This week's Thursday Styles marks another appearance from Cintra Wilson as the Critical Shopper, an encouraging sign that The Times is rethinking its decision to restrict the column to staff writers (either that or Ruth La Ferla is on vacation, but let's think optimistically). This week, she has been dispatched to the Ace Hotel to give its retail components the once-over. The tiny satellite branch of Project No. 8 is dismissed with a sentence, and the lobby scene is essentially described as a hipster Starbucks. Instead, she focuses on the mini-version of Opening Ceremony that serves as its main gift shop.
A person could go either way with this store. The uninitiated could easily see it as a collection of arcane luxuries, but our more sophisticated shopper recognizes it as a masterfully curated array if irresistible items "unified by an adventurous vibe of intelligent newness and otherness". So seductive is the store's atmosphere that the typically unflappable Wilson succumbs to the extravagance of an $89 T-Shirt by OC mainstay Alexander Wang.
I know what you’ll think, and you’re right: an $89 T-shirt is a crime against humanity, and people who buy them ought to be pelted to death with $18 stainless-steel water bottles.
But I kept coming back to rub my fingers on it. It was so soft, it was making my brain flood with dopamine, like a security blanket.
And really, who among us hasn't thrown caution to the wind once or twice for a pricey bagatelle that turns out to be worth every penny and then some?
Ha, I said, showing my new fist to the twinkling night, while closing the blinds. Behold, ye suffering fashionisti. Behold, ye sensibly fleeced. I sleep to conquer. I am my own anarcho-luxurist syndicate. I am the Golden Mean.
Well, damn! We need to get ourself one of those T-shirts like yesterday!
Critical Shopper: Opening Ceremony Reinvents the Fashion Wheel By Cintra Wilson (NYTimes)
Opening Ceremony at The Ace Hotel 1190-1192 Broadway at 29th Street, Midtown South, NoMad, Whatever