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080: We're entering WASP country
Plus The Row's 70% off sale, CUUP bras for $28, and #NeverWorns launches ecomm.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been hosting a traveling debate with whoever will engage on whether or not it’s okay to use “WASP.” To me, the term so wholly gets at a style that’s seeping back into the aspirational ether—a complete lap since backlash to the phrase retired it out of the quipping cache in the late ‘80s—that it seems a shame to keep it wriggling beneath the clumsy hand of a nervously over-polite vernacular.
From the editor’s wicker baskets to the model’s seaplane trip from Martha’s Vineyard to the publicist’s gold-wrapped pears for the holidays (in fact, this pattern really gelled for me during gift guide season, revealing itself in stark contrast to past years’ Memphis-styled, avant-basic line items), New England-spun aesthetics are reaffirming their interiority with gusto!
The arts and crafts movement helmed by Bode, “Old New York” via Keith McNally’s uncomfortable Instagram, and nepo discourse have all had their parts in segueing this prep renaissance, whose country club dynamism has little in common with the “tennis-core” being affected on TikTok. And I don’t want to talk about quiet luxury, either! This doctrine demands a glintz trim; what is WASP if not American rococo?
Mascots of this movement count gold-thread jacquard-weave capris, 1980s costume jewelry (I’ve a soft spot for YSL and Chanel jeweler Robert Goosens), Bunny MacDougal, upholstered furniture with a healthy complement of Chinoiserie, “the good china,”Grey Gardens!!!, and Naomi Pierce in Proenza but also just anything Annabelle Dexter-Jones.
What makes resurgences sometimes more fun that their defining eras is that the starting parameters can be bent or crumbled as any trend traveler sees fit. In this present chapter of WASPism, whiteness is no longer a prerequisite. This time, we’re all invited to appreciate MacKenzie-Childs and other unrestrained kettles of that ilk.
This WASP wave has been a bee stuck in my bonnet for the last few weeks without the weekly news update (it doesn’t help to be reading the Robert Moses biography), but over that same period, the fashion world was has not stopped to ruminate. It has kept very, very busy.
Case in point: every countless launch, collab, and sale beneath this line. Read on below the fold for the latest.
Nicklas Skovgaard has been kept at an arm’s length thanks to the inconveniences of ill-connected ecommerce for the better part of a decade, since the then 25-year-old Copenhagen-based designer launched his brand. In a one-off capsule with Maimoun, US-based shoppers finally have the chance to acquire a piece—my vote goes to these tweet micro-shorts and this drop-waist dress—before the collection sells out and we have to go back to our roundabout resourcefulness for building out our growing Skovgaard archives.
The new Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama collection is almost as prolific as the dots in Kusama’s famous Obliteration Room after a week’s worth of visitors have covered the sparse white space with stickers. There are classic LV bags screen-printed with a rainbow of dots designed to look like daubs of paint, but there are also surfboards, leather bustiers, and peplum tops with long leather straps, all coated in references to Kusama’s work, from Infinity Dots to her signature squat pumpkins. Most compelling are the pieces based off of Kusama’s guerilla installation “Narcissus Garden” at the 1966 Venice Biennale which consisted of 1500 metal spheres the artist sold individually to passersby. Metal orbs protrude halfway out of a shimmering leather jacket or chunky loafers and pile upon each other in a bulbous and beautiful necklace.
Liana Satenstein, a previously featured guest on this newsletter and until-very-recently Vogue editor, has struck out on her own to expand the project she cultivated on the side during her tenure at Condé Nast. #NeverWorns, an interview franchise that brought the closets of Fran Drescher, Drea De Matteo, Dorinda Medley, and more to IG Live, has launched a retail platform, ostensibly shopping out some of her subjects’ ready-to-move pieces. Beginning with that of publicist Gia Kuan, this Web 1.0-like site promises to bring the spoils of our faves even closer within reach.
Tae Park’s Drop 7 landed this week and includes more of the form-framing bustiers and cleverly revealing knits we’ve come to rely on from the brand, but the collection also marks an expansion into trickier categories—which it nails. Particularly, a remarkable oversized trench with a built-in belt that criss-crosses in the back is a marker of more extraordinary things to come.
While the path set by Bode’s imprint is clear to me, I’ve yet to see an entirely new brand emerge capturing the WASP aesthetic. Meanwhile, Bode itself continues releasing new and ever-relevant collections, like 29 Clinton (named for its flagship address in the Lower East Side), which weaves in madras plaid, dandy slippers, and equestrian flourishes.
