Thursday, October 30, 2003
Do-gooder department store Saks has teamed with vh1 for Gifts That Give Back, proceeds of which support vh1's Save the Music charity. I like the Missoni scarf and especially the Dior bag (it's a makeup bag, but I'd use it as a purse). I don't like Ashanti's dumb poses.
Whenever Pottery Barn gets a little adventurous, the stuff ends up on sale. But since I like it when they get a little wacky, this is good for me. Hence, the Pottery Barn sale. I like the faux fur throw (and matching pillow cover), the Trinidad sheets, and this fire hazard waiting to happen, the Votive vine.
There is nothing going on today, I'm sorry to report. I vow, however, to spend the next few hours combing the Internet for things to post.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
So, I watched Rich Girls last night on MTV. Yikes. In the first 10 minutes of the show, the girls must've spent $10,000, all in search of a prom dress (they seem to get easily distracted). They were limo-chauffeured as they went from What Goes Around Comes Around in SoHo to Scoop to Saks to God knows where else. Jaime (the portly one, although, to be fair, TV adds weight, so she's probably not that heavy) dropped 5Gs on her leopard-print number. You know where I got my prom dress? I'll give you a hint: It starts with JC and ends with Penney. The girls then had a day of beauty at Frederic Fekkai to prepare for the big event (which, from what I could tell, was a lot of drama, underage drinking, smoking, and riding around in a limo). For my prom, I did my own hair and makeup, then I called my best friend Jen and we both had a shot of vodka to steady our nerves. Then, after pictures at Laura's house (where my dad, slightly inebriated, decided to sit on the floor while taking pictures, so half of my photos are up everyone's nose) I think we drove ourselves to good ol' Drury Lane. But you know what? I had a damn good time at my prom and there was no drama, aside from my discovering that, much to my chagrin, my date was gay. But, hey, he was hot!
In this week's E! Fashion Police, sitting in the front row at all those fashion shows has finally paid off for Hilary Swank; Britney Spears has clearly hired a new (and much better) stylist; Scarlett Johansson takes a huge risk, and works it; Goldie Hawn seems to be channeling I Dream of Jeanie; Sharon Osbourne is a cool mom (although the Fashion Police seem to disagree); and Mya, though well accessorized, wears an ill-fitting dress.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
You can now order online from affordable, minimalist wonderland West Elm. If I had a bigger apartment, I'd order the geometric storage unit and the G bench. Until then, I'll settle for the graphic-pattern rug, the beaded shower curtain, and the swirl-print pillow cover. Love the lilac.
It's not even Halloween and I'm starting to get e-mails with gift ideas. Since the official Christmas shopping season has not yet begun, I think it's perfectly acceptable to buy this stuff for yourself. Sephora has a cool-looking Tales of Great Hair gift set from the yummy-smelling Fresh. Gloss has a Mini lip glaze set (enter code HELLO at checkout for free shipping for orders of $50 or more). MAC has a plethora of holiday kits. And Benefit says that their lip gloss set is the gift of the season. Or the pre-season.
In today's Times, the fashion industry is atwitter over the possible departure of Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole from Gucci. I'm guessing that, much like the subway workers' threat to strike, it's all a matter of posturing. Ruth La Ferla reports that people want aggressive costumes this year and P.Diddy is under fire for his use of Honduran sweatshops. Oh no, you Diddy-n't!
Monday, October 27, 2003
Tom Sykes reports in today's Post that (gasp!) men are shopping. All by themselves! And not just for Dockers! For the clueless, there's a sidebar on places to hit, although I'm sure Tom, brother of fashionistas Plum and Lucy Sykes, does not actually frequent these establishments.
Hey, skinny girls! Slim-cutter Rebecca Taylor and lovely lingerie-maker Leigh Bantivoglio are having a girly joint sample sale at 336 W. 37th (between 8th and 9th Avenues), 15th floor. Sale is Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-8. Rebecca Taylor tops are $60-$80; skirts and dresses are $90-$100; pants are $90; jackets are $100; shoes are $70. Leigh's dresses are $100; camisoles are $60; boy shorts are $35.
