Discover more from Magasin
082: Comme des colonialism
Plus Marni x Carhartt WIP, MNZ's end-of-season sale, and the SSENSE sale starts winding down.
Last week’s village cry warned of WASPism, but the truth is, few of my own recent purchases seem to be bubbling from that suburban swell. (Save for this Spring ‘07 Chanel tweed boucle dress I campaigned my partner for as a birthday gift—and wow.) Instead, an equal and opposite force is coaxing away my spending power.
Attending the Junya Watanabe and Noir Kei Ninomiya shows in Paris last September—the most avatar couture of all the RTW—teased out my my sensitivity to the Comme des Garçons universe: I’ve since acquired a Junya SS97 check foldover dress (here’s the skirt version) and a Comme AW87 gloved top, with many more pieces at narrowly fuck-it-able prices saved to my Gem folder. (These square-toe CDG ballet shoes and 1989 apron dress and jacket set are my giveaways to you.)
But I can also feel the mainstreaming happening on a larger scale. Collectors to various extremes (and Comme inspires some of the most extreme extremes) have always been around, but Comme des Garçons and its network are part of a larger phenomenon of designers once reserved for fashion forum-heads suddenly finding themselves exposed to the demand of the everyday fashion person.
It happened with Rick Owens, which was engulfed by the Kardashians and LA guys who wear beanies, with Margiela through the everygirlification of tabis, and later with Pleats Please, ruthlessly relegated to “loungewear” amid the pandemic. The Comme chapter feels inevitable, and I worry about my part in it as—I hate to say it, but—an archive colonizer.
Last week, I took these thoughts to Ari Aviram on a visit to see her Japanese designer holdings. She’s what you’d call a “serious” collector; she keeps bins of Pleats Please in her storage couch and maintains a spreadsheet that includes down to the codes on each garment that tell her whether they were made for local or international distribution.
Her reluctant observation was that this long-unfolding pattern was set into motion by hip-hop. By Kanye, specifically. (Her thoughts on Rick bros: “incels.”) When I asked what she thought of those who were just now getting into the game, and whether she saw it as an intrusion on her space, she brushed it off. “Good luck to them,” she said, without irony. “They have a lot of work ahead.”
Marni’s collaborative capsule with Carhartt WIP is cheeky and knowing in its transmutation of historically affordable, no-nonsense workwear into luxury street togs. Its genderless designs are printed in ballooning, Marni-approved florals (white on dark green and goldenrod on black) or colorblocked in shades of tan with pert crimson collar detailing. The collection covers all sartorial bases, from a comely midi skirt to a shearling jacket that reverses to gorgeous leather paneling and, of course, a classically Carhartt canvas hoodie.
Avery Gregory’s found-stone jewelry operates like the ephemeral art of Andy Goldsworthy on a radically altered timeline; his organic arrangements uniting and dividing within hours, her mismatched beach debris coupled as earrings for a lifetime or less—subject to the wearer’s habits. A small capsule at Maimoun invites you to join in celebrating the impermanence of all things.
Milky acetate, precious pearls and jade, and sterling silver are put to nostalgic and tender use in Sandy Liang’s Lunar New Year capsule. Bunnies (which a poem written alongside the Terminator Barrettes warns might be “a little bit evil”) with bejeweled, Bunnicula-r eyes proliferate in honor of the Year of the Rabbit, and freshwater pearls in stars and hearts are knotted onto a red cord to make the dreamy Magic Powers necklace, made for playing sophisticated dress-up.
Moda Operandi has at long last launched beauty under the direction of former Harper’s Bazaar editor Jessica Matlin. The collection, pegged as “the ultimate antidote to endless scroll,” spans de facto luxury (Le Mer, Augustinus Bader), millennial minimalist (Costa Brazil, Crown Affair), old-world apothecary (Santa Maria Novella), and chemist-coded (Ourself, Dr. Lara Devgan).
Bottega’s got a brand new bag: meet Clicker. Available in Fondant, Porridge, and Avocado, the Intecciato shoulder bag is a distinctly Matthieu Blazy joint, from the hushed tones to the hourglass-curved buckles at the base of each strap. It has a slouchy lip that echoes the Maier-era hobo I shared in Broadsheet last Friday—looks like a win for relaxed silhouettes this season.
Dries Van Noten’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection is organically cyclical, with a few pieces rendered in pure black, then some in emergent, off-kilter pastels, and finally, a selection in juicy, vibrating florals, waiting to over ripen and dissolve into the dark once more. Standouts from each phase include an inky, slim-fitting blazer with sharp lapels and a golden closure detail, a sleeveless sweater knit in succulent chartreuse and dipped in powdery lilac at the hem, and a buzzing floral scarf in 100% silk with lush contrasting borders.