I don’t usually love character-based collections, but Acne Studios managed a good one with the Cats and Bows capsule from its SS23 show. Painted bows and kittens grace slip dresses, tote bags, and sweaters, earning a point for the side championing the meow agenda.
The Camper x Ottolinger capsule left almost as quickly as it came…and then it came back. Following a sell out of the felted platform collection, the collab has been restocked in all three styles but is once again being picked off fast. Shop boots and clogs starting at $365 at Camper and SSENSE.
Salter House (as in, the brand that tried to gatekeep Plasticana clogs and threw Audrey Gelman’s Six Bells under the bus in a The Cut profile—through a thin veil of course) has launched an exclusive capsule with Maimoun. The long bloomers and plaid corsets can be appreciated even by those not addicted to niche Brooklyn drama.
The Scandi brothers of Heliot Emil dipped away from their monochromatic, post-apocalyptic apparel for long enough to design a home goods collection, including a brutalist stool, AirPods case, pour over, and tray, exclusively available at SSENSE.
Lisa Says Gah’s Alpine Collection seems to cleverly take its cues from printed oven mitts and antique quilts—a novel stroke of inspiration against the many ‘80s-coded ski capsules we’ve seen this season.
Kim Jones takes a breather while ERL steps in for a guest collection at Dior Homme. Beginning with a Venice Beach prompt, the capsule grows outwards into floreted saddle bags, puffy sneakers, and Galliano-esque newsprint.
Jacquemus is overdue for another It bag, and the new, puffy “Le Bambinou” is looking like a strong contender. Arriving amid a fresh streak of pillow bags like Margiela’s Glam Slam and Loewe’s Puffer Puzzle, the designer’s newcomer could be poised for TikTok ubiquity.
The Tiffany x Fendi baguette bag that debuted at the Italian heritage house’s 25th anniversary show last September finally became available to purchase this week. the Carrie Bradshaw-hawked bag, iterated in (what else?) Tiffany egg-shell blue is asking $5,500 for either of two full-size versions or $3,290 for the “charms.”
Christopher John Rogers’ Stretch Bullet Bra Dress, along with the rest of his theatrical Collection 011, is newly available for pre-order on the site. Aside from the figure-boggling revenge dress, CJR’s signature clown couture—including an enormous balloon jumpsuit—shows off the designer at his best.
As far as luxury on the slopes goes, the Gucci x Adidas apres-ski capsule is rife with marshmallowy moon boots and scarves that buzz in cobalt and crimson. The DiorAlps collection, meanwhile, delivers winter in a more subdued red, white, and blue, with sleek balaclavas and logo-laden velcro sneakers as highlights.
Chloe’s voluminous silhouettes are cut in Barbour’s signature waxed cotton for the brands’ Matchesfashion capsule featuring jackets and coats with ruffles sprouting from the shoulders, corduroy details, and tartan lining.
Nepenthes has long curated understated, utilitarian brands like Needles and Engineered Garments in its online store, but now it’s venturing into the design sphere with its inaugural in-house collection “Blank Label.” Featuring cargo maxi skirts in ripstop and corduroy, matching cropped jackets, and other pieces in similarly robust materials, the drop fits in seamlessly with the shop’s other offerings.
Marni’s Lunar New Year capsule is studded with sweet, candy-colored illustrations of rabbits, including iterations of the brand’s trademark mohair sweater, while Gucci’s similarly colorful Year of the Rabbi collection is springtime hewn from cloth, with pussy bows, neon greens, and pumps with twisty bows that evoke perky rabbit ears.
Ienki Ienki’s latest hooded coats come either with or sans ears (your choice of bear- or fox-shaped). Aside from the animalistic puffers, also new from the Ukrainian brand are an updated, embroidered version of the traditional Keptar jacket, voluminous puffer headscarves, and more pieces that pay homage to the history of Eastern European dressing without losing their levity.
Molly Goddard’s Pre-Spring 23 collection is hard to look at without beaming. The brand’s omnipresent frills are rendered in brilliant pink and gold lamé, ruching is pushed past its “sexy club dress” phase into tulle cardigans that embody sensuality with a sense of humor, and platform gladiator sandals like bricks of gold tethered to the feet feel luxurious in a way many luxury brands fail to access meaningfully.
