My Glamorous Manhattan Travel Outfit Inspired By The Statue Of Liberty

White Caviar Life NYC photoshoot by fashion photographer Kent Johnson.

The moment I laid my eyes on this Calvin Klein number, I was immediately attracted to the idea of a Roman goddess’ robe with a modern twist – classic drape, a shorter length in a contemporary metallic fabric. And as you may or may not know, the Statue of Liberty is the figure of a robed lady representing the Roman goddess Libertas.

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White Caviar Life fashion shoot on location in Manhattan by fashion photographer Kent Johnson.

While perhaps the Statue of Liberty is not usually considered as a fashion icon (although she has been considered a feminist icon for many years); she was my inspiration for this particular outfit and the accessories that I put together for my New York journey.

White Caviar Life New York Public Library photoshoot.

We all know that the Goddess Libertas (many call her Lady Liberty) wears a radiant crown, so I spent months searching for a similar headpiece; something a mere mortal could wear… Until I found and fell in love with these radiant Art Deco earrings. Much easier to pull off too, so I decided to go with them as my radiant crown replacement.

White Caviar Life New York Public Library fashion shoot.

Talking about the Statue of Liberty, did you know that her interior frame was designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel? Yes him, the designer of the Eiffel Tower! This icon of freedom I’ve known of for my entire adult life; I did finally get to see her on this recent New York visit thanks to Kent planning a trip via the Staten Island Ferry and it’s free!

As we sailed into the harbour, there she was, seeming smaller than I had imagined; though she grew larger and grander as we came closer. People rushed to the edge of the decks trying to nail a selfie with Goddess Libertas/Lady Liberty herself. For myself, I just enjoyed the moment I had, to meet and be greeted by her at last.

White Caviar Life New York Public Library photoshoot by Kent Johnson.

Meanwhile in Manhattan, I also attended Bracé NYFW in this very same ensemble, full details in my previous post here!

White Caviar Life Manhattan fashion shoot.

Dry Cleaning in New York City (NYC) – As every traveller knows, sooner or later there is laundry to be done! It’s as inescapable in travel as it is in our everyday life. So before we started working on this NYC travel and fashion story, my metallic robe which was looking a bit tired; needed a dry clean to bring it back to top condition. What have I learnt about dry cleaning services in Manhattan?

White Caviar Life New York Public Library fashion shoot.

Choice! There are a lot of choices, from using your hotels laundry service (not cheap) to ferreting out your own. Kent is getting good at this now having experience in Prague, Paris and NYC. Google maps can help, or just take a walk around your neighbourhood.

In NYC, Midtown Manhattan seems like the laundry capital of the world! So there are many options but beware, there are also many different price points. For example, my black lace shirt would cost $12 to dry clean in a laundry on 31st Street East; the same shirt was $16 when I had it dry cleaned on 56th Street East. So, pick your dry cleaner carefully! My metallic robe ended up costing a hefty $35 for a dry clean, double what I pay in Sydney. ‘Ouch!!’ Having to say that I have to admit that this laundry did a fantastic job. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Manhattan glamorous fashion by White Caviar Life.

Before setting out on this shoot, Kent and I had discussions over where in NYC might be the best location. We decided on the New York Public Library as the backdrop; after all, what better choice to match and enhance this modern Roman robe than the Roman columns and marble fountains of that glorious building?!!!

Glamorous Manhattan evening wear by White Caviar Life.

We were very lucky weather-wise on the day as Hurricane Jose had very little effect on Manhattan. In between clouds we even enjoyed several hours of sun.
It was during the ever busy lunch break when we started shooting. Kent wasn’t impressed with our timing, but the sun was smiling on us. It was busy… Well, how refreshing it was to find out that New Yorkers who are clearly so used to seeing photoshoots of all kinds going on everywhere in the city: tourists, bloggers; wedding photography crews, photographers and so on that they were totally at ease with us standing here, there; then back to here again. In other words, not one eyebrow was raised and people were so polite about not messing up anyone’s shot. Beautiful!

Glamorous look for Manhattan by White Caviar Life.

Oh, and back to the styling. Where was my torch for liberty? Well, for safety reasons, that was replaced by an Art Deco style clutch!

Photography / Kent Johnson
Styling / Vivienne Shui

Outfit Of The Day

Roberto Cavalli sunglasses
Lulu Frost earrings
Calvin Klein dress
Reverie ring (right hand)
Tiffany & Co. ring (left hand)
Omega watch
Colette by Colette Hayman clutch
Roberto Cavalli heels

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Street-style Manhattan fashion shoot by fashion photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.


  1. Great idea to wear those showstopping earrings instead of a crown. It makes the interpretation less literal too! I love this ensemble, it must have been so fun to shoot. Every piece you picked is unique and gorgeous!

  2. You look so glamorous Vivienne! This outfit is a show stopper!
    I hear you on the dry cleaning, I need to take a dress to be dry cleaned this weekend. I am really hoping it will not cost too much!

    Love, Lottie

    • Thank you for your lovely compliments and feedback Lottie!
      Yes, dry cleaning can be costly but I have to admit that it’s one of my ‘top secrets’ to maintain long lasting clothes. Some of our precious outfits deserve a nice freshen up every now and then, don’t you think? X

  3. Oh Viv,

    Your fifth photograph of channeling The Lady Liberty is my favourite.
    You certainly have an eye for details and perfection. Lady Liberty as she holds her torch, tablet and the broken chains on her feet must be smiling with approval, seeing you standing as proud and as beautiful as she.


    • Thank you for your kind words and ever encouraging feedback dear Margie.
      ‘Viva Lady Liberty’ that’s what I’d say and cheers to the freedom of all kinds that we had fought for – especially being a woman! X


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