Zero Maria Cornejo is a much-overlooked, very cool downtown label, and her store, at 225 Mott, is having sale. Items are up to 80% off: $40 tops, $99 pants. Hours are Monday-Friday 12:30-7:30; Saturday-Sunday 12:30-6:30.
Portolano, an Italian knitwear company, makes excellent wool and cashmere winter accessories. They're having a sample sale at 15 W. 37th Street (between 5th and 6th), 2nd floor, today through Friday, from 10-6. Last year I got a nice cashmere hat and cute little mittens.
Sometimes Steve Madden has really cute shoes. I have no idea what the sample sale will be like, but it's worth a look: Shoes are $25 (5 for $100); boots are $40 (3 for $100). The sale is at two locations: 247 W. 37th (between 7th and 8th) and 134 5th (between 18th and 19th). Hours are 8-7 weekdays, 10-5 weekends, now through Saturday. The Steve Madden website is also having a 50% off sale.
For more New York sales, check out Lucky.
Friday, October 24, 2003
Now through October 28, save 15% at Purpleskirt.com when you enter the code SKIRT at checkout. I like this devil shirt, these m.r.s. pants, this Anna Sui dress (I like how they show it over jeans), and what every girl needs, a tampon case. Oh, you have one already?
In the vein of the two Astor Place Starbucks, H&M is opening up a second SoHo branch...one block away from the previous location. This one's at 515 Broadway (between Spring and Broome) and opens at noon; be among the first 100 people in line and get a free H&M T-shirt. Or, be civilized and shell out the $4 yourself.
Because there are not enough people crowding the narrow streets of SoHo on the weekends (not to mention the annoying guy who causes major gridlock at Prince and Broadway by selling cheap coats and sweaters for $20), the SoHo Partnership is hosting the fourth annual SoHo Stroll on Saturday, from 11 a.m. until the stores and restaurants close. Click here to see a list of participants. Most are lame (raffles, coffee), but some have excellent incentives: Fragments is offering a whopping 20% off (!), as is Face Stockholm; H2O Plus, my former employer, has a four-piece gift with purchase of $30 (not hard to do in that store); and Dos Caminos SoHo will give you a free Prickly Pear Margarita with your lunch or dinner. God knows you'll need a stiff drink after dealing with those crowds.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Bloomingdale's is hosting a Girls' Night Out tonight from 6-8 p.m. Monogramming will be available for $10; if you spend $250, you get a $25 gift card; if you spend $300, you get a mini-tote full of beauty goodies (yes! gift with purchase!). Free Türi vodka white cosmos will be served. What's better than shopping? Shopping while you're tipsy!
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
This week in E! Fashion Police, Beyoncé looks Barbarella-ish (I love this woman and her thighs—to hell with Nicole Kidman and her pipe-cleaner-like stems); Angelina Jolie finally wears some color (a nice mint green, but the dress is shapless and not too flattering); Milla Jovovich looks red-hot; Björk tops her swan dress; Liz Hurley (and her implants) are back in Versace; and Lisa Marie Presley looks surprisingly good (in a butch kind of way).
MUG has new stores, including Darling, which is kitty-corner from my apartment, but I haven't been there yet. Expect a full report within a week or two.
On Monday, Daily Candy featured cute new jewlery by Brit company Tatty Devine. I love the guitar-pick bracelet.
Billion Dollar Babes started on the West Coast to bring joy to the sample-sale-deprived ladies of Los Angeles, and they've since held several sales here in New York, the land of plenty. Now, I've never actually attended one of these, so I may be a bit presumptuous here, but these L.A. people are getting it all wrong. Case in point: Today I received an e-mail soliciting a BDB "New York Platinum Membership." This buys you:
* Exclusive "First-Look" invitation to the Friday VIP Platinum Presale event from noon. (Doors open to Gold Members at 3pm and non-member VIPs at 5pm.)
* Priority Check-In for both the Friday VIP Presale event and Saturday all-day sale.
* Express Check Out registers.