Almost every piece in the new House of Sunny “Color Theory” collection costs less than $150 USD, from an electric periwinkle long sleeve tee to double knee jeans embroidered with shooting stars. The clean shapes, energetic hues, and details in fit make each piece special with limited releases at a price point that’s highly collectible (or giftable)!
If you’ve missed the boat on a wax panel chore coat or honeycomb knit polo, the new Olderbrother Archive is a shoppable history of the brand’s endeavors. Highlights include this bordering-on-ridiculous “apple picking” bib that, in practice, might be the most useful garment ever created and this hemp knit, wide-collared shirt in a dreamy, hand-dyed blue.
There’s also: One of These Days x Woolrich team up on a Western sunset-inspired wool blanket; Camper celebrates the 35th anniversary of its TWINS shoes with the message: “Don’t insist. We still don’t—and will never—sell them separately.”; Nanushka taps Athens-based Vasiliki for a capsule of handmade 18ct gold and recycled sterling silver jewelry; Cherry Los Angeles’ 2022 Holiday collection pulls from influences ranging from gorpy nerd to varsity jock, with elbow patches on hunting crewnecks and fleece jerseys for a faux hockey team; chef and influencer Sophia Roe collaborated with jeweler Pamela Love on a collection inspired by the delicate funk of the fungus—one necklace even includes a magnifying loupe as a reference to the mycological tool; Ruslan Baginskiy’s Ukraine-made scarves range from alpaca wool knits to polyester puffers, with styles up to 5XL; Parade’s newly engineered Re:Play line is the most size-inclusive it’s ever been; and Ugg x Feng Chen Wang reimagines the traditional shearling boot into modular pieces that separate into cozy liners and buckled sandals to wear year round.
What’s on sale
There are so many competing sales for shoppers seeking out high-level basics that speak to this generation’s taste for silhouette, mutability, and richness to train their eyes to right now. The Row, the end-all-be-all, reasonably, for some, is up to 50% off on its site (and up to 70% off on SSENSE); Toteme’s Winter Sale caps out at 40% off (but goes to 74% on SSENSE); Studio Nicholson is hosting a 50% off Winter Sale (whereas the brand reaches 74% off at SSENSE); By Malene Birger’s own Winter Sale goes to 40% off (also 74% off on SSENSE); and Co’s on-site sale inches up to 60% (while it’s SSENSE assortment is up to 73%).
A heads up that the the CUUP sale happening now is one of the real ones, meaning when it ends, it won’t be back again this season. The brand’s category-defining bras and underwear are down to 60% off, including my and so many of my mutuals’ literal everyday styles: The Balconette bra looks very good with the rest of your clothes off, but manages to be discrete and supportive behind t-shirts, while The Plunge is so easy to forget you have on, and The Scoop is necessary for and D+ cup. As far as fabrics, the Satin Collection is an all-time fave. The most remarkable bit of all is that bras are going for as little as $28 and underwear for $10.
The J.Crew sale I gassed up before the holidays appears to be going strong, stronger than ever in fact, with an extra 50% off sale with SHOPNOW. The men’s section is especially popping, with a quilted wool Highland Sky jacket down to $109 from $400; cashmere-lined suede gloves for $39 (down from $100); and $8 marled cotton socks, down from $20. Generally speaking, if you wanted to pad out your core WASP collection, this sale would be square one.
A study in textiles and textures, Sea New York’s winter sale is on its last legs with its best deals to date at up to 60% off. The dainty, dramatic wool coat that was in Beth Newman’s Black Friday cart is now sub-$350, with other statement coats of the quilt-hewn and water-resistant types available for sizable discounts. Puffy blouses inlaid with crochet squares and sweatshirts with oversized eyelet bibs are perennial picks for comfort that doesn’t eschew an air of consideration, and a charming embroidered hood or quilted tote are perfect talismans to cuddle through the worst of the winter.
Cecilie Bahnsen’s Archive Sale may seem unapproachable upon reaching the landing page, as the assortment seems to be organized by most to least expensive. The $2,000+ coats make way to $1,000 dresses, which opens up to the bulk of the inventory: $500-$700 mesh, weightless separates. Still beyond lie $200 sandals and flats from the brand’s Hereu and Suicoke collaborations. These might not be impulse buys, but Cecilie Bahnsen is among the few designers whose prices can be quickly and sufficiently justified by even just looking at the pieces.
