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159: Making outfits out of Maimoun's fall edit
Nothing ends up here by accident or algorithm.
I’m back in New York now, after a week or so in Southern California. I spent my first few days out there in Palm Springs welcoming the latest hotel in Life House’s portfolio to the neighborhood.
I should dedicate a whole send to Life House eventually, because I do have some vague hospitality-leaning editorial aspirations for this newsletter, but the short version is: I got tan, adored my huge room/massive cushy bed, the pool was warm, espresso martinis cold, etc. etc. It was newer and nicer than the Ace right down the street and much more comfortable than the one in DTLA, for reference. This wasn’t at all a requisite of me going, but they gave me a 20% off code to share (it’s PS.MAGASIN) that apparently works at all their locations, not just Palm Springs…Just in case you want to go, which I highly recommend.
From there, I went to LA for not enough time to get much accomplished on top of work. The cornerstone of that stretch was a pilgrimage to Maimoun’s nascent brick and mortar—it began, and still operates, as an equally fantastic online store. Mina Alyeshmerni, the owner and buyer, is a rare talent for talent. Her eye for new designers is closely followed by certain mega-retailers who won’t be named here. Olivia Lopez, who I crashed with when I was in town, said it was among the few buys that make you really want to shop when you’re in the store, which, as a die-hard online shopper, I have to agree with.
I spent some time trying on the latest collections, pulling together outfits that will stay on my mind for a long, long time, I’m quite sure.
I had different ideas for this look when I pulled the pieces from the rack, imagining the Extreme Cashmere in the role of a sarong wrapped around the Baserange dress—I have something in the works around winter sarongs, so watch this space, you heard it here first, etc. But seeing that the wrap was too long to play that role (it is essentially a massive, bouncy triangle of cashmere), I iterated and landed on something I enjoyed wearing more than almost anything.
I ended up taking the Extreme Cashmere home with me, because I simply wasn’t satisfied having styled it just one way. I think maybe it’s better explained as a wedge of blanket? But it’s vibrating with possibilities. It’s going to be a dress, a scarf certainly, a sarong when I crack the folding protocol.
If you haven’t touched Julia Heuer pieces before, you might think they feel like stiff polyester, like Pleats Please. But the twist is that they are tissue paper-thin and angora-soft. The accordion sleeves of this top can be extended out past the fingertips with no perceptible resistance, only to bounce perfectly back into place like a slinky succumbing to gravity. It’s a remarkable thing, what she’s figured out with this textile.
It was also total kismet that the hem of the top landed just over the top of the built-in belt that sits low on the hip of this Paloma Wool skirt; I keep discovering new ways to have fun with proportions, and this was one of them. Meanwhile, another thing that is a scarf but so much more: this MNZ lambswool rectangle. So simple, yet so essential in grounding this look.
I sat next to Anne Isabella at a dinner during Paris Fashion Week, where she told me that she had gone “simple” for SS24—she was very pregnant and, with a small team, wanted to be kind to herself through the process—building on motifs from past seasons to inform the abbreviated lineup. This dress, from her current FW23 collection, proves the strength of those components. A slippery jersey knit with floral boob spirals in an almost bandaid beige; it’s easy-wearing but not pre-chewed.
They’re not the most apparent from this angle, but I did double takes twice on these Alizee Quitman earrings: first, in taking in all of their intricacies, and second, on seeing their price—$172—which should frankly be much, much higher for the time and skill that went into them.
Lucille Thièvre Second Skin Glass Cardigan, $620 / Maryam Nassir Zadeh Pisco Sweatpants, $398 / Maribaudi The Broken Heart Bag, $450 / Maryam Nassir Zadeh Rose Carnation Scrunchie, $70 / vintage Dolce & Gabbana slides (similar from By Far, $390)
When I said how much I liked wearing this look when I stepped out of the dressing room, Mariona Vilarós (who took all of these pics) said it was a very me outfit. Which is probably true but hard to know about yourself from inside yourself. There’s a minimum share of Maryam Nassir Zadeh (the sweatpants, the scrunchie), plus a couple of pieces that I’d had my eye on via the Maimoun site since they landed.
The Lucille Thièvre cardigan is deadly sexy but gives you a pass for also being very cool and arty (high neck, crazy stones for buttons). And the Maribaudi bag is precisely the kind of thing that lands Mina her high-profile poachers—the Spanish designer hand makes all of her pieces out of repurposed fashion waste, and while I’ve yet to see her stocked elsewhere, I can guarantee it’s not for lack of trying on the parts of more powerful retail platforms.
Maimoun is one of those rare forums where it feels like shoppers and brands can really connect with and understand one another through the clothes. It takes on the risk of new viewpoints, which casts the lens of perspective across its entire inventory. Nothing is found on the racks by chance, nothing is the byproduct of an algorithm.
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Photos by Mariona Vilarós