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032: Live-blogging my NYFW breakdown, as a schtick
Plus Black-owned brands at Nordstrom, a Shaina Mote sample sale, and Balenciaga's 360º view from the top.
As far as internet schticks go, mine has never been “radical” honesty about social dread or lack of self-confidence—of course I experience those things, but I’m not, like, an anxiety blogger. (I think that bit wrung dry years ago, it’s an IBS hot girl’s world now.)
I swore this past NYFW would be my last of tirelessly hurrying between shows, relegating design as secondary to charade and gossip, and basing my self-worth on invites secured and seats assigned. Still, with the fall shows approaching, I’m back in my old habits, furiously emailing PR contacts and catchall brand addresses to secure RSVPs. And the reason I’m telling you this—not as some performance of emotional exhibitionism—is that my shopping tendencies are going fucking haywire, too.
Fashion people don’t always wear their own clothes to big press events like these. Agencies will often gift or loan samples in an effort to get their clients’ pieces placements in street style roundups or in industry Instagram posts, and personally, I’m privileged to be taken care of in this regard by my closest brand contacts. But that doesn’t mean I’m not opening an insane amount of tabs to round out that artificially vast wardrobe in a march toward the platonic ideal of… luxury, hyper-local, ascendant, and uncaring… daring yet demure… expensive but hot… all while somehow never wondering where I stick my boobs or stuff the excess fabric around my ankles.
It’s like. Is it worth it to buy this Paris Georgia shirt-pants set to wear in all likelihood once? Does this Extreme Cashmere knit I adore read as enough of a statement? If I do a Gray Gardens thing am I going to photograph like I’m on chemo? How do we get me in a pair of these Muglers A-fucking-SAP? Is now the time for the pink cashmere Commission sweater? How unsensible is a designer tee? How much less sensible is a Prada nylon shorts and gown-top ensemble? Do I have it in me to bend the seasons in an MNZ micro-mini? Why doesn’t any of this feel right?
I’ve always held that fashion is a conversation, but in high-pitch hallways like these it starts to feel salacious, and my dressing trails off into contrition. Can’t wait to feel like I’m wrong for not wearing the exact same thing as someone cooler than me lol.
Londoner Cicely Travers’ underwear brand, Isoceles Lingerie, captures the intimates end of the neo-mystical movement seeping into fashion through its most delicate corners—Santangelo jewelry and Michelle Del Rio belts have It, as do the laboriously constructed soft goods from Di Petsa and Aune—and while these brands remain an under-the-radar group, as a whole they’re spiraling upwards. Case in point, Isoceles, which had before only been available via a network of independent boutiques, is now available at Browns.
When I first tried Rouge Hermés (not that long ago, honestly just a few months), I have to admit I didn’t realize lipstick could actually be comfortable. Some brands have made it bearable, but there’s always been a point at which, after an hour or a meal or a long conversation, it doesn’t feel unobtrusive anymore. In fact, it feels quite notably obtrusive. I have a wonderfully alien cool-lavender shade, but a newly released Rouge Hermès Spring-Sumer 2022 Limited-Edition three-color line landed yesterday in Rose Nymphéa, Orange Capucine, and Beige d’Eau (and couldn’t you just slap yourself at those names?).
Speaking of names, Maude is a popular one among vibrators these days, few of which are especially scary. The millennialization of sex toys has made the process of buying a 10-inch head-rearing rabbit not just shameless but chic (I’d go to Lelo for this), however where Maude, a cute conical vibe in tones of concrete and olive, concedes losses on girth and brute force, it beats all as the best, cheapest option out there, at just $49. It’ll fit right in with your Moon Juice purchases at Sephora, where it launched this week.
If you’re picking up on a theme here, it’s because so many brands have deemed it necessary to Do A Thing for Valentine’s Day. Not that I mind, really, because that means putting money in the pockets of great young brands or giving us consumers better stuff (as with all of the above). To add to this sexy assortment, Cameron Diaz’s surprisingly good wine brand Avaline is re-releasing (by popular demand, let’s say) its Sparkling Rose, the perfect complement for your painted, decorated solo sesh. All that’s needed is a heart-shaped box of chocolates… @ Casa Bosques, what’s your plan for this?
Also in February: the Super Bowl! I’m just kidding, I don’t know what that is. It’s Black History Month, and accordingly, shops are putting their Black-owned brands up front. Nordstrom’s designated storefront is spotted with big names like Fear of God, Good American, and Off-White, plus smaller designers to discover like Goodee (I love), Vayvoune, and Bel-Air Athletics.
