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109: Fangirling, but just this once
Plus Reformation launches bags, dual Net-A-Porter sales, and just 6 days left of the SSENSE promo.
I don’t cover celebrities here almost ever, originally as a rebellion to my InStyle days where every morning pitch session was informed by a skim through agency paparazzi photos, but also because it’s the one form of fashion content that’s never lacking (in quantity). Also, fame is really weird.
This space has been so vehemently avoidant of celebrities, who earn a mention only once every few sends, instead revering the brilliantly style-minded within arm’s reach with the same effusion as though they were the ones scheduled to walk the Met steps next Monday…the first one in May…that it’s built into a kind of restrictive, unaddressed rule. And for what?
Celebrities are avatars of the breadth of status-quo style, their personal preferences sometimes a factor, but obviously more often those of their stylists offering a reference point for where our head’s at, as a culture, in fashion. “Bellwethers” is how Haley Nahman framed it in her last post about celebrity gossip.
I usually leave this kind of talk to Emily Kirkpatrick, whose I <3 Mess is the bible for addictive celeb minutiae. But a solid recent block of spring “sightings” (during which they “stepped out,” per obligatory mainstream-media language) has me opening my mouth. E.g. Katie Holmes in outfits by Brie Welch—she wore Interior, Tove, Ashlyn, Tory, Marina Moscone, By Malene Birger, a Prada Cleo, and a blazer from Desert Vintage; the Sophia Richie wedding rollout—her credits counted so much Chanel but also Khaite, Proenza, Sablyn, and surprisingly Posse the Label; and the girl gang supergroup of Tay Swift (in Simkhai), Gigi (in Isabel Marant), Blake (in Zara! $50!), and Haim (all three in Louis Vuitton). These were the kind of things I’d be covering in my chair as ecomm editor. And for the first time in a loooooong time, I missed it, in a soothing, predictable, baby brain way.
So, just to assuage this tick, a few recent Magasin-y moments: Rihanna wore the Agolde baggy, low slung jeans (multiple times!) that I rattle on about; Kylie figured out before me that that 1980s Maison Margiela glove shirt has been reimagined by MM6 as a cropped sweatshirt; a Fidan boot and Urban Outfitters skirt pairing from Addison Rae is sweet and clever; Chrissy Teigen wore a Saks Potts jacket that’s part of the big Notre sale below; Lorde wore Dilara Findikoglu (the Elizabeth and Bodrum bodysuits) twice in a row on tour; Tay Russel also wore a Prada Cleo bag; Jenna Ortega wore full new Tory; and everyone is still wearing Sambas.
I don’t know if celebrity content necessarily has a place in this newsletter going forward (what do you think?) given how covered it is by every other publication. But I might shop one out every now and then in Notes, if the mood is right.
Either way, celebrities are an inevitability of fashion—which is fine!—so you’ll probably see them here either way. Someone like, idk, Camilla Morrone for example, might show up at some point. But who knows! This space is a cherished little mystery to me :)
Reformation launches bags in a vein of their own: minimalist leather silhouettes both slouchy and pert, iterated in soothing pastels and mature neutrals, each finished with a delicate knot or bow. Though it’s the brand’s first foray into the category, it’s evidently not shy about making self-assured design choices, as with this massively oversized Vittoria hobo fit for your laptop, gym stuff, and then some, and this olive green Chiara fortune-cookie wristlet (that converts to a mini shoulder bag).
One of Dries Van Noten’s signature moves is to focus on filling simple, decisive containers of cut cloth with lush, meaty prints, but its all-denim SS23 capsule breaks the vessel open and presents its edges as content. Each piece is dipped in bleach to create striking, two-toned tops and bottoms that evoke a white-sanded shoreline lapped by the ocean, a horizon line slashing apart sea and sky, the fraying borders of a cloud as seen from an airplane ferrying you to a place you’d rather be—the capsule’s stark coloring is tempered by these summer-y associations.
One part Gucci Vault, one part Heaven by Marc Jacobs, one part Bushwick upcycling project, Coach launches Coachtopia, a sub-brand putting to use the mainline’s excess leather to create limited-run, Gen-Z-priced bags and accessories. The first delivery of sensory-stimulating goods is already almost completely sold out, with only a handful of wallets and branded tees left, an encouraging indication that we’ll be seeing plenty more of these in the near future.
The fried egg-embellished bag is an obvious candidate for our click-don’t-think-too-hard first buy, riffing on its ubiquitous cookie purse (for vegans, a banana), but the rest of the slightly more subtle stock up for preorder in Puppets and Puppets’ SS23 collection pushes beyond gimmick into sheer sartorial virtuosity. Ever considered getting married in ripstop? This ruched, spine-tracing dress with a bit of a (tear-resistant!) train might sell you on the idea. A top slit and gaping at the sternum and elbows and a new take on “skants” belie their versatility, hiding it behind Carly Mark’s artistry, but could easily become perennial go-to pieces in your wardrobe.
