Shopping Alexander Wang at 2AM: Our New M’O


In case you were wondering what’s like to shop for the hottest looks of New York Fashion Week at all hours of the day and night, we’re here to tell you… it’s fairly freakin’ fabulous thanks to the launch of web site, Moda Operandi. The brainchild of Vogue Contributing Editor, Lauren Santo Domingo, and CEO Aslaug Magnusdottir (formerly of Gilt Noir), M’O has officially arrived. The site went live on Wednesday with Alexander Wang’s Fall 2011 collection taking center screen, and we’ve got to say, this site is pretty addictive.

Starting with the media darling and GQ/CFDA menswear-award-winning Wang made perfect sense (fabulous on top of more fabulous) and the 39 looks from his runway do not disappoint on the small screen. After logging into the members-only site, we were able to browse everything from a shiny poncho with exposed zipper ($895) to a long sleeve button front draped tunic ($625), to drain pipe jeans and a (relatively affordable) collared tuxedo tank ($435.00).

But it was the Blush Fur Coat ($9,800) in pale pink mink that had us at hello. This two pocket fur jacket with a notch collar and simple buttons is a little slice of Heaven –- and it could be ours for just $4,900 down! The site clearly lays out everything from estimated delivery date (in this case, September 1 – October 1, 2011), to payment instructions (trop cher; 50% up front, the balance upon delivery 6 months later). There is no detailed size guide, so we shot off a quick email to their personal shopper for guidance. Consider this feature customer service for the couture crowd. Within minutes we received word back about this particular coat, its’ boxy fit and broad shoulders, and how we might consider sizing down in this piece. Lovely, courteous, prompt… we could get used to this form of retail very quickly.

At any rate, we fought the urge to purchase this gorgeous piece of outerwear if only because we wondered what would actually happen if we laid the Am Ex down on it? Instant card and/or computer explosion? A call from fraud alert? Maybe next time. The interaction with the kind and knowledgeable stylist, however, made the whole process fun and assured us that we were in very good, very fashionable hands.

Other site features include a tight but handy breakdown of a garment’s finer points including “Details” such as lining, finishes, and place of manufacture. “Fit” gives a basic “true to size” rundown (again, a size 0 is a size 0 is a size 0), and the “Stylist” tab basically tells you how to wear the garment (in the case of the beloved mink coat, paired with “distressed menswear-inspired denim”). But you would’ve thought of that on your own…

Perhaps best of all, M’O allows you to see the looks up close –- we’re talking right down to the fibers -– and also to see garments in motion for a clearer sense of drape and fit. This is a good thing as not all items may be returned and you want to know what you’re getting into at these price points. Some items such as apparel and footwear may be returned for store credit, while others such as accessories, handbags, lingerie and swimwear, vintage items, and wallets may not.

And while there were bugs and the odd typo on Day 1 –- hey, it’s a start up and even they are (thankfully) human -– we hear that the kinks are being worked out in time for the Prabal Gurung (starts today), Thakoon, and Vera Wang shows that will be posted later this week. February and March look to be packed with trunk shows –- Proenza Schouler, Derek Lam, Carolina Herrera, and Matthew Williamson -– plus beefed up editorial content. We look forward to hearing what the creative M’O team has to say.

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