Where abjection is the grandeur

In what I’m still not sure wasn’t some kinda disservice, last month my friend Derek took me more or less by the hand and walked me down to a boutique I’d been hearing about for years but had never yet visited: the surprisingly accessible cognoscenti bolthole called Atelier New York.

Good god. The Atelier vibe is somewhere in the fertile delta between monastic, SM and post-apocalyptic, making for the kind of environment in which the act of consummating a purchase feels simultaneously corrupt and all but sacramental.

Needless to say, I was at home immediately. Just about everything in the place is either grey or black. Racks of Raf Simons, Label Under Construction, Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji – the hard stuff, the stuff that’s just about impossible to find even in New York. Accessories? Yeah. Capacious bags made out of single pieces of cowhide, leather origami held together with sterling staples, like that.

I was back today, downtown on an unrelated mission. I got out with a pair of exquisite boots from The Viridi-anne, most of my sanity, and some fraction of my bank account. Boy howdy, this store is not for the weak of heart. You’ve been warned.

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