187: The end of the search for the "right" fashion
Plus Altuzarra off the runway, Magliano's build-your-own-archive sale, and those Jamie Haller loafers for a rare 20% off.
After writing a newsletter about shopping for the past three years, it now seems inevitable that I would reach a point where I am no longer satisfied with the objective of discovering the “right” fashion. It’s not that my closet is fully optimized or that I finally know who makes the “best” thing in every category, but that that was never the intention to begin with, and it’s time to address and dismiss the forces that have steered me off course.
Magasin was never meant to tell anyone what the best cashmere sweater is for them. It was never meant to suggest anything at all, but to be a document of fashion over passing time: to report worthy shopping news and to keep a record of things I find beautiful and special. This was never a personal shopping platform, and it became a danger to the essence of the project when I began treating it like one—I let myself get caught up in the neutral noise of outside influence whose volume continued to rise, until I could no longer hear the sound of my own voice.
I began to doubt my instincts and became obsessed with the feedback loop of clicks garnered and affiliate revenue driven and making myself an embodiment of the content that I published. A vacancy grew at the heart of this blog that quickly filled with brands that made infraction-less, easily recommendable clothes but which anonymized me as a wearer. The Row is so beautiful on the runway, but it rarely agrees with my body. Toteme is just clothes…and I need more than clothes.
I don’t mean to alienate any specific brands, many of which are making lovely stuff that I will no doubt continue to wear and buy occasionally, but going down that path, I became the kind of dresser I most feared: one who wears perfectly sensible clothes with no drive to uncover something truly original, whether within or outside of themselves. I cheated myself out of the pleasure of learning about the world.
Under the algorithm, it’s easy to forget there are so many different kinds of people you can be, and just by acknowledging this dullness from the last few months, I feel the whoosh of my inner self returning. Even in the process of writing this manifesto (mini-festo?), it’s like my routine retail browsing has been chirtopracted, and my desire to seek out new and thrilling objects has been restored; I am getting back in touch with the physical feeling of excitement and desire versus adequacy and unconscious mental math.
From everything I’ve heard, these creative canyons are basically inevitable across all mediums. But thank you anyway for being an audience while I work through this particular knot that, as it turns out, comes with writing a fashion newsletter. Nothing has really been accomplished other than the relief of acknowledgment, which is important to me, nonetheless.
So what comes next? A No-Buy? A moratorium on any purchases until I can feel completely safe to trust the sources of my shopping whims? Unlikely. But if you notice a shift in this space, hopefully a positive one, it’ll be due to a concerted effort to attract the fashion ephemera most magnetic to the core-est Magasin.
And what could be more core than this: Presenting this week’s news.
Among the pieces just in at Altuzarra are a handful of looks straight from its runway: dresses are the main M.O., and the ‘Brigitte’ midi, with a feathery layered bust, is case in point for the embrace of wrinkly clothing that seems to come around each spring. A magma-toned tea-length gown comes with a poofy, ink-dyed bolero, and a capelet-shaped jacket pulls inspiration from Rosemary’s Baby, edging up a girlish silhouette with its shiny black leather.
Khaite R24 touched down at Bergdorf with a centerpiece strappy blue dress that looks a bit prom-y on the rack but transforms into something complex and soulful when worn, silk raining down the legs and pooling in strips on the floor. Low-heeled leather thongs tress up the toes in elegant cording, and a wide array of handbags includes a foldover tote/clutch the likes of which we’ve seen recently at Proenza and Peter Do—third time’s a trend?
The newest footwear releases from Camper include wine-colored, high-vamp ballet flats made with water-saving leather and recycled footbeds, cerulean lug-soled loafers, and heeled fisherman sandals that dupe the Hereu pair mentioned above for less than 50% of the price. All of this comes just as CD Achilles Ion Gabriel debuts his namesake RTW label at Pitti Uomo—a development that’s sure to make Camper’s stock rise.
As one of the most belated adapters of the football kit craze, Balenciaga’s Soccer Series makes up for its tardiness with quantity—the 32-piece capsule is divided up into five different-colored “teams,” from highlighter yellow to cherry blossom pink. Each offers pieces like oversized, jersey-style t-shirts, track pants, high socks, and hoodies, all emblazoned with many iterations of the Balenciaga logo.
Hereu’s R24 collection makes yet another case that 2024 is a blue year, choosing a saturated royal blue for its focal point piece, a pair of pull-on loafers braided at the seams. There are also new colorways of the brand’s iconic deconstructed loafer; a deep cherry iteration of its heeled fisherman sandals; and camel-colored, square-toed slingback clogs with more of that braided detailing that makes the craftsmanship of Hereu shoes so evident upon first glance.
In its SS24 collection, Marine Serre drapes a leotard and an asymmetric dress, both covered in its signature crescent moons, in clubby silver jersey, transmuting the fabric long relegated to athleisure into more traditional Going Out garments. On the day-to-day-wear end of things, a shapely leather trench is subtly embossed with the same crescents, which are also laser printed onto deadstock blue jeans.
Burberry seems to have interpreted the Lunar New Year as simply an excuse to break out the red dye with abandon—though the “new Burberry” designs and patterns continue to impress with their newfound energy and charisma, this capsule, which includes a warped houndstooth turtleneck sweater, a cotton satchel laden with chess piece-shaped charms, and a car coat that reimagines the classic Burberry check, has virtually nothing to do with the incoming Year of the Dragon.
There’s also: San Francisco’s Evan Kinori supplements his elegantly crafted menswear with handwoven rugs made from cotton and wool castoffs; and Frankies Bikinis’ SS24 collection focuses on ditsy florals and aughts-esque stripes, from its swimsuits to its pajama sets and cover-ups.
