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120: Less thinky, more shoppy
Plus a 100-piece Dirk Bikkembergs capsule, Simone Rocha for 40% off, and Shopbop's sale-on-sale.
Sometimes this space gets filled with timely, thinky words on the state of shopping—its influences, its inefficiencies. Other times, here you’ll find the least coherent consecutive words you’ll admit into your inbox for days. This newsletter it most itself, though, when studded with links for simply the best things to buy online at a given time.
Today, that’s an army of newly arrived Yohji Yamamoto hats including top hats, flat caps, fedoras, buckets, and bowlers that look like crushed cartoon cans, expressive enough to threaten renewed interest in old-timey scull-coverings. There’s these Bless jeans reworked from old Levi’s with a puckered waist and a ream of bead-hewn fabric draped gown-like onto one leg, down to $449 on SSENSE compared to the full-priced $935 they’re listed for on MNZ. A smutty secretarial Balenciaga dress is down 80% to $515 (and you know I hear people are back on board). And then there’s this Auralee goatskin poncho type thing that’s just under a grand in USD—not on sale, but so striking and likely to get snatched up by North American stores come fall in case you want to pre-empt that wave.
On resale, a very on-trend tennis-pleated Chanel skirt by Lagerfeld for less than $400 (there doesn’t seem to be a catch?). The RealReal is threatening to break up this three-piece Issey Miyake jacket-skirt-pants set if anyone feels like saving them from this grave mistake. There’s a Miu Miu leather-nylon-ponyhair crossbody for just $245. And not cheap per se, but this $1,000 1980s Alaïa leather military jacket is way underpriced compared to the $14,000 and $18,000 versions reselling elsewhere.
Wasn’t that cozy?
Also, some housekeeping: I want to welcome Em Seely-Katz as our new, first-ever News Editor. They and I will continue to bring you the timely, cutting news updates and sales found below week over week that keep your carts full and your mailmen busy. Yay Em!!! <3
Gohar World and Super Yaya have joined forces to talk checkerboard away from the edge. Their three-SKU collab, consisting of a flower bag, a wine-bottle holder, and a picnic basket, steers the pattern away from avant-basic, Lisa Says Gah-dom by sheer virtue of its eyebrow-raising prices (from $298 to $480). In fact, it may be that the campaign imagery itself, shot by Max Farago and styled by Thistle Brown, is a testament to just how effective a Trinity-coded model in a kitten heel can be at selling us on just about anything. Where all this leaves checkerboard—and us—is yet to be seen.
Few labels inspire as much zeal as Dirk Bikkembergs, whose cultish reserves have remained safe in the archives away from modern fashion’s curdling capital interference. Unlike marquee counterparts Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten of the Antwerp 6, Bikkembergs’ creative output spanning the ‘90s and early ‘00s—shoes, knits, leathers, nylons—hold the seasoning of the era during which they were produced. That signature soft-severity is evidenced in a new, painstakingly sourced capsule from Australian vintage dealer Filter Store, featuring “100-ish” Bikkembergs pieces priced competitively and already dwindling at the hands of super-collectors.
The modest-in-quantity-not-quality Molly Goddard Pre-Fall 23 collection is the brand’s most readily “wearable” offering to date. Weddings, funerals, purgatories (offices?)—a confection of a clothing item lies in wait for each occasion. Respectively: a frothy, mist-green midi gown, the adult iteration of a child’s dress which, in a “phase,” they refuse to take off until it disintegrates; a tower of black tulle piled into a skirt appropriate whether you loved or hated the dearly departed; a cardigan quietly furthering our red-plus-pink agenda with a frilly hem that reads as prim but not prissy. A polka-dotted mini dress elbows its way into all three functions, flipping its little skirt and smirking trendily.
Chloé is not trying to reinvent the wheel for its Fall 23 lineup, but it’s fitting the wheel with zhuzhed-up new rims: There’s a drop-waist bodice radiating stripes on a wool-and-silk dress, a bag in a biblical shade of blue sporting a golden aglet, and a stitched-up, Romeo-coded blouse (again, with luxury aglets—is something happening here?). Chloé’s run with Tevas, the classically strappy sandals logo-ridden in cream or technicolor, is the most energetic nudge towards contemporaneity in the collection.
