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031: We're massaging the culture, baby
Plus Prada's satin train skirts, Murano glass dildos, and The Arrivals everything sale.
I really didn’t feel like writing today. And that’s a tough thing to reconcile when you work for yourself, or at least no one is going to be reaching out concerned when you haven’t Slacked your day’s agenda by 9 a.m. and they decide to stop sending you money. Except that person still exists, and it’s you (me) and you (you), too. We’re both my boss now so, I guess, checking in with some quick thoughts:
Did you know you could buy a $4,000 telescope on SSENSE? Are you the gloves girl of your friend group? Is a candle sconce a good idea or is it a violation of my lease? Have we seen the last of the shrimp tree’s unexpected reign? (Googling won’t help you, just trust me it’s been everywhere.) Where do we turn our aspirations now that Chrissy and Kendall are loyal The Row girls? Do we become Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli hive? Is everyone wearing the James Street Co sweater?
Thank you to Thingtesting for featuring me and Magasin this past week. Your platform probably influenced me to launch this newsletter in some form, and it’s a pleasure to recommend some recently spotted brands: Malte van der Meyden (candles) Magniberg (bedding), Stamátios Fragos (lamps), Gohar World (a mystery!), and a few more you’ll have to click through to find out about.
One thought I’ve made a talking point of this week is how little fanfare can be found when the first delivery of a collection lands at stores, compared to the vast hype of when it’s shown during fashion week. I get that for a lot of people runway designs are purely visual content to be considered as opposed to clothes to (aspire to) afford and actually wear. Bits and pieces of the Prada SS22 collection are newly available for pre-order on Moda Operandi, a destination for those who actually do care when fashion concepts become consumer goods, and we’re that much closer to seeing its dramatically trained satin skirts and dresses repositioned through the lenses of fashion amateurs and hobbyists. Because that’s the real test, isn’t it? It’s one thing if a collection is managed by stylists to dress VIPs and outfit editorials for magazines in which the brands advertise heavily, but it’s far more interesting when those who have to pick and choose where their clothing allowance goes transact on a piece and frame it in ways no one else could conceive of. That’s called discerning taste. That’s called massaging the culture, baby.
Here’s an unpolished thought: All of the recent fashion deaths have me thinking about the new, buzzy creative directors that’ve been inserted in the second and third tiers over the last few years and whether they can fill those voids. Glenn Martens at Diesel, Nigo at Kenzo, Nicola Brognano at Blumarine, most recently Rhuigi Villaseñor at Bally. Achilles Ion Gabriel still hasn’t gotten the recognition I think he deserves as Creative Director at Camper, despite putting out banger after banger—the CAMPERLAB SS22 collection dropped and is case-in-point—while having fun with it, which is the ultimate aspirational quality these days, isn’t it? Obviously it’s unfair to expect these new talents to have accomplished as much as Mugler or Virgil at this point in their careers, without a lifetime of work to consider, but these are nonetheless the names defining what future generations will be nostalgic for the 2020s about.
There are a million directions you could take your quest for basics, your aspirational “capsule wardrobe.” Here, I talk a lot about Uniqlo, Lemaire, eBaying old classics like Levi’s 501s and Dior button-downs—all good options that likely already comprise your current assortment. COS, which hangs left of Zara but far north of most mall brands and was, lest we forget, invaluable when offices were de facto, is submitting its bid for your core closet with the COS Core Collection. My read on it is that most separates seem well-made and are a good value. The accessories may be a pass because you can find more interesting leather work bags in the same bracket at SSENSE, but trousers, half-zips, and heavy cotton blousons are the best versions of themselves and at a fair price.
Sunnei’s Objects II release is more delightful and horny than I had anticipated, with a handful of Murano glass “pleasure” sculptures whose sensory experiences extend from your carefully staged shelf and into your orifices. The Italian-design textured glass dildos, finger bangers, and anal beads are joined on the other end of the rope by home goods you may even gift your parents like Tekla-esque bedding, ceramic dishes, and AirPod lanyards.
For the men who have and will continue to shop the “women’s” clothes at Frankie Shop, there’s been a new section added ostensibly for your buying ease: The Frankie Shop has launched a men’s and unisex page, and with it a handful more pieces for new and loyal (and male and female and non-binary) fans to quickly add to their growing collections.
Like those who treasure their special edition cartoon-emblazoned wine glasses from the Bar Part Time x Dimes pop-up, there are surely also locals-first sock collectors among us. Comme Si x Lichen NYC’s limited edition collab is back in two in-the-know shades.
Ugg’s SS21 rain collection has landed, and it’s by both coincidence and design that it looks familiar. Puddle boot derivatives channel Bottega, and clunky clear wellies echo JW’s most recent Loewe show at Paris Men’s.
There’s also: Furtuna Skin x Jeremy Scott collaborate on skincare; Tom Brady releases BRADY, an athletic apparel brand available at Nordstrom; Wales Bonner’s “Togetherness” FW22 collection is out; SKIMS launches second limited-edition collection with Team USA; Mansur Gavriel’s best-selling Mini Cloud Clutch is back in stock; Zara’s latest collection inspired by the New York City Ballet has dropped; and By Far and celeb stylist Mimi Cuttrell collab on bags and shoes available at Net-A-Porter.
