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Olivier Theyskens is a relative newbie on the New York fashion scene but he's made up for lost time by designing directly for his dedicated customer via his Theory collection. Shoppers returned the favor today by coming out to the sample sale in droves (not to mention forming pretty respectable dressing room and check-out lines). Theyskens's cool urbanite look drips off every blazer, pant, sweater, and dress from his F 2011 and R 2012 collections, making his sample sale—which is coupled with Helmut Lang—a can't-miss for fans. It also doesn't hurt that Foursquare users who check in get 10% off all purchases.
Keep in mind that even with the discount, the clothes aren't dirt-cheap, but the price discrepancy recommends much to fashion followers' rationalization skills. And, boy, do we have rationalization skills. For example, the Theyskens Theory fall 2011 long skirt in a grid-like print and its plaited mini cousin go for $199 compared to the retail price of $495. We'll take one of each!
Besides the skirts, the stars on the Theory side of things were definitely the blazers for $229. They had the signature triangular cutout at the back of the lapel, which gives the garment its slouchy ease. Sizing was heavy on the 0 and 10s, but there were a couple 2, 4, 6, and 8s to be found. (We have a sneaky feeling that many of the middle sizes were in the fitting room and/or its line.)
An easy-to-wear option we loved were the corded turtleneck sweaters in cropped or sleeveless styles for $129. They were so wonderful we wanted to come up with a more befitting name for the extra fabric between your head and shoulders that doesn't reference a slow-moving reptile. Suggestions welcome.
More affordable picks included Theyskens's Theory fall 2011 slouchy shirts in a gamut of prints for $99 as well as a variety of short and long-sleeve knits for $79. Also, pants killed on the runway and it was the same story here. There was a wide range of sizes from 24-31 (but not 26) for the boot-cut corduroys, bleached skinnies, and trousers. And finally, there were no more black beanies, but there's a box full of navy and grey for $39.
Among the huge selection of Helmut Lang merchandise, the brown leather minis, shirts, and jackets were a sight to see, but at $599 we found them a little pricey. Even with the high-end tag, the shearling moto vest was a hot item—only four or five remained by the time we left. But if you're going to spend the big bucks on anything here, make it the outerwear. Expertly constructed jackets with mixes of leather went for $329 and Theory coats fell within the $299 to $499 range. For the other end of the price point spectrum, take a gander in the accessories box where you can find black and grey gloves for $49, belts for $39, and scarves for $99.
Got it? OK. Ready, get set, wait in line. The fitting room line was about 20 strong and wasn't budging this morning, and the check out queue (which welcomes credit cards with open arms) wasn't tiny either. Is it worth it? Definitely. You have to earn the good stuff.
· Dealfeed: Helmut Lang, Theyskens's Theory [Racked NY]