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065: What is fall but a mass hallucination
Plus Balenciaga x Adidas, Gaultier re-releases its most collected archive, and Italist's 100,000-item early Black Friday sale.
Several things have happened since I wrote about the Toteme scarf jacket a couple of sends ago: 1. I finally received the black-on-black version I had seized from dwindling online supply, 2. I was approached by Harper’s Bazaar editor Halie Lesavage to comment on it for an article, and 3. over the few chances I’ve had to wear it so far, it has inspired some telling reactions, from a high number of hetero men commenting on it approvingly to Rachel Tashjian and I narrowly avoiding a matching moment (“I almost wore mine, too,” she said of her padded version) to a team of PR girlies at the door of a MyTheresa event launching into a choir of “I love your Toteme,” and “coat of the season” (someone really said that).
Despite the fact that it’s been 70º in New York, we’re clearly so desperate for some semblance of season change—if only to prove to ourselves that the climate hasn’t come to a total standstill, but that’s a conversation for another day—that we seem to be shopping for winter staples out of muscle memory rather than necessity.
Just the other day, in fact, I took my quest for knee-high boots to the Magasin community (the beautiful girl reading this ◕‿◕✿) via Substack’s new in-app chatroom feature to help source me a pair and hash out what it was I even wanted. I landed on these buttercream Jil Sanders with a curved heel that I hope will round out my collection of otherwise black knee boots. (Other very good suggestions included the Toteme Riding boots, the Flattered Lunas, the MNZ Andes, and the By Far Edies.) The folie à deux of it all, though, is that it hasn’t really gotten cool enough yet to switch over from our Olympias and Miu Miu ballerinas.
One of the only places it feels like actual fall is on the internet, where “holiday season” is a more unrelenting marker of the passage of time than the weather app. Despite every PR email inquiring whether I’m “working on gift guides yet,” causing my whole body to tense—a recovering ecommerce editor’s PTSD—it seems I’m as powerless against the sale calendar as I am in deterring the Earth’s path around the Sun. I admit, I bought my first Early Black Friday deal, and it couldn’t have been more stereotypic: a pair of 20% off AirPods from Target.
Are you ready for it? I’m doing my best. From Singles Day to Black Friday and Cyber Week to the long stretch of December gift-shopping and deals we keep for ourselves, the year-end shopping triathlon has begun. Watch this space for the most sane and worthwhile path to the finish line.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s 1995 “Les Amazones” and 1996 “Cyberbaba” collections (both made while Gaultier was developing the costumes for The Fifth Element) regularly sell in the $3,000 to $4,000 range on resale sites, with especially collectable styles commanding north of $10,000. It feels urgent, then, that the house’s current creative director Florence Tétier has just put out a capsule directly inspired by those lines in which almost nothing, save for a few hefty coats, costs over $1,000—in fact most things are under $500. “Cyber,” as it’s called, is awash with the body-contouring pop-art dots that made the original “Baba” collection so covetable, plus laser-cut skin-tight styles, odes to JP’s sailor stripes, and resin jewelry created alongside Barcelona-based La Manso. It is, in effect, a greatest hits compilation, and I can’t believe how affordable it all is.
I’m feeling a tad sheepish with myself now. Months after righteously condemning the Balenciaga x Adidas collaboration that I swore “cheapened” the tailored pieces sent down the runway at the same New York Stock Exchange-hosted show, I’m scrolling through the Balenciaga website and sussing out what’s left in my size from the collab. It’s not that I have any less respect for clothes with quieter tactics, it’s that lately I’m more inclined to do fashion for the bit. (However impractical, I’m going to want to know what it feels like to earnestly wear a pair of tracksuit pantashoes.) Even my pragmatic side, which I’ve been known to suppress, can see that the cost per wear I’d get out of a pair of $1,500+ techno lounge pants actually makes them a sounder investment than many other silly little wearables I buy for slightly less money throughout the year. Who knew that, of all things, this would be the collection to make my brain whole for once.
There is this near-ineffable measure of adulthood that has nothing to do with age, “maturity,” lived experience, or anything with a basis in rationality. It’s why there are 20- and 30-somethings who feel on some secret level like they’ll never be as adult as Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries, though they may have decades on her forever-18-year-old iteration. Call it sophistication, call it presence, whatever this quality may be, Maximilian Davis’ debut collection for Ferragamo has it in spades. From the magma-hued Wanda mini bag, its molten shades restrained by its straightforward structure, to the Drape bodysuit that shows no decolletage but somehow renders a strip of skin in the middle of the back even sexier, the collection is imbued with a definitively adult sensuality—rarefied in this era of trickle-up aesthetics, where tweens tend to set the pace. The collection is exclusively available until November 30th.