What’s on sale
The bra brand that’s not-so-slowly taken over my underwear drawer in just a few months is having a sizable end-of-season sale. CUUP, whose Black Friday sale was one of the most popular among friends and followers I polled informally on Instagram, is back at it with discounts on its balconettes, plunges, briefs, thongs, and swimwear in every precisely great color.
Holding that note, J.Hannah nail polish—the result of founder Jess’ informed obsession with color theory and her willingness to pour resources into its clever iteration—is on sale at Nordstrom but down to its last SKU: Marzipan (from the Phoebe-era universe) is 40% off. But for a few bucks more, you can get every possible exploration on her site at just $19.
I’m becoming something of a The Arrivals outerwear collector, which is undeniably an expensive hobby. Luckily, the brand’s entire site is on sale today, meaning my Kala III shearling and Aer Alpine are each a couple hundred bucks off and still in stock at time of writing.
The Matchesfashion sale might be business as usual, except for the fact that the current selection is pretty exceptional, and that it’s an extra 20% off. The highest-discounted pieces read like a realistic cart I’d assemble and then reluctantly narrow down—particularly right at this very moment when winter buying has puttered out and pre-spring transitional pieces are of the utmost interest. Marni loafers, APC leather pouches, so much cotton twill from Isabel Marant, Nili Lotan, and Chloe, and denim, too, from Re/Done, Frame, and B-Sides.
If my impassioned defense of Achilles Ion Gabriel above awakened a modicum of renewed interest in Camper, you might be interested to hear the brand is currently hosting its Family & Friends Sale for up to 50% off, including CAMPERLAB styles. Use code FF2022 if the discount shown is less than 50% and it’ll jump up in your cart.
There’s a lot of ground to cover today, so I’ll lump these together for my own ease of assembly: Hereu, By Far, and Eytys are all deep into their end-of-season sales. Particularly good deals can be found on By Far boots and shoes (very nicely made leather footwear for under $200), Hereu’s nylon handbags and shearling loafers (fascinating use of materials all around), and Eytys’ lumpy sneakers and waxed jeans (the ones Bella Hadid wears).
For the Julia Fox-fevered, Miaou is offering a free thong with $200+ purchases (also their sale section is down to 50% off rn). In other good GWP news, hair brand Bread Beauty Supply will send you a free $68 bottle of Eadem (a luxe dark-spot fader for melanated skin) with any $80 purchase, which seems more generous a deal than it needs to be.
Lisa Says Gah is running a weeklong promo for 30% off cold weather pieces with WARMUP30—Colin Locasio fur hats, Kelly green Jakke coats, and layerable Paloma Wool harlequin tops make up the highlights.
There’s also: If you’re in the market for unrippable tights, Sheertex’s near-entire site is 50% off; there’s a bunch of Hawkins New York plates and linens and such on sale at Verishop; it’s almost cleared out by now, but Hope Stockholm’s seasonal sale has been further reduced; also going fast is Rachel Saunders Ceramics’ annual sample sale—a few more items remain at up to half off; Vince’s End-of-Season Sale reaches up to 75% off and is plentiful; and KkCo’s entire site is 20% off with JAN2020TOO.
It was a clever choice to put the TikTok train guy in that High Snobiety The North Face x Gucci video and make his whole thing its whole thing. We’re about due for a cultural moment around land travel, the Alps, and I’ll-somehow-connect-it-to imperial Russia. Plus, he just makes me smile.
Not that anyone has ever asked, but I exclusively wear Evolvetogether masks. I have a wicker basket of packets in I think every color and style they’ve ever made (love to let everyone know in January 2022 that “I am a voter”), and they’re so comfortable and easy I’ve never had any desire to switch it up. This company in no uncertain terms exploded over the pandemic years for offering one of the best products on the market, and for having their supply chain issues together or at least transparent. Waitlists are common, not because stock is poorly managed, but because demand is unlike anywhere else. Personally, I wear the Everyday masks, which offer above-average filtration as it is. However, the most recent waitlist for its KN95s reached 500,000 people (and 3 million masks), and since they restocked Wednesday of last week, they’re sold out completely once again.
The RealReal posits that resale has gone mainstream, and lucky for younger buyers, Gen X is liquidating its closets. The most valuable resale pieces from last year included the Hermes Himalayan Birkin, an Alexander McQueen 1996 pantsuit, and a Louis Vuitton Cashmere XL Christopher Puffer Backpack.
There’s also: If you’re wondering what the “hot” “luxury” “bags” are these days, Luisaviaroma made a list; February approaches, and Nordstrom’s Black Owned Shop has popped up on the homepage in advance of Black History Month; Tiffany and Pharrell are teaming up on some lil’ John Lennon specs among other things I bet; and LVMH invests in Aimé Leon Dore, so expect to see more stores in Paris, London, and Asia in the coming months.