What’s on sale
All eyes this men’s week are on Magliano, which you would know if you were signed up to Sam Hine’s newsletter at GQ (I never skip a send); the young Italian designer’s tender, complex masculinity is as empathetically connected to the present practice of dressing as can be. Investing in a coat from the brand at the beginning of the season, as I did with a broad-shouldered lined trench with an artfully off-center belt, has turned out to be one of my better ideas—and the fact that so much outerwear is on sale up to 50% off via the Magliano site feels like a good time to ushers others to do the same for their personal archive. Based on his current trajectory, it’s not unlikely namesake designer Luca Magliano will wind up at the helm of a major house and his “early stuff” will become collector’s fare.
After watching enough seasons of trends cycle back in, I imagine you stop perceiving things as being “gardener-core” or “forager style” and instead accept that there’s a certain type of clothing that just looks like itself, aimed at an audience that just dresses like that, outside of any third party reference. Toogood, which I’m musing on in this specific example, does its category of not-gardener, not-forager fashion very well, and is thus deserving of the fanfare its receives from its niche yet evangelical following. Those among that crowd will be pleased to hear the brand’s current half-off sale dips below $100 on select, wholly themselves pieces.
Another illuminated name on the men’s week marquee, Our Legacy’s sale is even more accessible in both wearability and price. It’s like having a young Acne to load up on, with mohair cardigans and elevated flannels under $200, insulated parkas under $400, and Italian wool coats under $500.
Jamie Haller is being incredibly charming on Instagram this week, excitedly headed to Paris for her first time back in 20 years. I am getting all my kicks just watching along, but she’s also gone ahead and extended 20% off the site with CIAO (she’s pit stopping in Florence, lol) through Friday. By now, people know about her penny loafers, but just to reiterate, they are my go-to shoes for almost everything not heel-worthy these days. That’s where I’d start.
As excited as I am to see that Julia Heuer is hosting a sale, it’s the STOCK that has me taken aback. I’m used to seeing these SKUs in such low qualities via the brand’s retailers from their buys being laser-focused and units selling quickly, and taking in Heuer’s oeuvre all together is impressive, to say the least. I’ve never personally owned any pieces, though I plan to someday—what I can attest to is how shockingly cashmere-soft they are, nothing at all like Pleats Please despite the obvious similarities.
The Theory Outlet sale has reached its third degree of sale-ing, with an extra 20% off all sale pieces and on top of that, 10% more taken off at checkout. The outerwear is where it’s at: A wool-cashmere robe coat is under $400 with the layered discounts, over half off its original price; a hot-rod red leather coat is down to under $350 from $1,595 (!), and puffers, shearling bombers, and more abound.
Net-A-Porter’s sale is up to 70% off, with still-available selections from some of our favorite brands like Interior (this layered canvas blazer is a compelling transition-into-spring piece), Kassl (a navy rubber coat is 60% off), and Rodarte, with more than 30 mind-altering dresses to pore through.
Gemsun’s Winter Sale takes 20% off a selection of last season’s “gems,” from the consummate white cotton strapless dress to winterier accessories—we especially like the ear warmer headband stitched with the word “REMRÄWNERHO,” or “ear warmer” in German, backwards, now under $100.
Use LASTCALL for an extra 10% off two or more pairs of shoes from the Nomasei sale with pieces already up to 50% off—burgundy over-the-knee boots and crystal-studded loafers are on sale alongside a breadth of sandals and ribbed cotton socks.
The Guest in Residence FW23 sale takes up to 50% off last season’s cashmere goods, from a cable-knit sweater with its pattern extending onto the back of the piece (a rare find in today’s abysmal knit industry) to a ribbed beanie for $116 and short shorts that fill the void the the Gimaguas pair left when it sold out.
Eckhaus Latta’s end of season sale is now up to 50% off, with the prolific wide-leg Geode jeans going for $356 down from $712, the Garden cardigan in subdued alpaca wool under $300, and EL’s take on the omnipresent front-slit maxi skirt silhouette, this one with a double zipper, at $233.
Get up to 60% off in the B SIDES winter sale, with most of the straightforward blue jeans under $100, special pairs in Japanese yarn dye cotton denim, and accouterments like a fluoro pink turtleneck and $99 travel jacket to pair with the bottoms.
A huge selection of Repetto’s famous ballet-style shoes are on sale, from the original flats to a cap-toed iteration, butterscotch-colored pumps, wild platform Mary Janes in collaboration with Noir Kei Ninomiya, and legions more.
There’s also: If you’ve been thinking about the Maria McManus split-sleeve hoodie all these months like I have, it’s now 30% off in the brand’s increasingly discounted sale; the Matches Outlet sale I highlighted in the chat last week is running an extra 20% off, making the final price for a lot of stuff laughably low (Extreme Cashmere beanie for under $25, Yuhan Wang dress under $100); similarly, MyTheresa takes an extra 30% off sale that includes Brunello, Thom Browne, Chloe; striped, sequined, and cable knits are up to 40% off in the Sonia Rykiel winter sale; Anine Bing’s sale takes an extra 25% off kitten heel boots, scarves, tweed bags, and other winter staples; use SECRET for up to 50% off Mowalola’s unhinged graphic tees and famous Bundle bag; Tod’s sale continues with new styles of loafer, driving shoe, and moccasin in hundreds of colorways added into the mix; Wray’s online archive sale takes deep cuts off pieces that will charm fans of Dusen Dusen, Emma Mulholland on Holiday, and the like with its frenetic patterns and ingenious colorways; and Another Tomorrow’s end of season sale continues churning out discounts on business casual basics and elevated daily wear.
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With contributions from News Editor Em Seely-Katz