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145: Future-shopping New York's spring collections
And everything they inspired me to buy right now.
Welcome to Future Shopper, a special-edition send rounding up the best runway pieces to budget for next season (with see-now-buy-now insights throughout). Today, with NYFW in the rear view mirror, we’re looking back at the things we’re most likely to be purchasing come Spring ‘24. See the Fall ‘23 Future Shopper here.
As a Proenza Schouler runway first-timer, it’s hard to say if recent collections have been this good and don’t translate quite as powerfully to the page or hanger, or if the outlook for spring is stronger than ever. The absolute tippy-top standouts were the small mesh sacks—like miniaturized beach totes on long leather straps—which came in black, white, and red and will make great evening bags, plus a new generation of flats in canvas and laser-cut silver. On the apparel front, I’m now desperate for the super luxurious satin parka also done up as eveningwear and styled with a dramatic fringe bag and hosiery bisected by flip-flop straps.
What to buy now: The closest analog to the high-low mesh pouch I can point to are Phoebe’s Céline market totes, albeit as daytime bags rather than dainty event purses. There’s no shortage of great flats these days, but how’s about this $69 orthopedic pair that are gorgeously simple and comfy-seeming?
At Tory Burch, tunics and maxi dresses with mathematically satisfying scoop necks are most responsible for activating my patiently-awaiting-purchase-time bookmarking brain, followed by more nylon taffeta, though far sheerer and more sensuous (and since we’re having this conversation, far more Helmut-y than what Peter Do put out). A sandal that builds on the pierced shoe series will go gangbusters, and a bag that I didn’t originally clock from the second row that pays homage to Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Butt Bag is suchhhh a surprise and delight!
What to buy now: Tory’s pierced slingbacks, mules, and pumps have been intermittently selling out, but if you catch them in stock, they’re fun and not too expensive (under $400!) while we wait for the sandals to land. Original Chanel Butt Bags can be found for around $1,000 or, also in the vein of Tory’s molded leather clutches, Lemaire’s Egg Bag is available new for $1,800.
I was disproportionately taken with Interior’s collection, given the limited number of pieces that made it up. I hate to be this person, but it’s the kind of lineup you need to see and feel in person to fully appreciate: A column shirtdress and long boxer pants both in the crispest, whitest poplin you could ask for, and a gray-blush liquid-silk trio of a twisted strapless dress, crew neck sweatshirt, and bias-draped lounge pants were gun-to-my-head top picks, but my shopping itch extends well beyond those.
What to buy now: Comme Si’s boxer pants obviously come to mind, though stock is limited. More nebulously, I’m pegging Interior as the next Khaite, of which current-season pieces can satisfy some of that flattering, form-fitting draping—Tove, too has some comparable Grecian styles.
On that note, Khaite caught grief from all angles this season, a lot of it warranted and somewhat inevitable after how many seasons of showing on dark runways and being called a “cool girl brand”? (This was always corny.) Still, breaking down the collection to its parts, there is a fair amount that will sell well. Women—even public figures, who opted to wear Khaite in their in-book magazine shoots more than any other brand—like the way they look in it. A clingy-bodiced dress with a curtain-draped skirt, a mid-section-pleated organza dress, a pair of strappy sandals with a free big toe…shoppers will be clamoring to wear these come March. The concept may have been lazy, but the clothes didn’t altogether miss.
What to buy now: The answer to Khaite is more Khaite. This current-season bodysuit is very expensive but could be the basis of a thousand great outfits, but if the cost’s unjustifiable, here’s a pair of pre-owned Mary Janes I just bookmarked for only $200.
Tibi sent out great tailored nylon suits, which isn’t something new for them, but a reminder that if you’re in the market for ‘90s Prada, you might actually be better placated by some ‘20s Tibi. The brand’s sock boots, perfectly pared back, confirmed my suspicions that our ballet flat obsession is slowly creeping upward. I’m not totally convinced the reworked Boat and Totes will send up a huge sales spike, but I do love the Y2K Teen Vogue DIY energy they brought.
What to buy now: Tibi nylon trousers are a steal on The RealReal, so you’d do well going straight to the source. As one friend close to the brand negged, Tibi is basically Cos (the cuts are much better, but alas!), so you can find suiting skirts and crepe separates in the same vein there, from its fall collection also shown during NYFW. Whether you have the energy for a project or not, the original L.L.Bean Boat and Totes are undeniably having a moment.
There was no circus crowding around the Fforme venue last week, an early indication that we were about to see a very good show. Designer Paul Helber’s second collection and first runway put his Margiela, Vuitton, and The Row chops to use on an edit of category-pushing cocoon coats and silk separates for the “sleeve heads,” as Rachel Tashjian put it on IG Stories. Amid all of the positing lately whether luxury is dead (LVMH downgrading Loro Piana, synthetic materials at Khaite), here’s a shining example of what modern craftsmanship looks like in practice.
What to buy now: There’s an insanely good puffer jacket from Fforme’s first collection up on the site that will set you back around $3,000 if that’s a move you’re prepared to make. Otherwise, Lauren Sherman smartly compared Fforme to cultish minimal Japanese brand Arts & Science in her column on Puck, which you can get for less scary numbers on Vestiaire. Another main takeaway was the color pairing of dusty rose and sumac, warm fades you can find and combine from the likes of Baserange and Naushka.