The unisex brand Meals, which we discovered c/o Colbo, won us over with its grain sack styles with names like “Blueberry Forager Coat” and “Delicata Squash Chef Pant.” The LA-based outfit has partnered with similarly whimsical Lisa Says Gah on an abstractly picnic table-esque chore jacket and pant set.
The first spring drop from Gimaguas shows a new angle of approach from the brand known for its loose, loud, festive knits. This collection eschews much color play in favor of experimentation with texture and potential energy, the promise of something building just under the surface, a flower just beginning to bud—this is taken most literally in the creamy Pinku tank top’s ruffled edges and bust that cinches into a perky rose at the sternum.
Mirror Palais’ debut NYFW show has landed at Moda Operandi, a worthy invitation to revisit what a success the collection was on the runway: cohesive, conceptually sound, and a two-way street of enthusiasm and support between designer Marcelo Gaia and his fans. Now available for purchase, the line doesn’t have a single miss between the nearly 40 pieces and is bound to be as successful in the checkout stage as it was last September.
The latest collection from Wales Bonner continues the brand’s trend of creating breezy, Euro vacation-ready pieces infused with techniques and materials referencing the designer’s Afro-Atlantic heritage. A macrame dress (with a removable slip underlay for versatility) shimmers with Ghanaian wood and glass beads, track jackets in oceanic shades or checkered jacquard fit smartly, and ringer tees are made special with graphics inspired by prints on Ghanaian market bags.
Moncler Genius (the brand’s creative arm) finds a magnetic match in Tokyo-based womenswear brand HYKE—the playful grayscale collection weaves feminine finishes with utilitarian textiles and militaristic camo.
There’s also: Mansur Gavriel launches its Mini Cloud bag in new colors including a blue ink-dripped milk, pleated foamy white, and biscuit; exclusive Jean Paul Gaultier trompe l’oeil and manipulated leather pieces have landed at Dover Street Market; Loro Piana launches its home category with $2,400 “baby cashmere” blankets and $1,000 slippers; and the tiny but impactful Levi’s x Ambush capsule releases a genderless biker jacket and pant combo, both in denim, both sculpturally stitched and studded with shadow patches.
What’s on sale
The magic trick of Garmentory is the alignment of its merch, despite being culled from hundreds of independent boutiques. These pixels form a portrait of a dresser with a wry wit and exercised intellect. The site’s enormous warehouse sale—up to 50% off—brings this class’ favored brands down to phenomenally low prices: a Khaite-like Agolde bodysuit for $89, Paloma Wool dress for $140, MNZ Olympias for $250, absolutely darling Shop Peche self-tying flats for $100, and a Rita Row puffer trench that’ll keep you resolutely warm for $211.
The photos for each listing in Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s End-of-Season sale are bathed in a cold, angular sunlight that bestows a seasonal chill upon even its drapey, sheer halter tops and meant-to-be-seen lacy chartreuse underwear. Though many such pieces are curated from a variety of brands that all share the MNZ modus operandi of inducing a subtle, sensual saudade, the best picks of the sale are from Zadeh’s own brand. A leathery rosette adorns the over-half-off cool-weather answer to the airy Olympia wedge that was frequent summer fodder for Magasin, discounted sweaters in a saturated “true blue” hue come in slouchy v-necks and shrunken collared cardigans, and sub-$50 scrunchies in sheeny nylon blossom crumple like flowers left over from last spring.
Jacquemus’ “Le Papier” collection, teed up on the brand’s site in a meandering scroll of flaxy, earthen whites is a revitalizing journey if you, like some among us, have let your upkeep with the brand’s silhouettes slacken over the last few seasons. You’ll find cape-collared rib-knit bodysuits, flung-on and twist-tied Oxford shirts, and breathtaking event dresses, all on sale for up to 50% off and appropriate for a breadth of weather.
Let’s check in on SSENSE’s sale. Nearing the end of January, and thus towards the deepest reaches of the sale’s discounts, items are now boasting markdowns of up to 75%. Realistically, it’ll only go as far as 80% before the whole thing gets shut down, so the game has turned to snapping up your wishlist before it gets snapped up for you. A few ideas from my own: Lemaire d’Orsay flats for $300, a Luna Del Pinal shirt for 75% off, and Jil Sander with the only new bag that’s made me feel anything in over a year.
