Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My finds

So, here's what I got for myself. I also snagged a few items for friends that I'm not listing here.

New editions:
Josie romper, size 8 in black. I am very happy with this and grateful to Cindy for pointing its location out to me. These were at the front but because they were next to some other black recuts, I'd have not noticed it. There didn't appear to be too many of these and they are lovely--I wanted a Josie last year and I wanted a black jumpsuit this year and now I have the two in one.

Ilaria in pansy lace, size 6. Lovely dress but one that has to be kept away from the cats! The detail on this lace is amazing--it's the lace on the front panel on the Zhazra top. I loved the Sylvania on the postcard but love this even more.

Nieves dress in black, size 6. Sleeveless A-line dress that is in the same black silk as Josie and the Nieves top from SS 08. Marti got this with the red embroidery at the top. It also has pockets!

Resort 08
Jemeen in ivory, size 8. For some reason, the ivory seemed to be smaller than the black and white. I already had this in black and white but for $75 I couldn't resist. Plus it gives me something with a little ivory paisley on it (I love that fabric) and it is such a great easy dress as so many of us have noted.

Nia skort, size 10, black lotus print. Will be great with tights and will also be an incentive to me to get my legs back in shape for summer! I got something in the lotus print too although I had so wanted Zenith which probably went in F and F.

Holiday 08
Lena dress, size 8. OK, it was $200 but this was on my wish list and I know I'll wear it forever.

Zeta top in black, size 6. Love this top. Again it was one of the more expensive at $150, but it was always expensive, like its sister, Lena. It's also amazingly soft.

Otto coat. Thanks to Monica, I scored the only one in size 10 and can wear this for Rebecca's Bat Mitzvah in June. It is a work of art.

(Addendum: this means I likely have a greater percentage of the Holiday 08 items than any other Mayle collection. I now own the above plus Penilope, Thea in putty, Zora in black, Helen in persimmon and the Gaia pants).

Fall 08

Liliane dress, size 6. I feared I wouldn't fit into this but I actually needed the 6. Useful dress but I think it was cheaper in Barneys than at the sale ($175 here). I think this will get a lot of wear over the years. I love box pleated miniskirts.

Olympe coat, size 10. Someone snagged the black version I had intended to buy so I ended up with the ivory. I think I'll get a lot of wear as this is a very warm coat, but it doesn't thrill me the way Odette did, or Raisa and Vera for that matter.

Yves scarf in black. How could I resist for $15? I have the cardigan in the lavendery tan/black from pre-fall so I didn't go for that colorway.

Spring 08

Celia dress in ivory, size 6. Runs really large. I thought this would be too transparent but when I tried it on at home, I loved it. It will be a great summer basic and may even get an airing this week if our crazy sudden summer continues (91 degrees forecast high today and I was wearing my Vera coat earlier this week).

Araceli dress, size 6, in blue. Thanks to Cindy. This was the dress I wanted on ebay earlier this year and lost the auction--even before I bid, it was over the $150 I wanted to pay. I think this only just fits, but it can't be too lose as the front will gape and be really revealing. So I got the Mayle cotton dress I wanted--not Elvira, but I hope that will, one day, find its way to me, along with Izadora, Tana, Haverhill etc.

So, a nice stash of surprises and recent wish list items. I was surprised that some pieces weren't in the sale (like Marion), but that's how it always goes. I am satisfied.

Photos to follow.

Please share your own finds!

Mayle Sample Sale Report, Part II

Most people would decide one day dealing with the lines and the frustrations of limited merchandise was enough, but I can get obsessive about things I love. Besides, I was curious to see if there was new stock (as there had been in previous years, like my beloved Sonya dress) and, moreover, I wanted to check back in for friends who wear small sizes. On Friday, I had seen next to no size 0 or 2s--except in items like Theodora and Helen that my friend already owns, and coats that she has no use for. There was also that temptation to see if there were any markdowns and to see what was left after all the shopping fervor had died down.

So I agreed to meet Cindy at 2 at the store--hanging out with her is always so much fun--and we're both curious about markdowns.

When I got to Elizabeth St., I was almost afraid to look. There wasn't too much of a line, but there was a line nonetheless. Within a few minutes, a Mayle representative counted the next ten people in. I was now third in line. I waited about another 15 minutes in the sun (not bad at all) and watched people leave with smaller bags (they only had the large ones out yesterday) or empty handed. I realized from this that stock had to be pretty low. People were still asking what was going on and why we were in line--it seemed funny given how huge the line was on Friday compared to Saturday.

When I got in, there was a lot of new re-edition dresses left. Very few bags--just two or three travel Billies, three baby Billies available for special order. I assumed they hadn't received the full size Billies. Little did I know that I'd missed them completely. I guess everybody missed something. While I'd have loved a bag, I would rather have had some of the archival pieces but Doris later assured me that they didn't have Izadora and that most were in 4s or smaller 6s so I wouldn't have fit into them anyway. I regretted not ordering the Fedosia coat on Friday--the ones I saw were lovely and they were all gone. I should have gotten one of those rather than Olympe, but that's the way things go. I nearly got another Raisa in gray (they were still there), but I don't need two nearly identical coats, much as I love them.

