Dec 9, 2011


By Fawnia Soo Hoo, Contributing Editor

The shopping was in full force late this morning when the Opening Ceremony sample sale opened up to the public--the hipster demographic of the general population that is. From past experience, I knew it would be wise to line up an hour early and I was correct. The line grew steadily as the clock ticked closer to the opening time of 11am and when I left around noon, the line was probably about 100-150 deep and not moving. It pays to get up early, folks. Although 10am really isn’t that early, but anyway. Let’s talk about the sale, shall we?

After waiting in the ginormous line, you’ll have to check your bag and coat when you step inside. Staffers kept saying, “take your IDs” and I think that means if you pay by credit card ($100 minimum), they’ll be diligent in checking to make sure that really is you.

The shoes and accessories are on the main level, so let’s start there. The women’s shoe selection is all pretty random in terms of size and also season. The most amount of size and style selection was probably in the past-past season Rodarte for Opening Ceremony suede floral platform sandals for $150 a pair, plus the pointy and cap-toe platform pumps and brogues for $160. The only Chloe Sevigny x OC styles left (minus one pair of size 40 clogs) were the mid-calf cowboy-ish boots in brown or black for $130. There is also a decent selection of Robert Clergerie x OC leather and plastic sandal styles for $160 each. The Robert Clergerie suede lace up knee high boots in grey and black were a relative bargain of $250, and there was a random smattering of past, past season Alexander Wang styles (oh yes, I recognize you anywhere, Sofi for $130 a pair). I also drooled over a pair of super-strappy gladiator wedges by Gianvito Rossi for $250 each, but settled on a pair of mousse-hued sock-lined platform Opening Ceremony-label booties from fall ’10 for a bargain $80 (regular price $600+). Oh, if you see a style that you like and there multiple pairs in boxes, it’s worthwhile to look inside each box because the size marked on the box doesn’t always match what’s inside.

The bags on offer are mostly the Rodarte x Opening Ceremony leather-belt and vintage-y upholstery-ish styles. Pricing runs $180 for the leather, $200 for the floral tapestry ones, and $100 for the envelope bags, which a sales staffer said were these little envelope-style wallets, but I'm still confused on that one. In a nod to the '90s, Agnes b. x Opening Ceremony fabric backpacks (remember how all the girls in the club would wear the “Lolita” ones?!) are only $5. Totally picked one up an updated “Lolita” as a nostalgic gift for a college girlfriend (hiiiiii Elaine!).

After due diligence in the shoe section, I took a deep breath and headed down to the cellar that houses the womenswear and menswear and, WOW. Let me tell you, these hipsters aren’t messing around. I was forcibly pushed a couple times (my fault though because I was trying to take pics) and was almost knocked down because I was standing in the way of a girl and a marked down Christopher Kane dress (“But it’s still $750….”, she lamented once she saw the price.) That said, you need to be on a mission and in serious focus because there’s just a whole lot of random sh*t on the racks and it's getting messy in there. It’s arranged by designer right now, but I give that about one more hour. As one shopper sadly observed, “But there are so many beautiful things on the floor….” Just roll up your designer sweatshirt sleeves and start rooting through the racks.

The pretty floral detailed and leather-populated Rodarte x Opening Ceremony collection pieces are right at the bottom of the stairs. The leather short sleeved top (in black and camel) is $450, the leather corset-topped and textured silk-skirted dress is $250, the lace-up, high-waisted shorts are $235, the drapey, half-peplum bustier dress (in black and army green) is $238, and--I’m still questioning this myself, but--the velvet tapestry fringy bandeau dress is marked down to $185. I checked a couple tags to make sure I didn’t confuse the ‘1’ as a ‘7’ or something, but I suppose it’s not the easiest style to wear. The dress looks cute on the model though.

As for labels that are organized in their own section, there’s Peter Pilotto’s abstract earthy-toned water color pieces, such as, a drapey skirt for $315. There’s also an Agnes b. for OC rack, which includes black and white polka dotted sweatshirt cardies (all in large sizes) for $40 and a baggy jumpsuit for $110. Suno has a rack toward the middle-back with boxy canvas striped jackets (all in mediums) for $136, beaded tops for $163, and tank dresses with ruffle printed skirts for a mere $59. Marjan Pejoski cocktail frocks are at the back of the room and I thought a cream bustier dress with heavily detailed black and metallic beading was kind of a deal for $350 (from $1225).

Also, there’s Chloe Sevigny x OC pieces stacked in a pile on the left. Super cropped tees are $30, cut-off leather short-shorts are $150 and leather pants are $230. Either people didn’t notice the selection so close to the floor or most realized that not everyone can pull off leather cut-off booty shorts, but the pile was relatively untouched. Tons of Opening Ceremony label pieces line the right of the sale and I liked the heavy metallic beaded and embellished jacket for $350 or a cropped brocade navy and white stripey jacket for $120.

If you’re a die-hard then you really do need to look at every single piece because of the aforementioned randomness. You could pull out a pair of half-peplum, one leather leg, one spandex leg (and one leg longer than the other, huh?) Maybe Someday pants for $148 or a red crushed velvet jumpsuit by G.V.G.V for $200--both well priced in the greater scheme of things, but just kinda weird--or you might find a rust and cream draped Thierry Mugler dress for $600 (okay, but it’s still marked down a lot) or this non-labeled baby blue ruffly blue suede trench or $200.

The menswear is also downstairs and there’s a marginally smaller amount of clothes, but the guys were going crazy, too. There’s outerwear, shirting, blazers, pants, sweatshirts and lots and lots of patterns.

You’ve probably guessed by now that the sizing is totally random and dependent on the style. And also per usual, there isn’t a dressing room or designated dressing area and people were getting ALL sorts of naked everywhere. As mentioned before, cash and credit are both accepted, but there’s a $100 minimum for credit card purchases. Bring your ID just in case--along with your determination.

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