* A Luxury Gift Bag at each NYC sale - full of the hottest beauty and lifestyle products, valued at over $200. (Our November Gift Bag so far includes products from NARS, Origins, DKNY, Crunch Gym, Noir, Virgin Records and more!)
* Four guest invitations for each sale event.
* A personalized membership ID tag.
* Complimentary cocktails.
* Invitations to any additional private VIP clearance sales we may stage for individual designers.
So I went to their website to see just how much this costs, but they won't even tell you until you fill out your credit card information and etc. (I'm guessing upwards of $200.) The membership page notes that West Coast platinum memberships are already sold out. Do these L.A. idiots think New Yorkers are actually going to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege of shopping three hours earlier than everyone else? You don't pay to go to a sample sale! That defeats the whole purpose!! Clearly, these Angelenos don't understand the concept. So I think they should take their guestlist, velvet rope, and VIP treatment, and head back to L.A. where people are dumb enough to fall for it.
(I will be boycotting future BDB events, but for those of you who aren't, their next New York sale is November 15 at the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th between 6th and 7th.)
I'm not a big fan of Habitual jeans, but if you are, stop by Find Outlet (361 W. 17th, between 8th and 9th) today from 5-9 for first dibs on the Habitual sample sale and a glass of wine. Hopefully the wine will console you when you can't pull the jeans above your hips.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Inspired by Lynn Yaeger's excellent adventure, I checked out new European superstore Mexx, at 52nd and 5th, on Saturday afternoon. My first impression? Greige. I'd say 90% of the first floor is some kind of neutral, be it black, brown, cream, or gray. (Can someone make sure Mexx gets the memo about there being a lot of color this spring? Thanks.) So nothing caught my eye right away, but upon closer look, I found some cute cropped jeans for $69, jeans-cut leather pants for $169, a topstitched suede messenger bag for $59, and a very Barbarella silver vinyl purse for $29. Yes, as you've probably noticed by now, those prices are significantly higher than H&M's. The good thing about this is that Mexx' clothes appear to run a lot bigger; the bad thing is that a lot of it is still made out of synthetics (wool/acrylic blend sweaters abound). I think I'm going to wait for a sale.
Somewhat disappointed, I headed a few doors down to H&M, whose first floor is decked out in...greige. Black and cream, as far as the eye can see. Um, way to differentiate yourself from the competition, H&M.
In today's Times, a rehash of the Spring 2004 shows. Trends of note: volume (more on that in a moment), skirts and dresses (no pants), femininity, and color. Color and femininity have been slowly creeping back into our wardrobes, and god knows it's too hot to wear pants in summer anyway, but I must say I am very excited about this volume thing. Clothes have been too tight for too long. I will be so happy to let my gut languish in peace. On the count of three, unbutton those waistbands! One...two...
Yesterday's (yes, I know, I'm a day behind) Post has fashion coverage of coats under $500. Take a look at that photo. Does it remind you of my last year's Marc by Marc Jacobs coat? A year ahead of the trends! Thanks, Marc! Anyway, there are some very useful tips in here (i.e., for the love of pete, don't buy a synthetic coat). Other stories: Reebok tries to up its street cred; thigh-high boots aren't just for hookers (although I disagree); Andrea Bernholtz of Rock and Republic jeans finds an outfit for $100; and sales (mine are better).
Wait! There's more! Bridget Harrison tries out the mermaid suit from Neiman Marcus! And she says (to paraphrase) it kicks ass!
I'm back from my personal day (and subsequent work catch-up), and ready to deliver a smattering of shopping goodies. This week brings:
An exclusive three-day sale at Bluefly. I got the e-mail yesterday, so, I guess that means it ends tomorrow. Hurry!
Sephora has a gift with purchase. Now, I'll admit that I'm a sucker for the gift with purchase, but this one actually has some cool stuff in it. Enter code PINKBAG4 at checkout when you spend at least $40 (not a problem at Sephora).
The Container Store, my personal favorite, um, container store, is having a shelving sale. I will salivate until their New York City store opens across the street from Bed Bath and Beyond in November.
The excellent Boucher is having a 25% off sale. Enter code FALL03 at checkout and get me the lariat while you're at it.