Amidst the new dresses were the Sylvania in pansy lace and the ivory gauze lace used for Pina and Pilar at $465 or $425 (I forget). These had come in, presumably that day, and were beautiful but wouldn't have fit me--the largest were in a size 6 and it was such a small 6 that I couldn't get the dress over my hips (had it not opened at the front, I wouldn't have got it on at all). This was odd as the Sylvania top fitted me fine. I think I prefered my Ilaria anyway--I love the button detail at the front, the lacy collar and the drape of the skirt. It was also $265 and a size 6 which fitted me well.

The Shijos were also in. Mainly in cotton prints like Via Rita, this also only went up to 6 (or that was the biggest size left). It didn't really fit me and was $265. I passed.

Two Pitsulas also came in--one in black with white lace trim and some black lace also on the sleeves. This was the same textured fabric as the original ivory but in black. There was something about it that reminded Cindy and I of Therese. The other Pitsula was very much like the Violetta from FW 07--it used the same white eyelet over black silk. Both were down to $100. Both were really nice and ran true to size but Pitsula doesn't fit me at all--my shoulders are way too broad. These were nice, very Mayle and probably very late in, hence the price.

Other than that, there remained a rack of re-editions, slightly picked over, but still the same price as Friday (about 40-50% off the original prices, bringing them in line with Shijo and Ilaria).

Josie rompers were all gone. Cindy wore hers yesterday (it looks amazing on her). I'm wearing mine now. I love it and Evan really likes it too (he also thought the Ilaria looked great). Two pairs of the black star clogs remained.

Back to the old stock. Prices were about the same as Friday--just a very few pieces were marked down, including the three remaining Tamas from F/W 08 which were now $100 not $175. I wished they'd had the 10 I needed but these were a 4, a 6 and the sample (6). I think that's all they'd had the day before.

Remaining were Betto and the top version, Theodora and Helen in size 4, Rosamelia in both black and white, Delaura, one grubby Josefina, two Ninon cardigans (one of which I snagged for a friend), both in brown, both smalls, very few Gia camis and one sample black Sabbia top with no embellishments, a few Zhazra, 1 size 4, mainly 6s otherwise (this runs small), Marie Laure and Eunice pants in odd sizes, incl. one Gaia that wasn't there yesterday, two Lana dresses in 6 that weren't there yesterday (still $200, probably the reason they didn't sell), a few Simone sweaters (again, runs small and was still $125), lots of Mariposa tops in all black (made specially for the sale) and 1 or 2 of the originals which were far higher quality, Vita pants in black and in white, 2 Suzelly jackets, 1 Hilaire dress, 2 Lucienne dresses (still $175 and ran very small), one Claudie top in cream and one Claudie short sleeved cream vest. That was about that. No 8 or 10s again, few large 6s, very few 2s (mainly in Betto or Theodora).

So, slim pickings really but there was some stock left and those who were in the store seemed content to pick up an item or two at these prices. I love Theodora and would have loved to have gotten one in size 10 but Jane never recut this in the larger sizes. I have to say that had she done this, there would be a lot of demand. Girls were trying to fit into this dress and couldn't--it always ran small in the back and arms. Still, these decisions are not mine to make.

The crowd wasn't such ardent fans--people were surprised they had to wait in line outside and some just walked away rather than wait 15 minutes in the sun. Many wore DVF or other designers, or just jeans. People seemed happy to get something or were not unhappy if there was nothing for them. One really nice woman was very happy with her Mariposa top in the bright colors, another was thrilled with the top in the Betto design, which looked great on her. The Pitsulas were the best new item.

I got nothing for myself. I would have got the Zhazhra but the 10 I needed had a large dust mark that was going to require dry cleaning so I passed (fortunately I discovered this as I was checking out, just before I paid).

I was pleased I went. It was fun to see Cindy, try a few things on, and get things for friends. I would have loved a leather Billie or Fedosia and was a touch disappointed--the first I thought should have been posted at the very least so we could order them, but the latter was my fault and mine alone. I suppose I wanted to stick to my list and didn't want to spend over $300 on a single item other than a full size Billie and a pair of clogs. But I don't feel the same regret as I did over putting Sascha back in 2007 or not getting the red resort gown. Those were silly decisions on my part and I would have loved to have gotten them had they reappeared at this sale or the last (I bet they went to F and F customers in 2008, the sale I had to miss because of my California conference).

I guess my main thoughts on the sale are that it was slightly disappointing. I wish archival promises hadn't been made, or that they had made enough Billies and Fedosias to match demand. Given that there wasn't as much stock as there was demand, I wish Jane Mayle had ran the F and F sale for only 2 hours or so, not a full day. I don't say this for me--I did as well as could be expected, given what was there--but for those other people who waited for hours to get in on Friday and left with very little. Some waited for over 6 hours and may have found little in their sizes. The postcard overhyped the sale--and it was a sale for which no promotion, no hype, was necessary--leading to some bitter discussions (see Clearly, a brand like this, closed in its prime, has many followers who wanted to stock up while they could--F and F or not--and I am convinced that a postcard saying that there'd be some new stock because there was limited old stock would both be more truthful and allow people to have more reasonable expectations. Of course, this could have also backfired with people arriving at midnight. I guess there is no way to handle the limited supply/excess demand issue. Even new editions isn't always enough when people want stock that they missed like Haverhill and Elvira, and the fabrics may no longer be available, nor may it be cost-efficient to recut some items for a sale and sell them at the expected prices.

