111: Actually, fashion is a clock
Plus The Society Archive x Banana Republic, an underrated Uniqlo collab, and J. Hannah's secret sitewide jewelry sale.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve bought a pair of those Puppets and Puppets leggings Carly Mark always wears to walk her designer lap at shows, whose hip cutouts park them in the tights-without-pants lot we’re seeing a lot of lately. I got a remarkable deal on a Chopova Lowena carabiner skirt (I paid $300) and a Jacquemus bralette (for $60) from Notre’s mega sale. I was willfully suckered into getting a linen mini dress from Posse when writing the wedding-guest dress comprehensive. And then I ordered the Wales Bonner dress from that roundup for about half-price via Italist, which is exactly what I mean when I say I can literally talk myself into buying anything.
I also added some jewelry to my tightly restricted rotation. A piece from Wolf Circus has become only the second or third necklace I’ve ever felt comfortable wearing (another of the three was also from Wolf Circus), and now I hate taking it off. I wear it around the house in my sweats feeling so into myself. An ultra-thin sterling silver ring from Sumei with a teensy ball adornment now sits next to another new ring, a pinky signet from Madewell of all places that I picked up when shooting some social stuff with the brand. I’ll probably upgrade to a finer version soon, but I love that it’s taught me that I’m actually a pinky-ring kind of gal.
It’s a little tired to talk about seasonality again, but my shopping habits are so plainly influenced by spring—the abandonment of somber, serious garments for colorful and celebratory clothes, the flow from gold to silver—that I’m forced to meditate on fashion being just as much a marker of time as the Gregorian calendar. The weather changes, the dialogue evolves, a wearable object addresses these developments, and I get a little older and wiser.
When I shop for those bigger pieces that I hope will last me my whole life (which should be all of them, but realistically isn’t), I think about them in terms of amassing a personal archive. Such a collection of era-markers can hold the scent of the moment of their creation so strongly that that when you revisit them many years later, your olfactory bulb draws forth complex, historically exact memories, figuratively speaking.
At last night’s Met gala, that might have meant Chanel ‘90s couture and the Supers and top-down magazine autocracy. Give it a few more years, and we’ll feel the same awe and separation about a Jacquemus Chiquito and the egalitarian novelty of social media and the Instagram aesthetic.
On a more immediate scale, sure, a pair of funny, expensive tights might not last me until I’m 80, but they’ll at least be with me over the next couple of years. And in the lows of February when I look at them months-untouched in a drawer, uninspired to be the kind of girl who wears leggings without pants because I’m in a fine-cashmeres-and-grown-up-silks phase, it’s again another reminder how I, a perennial, change with time, too.
The nostalgia apparatus has come so full circle its swallowed Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, and now Banana Republic. In partnership with the legacy brand, Stylist Marcus Allen’s The Society Archive has curated the ultimate vintage capsule of ‘90s and ‘00s Banana Republic, spanning era-marking tags from its safari-coded years through its optimistic millennium rebrand.
This won’t be the first time I’ll be calling the Uniqlo x Mame Kurogouchi collaboration the most underrated of all the retailer’s exceptional partnerships. Lemaire’s Uniqlo U and the JW Anderson lines are well-known and well-shopped, but the Kurogouchi collection of sheer, delicate undergarments destined to be actualgarments are criminally overlooked. The SS23 release includes Eyes Wide Shut-like camisoles, Miu Miu-esque sheer shorts, and knits that could just as well be Proenza Schouler.
I’m often buying things (especially in spring and summer) designed to be worn once or twice a year. But when I think about the brands making the clothes I want to actually wear day in and day out, Attersee is among the first and most urgent to come to mind. Its just-released summer collection is emblematic of exactly why. Founded and designed by a former fashion editor (my kind of brand), its newest pieces are startling good: a stripy cotton-linen caftan, a knitted silk wrap that can be worn by savvy dressers in a million and one ways, and a sculpted mini dress that’s almost completely sold out and it’s obvious why.
