Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mayle/Sigerson Pop-Up: More Details

First of all, I have no images. They are not allowing photographs of the Mayle collection so much of what you've seen already either comes from behind the dressing room curtain (I didn't think about taking photos while I was in there) or from press photographers. There are also a few cellphone photos circulating but my dinosaur of a phone has such a low res camera that anything I snapped would be all but unintelligible. Still, this is a capsule collection and by now, every item in the shop has been photographed in some way or seen on the lookbook poster. I am hoping for a couple of surprises but given the description of this as a 30+ piece capsule collection, some quick counting indicates that there won't be many more pieces left to be unveiled. There may be some pictures following on Caroline's blog as befits her status as a pro and a press photographer. So I can only offer words.

First of all, the Sigerson Morrison store on 71st St and the corner of Madison Ave is a laboratory store, by which they mean they offer collaborations with other designers and artists. It has two rooms--the front is mainly Sigerson (I don't think they have their full collection though) as well as some jewelry and art. The back room is for Mayle, and there is also a rack of items in the space adjoining both areas, as well as a few pieces hung on the wall. There's also a small Mayle window display. The shop itself is not big so it fills quite quickly with Mayle shoppers. Staff are very nice and helpful but there is only one dressing room (not surprising as SM is a shoe store after all), an ad hoc affair behind the register where they have curtained off some space with a curtain made in the ivory/pink silk used for the ruffled blouse. Besides the Mayle, I also saw some appealing shoes which makes me think this is a good deal for both lines.

My insane work schedule made it impossible for me to get to the pop-up before Saturday (canceling class to look at clothes is, of course, a no-go). I missed out on seeing a few items--whether they have sold out entirely or have had stock reserved for the downtown pop-up, I don't know. I would assume the latter. The missing pieces were the lace romper, lace dress (often described as the Stevie Nicks dress--I don't know its real name), and the Chanel/Marant-esque blue jacket with zippers that I believe was the most expensive item at $920, along with the Nicks dress which was likely in that ballpark area. Obviously, I can't comment on these--I would have liked to see all three as they were interesting and the romper was somewhat appealing. I hope I will get a chance to look at them downtown.

On the plus side, stock had rolled in so Saturday's shoppers were able to take most purchases home with them. The peplum dress, the burgundy and green versions of the tie dress and (I think) bags and belts were still advance orders only--presumably more stock will trickle in next week.

Onto the stock, dresses first. There were two in stock, one yet to come and one (the long one) no longer on display. I guess there are four dresses in this collection, but maybe there will be another one or two specially unveiled for the downtown pop-up as there are supposedly new pieces coming in each week. That might also mean new fabrics, however. The black lace version of the tie-dress appears to have sold out (at least in the SM pop-up and, possibly, for now). Other colorways of the dress were available in a variety of sizes--up to size 10. But available sizes were sporadic and varied with the fabric choices--I don't know whether this was because they were still waiting for orders or had sold out their allocation of dresses or something else. I tried on the blue and the black top/ivory/gold/purple flower print versions of the tie-front dress, the former in a size 8, the latter in a 10. I thought it ran a good size small, with the 8 barely zipping up on me (I have a small waist and usually that's not the problem with Mayle or any other brand) and it was tight in the back despite the puffed sleeves. The 10 was a comfortable fit but it wasn't my style. I would literally only have been buying it because it was Mayle. At $520 plus tax, that would have been silly so I put it back. I didn't try on the other dress option--the peplum dress with a gathered front--because they only had the size 4 in stock. It looked small (an opinion confirmed by others) and would never have fit on my body. I think it was also $520 or thereabouts but it had no price tag. The "samples" are not true samples--they are identical to the production dresses and are sold for the full price. I image the peplum dress will come in other fabrics.

