Hanger Stakes

The Season's Top 10, Maybe

At long last, though, a pair of authentic riding boots did make its presence known, and it was at Banana Republic, the same store with the leather pants. (Could these Banana Republicans be logging onto eBay?) Not only were these riding boots in the true sense—flat heels, round toes—they even had leather bottoms and canvas uppers, the sort of thing you rarely see outside the equestrian store ($198).

It may have been pushing 90 the day this research was undertaken, but that didn't make it impossible to locate the politically charged fur-trimmed coat. At Zara, there was a coat elegant enough to accompany those embroidered boots on their ride across the steppes. It was black velvet, decorated with black braid, and something very soft and furry trimmed its neck and cuffs, though the fabric content label didn't list any fur ($225). When the staff was asked about this, a debate ensued: The saleswoman was sure it was real fur, perhaps rabbit; the manager insisted it was fake, which, if true, is a miracle right up there with the washable jacket.

illustration: Yuko Shimizu

Of all the entries on Bloch's list, perhaps the least newsworthy is skinny jeans, which are almost impossible not to find, no matter how assiduously you may seek to avoid them. At Armani Exchange there were tables piled high with denim trousers, most of them displaying the current penchant for rips, tears, splotches, and all-around fake filth. But no one can accuse Armani of insufficiently gilding these dirty lilies. His jeans come with something absent from the other nine items on this fashion scavenger hunt: a fancy ticket that calls itself a certificato di autenticità, ready to be whipped out if anyone questions the provenance of your pants.

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