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Cashmere and the Disco : NY 1980

I learned how sophisticated a cashmere shawl will make you look in NY in the 80's. 

The year is 1980, it’s November in Manhattan. I’m in town from boarding school for the weekend staying at my parents pied a terre, alone….. It’s Saturday night! 

The plan is to meet up with friends at Trader Vic’s then head to the disco Xenon for dancing. I need to look as sophisticated as I can to get in and get served. I plan to wear heals, pearl earrings and my mother’s cashmere cape from Scotland. 

The cape is critical to getting passed the velvet rope into the club. It should make me look more sophisticated than I really am (at 16!). The crowd outside is huge when we arrive, it seems like no one is getting in. Standing on the sidewalk trying to get the attention of the bouncers is not fun, especially at 11pm and 35 degrees. Heavy cashmere is key.

I’m with a guy (now my husband) who says he has a friend that’s tight with the bouncer. We push to the front, wave him down, mention the friend and we are in! What a relief. 

Being inside Xenon is surreal. Kool and the Gang Celebration blaring on and the dance floor is packed. It’s very hot, I need to check my mom’s cape. The coat check girl downstairs doesn’t seem to with it, but I have no choice. I take the ticket and hope for the best..

At 2am I return to the coatroom to get the cape back. Xenon stays open till 4, I’m leaving early!. The coatroom is total mayhem, overflowing with coats, will this woman be able to find mine? Stress levels rise while she takes forever looking...Ah there it is! I’m safe.

Now all I have to do is find a cab to take me home….