Cashmere Obscenity


Thought the arrival of those Marc Jacobs bags on Bleecker represented the absolute zenith of West Village bourgeois decadence? Those satchels, with their cunning metal clasps and $900 price tags, are in fact as bohemian as burlap sacks compared to the neighhborhood’s latest newcomers: Parisian sweaters by Lucien Pellat-Finet (, who has just set up shop in the former MAC cosmetics store at the corner of Christopher and Gay streets.
These pullovers have arrived from France with price tags that would stagger Seabiscuit. And sure, they’re nice in a forced-hip kind of way: They’re decorated with little skulls, or they’re tie-dyed, or they feature Mickey Mouse ears. And yes, the patterns are not just printed on but knitted in (this, in cashmere country, is known as “intarsia”). But really—sitting down?—an alarmingly thin maroon cashmere pullover adorned with a camouflage peace symbol for $2,534??? (You could wear it to the anti-RNC demo—its sentiment is certainly appropriate—but the irony is, to afford it you’d have to be one of the rare beneficiaries of those Republican tax cuts.)

Still, you know us, we hate to leave empty-handed. So maybe a simple cotton sweatshirt? A black hoodie, printed with a green marijuana leaf (does this really appeal to anyone but an 11-year-old boy?)?

Whoops, it’s marked $960.

We can’t help asking the guy behind the counter how this can be. He sighs. “Well, you see, it has an Egyptian cotton lining,” he explains. “The finest material. And you know—the pattern and all . . .” His little voice drifts off.

As it turns out, it is not impossible to look arrogant and ashamed at the same time.