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This month's Space 15 Twenty popup was in celebration of the new Reformed collection for Urban Outfitters. Reformed is the lower-end spinoff of Reformation, the redone vintage line started by Yale Aflalo and Chi Bui. The party may have been for Reformed, but the Reformation pieces overshadowed, and outnumbered, those from Reformed.
Many of the Reformation pieces felt like they missed they mark. Just a little too much of everything, all the time. Aggressive zippers. Studs. Fringe. Odd cutouts. Corset lacing up the back. Mesh inserts. Every cliche in the book—and when you pile more than two or three on one poor dress, you get a big helping of fug.
But still, we wanted to like. We found one beautiful empire waisted, silk dress—can't figure out if the color was 'nude' or 'champagne'—with little round studs at the neckline. We can't imagine what the dress looked like in its previous life, but this incarnation was demure with the right bit of sassyness, thanks to the studs. For us, it was the standout piece. The price seemed a tad high ($245), but them again, it was a unique and pretty piece that seemed like it would hold up for years to come (at least aesthetically, if not in fact, physically). Of course it did not even come close to fitting. Nor did the three other Reformation pieces we took into the fitting room. This line seems like it's cut for pixies. And the other dresses might have been interesting, but honestly, they didn't look that much different from all the other Urban Outfitters merchandise. Certainly not enough to pay an extra $200 for something that looked like it began its life as a Charlotte Russe spring romper from circa 1985.
The Reformed pieces were a slightly different story. Trend overload—more exposed zippers and fringe—but at least not to the point of overdose. The standout piece was an interestingly (re)cut vest-dress with fringe along the shoulders. Not bad for $88.
There were a few other lines on the periphery, like Nom de Plume YaYa, with offerings that also included vintage-like items with those angry zippers and gratuitous studding.
However, a party's a party, and free drinks + pretty people = fun. This popup was markedly less festive: since our last visit to the Space, SnakBar has closed for good, and the ALife satellite has also gone dark, too.
So with an uncertain future looking ahead, no wonder there's such temptation to keep bringing back yesterday—even if it's only in the form of clothing. But sometimes you just have to let the past die.
· Space 15 Twenty [Official Site]
· The Reformation [Official Site]