If you caught last week’s first-ever Broadsheet, this newsletter’s market supplement, you might have spied a pair of cashmere leggings that I’ve become completely attached to this winter. It happens that the brand behind the exact pair, Swedish Stockings, is hosting a generous archive sale right now, where you can find 30%-70% off lots of really great intimates. Paisley-print inner layers from a collab with Rodebjer, tights made alongside Ganni, and a two-piece set including the footed and unfooted versions of my beloved cashmere stockings are savvy buys.
Gimaguas’ Private Sale—30% off a selection of FW22 items with PRIVATEWINTER22—avails shoppers of the brand’s signature breezy tropicalia in winter-appropriate forms. A puffer coat the pink of a plastic flamingo is less than $115, skull caps knit with stripes or strategically tie-dyed top out around $50, and sweaters abound: Saturated purple polos, mohair wraps, and v-necks emblazoned with intarsia roses are priced well and run the style gamut from nerd-chic to balletcore to Miuccia Prada emulator. Crocheted waist bags, stripy cotton scarves, and shredded tank tops await the vacation-bound and layering savants who want to inject a bit of summer into their bulky, insulated looks.
If any of the problems in your life right now stem from a dearth of knitwear, James Street Co.’s 40% off sitewide sale is a saving grace. From shrunken cardigans with ten tiny buttons that offer an array of potential neck and hemline configurations to slouchy, unisex fisherman’s sweaters with chunky funnel necks, the ready-to-layer sweaters are available in creamy, neutral shades like the milky “cocoa” and blue-tinged “mist.” Jersey dresses, structured beanies, and ribbed pants round out the knit options on offer, with woven hemp trousers and henley tees in cotton and cashmere tucked into the site’s nether corners.
If your holiday wishlist came up short, Mansur Gavriel’s sale now reaches up to 60% off, with laptop totes and everyday sling bags bringing some respite at under $300. Shoes, including the brand’s cool, minimal babouches and ballerinas are also great gets if you can find your size.
Faye Toogood, the designer behind the Roly Poly furniture that tipped the interiors world over into neotenic madness circa 2017, also runs a fashion brand of the same name that put out organic, pauper-like linen separates like those you’d tend to find at a chic Japanese boutique. She’s currently running a sale on her site that includes men’s and women’s clothing from Collection 017, all 30% off with WINTER30 at checkout.
Everyone has the site they fire up when they just want to remember everything fashion can be. For me, that’s Voo Store. The Berlin-based concept shop has never let “cool” escape it, curating an unmatched offering culled from designers of all reaches each season. Right now, its FW23 buy—featuring Lemaire, Y/Project, Ludovic, Simone—is 30% off in its Winter Sale.
It may be the Old Faithful of discounts, but Agent Provocateur’s sale is up to a noteworthy 60% off, with an extra 20% discount using EXTRA20. Most top-and-bottom sets add up to under $80 and include everything from smooth-jazz-red-lights capital-L Lingerie to relatively tame swimwear.
The Frankie Shop’s Winter Sale has a crazy collection of oversized blazers for under $200, and tailored pants to match, but that was a given anytime the words “Frankie Shop” and “Sale” were to coincide. Less obvious are the great coats and J.W.Anderson pieces included in the markdowns, which reach up to 60% off.
The Salomon x Maison Margiela bungee sneaker described in a November edition of this newsletter as “the fashionable answer to sticking your feet into trash bags and cinching them with duct tape during a surprise rainstorm” is on sale at SSENSE in a few quickly dwindling sizes.
On the subject of puffy bags and oversized trenches, Kassl Edition’s password-protected archive sale is rich in both camps. Gain access to the site with KASSLARCHIVE, wherein you’ll find 50% discounts on the brand’s industry-leading categories.
Lace-forward Parisian brand Vaillant has lowered prices on a handful of its sensuous, asymmetrical RTW and intimates, plus it’s offering free shipping with DELIVERY. It bears sharing that SSENSE’s inventory of the brand matches or in some instances exceeds these discounts.
An endless scroll of shoes (and apparel, lest we forget it launched really good RTW last year) is on deep sale on Miista’s site right now, where truly a shoe for everyone can be found for up to half off: You’re guaranteed to be unseated by how many styles are under $300 and even $200.
A small but sweet selection of pieces up to 40% off is available at Sandy Liang’s winter sale. Liang’s signature fleece makes an appearance as a high-necked, off-white vest, knife-sharp pleats pair with sensible construction in a powder blue skort, and the Peter Pan collar and full-bodied skirt on this trench coat showcase the brand’s familiar dance between romance and pragmatism.