Meanwhile, French bag brand from an MNZ-alumnus designer Fane has uploaded its SS23 collection. The lineup’s discrete curves and shapes iterated in “French double tanned calf leather [and] Italian cotton toile lining” in obsessively selected shades of off-white reverberate with the clever, quirky minimalism of Phoebe’s Céline and later-season The Row.
Fit-obsessed bra-and-undies brand CUUP expands on its famously DD+-supportive swim collection with three new shades—hibiscus, tide, and horizon—with three underwire top options and bottoms available in bikini, brief, or high-waist cuts. It’s also launched a days of the week bundle including seven of its sand-colored bikini-cut undies with Monday through Sunday subtly embroidered on the waistband.
Axel Arigato designs a capsule for Mulberry, coaxing the traditional British brand out of its slightly staid shell with compellingly curvaceous purses and lush colorways in more restrained shapes, all going fast. The other, non-bag pieces in the collection are more than just filler for your computer screen, the standout a dual-toned trench that’s shockingly unique despite its simplicity.
With bulging, slightly judgemental eyes and an easy slip-on shape, JW Anderson x Wellipets’ frog wellingtons are the new Balenciaga Croc, with much more joie de vivre than their predecessor. People who are into fashion will eye them knowingly, but people who aren’t can appreciate them just as much for their cheeky grimaces and day-brightening colors.
If any two brands could redeem gladiator sandals, Ottolinger and Camper would be a hard-to-beat team, and with this collaboration to bring back Aqua, the latter’s signature style from the 90’s, gladiators may rise to fight another season. Aside from the contentious, knee-high sandals, Aqua’s puffy, retro agenda includes flip-flops with ingenious heel straps and neoprene boots that look ready for clubbing in Atlantis.
COS’ SS23 collection sees the brand sauntering tardily, but gamely into the world of Mary Jane flats, these with an Alaïa-esque V-cut vamp and toes the almond shape of a perfect manicure. The entire lineup drips with summer insouciance molded into put-together shapes, like this juicy orange linen shirt that entreats you to wear it with only the top button fastened and a dress bringing the winter’s favored shoulder-baring shape into warmer months with a brilliant emerald colorway.
Agent Provocateur drops “Forver,” a collection of the lingerie brand’s greatest hits, with model Gabbriette as the face. The edit features a breadth of underpinnings that range from extravagantly lacy to starkly strappy and relatively affordable to special occasion-priced. For the most digestible prices, Agent Provocateur secretly carries one of the most deeply discounted Outlet sections, currently an additional 30% off with EXTRA30, with many comparable styles like this French-embroidered black tulle thong in the $20 range.
Paris Georgia releases an exclusive, inexplicably titled “Work” capsule with SSENSE, whose boxy, Lemaire-esque button-downs and elongating crepe trousers might be a fit for the office, however this crinkled taffeta minidress is certainly cocktail party-bound and this corset top has its natural habitat at Le Dive. Maybe they mean “Work” like in the Beyoncé way.
Also new to SSENSE this week is a more-attainably priced Chopova Lowena capsule of turbulently designed graphic shirts and skirts, digitally printed jersey dresses, and urgently needed XXL satin rosette bags.
There’s also: Esse Studios drops a capsule made of reworked bed linens; Saks Potts’ fast-selling range of pink sequin pieces arrives in yellow; like Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Bisou skirt, Haus Label’s new Micro Mini Skirt is unapologetically next-to-nothing in its role as swimwear-meets-real-wear; Sandro links up with Moroccan artist Louis Barthélemy on a Marrakesh-inspired capsule of heavily decorated vacationwear; unveiled at Milan Salone last week and already available for purchase is the Faye Toogood x Maison Matisse furniture collaboration featuring swoopy furniture and scribbled textiles; Sunnei’s Murano glass “Objects” are released in extended colorways via a collaboration with High Snobiety; Simon Miller relaunches its Casa homewares collection, which now uses excess production fabric to make such gems as this affordable plaid tablecloth ($55!) and matching napkin set; already halfway sold-out, Presley Oldham’s upcycled jewelry collection for The RealReal brings new context and life to pearl, coral, rosequartz, and other fine minerals; Fruity Booty comes out with its SS23 collection featuring retro, high-cut briefs emblazoned “fruity” for those of us who identify as such and plenty of lacy, gingham-y fun for all who wear bras; rings like dew-speckled leaves and romantic florals that hook over the ear are among the assortment of beautiful botanical jewelry that is the La Manso x Tetier collaboration; Molly Goddard’s latest is in at Net-A-Porter and ranges from demure (but still characteristically dreamy) navy peplum tops to eyeball-busting neon gowns that will have you squinting as you press “add to cart;” in their latest “jam,” this one with No Vacancy Inn, Marni takes it from soft rock (crinkly olive gabardine pants) to frenetic freestyling (who, exactly, is the target demographic for this over-eye sunhat with faux sunglasses around its eye holes?); with stock such as wet-look latex tanks and shorts that, in the brand’s words, “just barely cover the essentials,” Miaou’s “Core Revival” drop drips with summertime sauciness; and Batsheva’s fourth go-around with Laura Ashley is a buoyant, frilly dream, especially for those of us who grew up reading the All-of-a-Kind Family series and dreamt of flouncing through Coney Island in the 1910s.