I got my first holiday e-mail today from Gloss.com, about holiday gift sets. I like le Quartet de Chanel and the Stila Confections for Eyes. You gotta love these names. Plus, you get a sample of Clarins Extra Firming Night Cream, a sample of Stila Demi Creme (with any Stila purchase), and if you spend $50, you get a full-size Prescriptives Lavish lipstick when you enter code LVSH9 at checkout. Remember when I said I'm a sucker for free gifts?
Shopbop has the Vince bomber jacket that Madonna wore on her American Life album cover and subsequent whirlwind media tour. I still like my bomber from bebe.
Now through November 30th, Portico's outlet in the Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave., between 15th and 16th) is liquidating, so everything is an additional 10% off. I love my bath towels from Portico, but they also have furniture, bed linens, objets d'art, and more. Hours are Mon-Sat 10-7, Sun 12-6.
Spend $50 at Old Navy and get free shipping when you enter code SHIPON50. Now, before you knock Old Navy (and the apparent challenge presented by actually spending $50 there), check out this trench coat, the most comfortable pants ever, and a grommet purse, and bam! That's $50!
Attention label whores: At i-GlobalMall.com, spend at least $85 on a wallet and get free shipping when you enter the code OCTWAL.
Friday, October 17, 2003
This store makes me salivate. Things I'm currently drooling over: FrostFrench brown canvas mini with huge buttons; Language alpaca sweater; Paul and Joe bird tunic; and last but not least, Marc by Marc Jacobs brown shearling boots. The thought of slipping my feet into those boots is making the back of my neck tingle. Excuse me for a moment...
Urban Outfitters is having a fall sale. I can't link directly to the items, but choice finds include a lot of Diesel stuff, cute skirts, and Ben Sherman shirts for the fellas.
For 10% off now through October 24 at Art.com, enter code C258888663426 at checkout.
The Pottery Barn store in Soho is reopening, corner of Broadway and Houston.
Housewares store Mxyplyzyk is having its third annual two-day sidewalk sale, Saturday 11-7 and Sunday 12-5. Merch will be 50-70% off. The best part? Free hot dogs and popcorn! 125 Greenwich Ave., between Jane and Horatio (right around the corner from my apartment).
Thursday, October 16, 2003
The Conran store has just opened an online shop. Check out the sweet Glove lounge chair. Two drawbacks: Prices are listed in pounds sterling and they don't deliver to the U.S.—yet. However, you can browse online, then go to the New York store at 59th and First Ave. I know, it's the Upper East Side, but it's a small sacrifice to make for good design.
Today, a useful tip from Daily Candy: Put Bodyglide (a product used by surfers to prevent wetsuit chaffing) on your feet before wearing painful shoes and voilà! No blisters. My gratitude is so great that I almost wasn't going to mention that sandal season is over. Minor detail.
Lots of sales today, kids:
It's the launch anniversary of Gloss.com, so for today only, if you spend $30, you get a free Clinique Almost Lipstick in the best-selling Almost Cocoa.
Now, I am a big fan of Bloomingdale's, but their website is, to put it mildly, a big mess. If you're braver than I am, get 20% off when you enter the code FF5INT at checkout, today through October 23.
My favorite furniture store, Design Within Reach, is having its annual 10% Off Sale. Now, 10% is not usually something to get too excited about, but when you consider that you can get a tan Barcelona chair and ottoman for $1700 instead of $3190, that's a good deal! (Okay, okay, tan is already on sale. But you get the point.) The sale ends on Monday, October 20.
In this week's installment of E! Fashion Police, Tara Reid's hipbones are back on the scene (accompanied by el trashola Paris Hilton), Rebecca Romijn-Stamos gets away with wearing horizontal stripes (that bitch!), Chlöe Sevigny looks like Connecticut circa 1986, Sarah Michelle Gellar has some rather unfortunate lowlights, and Katie Holmes is freakin' hot, not to mention her boyfriend, Chris Klein.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
The Village Voice's excellent Lynn Yaeger visits the new Mexx store on Fifth Ave. for this week's Elements of Style. Her conclusion: Kinda boring. She also checks out rapper Eve's new Fetish line at Macy'...and finds it to be more appealing than J.Lo's J.Lo. Uh-oh.