So, overall, I am happy. As with all sample sales, I didn't get all the items I'd hoped for and I got some pieces that weren't expected but I am very happy and grateful to get what I did. Still, if anybody doesn't pick up a full sized dark leather Billie or a Fedosia in 8 or 10, whichever would be my size, I hope that the store will contact me! Elise and Christina do have all my contact information, after all...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mayle Sample Sale Report, Part I

This was such an exhausting and insane event that I'm going to probably blog about it more than once. But I wanted to get something down before memories fade.

First of all, the lines and wait was intense. Some of us got there really early as adrenaline and anxiety won the day over sleep. I was 6th in line (I got there at 7.50 am). The line was probably 30 people long by 8.30 and stayed that way until around 9-9.30 when it exploded. I couldn't count the people (the line was at points 4-5 people wide) and it snaked down to Houston street by the time the sale opened at 11.30 (typically Mayle, it was a little late). Reporters from NY magazine and racked were there in force.

Crowd control was reasonably good. 10 people were allowed in at a time, with a few groups entering fairly quickly (I think they made sure there were only about 30-40 people in there at a time, but it was tough to tell). It was never empty in there, but it wasn't that packed or that panic stricken either. We were there for a shade under 2 hours (including bag check and byzantine check out process). By the time we left, the line was as long as before. Simply put, the demand way outstripped anybody's ability to service it. I think most people waited 3-4 hours to get in, whether they arrived 4 hours early like some of the first people, or got there at 11. It was surprising to see how some people drove up at 11 and looked aghast that they couldn't just park outside and walk in and shop.

As for the sale. It was a really mixed bag. It was not as good or well stocked as the legendary June 2007 sale, nor was the stock as cheap. The sale was/is being held in the back stockroom, so you entered through the office entrance to the side, checked bags in the big room that used to be used for old season's stock, and then entered the rest of the office area. First part of the staging area was for re-editions--the older ones were about half price/40% off--dresses averaged about $220-250; the new re-editions were full price (Vanya, Michaelas in another set of fabrics)--many around $400-475. Nobody paid attention to them. There were also some Olympe coats ($225), recuts of Fall 07's Raisa coat for $325 in black and in gray (lovely--I already own this--it runs a little smaller than the original, about a full size). There were also Josie rompers from SS 08 remade in black silk ($195), Ilaria (?) dresses based on the shirt from SS 07 for $265 in pansy lace and the Esperanza fabric, both the black and yellow colorways. Above these were new re-editions you had to special order: the new Florinda coat ($365? $325?), the pansy lace Silvania (over $400) and the Shijo dress in a variety of cottons (esperanza fabric, Via Rita and another white fabric). I think these weree about $265 too. Shoes and bags were also staged here. No Billies or Baby Billies made it to the sale. Jeanne had sold out on Friends and Family day the day before (more on that below). Huge Billie travel bags in leather and in fabric were $395 and were selling fast, especially the lovely purple one. The shoes were leopard clogs and a star version in black and silver and another matte grey pair (by far the most popular). These were initially going to be special orders as they only had the samples, but they came in around 12.30 and were immediately snatched up. They were $350 and had higher heels and a lower platform than the originals. They also ran narrower so they were no use to my wide feet.

The other staging area at the back was where you found older stock. Almost all the archival pieces had gone the day before during F and F. I doubt there were many such pieces there but it was a bit disappointing. Even if we hadn't been able to fit into them, many of us agreed we'd have loved to have seen them.

As for the stock. First of all, accessories. Slim pickings here. No belts, other than some made for reeditions. Only three pairs of ankle boots from the holiday reeditions--two white in size 36, one tan in 42 (alas, no 40 for me). $175. Samira soft-fold clutches in the satin--$50. A new lace clutch for either $50-$75--not the leather/lace one--black lace over green or pink fabric. Make up bags for $25. Madcap slippers for a song (nobody wanted them then or now), denim Jeanne bags for $75, Carribea suede bags for $125, Yves scarves in both colorways, $15. A few random old shoes in tiny or really large sizes that were immediately snatched up, along with the couple of belts that were actually real Mayle belts in fabrics from earlier seasons. Not much of any interest.

As for the clothing, not as cheap as 07, not as expensive as 08. No set price for all dresses, or all tops. Instead, styles individually priced. Basically there were 4 racks of styles--some restocking was going on, but there wasn't that much variety. Sizes 0, 2, 8 and 10 were in really short supply. I saw virtually no 10s or 0s (and I was looking for both). Most items were 4 or 6.

Knitwear. Virtually none. The new vests with the big woolen loops (not for me as they weren't my style) sold out within 10 minutes. From the old stock, the Ninon cardigan which was $75 and was not flattering on me (and too rough for my liking) was plentiful but few people were buying. A few Jeanne style sweaters with short sleeves in pink and ivory for $75. A few random ivory pieces in other styles which were snapped up soon--only in S.

