Wednesday, March 30, 2005

America's Next Top Model recap
Because I'm staying over at MW's house tonight, I had the pleasure of watching America's Next Top Model on his 43-inch high-definition TV. Which was actually quite convenient, because tonight's episode was all about makeup, and because I got to see Michelle's flesh-eating bacteria in great detail! So, yeah, Michelle the wrestler got all these scabs on her puss and proceeded to totally freak out about them. The girls were giving her a hard time because, well, they looked pretty gross, and because dumb Noelle made everyone paranoid that it was contagious and they were all going to catch it and die. (The shots of Lluvy shivering and freaking out were priceless.) And, honestly, if I were in a competition to be a model and I had big gross scabs all over my face, I'd probably be a mess too. The makeup artists, who, amusingly, were worried that Michelle had leprosy, sent her to a dermatologist, who confirmed that while Michelle does indeed have a bacterial infection, it is neither life-threatening nor contagious, and it is easily treatable. Whew! As for the rest of the episode, in between bouts of "learning" how to apply "natural" makeup from Mr. Jay (sarcasm because he didn't really appear to be teaching them anything), applying "haute couture" makeup (Naima won) and a cool photo shoot in which all the girls were transformed via makeup into another race, Noelle did a hell of a lot of complaining about how she misses her son. Like, Michelle has flesh-eating bacteria: "Oh, I would just die if my son had flesh-eating bacteria." The girls learn what haute couture is: "I don't have time to learn this stuff because my son turns off the TV every three seconds." The girls have to hold a kid while posing at the photo shoot: "I just miss my son so much!" Noelle, dude, we get the picture! So while it was down to Lluvy (who took another bad-to-mediocre photo) and Noelle, apparently Tyra is tired of hearing her complain as well, because Noelle was sent packing. This is good news for Lluvy, but, yikes, she needs to get it together, so as to not become this season's Ann (pretty girl, pretty bad photos).

Next week, Michelle freaks out some more, and Brittany gets wasted. More comparisons of the latter to (former coke fiend) Janice Dickinson are sure to follow.

Monday, March 28, 2005

In praise of the pricey haircut
As some of you might know, my dear hairdresser of four years, Paul, moved to Los Angeles last October, and I was very distraught about it. After much research, I went to Space salon in Soho and spent close to $300 on a very bland, boring haircut and slightly orange, very fake-looking highlights. Clearly I wasn't going back there. Earlier this month, my hair started to get shaggy, and I started to get nervous. Then I read a really silly story in US Weekly about how you can go to fancy salons and get a cut with a junior stylist for about a third (or less) of what the salon's top stylists charge. One of the salons mentioned was Sally Hershberger Downtown, home of the $600 haircut. Now, I remembered, back when I worked at Maxim that when we had a smokin' hot Gina Gershon on the cover, someone from Sally Hershberger did her hair, which was shaggy and totally sexy. So I thought, "Hey, what can I lose?" and I made an appointment for last Thursday. The salon is quite lovely--minimal decor, flattering lighting, very serene--not at all the usual loud, bustling salon environment. And everyone there was totally nice to me, which I was not expecting at all. My stylist, it turns out, is Sally's assistant, and he cut me a totally sexy, wash-and-wear shag (yes, I don't even have to blow it out--a first for me) that I absolutely love. Seriously, words cannot describe how happy I am with this haircut. It was $150 with tip, which, I know, is a bit ridiculous, but to me, it's worth it, especially after the trauma of my last salon visit. Two funny things: 1) I sat next to Jane Krakowski, of Ally McBeal fame, and tried to eavesdrop, but she kept her conversation confined to her hair; and 2) the salon exclusively uses John Frieda products (Frizz Ease, Sheer Blonde, et al.) which are sold at drugstores nationwide--so no more dropping an extra $60 on styling products whenever you get your hair done. My next challenge? Scrounging up $250 for highlights.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: Considering spring is right around the corner, you probably don't need any cashmere. Or do you? White + Warren has cashmere cardigans for $85, cotton sweaters for $50, and T-shirts 2 for $40--and if all else fails, you can always stock up for next year. 3/30-3/31; 8-6; 80 W. 40th St. (at 6th Ave.), 3rd fl.

Everything at the Bluefly store is now $100 or less. Through 4/22; noon-8, noon-6 Sun., closed Mon.; 102 Wooster St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

The excellent Find Outlet is having a Spring-A-Thon Sale, featuring Julie Brown, Alex and Ani, June, and more. 3/31-4/3; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Get free shipping at Benefit when you enter code FSGS at checkout through 3/30.

Clothingline has a new spring sale with Nike footwear & apparel, Milly, Tracy Reese/Plenty, Mari Dade, Stacie Bass, and more. Through 4/1; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Here are coupons for Lord & Taylor's not-so-private Private Sale. I'll be there Wednesday after work for a last-minute swimsuit hunt.

Get boho jewelry at Echo of the Dreamer's sale, where semiprecious artisan jewelry is up to 85% off. 3/31-4/2; 11-7, noon-5 Sat.; 242 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

A very exciting development: One of my favorite websites, Girlshop has opened a real-life store in the Meatpacking District, and I will deliver a full report as soon as I can. 819 Washington St. (Little West 12th & Gansevoort Sts.).

