Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cheryl Shops will return...
...Tuesday, January 3rd. I assume you've figured that out by now. In the meantime, enjoy the post-holiday sales!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Websites of the week
If you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet, don't worry. There are still a million websites offering free shipping, free expedited shipping, free expedited shipping upgrades, and so on. But since there's a huge transit strike happening right now, why not use that as an excuse to take your time and finish up your holiday shopping properly? Here are five all-purpose gift websites and my favorite gifts from each, plus if you really want the gift by Christmas or Hanukkah, your expedited shipping options.

Website: Fredflare.com
Favorite gift: Cell phone receiver, $20
Last-minute shipping options: UPS 2nd Day or Next Day

Website: Henry & Lulu
Favorite gift: Jessie Steele hostess apron, $50
Last-minute shipping options: Regular ol' UPS (cross your fingers)

Website: World Shoppe
Favorite gift: Recycled telephone wire basket, $120
Last-minute shipping options: UPS 2nd Day or Next Day

Website: ArtBrat.com
Favorite gift: Yoshitomo Nara "Too Young to Die" ashtray, $50
Last-minute shipping options: UPS 2nd Day or Next Day

Website: Jonathan Adler
Favorite gift: Bargello Waves needlepoint pillow, $110
Last-minute shipping options: UPS 2nd Day or Next Day

Good luck!

Monday, December 19, 2005

(Last week's) Project Runway recap
I will admit, I totally fell for last week's Project Runway tease: The designers would be creating an ensemble for an international fashion icon. As Tim Gunn led the designers up Broadway, my mind was racing. Was it Anna Wintour? Madonna? Or were they pulling a fast one on us, having them design for the pregnant Heidi Klum? (Hey, a girl needs maternity clothing!) But as soon as they entered the Toys R Us at 44th Street, I knew: They were designing for Barbie. Now, Barbie's had a tough time these last few years, losing ground to the (in my opinion) skankily dressed Bratz dolls. Hence the "My Scene" Barbie, a trendier, more stylish doll (however still with the ridiculous 38-18-32 proportions). The designers, being the good sports that they are, were quite enthusiastic about the challenge. So aside from a brief episode that involved Kara losing her Barbie's hat on the escalator, the challenge got off to a good start. Of course, the main dramatic points in this episode were that 1)Daniel Franco is such a perfectionist, plus he does this (kind of annoying) thing where he takes a few steps away, then steps back, which, as one of the contestants pointed out, wastes a ton of time. 2) Marla can't drape, can't sew, and is otherwise technically challenged. I think her days are numbered. 3) Tim Gunn took Andrae into his office for a chat regarding last week's crying jag; Andrae got flustered but made no amends. (And after the way he sassed Nina Garcia after the runway show, I'm expecting his days are numbered too.)

At the runway show, the winners and losers were pretty clear. Andrae made a totally bizarre pouf-skirt dress, and Marla made an outfit suited for, well, a fortysomething hooker. Both squeaked by the judges. Santino totally thought he was a shoo-in to win, and when Heidi announced his name--to say he was "in"--he almost totally embarrassed himself; when Best Gay Uncle Ever Nick won with his colorful creation, the cameras cut to Santino sitting in the corner with his head draped on his knees. Hear those violins, Santino? They're playing for you. The big loser was Raymundo, whose totally bizarre outfit was best described by Michael Kors as "Barefoot Appalachia Lil' Abner." Priceless.

Next week (aka this week): The designers create lingerie. Oh, baby!
The week in shopping: five days till Christmas...
...and I've spent the past two weeks drinking and eating...and drinking...and exchanging presents...and eating...and drinking. Merry Christmas, dolls!

Three things that get me to Brooklyn: Peter Luger, Target, and Butter. Why the latter? They've got a well-chosen selection of Marni, Dries Van Noten, Mayle, and others, now 30%-50% off (bonus: My friend AH lives on the same block). 12/21-1/5; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 389 Atlantic Ave. (at Hoyt St.), Brooklyn.

Cute, feminine clothes by my fellow Chicago native Cynthia Rowley are up to 70% off. Through 12/22; 9-7; 486 Broadway (at Broome St.).

Score United Bamboo's ironically preppy line for up to 85% off. Tees are $20. Through 12/22; 217 Centre St. (Howard & Grand Sts.), 6th fl.

Give a unique gift with something vintage: Psyche's Tears's collection is 20% off. Through 12/24; 1-8, 1-6 Sun., closed Mon.; 350 E. 9th St. (1st & 2nd Aves.).

Belly Dance Maternity, right down the street from Cheryl Shops HQ, has maternity clothes from Liz Lange, Diane Von Furstenberg, Chaiken, and other fancy designers for $25 to $100. 12/21-12/28; 11-7 Mon.-Thurs., 11-7 Fri. & Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 548 Hudson St. (W. 11th & Charles Sts.).

For the hip-hop guy in your life, all Sean John lines are up to 75% off. Or as Diddy might say, "We invented the sample sale." Through 12/22; 8-8; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Zero Maria Cornejo's sculptural wool pants, dresses, knitwear, and more are now on sale. Through 1/10; 12:30-7:30 weekdays, noon-6:30 weekends; 225 Mott St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Save up to 50% at Cheryl Shops fave Active Endeavors' holiday sale.

Also, check out the sale at former Cheryl Shops website of the week Le Train Bleu.

Yet another Cheryl Shops fave, American Apparel, is opening stores, well, like rabbits. They've got new ones at 181 8th Avenue in Chelsea and Columbus Circle, at 1841 Broadway.

Save up to 50% at Gap's end-of-season sale.

American Eagle has also jumped on the holiday-sale bandwagon.

Save up to 50% at Banana Republic's winter sale.

Use coupon code MERRY for 25% off a $100 order at Daszign.com through 12/21.

Clothingline is open through Friday and still has Tory Burch, Free People, White + Warren, Tocca, and more. See website for details and hours.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sorry sorry sorry
Again, my social life is a bit out of control this week. More posts will be coming, so please check back throughout the weekend.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The week in shopping: two weeks till Christmas...
...and I have only one more gift to buy. Also, I predict this will be the last good week of sales. So shop now or be sorry later.

Oh, how I love Y-3. Clothes and accessories for men and women from Yohji Yamamoto's collaboration with Adidas are 60% off at this heaven-sent sale. 12/15-12/18; 11-7 weekdays, 10-6 weekends; 599 Broadway (at Houston), 2nd fl.

Versace is reportedly in huge financial trouble, but, hey, that means clothing and accessories for men and women for 60%-70% off (this is Versace ready-to-wear, not just Versus and Jeans)! 12/13-12/16; 9-7, 9-5 Fri.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Sadly, I remember when Catherine Malandrino's clothes were rather affordable. At this sample sale, it's back to the good ol' days (prices are roughly $300 and under). Through 12/16; 9-7; 589 8th Ave. (at 39th St.), 2nd fl.l

Make like Ashley Olsen and hit the Proenza Schouler sample sale; gowns, tops, skirts, annd more are $50-$600. What's the catch? Cash or check only. 12/13-12/16; 9-5; 120 Walker St. (Centre & Baxter Sts.), 6th fl.

Select items from Balenciaga's fall men’s and women’s lines are 40% off. Sadly, bags are not included. Through 1/5; 11-7, noon-5 Sun.; 542 W. 22nd St. (10th & 11th Aves.).

While you're in the neighborhood, hit Ports 1961 for more affordable, ladylike frocks. 12/15-12/16; noon-8 Thurs., 10-7 Fri.; 601 W. 26th St. (11th & 12th Aves.), ste. 875. i

Got cash to burn? Nanette Lepore's cute, feminine separates are $95 and up at this cash-only sale. 12/14-12/15; 9-6; 225 W. 35th St.. (7th & 8th Aves.), 4th fl.

If, after the H&M debacle, you're still lusting for Stella McCartney merch, you're in luck: Select fall/winter clothes and accessories are 40% off. Through 1/1; 11-7, 12:30-6 Sun.; 429 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.).

PrettScore party frocks and more for 80% off at Betsey Johnson. 12/15-12/16; 10-9; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Asian-inspired clothing is up to 75% off at Vivienne Tam's sale. 12/14-12/16; 10-8 Wed., 10-7 Thurs., 10-6 Fri.; 550 7th Ave. (at 39th St.), 20th fl. s

Because you can never get enough cashmere this time of year, Meg Cohen Design's hats, scarves, and gloves are $25-$155. 12/13-12/17; 11-7; 920 Broadway (20th & 21st Sts.), ste. 905.

Arrive early for the Hanro sale: Loungewear, sleepwear, underwear, and robes are $6-$50. Cash or check only. 12/13-12/14; 8-6 Tue., 8-4 Wed., 40 E. 34th St. (Park & Madison), ste. 207.

This week, Clothingline has Tory Burch, White + Warren, and Tocca. Visit website for hours. 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Malo's luxe cashmeres for men and women are up to 75% off retail. Through 12/14; 9-6:30 Tues., 9-5 Wed.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Save 30%-75% on select fall items at Downtown designer powerhouse Kirna Zabete.

Pretty beaded home accessories by Kim Seybert are 40%-75% off. 12/15-12/16; 9:30-7; 37 W. 37th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 8th fl.

When in doubt, buy handbags! Get 50% off The Sak and Elliott Lucca at this sale. 12/15-12/16; 10-5; 339 5th Ave. (at 33rd St.), 2nd fl.

Cantaloup has denim on sale, plus Sass & Bide, La Rok, Gauge, and in-demand labels for 30%-50% off. Through 1/3; 11-8, 11-7 Sat., noon-7 Sun.; 1036 Lexington (at 74th St.), 1359 2nd Ave. (at 71st St.).

If you missed last week's sale and you're pregnant, you're in luck: Diane Von Furstenberg's maternity clothes are 50 %-70% off; dresses are now $125. Through 12/14; 9-7 Tues., 9-6 Wed.; 389 W. 12th St. (at 9th Ave.).

