184: Mexico City through outfits
Lemaire at La Lagunilla, Lauren Manoogian over mezcal, Prada's omakase moment.
I can tell by how hard I’ve had to work to ignore my inbox that virtually everyone else is back at it. I got home Saturday afternoon, ignored everything except this draft on Sunday, and today, finally, I’m ready to join you all and slip into the stream of 2024.
My week in Mexico City, which ran cool in the mornings, LA-ish in the afternoons, and wintry past 7pm, was unstructured enrichment time with no agenda other than to wear things to food establishments. Outside of fashion week travel, I tend to pack in capsules according to mood, with blendable pieces reflecting my most realtime dressing hunches.
For instance, one of my favorite capsules—the dead of summer 2022 in Italy—consisted of matching linen sets, Pleats Please, fuckboy shades, a silk scarf every which way, and cargos. The latest, by comparison, is long poplin dresses, swishy bottoms, double-faced knits, pops of suede, knife heels, and “burro bags” (working on a theory that all the best bags lately look like what you’d wear riding up on a donkey).
Day 1, Look 1
Instead of the Airbnb address, I had my Uber from the airport drop me off a few blocks away, at Molino El Pujol, for hoja santa and avocado tacos, carrot mole tamales, and—because it was Saturday—enfrijoladas.
My travel look, as has become tradition, was made up of at least half Lauren Manoogian, in this case a belted long cardigan, plus a Banana Republic sweater that I’ll admit I don’t love on its own (the hem lands too high for me) but find great as a peeking-out layer or over-shoulder scarf. The unseen parts of this look (which I forgot to document running on three hours’ sleep) included my Bottega intrecciato hobo bag, navy Escada pleated pants, and Jamie Haller loafers that reappear below.
A weird arrival time and check-in time matrix meant I also wore some close approximation of this look to early dinner at Hugo (Condesa’s version of a Brooklyn natural wine bar with a food program worth traveling for—its Place des Fetes or Four Horsemen, basically).
Day 2, Look 1
Soeur Vertie Jumper, $295 / Lemaire Housse Dress, $787
$1,175 / Maribaudi Broken Heart Bag, out of stock (similar by Transe Paris, $422) / Maison Margiela Tabi Ballet Flats, $790 / my father’s Seiko watch (similar, $120) / ten-seventy-two Mila Signet, $232
Next day, Sunday, was for the Tianguis La Lagunilla, a flea market that rivals Paris’ Saint-Ouen. After breakfast at Panaderia Rosetta (had the guava pan dulce), I struck out shopping, overwhelmed by decision fatigue and differently shaped how-to-get-this-back-to-New-York puzzles.
I wore a lofty Lemaire shirtdress and Soeur vest, which I took off once it surpassed 70º. It folded neatly inside of my Maribaudi broken heart bag, now sadly sold out everywhere (the closest approximation of a substitute is somewhere between the Alaia heart bag and this one by Transe Paris).
Day 2, Look 2
Prada Suede Blazer, $4,586
$6,304 / vintage Fred Perry sweater (similar, $102) / vintage Courreges skirt, $285 / Swedish Stockings Olivia Tights, $29 $42 / Reformation Nickie Kitten Heeled Pump, $278 / Ayllon Casilda Pouch, $199
NYE. The Prada blazer makes its Mexican debut. Our plans were limited to an omakase tasting menu at Kill Bill (new place that’s kind of a mess, don’t recommend, tbh), so I left the Dries skirt I last-minute ordered from Net-A-Porter in my suitcase with the tags on and opted for a more laid-back inner ensemble: a vintage Fred Perry sweater I thrifted in Copenhagen and the Courreges skirt I bought off Chloe Sevigny earlier this year.
Day 3, Look 1
Dissh Tilly Longline Vest, $129 / Mark Kenly Domino Tan Skirt, out of stock (similar by Esse Studios, $440) / A.Emery Shel Sandal, $210 / vintage Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Hobo Bag, $1,400 (more here) / my father’s Seiko watch (similar, $120)
We lost a day due to Jan 1 being a ghost town in the highly Catholic and observant city. Not documented was the Escada pants-Fred Perry sweater-Jamie Haller loafer schlub-around look I wore to eat chicken mole and cochinita pibil tacos at Señor Taco.
When things opened back up the following day, I undid my miser’s remorse from the flea at an artisanal market in Barrio Chino. Dumping all the flight comforts and travel documents from my Bottega bag, it became my optimistically roomy market tote. I wore it with a Dissh vest that I’m candidly lukewarm on—it needs tailoring, maybe?—MKDT skirt, and A.Emery sandals that I finally figured out how to keep tied (double overhand knot with the tails tucked in).
