Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Random notes
1. For those of you following the Great Cheryl Bag Search, I'm happy to report I've found a fun little number for summer. I bought it at Jasmine Sola, which is always my first shopping stop in Boston (where I spent the long weekend). It's a fun apple green tote that, as I later discovered, is a knockoff of Bottega Veneta's Oro Cabat tote (retail price: $4,900). Mine is obviously not leather and was a bargain $60, and since it needs to last me four months max, I think that's not such a bad deal.

2. Masstige Watch (at this point, soon to be a recurring feature at Cheryl Shops: For fans of Stella McCartney for Adidas and Y-3, bad boy Brit designer Alexander McQueen is designing a line for Puma, to debut in stores next spring. Am I excited? Hell yes.

3. Fashion musical chairs: Raf Simons is the new Jil Sander designer, Helmut Lang is pretty much kaput, and Roberto Menichetti is out at Celine.

4. In that last article, please note the second item, in which it states the most excellent store ever, Topshop, is coming to America. Well, in abbreviated form, for a trial run at indie boutique Opening Ceremony (at 35 Howard St.) in Soho. Items will be $70-$125 and will hit in August. Expect blood on the sales floor.

5. Website of the week and other goodies will be posted Thursday.
The (short) week in shopping
Sale of the week: Hey, ultrathin fashionistas: Balenciaga for men and women is 40% off. Sadly, that does not include bags. 6/2-6/19; 11-7, noon-5 Sun.; 542 W. 22nd St. (10th & 11th Aves.).

If you're one of the thousands of chicks who swear by Theory pants, Clothingline's got 'em (plus tops, coats, dresses and more) for 60% off. Go early and go often. 6/5-6/10; visit website for hours; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Fret not, fellas: You too can get Theory for 60%-70% off (suits are $339), with a two-day head start on the ladies. 6/3-6/10; 10-7 weekdays, 10-8 Thurs., noon-5 weekends; 520 5th Ave. (at 43rd St.).

If sheets were judged on the Michelin scale, Frette linens would get three stars. At this sale, snag 'em for up to 80% off. 6/4-6/7; 9-6:30; Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Cashmere in June? Hey, you gotta stock up sometime. So hit White + Warren for bright sweaters that are up to 60% off. 6/1-6/2; 8-6; 80 W. 40th St. (at 6th Ave.), 3rd fl.

Get fun totes and home accessories for 50%-80% off at Hable Construction. 6/3-6/4; 11-7 Fri., 11-3 Sat.; 195 Chrystie St. (at Stanton), ste. 102B.

Not IKEA prices, but not IKEA quality either: Save up to 70% on home furnishings at Armani Casa. 6/1-6/30; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 97 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Ultraglam Stuart Weitzman shoes are 30%-50% off; the more you buy, the more you save. Tempting. 6/1-7/31; 625 Madison (at 58th St.), the Shops at Columbus Circle.

Artsy stuff from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store is 25%-50% percent off. 6/2-7/4; call 800-468-7386 for store locations and hours.

For those who practice the lost art of letter-writing, old school Dempsey & Carroll stationery is at least 50% off. 6/2-6/3; 11-6:30; 136 E. 57th St. (at 3rd Ave.).

I've never heard of Phi, but if you have, they've got 2004 collection and 2005 samples in all sizes for $25-$500. 6/3-6/4; noon-6 Fri., 11-7 Sat.; 71 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

For ridiculously expensive kids' clothes at slightly more affordable prices (up to 60% off), check out Bonpoint. 6/1-6/5; 9-7 weekdays, 10-6 weekends; 811 Madison Ave. (at 68th St.).

Reader tip: West Village tween haven Betwixt is closing; if you're a size 4 or below, jackpot for you! 245 W. 10th St. (at Hudson).

Anthropologie is having a sale with items nicely sorted by size.

Take 15% off at Bluefly when you enter code MISSEDYOU560 through 6/4.

Take 10% off your order at Target.com when you enter code TCTENJUNERYB through 6/1.

Discount codes at eFashionHouse.com: enter TAKE10 for 10% off a $100 order, TAKE15 for 15% off a $300 order or TAKE20 for 20% off a $500 order, all valid through 6/3.

Get free shipping on your $150 Saks sale order when you enter code FREEJUNE5 at checkout. If you're headed to the store, check out the bridal sample sale on the 9th floor through 6/7.

Oh, how we all love Lord & Taylor coupons!

