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062: I am the goldfish, you are the horse
Plus Lemaire's latest Uniqlo U, Paloma Wool's divine fall collection, and a deep Agent Provocateur sale.
Since before Paris—because it’s been a while since I’ve shared my own shopping—I’ve dipped my net in the stream and trawled up a bounty of telling purchases: a black silk Vivienne Westwood corset, like I’ve dreamed of owning for half my life; a billowing taffeta Cecilie Bahnsen skirt with wee bows on the gathered pockets; a Dilara Findikoglu white lace-up corset finished with reams of pink ribbon; a velvet Khaite bodice with god-tier puff sleeves; knightly Gemsun pants with a masculine detachable wrap skirt; a comically femme Agent Provocateur three-piece lingerie set; a Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen handkerchief dress with panniers so broad they don’t fit through door frames head-on; and finally theeee Miu Miu skirt, in a thick, scholarly plaid.
Even for me, this is a lot of shopping. My current MO is: I am the goldfish, and my finances are the fish bowl. Blackbird Spyplane approached the question this week, “How do you stop feeling like you need to buy everything you like?” and it’s a good thing they did (thoughtfully and elegantly) because I am not one with an answer.
My latest generation of purchases is all about effortfulness, fussiness, and pomp, and it’s been informed by a those I admire for how they wield drama. All of the brands I bought, of course. And then there’s Maryam Keyhani. Claire Sullivan. Elena Velez. Vaquera. Interior. Noir Kei Ninomiya. Yohji. Comme. Thom.
It’s a mentality that expresses outwardly as Edwardian garb on the beach or bustles and drop waists and circus stripes on the subway. But the feeling behind it is a return to daring, and a return to caring. As in, “Three cheers to the sanctity of fashion, and I’m not afraid to say it.”
We’ve all heard by now that fashion week is back, which can only mean one thing: Fashion is back, too. Suddenly there are things to go berserk about, reasons to spend irresponsibly, and fucks to give, which makes what I do here all the more thrilling. Of course, if you are the horse, and all these little words and links are the water I have led you to, whatever you choose to do with it is frankly none of my business.
I can’t remember who it was that asked lately, “What ever happened to Paloma Wool?” But it turns out, the brand was busy quietly creating one of my favorite fall collections of the year thus far. Beyond a basic neutral color story or cheap loudness, PW’s latest does extremely well with sophisticated iridescents and “off” tones, paying particular attention to the way its ribbed pieces look when willed apart (playing with contrast stripes and exposed skin). Silhouettes are elegantly gorpy and liminally nostalgic, calibrated to memories and moods that haven’t been cartoonishly revived by the cycle. The accessory report is: Those sweater-y bows are bound to send a thousand girls to the thrift store with a pair of shears, and the Amanda pouch, well I just love it.
Christophe Lemaire’s mass-market project through Uniqlo U is about as close as we’ve gotten to democratizing good taste. The limited production of each season and the huge interest (because literal Lemaire for under $100) have even meant a Telfar-like second market for the collections’ slipperiest items. FW2022/23, which hit site last week, brings back a handful of those exact styles, including an A-line gabardine coat (released last year as a men’s item but back this season in two rich colors for women as well) and the rounded jeans that preceded the current balloon-silhouette denim wave. On the men’s front, outerwear also seems to be the best way in, an ultra sharp rain coat at the top of what’s still in stock. Otherwise, virtually anybody’s style could be instantly improved with a few new Uniqlo U tees (amazing ring collar, super classic straight fit) or the oversized version.
If there’s one thing about Zara, it’s that it’s going to Make You Look. Its FW22 Studio Collection “A Moment in Time” was shot by Steven Meisel for just that purpose and is dense with the kind of things you’re shocked, even resentful, to discover the origin of (the kind of things you couldn’t resist asking about, though). If you contemplate just one piece from the edit, make it this most perfect drop-waist trench coat. If you make it two, there’s this sailor-collar camel sweater.
At under $400, Everlane’s new recycled Italian wool (and recycled trimmings) peacoat, lands among the best affordable outerwear of the season. It’s made in a satisfyingly oversized buffalo check pattern that finds a fun partner in a scarf featuring a tighter plaid in the same black-and-tan combo. To me, details like the pattern matching up at the seams and well-finished four-button cuffs make the coat seem more Isabel Marant than Everlane, but I guess that’s exactly what you hope for from this brand when it’s at its best.
Crate and Barrell was so correct for tapping Sighswoon’s Athena Calderone in its latest home goods and furniture collaboration. Her exquisite taste and hosting instincts translate to a collection that merits every price point; the best deals include a solid oak floor lamp, fluted marble pedestal, and an XL linen tablecloth.
Bode’s Halloween collection consists of $180 graphic tees you’d expect to find at Target, a $1,200 skeleton jumpsuit and, yes, the big-baby clown suits, all of which are now sold out. The flocked chiffon clown collars, though, (some still available) transcend the holiday and feel the way Bode should feel: like future heirlooms. Frankly, not a single one at the Wise-Tashjian wedding this weekend was a missed opp.
Before becoming Bravo’s shocking new darling, Jenna Lyons invited me into her Soho apartment to promote her upcoming collab with fellow industry legend Marcia Kilgore (who was also there) for Beauty Pie Unlipstick. We spoke very little about the launch, if I’m being honest, and instead gossiped about oil heiresses in Texas going through financial troubles and the cost of art these days, but when I did finally get around to thinking about the link-up, it made a lot of sense to me. Queen of a clean face and colored lip meets post-luxury makeup worth way over its sticker price? Well that’s simply the Jenna Lyons way.