Petit Bateau tees and stylish French Stephane Kelian are on sale at this cash-only event. Through 12/13; 11-7; 41 Great Jones St. (Lafayette & Bowery), 2nd fl.

Enter code SNOW to save 20% on full-priced merchandise through 12/18 at Blush.

Save 20% on all orders of $100 or more when you use code HOLIDAY at Daszign.com through 12/15.

Hit Ula day spa on 12/13 for an evening of shopping from the Sineh d showroom, plus wine & cheese. 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Save 15% at the holiday-shopping night at Girlshop's meatpacking district store. 12/15; 4-9 p.m.; 819 Washington St. (Little W. 12th & Gansevoort Sts.).
Project Runway recap
How convenient: Just as America's Next Top Model ends, a new season of Project Runway begins. And I finally got around to watching this season's two premiere episodes last night. The first episode was a bit American Idol meets America's Next Top Model, combining the "look at all these crazy rejects" aesthetic of the former (also featuring guest judges from the first season) with the "we've narrowed it down to semifinalists, but we're only getting rid of two of them" mindset of the latter. The 16 semifinalists were sent 6 yards of muslin (a really lightweight, boring cotton that's primarily used for draping, experimenting, and testing patterns) in the mail, and they had a week (plus $20 for trim) to create something fabulous. There were varying degrees of what I would call fabulous, but I definitely agreed with the choices: Santino Rice, an L.A. designer who reminds me of Miguel Adrover in both looks and disposition, created this gorgeous party dress with handmade floral-looking trim; I'd say even this early in the game, he's a frontrunner. Heidi, a Southern girl who made a dress consisting mostly of trim, and John, who appeared to dye his dress with Rit and call it a day, were the semifinalists who didn't make it to the finals. Also, I should mention that Daniel Franco, the obnoxious designer who was the first to go in the first season, is back for more, and almost didn't make it to the finals (his dress, while gorgeous, had not been fitted to the model). While I think it's interesting that he's back, I think the "Oh my god, will Daniel get kicked off this week?" storyline is going to get boring after awhile. Also, he's still obnoxious.

The next episode started with the designers all going to a cocktail party together...and finding out their next challenge is to design an outfit based on the clothes they're wearing at that very moment. Some designers, as one might imagine, handled this better than others. Emmet (the older, wiser menswear designer), for example, didn't hesitate for a moment about cutting up what was probably a $300 pair of True Relgion jeans; whereas Andrae (the crazy intellectual artist guy) almost lost his sewing needles over cutting up his favorite vintage denim jacket. Chloe, the non-dorky Asian girl, created this gorgeous, minimalist minidress out of her jacket and dress to win the challenge, although the judges also liked Daniel's jacket and skirt (made from his jacket and jeans) and Santino's deconstructed leather jacket/skirt combo (very Rick Owens). Kirsten, the lawywer-cum-swimwear designer, made an outfit that was, in a word, trashy, and got the auf wiedersehen from Heidi Klum.

Several items of note, so far in the series:
*Nina Garcia is as icy as ever and Michael Kors is as bitchy as ever, god love 'em both.

*The designers are stuck with one model for the entire season. I suppose this eliminates the whole humiliation factor felt by the model who, in effect, gets voted off by the final designer who didn't choose her. Interesting.

*Already there are complaints about 1) the forms and 2) the sewing machines. Zulema (the crazy woman who won't share closet space) blamed her super-short dress on the fact that her dress form didn't have an ass; Kara, the (talented) South African, was complaining about the sewing machines, and couldn't figure out how to thread it. As a Parsons graduate, I can tell you that none of the dress forms have asses, so you have to pad them with cotton batting. And, yes, the sewing machines are, as I once remarked to one of my classmates, designed to sew 100 pairs of trousers a day in a sweatshop. They're fast. Get over it.

*Speaking of Zulema, I think she's going to be the Wendy Pepper of this season. No, I take that back--I know she's going to be the Wendy Pepper of this season.

*I think I'm going to start a Project Runway drinking game; e.g., when Tim Gunn says, "Make it work," you get to chug!

Next week (er, this week): The designers have to create something for one of fashion's most stylish icons. Hmm...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More sales
Virtually every website out there is offering free shipping of one kind or another. So from now on, I'm only mentioning free shipping for notable websites (like ones that usually charge high shipping rates, or sites that rarely have sales or promo codes, or sites that I just like a lot).

For example, Cheryl Shops fave Ravinstyle is offering free shipping through 12/12 when you enter code HolidayShip at checkout.

Spend $75 at Cheryl Shops fave Beautyhabit and, when you enter code GIFTGUIDE at checkout through 12/12, you'll receive a deluxe 11-piece sample set, plus a coupon for $10 off your next $75 order.

Designer shoe-and-bag wonderland Duty-Free Apparel is offering $50 off any pair of shoes, $50 off any bag under $575, and $75 off any bag over $600.

Did you miss Lord & Taylor coupons? I did.

Save 20% at Bloomingdales.com when you enter code CANDLE at checkout through 12/15 (exclusions apply).

The Art of Shopping is holding its last sample sale of the year, featuring the usual designer denim & tees, and, by god, they're taking Visa and Mastercard this time! 12/9-12/18; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 59 Crosby St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Save 20% at MoMa Store when you enter cod 5VIP6 at checkout through 12/11.

Save 15% at American Eagle when you enter code 36952645 at checkout through 12/14.

J.Crew is having a shoe sale.

From the "Why do they have sales like this when I'm supposed to be buying stuff for other people?" department, Find Outlet is having a Paul & Joe sample sale, also with Malini M, Twinkle By Wenlan, Salt Works, and Sean (aka Diddy's women's line). Through 12/11; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

My adored American Apparel has set up a "Pop-Up Shop" at 140 W. Broadway in Tribeca (Between Duane & Thomas Sts.). Click here for daily updates on what's happening at the experimental shop.

Save up to 60% on fall and holiday styles at La Redoute, one of my favorite masstige websites (check out their Designer Studio).

Lifesize has a bunch of adorable, giftable items for kids on sale (like mini Uggs).
Website of the week
When I read this week that Nick Denton and his Gawker empire were starting a shopping blog, my heart dropped a little. I love Gawker, and read it and its L.A. sibling Defamer daily (MW loves their sports blog, Deadspin), but you just can't compete with 'em. Not that it's a competition, but, you know, I'm an overachiever, so everything's a competition with me. Anyway, the new shopping blog is called Consumerist, and as one can sort of infer from the name, it's more about consumerism, rather than shopping. What does that mean? Well, instead of telling you about cool clothes or accessories, or even home products or books or whatever, the focus is more on being ripped off by shady companies (or, more accurately, legit companies that do shady things), with a little dash of sales thrown in. In other words, it's no Cheryl Shops (or I Am Fashion or Closet Therapy, for that matter). I think the main reason for this is that the writer, Joel Johnson, is a guy, and also a former editor of Gizmodo, Gawker's techie blog (this explains Consumerist's electronics-heavy focus). I just get the feeling that when Consumerist feels compelled to talk about the girly stuff, they just don't get it right. Take this post, a review of the Anthropologie "solstice" catalogue--it talks about how "stunning" the models are, the artistry of the photography, and the quality of the paper stock, but there is scant mention of what's really important: the products featured in the catalogue. Also, you can tell a guy wrote this post, because, for christ's sake, it talks about reading the catalogue on the can. And this post, about the Bliss sample sale, features copy lifted word for word from Bliss's email, then a reader comment complaining about how Bliss's products smell. Um, and the point of that is...? As my coworker AW would say, "Don't yuck my yum."

So, is this a blog worth reading? Well, it remains to be seen. I'll probably keep reading it, just to keep up with the Joneses, but I'm not going to be green with envy over it--it is quite different than Cheryl Shops, and comparing them would be like apples and oranges (or, to paraphrase my friend CK, apples and pencils, because, really, apples and oranges aren't so different after all). I feel like the (straight) male Cheryl Shops readers might enjoy the Consumerist, due to its focus on stuff that women don't really care about (like XBoxes), but I can't quite figure out their editorial focus, so I don't really know. My only recommendation: Keep reading Cheryl Shops!
America's Next Top Model recap
I didn't go to bed until well after midnight last night, but it was worth it, because Bre didn't win this season of America's Next Top Model, thank god. The episode started out with a whole bunch o' product placement, i.e. the girls filmed a Cover Girl TV ad and shot a print ad that would end up being the actual winner's campaign. Nik, who had previously sucked at talking on camera, rocked it, while Bre and Nicole both choked big time. So at judging, Nik was a shoo-in for the top two, and the judges finally came to their senses about how dumb Bre is and got rid of her. Phew! The next day's task was shooting the cover of Elle Girl magazine (again, both girls had to shoot the cover)--with Tyra, it turns out. Both girls appeared to be doing well, although they seemed a bit weirded out by (admittedly bizarre) Gilles Bensimon, the oft-mentioned editor-in-chief of Elle who photographed the shoot. The next day was the big runway show, for a British design team that no one's heard of (but who makes quite lovely frocks). Nicole obviously got a rush from catwalking, because she was, to use Tyra's favorite word, fierce. Nik looked great too but...well, more on that later. Funny side note: Past two winners Eva and Naima also walked in the show; Naima was wearing the most unflattering mullet (or femullet, if you will), and she still doesn't seemed to have developed any personality whatsoever in the past six months. (Eva, on the other hand, is still quite the diva, and has a kooky walk--a lot of the time, it kinda looks like she's drunk or she has to go to the bathroom or something.) Also, Tyra, who was sitting in the audience, looked like she was wearing a fruit basket made out of hair on her head. Talk about kooky. Anyway, all the judges were kind of shocked by Nicole's fierce spin down the runway, while they all decided that Nik's walk was "bouncy." What that actually meant was that her boobs were bouncing all over the place--which they were. I never really noticed what a rack Nik had; being a model, where proper lingerie is often an afterthought, you can't really have boobs (unless you're a lingerie or swimsuit model, of course). So, really, I think the bouncing boobs did Nik in, because Nicole was announced the winner. And I am okay with that. Honestly, I think Nik's Cover Girl photo was better (she obviously did way better on the TV spot), but I was pretty neutral about both of them all along; I just didn't want Bre to win. I don't know, I think Nicole's cute. So, yay, Nicole!