Finally, tons of websites are having swim sales, including Bloomingdales.com, Macys.com, J.Crew, and Victoria's Secret.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Buy it
I love Gwen Stefani as much as the next girl. Well, okay, maybe not--I think Gwen is awesome. Coincidentally, I've been in the market for a new digital camera (I bet you know where this is going), as my current one is five years old and weighs about three pounds. So when I read about the limited-edition (yes, the words "limited-edition" are a surefire way to get my pulse racing) Harajuku Lovers camera she designed for HP, well, let's just say they had me at "Harajuku." I got my camera today in the mail, and it is so cute, I can't even begin to tell you. (MW just rolled his eyes and sighed.) The camera is tiny and metallic-ish blue, and it comes with all sorts of cute accessories, like a camera strap and bag, plus an exclusive DVD, which I haven't watched yet but apparently features a video and an interview with Gwen. So while these are all excellent selling points, the camera itself kicks ass. It has a 21x zoom, all manner of shooting modes, plus it can record video and sound as well as take photos. Which is a lot more than I can say for my circa-2000 Olympus. Yes, I'm going to look like a huge dork when I whip this thing out, but, hey, if it makes me a tenth as stylish as Gwen, I'll be a happy camper. Make that snapper.
Website of the week
Every summer, I buy a new bag. It's usually a somewhat cheap bag, often very colorful, that I know I'm going to use for three or four months, then stash on my purse shelf for the rest of its existence. This summer, however, I'm having a hard time finding a winner (yes, I know it's not officially summer yet--and the weather is certainly reinforcing this--but I've already switched my closets to summer clothes, so I'm in that mode already). The price is right for this Old Navy mesh tote, but I'm not too keen on the color, and the style seems alarmingly pickpocket-friendly. I absolutely love this APC shopping bag but don't really like any of the colors. And while this Renaud Pellegrino butterfly tote is right up my alley, the price ($595) is not. So while doing my research, I came across The Purse Blog, a blog devoted solely to purses. Obviously. It's written in first person by a lovely gal named Megs, and her love and devotion for bags comes across loud and clear in each post. The nice feature is that you can browse the blog's archives by style (hobos, messenger bags) or by "It" brand (Burberry, Hermes). There's also a rather amusing "fug bags" page, which is good for a laugh. So after browsing through pretty much the whole thing, my new frontrunner is this Michael Michael Kors satchel, which, coincidentally, we happen to sell on Macys.com! (Way to be familiar with your own website's merchandise, Cheryl.) I still haven't made up my mind, but when I do make a purchase, I'll let you know all about my handbag status (pardon the pun)....

Monday, May 23, 2005

The week in shopping
Sale of the week: Staff International is taking up to 60% off superhip brands Dsquared2, Martin Margiela, and Diesel. While not the best bargains in the world, this is often an excellent sale. 5/24-5/25; 10-7; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 8th fl.

Lovely, girly Eberjey lingerie and swimwear is 50%-75% off at this sample sale. Through 5/24; 9-7; 40 E. 34th St. (Park & Madison), ste. 610.

Gorgeous clothes by Alessandro Dell'Acqua and accessories by Borbonese are a nice 80% off. 5/25-5/26; 10-7; 149 5th Ave. (at 21st St.), 2nd fl. .,

For the pregnant chicks in the house, Cadeau has chic maternitywear for $20-$35. 5/24-5/25; 10-7; 254 Elizabeth St. (at Prince St.).

Hey, punks! Score Buddhist Punk, Religion, Rolling Stones, and Ringspun in all sizes, for men and women, for $30 and up. Cash only. Through 5/27; 10-5; 230 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 12th fl.

Fun clothing from Anni Kuan is 60% off and more (sweaters are $35) at this cash only sale. 5/26-5/27; 10-6; 242 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 11th fl.

Select bags are 30% off at LeSportsac. Through 6/5. Visit the website for store locations and hours.

Embellished tanks by Wifebeader by Laura Dahl are 20% off at this sale (buy 3 or more and get an additional 15% off). 5/26-5/27; 11-6; 135 W. 26th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 203.

Intellectual, architectural clothing by Yeohlee is 50% off. Cash only. 5/24; 8-6; 225 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

If you're a gun-slinger (or just want to dress like one), hit Beretta's sale for hunting-inspired clothes at 70% off. Through 5/25; 9-6:30 Tue., 9-5 Wed.; Parsons School of Design, 560 7th Avenue (at 40th St.), 2nd fl.

