Weekend Update

1. I feel like I’ve been harping about the great sales for the past few weeks – is it only me? Has anyone else been seeing some great sale deals? I haven’t had the best of luck the past few seasons, but this season I feel like I’ve been snagging some great deals (except for a Chanel cardigan which I thought I had but ended up losing out on….grr!). But the items I’ve found, have all been 50% off more more. There’s a lot of great items hanging around still, like this Saint Laurent white bucket bag.

It’s 60% off! and quite beautiful, no? Most years I feel a classic item like this would not have made it around to second markdown. So what’s going on? Is it just the economy? Please, I’d love to hear if you’ve all been noticing way more designer items around for deeper discounts lately.


2. Have any of you been following all the drama associated with Alber Elbaz’s parting ways with Lanvin? If so, you’ll appreciate this fascinating story via The NY Times, about the behind the scenes battle at Lanvin which is playing out in French courts right now. There’s some great insider info in this piece, including some tidbits about the lack of investment in the Lanvin brand and why there weren’t as many “commercial” pieces made as there could have been.

3. Do you like chocolate? That’s a dumb question, right? I love chocolate and love trying new varieties, though clearly I haven’t been very adventurous as I’ve never heard of Mast Brothers….that is, until I read a series of articles, detailing the controversy behind this “craft chocolate” brand, and why it may not be as certifiably “bean to bar” as its claims. Start with this Slate article – Chocolate Experts Hate Mast Brothers, and then go on to this Quartz piece.



4. If you have some time, I love this oldie (from 2010) but goodie article, via Vanity Fair, about the always fabulous Jacqueline de Ribes, The Last Queen of Paris. If you like it, I might suggest a followup article, via The Washington Post, which examines her life and coverage in the light of today’s social media celebrity driven culture. There are some great photos of Jacqueline and her fashion as well.

4. This week, I’m indulging in Tales From The Back Row, by Amy Odell.

Tales from the Back Row

Amy Odell is the editor of, and the book traces her path as a journalist in the fashion industry in New York. The book is a very fun read so far, with lots of tidbits about the fashion and luxury industry. I’d describe the book as pure fluffy fun, but not too fluffy, and since it’s non fiction, I’d put it a solid rung above chick lit. Odell is also quite likable and a good writer, so I’d recommend Tales From The Back Row to anyone who’d enjoy a nice little behind the scenes read on fashion.

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  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Saw you were feeling ill last weekend, I hope you’re feeling better this week!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I do think this year’s sales are unusually good; very deep discounts much sooner than usual. The bad news is that I do think this reflects a still shaky economic recovery which may not be as strong as once believed. Add to that the uncertainty about the impact of the Fed’s rate increase, gyrating stock market, continued instability overseas… And, I have to say that I wasn’t too impressed with the merchandise this fall/winter season. A lot of the designs seemed to be the same retreads, and yet offered at increasingly stratospheric, sometimes obscene (I’m looking at you Saint Laurent!) prices.

    • Reply
      December 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Perfectly stated! I’ve even noticed that luxury items are going on deeper discount first than the contemporary/”cheaper” stuff…maybe they should take the hint and stop raising prices.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Oh, Katherine, I feel like I’ve hit the chocolate lottery this week & must share it with you. Most of my students know I eat organic food, so many of them gave to me organic chocolates and chocolate-bars for Christmas. Two of my new favorites now are: 1) Dagoba Organic 59% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Lavender Essence & Wild Blueberries, and 2) Pascha Organic 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate. I’ve been eating a couple of little sections of one chocolate or another each night with either a glass of champagne or a cup of tea with Italian acacia honey, another student-gift that is light with a vanilla flavor and not as thick as most other honeys. This Christmas season I’m feeling especially jolly!

    Hope you and yours are enjoying the season,

    • Reply
      December 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      P.S. I know you’re “not supposed to serve champagne with chocolate”, but, well…..

  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I was able to snag a couple of great designer goods this sale season from a tan Givenchy mini Pepe Pandora, midnight Proenza PS1, a burgundy Proenza backpack, and even a Burberry Duffel coat at over 60% off! I really need to stop shopping, but the deals are too great to pass up.

    • Reply
      December 20, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Glad to hear another person is having great sale luck this year! Your items sound amazing.

  • Reply
    Ava Lon
    December 18, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Dear Katherine,

    Is it me or do you have a thing for bucket bags? 😉 Mansur Gavriel, this one – both so pretty – I think it’s time you reward yourself and get it! 😀 I was wondering the same thing re:economy? As for the Chanel card – if you mean the black and gold one you wanted – I think I saw it at the Chanel SoHo last week…not that I am trying to enable you or anything 😉

    Thanks for the interesting links to all the interesting articles and book – wow, so much drama at Lanvin!

    As for the chocolate, there is no question to the packaging of Mast Bros. – really, very beautiful paper, logo, typography, all that but inside…not so great, sadly. I’ve been to their store and watched them make it and it’s really a scene but it’s overpriced for the actual flavor profile you end up with. Hey, maybe you should do a chocolate post?! Lol! 🙂

    Another post idea – something I’ve been noticing more and more since sale season is upon us – about how SA’s hide stuff for their clients for the increased markdowns and all that stuff when it’s strictly against company policy (re: Chanel).

    Have a great weekend!


    • Reply
      December 20, 2015 at 10:31 am

      I hate the sale hiding!! I think that’s what happened to my Chanel cardigan. Oh well..I’m letting it go as even the sale prices are hideous this season!! I wonder if they’ll have to go back to 60% at some point?

  • Reply
    December 19, 2015 at 5:17 am

    If you’re ever able to get your hands on Tony Chocolonely’s chocolate, make sure you go for the sea-salt / caramel combo. The best chocolate ever, hands down! As far as I know it’s 100% bean to bar.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Chocolate… If you can get over to Palo Alto, check out The Chocolate Garage on Saturday mornings. They have an amazing selection of bars, some of which they commission. Also, Timothy Adams Chocolates on Bryant is making some fabulous chocolates and the store is super cute.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 2:23 am

    The only chocolates I really really like are cherry chocolate liqueur by marks and Spencer. Marks and spencer is a uk supermarket & this baby is only available for Xmas.

    It’s incredibly good. Dark chocolate that isn’t too sweet filed with krish liqueur and a cherry!!!

    Also find discounts happening much earlier. I usually do Xmas shopping and my own shopping on boxing day but some merchandise is already 50% off in early dec which is usually what you get just on 24/12 in past years.

    But then again I think a lot of things are now overpriced. I used to buy good quality t-shirts for lazing around home at $7 around boxing day sales which is 50% off. Now the same company is offering 50% off before boxing day but the tshirt is now $15 at 50% off!!!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I really enjoyed the Jacqueline de Ribes article. Thank you!

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