January 30, 2006

we’re luxurious like egyptian cotton.


white radzimir jacket, $2,855; silver arabesque-print silk muslin shirt with white pleated high collar, $1,975; ivory floral Jacquard pants, $975

i am obsessed with balenciaga at the moment. i have loved every collection that nicolas ghesquiere has designed for the house, and the spring/summer collection is one of my all time favorites. skinny brocade jackets and trousers, sleeveless pod dresses, silk print shirts with high pleated collars, knife pleated kilts, and long lace patchwork gowns worn with chunky heeled sandals: it’s downtown meets uptown.

what i don’t love about balenciaga are the prices.
$1,495 for a high collar silk shirt? i think i had one in 1983.

the it shoe of the collection, the “meteoric: sandal, is $3,500.

i know what you’re thinking: all that stellar construction and fabrication doesn’t come cheap. and it shouldn’t. but when does it become too much? the nytimes explored this back in september, when barneys simon doonan noted that business was strong and that there’s no price resistance anymore: “barneys shoppers will blithely pay $4,000 for this season’s must-have marc jacobs jacket.” the best selling coats last season were from prada, where most retails for over $5,000 and a few topped $10,000. prada had trouble keeping them in stock from the first shipment. doonan had another interesting quote in the times article: “i personally have huge price resistance. if something costs more than $1,000, i want it to be custom.” and doonan has the money to buy whatever he wants.

when it comes to clothing, i feel the same. i’m sure this balenciaga collection will be a sellout. i know some folks who have already ordered some pieces from the collection site unseen. i will go try on some pieces when the collection hits susan’s, the only store in san francisco to carry balenciaga. but i’ll be creating my own uptown/downtown look for alot less.

blue paisley cravat brocade jacket, $3,775; ivory silk muslin striped shirt with white radzimir pleated high collar, $1,495; blue paisley cravat brocade pants, $1,205;

chinoiserie jacquard jacket, $3,820; grey arabesque-print shirt with white radzimir pleated high collar, $1,975; chinoiserie Jacquard pants, $1,295.