If you're a a Ravinstyle member (meaning you get the emails and probably already know this), get 15% off Nour sunglasses (favored by Mary-Kate, Nicole, et al) through 5/27.

Take 20% off your order at former Cheryl Shops website of the week Le Train Bleu when you enter code MangeTout at checkout through 5/31.

Select spring/summer items are 50% off at BCBG stores. Visit website for locations.

Check out the Knoll sale (a whopping 44% off) at Retromodern.com through 5/29.

On that same note, save up to 50% on select items at furniture website Oriac.

Save 25%-40% at Saks' spring sale.

In honor of Steve Madden's release from prison, get free shipping at Steve Madden when you enter code FRSP0505 through 5/30.

Through 5/31, earn "orange dollars" at Vivre: Get a $25 gift certificate when you spend $200-$399, $50 when you spend $400-$599, $75 when you spend $600-$799, $100 when you spend $800-$999, and $125 when you spend $1000 and up. (Hey, no one ever said Vivre was cheap.)

Get free shipping at Benefit when you enter code FSBM at checkout through 5/24.

Save 10% on your Target.com order when you enter code TCTENMAYSPRN through 5/25.

Click here for Lord & Taylor coupons.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Website of the week
Recently, while browsing through one of my favorite websites, Girlshop.com, I realized that they no longer carry one of my favorite jewelry lines, Double Happiness. And I panicked. But then Google came to the rescue: Double Happiness has a very cute website, which you can shop from directly, but which also lists stores where you can buy their lovely semiprecious jewelry (amusingly enough, Girlshop is still listed there). As the line is somewhat small, shopping is quite simple: Start with top sellers, shop all 37 items, or check out the reasonably-priced, well stocked sample sale. I think this India necklace is one of the coolest ones I've ever seen, and it's on sale for $120 (it was $299)--an excellent deal. I also love this sexy serpentine Osiris necklace. And Double Happiness is still one of the best places for nicely updated chandelier earrings. You can read about the groovy ladies behind the company here, and doing so made me happy that I'll now be cutting out the middleman (i.e. Girlshop). There's nothing like getting your jewelry straight from the source.
America's Next Top Model season finale recap
Well, the good news about America's Next Top Model is that Keenyah didn't win--thankfully, she was the first to go in this final episode. Since Cover Girl is an obvious sponsor (and, well, because the winner becomes a Cover Girl), the girls--Keenyah, Kahlen, and Naima--had to do a combo Cover Girl TV ad and photo shoot. Naima finally discovered her personality and kind of cheesed up the whole thing, but since she appeared human for the first time in awhile, it went over well. Kahlen was her usual understated but bubbly self, and Keenyah was, in my eyes, so obnoxiously cocky, I don't think I could look at her performance objectively. And the judges felt similarly, so they got rid of her (after an annoying commercial-break cliffhanger, at which point I almost threw the box of pizza at my TV). The final competition was pretty straightforward: a runway walkoff between Naima and Kahlen, two great strutters. Honestly, I thought it was in the bag for Kahlen--she looked fierce, her body is hot hot hot, and her walk was en fuego. I thought Naima was diva-ing it a bit too much. And while the judges agreed that Kahlen had a better body of work (as we all know, she consistently took the best photos), they were obviously more impressed with Naima's 11th-hour appearance of a personality. Which brings me to the bad news: Naima won. And, yes, I am disappointed. But I am consoling myself with the fact that many of my previous favorites who didn't win--Elyse from season 1, Shandi from season 2, and Norelle from season 3--are finding plenty of work. So while next season we'll have to deal with Naima's sure-to-be-annoying "My life as a Cover Girl" spots, hopefully we'll see Kahlen working it in countless high fashion magazines. Which is what America's Next Top Model should be doing anyway, right?

Monday, May 16, 2005

The week in shopping
Go early and go often to MK's favorite, Steven Alan, where goods from Botiker, Inhabit, Park Vogel, and more are up to 75% off. 5/19-5/21; 8:30-8 Thurs. & Fri., noon-7 Sat.; 87 Franklin St. (Broadway & Church Sts.).

I was a bit disappointed last time, but Denise Williamson Showroom has Sass & Bide, Doo.Ri, Ulla Johnson and more for 70% off. 5/19-5/21; 9-7:30 Thurs. & Fri., 11-6 Sat.; 119 Mercer (Prince & Spring Sts.), loft 2S.

