My longtime friend (and sometime co-conspirator) Andrea Linett is an ideal shopping companion. She has endless stamina, is famously amusing, and has a great eye not only for what’s worth buying, but—perhaps more importantly—what’s worth leaving behind. We don’t get to see each other nearly as often as back when we were running a magazine together, but we still talk and text all the time. And have shopping excursions when we can, occasionally running into former co-workers, who always look mildly shocked to see we’re still at it. On Sunday, Andrea and I made a date to visit Gargyle, a boutique way deep down on the Lower East Side that I’d never visited—and that shockingly, given that this is so much her turf that some neighborhood shopkeepers once nicknamed her The Mayor of Ludlow Street, neither had Andrea.
Gargyle is is a wee little store, but it is packed with wonder: flowy Mes Demoiselles dresses; sexy lace blouses from Lover that I would totally wear even though I am not a sexy lace blouse person; their own rather beautiful line of bags; and more. I wasn’t sure how Andrea would feel about these snake print embossed leather platforms, but she thought they were as awesome as I did, so of course I not only bought them but wore them out of the store. I am about a million per cent sure that at least one of you is going to insist they are awful and the very soul of clunk, but I am here to tell you that when you put them on, they are magic.
I do love a leopard print, but rarely on a bag: as with shoes, it almost invariably ends up looking cheap. This Wood Wood tote is a glorious exception, thanks to the excellent washed-out grey and black print.
Right down the street from Gargyle is Project No. 8, a spare, clean design store that displays its wares pristinely and thoughtfully, giving the art gallery treatment to, well, the same stuff that pretty much all of these places carry. Waxed canvas totes? Check. Artisanal soap from Brooklyn? Check. Hand-tooled wallets? Check. Apartamento magazine? Present and accounted for.
Of course I am generalizing horribly. There’s plenty of beautiful stuff at Project No. 8, and it’s all quite carefully chosen, and this crystal bee tumbler is maybe one of the best things ever.
Then we moved along to Maryam Nassir Zadeh, a store I absolutely love even though I have never bought a thing there. The clothes are all expensive and esoteric, with shapes that are frequently complicated and far easier to pull off the closer you are to six feet tall.
For instance, I would not attempt this, but it is a wonder to behold.
My favorite thing at Maryam Nassir Zadeh are the shoes. I can’t even bear to look at these Robert Clergerie platforms.
And check out the heel on these gold Rochas slingbacks!