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029: A room-by-room reveal of my earthly possessions
Plus Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale, Jil Sander x Arc’teryx, and Lisa Says Gah up to 80% off.
Omicron quarantine and the human interaction vacuum of the holidays conspired to make me buy black things: a black Acne scarf inspired by Tal’s gift guide suggestion, eBayed black Levi’s 501s, even some stocking stuffer-type gifts from Kindred Black (anyone anywhere would be delighted to receive a glass-bottled so-and-so from their apothecary). Quinton even finally reunited me with my favorite black Vince mock neck sweater (here it is on sale), and all is right in the depressive New York winter underworld.
I frankly couldn’t even be bothered to get dressed up for New Year’s (whatever), as all my visual optimization energy is instead being directed at the beloved box where I spend most of my days.
Writing about it below, as a lit Cazso candle undressed dulcet aromas to the melodies of Bach’s flute sonatas, was omnidirectional ASMR. You should try it some time! I can see why the woman who had a panic attack in the seat next to mine on a flight all those years ago calmed down talking about arranging her boyfriend’s new furniture. Wherever she is, I hope she’s well.
It’s unclear who scorched the Arc’teryx name first: the Dimes Square skaters whose compounded sense of self-irony has made just about everything lose virtually all meaning or memers like @nolitadirtbag who won’t stop posting about them wearing it. Jil Sander’s collaboration with the gorpy brand will only worsen the situation unless we choose to collectively drop the act and rediscover earnestness (this is the closest I’ll come to an ins and outs list). It’s sold out everywhere but SSENSE, where a couple of women’s coats cost a hell of a lot more than any Jil Sander for Uniqlo collab could ever (more on that below).
One of my most asked-about coats, the teddy-brown shearling Kala III by The Arrivals, has at long last been restocked on their site. The thick suede zipper guard and chunky, stretchy rib wrist covers are worthy matches for the jacket’s downy Toscana Shearling. It’s easily the most luxurious outerwear I own and a long tailored trouser’s dreamiest sub-zero partner.
At times I feel like this newsletter is just a lot of words wrapped around the meaty core that is an underwear radar for how often I report on SSENSE’s new lingerie brands. This week, it’s ebullient British brand Fruity Booty and the austere Kye Intimates to have landed, each responsible for tugging at parallel, uncompromising aesthetic inclinations.
There’s also: Raf Simons releases an online retail platform for his non-Raf branded commerce projects he’s calling History of My World; lumpy, Mexico-based jewelry brand Blobb released a vase collection aptly titled Wobble; speaking of playful, unaffected jewelry, Beepy Bella is among the latest to land at Nordstrom SPACE; and finally, Brooklyn-based stockist of beloved and difficult-to-find brands Tangerine NYC has launched its webshop.
What’s on sale
Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale was a collective internet thing before Amazon Prime Day took over, it was a big deal before the SSENSE sale ever existed, and it knew how to get people to shop before the MNZ sample sale first made us spend all of our money. What’s wild to marinate on is that it somehow still offers better deals on the exact items or similar that you’d expect to be beat by new competitors—especially in its forward-thinking SPACE section, where Vaquera, Julia Heuer, Isa Boulder, Sunnei, Chopova Lowena, and Acne Studios are marked down with an additional 25% off on all sale rolled out just yesterday.
Uniqlo’s End of Season Sale that saw the Lemaire-designed U men’s trench marked down to under $50 last month is pulling more designer collab pieces into its orbit at notably low prices. The J+ Jil Sander collection including clever puffer blazers is coming in under $100, the padded shirt version of my beloved puffy trench also from the U line is under $40, and Mame Kurogouchi intimates are less than $4 right now.
Lots of people are posting about and sending me links from Net-A-Porter’s big sale, which is warranted—it’s up to 70% off by now, and little isn’t included. Some top-discounted brands include NYC’s Commission, lots of Christopher Esber, Nanushka, and plenty of “Reduced Further” The Row.
The Great Eros is known to New Yorkers and further-reaching fans of its intimates for achieving sexy through the female gaze, and a ton of those high-waisted mesh panties and unlined bras are marked down at its yearly Limited Edition + Archive sale, happening now. Exquisitely minimal swimwear, rich linens, and versatile styling separates are also included.
Lisa Says Gah’s current sale is reaching higher than it has during recent promotional periods, hitting as much as 80% off on 250+ products. It includes a ton of in-house stuff, plus Paloma Wool, that House of Sunny sweater, and Gimaguas. They’ve sweetened the deal on the last day by extending an extra 40% off everything with LASTCHANCE40.
You’ve listened to me go on about Babaa for the past few weeks (they’re a can’t-do-without brand in the cold months), and now they’re having a truly rare sale including some of the pieces I own and love, the No.17 in particular. These knits are of such high quality in both fabric and construction, they’ll last forever even though you’ll wear them day after day, year after year.
Not to beat a dead horse, but I know you’d want to know if the SSENSE sale was coming to a close. It’s gone up to 70% off up from 60% off max with new styles added, which, based on past sale behaviors, is a clear indicator that we don’t have much time left. It makes sense, too, since end-of-year sales are wrapping up across the board. While you still can, shop some of the highest discounts on Jacquemus, Gil Rodriguez, Margiela, Dries, Khaite, Toteme, ah! It goes on.
Matchesfashion also sweetened its sale with an additional 10% off with EXTRA10, and it includes Acne scarves, Les Tien tracksuits, lots of The Frankie Shop, and Lemaire key covers and leather bags in smooth egg shapes.