Jeans, tees & more by celeb fave Rogan are wholesale and below. Through 5/22; 10-7 weekdays, 11-6 weekends; 91 Franklin (Broadway & Church).

Lulu Guinness handbags, Cath Kidston housewares, and Tibi clothes are from $8 for oven mitts to $150 for evening bags. 5/18-5/20; 10-5; 230 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

Vivienne Tam's Asian-inspired womenswear is $30-$398 at this sale. 5/18-5/20; 10-8 Wed., 10-7 Thurs., 10-6 Fri.; 550 7th Avenue (39th & 40th Sts.), 20th fl.

Excellent knitwear (and more) by Twinkle is $45 and up. 5/20-5/21; 10-8 Fri., 11-5 Sat.; 401 Washington St. (at Laight St.), ste. 4C.

Girly outerwear and underwear: Score Rebecca Taylor clothes and Leigh Bantivoglio lingerie is $10 and up (most items under $100). 5/18-5/19; 10-7; 336 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), loft 11.

The Art Of Shop has Seven jeans, Yanuk, Sweetees, and more for 50-80% off. Cash only. Through 5/22; 11-7; 60 Grand St. (W. Broadway & Wooster).

Colette Malouf's excellent glass jewelry and hair accessories are $10 and up. 5/18-5/19; 11-8; 594 Broadway (Houston & Prince Sts.), ste. 1214.

Find shoes by BCBG, Hollywould, Marc Jacobs, and more at Anbar Shoes's summer clearance sale--all shoes are $20-$90. Through 5/28; 9-6:20 weekdays, 11-5:45 Sat., closed Sun; 60 Reade St. (Broadway & Church).

Cashmere in May? Why not? Central Park West Cashmere is a ridiculous $24-$60 for sweaters, shrugs, and cardigans. 5/18-5/20; 9-6 Wed. & Thurs., 9-5 Fri.; 234 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 5th fl.

Ten percent off is not the hugest discount, but this is the good stuff, and design snobs know Knoll's midcentury modern furniture rarely goes on sale. 5/21-5/24; 11-5 Sat., noon-6 Mon. & Tues. (closed Sun.), 76 9th Ave. (at 15th St.), 11th fl.

Delman shoes are enjoying a nice, yet pricey revival; get 'em here for $95-$195. 5/17-5/21; 10-7; 730 5th Ave. (at 56th St.), 2nd fl.

John Varvatos' understated womenswear is up to 80% off retail. 5/17-5/20; 9-8, 9-5 Fri.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Patti Rose has clothing and accessories from Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and a ton more. All sizes available. 5/17-5/18; 9-7 Tue., 9-6 Wed.; 124 E. 58th St. (Park & Lex).

Still haven't bought your bikini for the summer? Head to J Rosen Showroom, where suits by Vix, Lisa Curran, Bella Brazil, and more are $48-$85; Havianas flip-flops are just $10. Cash only. Through 5/26; 8-7:30 weekdays; 250 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 510.

Indie chick Beth Bowley and Tabitha have feminine clothes for 60%-75% off ($15 and up). 5/19-5/20; 10-7 Thurs., 10-6 Fri.; 234 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.)., 5th fl.

Need fancy stuff? Womenswear by Escada and Badgley Mischka is a ridiculous $30-$495 at this sale. 5/19-5/22; 1-8 Thurs., 10-8 Fri., 10-6 Sat. & Sun.; Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Save 33%-50% at Neiman Marcus's May Sale.

Saks.com apparently screwed something up, so they're offering free shipping when you enter code APOLOGIES through 6/12.

Take $10 off a $75 order, $15 off a $100 order, or $25 off a $150 order at La Redoute when you enter code 1651-09376-1037 at checkout through 5/19.

Summer staples shorts, swimwear, and flip-flops are all on sale at American Eagle.

Head to the lower Fifth Avenue Club Monaco on Thursday to celebrate a book called "A Year in the Merde", have some French cheese & wine, and get 20% off regular-priced purchases. RSVP to rsvp@clubmonaco.com. 5/19; 6:30-8:30 p.m.; 160 5th Avenue.

Get a free Bad Gal mascara at Benefit when you enter code FGBG at checkout through 5/17.

Check out the new markdowns at Pottery Barn Teen.

Nine Mies van der Rohe classics are 15%-25% off for a limited time only at Design Within Reach.

