The glass slipper is emblematic of Cinderella's story. The shoe that does not fit is always the most coveted shoe, whether in the form of Giambattista Valli or in the form of crystal clear glass.
Left to sort lentils in the fireplace, in the Grimm version of the fairy tale, Cinderella is visited by two white pigeons. The pigeons find her alone in her work clothes: a pair of Marc Jacobs work boots, Marni leather vest adorned in an assemblage of patchwork pins, and lace-up Vena Cava house shoes.
"Peck peck peck", the pigeons ask Cinderella, "do you want us to help sort the lentils?" She turns, surprised to hear pigeons speaking.
After sorting the bad lentils from the good, splendid garments fall from the sky: one Oscar de la Renta bejeweled clutch with satin backing and an Aurelie Bidermann necklace hung with a gold plated horn.
Cinderella departs for the ball in the most unexpected fashion - in a carriage destined for the fate of a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight. At the magic ball, the prince awaits in conspicuous form, wearing a House of Adonis and Aphrodite bow tie and Diesel chain link watch.
As the story goes, Cinderella flees the ball at midnight, leaving a glass slipper behind in her frenzy.
The next day, the prince arrives at Cinderella's stoop in a horse drawn carriage to find his princess covered in ash. He carries her slipper in a Carols Falchi suede pouch.
"You! You are my 'glass slipper'!" the prince exclaims, slipping the pump onto the maid's foot, and meanwhile tossing his Celine scarf over his shoulder.
All men's and women's merchandise found in INA Noho.
Kicking back her red velvet Lanvin heel, Daniela tries on a vintage lace dress for size. To the left, Squirrel borrows Junya Watanabe suspender overalls in an uncharacteristically masculine look, topped off in a Rag & Bone hat with a touch of Indiana Jones.
"Who's that girl?" Daniela models a Karl Lagerfeld silk turtleneck dress.
Don't look twice. That's Squirrelly Milhorn in a rarely seen tuxedo skirt suit: blazer by Givenchy, YSL satin vest & white undershirt, YSL gold chain loafer pumps.
Peeking from the changing room in her Balenciaga kimono, Daniela checks out Squirrel's "school days" outfit - that is, the school of Comme Des Garcons.
As it turns out, it's harder to be a boy than we thought. At the end of the day, Squirrel swings her Myriam Schaefer briefcase in style, meanwhile vowing to find a dirty gin martini and her pumps, in exchange for one pair of gold metal-plated YSL loafers.
Along the apartment floor were strewn clues of the woman, her hair long with a beginning part in the center. Accustomed to nights at home, she disappeared onto the sunny street, a preamble to an uncharacteristic night out. On a table lay an open book with a photograph of modern belongings: a suitcase, an umbrella outdoors on the ground near water.
Her clothes were in the style of the 70s, for which she gushed.
The slender, long-legged beauty wore her blonde hair down over a leather jacket with long, pointed collar - a striking contrast.
I saw the wooden beaded necklace, the beads, rod-like. Further outside of the room, there was her bracelet, in coordination with her necklace.
The last sign of the woman was a chunky wedge mule with an open toe. Then I saw her other mule on its side, on the floor by the bed, underneath it to an extent.
Perhaps before leaving, she pulled on again her bird-emblazoned coat and her black boots, put the red hat on her long white blond hair and took a handbag.
Featured items, remaining as part of the end-of-season sale: Roberto Cavalli silver silk gown with sequined trim, finished with a ruffle (INA Nolita); Margiela men's two-toned vintage leather vest (INA Chelsea); Givenchy fabric covered platform with ankle wrap (INA Soho); Givenchy printed silk dress with affixed plastic darts (INA Nolita); Comme Des Garcons women's black leather boot with ruffle circumference (INA Chelsea); Jean Paul Gaultier men's full length wool coat with yarn embroidered bird (INA Chelsea); Theysken's Theory multi-colored women's pants (INA Chelsea).
Thursday begins a long weekend sale at all INA stores of up to 70% off merchandise from winter stock, and a preview of select spring merchandise.