In an initiative by the brand inviting less canonized designers to upcycle its unused archival materials into capsules, Gucci Continuum sees Collina Strada’s Hillary Taymour riffing off her most beloved pieces in the storied brand’s fabrics for a second time. With touches that remain completely coherent in the context of Collina but add a feeling of specialness to the capsule—star patches crawl up the legs of voluminous tweed trousers—and price points typical of the younger brand, the collaboration is the best case scenario of a May-December romance.
If you were one of the many shoppers burned by the instant sellout of Sandy Liang’s sneakers for Salomon and can’t bring yourself to enter a lottery or wait on tenterhooks by the computer for a restock, the same styles featured in the capsule are available now in Salomon’s “Cottage Core” collection. As consolation prizes go, the lace-up Xt-6 and slide-on Rx Moc, both the off-cream of freshly churned butter daubed in sage accents, are welcome salves in unisex sizing.
The Row Summer 23 is here, bringing with it the anticipated over-knee mesh boots that build on its beloved mesh “sock” flats. The collection’s other major highlights like the new Ivy bag are teasingly advertised as in-store only or, as with this $1,550 comb-on-a-rope, pre-order.
The new COS Atelier collection single-handedly calls the spirit of Hepburn back from the beyond with its standout selection of black dresses. From a silk-scarved midi slip that would make a sentient scarf coat try to unravel itself with envy to an off-the-shoulder LBD with seductive origami going on at the neckline, the black dresses win the day, getting their flowers for the first time in a while.
As a former employee of the brand, Olivia Villanti made her triumphant return to Madewell in the form of a limited-edition capsule with her atelier, Chava Studio. The collection counts two menswear-inspired shirt-shorts-scrunchie sets produced from deadstock fabrics at Chava’s HQ in Mexico City. You can mix and match the “vibrant” and “neutral” colorways, all cut in crisp 100% cotton, bypassing Chava’s typical made-to-order protocol with these ready-to-wear pieces.
For those of us still on the fence about the resurgence of polka dots into the civilian (read: not professional clown) aesthetic, Simon Miller’s “The Valley” collection is likely to be a deciding gauntlet, with mesh pieces like the ruched Cielo Dress dotted in lawn-hued green against a suburban sky blue and plenty of black-and-white options like a sarong-leaning skirt for the retro-minded.
Still Here claims to have crafted the “softest denim in the world” with its Cloud collection—soft enough to wear to bed, apparently. If you want to run these assertions through empirical testing, your options are jeans in straight-legged “Childhood,” puddle-hemmed “Walker,” and double-kneed “Subway” cuts, as well as a sweet short-sleeved button-down. The line between “outside pants” and “inside pants” grows ever thinner.
The shockingly deep well of Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza into which you may find yourself falling on Net-A-Porter is at its best when it’s just shy of jumping the shark, or fish, as it is with this unsettling but hilarious button-eyed, piscine pouch.
The Mirror Palais x M Jewelers collab draws upon the best strengths of each brand—designer Marcelo Gaia of the former’s romantic, tropical sensuality, and The M Jewelers’ sharp execution of frenetically desirable accessories.
Ganni’s dalliance with Veneda Carter produced three matching pieces in crinkly, gold-plated sterling silver: hoops, a short-stranded necklace, and a bracelet, all three adorned with a charm of the Ganni “butterfly” made of mirrored Gs.
For the next week, only MyPanera members can access the Panera Shop, where its treasured Baguette Bag returns to sit like a smug golden goose, daring you to venture in at the expense of what is sure to be countless emails about bread bowls, multiple times a day, for the rest of your life.
Once-minimal Glossier has doubled down on its commitment to color with the introduction of new lip-pigment product G Suit. Designed to wear like you’re wearing nothing at all, the nine creamy shades promise to be noticed by others, even if you forget you’ve got anything on at all.