Enter code TCTENEMALSAV to save 10% on your next order at Target.com through 5/18.

Clothingline has added Christopher Fischer cashmere and Alice + Olivia to its sale. Check website for details.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

STELLLLLLAAAAAA!
I had a very Stella McCartney kind of day. First, I read that Ms. McCartney has signed a deal with H&M to do a 40-piece collection for fall, much in the vein of Karl Lagerfeld's. (You can read about it here.) This is great news (to me, at least), because I really think Stella is a talented designer--she knows how young women want to dress and what looks flattering on them. (If you don't believe me, try on a pair of her pants.) And I feel like she takes a lot of shit because she rose to the top very quickly, and because, well, she's Paul McCartney's daughter. So, anyway, this is very good news.

Inspired by this bit of info, I dragged MW to the brand spanking new Adidas store on Broadway at Houston. The Stella McCartney section is right in front, so I got to work right away. I tried on pretty much everything in the collection (except the shorts--I don't do shorts) and am very happy to report that it runs large, so I took a small or medium in everything (quite the opposite of Stella's actual collection, in which I require a 42 or 44). Everything is extremely flattering, and most of what I bought, I plan to wear outside of the gym (I did, however, buy a fabulous track pant with a built-in skirt thing that I plan on rocking for my hip-hop class). The stuff is a bit on the expensive side (mostly $50-$90), but it's all very soft and feminine for workout wear, and, hey, if it takes fancy gym clothes to get you to work out, so be it. You can check out the full collection here. As for the rest of the store, they don't really carry the fashion-y Adidas stuff--it's mostly shoes and workout clothes (and no Y-3, one of my favorite lines ever). But it's worth it for the Stella. MW talked me out of getting one of the tops, but I still dropped quite a wad. And, um, I might go back later to get that tank after all. (Shh, don't tell him.) As I kept telling MW, it's all limited edition! Great excuse, right?
America's Next Top Model recap
Tonight's episode of America's Next Top Model was Dumb with a capital D. The D also stands for Dance, which is what the models had to do throughout the show. I understand, in theory, why it's important for models to know how to move--better dance skills can translate into better, more active posing. However, dressing the models up in native South African garb and forcing them to perform in front of a huge audience...well, I don't really see how that's going to help them. Naima, a professional dancer, easily won the challenge, and her reward was an extra 30 frames at the next photo shoot--a reward she didn't really need. She busted out a little strategy, choosing Keenyah to share the reward (20 extra frames), who chose to share hers with Brittany (10 extra frames). Kahlen, who usually takes really good pictures, was visibly upset and cried (more of that to come). The next day, the girls traveled to the prison where Nelson Mandela was held captive. Keenyah, who becomes more and more annoying in each episode, kept proclaiming her "blackness" and saying how she felt so comfortable being in the "mother country," and didn't even know whether Mandela is still alive (for the record, he is, as even Brittany knew). Keenyah later pitched a fit when Naima, who, by the way, is at least a quarter black, got to open Mandela's cell with a big ol' key. And when Brittany called Keenyah on it, Keenyah turned into Robo-bitch. The next day, the girls had a photo shoot, in which they had to dance and pose with three male models. Naima rocked it; Keenyah proved she can't handle a little flirting, nor does she have any sense of humor whatsoever; Brittany, when she didn't look like a drunk girl at a frat party, seemed to be doing pretty well; and Kahlen was nervous beyond belief, and it showed. The girls then tried to blow off some steam by having dinner with the male models, but they all got into a big fight and thus we all got a peek into how the girls are handling the stress of the competition: Keenyah gets cocky, Brittany picks fights, Naima withdraws, and Kahlen cries. (Maybe why this is why I relate to Kahlen so much--I'm also a crier.) I was really worried for Kahlen at judging, too, where the girls had to dance and pose (it was basically the model version of "Red Light, Green Light"). Keenyah, by some act of god, got called first, mainly because she did well at the "Red Light, Green Light" dancing bit, but also because she took a not-awful photo. Kahlen, thank god, was next, and while it was down to Naima and Brittany, both for lack of "fire", Brittany got the boot. Which I think is okay. She took good pictures, but she was a bit of a mess.