Dresses. Here's what was plentiful, although sizes were largely 4 and
6. Most dresses were $125-$175, although some were $200. Lucienne
(which was an odd fit), Liliane were $175 which was odd as they were not
that expensive originally. The Lena from holiday was $200. All stock from SS 08, FW 08, Resort/Holiday 08. Note that most styles were not represented in the sale as they had sold out. Some items that were there when I first got in were snapped up within minutes:

Lucila dress (SS 08). Probably the most plentiful, although it looked like these were a little grimy but that could be the light--no windows in there and it wasn't that bright. $125
Mariposa dress--I think mainly 4s--I think these were $150. Stocked at the front by the coats.
Rosamelia (I didn't look at sizes, this one runs very big). No idea of price. Mainly ivory, some in black.
Ebba in black--runs smaller than the blue and I am not sure of sizes (I think I remember 4s and 6s). $125
Theodora dress--runs small, lots of tiny sizes. Both black and persimmon. No idea of prices as once I found no size 10, this was scratched off my list. I think people who wanted this already had it. Sample versions without the embellishments were available and I think were $125?
Tama dress--I think $150-175
Mirabella in the ivory/black colorway. These went fast. I think $175-$195.
One Kaori sample, no embellishments, $175
Jacinthe in black, in lavender/tan and a few ivory paisleys that were snapped up fast. Surprised to see this here because it was originally sold old before reductions. Must have been a recut from the original factory. I think this was $195. It runs short and a little small. I tried one on in a 6 which not only didn't fit me, it was horribly unflattering (largely because of the size issue).
Astrid--in lavender and tan and in ivory paisley. $375. Runs very big--4 fit me--and looks like a nightdress on. I passed. It is just not right for me.
Jemeen--$75. Both in ivory and in black and white, although the latter was selling out by 1.30 so I imagine this went yesterday.
Betto and the top version, Phoebe--nobody was interested in these.
$125 and $75 respectively. Fair amount of sizes but no Ls or XS.
Hilaire--I think this was $125
Lucienne in size 6 and 4. $175. Runs pretty small because of the way it goes in at the bottom. I couldn't get away with it because the bottom would have torn.
Celias in size 6 ($95) in ivory. Just a few of these. All size 6--and this dress runs large.
2 Reikos in buttercup, size 6--I think these were $195

There was also a black Nieves dress--a sleeveless dress version of the top in the black silk from SS 08 for $95.

Tops: Fewer styles, but more stock in most of these.
Paz camisole--lots of these, flimsy and in a beige. Probably cheapish
Gia camisole in blue, Gia in black.
A few ivory Zoia tops.
Delaura top--I think this is plain ugly
Zeta top (runs big)--most expensive top at $150
Helen blouse--black only. No idea of sizes or price as I have this in persimmon.
One or two of the Athenas in black and persimmon that are like Helen.
Dezhra--no idea of price, mainly in ivory
Claudie tops in beige and black--don't know sizes or prices. Sleeveless version also available.
ivory Paradiso Mitsuko, 6 only--several of these. This top is cut narrow in the back.
Mitchie in dove and rose, sizes 4 and 6. I think this sold out before I left.
Anahi in size 6 only (runs big but it is beautiful). $75.

Pants/Skirts--Other than Nia, very few of any of these
Nia skort--$75, both colorways
miniskirt from holiday/resort in both black and tan
a few random pairs of pants, mainly sizes 2-6

There were a few other isolated pieces that sold out or were grabbed in the first minutes. One black Thea ($125), a couple of Ottos in larger sizes ($195), Lena dress ($200--although a putty and black version that didn't go into production was also there when I left for the same price).

There were also random samples--Senna jacket (size 6) in gray gabardine with lavender lace centerpiece for $95. Just a little too small for me, or I would have got it.

Basically, if I hadn't got up early and had great friends passing finds to me, I wouldn't have got that much. I scored some nice pieces but this wasn't the sale for the ages that the 07 one was.

Payment and check out were in the shop itself (no stock there) and you exit through the store door.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So,this month has been a mixed bag so far. One of my main stresses--and there have been many--lay with my health care termination. This weekend, I received a package from GHI. I got COBRA! So, hopefully, the big bills I received will now largely be paid. Still no news from my prescription drug plan (that can run thousands of dollars a month for IVF) but at least some of the news was good.

Still no news from the job I interviewed for last month. After a week of mourning, I've realized I likely came in second and will not be hired. So, I'm putting that one behind me and hoping that the future brings something even better. In the meantime, my classes for the fall are pretty much full, so that's pretty flattering.

Meanwhile, the weather has been alternating between spring and fall. After 78 degrees and sun on Saturday came thunderstorms and cool winds yesterday. My Mayle Vera coat is still drying out on a chair after I got caught in the rain on the way home from class last night.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I love Astrid, especially in paisley. I really want it. It would be easy to pick up the phone and buy it now, or rush into Elizabeth St., credit card in hand.

But with the sample sale looming, I am trying to be sensible and show the discipline I won't display next week. So, on that note, I'm at home with the cats. The windows are open, sun is streaming through. I'm wearing Melia and listening to Stereolab and putting the finishing touches to next week's lectures.

If it is meant to be, I will have Astrid next week, but I think I want Izadora, Elvira and a few other pieces even more.

New Re-editions--pictures up on Picasa

Any thoughts? The beautiful blue fabric from my Sonya makes a comeback. The Reikos are quite different from the ones we've seen before. Other items that are in include nia skorts and Barcelona dresses, for those of you who don't get the tweets.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

... And feeding my own

I just checked twitter. Astrid dresses are in at Mayle. I guess I'll be heading over tomorrow even though I want to save the money for the sample sale. Such a dilemma!

I think this is a record number of posts for one day. On that note, time for bed.

