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152: Fashion geography is girl math for people who skipped London and Milan
Plus Peter Do x Banana Republic, buy Kate Moss' old clothes, and all of SSENSE is 25% off.
The original plan for this edition was to fill out the map between my New York and Paris Future Shopper guides. If I had managed to get around to my London and Milan Fashion Weeks recap as intended, some things I would have said were that…
Bottega Veneta’s couture-level pricing makes it less fun to fantasy shop, and the more merchandised pieces feel too well market-researched (they might as well have been designed by AI)—it cozies right up to the cynicism that luxury brands don’t actually want people wearing these pieces, just for them to exist in the same retail environment as the accessories they are pushing. Bally, alongside Carven, was an underdog win of the season, emerging with some of the most wearable designs culled from Midwest thrift store fantasies. And on the accessories front, Ferragamo had the only shoes that made me say, “oh, fuck,” out loud (some narrow-slit peep toe loafers); Burberry horse hardware!; Emilia Wickstead’s jewelry was awesome; Erdem napkin shoes!; and Tove introduced sandals and babouches intended to directly challenge The Row’s price points, per the designers.
But the window for these thoughts has pretty much closed. And I’m ready to get back to reflecting on the shopping of the here and now.
I’ve added some new, truly amazing things to my wardrobe lately. You’ll see them crop up in upcoming edits and outfits, but to offer a quick sneak preview: an open-knit Co top that ranks outstanding in the dinner-wear category; a trompe l’oeil Lemaire knit I picked up at Outline in Brooklyn (locals be advised this is some of the best shopping in the city); Emme Parsons Ernest fisherman sandals that if you follow me on Instagram you know have been attached to my feet without fail since I got them; (yes! in fall! precisely!); Everlane leather boots that way, way surpass my expectations for them in quality and style; and another pair of eBayed Escada pants that further prove the point I’ve been pushing since literally day one of this newsletter that these are the best and most affordable trousers on the market.
Just to say: There’s this tendency to neutralize anything to do with fashion or shopping as “a welcome distraction” during times of crisis, which is understandable and I hope this newsletter can be that for you, if you need. But to me, fashion and shopping are not some unserious thing to be shelved during contentious periods. They are my career and community. I lose sleep over the future these things will bring me, and they are among my sources of joy and self-satisfaction.
So, onto shopping.
Peter Do’s new capsule for Banana Republic brings the aspirational architecture of the former to the steadfast sensibilities of the latter in the aesthetic equivalent of an Oceans-esque crime ring: there’s the secretly sexy workhorse, a backless utility jacket with detachable sleeves; the honeypot with an understated intelligence, a button-down tank top; the traditionalist with “unconventional methods,” a crisply pleated trench skirt; and the jack-of-all-trades that holds the group together, a double-belted waist bag in subdued black leather.
SSENSE is almost of legal drinking age! To celebrate 20 years (feel old yet?) of fashion-world domination, the SSENSE XX series drops a new, exclusive collaboration every day until November 7. Most recently, ERL and Rick Owens stepped up with a chicken sandwich-celebrating hoodie and an American flag-print scarf with breasts (go look at the pictures in the link if you need more explanation), respectively. Martine Rose, The Elder Statesman, Jil Sander, and more heavy-hitters are on deck.
Reminiscent of this year’s Chloe Sevigny sale with a double-wrapped line around the block, The RealReal is having a mic drop moment, opening the floodgates on its charity closet sale featuring pre-worn picks from the likes of theeeee Kate Moss, Julianne Moore, Tessa Thompson, and my crush Annabelle-Dexter Jones, among a stacked roster of other iconic names in fashion. You could own a piece of It-girl history while $25k of proceeds fund efforts toward climate justice. (Also, not that it needs stressing, but no waiting in line for eight hours to buy a tube of travel toothpaste here.)
Zoe Gustavia Ana Whalen’s SS24 collection is available for preorders now, assuring us that the cyclical nature of the fashion calendar doesn’t have to be gear-grindingly mechanical. Whalen reworks old Levi’s into voluminous, laced-up “jeans” (an understatement), and deadstock silk taffeta into a horned corset dress that circles the bare stomach, a reminder of the body’s collaboration with each garment. ZGAW’s cycle feels like falling, again and again, a little more in love with a longtime partner.
As Emily Fitzpatrick of I <3 Mess noted over a year ago, the trend of “aggressive sexuality” (i.e. “naked cosplay”) cribbed from the aesthetics of the adult entertainment industry is rendered boring when censored, which Jean Paul Gaultier’s Tattoo collection can certainly not be accused of, its tamer turtlenecks printed in the style of traditional sailors’ tats overshadowed by hyper-realistic simulacra of full nudity: the pièce de résistance, a gown complete with printed, pierced nipples.