Starting Tuesday, Loehmann's is having an early spring clearance. Now, I stopped at Loehmann's on my way home from work last Friday, and let me tell you, I saw some good deals. I got a Juicy Couture denim mini for $15, and I saw Capital Tailors pants for $40, cute Juicy pleated skirts for $25, Theory tops for $35 and Earl Jeans for $30. Of course, you have to dig through the clearance racks, but if you're in the mood for it, it's worth the effort.

Spring styles are up to 40% off at Gap.com.

Bluefly misses me, and they can miss you too. Enter code MISSEDYOU375 at checkout through 4/9 to save 15%.

All gifts at RedEnvelope.com are 15% off through 3/31.

Get free shipping on all sale items at OriacDesign.com through 4/10.
The Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide
Update: I went back and corrected all the links by hand, so hopefully everything works now. If not, please e-mail me or post a comment. Thanks for your patience!

So, what will you be wearing when (or if) the weather ever edges above 60 degrees? In a word: boho. Remember the peasant look of four summers ago? Instead of embroidered puffy-sleeve blouses and fringed belts, this year’s bohemian look is more covered and luxe. (Yes, think Mary-Kate’s “bobo” look, but less ill-fitting.) The good news about the boho look—aside from how easygoing and relaxed it is—is that it’s easy to obtain at a reasonable price. Which will make you feel better when you realize you can’t wear any of this stuff next summer because the look will be all sleek. Anyway, here are my 10 favorite trends for spring at all price points: “Basic” is (to me) a reasonable amount to spend ($100-$300), “Budget” is under $100, and “Bonus” is over $300. So here we go!

Tunics
Basic: If I could name one store that best embodies the boho look, it would be Calypso. So their Calypso Kurta is an easy choice: It’s textbook kurta with embroidery along the neckline and sleeves, and a light, airy look courtesy of the crinkly cotton voile fabric (and it comes in your choice of pretty pastel shades). This Inca beaded tunic is more sheer and has more intricate detailing—the tunic goes ultra-glam.
Bonus: Of course, if you bump up your budget, you can get a more unique-loooking tunic, like this ombré tunic. It has the same basic shape, but with a cool ombré effect and additional embelishment along the waist. No budget at all? This Tory by TRB tunic has rhinestone trim for an all-out luxe look, sure to be spotted at pool parties throughout the Hamptons this summer.
Budget: The good news is that you can get a really cool tunic for less than $100. This Yank tunic (copy written by yours truly) has beading toward the hem, instead of around the neck and sleeves. Of course, Urban Outfitters is always a great place to find the boho look, and I like this embroidered tunic because it’s more graphic-looking and different—and it’s only embroidered, no beads.
And for a true “I’m never going to wear this again” price, try this tunic from my new discovery Hollister—it’s a bargain at $39.50.

Peasant skirts
Basic: Again, the best place to go for this look is Calypso, so this Lace sequin skirt is an obvious, but totally cute, choice. But my favorite designer, Marc Jacobs, also does the boho look quite well, and I love this eyelet skirt, a cute, cropped take on the trend. (And I love it paired with the army jacket—how Downtown!)
Bonus: While Calypso is probably the most obvious choice for most of us, Chloe is the best way to get the true “bobo” look, in that this skirt is a very un-bohemain $1k. A high-end peasant skirt that’s worth the money is this shimmer skirt by Sage, handmade by artisans in India, and totally gorgeous (this site has several different styles by this brand—check them out).
Budget: Thankfully, the juniors department is a great place to find a peasant skirt, usually for less than $50. This DMBM bohemian skirt from Nordstrom is a great buy at $38. For a look that’s slightly more Mary-Kate, try this ankle-length Lux skirt from Urban Outfitters.

Bermudas
Basic: Now, I hate shorts and I rarely wear them, even to the gym. But I must say, Bermudas are a style I can get behind. They cover up the wobbly parts but still show a little leg, and because they’re longer, they’re not going to get all bunchy (a condition suffered by those of us with big thighs). The wide waistband on this Billy Blues Bermuda is ultra-flattering. If you’re a bit slimmer in the thigh, you’ll look great in this slim-fitting Vince bermuda (available in colors other than white, too).
Bonus: Come on, now, are you really going to spend more than $300 on a pair of shorts?
Budget: When I was younger and actually wore shorts, I’d get new ones every year at the Gap. And it’s still a great bet for shorts: this pair is clean, simple, and affordable. But not as affordable as this pair from Gap’s little sister, Old Navy.

Cropped jeans
Basic: I wear jeans year ‘round, but when the temperature goes above 80, I tend to leave ‘em in the closet. Enter cropped jeans, which have all sorts of cool details and a great fit. I love the styling of this Citizens of Humanity jean, which, okay, costs more than a regular pair, but is still quite cool. Everyone’s all abuzz about Salt Works jeans, and this crop has a classic shape but the fun cuffs and broken-in look mean you’ll wear it all summer—with everything.
Bonus: I’m ont quite sure why anyone would want to spend more than $300 on a pair of jeans (and this was the only one I could find that fits that price point), but if you do, the patches and distressed details on this Antik cropped jean are pretty cool.
Budget: Again, Old Navy is a great place to go for bargain basics, and I bet with the right top and shoes, this cropped jean will look a lot more expensive than it is. I also like the ultra broken-in look of this Hollister cropped jean.