This is going to sound sad, but one of the highlights of my month is receiving the new issue of Lucky. So here are some things of note in the November issue:
Cover: Mischa Barton of The O.C., a show that seemingly everyone except me watches.
p.58: "One to Watch," a cool-looking jewelry company called Bing Bang. Simple and affordable—right up my alley.
p.64: A three-page story on black patent leather shoes. [barf] No one over the age of six should wear black patent leather shoes.
p.72: Two pages of chunky cardigans, tank tops, grandpa trousers, and round-toe shoes. Did they raid my closet for this? I'm flattered!
p.140: A beauty feature on hair extensions. Considering these hover around $400 (and can go into the thousands), I have a question: Does anyone besides Britney Spears actually get these? Just wondering.
p.161: A very useful guide to winter coats. As soon as I got my issue, I ran out and bought the black nylon bomber from bebe, featured on p.177. (No, I am not kidding. It's cuter than the Juicy Couture one and half the price. How could I go wrong?)
p.187: This month in "Fashion Week," a London model/writer (apparently not an oxymoron). I have another question: Do they ever feature someone not directly involved in fashion? Let's branch out, people. It's getting to be like the column in Time Out New York when they ask people what they're wearing, but never seem to find any stylish people above 14th Street.
p.190: Dressing around your flaws. This is an excellent, service-y piece, except for one glaring problem: They use the same model for every flaw. And, let's face it, she's a model—she doesn't have any flaws. Lucky staffers seem to like to put themselves in the magazine; why didn't they seize this perfect opportunity? (Unless they believe they don't have any flaws. Hmm.)
p.202: Another service piece on packing. Good idea, but probably useful only if you don't travel much.
Back of the book: Lots of Lucky Breaks, sales, and a story on 9th Street boutiques. They seemed to have stopped the city shopping guides—fortunately, since they appeared to be running out of cities.
Run, run, run to the La Cosa sample sale, going on today through Friday at 180 Madison (corner of 34th), 14th floor. La Cosa's tanks are usually $45 each; I got three and a G-string for $54. Granted, they have kind of weird colors (forest green, yellow, blue, purple), but they're the best tanks ever (unless you're an exhibitionist, I'd recommend wearing two at once). The sale also has some Mary Green, Le Foglie, and Fleur T. Comparison shop at Bare Necessities first. Look at you, bargain hunter!
Today's Observer has a rather harsh review of Lisa Marsh's new book on Calvin Klein, The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession. It appears that Marsh, a fashion and retail reporter for the Post, tries to focus on the business aspect of Klein's story but misses the essence, i.e., Klein sells sex, not fashion. But here's the thing: The only thing sexy about Calvin Klein are the ad campaigns. The clothes, underwear, and perfume (with the exception of Obsession) are minimalist; since when is minimalism sexy? There's no sex for him to sell; it's all in the image created by the ad campaigns. Sneaky, right? At least he doesn't like about his background, like a certain Ralph Lifshitz.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
In today's New York Times, a business story on rebounding luxury goods, a positive review for Tom Ford for YSL Rive Gauche, and buyers reach a general consensus: fashion is pretty again. (Translation: It will sell. Hopefully.)
Monday, October 13, 2003
D&G is celebrating six years at its West Broadway store by giving away one prize per day. The schedule is as follows:
10/13 One of six gift certificates to Haven
10/14 Lessons at New York Trapeze School
10/15 Dinner for six at Cafe Noir and tickets for six to the Angelika
10/16 An iPod
10/17 A catered dinner for six from Dean and Deluca
10/18 A $1,000 makeover by a D&G stylist
Now, I don't know if you have to go to the store every day or if you can just enter all contests in one fell swoop. But, really, do you need an excuse to go to D&G every day?