Next week is the final episode (there's a "scenes you missed" show on Tuesday), and I'm nervous. There appears to be a Cover Girl shoot (just like last year), and a final runway competition. The winner has to be Kahlen or Naima, but it's going to be awesome to see them battle it out on the runway, as they both have killer walks. I'd love to see Kahlen win, but really, as long as it's not Keenyah, I'll be happy. My fingers are crossed...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Website of the week
Ever since Nike's Air Rift sneakers (the Mary Jane-style shoe with the split toe) came out, I've wanted a pair. At first, they were sold out everywhere. Now they're not so hard to find, but most of the color combinations are gross, a problem I encounter often in sneakers. (Like a true fashionista, I tend to buy for looks rather than for function, although since I mainly use my sneakers for hip-hop class, I like a flexible sole.) So when I heard about Nike ID, I scurried right over to my computer to check it out. And I'm sorry, MW, but the site is genius. (MW hates Nike and is upset that this is my website of the week.) There are 41 items that you can customize from the color of the swoosh to the color of the sole--mostly sneakers, but there are messenger bags, watches, and golf balls too. Sneakers represented include several Shox models, Air Presto, and Air Zoom Hurache, as well as all manner of cleats for...well, whatever sport you need cleats for. The site is pretty self-explanatory: Pick the shoe (or whatever) you want, pick a color scheme inspiration (the family of colors from which you'll be shopping), then get to work customizing, which is by far the most fun I've had in awhile. Which is a sad commentary on my life, but I digress. The next best thing about the site (other than the fact that you're basically getting a custom-designed shoe) is the price, which, is only slightly higher than the regular Nike price. I was expecting at least $200, but my Air Rift is an affordable $105. The only downside to the site is that it takes 3-4 weeks for your sneakers to ship. But, hey, it takes months--and multiple fittings--for couture, so I'm not going to complain. I'm starting to get the whole sneaker craze thing now. I literally spent hours coming up with different color combinations for several pairs of shoes, but I think I found one I'm going to stick with. For now, at least.

Monday, May 09, 2005

THISIT plug
Yes, it's time for me to plug THISIT.com again. (For those of you who missed the first plug, it's a Macy's-affiliated website I work on.) It's been refreshed for summer with all-new trends (check out the trend mag and the Buy IT sections), and a lot of the stuff is really cute. Did I mention how affordable it is? It's all juniors stuff, so, yes, good deals abound. And if you sign up to be a VIP, you get monthly emails written by yours truly, plus you're automatically entered in the daily giveaways (this month I believe we're giving away Curious Britney Spears--as I said, it's a teen-oriented site). Yes, the site is still a bit slow to load, but we're working on fixing that for our July refresh. So please check it out! And buy stuff too! Thanks!
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: Sharpen your claws for the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G sample sale. Clothing and accessories for men, women, and children are an affordable 80% off. 5/13-5/15; 9-6 Fri., 10-6 Sat., 11-5 Sun.; 85 Spring St. (Bway & Crosby), 2nd fl.

The Aeffe sale is kind of hit or miss, but for the expert hunters, they have Moschino, Alberta Ferretti, Gaultier, and more for men and women, for 60% off. 5/11-5/14; 10-6, 10-5 Sat.; 30 W. 56th St., (5th & 6th Aves.).

Sounds promising: the Multidesigner Sample Sale features See by Chloe, Rebecca Taylor, Tracy Reese, Theory, Rogan, and more for up to 85% off. Cash only for purchases less than $150. 5/10-5/11; 11-6; Soho Dance, 598 Broadway (at Houston), 6th fl.

Chic, sexy separates by often-overlooked French designer Barbara Bui are up to 90% off. 5/10-5/12; 115-117 Wooster St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

I absolutely love Satya's yoga-inspired jewelry (really, it's not as cheesy as it sounds), which is sold at Anthropologie and at their store on Bleecker. At this sale, everything is up to 80% off. Cash only. 5/13-5/15; 10-7. 95 Christopher St. (at Bleecker).

Lovely Alice Roi clothes are $50-$250; get lucky and Alice herself will help you out (it happened to me once). 5/11-5/14; 9-7; The Inn at Irving Place, 56 Irving Pl. (at 17th St.).

Hey, downtown gals: Showroom Seven has Luella bags, Erickson Beamon jewelry, and more for wholesale and below. Through 5/20; 10-7 (closed Sun.); 498 7th Ave. (36th & 37th Sts.), 24th fl.

Susana Monaco's excellent knitwear is below wholesale. 5/10-5/12; 9:30-7; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 5th fl.
When: 5/10-5/12; Tues.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Bond 07--always an excellent place to find offbeat accessories--has goodies by YSL, Prada ($100 sunglasses!), and Selima on sale. 5/15-5/16; 10-7; 7 Bond St. (Lafayette & Broadway).