Cami tunics
Basic: Not to be confused with the plain ol’ tunic, the cami tunic is a tube, halter, or cami on top and a bit more free-form in its styling. I love this butterfly tunic because, well, it has butterflies on it, but it’s quite versatile too—wear it on its own, or with jeans. And I love pretty much anything Rebecca Taylor does, but this silk embroidered tunic is just so delicate and pretty and feminine, my inner girly-girl can’t resist it.
Bonus: I also love Sass & Bide (note: Forever 21 does excellent knockoffs, although they’re on the small side), and if I had $500, I’d gladly plunk it down for this super-sexy Dazzling Moment top. For the Jessica Simpson fans out there, can’t you see her in this tube tunic?
Budget: I fell in love with this XOXO cami tunic as soon as I saw the sample (again, I wrote the copy for it), because it’s so darn cute and, at $69, a pretty good deal. And speaking of butterflies…well, I just think this sequin-trim top has a cool shape with the V-neckline and cool details like beaded butterflies and a dip-dyed effect at the hem.

Crocheted tops
Basic: Also a boho-look staple, the crocheted top has a new look, either as a cropped coverup or in a longer tunic shape. This short crocheted top by hot new label La Rok looks great as Bop styled it—with a tank and jeans. For in-between weather, I love this crocheted coat by Betsey Johnson. It’s a bit over-the-top, but I think a lot of (confident) girls could pull it off.
Bonus: At $700, this Vera Wang bolero is a bit extravagant, but I think it’s cool that it’s made out of raffia. I feel that you can’t go wrong with the classic tunic shape of this Charles Nolan sweater.
Budget: I absolutely adore this super-colorful crocheted bolero by Free People and will be ordering it ASAP. And at $28, I think this adorable crocheted cami is a great deal (again, I wrote the copy).

Gauchos
Basic: Now you might be thinking, “How is the gaucho different from the bermuda?” Well, the gaucho is much wider in the leg and often longer in length. While I often prefer a woven on my lower half, this crop (pardon the pun) of pants tends to be knit—meaning ultimate comfort for you. Also, gauchos are affordable. This Ella Moss gaucho is a mere $86, and I can’t really tell the difference between it and this $178 pair (which also comes in black).
Bonus: Like Bermudas, spending more than $300 isn’t really an option. Are you complaining?
Budget: And while I can’t really tell the difference between an $86 pair and a $178 pair, this $28 pair from Macy’s looks pretty good to me, as does this, um, other $28 pair from Urban Outfitters. Yay for affordable trends!

Wedges
Basic: Wedges are the new flip-flops, or so I was told at a merchandising meeting. I love wedges, so this is good news to me. I love this totally wacky pair of Faryl Robin wedges, and would wear them with everything from a peasant skirt to cropped jeans. And while, in the past, I have lamented the fashionification of the espadrille, I think I’m a convert after checking out these totally hot Christian Louboutin wedge espadrilles, which, by the way, are the most affordable pair of Louboutin shoes I’ve ever seen.
Bonus: If you’re going to drop major money on a pair of shoes, why not make it a totally wacky pair that’s only going to go with, like one outfit? This Jimmy Choo wedge fits that bill. More the practical type? You can’t go wrong with at Prada wedge (and, yes, for the super-practical girls, it also comes in black).
Budget: I think this Enzo Angiolini wedge has a totally classic shape, plus I like the cork sole. For a really good deal, this ribbon espadrille is super cute, and a mere $16.50.

Embellished flats
Budget: The best part about embellished flats? It’s hard to find a pair for more than $100. So these are all budget picks. Again, Urban outfitters is a great place to go for this look, and their beaded flat is so cheap, you can get one in every color. I’m a sucker for sequins, so of course I love this sequined flat, while this Dr. Scholl’s Mary Jane is an even better deal. This Jeffrey Campbell flat comes in all manner of exotic color combinations, like purple and black with gold embroidery and beading. This embroidered satin flat is, at $16, a ridiculously good deal. And for an all-out bright look, this Dahi slip-on can be perfectly coordinated with your outfit.

Metallic hobo
Basic: The hobo is the bag that just won’t die. This spring, it’s back in bright metallics—silver, blue, green, whatever. This Plunket & Pivet flat metallic hobo is quite a deal, considering it’s real leather, and it has a slightly more sleek shape, for those who don’t like the hobo’s bunchy shape. Celebrities love this Allison Burns Faithfull hobo, and I do too—its shape is more interesting, and I like the long strap, which is a nice change from the bags that are all up in your armpit.
Bonus: Rafe’s Mischa hobo is named after my favorite OC star and has a foxy embossed snakeskin pattern. And I just love this ridiculously expensive but totally cool Meli Melo hobo. What can I say? I’m a sucker for green.
Budget: One of the best places on the web (or in Los Angeles) for super-trendy stuff, Intuition has this metallic tote in all sorts of colors. Yeah, so, it’s a tote and not a hobo, but for $25, are you going to complain? Another great buy is the Jennifer hobo from Delia’s. It’s simple, not too flashy, but still trendy.