Summersalt coaxed a slew of summery prints out of Diane von Furstenberg, applied to its classic swim silhouettes, most ingeniously a bikini and one-piece sporting huge bows drooping off a shoulder in self-referential ditsy prints, transubstantiating the soul of a Going Out Top into the polyamide of a Going In (the water) Fit.
Us growns get the raw end of the deal when it comes to the new Tiffany & Co. Home collection, only on Moda Operandi, not because its dishware and textiles aren’t solidly lovely, but because there is the most enchanting, bunny-decked comb in sterling silver, double-handle china cups that make a solid case for the two-handed sipping position, and more unabashedly tender objets d’art that, in our unbiased opinion, make more sense in the fiending palms of an appreciative adult. If you don’t want to take the proverbial candy from the literal babies, rich pastel china sets scrawled with NYC-oriented doodles and their matching mugs scratch the surface of that sweetness.
Kiko Kostadinov’s SS23 slate at Terminal 27 treats us to a dippy, low-slung asymmetrical silk skirt with a shock of lime escaping on both top and bottom from its prim black sheath, a deep U-necked vest with an amount of buttons that can be read as a dare to fashion impromptu origami while waiting on a train platform or for an elevator, and turquoise, kitten-heeled sandals with star cutouts that would have been a major plot point on any given Disney Channel show had they been around 20 years ago (in a good way).
David Lynch must speak on Elliss’ Spring/Summer collection—the man gives such good quote, and we need to know which piece in the lineup is most likely to gain sentience and betray us somehow. Would it be the serenely blue maxi skirt printed with a huge figure whose head seems to have fractalized into a lumpen mass? We can’t discount the split-hem trousers like pieces of wood given up on after two blows of an axe.
With its Pre-Fall ‘23 arrivals, Sea dares another brand to come for its Best Dress crown, which it’s earned season after season with the brand’s Meryl Streep-level range of gowns on offer. But never resting on its laurels, this new crop presents us with shirred patchwork and puff sleeves, crocheted tunics with thickly fringed hemlines and mother of pearl sequins, black dresses with bodices snuck straight from the lingerie drawer, and more winners.
Camper’s new Path sneaker is for hotties with a rare condition that causes them to think they’re in The Big Lebowski. That is to say, the seamy construction and retro colorways come across as cheeky nods to bowling shoes, made utilitarian-cool with an ergonomic construction and variations like a gorp-y weave or an upper the shade of the expensive brand of butter.
Birkenstocks tribe, this push alert if for you: The brand’s high-end line 1774 has revealed four news styles including its Arizona, Tokio, Florida and Mayari sandals in new colors, all crafted in Germany from premium leather.
There’s also: The Jenner- and Rodrigo-sighted jewelry brand Steff Eleoff has released a campaign for its SS23 collection, a satisfactory excuse to put its drippy silver pieces on your radar; Skims’ drawer-swapping-worthy undies are now selling in packs of five for $60; Mother’s new Xirena collection is a bouquet of flowy, technicolor clothes cut in linen and silk; Heaven meets its post-post-post ironic match in Come Tees, the union reified in pieces sporting chaotic zippers and shoulder bows; and Gush rolls out its collaboration with Subsurface today, featuring the “Tandem Thong” in Gush’s cheeky cut and Subsurface’s oil-slick-shimmery fabrics.
What’s on sale
There are sales that seduce their perusers into buying random crap they don’t need through gimmicks and fear mongering, and then there’s the Simone Rocha 40% off spring sale of all the pieces you’d already wanted, requiring no marketing skulduggery to entice. Sporty, spicy iterations resuscitate the ballet flat; more than a grand has been shaved off the price of this floral contraption of a dress; the sweetly stubby star version of the brand’s beloved pearl bags is sub-$500; and a respectable smattering of menswear, like this scrunchable button-down, is woven into the array.