Ohhh, yes: Bras and undies by Chantelle (my everyday bra of choice), Simone Perele, Panache and Huit (all fancy French lingerie lines) are $5-$25. Cash only. 5/11-5/13; 10-6 Wed., 10-7 Thurs., 10-4 Fri.; 40 E. 34th St. (Park & Madison Aves.), stes. 707, 710, and 1107.

It's bargain central for sexy, slinky gowns and jersey separates by Yigal Azrouel: dreses are $125-$250 while separates are a bargain $40. 5/10-5/12; 9-7, 9-6 Thurs.; 225 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

Aspire to ghetto fabulousness? Rachel Roy's luxe line (she's Damon Dash's wife) of beaded tops, cashmere hoodies, trenchcoats, and more is at least 50% off (think mostly below $200). 5/11-5/12; 10-7; 463 7th Ave. (35th & 36th Sts.), ste. 1600.

Score some chic French basics from Philippe Adec for $36-$182. Cash only. 5/12-5/14; 9-7, 11-5 Sat.; 213 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

Love you some Italian denim? GF Ferre, Just Cavalli & D&G are up to 80% off at this sale. Credit cards only. 5/13-5/16; 9-6, 9-5 Mon.; Metropolitan Pavilion; 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Fancy a chapeau? Tracy Watts' hats are at least 50% off (now $35-$95). 5/12-5/13; 11-7; 305 W. 20th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Find fancy sportswear by David Rodriguez for 50-90% off. 5/12-5/14; 11-7, 10-5 Sat.; 252 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 904.

MaxMara's high-end Italian suits, accessories, and sportswear are up to 70% off. 5/10-5/12; 9-6:30, 9-5 Thurs.; Parsons School of Design, 560 7th Avenue (at 40th St.), 2nd fl.

Take 15% off online exclusives (that includes the designer collections) at one of my faves, La Redoute when you enter coupon 1651-36985-1003 at checkout through 5/12.

Another one of my faves, Container Store is having a spring organization sale through 5/15.

Get free shipping at Benefit when you enter code FSWB at checkout through 5/10.

Get 20% off your order at Bloomingdales.com when you enter code HH3PAF through 5/11.

Enter code TCTENMASDAYS at Target.com for 10% off your order though 5/11.

Lord & Taylor coupons, of course.

Starting 5/10, Loehmann's has all manner of designer arrivals, from Catherine Malandrino to Marni. I'm so there. 7th Avenue at 16th St.

Save up to 30% at eLuxury.com's semi-annual sale.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Costume Institute Gala
So, Monday was the huge, huge, event-of-the-year Costume Institute Gala at the Met, and clearly no one cares, because I can't find single photos to link to. Or maybe no one cares because the fashions were so lackluster. Pretty much everyone who was wearing Chanel (this year's theme) looked amazing, except Nicole Kidman, who seriously creeps me out (her gown was ill-fitting and unflattering). You can see photos here in slideshow format; here are my, as People magazine used to call 'em, "Picks and Pans."

Fabulous
Selma Blair: Gorgeous dress. Chanel, of course. If Selma Blair keeps at it, she could be our generation's Audrey Hepburn. Although she needs to stand up straight. Girlfriend looks like she's got a broken back.
Vanessa Paradis: Again, in Chanel. And I'm guessing she bought it herself. Everytime she shows up anywhere, she just looks so chic and French. Coco would be proud.
Amanda Peet: Of course I have to give a nod to the Marc Jacobs dress, which in itself gives a nod to classic Chanel with its slim silhoutte but flattering shape. She could lose the headband (flapper overkill), but I'm not going to complain too much.
The Olsen Twins: So, yeah, I love the Olsens and am very upset that I haven't seen either of them in the flesh. Nevertheless, Ashely rocked a gold empire-waist Oscar de la Renta, while Mary Kate chose a very sweet (and, eerily, Karen Carpenter-ish) long-sleeved white lace job. Adorable and age-appropriate, both.
Plum Sykes: Yes, I know everyone hates her and thinks she's a massive bitch, but damn, the girl's got great taste in dresses. Her Alexander McQueen gown was gorgeous beyond words.