Next week, one final episode with behind-the-scenes dish; expect Tyra to get at least one of the girls to cry.

And: Once I get around to watching last night's Project Runway episodes, thus begin my recaps!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Posts coming tomorrow
Sorry for my delinquency with the posts--my social life is a bit out of control this week. I am halfway through tonight's episode of America's Next Top Model as we speak, and I'll post my recap tomorrow. But I think I know who won, and her name starts with N-i....

Monday, December 05, 2005

The week in shopping: three weeks till Christmas...
...and I'm nowhere near done with my shopping.

We all know the song and dance about Alvin Valley's pants; get gowns, coats, and more too 50%-80% off. 12/7-12/12; noon-6; 632 Broadway (at Bleecker), 6th fl.

MW alert: I love Fragments jewelry, and it's $5-$50 at this sale. Just a hint, babe. 12/9-12/11; 5-7 Fri., 11-4 Sat. & Sun.; 110 Greene St. (at Prince St.), ste. 803A.

Bliss beauty products are $1 and up at this made-for-gifting sale. 12/8-12/10; 8-8 Thurs., 9-6 Fri. & Sat.; 345 Hudson St. (at Charlton St.).

Eberjey lingerie does not fit my ass so well, but if it fits yours, it's 50%-75% off at this sale. 12/8-12/9; 9-7; A. Gerber Showroom, 40 E. 34th St. (at Park Ave.)., ste. 610.

I bet my boss is psyched about the Earnest Sewn sale; their fancy denim is $40-$90. Through 12/9; 9-7; 71 Gansevoort St. (at Greenwich St.), 3rd fl.

Because I now have all these kids to shop for (um, not my own), I'm probably going to hit the Kidini sale for children's clothing from Tartine et Chocolat, Charabia, and Lucy Sykes Baby for 20%-80% off. 12/7-12/9; 9:30-7; Soho Dance Studio, 598 Broadway (at Houston), 6th fl.

The sale started last week for those in the know, but Clothingline's Theory sale is still a-rockin' at roughly 60% off retail. Through 12/9; 10-6 Wed. & Fri., 10-7 Tue. & Thurs.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Kathy Erteman's modern, handmade ceramics are $10 and up, and they make excellent gifts. Cash only. 12/9-12/10; 11-7; 16 E. 18th St. (5th Ave. & Union Square West), 2nd fl.

If you're a fur-wearing Cheryl Shops reader--and it's okay if you are--Adrienne Landau's affordable furs are 50%-75% off. 12/7-12/21; 10-6 (closed weekends); 519 8th Ave. (at 35th St.), 21st fl.

Are people still wearing Tocca? If so, ready-to-wear, beauty, and kids’ items are up to 70% off at this cash only, inconveniently located sale. 12/7-12/8; 10-7; 542 W. 22nd St. (10th & 11th Aves.), 3rd fl.

The thought of buying a swimsuit right now horrifies me, but if you're jet-setting this holiday season, J. Rosen Showroom has Vix, Lisa Curran, and Bella Brazil for 40%-60% off (that's $65-$85). Through 12/9; 8-7:30; 250 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 510.

Adorable Lauren Merkin bags are on sale. 12/6-12/8; 11-8; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 201.

Awesome Lilla P tees are $5 and up at this cash-only sale. Through 12/8; 9-6, 9-8 Thurs.; 420 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), 3rd fl., buzzer 5.

For those of you with lots o' pocket change: Cashmeres by Armand Diradourian are 40% off at this cash-only sale. Through 12/20; noon-6 (closed Sun.); 160 5th Ave. (at 21st St.), ste. 901.

Colorful, gifty Liora Manne fashion and home accessories are up to 70% off. Through 12/11; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 91 Grand St. (Greene & Mercer Sts.).

The weak dollar makes buying Frette linens a daunting task, but at this sale, they're up to 70% off. Through 12/9; 9-6, 9-5 Fri. and Sa., 3-7 Sun.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Maxx New York handbags: nicer than you'd expect, and 40%-60% off at this sale. Through 12/12; 10-6 weekdays, 10-5 weekends; 385 5th Ave. (at 35th St.), 10th fl.

Fancy jewelry from M+J Savitt is 30%-60% off; call 212-684-4221 to make an appointment; 12/6-12/8; 9:30-5 (by appointment only); 475 5th Ave. (at 41st St.).

For wrap dresses, sportswear, coats, and more, I have three words for you: Diane von Furstenberg. The goods are 50%-70% off. 12/6-12/9; 9-6 Tues., 10-7 Wed. & Thurs., 9-3 Fri.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Pretty Wendy Mink jewelry is on sale. 12/8-12/10; 4-7 Thurs. & Fri., noon-4 Sat.; 10 Morton St. (Bleecker & 7th Ave.).

The cleverly named Wifebeader by Laura Dahl has current-season beaded tanks for 50% off and past-season tops for $20. If you can't make the sale, enter code "mistletoe" at checkout on the website for 50% off through 1/15/06. 12/7-12/9; 11-7; 126 W. 26th St. (6th & 7th Aves.) #203.

Iconic Herman Miller furniture is 10% off through 12/17 at every modern furniture store that carries it: Room & Board, Design Within Reach, Highbrow Furniture, and the like.

Gucci's fall winter sale is now in effect. Major La Pelle Guccisima action.

Just in time: Save 10% on all outerwear at PinkMascara.com, plus free shipping through 12/12.

It's "beauty rewards weekend" at Bergdorf's; get all manner of gifts with purchase, plus $25 off a $100 purchase. 12/8-12/10; 10-8; 57th Street at 5th Avenue.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More sales
They keep pouring into my inbox, so until Christmas, I'll probably be posting sales twice a week. Check back often!

Get free shipping on anything that qualifies as a gift at Target.com through 12/3.

Get free shipping on orders of $100 or more through 12/19 at Nordstom.com.

Lord & Taylor's Friends & Family sale starts 12/1; click here for coupons.

Get free shipping on a $125 order at Banana Republic when you enter code BRFREE through 1/28 (yes, that's 1/28/06).

Bloomingdale's is having a private sale 12/1-12/3 from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Click here for details.

Save 20% on non-sale merchandise at Cheryl Shops fave Active Endeavors when you enter code holiday20 through 12/25. Plus, get free shipping on all orders.

Save 25% on all orders over $100 through 12/2 at Daszign.com.

Get free gift wrap, a free sample, and free shipping with any order at Stila when you enter code HOLIDAY through 12/5.

Neiman Marcus has added a bunch of designers (Gucci, Jimmy Choo, etc.) to their sale. Plus, use code HOLIDAY for free shipping on a $175 order through 12/17.

Save up to 40% at Bergdorf's BG Sale. Use code GIFT05 for free shipping on a $175 order through 12/27.

Get free shipping at umbrella website Tray6 when you enter code shipT6 through 12/17.

Get free shipping on your $150 order through 12/11 at Shopbop.com (no code needed).

Get free shipping, free gift wrap, and free samples with your $45 order when you enter code EFS45 at Benefit through 12/3.

Get free shipping, free gift wrap, and free samples with your $75 order at Sephora.com.

Enter code FFHOLIDAY05 at checkout to receive the Macys.com 20% Friends & Family discount through 12/4.

Spend and save at Cheryl Shops fave Girlshop.com: Get $20 off a $100 purchase with code Save20, $50 off a $250 purchase with code Save50, and $100 off a $500 purchase with code Save100, all valid through 12/12.

Get free shipping on a $100 order at Victoria's Secret when you enter code GIVE through 12/6.

Get free shipping on a $100 order when you enter code 78999002 at American Eagle through 12/6.
Website of the week
I saw my dear friend ES over the weekend, and in passing, she mentioned her cousin had started a belt company and asked if I'd mind checking out the website. I said yes, figuring I'd mention the site in the week in shopping or some such, but the site made me laugh so hard, I though I'd make it website of the week. The site is Montana Realty Co., which is neither based in Montana, nor a realty company. It opens with flash animation of, well, two kooky East Village hipsters. You'll just have to watch it for yourself. Anyway, they sell three belt styles, the Bonsai (a kung-fu-inspired style), the Buddha (self-explanatory), and the Sanskrit (which features sanskrit writing). All styles are webbed with a metal logo buckle, and each style comes in several different colors. I'm guessing these are supposed to be men's belts, but, hey, they look unisex to me. Oh, and they're a very reasonable $19 each, which is a small price to pay for the amusement this site provides.
America's Next Top Model recap
Because Kim got kicked off during last week's episode of America's Next Top Model, and since Kim was probably my most favorite contestant since Shandi, it was rather difficult to bring myself to watch this week's episode. Well, not really, but it was sad not having Kim there. (I am taking solace in the fact that a lot of the girls who don't win end up having solid modeling careers, so hopefully that will happen for Kim.) The show certainly made up for her absence by featuring both Simon Doonan, the hilarious creative director of Barneys, and Barbara Hulanicki, the creator of Biba and often considered the godmother of the Mod look (I worship her). Simon gave the girls a history lesson on modern British fashion while alternately hinting that the girls look like strippers and hookers. Love him! The girls were then given 150 quid to purchase four outfits (Mod, punk, preppy, and Bollywood) to wear to four different go-sees. Nik won this challenge, and her prize was 100 frames at the next photo shoot; Nicole got 80 frames; Jayla got 60; and Brie got 50, plus she had to go first and she couldn't look at herself in the mirror. Harsh, no? But before this photo shoot, the girls had to pair off and take a walk with each other through London. Cut to Jayla and Nik settling their differences (remember the "I'm afraid of the dark and I sleep with a nightlight" incident?) and Bree and Nicole kissing and making up. Awww. The next day's photo shoot had a Bollywood theme and was shot by judge Nigel Barker, who, as it turns out, is half Sri-Lankan. Bree had a migraine and, for some reason, took Benadryl for it, so she was totally out of it for her shoot, but Nik and Nicole both rocked it. Jayla, not so much. And while it came down to Jayla and Bree in the end (all of a sudden, the judges are very concerned about Bree's height, even though Nik is the same height--5' 8''--and Nicole is only an inch taller, plus the last two winners, Eva and Naima, have also been on the short side), Jayla got the boot for being a cold fish...which should have happened like three weeks ago, but whatever.