Uniqlo’s latest designer intimates capsule with Mame Kurogouchi is equal parts snuggly and sexy. With a bustier cut from a new HeatTech wool blend made solely for this collection and a slip dress featuring a plunging, shapely neckline and built-in bra, it’s only a matter of time before TikTok takes the bait after the frenzies over similarly cut dresses that circulated on the app this past summer. But this collection isn’t simply a cheap bid for Zoomer validation. Its chestnut, slate, and olive hues are sophisticated and complex, and the thoughtful inclusion of absorbent “period shorts” underlines the pragmatism that defines the collaboration, allowing the garments to be attractive without coming across as frivolous.
If you were wondering where all the nice clothes for normal people were, the easiest answer is that By Malene Birger is now in charge of that department. It’s a miracle, really, how wearable the entire collection is; flattering, well-fitted clothes that are neither demandingly oversized nor uncomfortably slim, tempting knits that are also somehow quite sexy, and enough detail to speak to the wearer’s distinct perspective. All of these features positively sing in the brand’s exclusive capsule with Net-A-Porter.
Tommy Hilfiger sank a not-insignificant amount of money into a massive, celebrity-riddled show in Brooklyn on a pouring night during NYFW. But flashing one’s resources (or debuting a logo collection, yawn) hasn’t been enough for me to take the rebrand seriously. The Tommy x Martine Rose collaboration that launched late last week is way more compelling, signaling the brand’s commitment to new concepts and actually putting out clothes that won’t require heavy influencer seeding campaigns to get people to want to wear. The denim chaps (only $149) and jean puffer jacket ($229) are testaments to that.
Speaking of trickle-up aesthetics, the collaboration between Marc Jacobs’ gen-Z-beloved project Heaven and Online Ceramics, the bastion of cool kids who have done mushrooms at least once, is an example of why, so often, adults are in sartorial debt to these younger tastemakers. Their mutual strategy of creating garments with the ethos of a high-school student in graphic design class on LSD creates a synergy such that, even if they aren’t really your style, pieces like a sweater featuring a blissful jacquard spider have an undeniable pull. Online Ceramics isn’t afraid to create genuinely ugly garments in the name of the cheerful nihilism that is the basis of their brand, while Heaven often sticks to selling clothes that are engineered as pretty little hype machines, so this crossover is ripe with creative potential for both brands and it would not be surprising (or undesirable) to see a sequel down the line.
Not quite a lump of coal, but not far off. A holiday gifting capsule presented by Byredo and food artist Laila Gohar elevates the humble potato, with rose-tattooed ceramic spuds taking on new roles as candle holders, salt shakers, and spice boxes. A printed tablecloth, napkins, and taper candles complete the package and reassure the recipient they’re on your nice list.
Barbour, with its reputation as a reliable, if staid, purveyor of practical pieces and famed for its waxed jackets, is an interesting partner for the more maverick Ganni, and their collaboration had potential. Unfortunately, the fact that the garments were made using “at least 50% recycled fabrics or organic cotton” is not much of an emergency infusion of interest.