Phew. I hope you’ve absorbed this all. Now make your list and hit the stores!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

America's Next Top Model recap
Oh, where to begin? I must give the producers of America's Next Top Model props for coming up with crazier and crazier scenarios each season to keep things fresh. This week's episode started with a ballet lesson as impetus for the girls to be more graceful and have better posture and etc.--definitely a better idea than last season's ridiculous "boot camp" episode, in which the girls had to run up multiple flights of stairs and then pose for a photo at the top (and Eva dry-heaved). The twist, however, was that the ballet master was a portly old man who kept hitting the girls with his cane. They followed ballet--logically--with a fancy meal, but Tiffany drank too much wine, first getting all schmoopy and "I love you guys!" and then barfing under the table. Lovely. The girls then had a luncheon with supermodel Beverly Johnson, the first black model to grace the cover of Vogue; Tiffany managed to not barf this time; cut to clips of Beverly telling the girls how to handle tough modeling situations with grace. Do I sense some foreshadowing? The girls then had to participate in a renegade tennis-themed photo shoot, in which the photographer purposely acted like an asshole as Jay Manuel watched the whole thing on camera. The girls were all agitated, and Brandy, my least favorite contestant ever, got into some sort of bitch fight with Tatiana, who until now has shown no personality whatsoever. But Big Sister Tiffany stepped in and prevented any real hair-pulling or bitch-slapping. As for the challenge, Naima won, so she, Tiffany and Kahlen were treated to dinner with Serena Williams, which impressed the pants off of me. The girls then had another photo shoot, this time posing as astrological signs by way of crazy makeup (oh yes, it's back) and having to do a weird balancing act with a harness--something that didn't look too difficult, but that most of the girls had trouble with. Then Tiffany cried some more (someone should start an ANTM drinking game, and you should chug when Tiffany cries) and Brandy sassed the hairdresser. So, of course, it came down to Miss Bad Attitude Brandy and Lluvy in the end, but even though she took "the worst photo in the history of America's Next Top Model," according to Tyra, Lluvy was saved, thankfully. Lluvy reminds me of a way cooler version of Kelle (from last season)--beautiful girl, bad photos. As for Brandy, good riddance! But will Tiffany revert back to her angry old ways without her "little sister"? Stay tuned...

Next week: Michelle, the wrestler, appears to have some sort of contagious flesh-eating bacteria--watch it freak the models' shit right out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Website of the week
Of all the teen pop starlets, I've always liked Mandy Moore. She seems like the fun, quirky younger sister to trashy Britney, scary Christina, and goody-goody Jessica. And I think it's cute that she released an album of '70s cover songs. I was a bit wary when it was announced that Mandy was starting her own clothing line (really, is anyone anticipating Beyonce's House of Dereon?), but I think her line, Mblem, is really cute. Basically, Mblem is a tightly focused line of about 16 (so far) tees that are reminiscent of C&C California in cut (all styles are on the long, non-midriff-baring side) and in price (everything falls between $50 and $60). But what sets the tees apart are really cool details, like subtle prints and song lyrics. The jersey ruffled sleeve tee has interesting seam details and cute flutter sleeves; I can totally picture Mandy herself in this subtly sexy hearts and birds tee; the sexy basic tee features Cat Stevens lyrics while the Average American tank notes that we spend "5 years waiting in lines." Kinda cool, right? I also like the neo-grunge double-layer thermal tee and the sweet fashion jersey buttoned heart. (Note to Mblem: You guys need to come up with better names for this stuff.) So not only is Mandy Moore making cute, innovative tees, she's also finding a cure for cancer: A portion of proceeds from the lyric tees collection benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Which is much more than you can say for JLO's clothes or Jessica's Dessert.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Yet another reality TV sighting
So, on my way back from lunch today, a rather ghetto-fabulous woman standing at the security counter of my office building caught my eye: tall, jeans tucked into brown boots, huge gold-rimmed sunglasses. As I got closer, I realized it was none other than Eva from America's Next Top Model. So then, of course, I said really loudly, "Hey, look, it's Eva from America's Next Top Model!" Eva didn't acknowledge me; she looked really pissed off. Which is understandable, because the security in my building is unnecessarily tight. Anyway, Eva looks exactly like she did on the show (or as she does in her "My life as a Cover Girl" spots), although she's way taller than I expected (probably due to the boots). Sadly, this was the highlight of my day today.

Yesterday, as I was escorting MT around our fine city, I spotted Leon Hall, the bitchy dude who does awards-show commentary with Joan Rivers. He and a friend were looking at the windows at Bergdorf's and Leon was trying to guess the designer while his friend covered up the name on the window. Clearly this man has too much time on his hands.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: Elie Tahari's chic, minimalist line is on sale. Jackets are $130, pants are $80 and shirts are $50. 3/23-3/26; 8:30-7:30 Wed. & Fri., 8:30-8 Thurs., noon-6 Sat.; 520 5th Ave. (at 43rd), 2nd fl.

The lovely Alexia Crawford has costume jewelry, bags and scarves for $5-$20. 3/23-3/25; 11-7; 35 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 6th fl.

