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154: Might’ve buried the lede on this sitewide SSENSE sale
Plus Evan Kinori's FW23 lands, a better-than-Prada Tory Burch sale, and The Row for half off in the last place you'd expect.
Even though the process of writing this newsletter is usually one and the same as shopping it, after hitting publish on last week’s news send, I went back in and continued to parse through the SSENSE sale we’d reported on—25% off everything with FW2023.
It took me, I think, until right this minute to register that the sitewide code is a better get than what’s usually just called The SSENSE Sale, where piecemeal batches of product get small markdowns starting sometimes as low as 5% off.
Meanwhile, virtually everything the eye can see (barring a few exceptions) is down by a quarter its original price right now, no omniscient algorithmic weighting in sight. This Jil Sander fleece seems like precisely the thing you’d add to cart only to find excluded, however it’s miraculously some $350 off. I’ve surveyed a lot of long, tailored wool coats lately and I’ve decided this Filippa K is my pick before we head further pricewise into The Row territory. This Our Legacy blazer (love the high button—reminds me of one I just saw Desert Vintage’s Roberto Cowan wearing) is my nominee for a cropped option. And I’m tempted to grab a handful of Birrot pieces while I can, seeing as I can’t seem to decide between the button-y jacket, the button-y cardigan, or this wool-alpaca coat.
Beyond outerwear, these Auralee darkwash straight jeans I just bought in a few sizes were about $100 below asking. These MNZ Belmont boots (also in tan, brown, and blue) would get a ton of wear at a competitive price. Same for these Marsells (though more on boots coming soon). My taste in bags can basically be described as indulgent leather minimal shapes in J.Hannah nail lacquer-like colors, which this A.P.C. Virginie fits exactly; it’s below $500 (even though a lot of bags are excluded!).
As an aside, this Dries holiday-party layering skirt is well underpriced to begin with at $380, so I can live with it not responding to the code. And a final reminder to shop Nicklas Skovgaard (now on site and eligible for discount), plus I’d also add By Malene Birger, Acne, and Flore Flore for good measure.
What I can also appreciate about this promo is that nothing is marked as final sale, so if you’re also using this chance to try on and return, there’s less cash lingering in credit card limbo.
Evan Kinori, whose atelier I tried and failed to visit while in San Francisco earlier this month (forgot opening hours were a thing), is among the few makers keeping the Bay Area fashion—and overall design—scene alive, against what’s otherwise a pretty bearish backdrop. While opportunity and talent are hemorrhaging from a city with impossible rents and rising crime, Evan’s managed to foster a brand that grinds against the economic downturn. His just-landed FW23 collection includes tapered pants made of Japanese corduroy, wool field jackets woven in Somerset, England, and coats of Italian cashmere-wool blends; the pattern for each of which was hand-drawn and then sampled by Evan himself, and then produced in small-scale sewing shops in California.
The latest edition of COS Atelier’s elevated capsule series turns out simple silhouettes with an obvious eye towards more expensive brands: Jil Sander’s imprint is all over this collection, and plenty of the styling reads Khaite. But with 100% cashmere, RWS-certified wool, and nappa leather among the materials listed—at prices in the triple if not double digits—I’m not here to Diet Prada anyone. At any rate, COS has been on its “affordable” “quiet” “luxury” tip for enough seasons to have earned its spot as a trusty basics depot for more upward leaning wardrobes anyway. My highlights are the wool bandeau, the hooded wool dress, and a charming sterling silver brooch.
Tory Burch’s newest offerings have big substitute-teacher energy—sophisticated but on edge, with frazzled little details like a faux-broken heel on a pointy-toed stiletto and butt pockets that have migrated to the front of a deconstructed denim skirt. Balancing neutrals, like a camel-colored polo-collar sweater with a sharp front seam—all seen on the FW runway—hold the collection down so it doesn’t accidentally get stressful.
A uniform dresser’s paradise, the Peter Do Modular Collection is genderless, all-black, and filled with pieces that could be contextualized into a lecture hall just as easily as a black-tie function, with tuxedo-inspired tailoring on pieces like a stand-collar blouse with accordion pleats down its chest, a wool trench that gathers like a handkerchief at the small of the back, and a pleated skirt sliced into an abrupt high/low to be worn frontwards or backwards.
Serial collaborators independently, Jimmy Choo and Jean Paul Gaultier have inevitably linked up to bring the latter’s SS94 ‘Les Tatouages’ and denim trompe l’oeil iconography, plus tourist shop trinkets, corset detailing, and drippy chains to the former’s quintessential fuck-me pumps.