What’s on sale
SSENSE’s flash 20% off coupon runs till May 1, meaning there’s under a week to make use of the fairly generous tide-over between official sales. Some affordable (i.e. under $200) suggestions for stretching that code: a bias-cut sheer cotton Gimaguas skirt, a Deiji Studios linen set, an orange jelly Melissa moon bag, Salomon sneakers, Siedres’ take on the white tank, and for a hair more, The Garment’s Tanzania sell-out dress.
I happened on this Base Blu sale by chance looking for Flore Flore basics, where I found them for 25% off alongside a generous chunk of the site’s merchandise. The catch is the shipping, which on my end ran up to $32, however stocking up on at least three Flore Flore pieces—or even just one of the other randomly discounted items like this new-season wrinkled Prada skirt (infinitely more stunning in person), tartan plaid Vivienne Westwood corset, The Row one-shoulder dress, or Loewe anthurium dress—will net a much better deal than you’ll find elsewhere.
Net-A-Porter is running parallel sales on its site: The first is its typical-though-not-guaranteed sale section, where The Row boots (and slides, and sandals) are under $400, my dream Rosie Assoulin dress is 80% off, and “new” Tory Burch is stacked with the best of the brand’s reinvented style. The other is a 20% off promo applicable to an edit of SS23 pieces, among which lie off-shoulder Mara Hoffman dresses (CC: wedding goers), sooooooooo many good ones from the latest Dries, and the ever-affordable Norma Kamali for even less.
Notre’s sale is hit after hit with very little filler, never revealing an upper limit in all of its 69 pages of incredulous deals (possibly the most tabs I’ve opened in a single comb-through): a $1,590 Coperni dress down to $215…a $325 Collina Strada top down to $48…a $590 Jacquemus skirt down to $115…a $1,250 Tanner Fletcher jacket down to $285…plus a $95 Acne mini skirt, $85 Ottolinger mesh mini, and the $230 KNWLS dress and $250 Kiko Kostadinov dress I can’t decide between myself.
Helmstedt’s buggy, psychedelic spring/summer collection is 20% off with SPRING—now’s the time to get your grubby little hands (from communing with the insects in the park, of course) on this dress, the wearable item closest to a tiered cake, one of the cultish muumuus we eyed just the other week, or a silk scarf that would make Hilma af Klint proud (or envious).
You already know the fit of CUUP bras is unimpeachable, but its sale section is defined by its glorious, springy gamut of colors, from the rich green of an olive plucked off the tree to a pale, sophisticated slate with the slightest suggestion of blue, like a sky smothered in rain clouds not quite ready to start the shower. We especially love the mesh Plunge bra that doesn’t forego security in the name of suggestiveness—this bra that Can Do Both is selling FAST.
Even more expansive and less costly than the last time we checked in with the brand’s sale section, Mansur Gavriel’s up-to-40%-off stock ranges from simply delightful, as is this fiery, huggable, red-orange Cloud Clutch (it comes in perfect Miyakeian pleats, too), to long-haul standby totes that rival even the legendary Neverfull in both physical and existential depth. This sale also has the extra edge of shoe inclusion—these Big League Chew-hued slip-on loafers and twisty but practical kitten heel sandals hold their own amongst the sea of bags.
You can easily slap a seamless beach-to-bar fit together for well under $200 when you factor in the up-to-75%-off discounts in this season’s Good American sale: One simple recipe is a shiny, ribbed bikini top and bottom that peek out from under an also-shimmering sheer button down and sarong. There are plenty of wild cards, too, like an underboob showcase of a jumpsuit, all in a wide range of sizes.
AllSaints’ Spring Sale has everything from a perfectly draping tee for $32 to a sage-colored biker jacket and dual-metal chain earrings, all for up to 60% off. Plus these puffy $31 hoops are so similar to these earrings from Sophie Buhai for upwards of $475.
Urban Outfitters is having a blowout, 40% off sale that lassoes in a selection of third-party brands ranging from the coveted Asics Gel Nimbus 9 sneakers to pleated shorts from Dickies. Some $24 Champion gym shorts could be your new worn-too-often item this summer.
There’s also: New York-based furniture maker Hem hosts a sitewide sale up to 40% off—I particularly recommend the lighting; Commission NYC is running an unannounced sale on its AW23 collection, for as much as half off; and take 30% off three or more items at 12 Storeez, from twist-necked dresses to rosy linen blazers with OFF30.
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With contributions from Em Seely-Katz