There’s also: Everlane’s End of Year Sale goes deep up to 60% off, with shoes among the most desirable items and best deals; Levi’s extra 50% off sale kicked off yesterday, and there’s also a separate sale on Levi’s secondhand jeans for 20% off select styles with BYE2021; Eytys, on top of being marked down at SSENSE, is having its own on-site sale up to 40% off; Simon Miller’s End of Season Sale includes knits, shoes, bags, sweats, and more; Eckhaus Latta’s up-to-half-off sale has knits, denim, and logo basics; RUS is having a subscriber sale for 30% off select items including its Ranpu balaclava with RUSTHANKYOU; and Good American just cut markdowns by an extra 50%.
Auctioning off my apartment for parts
Unpacking the origins of the home goods I hold precious.
The best and most interesting things in a home are those that don’t come with SKUs or URLs. I subscribe to a philosophy of design by discovery, coincidence, and inheritance, which means, of course, that my favorite belongings are found on streets and at flea markets, haggled for over Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Etsy, and Noihsaf or passed down by my parents (both of them with exquisite taste, lucky for me). But! In the spirit of that you asked me for this, I’ll share a few things in my Clinton Hill apartment that truly delight me and that come with an invitation for others to enjoy, too (i.e. a link to buy).
Product indexing my way through the kitchen is one way to think about ritual and routine; from the coffee paraphernalia I wake up with every morning (Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle, on sale at SSENSE, and vintage Taylor & Ng mugs featuring cartoon animal orgies, like the ones my parents sipped out of when I was growing up) to disappearing bottles among company in the evenings—vintage French green-stemmed Luminarc wine glasses, hand-blown Mexican “confetti” tumblers, and colorful Maison Balzac glasses.
Meals call upon Our Place’s Always Pan and Perfect Pot, Crate & Barrel Craft Linen dinnerware, and now-near-impossible-to-find Hay Everyday cutlery. A sea of serving platters remain nameless, placeless, anonymous—but you can always troll eBay for “antique stoneware” and see what delights arise. Mid-day beverage breaks summon this also-on-SSENSE-sale Hasami Porcelain teapot and mug set.
When all’s said and done, leftovers and scraps are relegated to the Vitamix Food Cycler FC-50 (it’s $100 off here), a composting machine that reduces trash bags-worth of organic waste to handfuls of dirt we can toss around the trees in front of the apartment. Honestly: smartest ecological and odor-preventing investment I’ve made in all my years of apartmenthood.
In the living (and working and dining) room, everything is multipurpose, but none so much as the Alvar Aalto for Artek table I invested in last year (the one from this set is most similar). This 1stDibs find was brought over from England, and it now serves as both office for two and place settings for six (sometimes up to eight). It’s flanked by a set of flap-folding wooden slat chairs (much like these) sourced in Andes, New York.
As with these two things, most of the room is made up of old bits of wood and peculiar threads and ceramics of unclear origins. What little can be sourced, though, includes an wall-mounted Ikea light fixture, rigged together with two mismatched parts—this swing arm and this rice paper shade—that collaborate exceptionally, a complete set of Tekla table linens, and our future Kardiel couch, scheduled for arrival in two weeks to replace our beloved but back-sacrificing Restoration Hardware Teen (!) linen beanbag loveseat.
I’m in the midst of converting a hurriedly assembled room to a space whose impermanent fixtures live up to its built-ins—a live-edge maple bath tray from an Etsy producer is on the way, as are a set of Tekla bath sheets. Still, the make-do Target items that have lasted (questionable) two years there deserve a bit of credit. I’m most pleasantly surprised by these Royal Turkish hand towels that are unexpectedly plush, absorbent, and durable.
It would be a mistake to say that my OffHours Home Coat is purely a bedroom item, as it’s more an emollient between the bedroom and the rest of the house. It’s the thing I throw on to feel like a bundled, narcoleptic Eskimo baby poised to nap anywhere the whim overtakes me. Should that take place here (on the bed, whose wood frame was handmade by my friend Paris), it’d be atop my favorite Linoto sheets and duvet cover, the linen for which is sourced in Italy and Belgium and handcrafted in Upstate New York. Our comforter is Buffy.
The two mirrors in the room are other powerhouses of the space. The full-length is a years-old Craigslist find, but comparable to the Ikea Hovet I owned previously (and sometimes miss) that I universally recommend. The credenza-top mirror is a large, squared-off arch with a brass edge from CB2.
Stored in a corner next to the full-length is this set of four knockoff Aalto stools from Target that look more natural next to the real thing than I’d expected, and now they float around the apartment occupying many roles: step ladder, extra seating, side table, plant stand, add-on surface space.
Miscellaneously, my handmade Senegalese hamper basket (this one’s similar) is a point of pride and by all indications a rite of passage for anyone who’s ever moved to a pre-war in Fort Greene.
As with any space-challenged apartment, we’ve commandeered our part of the outside hallway under fair use, for hosting our winter coats. A 6 lb. piece of furniture—this Yamazaki Leaning Coat Rack in white—tidily organizes our bulkiest seasonal outerwear while taking up as little space as possible. The tightly filed-away puffers and trenches hanging on heavy chrome hangers, coupled with wicker baskets storing cold-weather accessories like scarves, gloves, and Bevza balaclavas sitting atop the rack’s upper shelf, compose an entryway that’s not exactly a beacon of inspiration, but discretely solves so many problems I admire it every time I walk through my front door.
Seen something in my apartment I didn’t mention here? Reply to this email and I promise to report back with the exact item or a worthy facsimile ✨