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127: Paris Men's Week, welcome to the resistance
Plus MNZ late summer arrivals, Marche pre-orders, and Tiina's closing sale.
The first was that men’s week, increasingly a misnomer, has become a safe haven for quality and timelessness—or at least trendlessness; it’s shaping up as a forum for luxury that has little to do with “luxury” giants Kering or LVMH, whose hand often measurably worsens the standards of RTW lines it touches.
A survey of the official calendar counted as many if not more excellence-obsessed independent brands making the pilgrimage from around the world to show on this Parisian stage—Wales Bonner, Bianca Saunders, Hed Mayner, Auralee, Airei, Bode, Marine Serre—as it did European behemoths like LV, Loewe, Hermes, which have a presence at virtually every intelligible fashion or art junket anyway.
These nimble brands’ affiliation with the men’s week calendar has less to do with press politics compared to the September and February shows, and much more with connecting with community and kindred buyers. It’s a back-to-basics approach that doesn’t accommodate—often even rejects—the Getty Image-tinted showboating that’s become synonymous with “Fashion Week.”
Paris, a city that fortifies its water with fashion, is a natural spring for this approach to style; its dressers develop good taste as second nature rather than regard it as an urgent thing to be collected.
The second thing I observed was that everyone was already talking about Copenhagen. I haven’t been (though I am beginning to plot for August), but everyone tells me I would love it. The city’s newcomer status to the global calendar (and emphasis on sustainability—a stage industry leviathans can’t compete on) dangles a massive carrot in front of younger, hipper brands that might otherwise be pulverized between fossils on the calendars in London or Paris.
Alongside Paris men’s week’s tempered sensitivity, Copenhagen’s relaxed admissions policy for new creative viewpoints makes up another, equally important piece of the opposition to Big Fashion’s relentless churn.
On one final shopping note, I’ve somehow amassed more fantastic things since returning to New York, all extremely deserving of mention but that would be best digested in space-saving list format. So: I finally ordered the Bless jeans from SSENSE (wish me luck), plus the Wales Bonner x adidas Sambas in brown-red and an Auralee half-zip; from Live the Process, I got the Tuxedo Cardigan (very Proenza) and Orion Shorts; a Deiji Studios Bias Skirt in Grandpa Check—we all know how I feel about Deiji, and this easy piece is no different; a Puppets and Puppets swirl polo from the sale, where it’s still down to $99; an impressively darted Belle the Label organza top from the collection announced below; and the Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen trousers I pre-ordered from the fall collection, whose label heart-wrenchingly reads “1 of 6.”
Marche, from designer Shereen Mohammad, has emerged quietly, its vintage-inspired silhouettes teased mercilessly on Instagram and just its rounded bell hats exclusively available to purchase at Colbo. Finally making its IPO to the world, Marche’s sublime ribbon dresses, handkerchief-peplum knits, and immensely clever pocket belts are now available for pre-order on the brand’s site.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Spring/Summer arrivals have awkwardly only just landed on site, following a season’s-worth of chatter about delays in production and murmurs about the brand’s financial health. As to the question of what the lineup would even be comprised of, considering the show’s focus on one-off textiles from Maryam’s personal archive, there’s a long, ‘90s-esque slip dress in two shades, an apron-like crochet “skirt” that harkens to those runway creations, and more than just a few reissues of familiar jersey knits and unisex tailoring. Whether it’s enough to buoy the brand through summer’s remaining moments (minutes?) is a good question indeed.
Despite yet another spectacular runway in Versailles, with so much Jacquemus currently on super-sale at SSENSE, it’s tempting to raise an eyebrow the brand’s claim on “luxury.” (Maybe it’s just more successful as an events operation?) A Moda Operandi trunkshow containing highlights from that most recent collection masterfully corrects course on that line of thinking, centering those. pieces that shoppers will swiftly and willingly pay full price for: a reasonably $850 cherry-red knit maxi dress, a welcomely fussy off-white dress fit for a nuptials weekend, and a balloon-sleeve boiled wool coat that might make you consider spending $2,000 in July just to get your hands on one.
Orseund Iris’ new launches hit every possible note of “princess,” from a Cinderella-esque pale blue milkmaid top (with a matching headscarf for the full best-friends-are-mice look) to pieces that skew more Lady Di, like a creamy, cropped bustier that comes with a chiffon scarf to drape about your decolletage with regal abandon and preppy half-zip pullovers sprouting chunky, structured pockets.