There’s also: Gush, the new underwear project from The Break’s Hannah Richtman, has introduced a white thong that expands upon its arguably structurally perfect high-legged black one; Vince and Nu Swim are back together ahead of beach season with another crop of sharply cut maillots and two-pieces; the bag twins behind cultish Medea introduce ‘90s raver-inspired sunglasses; Frame taps British Vogue’s Julia Sarr-Jamois for a collab that tops out at $12,000 (for a pair of jeans studded with over 50,000 Swarovski crystals), if you can believe it; Taylor LaShae crafts a three-piece capsule for Flattered—two all-purpose purses and one pair of matching pumps with floppy bows at the heels; the summer’s requisite raffia and chunky wedges get a little freaky with Givenchy’s futuristic Plage collection; hallelujah, Dusen Dusen offers clothes again with which to adorn your pattern- and color-starved skin; the cozy, colorful, and cost-effective triple threat of Girlfriend Collective deftly tackles sleepwear; Luisaviaroma snags some Golden Goose exclusives like star-spangled luxury tennis shoes; and Kiko Kostadinov’s Zlatyu shoe is intricately honeycomb-patterned and laced up to high heaven, like a bowling shoe with a higher IQ.
What’s on sale
May’s a great time to shop for jewelry, if RetailMeNot is to be trusted in claiming that after Mothers Day, brands drop prices by an average of 14%. But J.Hannah is secretly rolling our an even greater sale ahead of time. Today through the 7th, everything on the site (even the really pricy stuff) is 20% off with BEJEWELED.
Peer-to-peer resale site Vestiaire Collective is hosting a sale it’s dubbed “Vestiaire Days,” with up to 70% off authenticated designer goods. A couple call outs: a $100 Plein Sud leather jacket, a $60 Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti sequin corset, and $170 Pleats Please pants.
Glorious finds from a full-sized Mondo Mondo perfume with “fetish quality” and notes of latex and amber to Collina Strada’s rhinestone-laden Levi’s 501s and puffy wedges from the latest Simon Miller drop we called out above are all 20% off with GET20 in LCD’s well-curated spring sale.
Garmentory’s holding a 30% off Mothers Day sale on a curated selection of items that would probably have your mom saying “How thoughtful!” while you futilely tried to explain the cultural caché of an Aprés Ski pendant (for $62) or a Baserange shirt-dress, but picking up a sheer-skirted Rachel Comey gown or the perfect summer clogs for yourself might sufficiently ease the blow.
Not a special occasion, but Voo Store, which is always an inspiration and a resource for those show-me-what-I-should-want days, has a great sale section currently. A crazy, oil spill-silver version of the Diesel skirt-belt, wickedly good Nensi Dojaka dresses and bodysuits, and one of the best translations of Guess USA—the mall brand’s surprisingly relevance-capturing revival offshoot—are all among the finds.
Until midnight, take 20% off Sophie Lou Jacobsen’s retro, rippling, lustrous housewares, from glasses to sugar bowls to twisty candelabras, using SPRING20—most pieces ring up under $100, if not $30, with the Fresh Sale discount.
Shaina Mote offloads some of its past seasons’ wares for up to 30% off, with a few summer-ready pieces like a crinkly, feather-light, sheer gown with a matching slip in black or white, Vachetta leather sandals for under $80, and a creamy, short-sleeved knit polo all still up for grabs.
There’s also: There’s a 30% off sitewide Miista sale on shoes, apparel, and accessories with SPRING30; Vaillant, that brand with the sensuously errant lace strips coiling around its clothing, is offering its spring collection for 20% off until the 8th with SPRING23; with new styles dropping daily and deals up to 80% off, Universal Standard’s sample sale is a size-inclusive free-for-all of jersey button-downs and easy culottes; Alo Yoga’s “Aloversary” sale offers discounts up to 70% off eyebrow-raisingly hot tennis dresses, ruched sports bras, and more, mostly sub-$100; everything at Brooklinen, from sheet sets to duvets, is 25% off until May 8th in the brand’s birthday sale; Stine Goya’s pattern-heavy Pre-Spring ‘23 collection is 30% off with HOUSEOFGOYA30, plenty of items carrying over into summer like a polka-dot slip dress or t-shirt painted with tulips; and find Agolde jeans, Ganni slides, and more items ranging from casual to clubby for 30% off at Harvey Nichols.
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With contributions from Em Seely-Katz