At the start of the primary episode of the brand new Netflix collection titled Pretend This Is a City, Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese are answering questions from a dwell viewers whereas taping throughout a public dialogue. One particular person asks Lebowitz, “How would you describe your lifestyle?” In her signature acerbic tone, Lebowitz, creator, and maestro of unapologetic quips replies: “Well, I assure you I would never use the word ‘lifestyle.’” Bam. Zing.
Pretend This Is a City, out at the moment, is a portrait of the long-lasting creator and humorist as seen by means of Scorsese’s lens and along with her dually beloved and hated New York City because the backdrop. The collection briefly touches on her historical past, as somebody with no additional training outdoors of a GED, as a author, because the creator of Metropolitan and Social Studies, and as an artist whose years-long author’s block turned her right into a prolific public speaker and political and cultural commenter. There are additionally flashes of her shut connections to the literary and artwork world and to popular culture, comparable to her work as a columnist for Andy Warhol’s Interview journal, her friendships with Peter Hujar and Toni Morrison and her youth in New York, visiting Studio 54 with Calvin Klein and Betsey Johnson and seeing The Dolls play at The Mercer Arts Center earlier than it, fairly actually, fell down. In the 7-part collection, Scorsese interviews his shut pal about every part from the evolution of Manhattan to jazz and house journey. The sit-downs are interspersed with scenes of Lebowitz strolling by means of the town (which, after they filmed, was nonetheless vigorous because it was pre-pandemic), in addition to footage from earlier tv interviews.
As a lot as she loathes the time period life-style, hers is straight away recognizable. It is all about statement and cynicism, wit and direct, no-bullshit commentary, in addition to artwork and creativity. Lebowitz has lengthy been thought of a caricature of a New Yorker, the sort that, regardless of being considerably tough across the edges, has unmatched swagger and elegance. She is straight away identifiable on the sidewalks of the town by her lengthy overcoats, pocket squares, Savile Row males’s blazers, and Levi’s 501 denims. Her spherical tortoiseshell glasses and worn brown leather-based cowboy boots have lengthy been part of her sartorial self and persona too.
Her uniform is polished, dapper, and omnipresent in Pretend This is a City. In a captivating scene, she reveals Scorcese a pair of gold classic Alexander Calder cufflinks and discusses the historical past behind the artist, recognized for his mobiles, and his connection to jewellery. Her relationship to garments and equipment could be a cerebral one, however extra to the purpose, she represents the easy, timeless fashion of a traditional New Yorker. Lebowitz might care much less about developments and he or she’s been recognized to wax poetic about how vile leggings are. And that’s why, whether or not she’s sitting on the subway or standing on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk screaming “pretend it’s a city!” to wide-eyed, unaware vacationers who cease lifeless of their tracks in the midst of the sidewalk, she stays a singular fashion icon.
Her wit could also be inimitable, however beneath are a piece of items that may show you how to channel her fashion. Lebowitz will most definitely hate this story, however that’s why we love her.