Going on vacation? By The Sea Showroom has swimsuits from Zimmerman, Rosa Ferrer, Anna Kosturova, and Red Carter, plus coverups, hats, and beach bags at below-wholesale prices. Through 4/22; 9-5 (closed weekends); International Children's Apparel Center, 112 W. 34th St. (B'way & 7th Ave.), ste 1606.

The mystery jeans and tees sale on Grand Street has a name, and it's The Art Of Shop. (Not what I would've picked, but whatever.) This week, they have Diesel, Earnest Sewn, Frankie B, Miss Sixty, Riley and more in all sizes. The downside? Cash only. Through 3/27; 10:30-7; 60 Grand St. (W. B'way & Wooster Sts.).

Get some unique accessories at Trunkt in Tribeca--they've got bags, belts, jewelry and more from a bunch of indie designers. Through 3/27; 11:30-7:30; 333 Greenwich St. (Jay and Duane Sts.).

For Lower East Side ladies, Johnson has shirts for $50, skirts for $75, and dresses for $150at this cash-only sale. 3/26-3/27; noon-6; 195 Chrystie St. (at Stanton St.), 5th fl.

Super-Euro Henry Cotton's, Moncler, and Cerruti for men and women are 50% off. Through 3/27; 10-7, 11-7 Sun.; 260 5th Ave. (at 29th St.).

Take 10% off any designer handbag at CityModa.com when you enter code CMAC. Along those same lines, take 10% off any bag at MetroLuxury.net when you enter code MLRCS. Or if you're a gift with purchase kind of girl, get a free small Prada makeup bag at eFashionHouse.com when you enter code FREEPRADA at checkout.

Save 20% when you spend $100 or more at Danskin.com. Enter code marchsale05 at checkout through 3/23.

Exciting, I know: It's the Towel Event at Neiman Marcus. Get free monogramming and free shipping on a $100 purchase when you enter code MARCUS at checkout through 3/28.

Get free shipping on a $30 order at Kiehls.com when you enter code WHEELIN at checkout through 3/28.

Enter code printemps for 20% off orders of $75 or more at former Cheryl Shops website of the week Le Train Bleu.

Spring items are up to 40% off at Banana Republic.

Get a free Bathina shower cap with your $50 purchase at Benefit when you enter code FGSC at checkout through 3/22.

And of course, Lord & Taylor coupons.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Coming soon
So, you've probably noticed Cheryl Shops has been a bit light on posts lately. Not that I'm making excuses, but I've been hard at work on the Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide, and god willing, it's going to drop sometime next week. I think it's going to kick ass, and I'm really happy with what I've found so far. So keep an eye out for it!
America's Next Top Model recap
So, this week's episode of America's Next Top Model was the ol' "Jay Alexander Teaches the Girls How to Walk" episode, except that in this season, the girls were given huge clunky clogs and walked along yard lines in a football stadium. I guess the producers have to keep it interesting. The girls then had a walk-off at 6 in the morning at a K-Mart; it was down to Naima and Rebecca, but Rebecca won--a pleasant surprise. She got to pick five pals, and all won a free pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes (hello, product placement), while the losers had to wait on them at the store (and got quite bitchy and resentful about it). Meanwhile, Michelle, the wrestler, had been acting a bit bizarre, but it finally came out (pardon the pun) that she's bisexual, and all was well in the house again. The girls then had a photo shoot, in which they had to pose with a male model, a bouquet of flowers, and 10 dogs. A bit busy, yes, but so far they've been going easy on the crazy makeup and hair that the show was so big on last season. And, oh yeah, during judging, Rebecca fainted and freaked everyone's shit right out. Apparently she has some sort of neurological disorder and faints from time to time. But ever the trouper, she made it back in time for the selection. In the end, it was down to Sarah, the girl who got a hot short hairdo, and Brittany, the totally obnoxious chick from florida. (During judging, while discussing Brittany's photo, which, admittedly, did look like a porno cover, Tyra uttered my favorite line of hers ever: "You look like the classy porno cover, the one that's $39.99. How do I know that?") But Sarah, who had a crap photo and who couldn't walk (and--take note--also had one of the curvier bodies) got the boot. That wouldn't have been my choice (Brittany is gross, and I still think Brandy is a brat), but all unworthy contestants will be eliminated in due time.

Next week, two girls throw down, and one model takes "the worst picture ever." Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Reader tip
I forgot to publish this yesterday.

FYI - Daffys got in a load of Tracey Reese and Plenty stuff. Plenty items were AMAZING and were no more than 39.99. They consisted of beautiful gauzy summery tops with metallic thread and sequin embellishments harking back to ethnic formalwear from India and the Middle East. Perfect for a summer wedding or with jeans/tank. Also, a bit of not as excitng crochet-looking tops - actually, one of which was very Chloe...Lots of amazing tanks, dresses, skirts and tops, but going quick. Tracey Reese dresses, although cute, were only available in larger sizes of 8+.

