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The Comme Des Garçons Sale Is a Fashion Temple Set Inside a Church

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A jacket from the Motorcycle Ballerina collection
A jacket from the Motorcycle Ballerina collection
Photo: Driely S. for Racked

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After viewing the incredible Alexander McQueen exhibit this week, we thought it would be a long time before clothing would turn our heads again. But that was before we visited the Comme des Garçons sale in midtown. The Croatian Church on 41st and Eleventh is packed with edgy and creative clothing taken from each of the brand's many collections and collaborations over the past ten years. It's not just impressive; it's overwhelming.

Pieces from almost all of the associated brands, including Junya Watanabe and Tao, are 70% off their original list prices. The only exceptions are those from the Black Collection which are discounted just 50%. In most cases, there are only a limited number of each design, and often there is only one, so if you see something you like you'd better grab it. There will be a lot of new stock being brought in each day, but probably not repeats of what is already out.

The brand doesn't consider this a sample sale, but rather an archival one. This stock is made up of a selection of vintage but never-worn clothing that has been preserved over the years. Many of these pieces are collectible. Prices aren't cheap, but they are now a lot more accessible.

Women's specific collections included Broken Bride, Motorcycle Ballerina, and our favorite, the Bad Taste Collection. Stand-outs when we visited included a clear plastic raincoat with a face painted on it, which had been $2,188 but was now $656.40, a distressed black blazer with tails, cut-aways, and leather lacing, reduced from $1740 to $522, a gold motorcycle jacket which was selling for $208.50, and a long polka dotted pleated skirt, made from thick vinyl, which was selling for just $150. Women's sweaters ran in the $100 range and jeans were about the same. Purses tended to be vinyl and ranged from about $25 to $90—not bad.

We loved the women's shoe selection, which included lots of seriously cool flats—such as pink and purple wingtips and ankle boots, red and black patent Mary Janes with chains, and lots of '80s Goth-looking styles in white and black. Prices ranged between $120 and $150.

The men's shoe selection was very similar to the women's—:aside from the sizes and the prices, which ran in the $200-$300 range. We saw a pair of men's patent leather black and white Mary Janes (yes, men's Mary Janes) for $268.50, as well as a lot of fun oxford styles.

One of our favorite men's pieces was a jacket made of a fabric patterned with the Rolling Stones' lips logo. It was reduced from $1370 to $411. We also spotted men's leather jackets and dressy blazers selling for $298.50. Slacks seemed to range between $80 and 160, and men's button downs ranged between $105 and $165. There were a lot of Fred Perry collaboration polo shirts which were reduced from $178 to $53.50. And t-shirts, which we assumed were unisex, ranged from about $30 to $50.

After waiting in a long line, coats and bags must be checked when you arrive, but you'll be given a giant plaid Woolworth-type tote bag to carry your purchases in while you shop. The stage or altar of the church acts as its very crowded dressing room. There are a few racks and a wall of mirrors up there, but the crowd can get a bit pushy and aggressive when it comes to grabbing a spot. And be sure to wear nice underwear, because you're completely out in the open and surrounded by members of both genders.