Beyond the expected iterations on its trademark Links Tote (including a compelling version in crimson and oxblood) SC103’s FW23 collection has a near-pious tenor, with a monkish herringbone jacket that gleefully profanes its solemn brown with bright red thread around its buttonholes and a sternum-baring, flare-sleeve paneled blouse that looks like the uniform of a dilettante oracle.
The standout moments of the Shushu/Tong FW23 collection come when the brand eschews its usual babygirlification in favor of cartoonish severity—less Matilda, more sexy Miss Trunchbull (free Halloween costume idea, by the way). This switch-up comes through clearest in its coats, one black with sleeves flared *just so,* a pilgrim’s lapel, and buttons as big as a mouse’s dinner plate, one nubby brown tweed with arms sculpted like parentheses around the torso.
Maison Margiela’s new Sandstorm collection, unselfconsciously genderless, is one that gets better the longer you stare at it—the central conceit, definitely a gimmick but also a genuinely thrilling aesthetic bid, is that the garments are flocked with tan rayon to look caked in windblown sand. Something about the zip-up cardigan and denim shorts especially feels ineffably emotional, like Harry Dean Stanton in the beginning of Paris, Texas was compressed into an outfit.
The latest Vaquera drop is full of cursed objects, from an enormous hoodie with an AI-generated face staring beseechingly out of its screen-printed chest to a zip-up balaclava sprouting a dark, curly mohawk from its crown, and though there are some more mature plays on the brand’s perverse sense of humor, like a “Fishnet Freakum Dress,” it’s impossible to overlook the scarlet eyes of its demonic tumbleweed of a “teddy bear” on a keychain.
Out of the fashion moment golf is having right now springs le Fleur x Lacoste, a collaboration that happily skews more Tyler, the Creator than ninth hole sex pest, as standard golf attire is wont to. The former brand’s signature pastels manifest in alpaca-blend sweater vests and pink wool polos decked in novelty buttons, its crisp but unfussy tailoring in knife-pleat midi skirts and trousers.
Recent RISD textiles grad Ben Doctor’s first commercial collection is available for purchase after winning over the NYFW crowds with its paean to the contradictory city: bratty graphic tights, belted gingham tap shorts, and disheveled double-breasted tank tops are highlights.
Ganni x 66 North offers a gamut of technical pieces, most cut in Gore-tex, that splice safety yellow, khaki, and black into inflated puffer jackets and sportstyle dresses in tune with 66 North’s Icelandic all-weather M.O.
There’s also: Mansur Gavriel is already seeing great changes since its founders returned to the brand, including the release of the Glove Pump (need her so bad rn); in more shoe news, Conner Ives and Wandler collab on a couple of boots that feel precisely like Dos from Vice’s notorious Dos and Don’ts column of the aughts; Hunza G taps Helena Christensen for a scrunchy, stripy lilac capsule; meanwhile, Reformation reaches out to Camille Rowe for a holiday collection it’s calling anything but (let’s go with It girl?); the second drop from Miaou’s PFW collection is here and full of huggy, stretchy pieces that keep the heat up when temps drop; Fruity Booty’s FW23 capsule is all mod prints and Liberty florals, from mesh bras and lacy underwear to matching over-the-elbow gloves;; Lululemon’s Wundermost Collection presents its ultra-soft “Nulu” fabric in myriad colors and base-layer shapes from mockneck bodysuits to crewneck long-sleeves—layering catnip for the months ahead; and Louis Vuitton Ski returns, reenvisioning a red, white, and blue color palette as wintry in monogrammed puffers and matching skis.
What’s on sale
The precise moment that Tory Burch woke up and became once again a brand to contend with has made its way through the fashion cycle and found itself on sale. I will earn myself haters for this, but I think new Tory is more age-worthy than a good deal of current-season Prada. I’ve kept my mouth shut about it for a while, and maybe this is a strange and sudden forum for dunking on the Miuccia-Raf project that I’ve had a hard time getting fully aboard with, but when I compare the projected lifetime of a pair of the season’s Ittest It shoes via Prada with the fantastic hook-and-eye tunics, mirrored skirts, and tailored wool blazers currently among Tory’s extensive sale pages, I know which of the lot will be tucked shamefully into backs of closets for feeling “dated,” and which will make their way into outfits with trusty regularity. All of which to say: If ever there was a time to collect “good, new Tory,” it’s now.
FWRD’s sale includes an unconscionable amount of The Row? Including bags for $1,000+ off? I am losing my damn mind?? They’ve made it (I think purposefully) difficult to filter the brand by sale items, but the major ones I’m pulling out are: a calfskin coat for $7,000 OFF, that cropped jersey Vic top for under $400, a compartment belt bag for under a grand, Ranger combat boots for $640, a leather Jasper bag for $1,100 off, and one last of these leather Dante totes at a $1,500 discount. There are some pretty good other brand discounts to be found—Matteu, Toteme, Acne—but I think we can all agree where the meat of the sale lies.