The unmistakable sheen of Hai’s winter sale selection announces its offerings, almost all in 100% Dupion silk or satin, and all up to 40% off. A brilliant red baguette bag pairs well with slim Mary Jane ballet flats, with plenty of silken top and bottom sets to create a full look in a single order.
The highlight of Saint Sintra’s end-of-season sale (up to 70% off its fall collection) is the selection of blouses; caked in bows to be unraveled and re-tied at the wearer’s whim or draped in caramel satin, each top on sale is eye-catching and sculptural, but would integrate into any wardrobe with aplomb.
Batsheva’s sample sale consists mainly of size 4 picks with prices halved or quartered—most pieces are $100 or less. If you happen to be sample size, check out the many apron dresses, high-necked blouses, and homesteading skirts before the sale ends Friday the 13th.
For sturdy, structured rugby shirts and hardy outerwear, Rowing Blazers can’t be one-upped, and its entire stock is currently up to 75% off. Some of the best buys include a rainbow striped unisex rugby in the brand’s thick, comfy 100% cotton and a tartan blazer that would make Cher Horowitz proud.
Shrimps upped the ante on its end-of-season sale, with 50% off the entire selection of wintry wares. The sale’s accessories steal the show, with the best deals including tartan baguette bags, teardrop pearl earrings, and silk scarves in subtle florals.
Stripes in cheery hues flood the up-to-40%-off Sunnei winter sale, appearing on everything from knit maxi skirts to perky ribbed beanies. Scroll down for some freakier options, like an asymmetrical chenille wrap crop top and matching hood or flowy sequin trousers.
Carhartt WIP’s sale is a workwear trove, with utility overalls and corduroy work jackets around the hundred dollar mark. A thick cotton long sleeve in dusty purple is down to $34, while fleeces and bombers for under $150 round out the selection.
Find skirt-pant chimeras and stretch silk button-downs in subdued purple at the Helmut Lang sale, where an extra 25% off already-reduced styles brings total discounts on dozens of items up to 70%. Plenty of menswear is also up for sale-on-sale, like a relaxed maroon and shearling aviator bomber jacket.
Norma Kamali’s famously duvet-adjacent sleeping bag coats are on sale for half off, from the classic calf-grazing cocoon style to a more shapely tweed option or a cherry red vest for $150.
Being late to the game might be a boon in the case of the Ganni sale, which has whittled prices down to 60% off. A graphic wool pullover in sunrise-shaded ombré and a fluorescent yellow puffer for less than $170 are two standouts.
It’s lucky there are plenty of filters available to deploy on the Pangaia Archive Sale including percent discount (up to 50%), because there are more than 1,000 color-saturated, ombré, and striped basics and exercise wear to wade through. You’ll find tons of techy gear, like this fleece with a lining coated in “PPRMINT” oil to prevent bacterial growth and resultant stenches.
There’s also: Italian home goods brand and MoMA Store stalwart Alessi is running a 50% off sale on a selection of modernist wares; Swedish leather shoes and bags brand ATP Atelier is up to 60% off at present; indestructible nylons brand Sheertex (yes, I’ve heard the criticism, but they’ve always done me right) is running a buy more-save more sale; Urban Outfitters has sniffed us out in nesting mode and is running a 50% off home sale that includes furniture and bedding; the Story mfg. sample sale is full of patchwork, crochet, and… pumpkins(?), granting it hand-embroidered Bode energy at an infinitely more accessible price point; take up to 70% off a selection of Clarks shoes (to get down to brass tacks, the Wallabees category is pretty lean); all of the laid-back but nuanced unisex pieces at Paa are 20% off until Friday, from velveteen baseball caps to gray-wash denim; a large selection of footwear is on sale for up to 50% off at Hunter, including its collaboration with Rowing Blazers (this pair of rain boots matches the rugby shirt linked above!); LN-CC’s private sale boasts a “festive bonus” of up to an extra 20% off already-marked-down goods with LN-HOLIDAYS23; the enormity of Luisaiaroma’s up-to-60%-off sale cannot be understated, with wild cards from a Dilara Findikoglu track jacket printed with the words “Satanic Terror” to an electric blue Marni purse; and a special range of glasses, shades, and accessories make up Linda Farrow’s “Winter Offer” of steep discounts.i
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With contributions from Em Seely Katz