Thursday, May 30, 2013

Found: Gilt Groupe Warehouse Sale

I believe I hear AC/DC screaming,
"Dirrrrty deeds NOT dirt cheap!"    
The annual, ever-so-anticipated Gilt Group warehouse sale took place a few weekends ago, spanning from a Friday evening to a Sunday evening. Via their website, you purchased tickets for solely a particular 2-hour time slot on a particular day. Due to some work obligations, I bought a ticket for early Saturday afternoon, although, my gut tells me that the biggest and best items would be put out first on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
The complimentary open bar, particularly the mid-level champagne, and the massive giveaway of bags and bags of Pretzel Thins, made the introduction to this overwrought, crowded warehouse of confusion much more bearable. With a quick eye-over, I realized that the prices weren't all that discounted, and most definitely not "warehouse," nor were the vast majority of the items that desirable. They need to be one of the two, if not both, to warrant my efforts in treasure hunting.
I wondered if the real designer gems, or at least the obvious steals (there's a clear distinction between the two) had all been snatched up the preceding night and morning. After concealing four bags of free Pretzel Thins (They were free, come on! And hey, if nothing else, I deserved to leave with something for the price of admission.), I made an executive decision to give the hunting a real shot. Women ran around in a frenzy while their boyfriends (who were dragged there to hold their ladies' handbags and found items), congregated at the open bar, of course.
Although I had no bag boy in tow, I committed.
I didn't score big time, but I did leave with two items that I am even more thrilled about today than I was on that anticlimactic Saturday. How many items have you purchased recently that you can say that about?! Usually, questioning, remorse, and inquiring about return policies ensue when you impulsively buy under crowd pressure and a time crunch, like I was working with my pre-purchased- pressure-cooker-time-slot-ticket.  
1. Leigh & Luca Oversized White Scarf
Olive, pink, and black swirl design; fringe detail

Leigh and Luca scarves, oversized scarves, summer scarves, Leigh and Luca brand, gilt groupe sales, items on sale, warehouse sale finds, designer clothing discounted, flash sale designers, accessories
It's a lot of fabric, I tell you. But, contradictorily, it's not heavy or stuffy, in the least.  
Leigh & Luca, a line I personally fancy immensely, produces art-inspired scarves in limited batches, as evident below. That's difficult to do, but each scarf and its design feels just like a unique piece of art--cherished and collectible. When one feels so fabulous, why shouldn't you have another? Their scarves generally range from $68-$400. Pricey? Perhaps, but the price tag, like with many luxury accessories, is a result of the high quality and limited edition nature. Back to my to find, though (me!me!me!)--When I say that this scarf is oversized, I'm not even slightly exaggerating. It's almost the size of an afghan. But, the lightweight cotton material makes it easily wrap-able, and it looks super cool all twisted, layered up and tied. You can expand it or tighten it up, due to the flexible and stretchable cotton. These two lovely ladies-Leigh, an Australian entrepreneur, and Luca, a fashion designer, seem to provide that perfect balance of style and function.

Spring and fall scarf? Yes. Pat on the back.
More, sir, on Leigh & Luca (via their site):
 Creative Director Susann Luca travels the world looking for inspiration and more and is inspired by the less structured garments that stem from exotic cultures such as Asia and Africa. Each piece is woven on antique wooden looms using the highest quality cashmeres, silks and cottons, and can take up to a full day to make. Embellished with innovative hand embroidery, printing, and flocking techniques, the oversized scarves are made with love in Inner Mongolia.

Shop the line HERE, or at least check out their gorgeous designs.
Oh, and their SALE section.
Get into it.


2. Winter Kate Black Long Silk Maxi
Shoulder and back intricate beading; small V-neck; front center-cut slit
This Winter Kate maxi doesn't look super duper fabulous, due to my poor photography skills no doubt, but don't be fooled. I wasn't able to find a photo of the dress online, which I actually am comforted by. It feels a bit special, due to the quality of the fabric and the beading detail. There's a moderately-high front upside-down V shape slit in the front. It can be casual with flat sandals during the day (It's not frumpy, and especially not with the peek-a-boo slit), but I've been belting it, slipping on funky heels at night, and finishing it with a studded jean jacket. Or booties and a blazer. Done. It's so easy to style a million different ways, can look entirely different from day-to-night, and it just works effortlessly. Worth it.

Isn't the beading lovely?
Simple and chic,
but NOT boring. Boring is yuck.

      Winter Kate, Nicole Richie's dress line, is one, very rare example of a beautifully-crafted and remarkably designed (very un-celebrity-like) begun by, yes, a celebrity. I don't typically endorse, much less purchase, lines touted by celebs-turned-designers. Elizabeth & James/The Row, along with House of Harlow 1960/Winter Kate are some of the only examples I can muster up, now that I consider it. Winter Kate is a bit difficult to find, actually, and not too many large retailers carry the line, or carry much of it, at least. I suppose that's refreshing, albeit a bit frustrating, since it makes each piece that much more unique and less likely to be spotted on every fashionable lady across town. They're not oversaturating anyone or anything yet. Too much of anything means I'm over it.

Photo courtesy of Winter Kate
    The short shift dresses in addition to the flowy, yet figure-flattering maxis are all on my "currently crushing" list. In particular, this Nisha Maxi is divine, yes?
It's 100% vintage silk with that gorgeous chest embroidery. Day or night, I feel like this dress could easily pass through all seasons for several years to come.
    I found it on sale online HERE at for $209.99 (regularly $299.99), which also offers some great brands that are not quite as accessible in your nearest department store or offered on the web in large quantities.

    You can shop the Winter Kate site HERE, and yes, they have some beautiful blouses and jackets half off in their SALE section. Win.  
This girl adores a good sale and a thrilling hunt. But, sometimes, a sale isn't the time to indulge (shocking! I know).  
A sale, if nothing else, is simply a tricky marketing term.
Save it for the next time.
There will be a next time, and you won't be questioning it when it happens. 
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