So if you're into the boho look, check out Daffy's!
Website of the week
Now that I spend much of my day writing about juniors clothing, I've started checking out the competition, like Delia*s. But a site that, strangely, I'd never heard of before was Hollister, an offshoot of Abercrombie & Fitch, geared toward a slightly younger (read: high school) customer. The clothes are in a similar vein to Abercrombie's (preppy but cool), but they're slightly trendier, and much cheaper (than I remember, at least--I haven't shopped in Abercrombie since high school). The site is pretty simple--you browse by sex, then by category (girls are Bettys), but it's well organized with a nice flash preview function. On my shopping list: I think cropped jeans are going to be huge this summer, and this Grandview Trouser Crop looks way more expensive than it is; the Bay Street embellished tee looks like the perfect going-out top for summer; for those who know me personally, I own about 10 of what my friends call "Cheryl tops," all of which resemble the Seascape lace babydoll (and, yeah, I'll probably buy this one too); the Jack Creek retro shorts are kind of silly but would make a great swimsuit coverup; and, as you know, I'm a sucker for butterflies, so of course I think this Hollister butterfly belt is super cute. So yeah, everything's cute...until you check out the size chart. Yikes. Well, you can always cut out the size tags, right? It's the price you must pay for cute, affordable clothes.

Monday, March 14, 2005

The week in shopping
Sale of the week: The excellent Anna Sui has resort and fall merchandise for up to 50% off. Through 1/31; 11:30-7, noon-6 Sun.; 113 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

I live around the corner and have yet to go inside, but Tao Living is taking 10%-50% off their home and fashion accessories, so I think that's my excuse to check it out. Through 3/20; 11-8, noon-6 Sun., closed Mon. 298 W. 4th St. (at Bank St.).

Mella's cute but overpriced flip-flops (and towels and beach bags) are up to 70% off--that's $5-$50. 3/17-3/18; noon-7; 25 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 6th fl.

Alvin Valley's world-famous trousers are $129-$189 at this sample sale, plus snag cashmere sweaters for $79 and gowns for $395. 3/17-3/21; noon-6; 632 Broadway (at Bleecker), ste. 602.

For Barneys cardholders, get double points through 3/20.

Shop at Saks on Wednesday and get a gift card: $25 for a $250-$499 purchase, $50 for a $500-$999 purchase, $100 for a $1,000-$1,999 purchase, and so on.

eLuxury.com has new markdowns on resort wear--save up to 30% on goodies by 7 for All Mankind, Marc Jacobs, La Perla, and more.

Gabay's has received a shipment of bags from Luella, Tod's, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and more, and shoes from Prada, Helmut Lang, and "Carrie's favorite," which I take as Manolo Blahnik. Prices are 60% off retail. 225 1st Avenue (13th & 14th Sts.).

At La Redoute, one of my personal faves, get $10 off a $75 order, $15 off a $100 order or $20 off a $150 order when you enter coupon 1651-09376-575 at checkout through 3/22.

Whoopee! Lord & Taylor coupons!

Meet Lambertson Truex designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex Tuesday and Wednesday at Bergdorf's from 11-6.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

America's Next Top Model recap
Awww, yeah, getting down to business on America's Next Top Model. So, to begin this week's episode, the contestants found out that this season's action will be taking place in Los Angeles, because that's where Tyra "got her start," whatever that means. I think fliming in L.A. is probably more convenient for everyone, but, hello, everyone knows real models work in NYC. So maybe that's where they'll send the final models, instead of to Europe or Japan (which, in my opinion, was a huge disaster and totally boring). Anyway, the girls got right down to business with a photo shoot with a police car, in which they were supposed to be "aliens." This season's girls are all around naturally better at posing than last season, which is a welcome development. Then the next day, everyone got a makeover--clearly Tyra is changing up the format a bit! They made subtle improvements on most girls, but radical (and for the better) changes on some. And although I was a bit wary of the platinum hair they gave wrestler Michelle (why must they always make someone platinum?), it ended up looking pretty hot and totally changing her look. Tiffany also looks much better with her superlong extensions. Brandy, who was a brat at the photo shoot, was also a brat at the salon, as was Compton gal Keenyah. But it ended up being blonde hottie Brita who got the boot. The judges claimed it was because of her bad photograph (it was pretty bad), but I have a feeling it was because of her body, upon which everyone commented during the shoot. Part of me was like, "bitches!", but then the rational part realized that it's probably good that they got rid of her now, so she doesn't have to suffer through more "fat" or "swimsuit" or "plus-size" comments later in the game. (Another addition to the show was Ms. Jay coming in to measure the height and weight and to take measurements of all the girls--again, alienating as a woman, but necessary as a model.) I probably would've gotten rid of Brandy, because she was a big ol' brat, but Tyra gave her some Tough Love, so hopefully she'll get her act together.

Next week: The girls learn how to walk, courtesy of Ms. Jay, and Michelle appears to have some sort of weird medical condition. (There's always someone, isn't there?)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Random notes

1. While everyone has been calling for the head of Stefano Pilatti, Gucci's womenswear designer Frida Giannini has resigned, primarily because Gucci accessories maven Alessandra Facchinetti has been promoted to creative director of womenswear. Everyone thinks this is a good idea, as Giannini's first two collections have been rather lackluster whereas the accessories have been kicking ass; and, also, because a huge brand like Gucci needs a singular creative vision. So, it shall be interesting to see what happens.

