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118: The silver index
Plus Gemsun's spy-coded collection, a secret Eckhaus Latta sale, and a Loro Piana leather coat for $10,000 off.
On weeks I don’t know what to write here, I start by counting off things I bought and hope a theme emerges. In this edition: a few basics like this Flore Flore car tee, a Gil Rodriguez tube top, and yet another almost-basic Esse Studios strapless top (my third so far).
I threatened to buy something red last send. I haven’t done it yet (I now have my eye on the yet-to-be-restocked High Sport crop flares a reader reminded me of), but I’ve padded my nest with this complementary air-blue Birrot cardigan for when that cardinal finally lands.
What else…I bought a pair of Martiniano High Gloves in silver, which I held off on until last week’s sample sale just in case they were any less, which they weren’t, but by then I had sketched so many looks in their name that it would’ve been burning the outfit-carousel Library of Alexandria if I hadn’t gotten them. Is there something here? The metallic shoe thing? I have a fantasy of, while wearing my Martinianos, pulling out an arched, animated foot and revealing a full silver pedicure having lain dormant beneath all along.
Sometimes it’s hard to say more than that a thing is simply on our minds for the season, much like red. Michelle Del Rio (from whom I just bought this full-on blue-foil skirt set) told me she’s been stalking a pair of pink metallic sandals, and Nicole Steriovski and I have intersected over long wishlists of gold and silver pairs—mine includes these Balenciaga toe flats, mismatched AWAKE Mode stripper heels, scrunchie Medea ballerinas, Bottega intrecciato wedges, the new JW Bumper sneakers, adidas x Wales Bonner Sambas with a huge lip, Maria La Rosa ribbed socks in Perlino, and those Nike Air Kukinis I asked about on IG while I was in London, but in shiny blue. Liana Satenstein, who can be counted on to give the perfect anti-answer, said “what metallic shoe thing” while wearing a pair of mirror-heeled vintage Fendi cross sandals.
These magpie tendencies—the sudden, urgent see-me-isms of summer—extend to pants, too, evidenced by my having just purchased a pair of Michael Kors-era Céline gold brocade trousers…my cursor hovering closely over a pair of sheeny tapestry Manolos that speak the same language with an accent.
Am I making any progress here with a semblance of a theme? Is there something in this scaly, silver stream of consciousness, or am I just fishing?
SOMMERSPROSSE! Gemsun may say its new collection blooms from a freckle (the latest season’s namesake), but between the sequined bathers’ caps, North African silk sirwal trousers, Hollywood starlet gowns, and clairvoyant polka dots, could it actually be the painted-on beauty mark of a spy? The Paul Poirret-coded capsule arms a modern femme fatale with deadstock fabrics with which she slips through the shadows of time—from the Arabesque 1920s to the psilocybic 1970s. Her only luggage? This improbably enormous crochet Korb bag.
The Dua Lipa x Versace collaboration is Homeric in proportion, though for any Greek historians out there picking through our adjectives with a fine-tooth comb, Ovid originated the myth behind the brand’s signature Medusa-head logo that appears on everything from a curvaceous hobo purse resembling a leather daddy’s pecs to a chain of crystalline butterflies for hanging around the waist. It still stands that the collection’s 100+ pieces span a gamut truly novel for a celebrity collab, with thematic overtures from polka dots to psychedelia to swimwear made of towels (?). Sparkly, shin-climbing butterfly sandals are a charming case for the reintegration of gladiators into society after their 20-year hiatus, a groovy silk button-down implores you to watch Belladonna of Sadness if you haven’t already, and a tuxedo vest-dress is made nearly butt-baring in the most pointedly 2023 offering of the impressive, Dua-helmed odyssey.
In haunting, simultaneously childlike and complex illustrations of abstract creature-forms, Indonesian artist Noviadi Angkasapura brings an off-kilter angle to Lemaire, transforming the brand’s typical, simple elegance into a landscape writhing with unknowns. Tender details like dark blue thread bordering the uneven edges of huge cotton scarves and a thin cotton drawstring cinching the waist of a loose shift dress are familiarly Lemaire-like, serving as a grounding force against the murky fantasies the prints evoke.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s right-hand man Thistle Brown has absconded from his post at the helm of the brand’s menswear arm for long enough to launch something completely his own: sunglasses. The brand—named Thistles, as if to assert the most complete autonomy—debuts with a single rectangular silhouette in four shades, which have already been seen on some favorite NYC faces: Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Dev Hynes, Lilian Sumner, Shay Johnson, etc.
Mozhdeh Matin’s SS23 collection bursts into crocheted, organic fractals referencing everything from plants—like these delicate lace socks, ingeniously heel-free to avoid pulling and wadding—to shells, as in a sculptural cropped sweater that seems woven from the vestiges of sun-baked ammonite fossils. Its purses, in brilliant color combinations and knit into snug gridlocks, are a summertime tour de force.