Kwaidan Editions has always been one of those brands that seems to be overflowing with ideas behind the scenes. The husband-and-wife duo designers at the helm could have kept that loop closed, but Hung La instead struck out on his own to launch Lu’u Dan—Vietnamese for "dangerous man," a fitting label for his risky act. ‘70s accents like bell-bottoms, exaggerated lapels, and jumpsuits coalesce with eery tartans, camo, and full-bleed floral; this story also runs deep, and I hope the risk is rewarded to allow it more time to ferment.
There’s also: Public Goods expands its facial care system; Margiela and Reebok collaborate on another tabi sneaker, this one with cutouts; makeup brand Saie launches a setting powder, Airset; Madre Mezcal connects with Yardy World on a series of Oaxacan-inspired salts—like sal de guisano but vegan; Collina Strada and Levi's released a capsule of jeans with hand-dyed prints; Christopher Esber Resort 22 is online now at Moda; A24 clearly knows its audience and released a beanie and house pant for the season; and finally, we circle back to love and loving love, as Loewe (love!) introduces a Valentine’s Day gift collection.
What’s on sale
I know you don’t want to hear this, but the sale standoff with SSENSE may be ending soon. The Montreal-based retailer is showing signs of wrapping things up (sending out more frequent promo emails, quietly lifting discounts, shifting focus to Spring collections), so it’s looking like it’s about time to buy all the pieces we’ve had on ice for the past few months. I’m considering a more thorough recap of top deals for next send, but in the meantime, you might want to get on top of low-stock items.
Shaina Mote is a staple in every earthy minimalist’s wardrobe—Sissy Chacon, Marie Absolonova, Valerie Quant Zecchetto—it’s like the back-to-the-land Angeleno uniform and what Georgia O’Keeffe would wear should she still be shopping. All good reasons to shop it at full price, for sure, but Shaina Mote’s sample sale has those pieces at 70% off right now.
Here’s a niche one for Euphoria watchers and anyone who’s seen a meme in the last month: Cassie’s “I’ve never ever been happier” wrap cardigan is on sale at Nordstrom—it’s under $50.
I mean this with the utmost respect, but those little lettuce hem knit set-crochet bucket hat outfits really do nothing for me. Siedres—whose offbeat Spaniard-ness probably put them on the engine side of the now-inescapable trend—has a bunch of these in its Winter Sale, but they’re merely decoys for the absolute gems lurking in their midst. A sweeping nylon trench and an asymmetrical cobalt gown are just two pieces I didn’t expect to see from Siedres, let alone at 30% off.
There’s also: This Deiji Studios sleep set is only $34 right now; Daily Sleeper’s Final Season Sale is up to 60% off for more vaguely bed-themed fashion; similarly dreamlike, Sir the Label’s End-of-Season Sale carries on with up to 50% off; e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g at James Street Co, which makes that sweater that’s closing in on me from every angle, is 40% off right now; meanwhile Musier Paris’ sale reaches up to 40% off; and Theory’s already-60%-off sale has been kicked up with an extra 25% off almost all styles.
The Lyst Index lives. The global shopping platform confirms what we all intuited—that Balenciaga is the hottest brand on the planet right now. It also tells us that the Balenciaga Neo Classic small bag was the top women’s product of the quarter, and Gucci 1953 Horsebit loafers were the men’s (this one I did not see coming).
Another data analytics resource, Cosmetify, sometimes turns out some interesting insights in the beauty space. This week, it found that the fastest rising beauty brand is JLo Beauty (at a 5,338% increase YOY it’s not even close). I honestly forgot she did that, because it’s currently easier to count the celebrities that don’t have lines than those that do. Happy for her though!
Are you also thinking about Rihanna now? She also had a week for SEO and motherhood and whatnot. Within an hour of announcing her pregnancy, searches for “Pink Padded Coat” spiked 200% per LoveTheSales. The bigger news, IMO, is that the only version of her Chanel puffer that was currently available online just sold for $10,000 at 1stDibs. It’ll never be quite the same, but this on-sale Isabel Marant one captures something of the vibe and is less than $300.
Instead of the thing I was going to do about impressions reached and follower growth around the whole Hugo =/= Boss chasm, I’ll just relay a forgotten tidbit I was reminded of at brunch over the weekend, which is that Hugo Boss (the man) was a Nazi and remained a Nazi until he died, and Hugo Boss (the company) made Nazi uniforms using Jewish slave labor. As one acquaintance posited: They’re changing the name because they don’t want people Googling the brand name. And yet…
There’s also: Farfetch buys luxury beauty site Violet Grey; New Yorkers are now able to get quick clothing repairs for $5 apiece at Uniqlo’s Soho Re:Uniqlo studio; and a book I was hounding and am so glad I sussed out, “Poetry Is Growing in Our Garden: Anders Frederik Steen” is now back in stock at Apartamento Magazine <3