So now it's down to Bree, Nik, and Nicole, and next week is the finale. MW thinks Nik has it in the bag; I don't care, just as long as Bree doesn't win. I still don't like the girl, sorry. But, even though next week is the last episode of ANTM, it's also the season premiere of...Project Runway! Yay! Look for recaps of both next week.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The week in shopping: four weeks till Christmas...
...and here the crazy season begins.

I love the new-agey, semiprecious Satya Jewelry line; save up to 80% at this cash-only sale. 12/2-12/4; 10-6; 95 Christopher St. (at Bleecker).

Joseph cuts a mean trouser; find 'em (plus sweaters, coats, and more) for up to 85% off at this sale. Through 12/3; 11-7:30; 106 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

The TSE sale has been kind of hit-or-miss for me in the past, but with their high-quality cashmeres for $200-ish, this is a sale worth checking out. 11/29-12/4; 10-7, 11-6 Sun.; 72 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Stylish cashmere sweaters by Whim (usually sold at Barneys and Intermix) are a nice 75% off. Through 12/2; 8-6; 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1016.

Another great option (in the same building, no less!) is Autumn Cashmere; their sweaters, scarves, hats and more are up to 70% off. Through 12/2; 9-6; 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 10th fl.

But one of my favorite cashmere lines, Inhabit, is conveniently having a sample sale across the street from me. I'm so there. 11/29-12/2; 10-6:30; 1441 Broadway (40th & 41st Sts.), 31st floor.

Say hi to my friend AK at the Derek Lam sale (she works for him), where his fancy schmancy designer line is roughly 50% off (we're talking mid to high three figures here). 12/1-12/2; 11-6; 416 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 315.

Sexy but cool shoes by Due Farina are roughly 50% off. 11/30-12/3; 11-7; 325 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 712.

If you like to party like it's 1999, check out the Versace sale, where all lines are represented and prices start at $50. Through 12/1; 10-7; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.). l

If you aspire to be an Upper East Side trophy wife, score a trophy of your own at the Judith Leiber sample sale; the famous minaudieres are up to 50% off. 11/30-12/1; 10-4 Wed., 9-3 Thurs., 20 W. 33rd St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Opening Ceremony has Alexandre Herchcovitch, Hussein Chalayan, and the house label for 30%-50% off. 12/1-12/31; 11-8, noon-7 Sun.; 35 Howard St. (at Crosby St.).

Pretty silk dresses and separates by Miguelina are $35-$275. 12/1-12/7; 11-6 (closed Sat. & Sun.); 20 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 6th fl.

Lela Rose's feminine tops, jackets, and gowns are 50%-75% off. 11/30-12/1; 10-7 Wed., 9-5 Thurs.; 144 W. 37th St. (7th Ave. & Broadway), 3rd fl.

MZ Wallace's practical but cute totes and handbags are $50 at this cash-only sale. 11/30-12/1; 10-8; 93 Crosby St. (Prince & Spring Sts.), 2nd fl.

This Thursday, the Girlshop store is hosting a trunk show for LaRok's winter collection (yes, cocktails will be served). 12/1; 6-9 p.m.; 33 Little W. 12th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.).

Who knew, but Molton Brown is so much more than toiletries. At this sale, they have an array of glassware, leather accessories, home and travel goods. Through 12/9; 10-6; 515 Madison Ave. (53rd & 54th Sts.).

Multi-designer showroom Metropolitan Design Group has home and fashion accessories for $10-$300 at this cash-only sale. 11/30-12/1; 8:30-7; 80 W. 40th St. (at 6th Ave.), 8th fl.

Adam+Eve's cotton and cashmere knits are up to 75% off. 12/1-12/3; 3-8 weekdays, 11-4 Sat.; 450 W. 15th St. (9th & 10th Aves.), 4th fl.

If it's always been your dream to be married in a Vera Wang gown, it's your lucky day: dresses for brides and bridesmaids are up to 75% off. 12/3; 8-5; Penn Plaza Pavilion, 401 7th Ave. (32nd & 33rd Sts.), at Hotel Pennsylvania.

Pretty tops by MarieMarie are half-price. 12/1-12/2; noon-7 Thurs., noon-8 Fri.; 257 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 10th fl.

Select fall merchandise is 30%-40% off at Barneys. Plus get free shipping on orders of $200 or more through 12/16 (website only).

Get free shipping when you spend $100 at eLuxury.com through 12/14; enter code WISH at checkout.

Get free shipping on a $150 order when you enter code SNWFLKE5A through 12/15 at Saks.

Get free shipping on a $100 order at Macys.com, and starting Wednesday, save 20% on your order (Friends & Family discount). Also, I wrote the homepage this week! Yay!

Enter code HSHIP75 at checkout through 12/19 for free shipping on a $75 order at excellent gift website WishingFish.com.

Get free shipping with a $175 order when you enter code HOLIDAY through 12/17 at Neiman Marcus. Ditto for Bergdorf's--enter code GIFT05 through 12/17.

Get free shipping on all U.S. orders at Cheryl Shops fave vintage site Vintage Cool Things.

Save 20% on everything at Figleaves.com through 11/30.

Get free shipping on your Kiehls order of $30 or more when you enter code GIVING through 12/8.

Save 30% sitewide at recent Cheryl Shops website of the week Sun Walters when you enter code Marie Claire through 11/30.

Get free shipping on awesome gifty stuff when you spend $50 at JonathanAdler.com through 12/8.

Get free shipping through 11/30 when you enter code GIVING at Vivre.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy shopping!
I am too traumatized over Kim's loss on tonight's America's Next Top Model to do a full recap of the show. Hopefully, by next week, I'll have recovered. Anyway, eat some turkey, and rest up for Black Friday. (For a non-fashion preview of the deals, hit this site.) I'll be shopping in New Hampshire (tax-free!) and Boston, and will have a full report next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2005

The week in shopping: five weeks till Christmas...
It's the calm before the storm. Think of it as your rest period before Black Friday...

Resort season is coming up, so get your swimsuit at the By the Sea Showroom sale--they have Inca, Rosa Cha, Rosa Ferrer, and others for 60% off. Through 11/23; 10-5; 112 W. 34th St. (Broadway & 7th Ave.), ste. 1606.

Carolina Herrera, Rena Lange, and Nina Ricci fancy clothes are up to 85% off. Through 11/22; 9-6:30; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

For the ladies with buns in their ovens, Liz Lange's famously flattering maternity clothes are up to 40% off. 11/22; 10-7; 958 Madisono Ave. (75th & 76th Sts.).

Sadly, ABC Carpet & Home is closing its Dumbo and Tanger Outlets locations, but, happily, reducing prices on everything from furniture to rugs to linens. Through 12/31; 20 Jay St. (at Plymouth St.), Dumbo, Brooklyn, and 1947 Old Country Rd., Riverhead, Long Island.

For the totally batshit crazy shoppers out there, 40 stores at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets are opening at midnight on Friday (the rest will open at 7 a.m.). There's even a bus leaving from Port Authority at 11 p.m. Yep, crazy.

Clothingline's Ben Sherman & Evisu sale has been extended for two more days. Through 11/22; 10-7; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Get a free Gabi makeup bag and free shipping with a $60 order at Benefit when you enter code FGEG60 at checkout through 11/28.

Get free shipping on a $175 order at Neiman Marcus when you enter code HOLIDAY through 12/21, plus get an extra 30% off select sale merchandise.

Shop Lord & Taylor's Wednesday-only sale with these coupons.

When you enter code EARLYBIRD at checkout at Shopbop.com, get $20 off a $100 order, $50 off a $250 order, or $100 off a $500 order through 10/28.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sample sale report
I was really looking forward to the Sigerson Morrison warehouse sale; apparently so were a lot of other girls. Due to quarterly strategy meetings at work, I knew I wouldn't be able to get down there until today after work, but thanks to my coworker JB, I didn't even have to make the trip! The intrepid JB was there at 9 a.m. yesterday morning...and the line was three blocks long (girls toward the end of the line reportedly waited two hours to get in), so JB figured she'd try again today. This morning, there was no line, but there was also no merchandise left at all, and they're not restocking--yes, Sigerson Morrison is completely cleaned out. But, hey, that's okay--I'll hit the store during their "crazy sale" (or the 50% off week right before) in January.