Another Tomorrow’s FW23 collection feels downright gleeful in the face of impending cold weather. —Iits stars are all knits, cut in recycled cashmere or wool sourced from New Zealand’s first cCarbon- pPositive farm— (it captures more than twice the carbon it emits)—with standouts like a louche polo sweater with a wide, collarbone-framing v-neck, and a delicately -ribbed poncho/scarf/snuggly sculpture chimera.
In one of those “Who cuts the barber’s hair?” riddles, but for who makes clothing Miuccia Prada would wear, the answer might be Lucas Ossendrijver’s FWfall 2023 collection for Theory Project, replete with steadfast classics that betray off-kilter details—a gray, v-neck sweater, of course, but with a silky georgette dipping below its hemline; a twill skirt with sunburst pleats and unexpectedly shirred waistline (someone hide the scissors); a reversible bomber in dynamic, yet muted, colorways…
Someone at Alaïa, as evidenced by its new collection at Bergdorf Goodman, has been drinking the Rei Kawa-kool aid. Lumps and bumps abound, bulging seemingly at random out of turtleneck arms and cut-out overcoats, but the collection’s successes are when it drops the Comme act and gives us some good, old-fashioned Alaïa mesh in the form of skater dresses or slingbacks.
Veja collaborated with Reformation on the Venturi sneaker in the style of a retro hiking low-top, complete with details like a wavy midsole and confetti-patterned laces that somehow evoke a '90s bus seat pattern On the other end of the vibe spectrum, Ref x NYC Ballet provides subtle tank + shrug sweater sets, bell-sleeved lace dresses, and of course, ballet flats, faithfully mimicking the technical shoe in shape and color options.
Mansur Gavriel and Apparis’ capsule collection is all furry coats and perky top-handle bags in cozy shades of “blueberry” and “rhubarb,” but the big draw is that all of this pie-filling-shaded leather is 100% vegan, made of apple waste (any bets on which TikToker will try actually baking it into a pie?).
Tekla and Birkenstock read as summer-leaning brands, with their crisp linens and easy sandals evoking the warmer seasons in their very nature, but the brands’ collaboration on a fall capsule recontextualizes the offerings of each player for cold weather, presenting us with plum and cream-toned PJs, unisex kaftans, and matching, fur-lined slides.
For a stalwart basics brand like A.P.C., tapping the notoriously experimental JW Anderson for a collaborative winter capsule is an interesting gamble, one that pays off in a restrained but compelling collection of cold-weather pieces, most notably a blood orange duffle coat with its toggle closures slightly askew and a hat, scarf, and socks all knit in glitchy, funfetti rainbow colors.
Mari Giudicelli’s nine-piece capsule for J. Crew capitalizes upon the downtown-y, vintage ethos that unites the two brands with sporty, shrunken hoodies cut in tan cashmere; woven, kitten heel mules; and wine-colored leather pants that all have a very Cool Mom vibe to them.
We can breathe a collective sigh of relief at the fact that, though its website was sparse for many months and it was conspicuously absent from the most recent fashion weeks, it doesn’t seem Maryam Nassir Zadeh is going anywhere, with silver-foiled ballet flats and spread-collar polos landing in time for the winter.
There’s also: Zara’s FW23 Studio collection is full of consummate holiday dresses and jackets, all very Old Hollywood and all under $350; Uncle Studios’ “93 miles” collection has everything from polos to tanks embodying the cozy, understated appeal of a suburban basement hang; veering fully into its jewelry origins, Éliou’s new collection is all black stone, pearl, and metal; Magda Butrym’s exclusive capsule for Luisaviaroma might mark the zenith of the rosette trend, with enough silken roses to make Tuxedo Mask feel emasculated adorning everything from the necks of gowns to diamond-drop earrings; Kenzo and Levi’s produce a collaborative capsule chock full of floral denim button-up dresses, blazers, and the inevitable dungarees; Veronica de Piante is on Net-a-Porter in a solemn but exquisite grayscale, from coats to lace tops; drapey cloth looks almost stained in the Wendy Artin capsule for Attersee, but look even closer and the print morphs into stretching, dancing figures; Flore Flore’s holiday hues are less traditionally elfish and more subtly evocative of a festive dinner—sage, cranberries, and gravy all come to mind; with a retro game plan, the Elder Statesman x Ugg capsule brandishes fur-tiled caps, slippers, and backpacks in a mod, but not chintzy, style callback; Desert Vintage’s new house-designed project Ténéré, a first from the revered LES shop, is full of gauzy, toga-style dresses, 100% silk caftans, and shirts inspired by elegant, ‘20s-style pajamas; and the Loewe x On capsule imbues devastatingly comfortable running shoes with a selection of off-kilter colors that scream Johnny Anderson’s influence from a mile’s run away.