Feeding a friend's addiction

My dear friend Jane is a bag-a-holic. Her brand of choice is Kooba (she's as into Kooba as we are into Mayle). This week, Kooba had a sample sale in midtown, ending today, so I went over there this afternoon for her and spent about 90 minutes in there, alternately digging in sample boxes and looking at the regularly discounted stock all while balancing my phone, laptop and bag full of coffee, shampoo and other basics I'd picked up earlier.

It was surprisingly un-crowded but it was also odd to be at a sale surrounded by fans of the brand when I know so little about it. I have a Kooba bag that I love, thanks to Jane picking one up for me at Saks' huge sale back in November, but I am not a fan. Around me people knew the names, histories of each item, etc. I just saw bags, some nicer than others.

But we made out like bandits. Jane wanted one bag that was $150 (down from $695) which I picked up for her, but the rest of her finds came from the sample room. Shortly before I left, a woman dumped a huge pile of bags marked with a purple ribbon--which meant they were $40. Many were perfect, even though they were samples or returns. I grabbed four--two for Jane, and the two that she didn't want, I kept. It turned out they were mismarked--they should have been $120 each. So, I spent $90 on two leather shoulder bags, one brown, one black, and another $285 on bags for Jane, which she'll pick up when she visits me in May. Each of the $40 dollar bags were over 90% off--the brand averages around $695 for most bags.

So, if I see a Billie bag, I will get one, but I can't say I need any bags now. I have my Agnes, Billie Doux and three Kooba bags. That seems good for now.

Meanwhile, Jane would probably laugh that I feel that's enough. It's an interesting reversal here--it's like someone being on the other side of my Mayle obsession who might think I have as much as I need and may not be able to tell the difference between Melia and Mirabelle...

But it was fun, got me out of my moping, and when I came home, I still hadn't received anything about healthcare or the job, which means I can relax tonight and catch up on 90210 and Gossip Girl. Evan is out at a John Leguizamo concert and I just wasn't into him enough to go (Leguizamo that is, not Evan). So the kitties and I will keep each other company tonight--they are flanking me as I write, one on either side of me on the couch. I love them, even if Blue got in one of Jane's bags full of Kooba bags.

Wondering about that Mayle sample sale

Like all of you, I'm wondering what's happening with Mayle--specifically, what's happening with the sample sale, and, secondly, what's happening with the re-editions? I'm not passionate about getting another (very happy with my Silvestre), but I think the two are related. At this point, it's all mindless and uninformed speculation, but I can only imagine that they are waiting for some more re-editions (supposedly due today), watching how well these sell without a store, and then finalizing a date. I can only guess they don't want to have to reduce these and just dump them in with the rest of the sale stock, particularly as they are supposed to be getting in more Michaelas, which did well for them. If the dresses come in today, and sell in a few days, I wouldn't be surprised to see a postcard in the mail, an email and/or a twitter announcing a sale sometime in the very last days of April (I'm imagining April 30-May 1 although that would mean running beyond the end of the lease--if they want to change the days, maybe April 28-30). I'm also wondering if they'll just rent another space--like they did for the legendary June 2007--ship the stock over there and do it when they are ready. After all, they have a shop to dismantle and that has to be a lot more work than moving from an apt (bad enough). Plus there's the whole business end of the enterprise to wind down so I am not surprised that things aren't moving quickly. As I stated, all of this is speculation (it gets my mind off other stresses, including babies, jobs and taxes) and could very well be wrong. After all, the last time I speculated something--high priced re-editions--I was completely wrong.

I'm also wondering what will be there and how horrid the crowds will be (not the people, just the numbers of them in what will be a small space with limited stock). I can only imagine all those people who never got any Mayle who want to gather a few pieces now--not that this is necessarily a bad thing, or even people hoping to flip things on ebay for a quick profit (not necessarily good!). I just wish I knew and could go in early, get what I want, and avoid the crowds. Of course, I am not alone here. I have dreams of fall 07 items like Dora, Zofia and Vlada in size 8-10, waiting for me, Esperanza from Spring 08 and maybe a few older treasures finding their way back to Brooklyn in my loving arms. Of course, there are more than this--my wish list is a mile long--but these just come to mind right now. I've passed on ebay items I wanted (although mostly I'm finding things that aren't in my size) as I wait for this sale. I know it will be the end of big spending. I know it won't even be that much fun and that it will be accompanied by as much stress as pleasure. But the uncertainty is not pleasant. I keep waiting, it seems, for news that never comes--the job I interviewed that I want has not got back to me (I think that one is now officially over), and I'm starting to wonder if the sample sale will be another disappointment in a month filled with them. I hope not.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mayle for Sale, Part IX


Damn Taxes

So it looks like I owe the IRS $2,224. I thought I'd owe a little (NYU doesn't take enough out) but I'm shocked. I guess this means the Mayle sample sale goes on my credit card. I'll get a state credit of $1,100, but it will take a while to process so I'm paying out this month in taxes more than I even earn. Then the COBRA bill comes due, if I am lucky. I can't see how this happened as I always have extra taken out so I can spend a little each spring.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So much for Spring Break

I've really been looking forward to Spring Break. I was tired, burned out and behind with research. Before the break, it looked like spring would soon be here, that there was an imminent Mayle sample sale (possibly falling during my break) and I was looking forward both to regenerating and relaxing and to finishing up some work. Who knows, I even thought Evan and I might get a chance to do something fun and out of the ordinary--go to a museum, perhaps, or have some mini adventure.

