Ilana Kohn Phoebe Top (small)
Ichi Antiquites cotton pants (one size) | sold out 🙁
Feit Hand sewn mules
I love Elizabeth Suzann, I really do, I respect how Liz has handled the growing pains, and have always been really pleased with the quality of the garments I’ve received. And I love the styles. But there are other small, hard-working designers out there, lest we forget.
Since I sold my size 8 clyde culottes I wasn’t really seeking a replacement per se (I think I’ll order the size 6 clyde culottes in the clay color closer to fall), but more of a crisp, lighter cotton pair of wide leg pants that would get me through summer. I originally wanted linen, but I’m in less of a flowy, soft, phase right now than I am a harder, more severe phase. In terms of my wardrobe anyway LOL.
I’ve been following Namu Shop for a while now (they carry quite a few minimal Japanese designers), and these Ichi Antiquites pants popped up in their new arrivals last week, so I kept my eye on them until I had money in hand to buy them. Maybe I got the last pair, or the only pair, but they are sold out now, which is sad, because I highly recommend them.
They arrived yesterday afternoon and I put them on immediately (this is what I do) and wore them the rest of the day. The cotton is wonderfully soft, and just slightly more substantial than Everlane’s cotton poplin, but not quite a medium weight, and with a matte, slightly brushed feeling. It’s hard to describe, but really lovely. And they are basically the same shape as the clyde culottes, with a slightly wider leg, and minus the clyde pockets (they do have pockets though). I like the elastic + drawstring waist on these and the length better on me. And they’re MUCH lighter weight than the cotton canvas. I’m very pleased. And glad that I didn’t have to wait 6-8 weeks to get them….
The price was very good, and I’m so excited to have my first REAL Japanese designer, made in Japan piece 🙂 Many of the pieces that Ichi has released for summer are linen, obviously, and everything is one size, which I don’t always love, honestly, but works for the aesthetic. More Ichi Antiquites at Namu, Lost & Found and Garmentory . They also have their own webshop.
Honestly, I’m sort of glad for the 6-8 week lead time at ES right now, because it’s forcing me to look elsewhere for summer pieces. I do now have a credit for returning my Alabama Chanin collab piece though, so I’ll get something for fall probably – I’ll need a smaller pair of silk florence pants by then. Oh, and I read on STES Instagram that they’re no longer releasing the “permanent” ESXAC collection in May. I was hoping to get the smaller size marlena dress in black.
It’s time for a pull back from ES a bit anyway; I feel it getting more hyped and obsessed over than I’m comfortable with, which is what happened with Everlane for me. Speaking of Everlane…I’d sort of been looking forward to their woven linen shirts and they came and went with nothing remotely exciting. I like their linen shirts, but not the new styles so much, and I did want to order a smaller size of the relaxed shirt I love so much, but it’s no longer available in white. BUT… THE NEW SHOES…
They are a knockoff of the Martiniano Glove Shoe. Why has no one pointed that out? I get what Everlane is doing, their big push early on was their silk shirts as a cheaper/better alternative to Equipment, so it’s not beyond them to “copy” other designers. Now all these “ethical”/sustainable style bloggers who champion independent designers are fawning over Everlane’s new shoe that is yes, 25% of the price, but basically a mass-produced copy of a handmade shoe that was a pretty innovative style when it was first released.
I don’t begrudge Everlane for trying to make more “ethical” fashion more accessible to more people, but I cannot abide blatant copies. Leave that to Zara and Target. Their loafer was a fairly “new” style, as was the street shoe. Why not come up with something new instead of copy a design already out there? Or just not do it at all? And all the fucking hype. UGH.
*getting off my soapbox now*
(I’m going to keep what I wrote up, because I mean it, but I don’t want to continue to seem like I’m “beating up” on Everlane or the bloggers/people who really like what Everlane is doing. To each their own. I guess I was just surprised that no one has seemed to acknowledge that the new shoe is almost an exact copy of one by a small, independent designer)
I am reading a Dean Koontz (Jane Hawk) novel right now and I’m relishing in how EASY it is and fast-moving LOL. I love heady books and non-fiction but every once in a while I need a break 🙂
Not much this weekend, cleaning? maybe some work in the yard? My mom is coming for a visit next week, so I have some things I need to do to get ready haha…
How was your week? What do you have planned for the weekend?