All of us suckers for quirked-up utilitarianism have been directly targeted by the Glazed Studio Collection—pieces like a leather skirt that unzips into a dutiful tote bag and a “modular top” that’s either a tube top with bonus sleeves or a t-shirt guillotined at the armpits, depending on how you look at it, all scratch the dual itches for beauty and pragmatism that underlie the ineffable attraction to clothes in general.
Tod’s exclusive pieces for Net-a-Porter break out of the driving-loafer pigeonhole the brand seemed to have settled in with pieces that honor the glamorous Hitchcockian energy the phrase “driving loafer” evokes: from a louche, leather-trimmed linen jumpsuit to a complementary-hued crocheted purse vying for brand recognition with its metal “T” buckle, while suede loafers, such as this goldenrod pair, circle back to Tod’s original footwear M.O.
To celebrate the release of its new magazine, Bottega Veneta is offering limited-edition Air Afrique blankets—Afro-futuristic weavings of wool, silver leather, and shaggy shearling in faded purples and electric cerulean designed by Abdel El Tayeb.
Apres Ski’s new collection "Mano y Flor" treats acetate like finger paint, spiking into neon-pink blossoms and lilac stars as earrings and inventing completely new shapes of sunglasses frames, like the Louise pair with a structured, angular top and a sweeping curve underlining the eyes.
With wear-basically-nothing season in full swing, Belle introduces two organza pieces to make something out of that nothing—the sheer tops curl over the chest and gather in delicate bouquets at the sternum.
Tory Burch’s summer collection cements silver as the color of the season with several pairs of crinkly, foil-toned sandals and plays with our emergent obsession with dots in perforated, file-folder-like handbags and citrusy, strapless polka-dot sundresses.
What appear at first brush to be piles of fabric swatches morph into drapey tops and dresses in Katya Zelentsova’s capsule for Gimaguas, with highlights like a stripey, cowl-neck tank adorned with a faux belted buckle and a one-shoulder dress that transitions from prim neutrals into a daze of coral seashells at the hem. The pieces pair perfectly with glass work jewelry by Gennaro Pepe Ciller, whose blown hearts and spindly suns dangle from bright cords.
Glossier is doubling down on old favorites, from relaunching its brand-birthing blog Into The Gloss (featuring me! Can you believe?) to reissuing its landmark product Boy Brow, now in more shades and a larger size.
There’s also:The Misette x Agua by Agua Bendita Tabletop collab has everything necessary for a table setting, all in cobalt florals and abstract swirls, from coasters to decanters to hand-painted candles (!); for those of us with inexplicably slippery soles, the cutely buckled heel straps on the clogs in Filippa K’s capsule for Swedish Hasbeens are more lifeline than aesthetic gesture; Drake’s book, Titles Ruin Everything, is $20 on SSENSE (and if you’re reading this, it’s…surely not too late to get your hands on one); and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s AW23 collection goes full Takashi Murakami with chunky, humanoid florals and cartoon protagonist looks like this striped jumper with attached, Simpsons-yellow knit gloves.
What’s on sale
I had been fiddling with that frayed thread, the question as to whether New York fashion was dead, with Lauren Manoogian’s Chris Fireovid in their Paris showroom, when he dropped the bombshell that Amagansett’s Tiina the Store would be closing. Among the few and mighty boutiques serving the shopper categories of The-Row-and-then-what, equally-WASPy-and-irreverently-Japanese, and what-if-honk-shoo-sleeping-cap-and-gown-was-a-complete-wardrobe, the sunsetting is a huge blow to the city’s brainy dressers. A liquidation sale is currently underway, 30% off sitewide with TIINA30 (there are some exclusions, but the sale section isn’t one of them).
Fiercely beloved London-based Ven Store, too, has announced its closure—a foreboding pattern for independent, avant-garde shopping experiments, for sure—and with it comes a final sale. There’s just over a week left to place an order on the site, where the brand has listed its sybaritic basics geared toward “the modern traveler” for hundreds off.