This season’s retro romantics come at the behest of Aimé Leon Dore’s spring/summer ‘23 collection, which panders to the highest caliber of both freaks and geeks. Jock-y cobalt jackets and emerald rings seem destined to be passed between couples “going steady” as symbols of undying affection (and shared fashion sense), while dusty rose loafers and muted, tapestry-print trousers are fit for a hot nerd’s tryst with the queen bee between library shelves.
The floral explosion we’ve come to expect from Stine Goya reverberates in its pre-fall ‘23 collection—glittering orchid shifts give way to complex, rose-petaled heels and quartz-toned trenches scattered with blacked-out buds. The blues, as in a crisp button-down with a summer camp-y zipped chest pocket, and reds, like a slouchy scarlet cardigan, steal the show, color-wise.
If you could only pack clothes from one collection for a fancy vacation, Paco Rabanne’s Summer Delights might be the strongest contender, its blouses dripping with thick fringe, a flamenco-inspired dress the dancing lady emoji would readily slip into, the brand’s signature bags made of layered golden discs newly adorned with Zodiac sign amulets, and more luxuriously detailed pieces ready to fold into a suitcase.
J. Kim’s spring collection is now at 100% Silk, with the brand’s trademark affinity for rustic Korean-Uzbek aesthetics newly manifest in t-shirts sprouting floral pouches off the chest and shoulders, skirt sets finished with the flourish of a gestural vine print, and new iterations on its signature floral cutout pattern, for instance, a long-sleeve shirt drips with metal rings.
There’s also: Flore Flore heard you wanted a red tee, so it made one; the lines between jewelry and RTW blur like a late-night Cinemax feature in Agmes x St. Agni’s erotic metal bra-top collection—three styles of white bronze-plated silver affixed to the bust with a cow-leather strap; Mia Khalifa trumpets the debut summer collection from Shoreditch Ski Club, featuring the requisite underboob-baring bikinis and an interesting concept for an adjustable, multi-wear pseudo-one-piece—with more finessing, the brand could be on to something; EB Denim’s Foil capsule features a few pairs each of jeans, cutoffs, skirts, and one dress, all deadstock and coated in a mysterious silver substance, to cool effect; and a banana-colored, recycled terry jacket that comes with…prepare yourself…a hand-knit, removable puppy charm in its chest pocket is just the tip of the adorable iceberg that is Strawberry Western’s latest release.
What’s on sale
An Eckhaus Latta private sale that was running quietly for the last two weeks has been opened to the public, who can now shop its current-season collection for up to 30% off. The brand’s many utopian-dystopian pieces—sheer ribbed knit pants with tassel mohawks, inverted-seam tees, faded jeans with trademark carpenter pockets, and distressed leather shoes informed by its collaboration with Camper—flout typical “seasonality,” debatably wishful thinking of the season-less fashion future it hopes for, or disaster prep for the Nebuchadnezzar-dwelling climate crisis it fears most.
It feels kind of crazy to get psyched over Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale, but after years of it existing solely in memory as the store none of us could afford to even enter during our middle-school mall hangs, its recent courting of young brands and talented stylists has culminated in…one of the best sales of the season? There are SC103 woven leather bags from the contemporary fashion-art canon —noteven for sale on SSENSE—for an eyebrow-raising $135 off, 30% discounts on several of the sweetest dresses Molly Goddard has to offer (this one is devastating), and a billowing, blossoming Nensi Dojaka LBD at opposing ends of the perfect wedding guest- dress spectrum.
It’s a bit hollow to write something pithy about The Row’s private sale. We all know the drill: up to 50% off the most exquisitely hewn, lushly woven, je-ne-sais-quoi-filled garments on the market. It’s already fairly picked-over, as to be expected, but any piece, even those left in the pile, could probably warrant a dissertation or an ode: a silk top like the performative handkerchief wiping away the crocodile tears of a widow who murdered her husband. A scarf in featherweight cashmere that could have been the deuteragonist of Les Miserables. An accordion-pleat maxi skirt you’d have to watch closely around a Miuccia Prada type armed with scissors. Each piece is everything, and each is priced as such, but a little less so, for the time being.
The Outnet’s up-to-80%-off sale harbors an embarrassment of riches…so much so that you have to wonder how these generally well-regarded brands will respond to having their luxury pieces posted alongside such radically low prices. Helmut Lang for under $60…Acne boots for under $150…a Loro Piana leather coat for literally $10,000 off!! It’s actually not my job to care how brands feel or don’t feel about a particular sale, but I can say that if I wonder whether “embarrassed”—outraged even?—crossed their mind, it’s probably a pretty fantastic sale.