The more contemporary, less retro/classic dress pictured on the poster is the Kala or Lala dress (I heard both) and is not yet in stock. I thought it was the more interesting of the two day dresses and want to see it in person. I hope it doesn't have a narrow skirt as that would rule it out for me. It may also be ruled out on the grounds of price--I heard it would be over $600 which appears a little high as none of the dresses were lined. Maybe this one will be different, given its slightly higher price point.

The jackets were a mixed bag. So far, there are three of them, with the cropped jacket again no longer on display. First of all, there was a classic blazer with a nipped-in waist looked well made and while it wasn't necessarily what you'd expect from Mayle (at least in recent years), it does fit in with current trends while also having a certain classicism that could make it a great investment piece. It was around $350 and came in a brown tweed, pale grey wool, a darker grey and possibly a camel or oatmeal color. I forget the exact details.

Another jacket was, for me, the nadir of the collection. A v-neck, longer line, loose fitting piece made in a very lightweight knit/woven knubby fabric with a chiffon-esque lining and lace lined roll up sleeves, this piece was a head-scratcher. It had some of the bar fastenings from Fall 08 on the front (which hid snap closures) and just appeared to include too many disparate details. I tried it on, assuming it may be one of those pieces that came to life on the body but it looked even cheaper and sadder on. Maybe it's just me but I was baffled by it. It was over $600, money that could have been spent better on some of the really nice items--like the bags. It came in two or three neutral colorways I believe, including gray and camel.

There were either two or three tops (Caroline claims three and is probably right as I didn't look at these as closely). One is ruffled with a tie and was my favorite out of the blouses. It is $495 in most fabrics, $525 in a leopard print grey lace. It seems to run very big and was just too voluminous for me and just not what I wear. Still, the one in the silk with the pink print was particularly pretty and very well made. The other fabrics weren't as interesting, save the lace, and didn't seem to have as nice a drape. The top with the elastic waist and sleeves--or two tops that were similarly cut--was not for me, something I knew as soon as I saw the first pictures. I'm tall and elasticated waists ride up and just don't work no matter how pretty. I thought the tops--and the tie-front dress--were a lot like Lyell, esp circa 2005-8. They hit the spot where Jane and Emma's visions seem to mesh. The black lace top had sold out or was not on display when I was there. The tops seemed to be the most popular item--people tried on the dresses but walked out with tops and I don't think that was just because there were more tops in stock.

Coats. These were, in my opinion, the best deal, varying from around $700-900. I think there were three, but I was so in love with one that I didn't try the others on. I remember two clearly but seem to recall a third one. In terms of craftsmanship, these, the belts, the bags, the blazer, skirt and leather shorts and pants seemed to be of the highest quality--the same as or close to the quality of Mayle's regular lines. I got the Vera coat. It is the one pictured in the poster and it is $745 plus tax, coming to $811. It comes in at least four-five colorways--the grey heavy tweed on the poster, the softer and slightly lighter weight black tweed with a lighter fleck that I bought, a brown tweed, a light brown tweed that's like my Lyell jacket from 2006-7--I believe it is the same fabric--and, I think, an olive green wool. I'm fuzzy on these details and may be wrong. As with most items, all fabrics are the same price (the exception seems to be some of the lace items and some of the bags). I have the original Vera jacket from FW 07 which appears to be the inspiration, with its oversize fit, smaller collar that can be left open, folded back sleeves and signature thick half-belt and draped back detailing. This coat runs very big but rather than wearing it as oversized, I sized down to a 4 which fits me very well and has a slightly sleeker, mid-1960s, Mad Man-esque feel. I loved the colorway I got and the wool was so soft it felt like cashmere. I will wear this coat for years and it fits a nice hole in my closet--I had no tweed coats, just jackets. Length-wise, this coat came to just above the knee.

