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059: Then mend it, dear Henry!
Everything you can shop from NYFW, plus Bottega x The Strand, a Jane Birkin collab, and The RealReal's Big Investment Sale.
About Fashion Month: I think the fact that our industry has retained this tradition of showcase, despite the viability and cost-effectiveness of quiet direct-to-retailer or D2C proceedings, tells me about the part of fashion’s enormous ego that’s actually quite tender. As a marketing machine and inclusionary method—inclusive within its exclusivity, to some—the runway circuit seems to now most exist for promoting dialogue.
To funnel so much bodily fluid and cash beyond one’s means into pageanting clothes that aren’t even available to purchase yet, and which land ever so quietly by the time they reach stores, answers the question, to me, of “Who is fashion week for?” For each other, dear Liza.
Skeptics will say it all boils down to brand visibility and the bottom line, which are obvious considerations, but not every designer is backed by an Arnault or a Pinault. When Maryam Nassir Zadeh or Chopova Lowena hit runway, the clothes they unleash aren’t mere vehicles for advancing logo-embossed leather goods sales. Their collections speak to the house’s past collections and codes and then, crucially, they advance their narratives speaking to adapted historical references, to threads and obsessions from pop culture, and to each other; other designers, stylists, creatives, and thinkers in their orbits whose ideas can and do (and are allowed to! even should!) have an impact.
It’s an ongoing forum that meditates on the existential who are we, who could we be, and what are our values? These are matters that are frankly bigger than what can be held in a spreadsheet or bank account or faulty bucket.
The conversation comes in rounds, a chorus of solutions and new ideas that triggers another, met in a beautiful harmony, until eventually it’s time to start the song all over again. Can you hear the tune yet?
Despite fashion month’s whole we’re-actually-not-for-sale-just-yet-but-please-remember-me-come-February thing, there actually are more than a handful of new designs that really are see-now-buy-now. Collina Strada’s jelly sandal collab with Melissa (which, by the way, has to be the pre-eminent collaborator of our time, ahead of even H&M, Uniqlo, or adidas), is one such delight. The chunky platform goo shoes were seen on the runway first, of course, but then immediately everywhere else, ostensibly seeded to influencers and friends of the brand or just picked up by savvy fans.
Another cute opp to pull directly from the “runway” is Susan Alexandra’s shoppable The RealReal edit, consisting of the exact vintage designer pieces she had the comic models wear at her Comedy Cellar show. There’s a JPG wool suit, Fendi platform kitten heels (click to make this make sense), and the Gucci dress that ever so gorgeously mashed Catherine Cohen’s cleavage together on stage.
Sandy Liang’s own insta-shoppable bid for the week became almost instantly unshoppable after her long-awaited first-ever shoes sold out within the hour of launch, at an event in her Orchard St store days before the actual show. Heartbroken would-be shoppers in my DMs resigned themselves to the Miu Miu ballet slippers in their absence, but if they had waited just a quick stint, they’d see Sandy’s smartly structural Mary Jane flats crop back up at SSENSE.
COS went the extra mile this season, staging a runway show for its FW22 collection, whose launch coincided with the brand’s NYFW livestream. It was all very New York City-skyline, studied-pops-of-color, and with plenty of 2015-looking women wearing the street-style-bait pieces in the audience, but reluctantly I’ll admit it was all very wearable and even at times a bit interesting.
Tommy Hilfiger, though, was the headlining FW22 collection on the marquee this season, erecting an absolutely sopping wet production that at the very least demonstrated the heartiness of its apparel and A-list cast. Tommy Factory (please, no more Warhol, I’m literally begging you) deployed Mosses, (Kardashian) Barkers, and the Fox’s den to unveil its latest line and new TH monogram.
A smattering of pieces from Mirror Palais’ collections I through III that didn’t make it into the brand’s excellent inaugural show last week are now selling on Basic.Space. An inside source leaked the link to me early this morning, before it’s been promoted elsewhere yet, so there’s still a good run of inventory (until the Mirror-heads catch wind).
It goes on. Ukrainian brand Bevza, which always shows in New York, has released a few styles from its SS23 collection early to shoppers via its website. Wouldn’t you know it, the edit happens to include all of my favorite pieces, from the doily-like bra to the bulletproof vest tank to the tangram-thong gown that made everyone clamor over each other with their phones.
I’m certainly interested to see what comes from Lil Nas X’s ambassadorship at Coach beyond a few already-predictable campaigns, but for now, you can shop his fashion director Hodo Musa’s edit of the current collection.