2. On Sunday, the Times published this story on Mary-Kate chic, or "bobo" if you will. The story has turned out to be somewhat controversial, but I find it kind of interesting. It's the whole "Oh, I have so much money, so I'm going to start dressing like a pauper." WASPs have been doing it for ages, but I guess it's a new thing again because MK is technically nouveau riche. But, still, it will be interesting to see if any true trends stem from her style.

3. This morning, I shared a subway pole on the 2/3 with Tim Gunn, of Parsons and Project Runway fame! I was so excited! Let me tell you, he is one sharp-dressed man, and he smells like really expensive bath products. He also coughed, then said, "Excuse me" in a very polite manner. I refrained from saying, "Make it work."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Website of the week
When I grow up, I want to own an Hermes Birkin bag, a Cartier Tank Francaise watch, and at least 2,000 square feet of real estate in Manhattan, preferably in loft format, so I can fill it with cool, modern furniture from stores like Sublime. Now, Sublime is kind of an odd choice for website of the week, in that while it's not an e-commerce site, you can still preview everything they sell, although many prices are not listed. Also, the site is run on Flash, so I can't link to any products directly, but I will try my best to direct you to everything. Sublime is a huge, three-story space on a rather desolate stretch of Varick Street in Tribeca, and they represent over 100 emerging and established American designers. (The store is open to the public Thursday through Saturday, but otherwise requires an appointment.) What they carry is incredibly modern and often quite innovative. Under "collection," I suggest checking out "objects" and especially "home accessories"--I'm a huge fan of the bedding by Amenity and the Aquariass by Elsewhere--which literally turns the tank of your toilet bowl into an aquarium. For slightly more accessible items, check out the Stick candles by So Takahashi and the Space Invaders pillows from O-Matic. But I think the site is best enjoyed by envisioning your dream home, then pretending to fill it. A Birkin might be more attainable, but a dream apartment is much more fun.

Monday, March 07, 2005

America's Next Top Model recap
You know, I was kind of bored with last season, so I was not really excited about "cycle 4" of America's Next Top Model, but let me tell you, I think they have a great group of girls this time. But first things first, the episode started with 35 finalists gathering in L.A., and we get to see their "personalities" and also their "bodies" as they "model" and stuff. There are a few loonies, a few fugs, a few hotties--your usual mix. Strangely enough, Mary, the "other plus-size girl" and Tiffany, the anger-management-needing girl ("Skank ho spilled BEER on my WEAVE!"), both of whom were semifinalists last time, were back for more. So the 35 were narrowed down to 20, who were then told that only 14 of them get to be on the actual show. The good news is that the crazy-ass "Ladycat" did not make it to the final 14; the good-and-bad news is that Mary didn't make it either (she really wouldn't have a fair chance, but an agency needs to sign her soon). Oh, and Tiffany? She's apparently had some anger-management classes and appears to have her shit together. So before I begin my girl-by-girl analysis, let me note that at least two of the contestants are babymamas. Trend?

Brandy...has a crazy 'do and a totally exotic look. But she's 5' 8'', and I think that's a little short.

Brita...is classically beautiful with killer cheekbones, but a bit curvy (she'll get those "swimsuit" and "not runway" comments) and a bit old (25).

Brittany...the very, very hyper girl, is sure to drive me (and everyone else) nuts at some point. But she's got a killer body, and she's damn tall.

Christina...is, again, a bit on the old side (24) and kind of nondescript. I can't even remember her from the show, and I think that's a bad sign.

Kahlen...has a fierce walk and possibly an edgy look. She's short (5' 8''), but I think she's going to be one of my favorites. I like the girls from middle America.

Keenyah...is from Compton, and even though she's young and has a great body, I got the impression from her interviews that she has grander aspirations than modeling (hello, Julie from last season).

Lluvy...is awesome (former gang member, currently a janitor), but I have a feeling her look is too edgy for the rest of the country. Which is too bad.

Michelle....the wrestler, looked like a big ol' bag of fug on the show, but check out the pictures of her on the website. Yikes. And she's young and tall. Definitely one to watch.

Naima...kind of came across as a big ol' flake, but she has one of those pan-ethnic looks that's all the rage nowadays, and I'll bet she has great range.

Noelle...is short (5' 8'') and cute, but appears to have one look. Um, not so much..

Rebecca...unless she shows great range, is going to fall victim to the "too commercial" comment that has befallen so many contestants before her. Nice body, though, and she used to be a stewardess!

Sarah...should just skip the competition and go straight to Maxim. Seriously. I used to work there, and they'd love her.

Tatiana...is young, tall, and cute. Pretty eyes, too. I'm going to ignore the fact that she names Maxim as one of her favorite magazines.

Tiffany...needs some gentle coaxing so she doesn't totally lose her shit again, but who knows? She may have a chance.

Next week (um, or this week), they start out with the makeover episode, which should definitely spice things up. And I promise, my recap will be prompt this time.
Paris Fashion Week roundup
NYT: Cathy Horyn is gaga for Rochas; raves for Chanel and Stella McCartney (yes, I said Stella McCartney); Stefano Pilati's in trouble at YSL; and the final collections.