The stars, the sun and the moon have everything to do with it. Gianni Versace, divided, next to floral printed 45 RPM flannel.
"Ruined, robbed, done for!" and blindfolded by blue gourds. Hemes scarf, 100% silk.
Akris blouses are few and far between: a runaway train in a groove wound through a silken forest. From under the blouse rests a fringed Dries Van Noten scarf with springtime foliage.
"Un jour!" "Une femme au visage!", or, "A woman in the face!": around his neck, the French language.
Squirreled away in a chinchilla hat and Etro paisley scarf, he reads. Marcel Proust writes. "...in the depths of which Mme Swann negligently reclined, her hair, now blonde with one gray lock, encircled with a narrow band of flowers, usually violets, from which floated down long veils, a lilac parasol in her hand, on her lips an ambiguous smile in which I read only the benign condescension of Majesty..."
Above merchandise found in INA Soho. Please visit all INA locations for discounted shopping.
Gazing into the dark street from inside the store, I see a white apparition. This soft cloud is a favorite customer, P. He wears a white fox hat. Attached in the middle of the fur and hidden, is a silver plate that reads “Dior”. He is one of the best dressed men, as he can wear this plate in seriousness. The silver plate amongst the white fur reminds of an astronaut's helmet.
He came by the store to show us the Dior fox ski hat he purchased from INA last winter. He wears it with what used to be a floor length wool coat detailed with a single row of buttons from the center of his back to the ground. He recently shortened the coat to mid-calf length, because the fabric was dragging, and as he says, “At seven in the morning, who wants to worry about lifting it?”
Ideally, P would have a hat to pair with every suit. Another customer in the store inquires about the make and fur of P's hat, as she has a rabbit hat of similar design.
"Don't you worry about your hat being stolen?" the customer asks.
P refuses. “Why worry? I wear the hat for luxury, not for worry.”
Inspired by luxury and a touch of space age, I dedicate these objects to P.
From top: Bruce Glen jewel-encrusted wrap bracelet (INA NOLITA); Pierre Hardy velcro-closure, white leather sneakers with cut out polka dots (INA MEN NOLITA); J. Mendel fur shawl with beaded stars (INA NOLITA); white leather boot from former New York boutique, Atelier (INA MEN NOLITA); onyx earrings (INA NOLITA); metal, black-plated choker with silver spikes (INA NOLITA); Fleet Ilya black leather clutch with triangular closure (INA NOLITA); Louis Vuitton fluorescent, Epi Leather hooded jacket (INA MEN NOLITA); Marc by Marc Jacobs ivory, hooded quilted jacket (INA NOLITA); Tateossian turning earth cufflinks (INA MEN NOLITA); Balenciaga patent leather metallic pumps with lime toe (INA NOLITA)l Marc Jacobs wool, sparkle tweed skirt (INA NOLITA).
Roving the INA stores this week rounded-up our edgier pieces – but in this sense, I mean garments edged in ruffle or sharp contrast. These edges define themselves against plain fabric backgrounds, a plain white sweatshirt, or pimento floor length skirt, each garment calling attention to its perimeters.
A Bottega Veneta wristlet wallet, zipping open, is one evening's change purse inside of a leather flower.
The leather undersides of Felder Felder pleats swing out with each turn of a Giuseppe Zanotti (for Balmain) heel.
Heels of gold leaf finish a rounded leather toe in Marni pumps.
Trimmed in a beaded and chain-link collar, a Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti oversized top is Aztec-themed in a sweatshirt world.
Nothing but edge, embroidered and patterned - this Prada purse has no borders, unlike the Prada jeweled glasses resting above.
Not a ball gown, but a ball skirt. Jil Sander shifts the ruffle that usually appears as the perimeter to a strapless dress down to the waist.
Alaia charcoal ruffles share their edge with corals and reefs.
Turning up the cuffs of this YSL men's blazer, above: its striped silk offsets its fur-trim.
All items found in INA Soho, with the exception of YSL Men's blazer and Alaia cardigan, to be found in INA Chelsea.