There’s also: Balenciaga’s Ukraine-blue glove gown, as worn by Kim K, is out in stores for a surprisingly (all things considered) low $3,500; Fendi unvaults 25 archival Baguettes to commemorate the bag’s 25th anniversary; those still lamenting the Sandy Liang sellout should train their eyes toward Nicole Saldaña’s fall shoe launch, featuring three excellent Mary Jane styles; Fanci Club finally lands at SSENSE where everything is under $400; Claudia Schiffer continues to cash in on her “Super” sobriquet with another ‘90s-inspired collaboration, this time with FRAME; Acne Studios honors late portraitist Larry Stanton with an AIDS charity-benefiting collection of graphic tees and home goods baring the artist’s work; Camille Charriére adapts her personal “going out” wardrobe for a party collection with Mango; Pangaia’s all-over color versions of Timberland’s distinctive boots make the collaboration look like fan fiction or the work of a brand-subversion artist—but in fact the teal, pink, and wheat-toned lug soles are for real, and currently for sale in dwindling sizes; Vans released three new SSENSE-exclusive versions of its classic skate shoes, most notably a pair printed with fungi and ferns designed to please the sect of its fans that skew plant-based; Madewell perfects LA-style winter wear in its collection with Donni that sports dual-toned hoodies and matching socks with pearls adorning their ankles; Our Place introduced its tagine in three new swirled colorways that would make great gifts for someone you likely already have in mind; similarly Material, which has previously partnered with Beverly Nguyen on a knife collection, is adding glassware and table linens to its lineup in time for holiday; Kiko Kostadinov’s frenetically fun streetwear capsule in collaboration with Hysteric Glamour is available today in a pre-release; Batsheva’s Resort 2023 collection offers new iterations on the brand’s classic styles as well as pieces that ditch its trademark prariecore silhouettes to great effect; lush-hued velvets and crocheted skullcaps dripping in medallions are abundant in Pardo’s new Comuna collection; ROOTS, a new capsule collection from Story mfg., features simply and elegantly cut clothing that allows the gorgeous dyes made from “fruits, roots, bark, leaves, and microorganisms'' to prove their depth; the new Levi’s by Adish capsule makes a strong case for paisley when deployed strategically; Naadam’s much-feted cashmere makes an appearance in its new line of outerwear; and Oscar de la Renta for MyTheresa is the top contender for impressing the guests at any greenhouse tea parties you may be invited to this winter with its springy silhouettes and unabashedly bright colorways.
What’s on sale
Like I said, Black Friday has to start somewhere, and this merciless free-for-all early BF sale at Italist is far from the worst place to kick things off. There are over 100,000 items on sale, many of which are current season pieces for over half off, as well as last-call SS22 for up to 75% off. Once you get used to the site’s bare-bones, somewhat crunchy interface (a result of their culling inventory from boutiques around Italy), you’ll find deals you just couldn’t come across elsewhere: a Bottega Cassette bag for under $1,500, a new-edition Jacquemus diagonal-button knit, this prominent Prada skirt for hundreds off.
Singles Day, which alleges to celebrate those unattached individuals not part of romantic relationships (an import from China, where it’s as big as Black Friday), is just like any other holiday Stateside in that it communicates best through capital. While it officially falls on November 11, brands are participating early by unlocking 22% discounts on select merchandise, like Farfetch is doing with its full-price, new-season pieces from “the world’s most iconic brands.” Marine Serre, Christopher John Rogers, and Dion Lee are all apparently in that category, as are Coperni, Frankie Shop, and Khaite. I.AM.GIA, meanwhile, is observing Singles Week with a 30% off sitewide discount that brings sale items up to 80% off.
Miaou just listed a bunch of never-before-on-sale pieces at a super discount, bringing corset tops and dresses down under $150 and tees and skirts for less than $50. Some of the best deals look like a case of a mistaken decimal point, but you really can find the Renzo dress for $39, the Campbell corset for $147, and the Haley capris for $36.
Everything at Réalisation (except the Bowie capsule, sorry to the Ziggy fans) is 25% off with SCORPIO until Friday the 11th. The top contenders for best items to jump on before it’s too late include a structured but slouchy crocheted top with strategically placed flowers for those who are loathe to wear a bra, and the already-on-sale Vivienne dress in a somehow non-tacky tiger print that comes out to under $100 with the extra discount, which is not being remade and could be layered under or over all winter long.
For its “Holiday Event,” lingerie brand and frequent Instagram haunter CUUP is offering discounts of $25 off $125 or $50 off $200. That means you could buy three packs of three modal thongs, nine thongs in total, and each would come out to $13 and change. If this math is incorrect, just scroll down and forget this ever happened (or click over to the CUUP website and buy something charming while thinking about how good you are at math).
Lighting brand Mitzi is hosting a 20% off flash sale with SAVINGS20, which means you can get sconces and pendants from Eny Lee Parker’s already affordable collab for prices I’m personally powerless to resist: the Marina 1 Light Wall Sconce and Elsa 6 Light Linear have just been code-blue added to the top of my to-buy list.
