You might not find 37=1, a new store at 37 Crosby Street, if you aren’t looking very carefully. And you might not realize how extraordinary it is if you don’t spend some time examining the well-edited selection of beautifully constructed silk dresses and, more unusual, the made-to-measure underwear and garter belts. “These are Good Clothes,” designer Jean Yu explains, “in the old-fashioned sense.” Yu’s designs are an antidote to endemic dressing-down, a couture experience for those who can’t make it to Paris. The lingerie here has no elastic and is made from the most delicate fabrics – cotton, silk, chiffon – and secured with subtle hooks and garter belts to accompany the stacks of antique silk stockings. (A note for the squeamish: The hose are antique, yes, but not previously worn.) And the dresses are tailored, too, according to each client’s body and tastes. “I wanted it to feel like a real atelier, like Vionnet’s or something,” explains Yu, whose minimalist boutique is decorated with a coffee-table book on Yves Saint Laurent. “Like dressing is an experience.”
Looks like the heavy gold lamé that covers much of Prada’s spring collection will carry you right into fall, after all. Lamé – once the sad domain of disco gals and Miami retirement communities – has become, evidently, fabulous. For fall 2002, Helmut Lang’s runway models wore foil miniskirts so bright you could apply your makeup in their reflection, and Marc Jacobs showed soft, crinkly, grunge lamé layered over sweaters and under coats – more Kurt Cobain than Donna Summer. Lamé also popped up on a trench coat at Carolina Herrera, a miniskirt at Wink, and Dynasty-style evening gown at Jeremy Scott, to name a few. So lavish it on! Just go easy on the jewelry.