Miista’s end of season sale is, for lack of [the desire to think of] a better word, groovy: Shapely, lime green platform mules a Bratz doll would pull a Pinocchio to wear, Shibari-style sandals for bondage enthusiasts on the DL, stompy buckled mules, and brazen blue wedges that are, in effect, water slides for your soles round out the shoe bloc, while rogue garments like soapy green corsets and elaborately constructed LBDs float amongst the footwear.
Account-protected sales are a dragggg (unless you’re SSENSE Private Sale, ILU), but Acne’s exclusive SS23 sale—for which you’ll need to create a login—is weakening my resolve to act bothered. Colorful tees, well-patterned button-downs, patchworks, prints, drapes, and knits are up to 40% off and made even more irresistible at prices that knock off hundreds of dollars.
I truly hate to out myself like this, especially before having the chance to publicly wear them, but a few favorite pieces of mine are marked down for way less than I paid for them at the Christopher Esber end-of-season sale. I already have the top and cowl-neck versions, but I’m tempted to also get this sheer-tank dress, and theses mesh flats from my wishlist might also get folded into a close-my-eyes-and-hit-buy cart action.
Shopbop goes full sale-on-sale, knocking an extra 25% off with SHELL. These really good fold-over Interior trousers are down to $567 from $1,280, white, wide-leg Tibi jeans are $275, down from $525, and Acne knee-high boots are $472, down from $1,050 (and summer boots are a great idea right now).
If you’ve been adding discounted Elena Velez to your SSENSE wishlist, don’t sleep on the designer’s on-site sale, which snips 30% off every price tag for Pride with GAYFORPAY (yes). This underboob-baring cocktail dress is lingering in my cart rn…
Sort of like attending a Green Day concert in 2023, entering the R13 spring sale requires you to wade past piles of shredded, barely-pants and pre-distressed sweaters that want to be that one picture of Kurt Cobain so badly (this is a safe accusation, based on some of the t-shirts for sale), but you’ll be rewarded with up to 40% off seppuku-sliced tanks, gorgeous leather satchels, and scores of cute jeans (your cute jeans?).
The Anna Sui annual sale takes up to 50% off a wardrobe worthy of that automated closet in Clueless, but the brand really goes nutty (a good thing) when it comes to the color purple: saturated crochet cardigans, orchid slip dresses with lacy midriffs, and lavender satin fashioned into jackets with pockets like little gift bags for gum wrappers and loose change.
A selection of Karolina Vitto’s pieces are 20% off with MIDSEASONSALE, from a neck-spanning choker that looks like a puzzle to be solved to a maxi skirt seemingly on the verge of splitting open, alongside many other pieces that press and mold the wearer’s flesh into unconventional, breathtakingly beautiful configurations.
Using BLESSINGS35 will get you 35% off a selection of Wales Bonner’s S/S ‘23 with its drapey linen dresses, beaded macrame skirts, and tank tops that look as though they’ve been dripped upon by a hundred cherry popsicles.
Kiko Kostadinov is going buckwild with its private presale, offering 20% off its entire webshop plus free shipping on all orders over £100 (around $125 for the Yanks among us) with SUMMER20KK. We already mentioned the most recent collection’s glory above, but take a peep at this “no notes” of a bag or these wacko see-through cowboy boots with teeny heels to seal the deal
St Agni Studio’s end of season sale takes up to 50% off its ostensibly minimalistic clothing that, upon closer inspection, reveals itself to be the work of a mad scientist: wedges with a strap that captures everything BUT the big toe? A “two part,” “detachable” knit dress that somehow finagled its way out of being labeled simply a skirt set? Much to consider here.
There’s also: The Rosetta Getty sale is a mine for $100-ish fine knits, wedding-guest dresses for bizarrely low prices, and a brigade of fun, wearable summer clothes; Ganni’s sale lobs 50% off nearly 400 products, should your wardrobe need a reliable refresh; a selection of Ambush’s just-this-side-of-a-joke partywear is 35% off right now; Cettire is loaded with over 1,500 pages of pieces for up to 50% off, and only a few are as cursed as this graphic tee with Karl Lagerfeld peeking out of its chest pocket; and Thierry Colson’s private sale takes 50% off a chunk of its floaty, posh inventory with TCPRIVE23.
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With contributions from News Editor Em Seely-Katz