Still feeling the need to hit a sample sale, I swung by Lutz & Patmos, which is probably my favorite cashmere label--they make really flattering cuts in cool styles. I also like this sale because it's totally civilized--there were about three or four other women there, quietly browsing the racks while jazz music played softly in the background. Anyway, the sale started Tuesday, but they still have a lot of stuff left--Friday is the last day, and prices go down to 70% off. They have two racks' worth of fall 2005 merchandise (you can preview it on the website), and while I had a hard time making a decision, I ended up going with a two-tone gray striped sweater from a past collection. Yes, it was probably a bit more than what I wanted to pay (most of the sweaters are $150 and up), but these are sweaters that retail for like $500 and up, so it ends up being a pretty good deal. At least, that's what I like to tell myself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

America's Next Top Model recap
From last week's preview, I knew this week's episode of America's Next Top Model would include a scene where all of the girls gang up on Kim for talking about them behind their backs. I was a bit taken aback, however, when the scene turned into full-on Kim-hatin'. And then I got worried, because when they feature a girl a lot, she's in danger of getting kicked off. Kim seemed genuinely upset about all of this, cried, apologized, and even wrote a letter of apology to Nik. Meanwhile, Bree cradled her head and told her to "give some lovin' to Mama" or something ridiculous, while later, deviously, saying how she was keeping her eneimes closer. (If you could see me right now, I'm rolling my eyes.) Anyway, after last week's cruelly delivered "We're going to London" announcement, the girls were kind of in limbo about when they were actually going to go. First they were paid a visit by gender-bending model Jenny Shmizu, then they learned that the paparazzi would always be watching them when they become famous (riiiight), and then they had to do "one last photo shoot," where they were judged on how good their passport photo was. Personally, I thought Kim's was the best, but somehow Bree, who looked kind of retarded in her photo, won. (It seemed random at the time, but we learned where this came from later: Young Tyra was sitting on a trans-Atlantic flight next to photographer, and since she didn't have her portfolio with her, she booked a job based solely on her passport photo.) So they arrive in London, and immediately they have "paparazzi" following them as they try to check in to their hotel. Lisa tries to be all Lindsay Lohan about it by covering her face, but everyone else handled it pretty good naturedly. Bree's prize for winning the contest was to have dinner with Nik and two handsome, well-spoken British bachelors (probably male escorts or playboys). The next day's photo shoot had a rather complicated conceit involving being naked, having hair and makeup half done, and squeezing all six models into a phone booth. All were brats about it, except for Nicole, who amusingly farted in the booth. Also, Bree was really getting on my nerves, because she pretends to be all high and mighty, but really, she's judgmental and a snob. At judging, Kim was called first (yay!), followed by Bree (yuck!), and while I thought we were going to have a Jayla-Nicole repeat from last week, Lisa and Jayla were in the bottom two, the former for being too crazy and the latter for being too dull. But the judges saw their chance and ran with it, taking the "too crazy" excuse for kicking Lisa off (when, really, we all know that's she's too old and, um, "weathered"). Ding-dong the fug is dead!

Next week, the girls have to pose like statues and get attacked by London's infamous pigeons (this is going to be difficult for me to watch, since I hate pigeons), and Bree and Kim continue their war of the words.
Website of the week
If I were a celebrity, I think the thing I'd enjoy the most is getting free clothes. I've always found this fact of life a bit ironic, because it seems like when you can finally afford designer clothing (well, and you're famous), then you get it for free. Anyway, I think it would be wonderful to call (or have my assistant call) Gucci or Prada or Chanel and get a sexy dress to wear out that night. So I was pleased to read about eDressMe: While their selection isn't super-designer, if you're a Manhattan girl, $20 gets your dress delivered to you by the end of the business day. Convenient, yes, but free, no. Still, this site is great for everything from impromptu cocktail parties to prom dresses to wedding and bridesmaid dresses (LB, this one's for you). You can shop by occasion, or by brand, and the site also carries a selection of separates, shoes, and accessories. Designer brands include Anna Sui, Cynthia Rowley, Jill Stuart, Shoshanna, and Tracy Reese, and there are more than 1,000 dresses on the site, so you're bound to find something you like. I'm in the market for a holiday party dress, so here's what I found. If I were an Olsen twin, I'd wear this cute, poofy Tracy Reese dress. If I were Kirsten Dunst, I'd wear this lace Anna Sui dress. If I were a little gutsier and more confident, I'd wear this hot Betsey Johnson sequined red dress. But since I'm me, I like this simple but sexy green velvet dress the best. I don't know that I quite need it by the end of the day tomorrow, but regular shipping should have it to my place in time for the party season. Sadly, unlike a celebrity, I'll be wearing the same dress to multiple events, but then again, it's not like paparazzi will be taking my picture everywhere either...a good reason not to be famous.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Cheryl Shops for...skinny jeans
Ever since I was so horribly shut out from the Stella McCartney bonanza last week, I've been obsessed with skinny-leg jeans, which I did not have the luxury of trying on (or even buying). Now, we've been seeing skinny jeans (or "stovepipes") for a few months now, mainly on starlets like Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, and Sienna Miller, and for awhile on Kate Moss, who, regardless of whether she has a coke addiction, is still a very stylish woman. Anyway, I grabbed MK and hit Barneys on Saturday on a mission. I enlisted a salesgirl, Stacey, and was soon trying on every pair of straight-leg jeans on the 8th floor. I tried on a ton of pairs by new brands--Rag & Bone, Earnest Sewn, Radcliffe--and while I absolutely loved the Envy from Gold Sign (Adriano Goldschmied's new line), I decided I did not want to cross the $200 threshold for a trend that might be fleeting (if, however, it decides to stick around for awhile, I might cave in, because they're super-flattering, lightweight, and they run huge, which always makes me feel better about myself). I decided to go with Citizens of Humanity's Sienna jean, which, thankfully, was on sale. I'm still not 100% sold on whether they're going to be a lasting trend, but it's nice to have a non-bunchy pair of jeans to tuck into my boots, and MW said I looked sexy, which is always nice to hear. Now my dilemma is what to wear with them: tunics? Sweater coats? Whatever I wear with my normal jeans? I'm taking suggestions...
The week in shopping: six weeks till Christmas...
...and so the sample sale season begins. For the next four or five weeks, expect a full sample-sale schedule. Shop now for yourself without the post-Thanksgiving guilt!

My favorite shoe label, Sigerson Morrison is having its first-ever warehouse sale; expect ridiculous deals, like boots for $100, pumps for $60, and totes for $85. Even though I promised MW I wouldn't buy any more shoes this season...well, I'm so there. 11/16-11/20; 9-7 weekdays, 10-6 weekends; 180 Lafayette St. (Broome & Grand Sts.).

Kickass sweaters by Twinkle are on super-sale--cashmere sweaters are a mere $55. 11/17-11/19; 4-9 p.m. Thurs., 3-9 Fri., noon-5 Sat.; 401 Washington St. (at Laight St.), ste. 4C.

If you love the Italians (and who doesn't?), hit Aeffe USA for men's and women's clothing and accessories from Moschino, Gaultier, Alberta Ferretti, and Pollini for 60% off. 11/16-11/19; 10-6, 10-5 Sat.; 30 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

I think Alexis Bittar has a cool name, and he also makes cool hand-carved Lucite jewelry. Score it for 60% off ($5-$250) at this cash-only sale. 11/18-11/19; noon-8 Fri., noon-6 Sat.; Pop Shop, 292 Lafayette St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

MK's favorite store (right, MK?), Steven Alan, has Trovata, Wrangler47, Prudence, the house label, and more for 30%-75% off retail. 11/17-11/19; 8:30-8 Thurs. & Fri., noon-7 Sat.; 87 Franklin St. (Broadway & Church Sts.), ground floor.

Get your sexy on at the Dolce & Gabbana sample sale, also featuring D & G. Save up to 80% on clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. 11/19-11/20; 10-6 Sat., 11-5 Sun.; 85 Spring St. (Broadway & Crosby Sts.), 2nd fl.

Get work-ready clothes from Chaiken for mid-to-low $100s at their sample sale. 11/16-11/18; 10-7 Wed., 10-8 Thurs., 9-noon Fri.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Sexy knits and cocktail dresses are $100-ish at the Yigal Azrouel sale. 11/15-11/17; 9-7 Tue. & Wed., 9-5 Thurs.; 225 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

Lutz & Patmos makes fancy, fancy cashmere sweaters normally found at Barneys and Jeffrey; but at this sale, they're 50% off for the first two days, 60% off on Thursday, and 70% off on Friday. Count me in. 11/15-11/18; 11:30-7:30; 425 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste 406.

For slightly more affordable cashmere, check out Central Park West Cashmere and save 40%-50% off wholesale. 11/16-11/18; 9-6 Wed.-Thurs., 9-3 Fri.; 234 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 5th fl.

Girly dresses, tunics, sweaters, and such by Tracy Reese (and her lower-priced line Plenty) are mostly under $100. 11/16-11/18; 10-6; 275 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 11th fl.

Frenchy sportswear from Philippe Adec is 60% off. 11/17-11/19; 9-7 Thurs. & Fri., 11-5 Sat.; 213 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

Clothingline has Ben Sherman & Evisu for men & women this week. Ben Sherman shirts are 4 for $100 and Evisu "genes" are $195 (usually up to $595). 11/15-11/18; 10-7 Tue. & Thurs., 10-6 Wed. & Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Bono's fair-trade label Edun and organic cotton line Loomstate are wholesale and below at their first-ever sample sale. 11/17-11/20; 10-7; 89 Franklin St. (Church & Broadway), 2nd fl.

Ladylike dresses, skirts, and more from Beth Bowley and Tabitha are $35-$85. 11/16-11/18; 10-7 Wed. & Thurs., 10-5 Fri.; 234 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 5th fl.

Score a spacious Botkier bag for 40% off. 11/17-11/19; 11-7 Thurs. & Fri., noon-5 Sat.; 13 Crosby St. (near Grand St.).

Ladylike Delman shoes are 60% off. 11/16-11/18; 10-7; 730 5th Ave. (at 56th St.), 8th fl.

Ultraflattering Susana Monaco knitwear is 60% off. 11/15-11/17; 9:30-7; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 5th ffl.

Sexy, under-the-radar Parisian clothes from Barbara Bui are $50 and up. 11/15-11/16; noon-8; 115-117 Wooster St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

For men's and women's clothes in the vein of Ben Sherman, check out Ted Baker and save up to 70%. 11/16-11/18; 11-6 Wed., 9-6 Thurs., 10-3:30 Fri.; 215 Park Avenue South (at 17th St.), ste 2001.

Smart clothes from German label Strenesse are 50%-75% off. 11/15-11/17; 9-7; 50 W. 57th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 8th fl.

Pretty knitwear from Maya is 60% off. 11/15-11/17; 11-7; 58 Thomas St. (at Church St.).

ck Calvin Klein dresses, leather jackets, and more are cheap cheap cheap at this cash-only sale. 11/15-11/16; 9-4; 360 Park Avenue South (at 26th St.).