Over at Net-A-Porter, we’re at the brink. Hundreds of products have already spilled over that 80% edge and it’ll likely wrap sooner than SSENSE. A few considerations: this Christopher John Rogers dress for half off, a corset-y green Acne dress for $260, and quintessential a Molly Goddard skirt at an 80% discount.
Mr. Larkin’s New Year warehouse sale begins today for those signed up for the email list, who get both early access (the sale will open to all on the 19th) and the chance to score special items not available to the public. Until Saturday at midnight, pieces from Mr. Larkin herself, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Rachel Comey, and more fan favorite labels are 50%–90% off in this no-holds-barred, hold-on-to-your-hats-and-credit-cards blowout sale.
What did sensible men do before Colbo? The Lower East Side shop has all but fixed menswear with its sophisticated yet adventurous curation of both casual and more occasional labels—Hed Mayner, Camiel Fortgens, Csillag—plus of course its winning in-house line, the span of which is marked down in the brand’s winter sale.
La Garçonne’s already-up-to-70%-off sale, which currently hosts markdowns from The Row, Casey Casey, Studio Nicholson, Toogood, Lisa Yang, ugh…all of the greats, is extending an extra 20% off with JAN20LG.
Taking a different tack than many bloated year-end sales that feel less approachable than the full works of Proust, Frances May’s up-to-60%-off sale selection is pared down to include only pieces that are genuinely covetable. Take half off an Eckhaus Latta hoodie dotted with bleached-out circles like full moons or a pair of spongy, barrel-legged pull-on trousers from Lauren Manoogian, and continue into Saks Potts or Totême territory next.
From J.Kim’s puffer coats studded with knots referencing the way in which the Uzbek-Korean designer’s ancestors bundled and carried parcels in swaths of hardy fabric to the Peruvian and Iranian textile traditions made manifest in Mozhdeh Matin’s jacquard knit lounge pants, the 100% Silk winter sale offers steep discounts on pieces with distinct provenances, nuanced genesis stories, and gorgeously rendered techniques drawn from all corners of the Earth.
The romance of Baserange’s dusty tones, rippling, veiny fabrics, and constructions both down-to-earth and buoyed with levity can be acquired at a discount—40% off the autumn 2022 collection and 30% off winter pieces. Organized by color, the rainbow of a sale includes nubby socks the color of the sea in a storm, a pomegranate-toned, backless jumpsuit naturally dyed with madder root, and ribbed olive green wrap tees made of 50% recycled and 50% organic cotton.
Coming of Age’s entire stock of nylon, silk taffeta, and (new!) fleece garments and accessories is 30% off at checkout. COA’s tan Everyday Bag is the perfect upgrade to a homely brown lunch sack, cinched-waist vests are hewn of ketchup or mustard-hued fleece, and padded gingham scarves round out the collection of winter-appropriate pieces that dream of picnics to come.
Telsha Anderson’s t.a. New York is hosting a 40% off sale on select merchandise, though it’s a guessing game to know which—add pieces from Julia Heuer, CJR, or Ottolinger to cart to see if the discount populates.
There’s also: The Mango sale has thrown down a (final?) gauntlet with up to 70% off, bringing pieces like the platonic ideal of a blazer and sturdy knee-high boots down to the highly agreeable $50–$60 range; Brooklyn-based jeweler Luiny is extending 50% off its entire site, which seems to cap out at around $200 at full price anyway; all puffer jackets, anoraks, and vests at The Very Warm are 30% off with WARM, including its prolific collaborations with Realtree and several indie artists; a selection of Justine Clenquet’s already famously well-priced and versatile jewelry is up to 60% off, as is an array of footwear like these charming double-buckled lilac mules; the Toga Archive sale is peppered with a compelling slew of fantastical pieces like drop-waist dresses with boxy skirting, sabot slingbacks with braggadocious and beautiful picture frame buckles, and rings for your scarves (apologies for the introduction to something you didn’t yet know you needed); collars and sleeves burst into taffeta blooms, gem-toned velvet turtlenecks shimmer, and plaid or safety-orange trench coats demand attention in the fast-selling Lutz Huelle winter sale; also up to 70% off is the Anine Bing sale, amid which hide some of the coolest sunglasses on the market for $130 and less; and a deep cut of Camper’s ingenious footwear is up to 40% off, the most delightfully cozy picks being simply -shaped but innovatively shaded slippers from both mismatched “Twins” and tie-dye “Wabi” colorways.
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With contributions from Em Seely Katz