IHT: More raves for Chanel; weirdness at Comme des Garcons (well, what did you expect?); more raves for enfants terribles Alexander McQueen and John Galliano; elegant, sporty stuff at Hermes; new stars at old standbys; suddenly back-on-the-radar Guy Laroche; and heavy-hitters Vuitton, YSL, and Lanvin.

LAT: Booth Moore on the gamut of designs at Paris; and the prospect of wearable fashion from Paris (what?!).

And, of course, check out full collections at Style.com and Elle.com, and gossip at the Daily.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: I must admit, I'm a sucker for the bohemian lifestyle as sold by Calypso. So I will definitely hit the warehouse sale this weekend, where items for women and children are up to 70% off. 3/11-3/13; 10-7, 11-6 Sun.; 407 Broome St. (Lafayette & Centre Sts.).

High-maintenance in the bedroom? Me too. Check out Frette luxe linens, loungewear, and towels, now up to 75% off. Through 3/11; 9-7, 9-2 Fri.; 4 W. 58th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 9th fl.

Lauren Merkin's girly handbags are 40%-70% off at this sample sale. 3/8-3/10; 11-7; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), suite 201.

20/20 has eyewear from Chanel, Gucci, Alain Mikli, and others, for at least 50% off. 3/9-3/31; 150 E. 86th St. (at Lex), 57 E. 8th St. (at Broadway).

The super-fun-to-say Alpana Bawa has embellished menswear, womenswear and home decor for up to 90% off (that's $10 and up). Through 3/31; 11-7, noon-7 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 41 Grand St. (at Broadway).

Clio has modern tableware for up to 50% off. Through 3/13; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 92 Thompson St. (at Prince St.).

For the best-dressed kids around, Yoya has designer childrenswear at steep discounts. Cash only, but a portion of the proceeds goes to the Save the Children Fund. 3/9-3/12; noon-5; 342 W. 13th St. (8th & Hudson St.).

Showroomaccess.com rescheduled their clearance sale; save 50%-70% on indie designer wares. 3/12-3/13; noon-8; 17 Little West 12th St. (9th & Washington), buzzer 204, suite 205B.

Shop tomorrow at the lower 5th Avenue Club Monaco and get 20% off everything you buy. 3/8; 6:30-8:30 p.m.; 160 5th Avenue.

After weeks of being kind of crappy, the Shop at Style.com has pulled its act together and now has Sigerson Morrison shoes, Not Rational bags, and a bunch of other cool stuff.

Check out March specials at Beautyhabit.com.

Take 20% off everything at WishingFish.com when you enter code SPRING20 at checkout through 3/9.

Good news, hipsters! Built By Wendy has opened an outlet in Williamsburg, where you can find past-season merchandise for $15-$150, with most stuff at about $30. Not bad. It's open weekends from noon-6. 46 N. 6th St. (Wythe & Kent), Williamsburg.

Get 20% off your $150 order at Daszign.com when you enter code march2005 through 3/18.

Click here to save $15 on your $75 order through 3/11 at Figleaves.com.

Enter code Springtime through 3/15 to save 20% on all orders over $75 at the excellent Le Train Bleu.

Lord & Taylor coupons. You know you love 'em.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Posts coming later today
So, Wednesday was my birthday, which was excellent. Then on Thursday I came down with the flu. Yes, the flu. Let me reiterate that I am SO OVER WINTER. Okay. Sorry. Today I sort of feel somewhat with it, so I'll be posting later about the new America's Next Top Model, Paris Fashion Week, and some other stuff. Yay!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Website of the week
When I was but a wee 22-year-old, I came to New York City with visions of designer clothes and, more importantly, shoes dancing in my eyes. I soon found that a magazine assistant's salary, however, is more suited toward shopping at Strawberry. But I honed my craft, shopping at Century 21, sample sales, eBay, and the like, and now I have a rather fabulous closet, if I do say so myself. But the funny thing is, in my old age (yikes, birthdays), I'm learning the fine art of mixing high and low. I love my Marc Jacobs and Prada, but I pair them with pieces from H&M and Target. And while I truly adore my Miu Miu and Sigerson Morrison shoes--as you all know, shoes are my ultimate weakness--I'm learning to incorporate lower-priced footwear into my look. So when I came across Jildor Shoes, I was pleased at the mix of high and low. They carry everything from high-end Italian line Casadei to grandma fave Andre Assous to British sport brand Gola to cheap & chic Italian line Fornarina. You can browse by brand, or search by designer, category, and/or size. On my shopping list: This Pucci thong will be great for summer, and since it's not rubber, I can wear it to work; this Jeffrey Campbell beaded flat is very on trend for spring (and comfy too); I've never seen anything like this crazy M Sport mary jane; and check out this silver Steve Madden shoe--a dead ringer for the Manolo Blahniks that were stolen from Carrie on Sex and the City when she had to take them off at Tatum O'Neal's party. (Remember that episode? Then she gets married to herself or whatever?) Also, check out the excellent sale section. Items ship via UPS and if you live in the tristate area, you should have your shoes in 1-2 business days. Why so quick? Turns out, Jildor is a small chain of shoe stores on Long Island and has been around for over 50 years. Of course, this explains the number of comfort-oriented shoes on the site, but also the hip mix (there's a store in Southampton, which I plan on visiting this summer). And as we know, it's all about mixing it up.