A sitewide sale is a very sweet treat indeed (see above, re: SSENSE), and we’re clearly being spoiled this week with yet another from Maison Rogue. The difference, though, is that it seems like they are no restrictions to this Friends & Family 25% off sale with FF25. Some St. Agni and Sandy Liang pieces caught my eye clicking through the pages, but I also though it’d be fun to should out some pieces I already own that you might’ve seen here previously: firstly, my new MNZ Julian bag in red suede that is simply SO important; this Ciao Lucia cotton poplin Charlotte top; the Agolde corduroys I keep talking about/wearing; this Corpus deodorant lol.
Maria McManus, who ordinarily doesn’t run sales (she says they have no plans for a Black Friday sale, FYI) is running an extremely rare sitewide 20% off coupon—MM102023. It’s only live for a few short days, so a few crucial callouts to consider during this period: the ladder-knit dress I wore during NYFW, the perfect heather gray winter layer, excellent drawstring cropped pants that I’ve loved seeing Maria wear with a matching vest (can’t find it on site tho!), and a blazer-wide leg pant suit to end all suits.
Matches made it hard to scroll past its 20% off Winter Sale (with WINTER20) by front-loading extremely current-season pieces like Lemaire puffer bags, Tekla x Birkenstock clogs, longline coats from Rohe (retailers seem really excited about this brand, SSENSE recent included them in a very tight preview edit), and this best-I’ve-seen-in-a-while Elleme leather bag that’s under $500 before the discount.
Act Series’ Mallorca-Berlin roots alone suggest a fantastic final product (silhouettes between edgy and oddball, phenomenal leather), and the delivery deserves all promised praise. The brand’s latest shoe drop from its AW23 collection includes flat-tipped ankle boots for women and heavy-tread boots for men—all of which, in addition to the rest of the site, is on sale with an unadvertised Friends & Family code: LAFAMIGLIA. The site’s Sale and Sample Sale sections are also eligible for the 25% off code, bringing some styles like this size 39 gray boot down to $123.
Presciently named Cult Form has amassed a niche and dedicated following for its sometimes-quilted, some-times bejeweled material studies, the entirety of which—including the just-launched SS24 collection Binoclard Cult—is 40% off with ARCHIVE40. I went into this with an eye to Miami Basel and came out looking at these black pearlwork tights, a navy pleated bra top, and red “Yorgam” shorts. This coat is a beyond-excellent contender for local wardrobes, though.
The hemispheric divide that clefts the States into the opposite season of, say, New Zealand, works in our favor at precisely this moment when Kiwi brands like Paris Georgia are ready to discount off their winter wears, just as our temps start dropping: chunky and thin jersey knits alike, plus boob-framing tops and faux leathers make up a few of the Collection 07’s sale offers.
Another contender for uniform dressers is the AnotherTomorrow archive sale, full of crisply cut, mix-and-match monochrome pieces, and though there’s a fair share of black—a shirred midi dress with a tiny, shapely v-neck would be “no-nonsense” if not for a cheeky cutout at the small of the back—there are brightly colored options, too, from brazen pink suit trousers to an oversized button-down in an energetic cornflower blue.
Gap is taking 40% off sitewide, plus an extra 20% off with ADDON—ample incentive to snoop around the brand’s attempts to remain on the up-and-up, style-wise, a mission it seems to be taking seriously with its “CashSoft” sweaters in the year-defining shade of crimson and ribbed long-sleeves cropped into proportions that make them look worth more than their post-discount $21 and change.
Dear Frances added a slew of winter styles to its sale section, making it easier to notice the subtle moments of tension designed into its footwear—Chelsea boots and knee-highs alike sport heels that jut out slightly from the shoe’s body, giving each an air of forward-marching kinetic energy, while a stiletto boot’s diagonally cut sheath and a combat boot’s baubled laces bring a sense of humor to the neutral-toned leather.
Items from Sunnei’s past seasons are discounted up to 70% in its “Selecta” sale with secret code edv*xYYkc, the brand’s prowess in color theory and pattern tomfoolery on full display with wine-colored leather sneakers accented with acidic lime and chalky lavender, curly-haired beanies in the teal of a Disneyland pond, and harlequin-patterned puffer jackets among the items on offer.
There’s also: Helmut Lang cuts its Core Collection down by 20%; and Revolve’s fall sale takes an extra 10% off 600 items, mostly clubby minidresses and stilettos with a few errant Agolde and Off-White pieces to be found if you look closely.
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With contributions from News Editor Em Seely-Katz