OH!! if you follow slowre on instagram take a look at my stories; somehow I was inspired yesterday to do some videos modeling some new inventory LOL – just ignore my voice and look at the clothes! I think I’ll do some more today with some sale/clearance items. I’ll keep the free shipping on all orders that INCLUDE a sale/clearance item with code SHIPITTOME through the weekend!
I have been eyeing Ichi Antiquites for some time, but have not purchased. Thanks for the review! I agree that there are lots of great indie designers out there that don’t get the publicity they deserve. As for copying, I totally agree in principle, but not necessarily in practice. I will get more exercised about this issue when top of the line designers stop copying each other and indie designers stop copying each other. (Sorry, pet peeve.) Once a style takes off, it’s all over the place, from top companies, to smallest indies. (Chanel everywhere, and don’t get me started on indie designs that look just like Miranda Bennett, just for instance.) It’s frustrating, but an across the board problem. Economists do differ as to whether copying dilutes the original company’s sales or increases them or is neutral (maybe all three depending on specific additional factors? Marketing is complicated.) But as a potential buyer I do find it frustrating and annoying. I don’t want to see the same item, or even style, everywhere I look. And I do feel for the design originator. It must be heartbreaking. 🙁
I absolutely see what you are saying about the Day Glove, and the hype was WAAAAAY overboard, but I have seen other brands making their own versions of the glove-style flat, Jeffrey Campbell being one of them. I absolutely stand behind independent designers, and I won’t support companies that blatantly rip off their designs. I think my issue is, this is a pretty basic design that is a twist on something that has existed for years (a ballet flat). While Martiniano may have spear-headed that trend per se, i don’t know if that necessarily means that they own the rights to any and all flats with a higher-than-average cut on top of the foot. And really, isn’t that design a re-working of a shoe design from the early 1980s? The Martiniano price point is not attainable for many people, and I just don’t know if a higher-end designer necessarily owns the rights to an entire shoe style. But…that’s just my two cents.
Grechen Reiter says
yes, yes..agree on copying. everyone copies everyone basically. but from what i can tell a lot of everlane “fans” are also indie designer fans, or at least may travel the same circles, so what they have done to martianino seems particularly off-putting. or SHOULD be, i should say.
also, same – i am tired of everything looking like everything else 🙁
I think the glove shoe has been around in some iteration for a really long time. Probably a lot of our grandmothers wore the court shoes with the elastic on the back half, and I remember seeing this style in Ireland while visiting in 2002. It feels like this look has become more popular among some designers since frump became a more recognized style here. Either that, or I’m getting old. 😛
Grechen Reiter says
oh yes! other brands have definitely copied the shoe, as i said to kathryn though, i think what irritates me most about it is that the people who are championing the new everlane shoe also purport to support indie designers, buying small, buying handmade, etc. (and consider everlane among “ethical” manufacturers), but where is the frustration that everlane has basically taken a small, handmade design and turned it mass-market? THAT is my issue. does that make sense? maybe i’m not articulating correctly…
i’m not sure jeffrey campbell buyers are also potentially martianino buyers? or everlane buyers?
the copying is a problem too, for me, but designers are going to copy. no one designer “owns” that look, really, unless maybe they do? I’m not sure.
Grechen Reiter says
ha. oh, yes, my grandmother had grasshoppers, which were maybe a little like a canvas version of these? but more like a loafer. and with a square vamp.
i guess what i’m trying to say is among a certain group of people (millenials, everlane-buyers, small designer supporters) martianino is really responsible for the glove style taking off and becoming popular. no one else “brought it back” as it were. IMO everlane saw that and said let’s do that too! and since they have the money and the factories they can do it cheaper. maybe i’m alone in thinking that’s NOT a good thing?? 😉
I dunno, I get your point and immediately thought the same thing as you about them being a knock-off, but I also think that some bloggers who were sent a pair aren’t really Martiniano’s target market based on their somewhat high art branding. The bigger issue I have is that they keep spending all this ad money promoting rather boring things, like underwear. I like the concept of the glove, but already have a pair of soft leather shoes from Camper that look almost exactly like jazz shoes. I remember hearing awhile back that Everlane was without a lead designer last year and was just crowdsourcing ideas from their employees. If that’s still the case, it may explain why some of their newer designs aren’t particularly innovative.
Grechen Reiter says
ah…well that makes sense. crowdsourcing…ugh… 🙂
Lol re: frump designs becoming popular here. I feel like frump designs have always been popular in an edgy way in GB/Ireland and while I love them, when I put them on they don’t look so good on me 🙁 . Doesn’t always stop me, though! I feel like you really have to be either very pretty or dramatic looking to pull off the full on frump look off. Or maybe just very much more confident than me! I will wear it if it makes me very happy, though, and that doesn’t always mean that it flatters me at all! (I’m a complex contrarian.)
