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122: Twin sales and the people who sleuthed them
What 13 shoppers bought (and wish they'd bought) from the SSENSE and Dover Street Market sales.
It was the best of times* (*overlapping Dover Street Market and SSENSE sales), it was the worst of times** (**six cigarettes of smoke-thick air).
New York was in a California phase, stressed and depressed under a duvet of Canadian wildfire smoke drifting south, and yet! There was shopping to do. At what was ostensibly the meatiest middle point of the SSENSE sale, when discounts began reaching up to 60% and ever-greater masses of unlikely merchandise were getting price chopped, Dover Street Market staged a once-in-a-lifetime IRL sale at the UN Plaza in Manhattan.
Those brave and properly situated enough to make the journey uptown were rewarded with unthinkable deals on Comme des Garçons (and its extended universe), Prada, Rick Owens, Bottega, Balenciaga, Jacquemus…all up to 80% off. The rest of us safely stayed home and shopped SSENSE’s spoils under blankets of the literal sort.
In today’s send, you’ll find stories and steals from people of each camp, all of whom possess some of the best eyes for fashion in the city (and beyond). While the DSM sale is over (I’ve done my best to link out today’s shoppers’ finds to suitable matches), the SSENSE sale is growing stronger each day.
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Keep reading to shop the Dover Street Market and SSENSE sales alongside those who do it best.
“The funny thing about sales is I feel you usually walk out with things you did not intend to buy. When it came to the DSM sale, I fully intended to walk out with a bag full of ruffled goodies from Comme des Garçons, or perhaps a piece of Prada if I was lucky. I walked out with neither, instead I walked out with this Junya Watanabe cocoon coat that I believe is from the FW10 collection??? I was trying things on, and out of the corner of my eye I saw this person trying it on. I just waited for them to put it down because I could sense they were not going to get it. I grabbed it as soon as I saw it back on the rack! I just love the shape and the fact that it looks very much ‘lady’ while at the same time looking a tad futuristic.
As for the SSENSE sale, I have my eyes on this bell hat from Lauren Manoogian and this cardigan from Super Yaya—both will be great for the fall/winter because it fits into this ‘lady’ look that I plan on channeling more this upcoming season!”
“I got these shorts thinking they would work well through the fall/winter with tights and boxy sweaters but really to wear as denim underwear this summer. Initially assumed I'd pair it with button-down shirts and refined sandals or flip-flops but it doesn't look right with button-downs to me, so mostly have been wearing it with various t-shirts or maybe a halter top. As far as shoes, better with structured flats that are open on the top of the foot, but I did wear them once with a white muscle tee, tux blazer, sheer socks, and black sandals. My underwear or whatever shirt is tucked into them usually shows through the embellished slit, which is either their singular downfall or the best thing about them depending on how you look at it.
In my cart still are a) this sweater from Andersson Bell, which I saw styled under a jacket I included in a market report recently—seems good for a pair of crochet knit shorts in the summer or with plain white cotton boxers/wide-leg pajama-style pants and b) these sandals from Paris Texas. Recently started to think about wearing knee-cap leggings with heels again. Snake prints usually make for a pretty good but unexpected neutral in that they pair well with virtually everything.”
Megan O’Sullivan, @meganoelizabeth
“These Eytys Laguna sneakers haunted me for months before I finally pulled the trigger. I had been in a sneaker slump. Merely looking in the direction of my Sambas right now feels akin to considering last night’s meal for dinner again. I’m wearing these so much that I already need to get them cleaned. 10/10 would buy again.
I saw Phoebe Bridgers wearing this Anna Sui dress recently, which was my impetus for buying it. I didn’t need another black-silk-lace-dress situation, alas! This is a very good one and I gave myself a really thorough, ‘You can wear it during the day! And night! And all year long! With a shirt underneath! And a sweater on top’ pep talk.
These Butter Goods jeans landed in my cart because I’m a sucker for anything that evokes Gap Kids nostalgia. This Ader Error white skirt felt essential for summer (I plan on wearing it with an oversized t-shirt like this Martine Rose one.) And lastly, as a bonus, I have this Sportmax dress in my cart as an option for a wedding later this year. I love the lilac and yellow and haven't seen anything quite like it.”
