For Proust it was it was the petite madeleine, for us it was a blush-pink, exquisitely simple yet lavishly knit TSE cashmere sweater. It was showcased, front and center, on a table with its confreres (maybe we should say consœurs, since it was such a feminine sweater, but we’re sure that is a word that exists in our mind’s eye only). At any rate, it was showcased on a lovely merchandise table in the old Bendel’s on West 57th Street. We can still remember walking into the shop and seeing it straight ahead of us, that luminous pink yarn beckoning. The detailing, the intricate basket-weave knit on the entire upper part of the garment (and not just on the front side -- always a sign of a cheap manufacturer, cutting corners). That rich basket-weave gave way to an equally intricate horizontal knit of some type around what was the hip area, for this was an extra long, snuggly sweater. It was a work of pullover art. And in 1989 or 1990, at $300, it was an unaffordable work of art. We used to go by Bendel’s constantly, watching it, caressing it, waiting for a sale. And we wondered, who is this TSE company, and why had we never heard of these fantastic designers before? Alas, that pink sweater remains “the one that got away,” but we assure you that if we had ever snagged it, we’d still own it. Heck, we still have an Irish fisherman’s sweater mom bought for like $7 in 1902. Good quality wins out and lasts.
So, all that is a prelude to telling you that TSE -- very much a known quantity now, some 18 years later -- is having a sample sale starting Sunday the 6th. Do not miss it, or you’ll have stories to tell the grandchildren about the sweater that got away…
The sale runs through Thursday, May 10th, 9am to 6:30pm daily, at Soiffer-Haskin, 317 W. 33rd St., just west of Eighth Ave. Cash and credit cards only, and if you’re a regular reader, then you know already, no tots, no strollers. Expect discounts to be as hefty as 80% off retail.
Do not miss this sale, as there will be goods for women, men, babies, home, and not just in the company’s signature cashmere, but also in cotton and fine wool. We will be there, still thinking about that beauteous sorbet-colored sweater.