The Ring of Fire

Top: Issey Miyake (Consignment) | Jeans:  Jessica Simpson (Lord & Taylor) | Leather Tote: AllSaints | Shoes: Prada (Consignment)
Top: Issey Miyake (Consignment) | Jeans:  Jessica Simpson (Lord & Taylor) | Leather Tote: AllSaints | Shoes: Prada (Consignment)
Top: Issey Miyake (Consignment) | Jeans: Jessica Simpson (Lord & Taylor) | Leather Tote: AllSaints | Shoes: Prada (Consignment)

Some clothes just scream for attention, and this Issey Miyake piece is a YELLER.

The collar is constructed like origami, fades from black to red and ends in stiffened silk that’s been micro-lasered to resemble tiny flames – or perhaps thorns. The effect is beguiling, but mildly threatening – like the gaping maw of a Venus Fly Trap, or a volcano on the cusp of eruption. The cherry on top is the attached obi-esque belt that gives it even more shape. (In the interest of full disclosure, I will also note that the collar acts as a funnel in hot summer weather, and my face got blasted when I walked to work in this last week.)

Top: Issey Miyake (Consignment) | Earrings: Target (Circa 2007)
Top: Issey Miyake (Consignment) | Earrings: Target (Circa 2007)

If you’re consignment shopping, be on the look-out for bold shapes and weird details. Those are the pieces that come from the cadre of avant-garde designers that are incredibly expensive at retail price: Alexander Wang, Vivienne Westwood and Rick Owens often coax provocative shapes out of everyday office staples, from blazers to blouses to vests. Because the designs are so aggressive, many feel too intimidated to wear them — which means you can score pieces that scream “expensive” at prices way below whatever Nordstrom’s hawking for their annual autumn sale.

Shoes: Prada (Consignment) | Toenail Polish: On A Trip (Wet n’ Wild)
Shoes: Prada (Consignment) | Toenail Polish: On A Trip (Wet n’ Wild)

The sculptural details continued with the shoes, which are crowned with plumes of suede folded like half-finished paper airplanes. A little tip: The shoes’ plummy color really pops a pedicure. A turquoise pedicure looks particularly lovely with these.