Khaite, running a pretty robust D2C business, is smartly going the pre-order route on its site with the entire SS23 collection available to advance shoppers, plus two key accessories from the show—the Olivia hobo and Linden sandal—on hand for immediate delivery.
Foo and Foo, a freshman brand on the calendar from Elizabeth Hilfiger, Tommy’s daughter, has its SS23 collection (modeled by Bella Hadid and Georgia May Jagger) up for pre-order. You can guess the success it’s going to enjoy based on who walked alone, but don’t discount the thoughtfulness behind the line on that merit.
While we’re talking pre-orders, it simply can’t be stressed how much Moda is killing the game with its timely Trunkshows, this week pegged to the just-shown SS23 collections of Altuzarra and Aje. I’m frankly much more inclined to shop this way as it connects me more directly with the energy I’ve just absorbed from the runways and presentations (per my intro)—transacting instinctively rather than reflexively. If more designers worked within this model, we’d see more advance purchasing, better-attuned production, fewer mark-downs, and a more dynamized relationship between brands and customers.
What feels like a lifetime ago, before NYFW, I was in Sweden for Stockholm Fashion Week, accidentally obliterating wine glasses in a steep concert hall where J. Lindeberg unveiled its FW22 collection. It’s not a new idea, but I was SO tickled by the golf clubs models toted on and off stage while young, cool, hot people rioted in appreciation from the bleachers. All the things that other people have said and will say about sports and streetwear and luxury and leisure and class apply here, so you can fill in the blanks, but it was the undeniable conceptual highlight of the trip.
Setting Fashion Month aside, two weeks of rolled-over updates have left me with so many un-trimmable launches to report on. Bottega Veneta’s collaboration with The Strand being one of them. I mean, can you even imagine anything more baiting than Chloë Sevigny wearing an intrecciato leather tote emblazoned with New York’s most unsuccessfully gatekept logo?
Speaking of Chloë, she’s got her own apt partnership to tout—her third with the eyeglass folks at Warby Parker. After selling out on both previous occasions, her signature Tate frame is making a comeback in its original Nutmeg Crystal with Polished Gold, plus a new colorway: Crystal with Polished Silver.
I won’t dance around the celebrity-brand linkup I’m most excited about any longer, which is Jane Birkin x A.P.C., a sharknado of unbothered French coolness that I almost feel not grown-up enough to embody. It’s t-shirts and jeans, naturally, plus excellent slouchy-shouldered yet fitted-enough outerwear with special little rows of buttons along the cuffs. French! Excellence!
Two genetically blessed public figures with lifelong access to the most expensive and effective anti-aging solutions have launched skincare lines that are also but of course somehow about wellness. Cosmoss by Kate Moss and STELLA by Stella McCartney.
Stylist Veneda Carter has long crossed over her side of the “scenes,” and even though she has a new collab with Timberland—a short lace-up boot and heeled knee-high—it’s her Paleolithic eponymous jewelry brand that’s most covetable.
There’s also: Brad Pitt cofounded a cashmere brand that’s now shoppable at Selfridges; Mansur Gavriel releases the M Frame Bag, a totally new silhouette for its cultish lineup; an exclusive end-of-summer Jacquemus collection, “Le Papier,” sets up shop at MyTheresa; as Ye makes moves to exit their partnership, two new Yeezy Gap by Balenciaga SKUs—the sateen cargo pants and anorak—hit stores; Lanvin alumni Lucas Ossendrijver is tapped by Theory to design a capsule for its experimental arm, Theory Project; Lisa Says Gah uploads its fall collection; Agmes launches its new collection, an extension of its brilliantly sculptural and featherlight oeuvre; Edie Parker’s “Weedie Parker” spinoff introduces turf grass totes and mini tinsel bags; Tigra Tigra quietly adds a limited run of one-of-a-kind handmade-in-India pieces to its site; bedding brand Parachute lands at Nordstrom; contradictory to how actual capsule wardrobes work, Everlane launches another capsule wardrobe it’s calling The Power of 10; By Far gets into fragrance; a few new to Moda—Ludovic de Saint Sernin, FM 669 x Teget, and Valentino’s Pink PeePee; Dr. Martens x Engineered Garments reinvent the 1461 short boot for their FW22 collection; Puma x Palomo Spain is the sports brand’s answer to the runaway adidas x Wales Bonner collab success, and it’s a great effort, even if it’ll ultimately reach a smaller audience; kate spade reimagines the original Sam Bag for FW22; Jacquemus x Nike finally arrives at SSENSE and is mostly still in stock; SS23 teasers from Men’s Week earlier this year are now arriving, including the MMW Nike 005 x 1017 Alyx 9SM slide that the boys are going wild over; and our favorite little vintage savants of the Lower East Side, Ending Soon, launch a fantastic line of reworked reversible puffed bomber jackets—a first, and hopefully not last, for the brand.