There’s also: Gemsun’s fall collection, Herbstwind, marks the start of a new, killer chapter for the brand, with expanded ready-to-wear—I bought the super hot two-in-one wrap pants literally minutes after they went live on the site; MNZ’s Julian bag is back in stock (I was never kidding when I said one of you should get it for me); Pangaia’s latest textile innovation, Dropel, comes in the form of a sweatshirt that fends off water-based stains, finally justifying a luxe cream zip-up; meanwhile Loro Piana is in its physical therapy era, trying to gain back the grip hygge had on winter-bound culture with its “Cocooning” collection, feat. many multiple-thousand-dollar buttery knits that won’t repel an overzealous tip of the French press; Acne Studios must be feeling homesick, having collaborated with Swedish heritage brand Kero on a short lineup of traditional clog-like boots; veering out of its swimwear lane, Candice Swanepoel’s Tropic of C just launched the best iteration of the sexy knit tennis set I’ve seen yet in an exclusive capsule with Luisaviaroma; as much a sign of the season as a PSL, Glossier has launched a new Balm Dotcom to ring in fall: meet Swiss Miss; NYC vintage store The Break’s founder Hanna Richtman launched the ultimate complement to her ass-out ‘90s collections: Gush, a solid black thong that hikes high on the hip bone; nap dress brand Hill House launches reversible puffers featuring apt antique wallpaper-like prints and ruffles; Woolrich Outdoor Label, the brand’s Japan-designed line, launches FW22 including a multi-way nylon jacket with built-in fishing vest and several faux shearling fleeces; the light-gray Telfar puff bag goes live for pre-order today at noon, with orders to ship beginning November 21; Wandler just showed off its new ready-to-wear collection in Paris, but a few styles are already available for purchase on Net-A-Porter; Puppets and Puppet’s SS23 collection is on pre-order until this Friday; makeup brand Merit enters skincare with a single product, Good Skin, a niacinamide-rich plumping serum; the company that made the last winter robe you’ll ever want—remember OffHours’ pandemic fixture, the Homecoat?—launches the equally essential indoor-outdoor, sleeping bag-like Overcoat; art hoe The Met continues its collab streak with a new fragrance alongside Le Labo—Laurier 62 is inspired by French painter Henri-Edmond Cross’ 1908 unfinished painting “Underneath the Cork Oats” and smells like laurel, among other things; SSENSE expands its Mirror Palais buy to include the brand’s core apparel (at least one place you can find it in stock); Goop releases a five-piece outerwear lineup with Spanish sustainability brand Ecoalf; Nordstrom adds fall exclusives to its SPACE division from Elder Statesman and Dion Lee; Louboutin debuts at Moda Operandi; and SSENSE launches the exclusive Gucci Mini Jackie 1961 Shoulder Bag (want, need, etc).
What’s on sale
We’re only hot young bodies once, so naturally I’m celebrating the return of pre-pandemic Halloween thottery by incorporating lingerie into my costume. (I’ve said it before, but if I don’t post ass to feed at least 1x a month I’ll die.) This is how I discovered that Agent Provocateur is having a bonkers sale. Its whole Outlet section is massively discounted, which I can’t be sure if is par for the course or just aligned with the holiday, but it’s 40% off on top of that now with EXTRA40. I got a three-piece set worth $330 for $50-something plus shipping.
Matchesfashion is extending an extra 20% off sale items, just the nudge I need (am inviting) to give into things I didn’t even need an excuse to get anyway. My fine-tooth method of Highest Discount → Lowest, giving up, and then just filtering by some current favorite designers surfaced an absolutely darling Molly Goddard mini, exceptionally crispy Peter Do suit pants, a Burberry poncho to shape one’s whole personality around, my exact The Row vest, and a seasonally ill-advised yet irresistible pinafore dress from Les Vacances D’Irina.
To ring in the months when dinner parties matter most, Hay is hosting an up to 30% off dining sale on tiny things like tinted wine goblets, medium things like the Ana Kras-designed hanging light, and big things like a 10-person dining table.
A 70% off sitewide sale, as long as it’s real, is always going to be make news here. 360Cashmere’s Warehouse Sale seems only semi-legit—what even is this brand, why are the retail prices so high, and, like, it’s not even all 100% cashmere?—but I’ll concede that some of the discounts are pretty good gets. It’s a go for the poncho and crew dress, but a pass on anything summer-lounge (reeks of covid dressing).
There’s also: For a sneaky 25% off Moda Operandi purchases $350+, use 25SHOPMF; the brand that makes my favorite dirtbag sunglasses, Hanrej, is having a jewelry stock sale; Moncler is up to 50% off at Italist, so basically now you only have to choose between a coat and half a vacation to Vail; as we traverse from Gil Rodriguez crop tops and swimwear season into Gil Rodriguez sweatsuit and unitard season, it might interest you to learn a basketful of the latter is on sale at the brand’s (very much public) Private Sale; Gap’s “Members Event” goes up to half off, but even non-members get 30% with THIRTY, which I find fairly generous and quite usable; Raquel Allegra’s archive sale goes up to 75% off, with some of the best deals found on luxe t-shirts reduced to $50 (down from the $200s); Mansur Gavriel’s getting a little trigger happy, upping its sale to 60% off, meaning items start at $115; I can’t pretend to totally get what people see in The M Jewelers, maybe it’s the collabs or the celebrity placements they’ve bought (IDK, to me it’s totally interchangeable with any other Instagram brand), but anyway, the brand is hosting its semi-annual sale, a 45% off sitewide discount with SEMI45; though not quite as freewheeling as Agent Provocateur, Fleur du Mal is running its Le Weekend sale, a tiered discount plan up to $150 orders of $500; and Net-A-Porter’s also hosting a sale with additional discounts unlocked the higher the order value, going up to 25% off $900.
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