Maybe one and a half weeks are not enough to accomplish anything significant, but I sit here, midway through the break, feeling more stressed than I did the day I left campus full of hope. The health insurance mess remains unresolved. I am in a waiting game now, my fate dependent on other bureaucrats as I consider my actions should things fall apart (appealing to the Union is certainly one). I think the stress of all this casts a pall over my break and limits any possibilities to relax, while diverting energies away from the necessary concentration required to finally finish the intro to my damn book.

Meanwhile, I still haven't heard about a job I interviewed for in late March. It will be three weeks on Thursday and I am now starting to stress, if not panic. I'm preparing myself for yet more bad news.

I also can't find my credit card bill anywhere. I knew where I put it (my in-tray) and then I believe I put it in my bag so I could pay it this weekend. I've emptied my bag and it isn't there. It isn't in my in-tray either. And it's due in a week. I've not had a late payment other than a 9/11 delayed mailing, for which my credit card company waved charges and removed from my record. I can pay by phone but it costs $10 and I am not sure that my bank account is set up to accept payments any more.

In short, I feel that the minutiae are paralyzing me. Time passes and I am not getting where I need to be. Babies seem farther away than ever and work is a treadmill that's going nowhere. To remedy this, I tried to submit an article to a journal yesterday. I started revising and realized that the paper wasn't as perfect as I'd have liked. Still, after 6 hours, it is almost ready to go, with one caveat. A friend loaned me a paper, I cited it, and it has now been published. I cannot access the digital library for some reason and need the new, published page numbers (obviously different from the old ones). I can't submit it without them, so that means a trip into campus, which means another small but time-consuming chore, which obviates the original intent of getting something done quickly, feeling I accomplished something and that my break wasn't a total waste of time.

Meanwhile, I am starting to realize that I'll be back at school next week facing the same problems, under the same stresses but with no spring break to look forward to, and no real accomplishments completed.

I think this holiday is always the same. It's an illusion, just like spring itself. April 14 and the temperature is again in the 40s, not the promised 60s. And, no, my taxes aren't done either. I fear that my luck means I have to pay, and I would rather live in ignorance for another 24 hours.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Now Stereolab?

While I am a huge fan, I don't always check, partly because the forums can get silly/repetitive, and partly because there generally aren't many updates from the band.

But today, I checked in only to find that Stereolab are going on a hiatus/sabbatical and that no new material is planned (is that now or forever?). Plus they just canceled the last two dates of their tour, which doesn't sound great. The band are releasing the second disc of Chemical Chords and another Switched On compilation, but this seems ominous. Again, another change I don't like rather than one that I crave. Just like Mayle, it seems they're going out with a few more creations that will only make me miss them more. I'm glad I saw them twice on the last tour, but hope this isn't the end of this. Hopefully they'll be back, refreshed, in a year or so but the wording of the announcement seemed a little less hopeful. No new records planned, no touring. Why are so many of my favorite artists refusing to produce new work? For me, Mayle is wearable art as much as anything, and Stereolab aural art.

Please keep going The Sea and Cake, Archer, Sam, John, Eric. And Emma Fletcher too. And come back, Jim O'Rourke.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mayle for Sale, Part VIII

Here's another lovely Mayle dress that Leanne is selling. Again, it is brand new and completely sold out everywhere.

Leanne writes:

It is a Reiko, size 2 and I'd like to sell it for $340, including shipping. Brand new, never worn. It really is a size too small. It isn't long enough in the torso. Maybe if it put it back out into the universe I will find one in the proper size!
Contact leannemdavis5[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mayle for Sale, Part VII

Leanne is parting with a brand new Marion dress, size 4, photographed above. I so regret not getting this dress in the size 10. It is very beautiful, hangs wonderfully and is timeless and versatile. This is another item that's not in my size or I'd intercept it and get it for my own closet!

Leanne's description follows:

Brand new, never been worn Marion, size 4, purchased from La Garconne. It is a bit too small for me so I'm regretfully parting with it. $230, including priority shipping. No tags as I bought it rather than tagged it when I worked at La Garconne. Contact leannemdavis5[AT]gmail[dot]com.

Back Home

First of all, thank you everybody for your kind comments. I just got home and the first thing I did (after hugging the cats) was to call my health insurance. Nothing has happened yet but I did get the return receipt from my COBRA application. I have to hold tight until Monday as the package has yet to be opened and scanned in. At least this means I will try not to think about this until after the weekend.

In other news, more Mayle for sale coming up later this afternoon. If anybody missed out on Marion (a dress I really regret not purchasing), Leanne has a brand new one that she's selling here.

In other Mayle news, I wore Jemeen for the second night of Passover and love it. It's such a great basic dress. I also wore my Gaia pants with Anahi to travel out to LI and love the combination. I am now really pleased I got them--Mayle pants can be tough but these are beautiful and so comfortable.

The first day of Passover was ruined by the COBRA but I think my head is a little more clear right now. It does help to get out of town, no matter how much you love where you live.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


So much for the spring in spring break! This morning it snowed in NYC, albeit briefly. We're preparing to head off to LI for Passover and I'm having to redecide which dresses to bring--it doesn't seem like Mirabelle and Jemeen are the ideal outfits for this weather.