The second coat that I remember seemed to be inspired by the Fedosia jacket and the Fedosia coat from the final sample sale. It was--I think--$895 and was shorter than the Vera coat. It comes in a variety of plain thick wools like Fedosia and has a double breasted front and dolman sleeves with button detailing. It is pretty but I didn't dare to try it as I was already carrying the other coat around as though it were mine--not that I needed a coat on such a beautiful sunny day with temperatures well into the 80s.

I think there is another coat that was also 3/4 in length but have no memory of the details. I think it was also more than the Vera, but I could be hallucinating.

The other items of clothing that have yet to be mentioned are the leather pants with a frill detail that were around $900, leather shorts (same detailing as the pants) for around $560, and a black wool skirt. The skirt was very Mayle--fairly narrow cut, to around the knee, high waisted with some button detailing. I think it was just under $400 but it wasn't something I needed and it looked too narrow for my body. It was a nice skirt but not an obvious show-stopper so I imagine that accounts for it getting little coverage--and black is, of course, very tough to photograph. There were also two different t-shirts--white with the pop up design printed in black, pink and yellow. At $65 (I think) these weren't cheap and I am not really a printed t-shirt person. I think they also had unfinished wide necks but I could be wrong.

Including the lace romper and the dress that hadn't yet made it into the shop, there were 16-18 items of clothing either in store or on the lookbook. I imagine there are a couple more surprises left but probably not many more.

Onto accessories. There will be three ankle boots--one you have likely seen with buckles and straps, another flat plain boot and a higher heeled plain ankle boot. No shoes, no clogs. I am a little disappointed as I'd hoped for shoes but I hope Jane will produce new shoes again some day. The boots will be in the $400+ range, I believe, judging from what I overheard.

There are supposedly four belts. I saw three. Marti has pictured them on her blog and you've all seen how pretty they are. I loved the one with lucite apples--it is $295, can be worn backwards or forwards and is very well made. Like all Mayle belts, it runs a little small. This is the most expensive of the three. The third belt I saw was striped and resembled one of the belts from the last holiday/resort collection.

The bags round out the collection. There are 6 styles and two canvas totes.  They are great--but a little more expensive than we're used to. The most pricey is the newest bag--the JM bag and tote. It comes in a beautiful pebbled leather, a suede in dark jewel colors, including a wonderful green, and what appears to be a thick corduroy style fabric, all with regular leather trim. Both the bag and the tote are $720 I think, slightly cheaper in fabric ($695 or so). The other bags include Billies in black, a neutral camel color, wine and some other colors, including the green suede, baby Billies (I only saw the green suede with brown leather trim but know there are other colorways), new Billies which have a short strap, a rigid handle and studs on the bottom--they also have leather and suede bodies, with suede panels on the front as well as the sides. All are really nice. The Samira fold clutch has also been reimagined as a shoulder bag with a leather strap (a brilliant addition) and a leather snap closure on the front. It is $295 and comes in a striped black corduroy-esque fabric (used for the JM bag) and the blue tweedy/denimy fabric used for the cropped jacket. Canvas totes are $35 I believe. According to the poster, there will also be lace pouches.

All in all, this makes around 30-32 items, depending on how you count the canvas totes and t-shirts and whether or not I'm imagining the extra coat and top. It looks like there will be just a few new pieces--and other than the dress that's missing and the pouchettes, I didn't notice anything else on the lookbook to cue me into thinking that there are other major deliveries in store. Still, promotions promise the last week of the three will deliver the coat of your dreams--which may mean something else is afoot. We will only know when it is over, I guess.


joyce said...

As always, I'm astounded by your memory recall, Moya! Thank you so much for the report -- it's almost like getting to see the shop in person.

P.S. If I come to NYC in late October would you like to get together?

Moya said...

I would love to get together!

I know I should be writing lectures but I wanted to get this post written before I forgot. I wanted to share the experience and record it for posterity.

Marti said...

Moya that is an amazing update. you have a photographic mind!! Will let you know what end up with and I wnt to see pics of you in the coat.

thought- is there still the gray leopard lace top? is it very me?