This week the lovely people at Diane Von Furstenberg are selling tons of spring merchandise at 75 percent off regular prices for the house's sample sale. The space, at 260 Fifth Avenue between 28th and 29th streets, is a treasure trove of wrap dresses and safari-inspired prints. But when such bounty is publicized so well, fashionistas descend like starving vultures (they don't call it a fashion "flock" for nothing). We got caught among them yesterday and came out (mostly) unscathed, but we can confirm shoppers aren't going here to make friends. However, the injuries we risked were well worth it — DVF knows how to make a damn good-fitting dress, and we wouldn't be able to afford these otherwise. So we encourage you to buck up and face the crowd. We suggest abiding by these commandments to make your and your neighbor's shopping experience as pleasurable and effective as possible.
1. Thou shalt allow 90 minutes of shopping time. We know this sounds like a lot, but you'll need the extra time if you want to cover the racks and the bins. The bins are where the real bargains are ($50 dresses, y'all), but the digging takes time. Also, you'll need to allow waiting time to try things on, make your purchases, and possibly just to get in the doors.
2. Thou shalt mind thy hangers in transit. There are a lot of racks positioned very close together making for a hazardous two-way aisle traffic. We advise holding your merchandise by the hanger and over your shoulder so you don't get caught on hanging clothes, people, purses, small children, etc. (But really, this is no place for children, so get the sitter if you must.)
3. Thou shalt not dally at the racks. Flip through quickly. There are many, many repeats so grab what you like and keep it moving so you don't create a traffic jam.
4. Thou shalt mind the sizing system. The garments are organized by size. The sizes on the south wall are the smallest and increase as they approach the north wall. Flipping and grabbing of garments is made slower when you have to check size labels. Besides, it's utterly disappointing when you think you've found a gem in your size but it turns out it's just hanging on the wrong rack.
5. Thou shalt not throw clothes on the floor. Those fabrics are slippery. Also, show some respect, people! This is DVF after all.
6. Thou shalt not throw one's merchandise about willy-nilly in the changing area. The people who work there don't like it and neither does your changing neighbor. Besides, it's hard enough to keep track of one's merchandise as it is.
7. Thou shalt part with one's spoils in the changing area quickly. The sales people continually walk through and ask for rejects. Pass them off freely and often. This is not time to dwell. Many pieces will look amazing on you because, as we've said, Diane knows how to make a damn good-fitting dress. If you don't love it, pass it off and don't look back.
8. Thou shalt celebrate thine spoils with icy alcoholic beverages. Like we need to twist your arm on this one, but we'll say we did this when we finished and it was positively delightful. So don't let that sitter go too early.
Sale runs through 6/7 at 260 Fifth Ave., nr. 29th St.; Tues. (9–6); Wed. (10–8); Thurs. (10–7); Fri. (9–6); Sat. (10–3).