Modern-living wonderland Conran Shop is taking 20% off select furniture. 11/17; 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.; 407 E. 59th (at 1st Ave.).

No word on whether Diddy himself will show, but you can at least head to Girlshop's Meatpacking District store on Thursday for a Sean by Sean Combs trunk show and free cocktails. 11/17; 6-9 p.m.; 819 Washington St. (Little W. 12th & Gansevoort Sts.).

Neiman Marcus's First Call Sale is in full effect, with prices up to 40% off. Plus, get free shipping on a $175 order when you enter code FIRST at checkout.

Save 10% on your Target.com order when you enter code EMLEXCLS at checkout through 11/16.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sellout Stella
I just got back from the debacle known as Stella McCartney for H&M, and let me tell you, I was about four hours too late. All that was left at the store at 34th and 7th was two racks' worth of clothes, all in size 42 (a 12, according to H&M), which about 30 women were fighting over like the clothes were made out of spun gold. Apparently that store had received three truckloads' worth of clothes. I tried on the black pants and the bubble skirt, both in size 42, both of which fell off my hips. I got lucky, though, and on my second round, I spotted the blue silk cami with rhinestone trim and the teal flutter-sleeve blouse, the former in a 40 and the latter in a 38. (I don't know where they get these sizes from, but I can assure you, I've never worn a size 38 in anything in my life.) The cami is a bit huge on me, but it will be perfect after a visit to my tailor. And the flutter-sleeve blouse is gorgeous. I asked the checkout girl about the display clothes in the window; she said they'd be taking them down first thing in the morning, and whoever was there first would get them. She also said that they might get another shipment tomorrow morning. But otherwise, the collection is completly sold out. Everywhere. Seriously.

For more takes on the situation, here's MK's report, the scene at the Oxford Circus H&M in London, and according to Fashion Wire Daily, fashion editor bitches got first dibs at 8 a.m. this morning. Bitches.

The good news? There are already items for sale on eBay.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

MasstigeWatch!
So, tomorrow is the big day! For those of you who find that confusing, the "big day" would be the debut of Stella McCartney's line for H&M. (Funny story: My coworker said to me today, "So are you going before work, at lunch, or after work?" and without her even mentioning H&M, I totally knew what she was talking about.) So here's the deal. You can preview the entire collection here, which is a really nice feature that allows OCD people like me to plot their course of action (I'm interestied in the dress that looks like a bathrobe, the skinny jeans, the blouson sweater, and the metal mesh belt). There are 40 pieces in all, and all are for women (sorry, boys). Stores open at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning; I'm going before work (I think), so expect a report by the end of the day. Here are the stores in the U.S. that are carrying the line:

640 Fifth Avenue, at 51st Street, NYC
731 Lexington Avenue, at 59th Street, NYC
435 Seventh Avenue, at 34th Street, NYC
1328 Broadway, at 34th Street, NYC
558 Broadway Soho, NYC
515 Broadway Soho, NYC
1530 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
1025 F Street, Washington, D.C.
840 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago
350 Washington Avenue, Boston
150 Powell Street, San Francisco (starting November 19)
150 Post Street, San Francisco (starting November 19)

Good luck and godspeed.
America's Next Top Model recap
There was an interesting (and kind of mean) article in the Times on Sunday, about how America's Next Top Model is unrealistic, because all the contestants are too old, too fat, and too American (yes, the world at large really does hate us) to be actual top models. And while this article is clearly, as my coworker AW would say, "yucking my yum," it has a point. Of course, I'm still going to keep watching it forever, but this week's episode of America's Next Top Model was just so exemplary of how the modeling world as portrayed on the show is nothing like the real modeling world. But I did laugh a lot this week, at least. The episode started off with the girls visiting season three winner Eva at a photo shoot for Elle Girl (sponsor alert!). Eva basically gave the girls a big pep talk in her fake, diva-esque way, and that somehow got them all fired up to win. And the girls were irritated with Lisa because while they were all sitting around looking bored, Lisa was (smartly) talking up the stylists and makeup artists. Later that night, Lisa lost a few more fries from her Happy Meal and tried to cheer up the girls by dressing in some incredibly kooky costumes. Right. The next day, the girls got to pick out an "entourage" of stylists and makeup artists who, of course, used (sponsor alert!) Cover Girl cosmetics. (Note to Tyra: the people who get you ready for a photo shoot are your "team"; your "entourage" is a group of hangers-on who, like, come with you to clubs and stuff.) The point of this is that the girls then had to go to a go-see for a walk-on role on (sponsor alert!) UPN's Veronica Mars show. Here's where that "reality/non-reality" thing comes in: Instead of reading lines like one would normally do at an audition, the girls had to make a collage and explain it to the casting director, who, in the real world, would also be hitting on everyone. Lisa was on the verge of tears, which quickly alterted the casting people to the fact that she's bananas, and, happily, Kim won the challenge! (I'm DVRing Veronica Mars as we speak!) The photo shoot, which I'm not going to go into too much detail about, involved screaming, crazy wardrobe, and the guys from MTV's Wildboyz. And when the boyz appeared to be paying too much attention to Nicole, Lisa, eager to grab the spotlight, borrowed one of the guys' stunt diapers and actually peed in it. Did I mention she's bananas? So, at judging, the girls had to pose with stuff and improvise a commercial, which was all very dumb. Then Tyra did one of the cruellest things I've ever seen her do. It was down to Jayla and Nicole at the end, and just as it was beginning to appear that they were both being sent home, Tyra told them they both had to pack their bags because...they were all going to London! Ha! Cue streamers and marching Buckingham Palace guards. Um, right. I thought Kim was going to bitch-slap Tyra. That was really, really cruel. But, hey, the good news is that they're going to London, which actually has a fashion scene (as opposed to, say, South Africa). I was afraid they were going to get sent to some random place like Singapore.

So, next week, the girls gang up on Kim for being a gossip. Um, like Jayla should be so judgmental...
Website of the week
After three and a half awesome years in my current West Village apartment, I am ready to move on. Well, not totally--I love my apartment, but MW and I have decided to move in together, which requires that I move out of my apartment (which is a studio and thus too small for the two of us). I think we've found a new place, and while it's not quite ours yet (long story), I'm already thinking about decorating it. Yes, I know, you're thinking, "Way to put the cart before the horse, Cheryl." But I can't help it. For example, since this place has such a big living room, I want to get a sectional sofa (or as MW calls it, a "sexual sofa"). And the living room has these sconces on the wall for lighting, which is nice in theory, but the fixtures are so not my taste. And since the closet space is not great, MW and I are going to need a big dresser for the bedroom. So after my boss caught me browsing Room and Board's site while I should've been, um, working, he instead referred me to HomePortfolio, the most comprehensive furnishings-and-fixtures home site I've ever seen. Seriously, you can find anything from bathroom tiles to Louis XIV-style chairs. Aside from the sheer volume of products, which is very helpful for people like me who value selection, the cool part is that this stie is a resource only--nothing here is for sale, although they will refer you to where you can buy everything. In other words, the site is an incredibly in-depth free resource for researching furniture, fixtures, objets d'art, etc. You can browse by category, brand, or room, or search for something specific; for example, I know Artemide makes nice light fixtures, so I found this lovely sconce. I also found this awesome sectional sofa that's, sadly, a little too awesome for our budget (of course, I also like the Chelsea, a slightly more tolerable model from Room & Board). Now, the really fun part about this site is that you can create a portfolio (uh, hence the name of the site) and basically create your dream house. (They say you can use it to show your friends or your designer, but, come on, we know it's all for fun.) So now we all know what I'll be doing for the next few weeks. A girl can dream, right?

Monday, November 07, 2005

The week in shopping
It takes a lot to get me out to Brooklyn, but my beloved A.P.C. for 60%-70% off is a good enough reason. 11/11-11/13; noon-7; North Side Bank, 33 Grand St. (near Kent Ave.), 1st fl., Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

alice + olivia is more than just pants--score swimwear, cashmere, and more for 50%-70% off. 11/10-11/12; 9-7, 10-5 Sat.; 80 W. 40th St. (at 6th Ave.).

I doubt they'll have the metallic wedge boots I've been lusting after at the Calypso sale, but I think I'm going to check it out anyway, for boho-chic accoutrements. 11/11-11/13; 10-6, 11-5 Sun.; 148 Lafayette St., 3rd fl.

Everyone should shop at DisRespectacles just for the fun name--or for the fact that they've got eyewear from Theo, Alain Mikli, and the house label for up to 75% off. 11/10-11/13; 11-7, noon-5 Sun.; 117 West Broadway (near Duane St.).

Shop at Find Outlet and look like you should be on The OC: They've got Original Penguin and Generra for 50% off. 11/10-11/13; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Jewelry and accessories by Malene Birger and other Danish designers is on sale at the Sineh D Showroom. 11/11-11/13; 10-6, 11-6 Sun.; 151 Hudson St. (at Hubert), #3F.

Lord & Taylor coupons are back.

Enter code PN5GFK2D0JD5 to get 15% off your order at the newly retooled Gap.com through 11/11, and enter code FREE100 for free shipping on a $100 order.

Get free shipping with a $125 purchase at macys.com when you enter code SHIP4FREE at checkout through 11/14.