“As I've been yammering on incessantly in my newsletter, the DSM archive sale is my Super Bowl/church/whatever sacred place of worship you follow. The last one I went to, seven years ago, was incredible and I deeply regret not buying more, so this time around I devoted a big chunk of my entire year's shopping budget to it. Keep in mind CdG is my favorite brand and I've started to collect it—I try to buy at least one piece per season, usually on sale.
I went during the Friends + Family day and was among the first people inside, mainly because I was terrified that things would sell out. It was completely unwarranted in retrospect since everyone was really nice about passing off their discards to anyone nearby who wanted it. Maybe this only applies to the CdG floor and not the DSM designers floor but the vibe was more about sharing in our collective love for the brand.
In total I bought seven pieces plus helped a friend get two skirts. I think the true standouts were this skirt with tulle stuffed ‘wings’ which I think are meant to resemble panniers as well as this spring 2019 dress, which came from one of my favorite collections. I also took the recommendation of my friend Katharine Zarella and added this fishnet top to my pile—she loves it as a layering piece and I'm excited to incorporate it into my outfits as well.”
“I got this Maryam Nassir Zadeh mini skirt (from this link though it looks like this one; such is my newbie SSENSE naïveté that I am still not totally sure if I just got sent the wrong one??). After a few summers spent swampily encased in bike shorts, there's something about a breezy little skort situation that is very freeing (plus, the built-in undies protects one from having to fully peel one's ass off the subway seat—underrated detail). I also suspect it could work really well as a stand-in swim bottom. Only time, and a last-minute pool party invite (HINT HINT), will tell.”
Arianna Aviram Cho, @ariavicho
“Because I usually focus on buying older Comme des Garçons mainline and Junya Watanabe styles (pre-2009 generally), my intention was not to go crazy at Market Market, nor compete with the super concentrated shoppers on the pursuit of buyers’ ecstasy, and potentially focus on non-Comme des Garçons brands, yet I came home with six pieces for myself—with more than half of them being from CDG or Junya.
First, a variation of Look 33 from Comme des Garçons’ AW19 collection. I’ve always loved the Gathering of Shadows collection and especially Kawakubo’s sentiment of ‘many small shadows come together to create a powerful thing.’ It’s also the first CDG mainline piece that’s backless I have in my nearly 100-piece archive ;)
From Prada, I found the iconic reissue of the banana-print dress from AW18 in a blue stripe. My goal was to find some Prada here, and I was able to achieve it!
On one of the put-back racks, someone parted with an AW09 Junya Watanabe sheer asymmetric dress—on the hanger you would have no clue what it looks like, but on it’s the perfect avant-garde wedding-guest dress.
And lastly, hiding in a bin somewhere, I found the SS09 ‘Tomorrow’s Black’ soccer ball flats. They’re half a size too small, but they are currently with my Bukharian shoe repair, Erik. I know he’s going to work his magic and make them perfect for me.”
Emilija Baranac, @emilijabaranac
“I like looking for pieces that have unusual details like these MM6 Maison Margiela sweatpants. I don’t usually wear sweats but I like how these add some visual interest to my outfit. I bought these grey ones last year but currently have my eye on this white pair. I would probably pair these white ones with a top that has some sort of lace/satin detail to contrast the relaxed feel of the sweats.”
Kathleen Sorbara, @kathleensorbara
“Picked up this The Row bathing suit top. The matching bottoms weren’t part of the sale, but snagged those as well! I felt the set was the perfect balance of sporty sophistication. Channeling my Mary Kate & Ashley energy this summer, example here ;)”
Sam Kang, @samyck
“I bought quite a few pieces but here are some of my favorites: I picked up quite a few CDG shirts and a jacket. In addition, I got some Diesel x GR-Uniforma. I had pared back my list a couple times throughout the day asking friends for opinions. I went the first day it was open to the public and waited for about three hours then shopped till I dropped, literally! The best part was shopping through the changing area and seeing what other people had picked and put back.”