Sephora has a nifty new Fragrance Finder, complete with "personality" traits. Since I like woody orientals, this means, "The woody woman is sensual, free-spirited, and nurturing - a woman who expresses her emotions with a calm clarity." That's pretty vague. Anyway, Sephora is finally carrying my favorite woody oriental, Angel Innocent. I hope this doesn't mean that I'm going to start smelling my perfume on every other woman walking down the street, which is what happened to my old favorite, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme. Yes, consider that a warning.
Daily Candy has sample sales for the week. Some favorites: La Cosa and Me & Ro (which is actually next week). Skip the Habitual—unless you're built like Giselle, their jeans aren't going to fit you.
Lucky's New York and online sales. Nothing too exciting to report here.
The excellent Girlshop is having a warehouse sale. Now, these are kind of weird because each of their brands has a representative there, and they kind of try to sell you stuff, which kind of defeats the purpose of a sample sale, i.e., get out of my way and give me the stuff for cheap! Still, there's usually a lot of good stuff here, often including stuff that's currently full price on the website. 154 W. 14th, 9th floor (corner of 7th Ave.), 10/15 4-8, 10/16-17 12-8.
Friday, October 10, 2003
Due to a wedding, I won't be able to participate in much of this, but be advised that the Columbus Day sales are out in full force. Some picks:
The Manhattan Vintage Show is one of my favorites. Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 W. 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Aves.), today 1-7, tomorrow 10-6. It costs $20 to get in, but click here to get $5 off admission.
Alvin Valley's excellent pants are $79 (usually $300-ish) at 632 Broadway (between Bleecker and Houston), 6th floor, today through Monday, noon-6.
People line up like mad for the Broadway Panhandler's yard sale. 477 Broome @ Wooster, 10/11-10/13, 11-5 Sat., 11-6 Sun., 10:30-7 Mon.
My favorite store in the world, Barneys New York, is having their deal where if you spend at least $250, you get a gift certificate for 10% of your purchase. Personally, I prefer double points weekend, but who am I to discourage anyone from shopping at Barneys?
Saks is also having a similar deal.
Happy shopping, kids!
Thursday, October 09, 2003
After my H&M bonanza last night, I came home to find the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book waiting for me. Now, you've probably already heard about the ridiculousness of this catalog: Between diamond necklaces, seasonal party frocks, and $75 gourmet popcorn, you can find a $27k luxury ice fishing house, $400k his-and-hers robots, a $160k environmental art installation, and Learjets ranging from $7.737 million to $12.743 million. Now, if you're going to shell out that much money for a freakin' airplane, do you buy it from Neiman Marcus? I don't know about you, but I think I'd cut out the middleman and just call Learjet itself. I mean, how hard can we make this, people?
My favorite extravagant gift, however is the $10k custom-made mermaid suit. Note the L'il Kim–esque model bling-blinged out in faux pearls (not included). The outfit even comes with swimming lessons!
I stopped into H&M last night to look for a purse for the wedding i'm going to this weekend (I found one—black change-purse-style with subtle polka dots, a ladylike handle, and a bow), and ended up buying so, so much more. They were kind of way into the '80s last time I was there, which, to me, is not such a good thing. But now they've refined it a bit. There are a lot of bright colors—electric blue, magenta, jade green, red. For Marc Jacobs lovers, they have great knockoffs of his mod minis, plus a Sofia Coppola–esque faux fur coat for $79, which I would've bought had it not made me look like a linebacker (note for the busty gals: Skip it). I also scored a pair of shorts (yes, I know, I hate shorts, but keep reading) with a belted waist and rolled up legs, just like MJ, Miu Miu, and countless others were showing on the spring runways. Best of all, they were on sale for $7.50! I also bought a tweed cloche for $10. Ahh, so good I almost needed a cigarette afterward. I don't smoke, but you get the point.
Banana Republic is having a fall sale, up to 40% off. I'm not a huge fan of the Banana (a bit too conservative), however they have amazing jewelry, and since the former head of accessories for Marc Jacobs took over for Gap Inc. (which owns Banana), their bags, belts, and hats have gotten supercute. Check out a Balenciaga-ish suede bucket tote, a cute suede sash belt, and chandelier earrings (my favorite).