What’s on sale
I’ll say candidly that the vacuum the SSENSE sale ending created was sizable. There are a lot of deep-reaching sales across the internet and Instagram and whatnot, but taking stock in my perusing habits in its absence, I’ll admit that the sale-seeking part of my soul is most drawn to The RealReal. I have a hard time wrapping my head around what a TRR “sale” even means, when the merchandise is necessarily discounted already and price strikethroughs are more a part of its business model than most, but the everyday low prices (relax, Walmart) keep me hopelessly devoted (relax, Olivia) and perpetually checking my saved searches. If this kind of thing matters to you, The RealReal is hosting a “Big Investment Sale,” so go buy a Birkin or something. But if not, I invite you to spend your time opening tabs across the platform as if it were an engrossing 20th century novel you’re reading on a train.
Shopping the polished half of things from the bygone SSENSE sale can be replicated at Browns, an outlier of the big retailers who’ve otherwise ended their seasonal sale runs (like Net and Matches, for the most part). Eliou, Acne, and Reformation are among an all-star cast of 60% off styles, plus you can take 20% off all full-price including new season with SURPRISE.
Another retailer I have a great relationship with and don’t talk about nearly enough is Italist, an Italian boutique aggregator that gets things on sale on the European calendar, as opposed to the American, which is to say ahead of time. Right now, it’s carrying over 60,000 current-season pieces at up to 45% off. It’s frankly too much stuff, IMO, so what I like to do is go straight to the designers list and open up tabs for each that I’m presently interested in. Reliably, it’s all super fresh and super on-sale.
There’s also: J.Hannah is running a secret archive sale on one-off samples and pre-engraved jewelry, some nail polishes and candles can also be found at a discount; Saks Off 5th is fortifying its relationship with Cult Gaia, meaning a ton more product can be found on the off-price site; designer bag broker Rebag is hosting a spend-and-save, wherein you can get up to $250 off; for those fall shopping for home goods and furniture, Lulu and Georgia has 30% off best-sellers right now; intimates brand NKD INT (fka Naked Intersection) is hosting a sly sitewide sale with PEACH; at least three things I thought I missed out on buying this week I ended up finding on sale at 100% Silk Shop; IDK what a “Removing Sale” is, but Cult Gaia insists that’s what’s happening on its site right now; take 40% off full-price and 50% off markdowns at Reebok’s Friends & Family sale; at Good American’s F&F sale, take 25% off sitewide with FAM25; Bergdorf’s tiered beauty sale goes up to 25% off purchases of $2,500; and Camper’s sale creeps up to 50% off.
This area has been neglected for months now, yet another section facing obsolescence to make room for more immediate and urgent shopping prompts. But let’s crack it back open just for a moment to address some oddities and omens in the space. In keeping with this week’s theme of “Fashion Week, But, Like, Shoppable,” I was pretty keen on learning that the sunglasses Sandy Liang sent down the runway this season were just $80. If you’ve heard me squeal about gas station sunglasses lately (more on that soon 🙃), you’ll know I was delighted by these high-end Jins versions that aren’t too-too high-end.
Not the late ‘00s comeback we were expecting, but Axe sponsoring Willy Chavarria’s show this season does track. The best collection we saw all week, finished in a fog of… “AXE Apollo body spray powered up the looks, giving models a boost of confidence before hitting the runway.” Now a new generation of women can develop complicated relationships with distinctly aroma’d failed-to-launch boys who are at least this time around dressed impeccably.
Vans had a stronghold on the girlies of a certain caliber this season, sponsoring its way onto the runways and show notes of Susan Alexandra, MNZ, and newcomer Nguyen, Inc. The skater brand hosted its own event at the onset of the week where it gave away endless free shoes, making its intentions as a serious spending presence clear.
What’s next: It looks like Gohar World will soon be launching Gohar Old World, a collection of one-of-a-kind antiques and vintage; Simone Rocha and Peter Do both introduced menswear in their Spring collections this past week; Instagram’s @kateofficial is launching a line of sheer party dresses, Kitten by Kate; and Demna will soon be introducing us to his first fragrance for Balenciaga… I can only imagine it’ll be akin to Heretic with Patrick Süskind wedged in the base notes next to the oud.
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