Still down about healthcare. I think I'll try calling them tomorrow to see if the applications I fedexed made it to the right people. What a way to start Spring Break.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Doughnuts, No Health Insurance

Suffice to say, today was not a good day. I'm currently moving between positions (a long story--Queens to NYU) and had to COBRA my health insurance. My current employer, Queens College, did not terminate my insurance properly and ran the 60 day COBRA clock out for me, terminating my insurance on March 27 after my begging them to do this but putting a termination date of 2/1 in place and then telling me I had 60 days AFTER March 27 to continue coverage. I discovered this today. I don't know if my insurance can be continued despite my efforts and this was the plan that covered IVF. I am not very happy, especially after being given consistently wrong information. As I tend to be anxious and cautious over these matters, I've called Queens College HR numerous times and also GHI (my health insurers). They changed the date to 2/12 today so I express mailed in my applications ($35), but in all likelihood I will have no prescription drug benefit which means IVF drugs will set me back a cool $3,00-7,000 a month. I also have piles of medical bills that I will have to pay if my COBRA is denied.

I then went to the doughnut plant at 5. They were out of most doughnuts, I burst into tears and the lovely guy there gave me a chai (which was really good) and a small creme brule doughnut that was left. His kindness was unbelievable but I feel raw and like a baby for losing it in that way in a place that was not appropriate. As he told me, neither he nor his wife have any insurance coverage but he was happy for all he had in life. I felt very spoiled in some ways, but more angry that we let this happen in the world's richest nation. Evan took me out for sushi and got me a signature hot chocolate in Starbucks. I figured why not eat sushi as I am not pregnant. I hope this insurance issue doesn't mean I can't have a baby. My NYU insurance kicks in in September but I don't want to wait that long and have to get all these tests again. After 35, every month matters.

I am sorry that this is not the best written post but I am not in the clearest frame of mind right now.

Cure for Insomnia/Stress

I am so pleased that I am now on Spring Break, even though the weather is cold (40 degrees as I type). I had a busy and stressful day at work yesterday, the kind where you don't even get a chance to eat. It culminated with a couple of students walking into my night class to take a test just as I was about to pack up and leave. Consequently, my supposedly early night (I'd hoped to leave at 7) became another regular late night. One student offered no excuse and had to be prompted to apologize, which only irked me more. I lament the loss of courtesy, respect and discipline, which also makes me feel ancient. I'm not that much older than these students but a lot seems to have changed in the schools. That said, many of my students are so great that they make the job worthwhile.

The stress of work, fertility procedures/health insurance issues and not conceiving has gotten to me though. Wearing an OV watch that reads NF (not fertile) is not helping--I realize that most of the time, that's how it is for all of us, but it seems to have additional resonance in my case and isn't changing fast enough for me to Fertile Day 1. I have to be patient (like Eric Cartman with his Nintendo Wii) but it's not always so easy. All this resulted in my waking up around 4 am and not getting back to sleep.

I've been wondering of late if thinking about Mayle is good (nice distraction, pretty clothes, great people) or hindering me (distracting from work and am I karmically setting myself up for a life of pretty dresses and no children?). So rather than think about Mayle to lure myself to sleep, I tried to calm myself back down. I cuddled Peeps, I tried to get comfortable. I don't have sleep problems as a general rule, but nothing worked. So I decided to think about the Mayle sample sale and what I might want, what ideally might be there. Several hours later I awoke. Not only did this successfully get me back to sleep in ways that fantasies of getting pregnant and having a healthy child didn't (too stressful as they remind me that I am nowhere near this), but they delivered a lovely dream. I realize that I only dreamed this just before I woke up, but in my dreams, I walked by 242 Elizabeth Street, saw many racks of clothing, tried the door, was allowed in and discovered the sale was about to start. I was told I could buy, and the first thing I saw were braque bags in all sizes--no, these don't exist--although in my dreams, these were cheap at $1,100 and up. Of course, as Freud and others remind us, many of the items were scrambled up and not real--displacement, condensation and all those dream tropes work for Mayle dreams too. Some pieces vanished after I had piled them up, things weren't where they belonged, I remembered affectionately items that never were, chatted to familiar faces who similarly only existed in the act of dreaming. But I also remember seeing a sign that gave the date of the sale and excitedly thinking how I would tell of all you when I got home.

As that was a dream, I obviously have no information to give. But at least it made me realize that all this Mayle hasn't been a waste of time and energy. It's fed the book, motivated me to write and calmed me down when things seemed dark. It's still early, but I'll sort the health insurance out today, pay my bills and get a little work done before Evan and I go for Doughnut Plant doughnuts. I hope they have the fabulous coconut ones, although I know I'll be tempted to get two (and Evan, as always, will try to stop me, concerned that one is indulgent, two unhealthy). I am not a doughnut fan, but these are special. And they are the only doughnuts, I believe, that were ever featured in Vogue.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mayle for Sale, Part VI


More stuff will be coming up this week. All the previous styles listed are now sold. I hope at least some ebay fees were avoided this way.