Save 30% at Bop's fall sale.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

When did J.Crew get cute?
Ever since college, I have lived in fear of J.Crew. This was not because the preppy retailer's clothes were ubiquituous on my college campus (although they were); rather, I was always spooked out beyond belief, because whenever I arrived in my new dorm room, there was a brand new J.Crew catalogue with my name on it waiting for me. It's like J.Crew knew where I was living before I did. J.Crew then fell on some hard times, but Mickey Drexler, the former head of Gap Inc., has since taken over and the company's sales have definitely rebounded. Still a bit afraid of the 'Crew, I've tried to ignore them as much as possible, but even though I was freaked out to see a catalogue in my mailbox last week, I decided to flip through it in the name of research. And I'm glad I did, because, damn, the clothes are cute. Gone are the random color names (moss, pond, etc.); and instead of shapless basics, J.Crew now offers modern, stylish takes on preppy classics. H&M it ain't, but that's exactly the point. And while I'm hesitant to order anything, for fear I'll get a new catalogue every week like I used to in college, I think I might just have to bite my tongue and get on with it. I love this Wellesley cable blazer, a kind of hybrid between the cable-knit cardigan and the blazer (Isli makes a similar version for $368). The beaded officer jacket is a little trendier (and more expensive), but the beading is adorable and helps to soften the military styling. I hate to say it, but it's almost better than anything Marc Jacobs could do. Speaking of Marc, this ballet flat reminds me of the quilted style he put out for fall--except I like this one way better, because it's a bit less trendy and more classic, meaning you can wear it for more than one season, without people saying, "Isn't that the Marc ballet flat from fall 2005?" Even the flannel-lined chino, a J.Crew classic, looks fresh to me--instead of a boring plaid, the flannel lining is a fun cherry print. I was also pleased to find that, just like they used to, J.Crew still offers $20 off your $100 order with a coupon from the catalogue. Because not only does J.Crew always know where I live, they also know I'm a sucker for coupons.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Five things I learned on tonight's otherwise useless recap episode of America's Next Top Model

1. Kim has mad harmonica skills. (Well, not really...)

2. Nicole is hilarious. Why they choose to portray her as this boring, sullen teenager, I have no idea.

3. Coryn wrote Lisa a note of apology after the "drunk bitch" episode, and the girls kissed (literally) and made up.

4. Lisa comes across as wacky, not bitchy. Her exercise routine around the house was particularly amusing.

5. The true bitch in the house is...Jayla! With her no-inner-monologue comments, she started pissing off the other girls from day one. Funny how, for some reason, the bitchiness wasn't shown on camera until the "I sleep with a nightlight" incident. Conspiracy?

Thankfully, next week is the first week of sweeps, so the show will be back with a brand-new episode, in which the girls meet Eva the Diva and frolic with Wildboyz for a photo shoot. Also, I'd like to note that Kim was voted Cover Girl of the Week. I swelled with pride. Yay, Kim!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Website of the week
This week's website of the week is in honor of Halloween, which was yesterday, but at lunch today, I heard all about the big Goth ball that was transported to NYC from New Orleans, where it usually takes place. (Believe it or not, one of my coworkers is way into the Goth scene--who knew?) Goth has been a big buzzword this fall, with magazines citing Marc Jacobs and Rochas' fall collections repeatedly (it also ties in to that whole Edwardian trend). So after reading a story in the October W, I knew I had to make D.L. & Company website of the week. The creator, Douglas Little, is a bit bananas, but in a cool, accessible way. His line got its start with a line of candles scented with poisonous flowers like Thorn Apple, Mandrake, and Oleander (the candles themselves aren't poisonous, obviously--he's not that Goth). These candles are fancy-schmancy and come in very intricate packaging--which at least helps to justify their $75-$125 cost, prices at which Diptyque candles start to look like a bargain. Anyway, you can read all about the candles on the site--the scents and the packaging. On the website (which, sorry, is all in Flash, so I can't link to anything in particular), D.L. & Co. has branched out into skull plates and paperweights, candy jars, skull stationery, and a candle inspired by the upcoming Memoirs of a Geisha movie. (And, coming soon, a collaboration with Harry Winston for a fine jewelry line.) Sadly, you can't shop online, but there is a very extensive selection of retailers listed, and if there still aren't stores close to you, Barneys.com carries many of the candles. For those of you actually in NYC, the Barneys on Madison Avenue reportedly has a whole D.L. & Co. boutique installed in the Chelsea Passage section on the 9th floor (aside from candles and skulls, you can reportedly buy vintage coffins and other vampire-friendly wares). Think of the line as a nice way to dabble in Goth--without powdering your skin and adopting an all-black wardrobe.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The week in shopping
Score pretty clothes and pretty undergarments to wear under them at the Rebecca Taylor and Leigh Bantivoglio joint sale. Prices start at $10. 11/1-11/2; 10-7; Loft Eleven, 336 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 6th fl.

Sweet shoes from Cynthia Rowley, Nancy Geist, and nancynancy are $80-$140 at this cash-only sale. 11/4-11/11; noon-7; 307 7th Ave. (at 28th St.), ste. 2307.

Fancy but affordable e harcourts body lotion, potpourri, oils, and more are 15% off. 11/2-11/8; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 219 Mott St. (at Spring St.).

Brooklyn Handknit has, um, hand-knit clothes and accessories, plus goods by Orla Kiely and Plenty for $5 and up. Cash only. 11/5-11/6; 10-6; 155 Powers St. (at Graham Ave.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Sometimes the Denise Williamson Showroom sale is great and sometimes it sucks, but it's worth a try: Sass & Bide, Ulla Johnson, and other hip labels for 75% off. 11/3-11/5; 8-7, noon-6 Sat.; 119 Mercer (Houston & Prince), loft 2-S. i

Another sale that' s usually hit or miss, Staff USA has denim, jackets, pants, skirts, tops, and more by Diesel, Dsquared2, and Martin Margiela for about $100 and up. 11/3-11/4; 10-7; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 8th fl.

Yeohlee's wearable avant-garde clothes are $25-$500 (were $300-$3,000). Cash only. 11/3; 9-6; 225 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

Lauren Moffatt's lovely, feminine clothes are on sale; purchases under $400 are cash only. 11/1-11/3; 9-7; 214 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1503.

If you haven't already bought your winter coat, hit the jackpot at Andrew Marc's sale--jackets for men, women and children are up to 60% off. 11/5-11/13; 10-6; Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 7th Ave. (33rd & 32nd Sts.).

Or, if you prefer vintage, Psyche's Tears has coats from the '50s through the '80s for 20%-50% off. 11/2-11/6; 1-10 Wed., 1-7 Thurs.-Sat., 1-6 Sun.; 350 E. 9th St. (1st Avenue & A).

For very well made, classic, but under-the-radar clothes, check out Rena Lange for up to 80% off their clothes and accessories. 11/1-11/3; 9-5; 730 5th Ave. (at 57th St.), ste. 1000.

Don't let the fact that Paris Hilton wears it deter you from checking out Emanuel Ungaro's sale--he tailors a mean suit. Prices are up to 80% off. 11/1-11/3; 9-7; 595 Madison Ave (at 57th St.), 9th fl.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

America's Next Top Model recap
I was actually a bit nervous to watch this week's episode of America's Next Top Model, because from the previews, it looked like it was going to be the "Rag on Kim" episode. (And, as you know, Kim is my favorite.) The episode started out with Tyra styling the girls with Vaseline for an improptu "edgy" photo shoot, the photos from which turned out really cool. The next challenge was a bizarre "boot camp" in which the girls had to climb walls, jump hurdles, and crawl under stuff--all in several inches of mud. Most of the girls--with the notable exception of Nicole--were good sports about it, including Nik, whose pants were below her ass for most of her turn. This stunt appeared to have no purpose whatsoever, except to get the girls all dirty and smelly for...their meeting with several of Elle Girl's top-ranking editors. This portion of the task was apparently to prepare the girls to rock their go-sees even when they, literally, look and smell like shit. While everyone appeared to do pretty well, Lisa once again won the task, and her prize was a meeting with a "modeling expert," who, since Lisa is clearly one of the front-runners, told her stuff she pretty much already knows. Nonetheless, the girls had another shoot, in which they had to pose like pinup girls, next to a car (um, product placement much?). Kim's shoot started off on the wrong foot...then lo and behold, she brought it, and did the best of anyone. Thus, I was overjoyed when Kim's name was called first at judging. It came down to Bre and Kyle in the end; honestly, I was a bit stunned that they eliminated Kyle. After all the fawning over her bone structure and her body (which Nigel didn't hesitate to say was "the best in the competition"), I thought she was totally still going to be in the running, and anyway, nothing Bre has done so far has impressed me at all. If anyone's the next to go, I think it's her. Kyle was genuinely upset and stunned, and poor Kim lost yet another friend. But...

...in next week's episode, season 3 winner Eva pays the girls a visit. This should be particularly interesting, because the preview shows Kim saying how hot Eva is, and rumors about Eva's sexuality have run rampant...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The fate of Martin
With news that their website is down, I swung by Martin today (206 E. 6th Street in the East Village), even though a noreaster was raging (ah, the things I do in the name of "research"). And I am sad to report that the store is no more--it was all shuttered up with no sign of life. I also tried calling the store, and the phone number has been disconnected. I searched online and couldn't find anything about it closing, but all signs point to yes, unfortunately. The only consolation I can offer is that the excellent Daryl K is back in business, and her pants are second to none.
Website of the week*
Sometimes, especially during, shall we say, certain times of the month, we ladies need the chocolate. Okay, I pretty much always need it, but right now I am dying for it. But instead of throwing on my shoes and trenchcoat and running downstairs to the bodega to score some low-grade Twix (hey, man, there's a freakin' noreaster outside!), I've decided to torture myself by looking at the website for Vosges Haut Chocolat, one of my favorite places in NYC to satisfy my fix. (I happen to live right around the corner from Chocolate Bar, which will work in a pinch, but Vosges is a destination.) Now, Vosges made its name by creating such unusual chocolates as Tuscan fennel pollen, balsamic vinegar, Ancho chili, and Red Stripe Beer. While these are fun and exciting for the adventurous chocolate eater or foodie, I think they probably only sound like a good idea when you're stoned. You can get a sampling of both the crazy (ginger & wasabi) and the tame (Mexican vanilla bean) in the Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection, or an even less adventurous (but equally good) selection with the Milk Chocolate Truffle Collection (love that Dulce de Leche). For the hot chocolate purists (my friend ES comes to mind), they have an excellent collection of ultra-creamy Couture Cocoas (yes, it's $79 for three flavors, but I guarantee this is some of the best hot chocolate you'll ever have). But even with all this crazy-good chocolate, I must say, my favorite thing in the whole store is the Caramel Toffee. Now, I make a mean toffee (known affectionately as "Treat"), but I once received a box of this stuff as a thank-you present from a publicist, and it was so good, I nearly fell out of my chair. I then made the mistake of saying, "Oh my god, you guys have to try this stuff!" to my coworkers and watched it all disappear in a matter of seconds. But right now, the thing that sounds the best to me is the Caramel Marshmallow--marshmallows sandwiching caramel, walnuts, and pecans, covered in dark chocolate. Yum. Oh, if only they delivered. I'm now off to chew on my arm until bedtime. If, tomorrow morning, you see a crazy woman in a pink bathrobe with chocolate smeared all over her face, staggering down Spring Street, well, that will be me.