I don’t know what their current philosophy is, but when they started up I remember they explicitly stated that they did not want to be innovative, they wanted to produce basics. Personally, I probably now have enough basics to last a lifetime and, as I’ve said before on this blog, I can replace anything that wears out at thrift shops. I think there is a real surplus of clothing manufacturers at every price point now, indie or classic, small or big, and I predict a major crash in the foreseeable future. The only way that these companies are going to survive is if people keep ditching and replacing their clothes every few months, and I dearly hope that people are moving away from that practice. Much as I want to support jobs and garment workers, it’s just not sustainable. There is no Planet B, people ;-
No, Grechen, I agree with you. When I saw them I thought to myself “huh well that’s not new”. But next thing I know they are all over the place and bloggers have free pairs to review and, yes, it was weird to me that the vibe was that they were the cool new thing. Maybe not that anyone called out their resembelance to anything in particular but to me that’s a pretty classic, minimalist, luxury style that’s been around for a while. I also personally just don’t love Everlane beyond the occasional basic tee or whatever, I don’t think they are anything special, and the hype around every new release is just like enough already.
I’d never heard of Martianino til I read this post. Beautiful and completely unattainable for me. To me the Day Glove (which I won’t be buying, because none of the Everlane shoes have worked for me) looks like the Vince Maxwell. So, a knockoff of a knockoff I guess. But hey, 99.9% of people can’t shell out $400+ on a pair of shoes, and almost every woman I know wants a pair of flat, comfortable shoes that doesn’t give off that orthopedic/postman vibe. I dunno, being able to buy small-batch handmade anything is a privilege, mass production is probably the only tenable way to clothes billions of people, so I try not to let my snobbery get the best of me. 🙂
Outfit looks so nice on you but I don’t think one-size clothing (esp not by indie designers, esp from Japan!) works for a size 14-16 american woman 😉
Spending weekend cleaning guest rooms/closets – my mom and her husband are spending the night on Thursday en route to someplace else and I have my clothing (seasons changing – but slowly…) all over the guest rooms. I have travel next Sunday so I’m also trying to figure out what to pack for that (work, and not sure of temps because this spring has been insane, so…)
Just starting reading “Janet, Jackie & Lee” biography. I tend to intersperse history non-fiction or biographies every 3-4 weeks among my mysteries, action & romances 🙂 Whatever time I don’t spend cleaning & in the closets this weekend, I will garden and read out on the patio. Oh, also making some tomato sauce & freezing stuffed shells for a co-worker’s Meal Train and husband’s upcoming camping trip….
Kathryn, I know what you mean about the way that frump styles look. When I try them, I always feel like I look like I’m wearing a hospital gown, even though I love the look on other women.
I have flat, size 10 feet, so I often buy European shoes to find stylish pairs that are also comfortable. Gabor is a favorite brand of mine, and they carry a “court shoe” that is a basic low heel, like what Queen Elizabeth wears. I have seen this for years with elastic all the way around, I’m assuming for older women with swollen ankles, and I remember seeing elastic on dress shoes when I shopped at mall stores like Naturalizer in the 90s. It seems like a lot of the modern, independent shoe designers favor styles from the 90s, like the open-toe boot sandal and Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s low-heeled strappy sandals. They look exactly like the shoes my mom used to buy my sisters and me for Easter, lol. I think styles come around again, and now I am old enough to witness this.
I know, right? All I know is that I always, always, always get complements when I wear clothes that I bought in the 70s, 80s, 90s. Isn’t that funny? And people are thrilled to hear that pieces of my outfit are decades old. Even young women who are all over the latest, latest thing. Every time I wear these items it seems I become a living advert for sustainable purchasing. (Which I hope give me heaven points for all the times I totally wasted resources. Which are minion.) ;-? There are many things that I have had to pass on to others over the years, due to major waist –and would you believe it foot –expansion, but during those years loose structures were regularly popular on and off, and I have never stopped wearing any of those (well, maybe put away for a couple of years now and again, but definitely worked back into my regular wardrobe time and again.) Go vintage!
You are so right about sizing! They actually have what I would consider a fairly fitted blazer in one size. With regular shoulders, not even raglan or dropped! I would ask Grechen to review it, but it is red stripe and she is not at all into either the colour or style!
