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There Was a Fire Drill at Today's Marchesa Sample Sale

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The Marchesa sample sale got off to a chaotic start this morning, so here's the short story: long lines for everything, prices are higher across the board, and there are mostly larger sizes left.

When we arrived at 8:40am, there was already a formidable line of 15 stylish ladies. It was apparent that most of the women in line were shopping with a special event in mind, and the excitement was palpable. Thirty minutes to the start of the sale, the alarm went off with an announcement that there was a fire drill. Even when most of the Marchesa staff left to evacuate the building, nobody in line budged. No surprise there. By 10am the line had swelled to well over 100 people, and emotions started to run high as several line cutters joined their friends at the front.

The scene inside was just as chaotic. The couture gowns were the biggest draw for the morning crowd, and the small sizes were snatched up very quickly. We got in 20 minutes after the sale started, and most of the gowns we saw were only available in sizes 8 and up. We also noticed that prices have gone up since the last sale, ranging from $300 to $2,500 for the most elaborate gowns.

Prices for the Notte by Marchesa line have also gone up, but not as much as the couture. Many shoppers were able to find some beautiful pieces in this section to try on. There was also one rack of bridal in the corner. Prices were $600 and up, and the dresses were mostly in size 8. If you are smaller than a size 8, not all hope is lost. The friendly staff recommended their go-to tailor Madame Paulette on the Upper East Side if you need one.

Unlike at the last sale, the selection of crystal and python miniaudières was very limited. Each bag had a price tag inside, and prices ranged from $500 for small exotics to $750 for the larger pieces.

If you're in the market for a standout dress for special event, you have until 5pm today to get to 601 W 26th Street. When we left, there was still a long line waiting outside and they were only letting people in as other people leave the sale—so be prepared for a long wait. More information can be found in the dealfeed below.—Joy Fan
· Dealfeed: Marchesa [Racked NY]
· Your Guide to May's Forty-One (And Counting!) Sample Sales [Racked NY]