And if you’re wondering: I went to market and I bought a pair of wool floor pillow covers, a decorative straw mask, two burnt Oaxacan ceramic vessels, a woven bag, a pony, a big fat hen, and this. From there, we went to Contramar, the best restaurant in the world.
Day 3, Look 2
We had reservations that evening at the beautiful Maximo Bistrot (which is apparently now just “Maximo”). I hadn’t been in, like, six years and found it boring—the food, the wine—yet technically perfect, good enough that you couldn’t really complain despite how immediately forgettable it was. The fact that both NYC-priced “fancy” dinners we had were so blah could mean my research was off this trip. I leveraged a well-timed Yolo Intel guide to update my existing maps (I’ve been to CDMX 10+ times), but didn’t act early enough to secure those aligned reservations on the higher end. Pujol would have been one and, after a drive-by on a booked-out night, Botanico would have been another. I’m curious about the state of Mexico City’s fine dining scene, though, since it seems both old and new are a bit lost as to what they are supposed to be and who they’re for.
Before I forget this is a fashion newsletter, what I wore was: an Extreme Cashmere cape-scarf (it’s huge), whose dark navy did something really elegant against two textures of black—an Almada Label cashmere top that absorbed it and Silk Laundry silk pants that pushed it away. Tibi’s Victor heels joined my army of pointy slingbacks with a clear differentiating factor: snap-off pockets!!
Day 4, Look 1
Another day, another market. In addition to the incredible, folded-oval bag I got at the artisan market the other day, I wore my Toteme double-knit top over a Loretta Caponi dress and later converted it into a sort of boxy sash that held its shape due to the stiff knit of the top.
We walked through the Floreria Mercado Jamaica, where I was marked by a couple of sketchy types who followed me until we caught an Uber to Mercado Medellin. From there, we walked to Centro, where we stopped for lunch at Cafe de Tacuba—posted above! so!! charming!!!—and then hailed a cab who ended up charging $1,000 to my card. I purposely didn’t wear jewelry for this outing but I still, knowing better, put a sundress-shaped target on my own back!
Day 4, Look 2
My Lauren Manoogian travel trench transformed into an elegant dinner and drinks outer layer…that’s what this chimera is for. I’m trying to find reasons not to wear it lest you all lose interest and there goes the newsletter—I’ve posted it on IG at least three times since getting it last month, like the fangirl nerd I am—but it’s tough to resist. It harmoniously frames both collared-shirt and turtle necklines, is actually warm enough to wear in a fall-winter temperature range, and absolutely snatches in my waist, etching out a devastatingly shapely negative space between torso and bell sleeve.
While I wore it to Jewish Christmas at Wu’s with an A--Company matching shirt and tie (great set), for this trip I packed a contrast-trim Charvet button-down I bought on The RealReal for way too cheap (discovered while editing Kaitlin Phillips’ gift guide for Magasin), which offers a different suite of details to play with.
This look toured a mezcal flight at La Clandestina and dinner at Martinez, Maximo’s little sister restaurant serving a millenialized version of Maximo’s own menu (higher acid, food truck-y fats, even a green goddess salad).
One self-assignment at the Lagunilla flea was to buy a pair of cufflinks for my Charvet shirt. I found a decent-enough pair or two but waffled too long and left without them. Not wanting its link-lessness to get in the way of my wearing the shirt, I fashioned a set out of a pair of post-back pearl drop earrings, which I liked astronomically more in this role than any proper links I’d seen during the week (including a pair of sterling Nike swooshes).
I had a lot of fun with this accessory stack, but you’ll have to deal with me being really bad at remembering the sources of my jewelry. I know second ring from top is Ayllon’s Sonia Ring, and bottom gold band is my wedding ring…Cartier, lol. Otherwise, if you’re the brand that gifted me either of the rings or pearl earring-links above, or someone who knows, please lmk and I’ll link out in the next send!!
Day 5, Look 1
So, I lost another day to food poisoning, which leaves us at the final night. I’m grateful to this Prada blazer for being a bit “pre-distressed”—some light, brownish patina on the edges of the lapels and whatnot—allowing me to more quickly get over the preciousness that can haunt one’s investment pieces. (I wonder if there is an inverse price-to-wear ratio to be discovered among our most expensive?)
Clearly, I’d gotten past that hang-up enough to wear the jacket out to Lucha Libre, where the chances of a liter of beer getting tipped over my shoulder ran high. My largely neutral wardrobe was no match for Mexico City’s brilliant, full-bleed color palette, and I was called to marry the Prada’s pink suede with my Maryam bag’s red suede—Barragánian stucco on the body—before I left.
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