I'm about to start spring break tomorrow and that will give me time to post updates as well as (hopefully) finish the book and do my taxes. I hope to accomplish a lot this break and not waste it merely recuperating from the last 9-10 weeks of class--and winter. I also get to go to Evan's wonderful mother and step-father's house for Passover and eat her fabulous cooking. Last year it was warm and I wore cotton Mayle dresses. If things stay the same, this year I'll be debuting my Belda trench.

In the hopes of warm weather, Kim offers a very rare Mayle top for sale. Her description follows. Those of you who saw the re-editions will recognize the wonderful cotton Dalmatia fabric. Again, this is another beauty not in my size.

This top has now sold. Thank you guys! More Mayle for sale very soon.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mayle for Sale reminder/More packages arrived

I updated the Mayle for sale posts. Just two items remain--Christina's lovely Aurelie, which I believe sold out at Mayle some time back and Marti's amazing sweater (the one I would have bought had I been able to fit myself into it). If these are still here tomorrow, I'll repost details.

Thank you everybody for your kind comments on my sad day. I got myself an OV watch this week and they are supposed to be miraculous at pinpointing ovulation (better than charting, OV kits, etc.) so I am praying this will work.

In the meantime, I got my packages yesterday with Monica and Jemeen, plus a lovely Inhabit cashmere sweater. Alas, Inhabit (again) oversold their stock, notified me only after they realized this, and I missed out on the sweater I really coveted while they sat on my cash for nearly 3 weeks... Not happy at all about that.

But on a positive note, Jemeen is lovely. The 6 fits perfectly and I will post pictures. I got the black and white--the ivory was way too yellow for my pink skin tones. It has nicer details than I remember, although it is one of Mayle's simpler cuts. Monica fits well but needs a slip--the fabric is very thin and somewhat see-through. I remember Jane made one for this dress (in fact, I remember that they were sold together, but that could be memory failing me), but now I am stuck thinking do I go for white, ivory, or what. Should I go vintage or new? As a small A-cup, I have problems with spaghetti strap items as they are cut for a B (like all dresses/tops) and the straps consequently fall down over one shoulder. Any slip tips recommended. I need a white or flesh slip for my white Lyell Julie Christie dress anyway. I want to get one with some apppropriate decor at the top given that Monica is so low cut--clearly NOT intended to be worn the way PH wore it, but that we knew anyway.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mayle's Final Hours, Part I

Here are, as promised, photos of Mayle's last hours. I'll include more in subsequent posts as there are too many for one page. These were taken between about 6p.m.-7.15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31. I'll include photos of the final Votivo Red Current candle, the merchandise, the changing room on the left and pictures of all of us in the store, including Elise, Christina and Sumer. I took some photos of myself in the mirror, not for narcissism's sake but to remember the hours spent checking out new arrivals, future purchases, and sometimes errant styles. I hope that this gives you a flavor of how the store's last minutes felt. If asked, I'd say surprisingly normal and surprisingly quiet. It was hard to believe that these minutes were being committed to memory. As the photos show, we were all light-hearted. Elise, Christina, Sumer, Cindy, Chelsea, Monica, myself and others toasted Jane Mayle and ate cupcakes while discussing past favorites, items we loved, those we missed and pieces we hoped would still be recut.

Monica wore Ignacia and Cindy wore the Michaela recut in Rio Plata and both looked beautiful. Cindy wore a fabulous combination of a Rio Plata top and Gaia pants with some killer heels. Cindy and one other girl (whose name I forgot, sorry) had fabulous LD Tuttle heels--it turned out the designer went to school with Christina too.

As we reluctantly left for the final time--Monica, Cindy and I were the last customers to leave--it seemed impossible that anything could change. But the end is here: Christina and Elise were going to paper over the windows after we left, and the store would start to be dismantled. Those walls we know so well will soon be gone, the pictures removed, the counter and chairs moved out and the candle finally snuffed out.

I can't really believe it. I don't think I can walk down that block on Elizabeth Street again before the sample sale. After that, I will be giving 242 Elizabeth Street a wide berth, keeping the time capsule that Mayle has become pristine, hoping that in some alternative universe, everything is still ticking over as normal, new items are coming in, each collection better than the last, delivering delicious items that capture my imagination, fancy and bank account.

Thank you, Jane Mayle, Elise, Christina, Doris, Vanessa, Alize, Summer and all of you for such a wonderful 8 years (I know it was longer, but for me, it was just that). If I could have a few wishes, I'd have a healthy baby of my own first, but Mayle's return--in the same space, with the same aura--would be near the top.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It's April Fool's day and I wonder if fate is playing tricks with me. I am not pregnant (again), the year is now 1/4 through and Mayle has shut its doors forever. The thrills and distractions Mayle gave me will always be there in some way, but today it is all over, bar the sample sale. To find out this morning that I am not pregnant was perhaps a twist of the knife I didn't need. I keep hoping I can do this without IVF, even as I am in the system waiting to going ahead, but this morning I was close to giving up. I had a very high possible pregnancy score from Fertility Friend this month but the truth of it is that signs can be deceptive. Indeed, that is something I tell my students, three of whom just popped in and cheered me up with their smiles and chat.

I'm just hoping this next month is my month, just as I have for the last 18-19 months now. It has to happen soon--as I have to rethink my coping tactics of thinking of all that Mayle I can buy and wear while still thin(-ish).

Also, tomorrow I will post lots of Mayle last day photos and a complete recap--or maybe later tonight. Today is a big teaching day and I don't have my camera cord with me in school.