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The scene in the basement of Soho's IF Boutique was fairly serene considering all the discounted Martin Margiela and Comme des Garçons floating around. No, it's not a dream, it's IF's semi-annual basement sale.
We were told the place was a mob scene yesterday when the sale opened—which may explain why there's some space on the racks today. But don't let the open air keep you from coming by: There is still a lot to be had. And some highly desirable pieces have been marked down three, four, five times—prices are up to 85% off.
There is considerably more womenswear than menswear—though that isn't totally unusual. Most of the space is devoted to avant-garde bits by Ivan Grundahl. Fun fact: IF is Grundahl's primary distributor and exclusive carrier—at least in New York. So, in addition to overstock there are sample pieces and the prices are pretty incredible. We loved patchwork wool blazers ($115 from $578); abstracted macro-leopard print party dresses in sort of a feather-light, waxed, techno-fabric ($156 from $780); billowy crinoline shrugs ($158); and an asymmetrical blue-gray cocktail dress with an amorphous tartan train ($340 from $1700). Other Grundahl's include floppy motorcycle jackets in waxed canvas ($145 from $473) and natural canvas ($120), and an assortment of trenches—military-inspired, leather-piped, assorted colors, symmetrical or not (starting at $150).
In other designers, check out the slew—at least three styles in a variety of sizes—of Margiela jeans (starting at $149); plus a nice selection of just slightly irreverent careerwear by Watanabe: A sharkskin-sheen blazer in gray-green ($435 from $1492), a hounsdtooth version ($249 from $875), and geometric-print trousers ($189 from $612). We also loved strawberry-print Comme des Garçons jeans, slightly cropped ($280 from $713). Over in shoes, several styles of Margiela pumps are surprisingly languishing. They're incredibly classic—in matte black, nude, and an emerald sort-of-post-industrial-snakeskin—and fashioned from perfect, buttery leather ($230 from $525, the roundtoe versions are $250 from $595). Next door check out the kind of terrifying platform-nurse-clog-somethings by Comme des Garçons ($280 from $713) and a checkerboard creeper-loafer morph by Watanabe ($300 from $778).
We spotted more brands but less stock over on the men's racks. There are jersey basics from Tim Hamilton (starting at $60 from $200), and one lonely print Dries Van Noten dress shirt ($177 from $230). A series of totally wackadoo patchwork blazers by Comme des Garçons are definitely not for everyone (about $300 from over $1000); but a pair of plaid tailored shorts by Watanabe—assorted sizes in stock—are absolutely wearable ($151 from $326). And get there right now if you're after Rick Owens—we spotted one majorly discounted black leather boy racer jacket ($781 from $2604).
Oh, hello Margiela: Across the aisle check assorted jersey pieces—tanks, polos, tees (starting at $54 from over $180) and basic jeans ($149 from $495). A dress shirt printed in woodblock roses ($115 from $385) might be too much for some; in that case some simple broadcloth and striped dress shirts (about $260 from over $500) are a great option. Ready to make a grander investment? A perfect navy blazer ($435 from $1450) and an absolutely delicious, suede moto ($975 from $1950) await. Plus, in shoes, there are low Chelsea boots with macro-perforations ($180) along with a series of more traditional boots (starting at $200) (other shoes are by Comme des Garçons and Muñoz Vrandecic).
Accessories are also still very much on hand. There is a box of Dries and Ann Demeulemeester ties ($40) and a variety of Margiela jewelry—monogram rings, bicycle chain bracelets—waiting patiently in their little white boxes (bracelets start around $125). There is also a vast selection of lovely leather handbags (starting around $150) and belts (around $100) in a plethora of sizes and colors by Johnny Farah. There's even a big, crazy, magenta-tinted muff.
The sale runs through Sunday and is under the sales floor in the basement. Prices are marked and there are fitting rooms (well, there's a screen for guys). The sale is very pleasantly and professionally staffed—IF's is definitely the most consistently boutique-like sale we visit. Credit cards are accepted. Go give some Margiela a good home.
· Dealfeed: IF Boutique [Racked NY]