“The Dover Street Market/Comme des Garçons sample sale in 2016 was, for years, the greatest shopping experience of all time for me, so I knew I wanted to stock up this time since this sale so rarely happens. I’m more into Junya and Noir than CDG, but I ended up finding more CDG because that's what they had available.
My favorite pieces that I got are the ones that feel most me; girly, colorful and a little bit weird—Comme des Garçons tulle skirts with patches of sequins or chunky faux-fur trim, a Noir Kei Ninomiya clear snowflake harness, a Comme des Garçons plastic dress printed with Bearbricks…The XL pink marbled Simone Rocha egg bag and CDG x Nike Machomai sneaker heels are everything to me. The Comme des Garçons dress with the Macoto Takahashi girl print was something I’ve been trying to find for a while (at a non-exorbitant price) so I was extremely happy to add it to my collection.”
Laia Garcia-Furtado, @geometricsleep
“I haven’t yet pulled the trigger on the sale but there are several things I am tracking; Chief among them are a few fun trompe l’oeil pieces from the Y/Project Gaultier extravaganza. When they first came out I thought ‘I love them but they’re ‘too young’ for me,’ but now that summer is here(?) I realize they’re actually perfect. I love the mini dress and the mini skirt especially, which I would treat like a pair of jorts and wear with literally anything.
Another thing I have my eye on is a pair of Repetto flats. Back in the aughts I had a fluorescent yellow pair that I wore to absolute shreds, and lately I have been feeling like I want to revisit (I guess it’s my version of nostalgia for the era). That, combined with a desire for a pair of red shoes that came out of nowhere at the beginning of the year, makes me think the red patent leather pair is the way to go.
The last thing is this pair of groovy Ottolinger jeans, which are complicated in all the right ways (they look complicated but would in fact, make dressing a pinch because all I would need to do is add a white baby tee).”
Emilia Petrarca, @emiliapetrarca
“I found out about the DSM sale last minute and, of course, didn’t realize it was going to happen on the same day as the #smokepocalypse...But I desperately needed an out-of-this-world look for publicist Gia Kuan’s wedding party on Saturday (dress code: “more is more is more!”), so I decided to throw caution to the wind and go uptown to…the United Nations? I’m so glad I did, lingering cough and smoke-smelling hair aside, because I found the most perfect black mesh Noir Kei Ninomiya dress with a velvet leopard-print trim for around $250 (70% off $1000+).
The DSM gods must have been looking down on me that day (if there is another god, she was very angry that day…), because I found it in the final hour discarded in one of the changing rooms. (Sample sale hack: People grab all the best things as soon as they rush in, but they can’t buy/fit into everything! Hover around that reject bin, baby…One girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure.) I also bought a white lace CDG shirt because my best friend told me on our vacation this summer that I need to wear more white. Plus a white tote bag that I’m going to use to carry around my laptop. Of course, I ran into Gia at the sale, mere days before her nuptials. This fashion icon has her priorities straight. (We’re all gonna die, anyway!)”
Halle Lagatta, @halle_________
“I had a moment as the weather started turning towards summer…a (closet) existential crisis. I donated what gave me the ick and looked to the SSENSE sale for some much needed rejuvenation. They take Klarna now after all…
‘Shoes. Omg, shoes’ was very much the theme. Starting with my new fave satin tabi flats in the cutest blushing pink. Not one but two Reike Nen sandals snuck their way in. I can't wait to wear these all over the sweltering city. My style veers on the boyish side at times…I love these classic Clark’s Wallabee Oxfords and Solomons for functionality and comfort when I'm running around on set or commuting into the city.
I love discovering new brands on SSENSE, like Remain Birger Christensen. I snagged this gorgeous robin’s egg-blue linen dress for an engagement party. I’m eager to wear it again this summer more casually...maybe with the aforementioned Solomons?
Obsessed with this NODRESS ‘Feed Me’ puppy t-shirt. It’s so cute!!!! It paired perfectly with my KBBQ outing with friends :) and these black bow tights had me in my feelings at the Paramore concert. </3
There's still so much sale left but I have to restrain myself!!!! Until next time ❤”
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