come.

    It was very hard to write about and so difficult to read different stories. For the longest time I would still look at the skyline and expect those towers to be there. The past few days I was talking with friends and family about what a strange time it was. For me there really is no escaping the tragedy of that day and I think that’s why I felt I had to try to write about it.

    Felicia- Thank you- it’s so hard to write about. We’ll never forget what happened that day. Quiet, peaceful spots are so necessary. Everyone needs a respite from the craziness of the world.

  10. The line sheet- This type of fear has a way of paralyzing us. It’s so interesting how sometimes we don’t realize how things impact us at the time. I do find that I’m very aware of those numbers. There’s just such a horrific association.

    “Life is for the most part, beautiful”- I love that. It’s so true. It’s so important to have those little things to distract you. Everyone’s are different, but you have to have some frivolity in life.

    I’m so proud of you for coming to NYC!

    Maja Piraja- Yes, I find all of the stories heartbreaking. It’s so hard to believe it’s been ten years when you can remember so vividly exactly what you were doing.

  11. very touching, lindsay. thanks for sharing. ♥

  12. Thanks Tricia! Hope you're feeling better!

  13. I just dicovered your blog.. I love how you write those things down, I adore your pictures and you'll be one of my favorite blogs I'll visit everyday :)

  14. Peekaboo Lindsay!
    Your lovely comment took me directly to your blog. Are you also on twitter or facebook?
    LOVE to read your post of REMEMBRANCE!!!

  15. Marijn ▲- Welcome! Thank you for your warm comments. It's so nice to hear that you enjoy visiting. I hope you come back:)

    The Little Fashion Treasury- Why hello! My blog is on twitter, @unpetitbijou is me. I just don't put it on blast;) I'm not on Facebook.

    Thank you for your lovely comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. It's not easy writing about, but I'm thankful that I'll have something tangible to look back to.

  16. Thank you for sharing this story. I still feel so heartbroken- 10 yrs later. I like that there is so much substance to everything you post.

    I love your style. Just wondering what the back of your blouse looks like? I feel like your clothing is very interesting from all angles. So beautiful.

  17. Anonymous- This sort of heartbreak never goes away... I don't think it's ever that far from my consciousness. It humbles you and reminds you to make EVERY day count.

    Thank you for the compliment. The back of the blouse has a demure keyhole back. It's really very beautiful, but not too over the top for day. I'll show the back at some it at some point.

    Good observation about clothing being interesting from all angles. It reminds me of that Alaïa quote where he says that so many designers don't design clothing to be looked at all angles, so the clothes are very flat. Alaïa goes on to say that his work is very three dimensional with something interesting to look at from all angles. I think I’m very mindful of this when I shop.


  19. I'm so sorry you were directly affected by 9/11, it must have been terrifying to be in NYC. I don't think I fully understood what was happening at the time because I was only 10 and I live on the other side of the world. But I remember going to watch cartoons in the morning before school and complaining about the news being on tv instead of cartoons, and then I saw what had happened and it was really shocking. I remember my Dad telling me to keep the newspaper clippings because he said it would probably be one of the biggest events of my life, and I still have them. What saddens me though, is that so many civilians have died in the resulting wars and no one really talks about this or remembers them, I just find it so unjust

  20. Anonymous- Thank you. It was purely terrifying on that day and for a while thereafter.

    I would have been annoyed if my cartoons weren't on at that age too. It must have been so confusing to you. It's so interesting to reread newspaper articles from those first days when we were still trying to figure our way through it all.

    I was thinking about the resulting wars last week and the tremendous loss of life. I think this should be part of the remembrance as well. It is unjust that so many civilians have died and that a lot are children. It's horrendous. There's a very good documentary on this.