SSENSE’s sale his plummeted to 70% off on a not-timid swath of gear, and has hinted that its Private Sale would be ending September 8 (why announce so far ahead, one wonders). We know from past seasons that All Sale, however, will tick up just once more to 80% before selling through and wrapping up. A few good pieces for your consideration until then: The Row’s foldover-waistband Milla trousers for 57% off, an SC103 sheer football-inspired vest for 48% off, and an Eres on-piece in expensive rust for $100 below retail.
Lemaire’s spring/summer sale has the same effect as showering, then slipping into a bed with freshly washed sheets made of jersey crepe, as is this slinky, belted gown—these self-belting trousers are almost half off if you’re more of a linen-leaning sleeper—but of course, your pillow must be a huge, fluffy, white croissant bag at a $600 discount.
If you’ve been short on oceanside time this summer, Toogood’s 30% off sale will chuck you straight into the deep end with its marine-living garb, all textured cotton and sweetly named after different facets of the aquatic life, such as the sweeping, breezy Shrimper dress and the Fisherman shirt, complete with a detachable kerchief. The Matisse-esque cutout leather Diver keychain is an irresistible finisher.
Shopbop also claims up to 70% off with its In Bloom sale, wherein you might lay claim to a pair of Interior lace shorts, Mansur Gavriel ballet flats, or Ulla Johnson bubble dress.
Live the Process is taking 30% off sitewide, showcasing its artful athleticwear in a kaleidoscope’s worth of shades, from the asymmetrical Crescent bra, a genuinely new (but duly pragmatic) take on sporty support, to a buttery, wide-ribbed polo top and matching knit skirt for the requisite moments of apres-workout mirror time and beyond.
With SUBLIME, take 20% off All Is A Gentle Spring’s entire stock of need-to-see-it-to-understand pieces like a low rise, knee-length bubble skirt and a ribbed knit bonnet with ties to wrap around your neck so your head doesn’t fall off like that girl with the green ribbon…
Simonett’s summer sale will have you looking like the most beautiful mermaid trapped in a fishing net with crocheted, puka-shelled skullcaps from Pardo, columnar beaded dresses c/o Paris Georgia, and strappy sandals with wooden heels by Low Classic.
Dion Lee’s online archive sale is a tightly edited batch of pieces crinkled like parchments left in the sun and chained up like a set of neighborhood bloc party chairs—warm, with an air of sacred communion that lends gravitas to muscle tanks and vermillion party dresses alike.
From the mononymous “blouse” to woven hats hewn from recyclable materials, the Gemsun summer archive sale brings many of the brand’s biggest hits from last summer back to the forefront for prices that mostly remain under the $200 mark.
B Sides’ summer sale offers truly staggering discounts on its quietly funky denim—this subtly patched-up pair has been brought down from $325 to under $100, just in time for the season of camp counselor-core dressing.
Notre is offering 40% off sitewide with EXTRA40, bringing zippered denim Y/Project miniskirts and Coperni Swipe bags down to truly amenable prices and already-discounted stock from brands like Chopova Lowena reaches the sub-$60 zone, as in this kittened jersey.
Take an extra 15% off the LN-CC private sale’s already-discounted wares with LN-EXTRA15, with a gamut of pieces ranging from Hoka sneakers to studded Blumarine denim jackets (coincidentally, these two pieces kind of match?).
There’s also: Gap, which is succeeding in all the ways J.Crew is needlessly failing, takes a red pen to prices across the board during its summer sale (including the tank I buy in multiples); the Frances May up-to-60%-off sale is a surefire destination for one-stop outfits—a Wednesday Addams Goes to Prom look comes together with two clicks on a gothy Batsheva gown and Mary Jane tabis; Co’s seasonal sale is a cotton poplin fan’s wonderland—it comes in tiered dresses, structured oxfords, and more; Vince’ trove of cashmere and leather is up to 75% off, with blazers, leggings, and everything in between these two poles; take 30% off SS23 hits from MNZ v-neck sweaters to Tigra Tigra slip dresses in Nonna’s summer sale; crocheted Pucci hot pants are listed next to real sapphire-and-diamond rings in the delightfully cuckoo 1stDibs July 4th sale; Loulou Studio’s summer sale gives us something to look forward to for the autumn with piles of woolen and suede sets to prelude the cooler seasons; and take an extra 20% off Cos’ sale with JULY20, especially eye-opening are its Yves Klein blue and kelly green sets and gowns.
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With contributions from News Editor Em Seely-Katz