Any road trip into event season should at least require a pit stop past Moda, whose occasionwear edit beats out the rest tenfold. Its Designer Collection Sale, on now, seems to distill some of the most flattering, nuanced, and relevant items from those buys onto a single, price-incentivized page. Khaite, Jacquemus, Rodarte, Diotima, Jil Sander, Siedres, and Zimmerman populate the welcoming committee at 30%-70% off, the deals getting better the further you dig.
Current season gets the clip at La Garçonne, where SS23 is marked down by up to 30% and past season as much as 70%. So much that feels like it landed just yesterday is miraculously handicapped ever closer to budget; Péro summer dresses in tea towel check, Pleats Please breeches, Toteme knit jackets all among the bounty.
The promise of a clean, dynamic wardrobe in arm’s length of a mortal income has long been made at COS, whose minimalist streak favors the < end of a mortgage payment, unlike some brands with adjacent shapes. Its summer sale, happening now, brings those prices down even lower, often below $100, as with this ivy-green poplin button-down, this precisely Prada-shaped a-line dress, and this insouciantly necked, thin, satsuma knit.
The Saks edit, available for 30% off with SAKSSALE, is a little old-school, with a hefty helping of Burberry, Chloé, and Moncler making up most of the mound, but some pieces shine through: This acid-green “teen” (haha) version of the Bottega Intrecciato clutch is fun but what this sale does best is showcase the oft-underappreciated Alaïa, especially its dresses, in all their polka-dotted and hot pink-frilled glory.
The LN-CC up-to-50%-off sale doesn’t play coy—click the link and bam, first page: scaly red Paco Rabanne tote for half off, cream puff-like Yume Yume flip-flops for 80 bucks, slept-on Salomons in a cool navy colorway, joyfully rainbow-painted Acne sweatpants for sub-$200—and that’s just the first few rows…
It’s the colors that make the Italist up-to-65%-off Summer Sale compelling: the brightest pink you’ve EVER seen on a shearling bomber courtesy of Acne, a juicy tangerine of an Alexander McQueen gown, and a truly royal purple on a silky Versace top.
The Sea summer sale knocks up to 60% off its reliably romantic but never fussy wares—a denim maxi skirt laced up the sides is under $200, ditto an assortment of blouses with cap sleeves like butterfly wings, and this cascade of a dress is a shade of blue that will make you reconsider the entire concept of the color blue.
Take 20%-70% off the selected pieces in Rejina Pyo’s Summer Sale, where a misty coral mesh wrap top rubs elbows with a shockingly blue, Shakespearean-sleeved shirt dress, an X-marks-the-spot chocolatey halter one-piece, and many more thoughtfully-hewn, magic-evoking pieces.
Any Greek mythology buffs who were taken aback by our liberal use of Olympian allusions above will be glad they stuck around for the Pamela Love Welcome Summer Sale, where Sappho fans can hang golden vessels around their necks, the death of Adonis is duly honored with silver swoops of anemones meant to adorn earlobes, and, confoundingly, a perfect pomegranate ring is named “the Hera”—as a fashion publication, we won’t press the Persephone erasure…
Linda Farrow’s sample sale shaves up to 40% off a selection of sunglasses that ranges from classy, easy-to-wear pairs, like these retro tortoiseshells by Dries, to…I think we can say these are genuinely odd. There isn’t even a model to demonstrate how they look on a human, so ye of brave heart, venture on (and send us pics).
There’s also: Many claim “wearable duvet,” but few can deliver as literally or gorgeously as Offhours, whose pandemy-era Home Coats are sleep incarnate (for those for whom fashion is flesh) and currently 40% off; Barragan’s full lineup of bits and bobs for butts and boobs is 30% off with VERANO23; a selection of Feit’s last pairs of vegetable-tanned leather shoes is 70% off; satisfyingly pillow-y Italian-made bags from Célia Torvisco are 25% off through end of June; Foo and Foo is slashing its SS23 collection by 40%, from long-sleeves with “hand stirrups” fashioned out of recycled tank tops to denim jackets embellished with eyelet constellations in the shape of the Foo logo; Ace&Jig’s 30% off sale is a lighthearted rainbow of plaids and stripes; take up to 60% off Guest in Residence’s cashmeres, from socks to midi skirts, from taupe to sour-apple-candy-neon; Parade is offering 30% off sitewide, including its new loungewear, and ups the ante to 40% on orders over $125; almost all the Wim Wenders-does-fetish-lite gear in Miaou’s private sale is $200 or less; Labucq’s taking 20% off all its chunky sandals and HQ belts with MEMORIAL20; and Urban Outfitters is holding its classic sale-on-sale, with 40% off already discounted pieces from brands like Frankie’s Bikinis and Vagabond.
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With contributions from Em Seely-Katz
Social image via Michelle Del Rio