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08CRITICAL2-articleLargeThe Thursday Styles has rung in the New Year with a new set of Critical Shoppers. Matthew Schneier's take on the new COS store in SoHo got lost in our Holiday Hiatus, but this week, our other newcomer, Molly Young, stops in at Bottega Veneta designer Tomas Maier's new Madison Avenue flagship and is immediately struck by ...Its cleanliness?
Well, it is true, the store is, indeed pleasantly austere. She cleverly assesses Maier's aesthetic "as if Bottega Veneta had teamed up with Ikea on a diffusion line", which is not far off the mark given Maier's sense of real, practical clothes for grown-ups with real bodies. Not everything item is a triumph, however. One cotton shirt tried on made our shopper look like "an old paper bag twisting in a subway-grate blast". Our shopper's discerning eye is no less pleased by the presence of Maier's very subtle palm tree emblem on his shoes and handbags, but the misses seem to be outweighed by the buttery leathers and the trend-transcending separates.
So far, on her first trip to the market, Ms. Young seems to have slid nicely into the Critical Shopper's seat. While she lacks the carnival-freak-crazy sensibility of Alex Kuczynski, she does show just a hint of the indispensable wit and skepticism that still makes us miss our #1 Critical Shopper Cintra Wilson, which is a promising sign. Let's see how she settles in.

Critical Shopper: At Tomas Maier, a Vision of the Closet as Toolbox By Molly Young (NYTimes)
Tomas Maier 956 Madison Avenue bet. 75th & 76th Streets, Upper East Side


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