*No, I was not stoned while writing this entry.
The week in shopping
Sexy French lingerie from Aubade is up to 80% off. 10/26-10/28; 10-7 Wed., 10-6 Thurs., 10-5 Fri.; 40 E. 34th St. (at Madison Ave.), ste. 607.

Cheeky sweats from Left Field are up to 80% off at this cash-only sale. 10/27-10/28; 11-7; 195 Chrystie St. (at Stanton St.), 9th fl.

Cool modernist linens by Area are a ridiculously cheap $3-$90. 10/26-10/27; 11-8 Wed., 9-6 Thurs.; 180 Varick St. (at Charlton).

Save 10% at Target.com when you enter code TCTENSAV through 10/26.

Check out the new Bargain Bin at former Cheryl Shops website of the week Feng Junk, then enter code FALL05 to save an additional 15%.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm tired...
So the Week in Shopping will be posted later tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.
A girl and her boots
So, I skipped out of work a few hours early on Friday and headed to Soho, mainly to check out the Dwell sample sale, but I figured that, on the way, I'd stop at APC to check out these boots, which I featured in the Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide and have since been saving up for (I wasn't quite there, but I figured if I had to give into temptation, I'd put them on the ol' Amex Blue and let Amex make a little money off of me for a month or two). Now, on my computer, which I believe is calibrated correctly, the boot appears to be a rich caramel color. In the store, however, it was orange. I asked a salesgirl, too, and she said that that was the correct color (several minutes earlier, however, she had been tearfully arguing with someone--probably a boyfriend--on her cell in front of the store, so god knows how lucent she was at the time). I was bummed for like 10 seconds, but then I realized that 1) I'd be saving myself $600 and 2) that now I could participate in what I really love about shopping, which is the art of the hunt. So I did a little window-shopping, finally ending up at Bloomingdale's in Soho. And as soon as I walked into the 2nd-floor shoe department, there it was: the perfect boot: a lovely, true caramel color with a round toe and a slouchy shape (the boot can be worn cuffed or uncuffed). I would've preferred a stacked heel instead of a covered heel, but I decided not to be too picky. It fit perfectly. And while it was $340 on the price tag, I remembered that it was double-discount weekend (for eligible Federated employees such as myself), so I got it for a very nice 40% off--which amounted to just about what I had already saved for the APC boots. Yes, the shoe gods were smiling on me on Friday. And, as I promised MW, I am now officially done with boot shopping. Well, until the Christmas sales, of course...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Website of the week
In honor of this week's Los Angeles "Fashion" Week (oh, and I thought it was all over), this week's website of the week is an L.A.-based site that is very L.A. (lots of T-shirts) and yet not very L.A. (no True Religion jeans). The site is Sun Walters, and it has a hip, easygoing mix of names you've heard of (Twelfth Street, Free People) and ones you haven't (3J Workshop, Pink Spike). A lot of the items are on the affordable side (i.e. under $100), but I think the coolest part is that the site supports independent designers, whether they're familiar names or not (and, okay, I know Free People is owned by Urban Outfitters, but most of these designers are independent). You can shop by category or by designer; there's also a nice little fall trend report for the shopper who needs an editorial voice. I like the uniquely detailed Birds tee by Pink Spike; the kind of '80s Metallic Oversized sweater by Jenny Han (can't you picture it on Ashley Olsen?); this cool bolero top by A Common Thread; this wide-leg pant by LA Made (which appears to be a non-sleazy version of American Apparel); this Sasha mini dress by Conspiracy Eight; and this very Sienna Miller multistrand beaded necklace. Spend $100 (not so hard) and get free shipping. There's also a nice Wish List feature for those of us who, well, like to wish for stuff. And with that, I formerly vow to stop making fun of L.A. "fashion"--they might love their jeans and tees, but they definitely know what they're doing.
America's Next Top Model recap
If I had to pick a title for this week's episode of America's Next Top Model, it would be "Hatin'." The show started with a bang: Lisa drinking...and drinking...and drinking...and playing around with bubbles in the Jacuzzi. (Um, doesn't anyone know you're not supposed to put bubble bath in a hot tub?) The next morning, the girls received a visit from supermodel Iman, which impressed me at first, until I realized that Iman was there to plug her new book. Anyway, the supe showed the girls how to take care of their skin by creating masks out of honey, oatmeal, and other stuff every non-eating model should keep in her fridge. The girls were then subjected to a challenge where they had to plug their natural mask on a late-night-type show; Kyle, who, seemingly out of nowhere has started kicking major ass, won, and picked Nicole to share the win with her--the prize was hosting a "Fabulous Life of Supermodels" show for VH1 (I couldn't tell if this was for a "real" show or not--whether it actually airs remains to be seen). The challenge was followed by footage of Coryn and Lisa hating on each other, ending with Coryn calling Lisa a "drunk bitch." Oh no you didn't! Lisa couldn't believe she hadn't won, so she moped around the house as the girls filmed their segments then, having been scolded for being too loud by the VH1 producer, started drinking wine. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Lisa proceeded to drink for the rest of the day, finally passing out in a lounge chair by the pool. The kindhearted Bre and Nik brought her inside, then Lisa called her boyfriend and started to freak the fuck out, hyperventilating and all. Now, as obnoxious as I think Lisa is, I started to feel bad for her here--the girls are all under a lot of stress, and even Lisa isn't immune to it. Breakdown aside, she brought it the next day--the girls had to film a TV ad, take a photograph (for a print ad), and do press (with some dude from Entertainment Tonight) all in support of Secret deodorant. Which brings us to Hatin' Part Two: During the TV ad, the girls had to reveal a "secret" that they had, and it turned out Jayla and Nik were both afraid of the dark, although Nik decided to include the fact that she sleeps with a night light. Both girls were kind of flustered after figuring this out--Nik visibly more so--and while Jayla was fliming her ad, she said she was afraid of the dark and uses a night light, thus stealing Nik's line. Which is when Nik started freaking out, talking about Karma...and sucking big time during her ad, photo shoot, and interview. And then later that night, Lisa, since she doesn't really have any friends to lose, told Jayla about why Nik was mad at her. Jayla then amusingly called all-out war on Nik, and while maybe she overreacted just a bit, I found it kind of cute--yes, Jayla even makes evil look cute. Of course, the cameras cut to her smirking, cute little face during judging, when Nik was in the bottom two with Coryn. But let's face it, Nik just had a bad day. Coryn, on the other hand, was deemed "too sad" to be a model, so she was sent home. And, ironically, when Coryn was packing up her bags to go home, it was the happiest I'd ever seen her. Oh, and Nicole's photo was chosen to appear in this week's People in an ad for Secret; Lisa, who was called first, probably had the second-best shot.

Next week, Kim gets more annoying comments on her sexuality.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The week in shopping
The excellent Girlshop sample sale is back! Score cute clothing and accessories by indie designers for 30%-70% off. Expect a review from MK on Wednesday. 10/20-10/23; noon-8 through Saturday, noon-5 Sun.; 33 Little W. 12th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 203.

If, like me, you wore Oilily clothes when you were a kid, take a trip down memory lane at this sale. Oh, and they have womenswear too, all for up to 70% off. 10/20-10/21; 10-8 Thurs., 10-7 Fri.; Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Score--new duvet for Cheryl! Dwell and Dwellbaby sheets are 40% off and up. 10/20-11/6; 11-7; 79 Greene St. (at Spring St.).

Get your fancy denim on at DDCLAB for up to 60% off. Cash only. 10/19-10/22; 7 Mercer St. (Grand & Canal Sts.).

Speaking of fancy denim, score men's, women's, and kids' clothes by Italian label Replay for up to 80% off. 10/21-10/23; 10-7 Fri., 9-7 Sat. & Sun.; 38 W. 21st St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 11th floor.

Find Outlet has Alice & Olivia, Maya, Noir jewelry, and other hip labels on sale. 10/20-10/23; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Clothingline has Free People for cheap! Through 10/21; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Get semiprecious boho-chic jewelry for up to 85% off at Echo of the Dreamer's sample sale. 10/18-10/21; 9:30-7:30; 242 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 14th fl.

Satisfy your thirst for Brazilian mania at Tufi Duek's sample sale (prices start at $50 for tops). 10/18-10/20; 9:30-7; 530 Broadway (at Spring St.), 10th fl.

Select bags are 30% off at LeSportsac. Through 10/30; 1065 Madison (80 & 81st Sts.), 176 Spring St. (W. Broadway & Thompson Sts.).

Through 10/31 at Vivre, earn "orange dollars": Spend $200-$399 and get a $25 gift certificate; spend $400-$599 and get $50; spend $600-$700 and get $75; and so on.

Save 10% at Target.com when you enter code TCTENBGS through 10/19.

If you have a Bergdorf Goodman charge, get double points online through 10/22 and in store 10/20-10/22.

Get free shipping on your $300 Marc by Marc Jacobs order when you enter code FREEOCTA at Saks through 10/31.

And Thursday night is Girls Night Out at the 59th Street Bloomingdale's; expect cocktails and lots of deals.