I agree about ES — I feel badly, as though I’m always harping on it, but the recent hype/obsession along with the marketing strategies and recently reported quality issues lately have been major turn-offs for me. It’s a bummer, because her clothes really are true workhorses for me and I exactly what I want in my wardrobe. It makes me just want to buy ES off STES or eBay, where I’ll at least buy it knowing if there are any issues off the bat instead of taking my chances and waiting 2 months to find out…
I don’t follow Everlane so I don’t know about their new shoe launch, but I see your point about people supporting independent designers basically touting the “fast fashion” option of the sustainable shopping world — very incongruent values/actions.
As if I haven’t been hogging the discussion enough today, but re: “Oh, and I read on STES Instagram that they’re no longer releasing the “permanent” ESXAC collection in May.” Say WHATTTTT? Stop toying with me ES!!!!!!!!!
Grechen Reiter says
Haha. I think it’s still coming, but not anytime soon… they pushed back the extended sizing release too.
I think they owe their clientele an explanation/apology.
I agree, and I don’t know if it was you or someone else who pointed out that they were very public about proclaiming the 2-3 week turnaround but have said nothing about it going back to 6-8 weeks… I think transparency even when alerting customers of longer wait times would be a really nice thing to see from this customers’ point of view!
About Elizabeth Suzann: it’s a funny how marketing strategies can turn the same exact product upside down. I share your change of heart about the brand. But it challenges me to think more critically about what drives my consumer habits. Reputation is so important whether we like to admit it or not. And once a brand seems to have sold out to mass market appeal, it looses something that made it so attractive in the first place, even if the product itself has not changed. We’re always chasing something authentic these days… but I think the reality is authenticity is dead. In college I took an art theory course and there an entire school of contemporary philosophy that ponders the death of authenticity.. It’s so interesting.. Case in point, the Everlane glove shoes. It’s a mass market derivative of the Martinianos. But I’m not sure this hurts Martiniano. I think it just underscores how much the Martinianos are desired but unattainable for most. It’s like when Louis Vuitton’s creative director said he welcomed all the knock offs handbags that were out there. Then again I do think the LV label has suffered because of the mass market appeal, probably not financially but in terms of social capital. I own a pair of everlane shoes from 1-2 years ago that had a high cut like the current glove shoes, and I kinda hate them. They make my feet sweat way too much. But I think our qualms are more to do with grieving the loss of authenticity and creative license. The issue of price point, social class, and signifiers of elite status can be separated but integral to why all this copying happens in the first place, which is maybe why it feels like no one understands. I highly recommend The Sum of Small Things book to flush these issues out.
Very thoughtful post, Michelle. I still love Liz and don’t think she’s gone all “commercial” on us (probably the very reason she has all these awkward fits and starts) but maybe I don’t romantic love ES as much as I did? Time will tell.
Long time lurker here – I am so with you about ES – at least I think I am in some ways – not to put words in your mouth at all.
I spent months swooning over the brand; ES (her); the beautiful product shots. When I finally saved enough to order a couple of things, although they were beautiful, I just realized they did not really work for my body type – which is not anyones fault of course!. However – and I was well aware of this at the time – the exchange-only policy is rough and I wish that could be changed. I really think I got swooped up in the blogger worlds/Instagram/fixation on her and wanted so much to be a part of it that I was fairly wreckless in ordering more than one thing at a a time.
When items are pricey and the lead time is so long (which ES explains so beautifully and I understand why the cost is high and the time it takes to make each garment) I, and I assume others, order a couple of things at a time and then you’re out several hundred dollars (at least) should your items not work. A small thing, but fairly painful to someone pinching their pennies.
And ES is a beautiful brand, and yes – there are many others! I love supporting female owned businesses and looking outside of ES made me more aware of the vast amount of brands operated in fairly similar fashions. I don’t mean to knock ES for their very open policies – I run a small business and I can’t imagine dealing with all of the exchanges/returns/lead-times/changes to orders, etc – but still, I feel like I can’t order from them again until/if they ever change their return policy.
That being said, perhaps it is a good thing; forces me to look elsewhere and save my $$ for other small designers who have similar values. It also makes me think about how affective marketing is to me; and not just that put out by a brand but also by social media, etc. Not all bad, just something to think about.
Thanks for this thoughtful post. Also – you look lovely!
Grechen Reiter says
thanks for your input katie! and yes, i think we agree 🙂
the social media swooning is so easy to get caught up in…i notice myself falling for it all the time.