I'd like to introduce you to some old friends. I've known them for a while, but I still like to go visit them from time to time. They all live together in Soho, and they're really chic. They only hang out with designers. They used to be on the runway but they haven't been getting out much lately. They're the clothes on the basement sale rack at Kirna Zabete, the pioneering Soho boutique. Let's meet them: There's the Behnaz Sarafpour dress Natasha Poly wore down the runway in the Spring 2006 collection. Originally, $1645. Now: $412. The dress Isabeli Fontana wore in the Spring 2005 Behnaz show: originally $1255, now $315. The Lanvin tulle blouse from Fall 2005 that Ann Catherine Lacroix wore on the runway, marked down from $1665 to $166. The yellow and white Nina Ricci gown, $5265 to $1317. And my favorite twins: The pumpkin colored silk bias cut dresses from Rodarte's first collection (Spring 2006). Once, $1380, now $345. There are others (the gaggle of Rick Owens sweaters, the Zac Posen family), but the pieces listed above have the most seniority and are thus closest to my heart. They're so familiar. They're always there... like for the last two years. Why? Keep reading. --ANNA FIELDING GRIGGS
Each has its own issues: The Behnaz dresses and Lanvin blouse are both really identifiable as part of their respective collections, which is what's kept me from adopting the blouse.
The Nina Ricci gown was absurdly expensive and could only be worn to a really fancy benefit...which means that once it was a season old, it was unwearable.
The Rodarte dresses are sized way up. The one I tried on should have been my size, but was so large on me that it allowed my entire right breast to be exposed.
Lately, I've become concerned about the welfare of my friends. How long can a piece of clothing really stay on a sale rack? Where will they go if Kirna Zabete finally realizes that no one will buy them? What happens to the clothing that no one wants to take home?