There’s also: That wild Agent Provocateur sale—an additional 40% off its extremely discounted outlet section with EXTRA40—is still happening if for some reason you didn’t jump on it the first time we shared; take 35% off full-priced items at Luisaviaroma with SD35 for Singles Day; TheRealReal ascends to a new discount dimension with a sale on its sale section comprised of items that had already been marked down from retail, now up to 80% off consignment prices; Freda Salvador’s archive sale—which ends tonight—is an under-tapped resource for boot hunters, with up to 70% off novel, highly tempting styles, some as low as $125; strawberry print lovers, your time has come with Helmstedt’s Strawberry 2.0 capsule sale, where you can find the fruit on everything from a bikini to a bathrobe; you might not have thought of Le Specs since the Adam Selman collab, but a 25% off flash sale brings many of its sunglasses down below $50; Koio’s refreshingly “brandless” minimal Italian shoes are 20% off sitewide; Clarks has 450+ styles on sale for up to 25% off with SHOPEARLY as part of its advance Black Friday promotions; Away competitor Monos is hosting a 40% off early Black Friday sale with EARLYBF2022; Carbon38 is celebrating its 10-year anniversary and dropping bestsellers down by 38%—lots of athleisure, workwear, and comfy pieces that split the difference; crisp, modern jewelry brand Kinn Studio drops a 15% sitewide offer with EARLYBF; Bevza offers 10% off its newly released FW22 garments such as this scaly breastplate that exemplifies the “understated medieval mermaid” gist of the collection; the 50% discount with FAM now applies to Reebok’s entire sale section, a surefire way to load up on sub–$50 kicks; all of the rugged but handsome unisex wares at paa are discounted in its end of season sale; take 22% off 12 Storeez’s non-sale items with FALL22 until 11/11; the Simone Wild archive sale is a whirl of velvet and tulle cut in dancerly silhouettes available at a bonus 20% off with EXTRATWENTY; test Sleeper’s claims that its pajamas are appropriate for “bed, brunch, and beyond” with 25OFFALL for 25% off the entire site; shop Topo Designs’ “Early Sale” for up to 50% off a selection of its famed backpacks and outdoor gear that will stand up to the weather on even the most ill-conceived winter camping trip; check out Find Me Now’s warehouse sale for up to 70% off clothes riddled with strategically placed cutouts and finished with funky prints and textures; Tombogo’s much-hyped convertible pants, as well as other smartly designed and expertly crafted gear, are discounted in a quickly selling-out surplus sale; though at first glance dominated by childrens’ clothes, Maisonette’s holiday-ready sale has more than 600 heavily discounted and cozy-looking options for adults (though there’s probably at least one kid in your life who requires some classic dino-print PJs); score 30-50% off sitewide at Tommy Hilfiger (minus the Martine Rose collab, sigh) until 11/10; and today is your last chance to grab a Brokeback Mountain reenactment-worthy jacket from Wrangler’s 25% off sale on outerwear.
Stair Galleries will be auctioning off the late Joan Didion’s ephemera on November 16. Until then, you can view her excruciatingly fashionable collection of items such as her famed Celine sunglasses, a Loro Piana shawl, and a bunch of random rocks and shells, and plan (or scheme) as to how you’ll get your hands on one of her blank, unused notebooks—bids for those are expected to start at a mere $200! Who hasn’t spent that much money in a year on Moleskines that never feel the scratch of a writing utensil.
I know we all love Oprah, but I wonder if we all love Oprah the way people who love Oprah’s Favorite Things love Oprah. TBH I find a considerable portion of her selects year over year to be of modern-day “As Seen on TV” ilk, but I’m always pleased when something, let’s say Magasin-y, makes its way in there. This year’s list, released last week, features such picks as Costa Brazil’s Sal de Banho (I recommended its Hand & Body Wash last send), Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Glow Drops, the Bona Furtuna Taste of Trapani gift set (this olive-oil brand makes some of the most luxurious oil-based skincare I’ve tried), and another good EVOO choice, Brightland’s The Artist Capsule.
There’s also: Mansur Gavriel is leveraging the power of suggestion with its Gift Gallery, a hub of signature styles it thinks would look great finished with a ribbon bow or coming out of a tissue paper-stuffed bag—it’s also offering free monogramming should you find just the right piece within; Bergdorf’s, meanwhile, elevates gift giving to an art, one conveniently achievable through its holiday hub; not to fall behind, Matchesfashion has also arrived to the gift exchange with a 1,000-item list that includes Max Mara mittens and designer bookends; and Acne Studios knows its a gifting destination already on your list, so it’s made shopping all the easier with dedicated landing pages.
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