What’s on sale
In its first substantial discount since the official sale, SSENSE has unrolled a coupon—FW2023 for 25% off a curated selection of recent arrivals. Nicklas Skovgaard is finally on the site, and it’s glorious, even more so in that the coupon works for the bounty of dresses now available, as it does for a stash of new Bode treasures like a quietly unhinged clown dress and The Red Shoes, as well as all of the above-mentioned Jean Paul Gaultier nude suits. A punkishly pierced Chopova Lowena leather jacket takes the 25% cut, as do Baserange’s latest offerings, like a gathered cerulean pouf of a dress and peachy ribbed scarf.
Anna October’s fall sale features its made-in-Ukraine pieces that ride the line between formalwear and lingerie, from silken slip skirts obviously meant to be worn to be seen (the cut detail on the hip is the giveaway) to wrap tops with strappy details that could be mistaken for a complicated bra situation if not for their intentional, elegant bell sleeves.
The probable winner for best deals on wintry accessories is Clyde’s archive sale, which takes up to 80% off samples like this laptop-friendly, sun-faded leather tote ($200 down from $458), a delightfully Seussian furry blue hood ($90 down from $244), the quintessential pair of black leather gloves for $100, and much more.
Elyse Walker’s 40% off sale takes some scrolling (hot tip: you have to wait a while for the next items to load when it seems like you’ve bottomed out), but you’ll be rewarded with Miu Miu paperbag-waist jeans, tiered Jil Sander midi dresses, a black tulle Et Ochs top down to $161 from $645, and more random-but-welcome deals.
In its fall sale, Re/Done is offering up to 70% off an array of jeans that notably includes a few lower-rise pairs—the low waistline has truly worked its way back into the collective oeuvre, for better or worse, and Re/Done offers a skinny-straight, cobalt iteration for $90, a low-slung denim midi skirt for $200, and other options for both fans of the hip-baring cuts and orthodox high-waist proponents.
Mohawk General Store’s extra 20% off sale-on-sale applies to modest basics, like a selection of Extreme Cashmere t-shirts and dresses, but click through its seven pages and you’ll see a quietly freaky side the store often keeps on the down low—J.Kim long-sleeves torn up and knotted back into place, Dries mesh opera gloves in a “nouveau camo” of abstract florals, a cardigan crocheted out of dozens of shockingly blue evil eyes…
At Shopbop’s poetically named “Style Event,” use STYLE to get 15% off orders over $200, 20% off $500-plus, and 25% over $800—shopping this sale is like an SAT problem on how to maximize your savings while wedging in as many Puppets and Puppets egg bags, operatic Molly Goddard skirts, poppy Dusen Dusen bath towels in beautifully perverse colorways, and nubby By Malene Birger sweater vests as possible.
Tangerine’s having an online sample sale, so at checkout, you’ll get 40% off already-on-sale pieces, from many of our friends, even—a striped Emily Dawn Long polo rings up to about $160, as do standout red and green earrings by Mondo Mondo, and a burgundy-and-yellow Gemsun raffia belt is $50 down from $140.
At up to 60% off, Kotn’s seasonal sale is the spot for $40 striped cotton vests, lyocell slip dresses for $75, and ribbed jersey long-sleeves for $51, all in colors ranging from deep, romantic plums to sandy neutrals and beyond.
Use FALLIN for an extra 40% off Madewell’s sale section, where you can create an entire outfit—let’s say a mockneck t-shirt, understated blue jeans, copper-colored penny loafers, and a creamy leather crossbody purse—for, in this case, $255 (though you can likely go even lower).
LoQ’s leather smoking slippers, square-toed pumps, and set of brass candlesticks that you can hold while creeping around your estate in the dead of night are all discounted up to 50% and very ready for Hitchcockian ingénue season.
Nonna’s sale gets an extra 20% off at checkout and spans a collection of Greatest Hits from MNZ Olympias (after all these years? Always) to Sandy Liang pinafores, Coming Of Age Everyday Bags in autumnal gingham (70% off with the added discount), and Mozhdeh Matin crocheted dresses from its FKA Mozh Mozh era.
There’s also: Multicolored knits and no-harm vegan leather are up to 70% off in Michael Stars’ online sample sale; take up to 50% off pages of asymmetrical knits and jpeg-printed jersey skirts in Elliss’ seasonal sale; for a limited time, Good American’s wide array of jeans are $70 each; in its mid-season sale, END cuts prices on its menswear from brands like Acne and Carhartt by up to 50%; take 25% off Tamara Mellon’s entire stock of shoes, from modest boots to gloriously immodest 5.12 (to be precise)-inch heels; and Ralph Lauren’s friends & family event slashes the prices of letterman jackets, oxford shirts, and other *Seventeen Magazine voice* Back To School Essentials!
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With contributions from News Editor Em Seely-Katz