Joining the ranks of OG, back-on-the-calendar Rachel Comey is a growing tribe of responsibility-minded New York brands making chic and minimal grown-up clothes for clever women. Among them, Maria McManus, Kallmeyer, and Attersee, I’d also say welcoming Veronica De Piante into the mix this season. This womenswear mafia produced an encouraging number of imminently wearable everyday pieces for spring; let’s talk about them.
From Rachel, a new crop of shoes poised to spread like lantern flies through the city—flats and stacked heels with an inexplicably satisfying base that extends slightly outwards and a straight-across shallow peep toe. Daniella Kallmeyer introduced a very important teensy netted sling bag that, when paired with Proenza’s evening version, suggests a wave for the season ahead.
What to buy now: A lot, actually! The Maria McManus dress I wore for the occasion deserves a second shout out—it’s available on Nordstrom right now. Maria also collaborated with Erin Jennie Pollard of Underwater Weaving on a series of cylindrical basket bags, just the right size for “a bottle of wine or a Turkish towel,” already live on the accessory designer’s site. Kallmeyer’s collarless, boxy blazers were straight from the vintage Emporio Armani playbook, which naturally sent me to TRR scouting similar styles where there are plenty of fantastically close matches. Also from Kallmeyer, those perfectly tailored suits were styled at her breakfast salon with black and white rubber flip-flops from…Old Navy—the expensive suits-cheap flops hill is one I will die on. Attersee’s Isabel Wilkinson keeps her cards close to her chest, so no word on Spring yet, but the fall collection hit site this week (one of my most closely anticipated). And these recent-season Veronica boots she designed as a styling device for her collections are still in rotation and are so far the pair at the top of my list for fall. The designer’s first collection goes live on Net this coming Monday as their exclusive retail partner.
Mara Hoffman, who sits between this crew and its more decorative, event-ready counterpart comprising Rosie Assoulin, Ulla Johnson, and Marina Moscone, rolled out a slew of floating petal bustiers. Similarly, Rosie’s most wedding-guest primed pieces were mille fueille of sheer colored ribbons (for ETI inspo, she joked via DM), and Ulla struck a chord with a vibrational blue eyelet cotton dress. Marina introduced twin “scribble” dresses using high-tension top stitching that I’m excited to see explored in the new year.
What to buy now: I wouldn’t have guessed that Mara was behind a simply great pair of baggy, pleated pants, but that’s the case with her Monte pants, named for her dad whose own trousers she recreated with the style. Also not new, but new to me are these nappa leather ballet flats from Marina Moscone that are really great, even amid all the current flats noise.
Svitlana Bevza put out her most wearable collection in several seasons, buoyed by the insane bustier-tailored button downs and cutout logo-baring ribbed tanks and tank dresses, sometimes paired with great silk slips. Who’s also grabbed my attention anew is Altuzarra, checking a lot of right-now boxes with crinkled chiffon, beaded embellishments, gray, and jewel silks, throwing disarming comfy sweaters at its more precious pieces.
What to buy now: I got to wear this current-season wheat-pattern Bevza dress to the show, which was fun. There are plenty of bustier-tailored button-downs out there like this on-sale Alexander McQueen one or this Alexander Wang bandeau shirt, but Bevza’s were most fun for how they projected off the body, like a Gaultier cone bra, so I’ll be waiting this one out. As for tanks, my current favorite logo-branded style is this YSL men’s. Altuzarra was heavily Prada-Miu Miu coded (don’t get me wrong, it was still one of my favorite shows to fantasize about wearing), so that’s an easy route to go, with an emphasis on the sheer pieces and crop top-skirt sets.
Younger, off-calendar brands delivered more mystically minded collections exploring concepts abstracter than the considered pragmatists above. Michelle Del Rio has exploded the talisman from the inception of her work (the Catalonia belt) and turned it into a tight edit of flamenco garb—I order something from her with every new release, and a spotted, bias-cut gown and a skirt pinned to a t-shirt to form a peekaboo dress are my top contenders. Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen built upon her pagan pillow forms, adding in stuffed, sculpted frameworks that I can’t really compare to anything. McQueen, maybe.
Downtown twenty-somethings have a few vibes to pick up on, coming respectively from Sandy Liang, Staud, and Buci. Sandy’s rosette’d pinafores and bow-tied flip-flops (more Rainbow than Havaiana) join her canon. Staud’s ‘90s Versace-coded pastel runway (this editorial was absolutely on the moodboard) will be of dubious quality, as the brand has proven in the past, but at least a few dresses will be made to look more expensive than they are. Hilariously, Staud also released its own über deep-V sweater, riffing on The Row’s riff on Margiela-era Hermes. Who’ll be next? Forever21 x Barneys?
What to buy now: Commission’s current-season version of its reworked tee is on sale in orange on its site, as is the current-season pinstriped blazer I tried on at the showroom and miiiiight just have to buy.
Images self-shot, via Vogue Runway, brand lookbooks, and brand Instagram accounts.