News & Scoops

2009 October 19

Weekend Walk-Through: Bergdorf Goodman

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(NEW YORK) Given that The Daily spends the better part of the weekend en boutique, why not indulge our retail fixation while reporting back on the happenings of New York's buzziest shops? Behold the first installment of our new retail report, in which we wax and wane about a chilly October pilgrimage to Fifth Avenue mecca Bergdorf Goodman.

It's been awhile, Bergdorf. While your Fashion's Night Out festivities drew star-struck Olsen fans by the thousands, the store's Bungalow-circa-'02 atmosphere was traumatic for your traiditonal client base, who tends to idolize small dogs rather than the Olsens. But after summoning up the psychological courage to cross the still-frenzied 5th Avenue/57th Street corridor, one enters into a visual feast, beginning with the pre-seasonal windows stuffed with Chanel and taxidermy. The jewelry floor was hopping with elderly ladies sporting the first mink of the season; Lotus Arts de Vivre scored the coveted center display (there's a PA happening later this week). There's a lot of Stephen Webster--several cases--but no word yet on whether or not the designer's new collaboration with Georgina Chapman for Garrard will be carried. 

Nothing too visionary in the recently-revamped accessories rooms bordering 58th Street, but at least 1/3 of guests who entered to discover a trove of Michael Kors neon fur hats were tempted to stroke, admire, and yes, test them out. Shockingly, they were priced at $350--downright reasonable. (Although a topper the color of Mountain Dew is, perhaps, a one-season trend.) On to the second floor, a bankrupcy-inducing affair known mostly for more Chanel shoes than most Chanel flagships. First display: an arguably pornographic display of Christian Louboutins (booties in lace and ruffles, pumps entirely covered in glitter, and Victoriana thigh highs that button all the way up). Around the corner, more Alaias than anywhere else in town. The straw-and-shell-covered sandals had few sizes left--even at $1,700 dollars and months away from the resort season. Same goes for the Balmains, which according to a salesperson, are moving like wildfire.

As for the ready-to-wear on 3? Bottega Veneta, front and center, with cashmere sweaters going for under $900 and the velvet and crepe-de-chine frocks hovering around $2,000. Sounds strange, but these prices are actually lower than in seasons past--and Maier's collection richly deserves this prime placement. Hannah MacGibbon's first collection for Chloe was directional on the runway, but the Bergdorf buy is full of easy classics like straight-leg trousers, long pleated skrits, strong-shoulderd blazers. Get yours soon, because there will be very little left by sales time. The Marc Jacobs buy was equally strong, with a wide selection of new-shape black pants that make a bit more sense than all those bright prints. But kudos to whomever placed the Comme des Garcons and Junya Watanabe orders. At last! Someone has all the army jackets, and in sizes, too! Well, for now. The nude tulle coats and dresses have already sold out. And what of Moncler? Watch out, Burberry--this brand has the outerwear market covered. It appears that these European-beloved coats are now bestsellers Stateside.

The store has a great selection of Ann Demeulemeester (leather bomber jacket, please) and an even stronger wall of Aquilano Rimondi, which must be a store exclusive as it hasn't been spotted elsewhere in NYC (so far). It's not nearly as high-concept on the rack, and the well-priced angular dresses and jackets are a great alterna-Armani for the downtown set.

And on to 5F. BG's visuals team has reworked this floor to create a series of small rooms for their bestselling contemporary designers like DvF and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Elie Tahari's space was the busiest, with young ladies scanning the racks while their significant others and shopping companions found solace in the mod living room area. Accessory standouts include Alexandre Birman's snakeskin booties and Dannijo's rhinestone necklaces.

The home floor was dominated by candles of every shape, size, and variety--in times of recession, they surely move faster than thousand-dollar gongs or antique silver tea sets. But there were accessible gifts galore, especially in the Jay Strongwater department. (Rabbit salt-and-pepper shakers, please!) And how better to cap of an afternoon of unabashed luxury and visual overstimulation than a glass (or two, maybe three) of champagne (or the vert, or Pellegrino) at BG? The wait for a table with a park view wasn't that long.

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