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A Glut of Italian Luxe for the Ladies at AEFFE

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The bad news for some of us is there is very little menswear at AEFFE's twice-yearly sample and overstock sale. But, ladies, what do you care? Your racks—and it's safe to say there are dozens—are packed with all three of Moschino's collections along with Liberty swimwear, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alberta Ferretti, Cacharel, and Pollini. Yes, the sale started yesterday morning and has already ended for the day. But it runs until Saturday, and once again—there's a ton of stuff in sample and stock sizes (including a very nice spread of current spring/summer '11 looks that you may have spotted in stores right now). Also, several more bags and pairs of shoes than you could realistically shake a stick at.

That said, prices seem a bit steeper than we're used to at these sales. Previously additional discounts were taken at the register on marked wholesale prices. This go-around, the wholesale price listed—or at least whatever the lowest price marked on whichever tag you're looking at—is what's you'll be paying. But wholesale and retail were not always entirely clear and many items only had one figure marked. The long and short of it is, however, that you can pick up some pretty awesome, totally current stuff for about 60% off retail.

Bear with us because the womenswear we'd buy if we wore womenswear is more man-repellent than, like, pretty. But, we've collected some highlights for you anyway. The Love Moschino section is where you'll find the best deals. Silk paw-printed day dresses are a mere $105 while slinky scarlet one-shouldered numbers are $177. A fantastic pair of artfully faded conductor's striped skinny jeans are $130 and a kaleidoscope of fabulous silk tops in delightful prints involving berries and bugs and fairy tale characters start around $140. Not-for-everyone satin five-pocket trousers were cropped and jeweled at the cuff—they're $148 from $355.

Over on the main line racks, we loved trim blazers printed in bold geometrics and priced around $600, while a gorgeous array of polka dotted and print cocktail dresses were priced around $700 from over $1300. An adorable cropped cardi, also in polka dots, was $334 from $795, and that signature gem print is still available on a number of styles—including a silky maxi-dress priced at $411, from $1095.

We managed to tear ourselves away from a Moschino fantasy sequence to scope out other wares as well. The Cacharel section had us at hello with a variety of acid florals and digital prints as well as whole clumps of spring green and hot coral knitwear. The blouses, silk, started around $169; a pair of trim capris was priced at $150; and a baby-soft drop-shoulder knit top was $220.

Behind that there's a broad selection of Gaultier. Billowy silk shirtdresses with coordinating belts were $745. A many-pleated off-white shacket gave us a wearable lampshade vibe—it was $757. And a perfect little lightweight peacoat, cropped and jet black, was $694. Finally, the Lady Gaga award goes to a variety of crazy-structured square-shouldered tops, jackets and dresses. They're nuts looking but we would wear any of the above in a heartbeat. The dress in navy was $745.

In the back room, look for a huge array of accessories plus a jaunty collection of Liberty of London swimwear with suits priced around $120. Moschino's handbags start at a mere $136 and the most expensive one we scanned was $441. Solidly in the middle, a Speedy-shaped waxed canvas bag with a over-sized silhouette print was $189 and a huge beach tote printed in a large-scale rose-colored floral was $205, from $475.

Shoes were a madhouse so good luck. We did spot a bevy of chunky, sandal-y wedges and platforms by Moschino starting around $120. A MObama-worthy kitten heel in blue-gray and black was $191, from $440. A chalky-brown Pollini slingback platform in deliciously soft leather was $250, while open-toed flats in two tones of seafoam were $163 from $375.

Finally, men's. Our suggestion: Maybe don't bother. There are some truly fantastic blazers—a tuxedo jacket overlayed in mesh, another in magenta jersey, a few double-breasted numbers and one of the sportscoats with variously-colored piping. But they're only in small sizes and cost over $400. Most of the shirts are basic—there must have been 12 different versions of the classic white shirt. The good ones include two comicbook/Roy Lichtenstein prints as well as stars, stripes, grapes and sheet music. They ranged from $110 to $170—but again, small sizes and we spotted a stain or two. Shoes, mostly gross, were limited and $133. The yellow jeans, however—$164—were fantastic.

The sale runs through Saturday. Prices are marked but sometimes they're hard to find (look on sewn-in inside tags). There are fitting rooms, a bag check and credit cards are accepted.
· Dealfeed: AEFFE Showroom [Racked NY]

Moschino Boutique

401 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014 Visit Website