Not bad
Elle Macpherson: This is for her hair, more than for her dress, but the bright yellow satin strapless gown was quite fetching. The hair, though...why doesn't my hair look like this? Everyday?
Jennifer Connelly: The only actress with the guts to wear something by Balenciaga--other than the motorcycle handbag--in public. It's kind of a mess, but kind of cool too.
Karolina Kurkova: While I probably wouldn't wear Viktor & Rolf, I admire their extreme quirkiness. Her "I Love You" dress was a bit out there, but, hey, you gotta love it.
Naomi Watts: For someone whose ex recently knocked up someone 10 years younger than her, Naomi looks pretty damn good. The ruffles are kind of out of control, but the hair is great and she looks hot anyway.
Catalina Sandino Moreno: The dress is not spectacular, but it's flattering, and I love this gal, in all of her curvy glory (she's from Maria Full of Grace for those of you who haven't seen it--and you should). Great hair too.

Gross
Allegra and Donatella Versace: Yes, I know Donatella's in and out of rehab like most people are in and out of the bathroom, but hello, your daughter has a severe eating disorder! I know she writes your paychecks now, but next time you go to Cirque Lodge, Donatella, bring Allegra with you!
Dr. Lisa Airan: Vogue loves to quote her about all things Botox, but she looks like she took a wrong turn in the East 70s. Honey, the church is on Park Avenue and you're late for your wedding.
Lil' Kim: I don't get it. Somehow, she manages to make Marc Jacobs look trashy.
Emmy Rossum: My god, girl, get yourself some self-tanner. Pale skin plus pale dress equals Emmy the Friendly Ghost.
Natalia Vodianova: Since she's a model, whom I've seen in Calvin Klein ads, I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she is, in fact, a thin person. However, in this tent of a dress, you'd never know it. Imagine what this would look like on a size-10 woman.

Hot guys (a category that needs no further explanation)
Tom Ford
Viktor & Rolf
Andre 3000
Jake Gyllenhaal
Johnny Knoxville (Jessica, I get it)
America's Next Top Model recap
I've been a good girl this season and not reading the message boards, so I have no idea who's going to win America's Next Top Model, and I'm finding that I'm enjoying the show a lot more. (Granted, last season I had to reassure myself that Yack-Yack wouldn't win. And thankfully she didn't.) This week's episode, for example, totally kept me guessing. I thought Keenyah was totally a goner this week, but she completely stunned me by winning the go-see contest. (Her prize was to attend an industry dinner party with a friend, and she brought good-time-gal Brittany, who got wasted and wouldn't let Keenyah get a word in edgewise. Ha!) Naima, who's obviously a fan favorite, winning the Cover Girl of the Week contest every week, came across as a complete flake, which kind of turned me off. The girls then had a photo shoot where they had to "kloof" to their location (not to be confused with "crunk" or "krump"), or as you and I would call it, wade through a bunch of streams and crap. With the aid of the stylists, the girls had to use stuff from nature to create their wardrobe (i.e. branches, mud, leaves, etc.). I don't know how environmentally responsible it was for everyone to destroy wildlife as such, but snaps to brittany, who just rolled around in the mud to create her look (the result: a totally hot photo). Everyone but Kahlen and Brittany took a somewhat mediocre photo--Naima apparently can't photograph from the front--as we found out at judging. And to turn the tables--oh, snap!--Tyra made the girls judge each other's photos. Keenyah had nothing good to say about anyone, Brittany thought everything was "Great! Really cool!", Christina's comments had no emotion behind them whatsoever, but Naima and Kahlen both gave very insightful commentary. The girls were then asked who they thought might win, and who deserved to go home; Kahlen and Keenyah were the high vote-getters in the former category, Christina in the latter. So...Christina went home, although it was down to her and Brittany in the final two (the judges were upset that Brittany apparently hasn't learned anything about "the industry" as reflected by her dumbass critiques). Christina indeed photographed well, but she had zero personality, which normally wouldn't matter for a lot of models, but as I've said before, this is America's Next Top Model--a whole different ballgame.

So, who's going to win? I have a theory. You know the photo they show at the end, where they remove a girl each week? They always remove 'em from the front. As of now, Keenyah and Kahlen are in the foreground and Naima and Brittany are in the background. Hmm...Personally, I am rooting for Kahlen, but she reminds me of Shandi (both a good and a bad thing), who, as we know, suffered from confidence issues. So I'm hoping Kahlen doesn't befall a similar fate. But as I said before, I'm not reading the message boards, because I want to be surprised.

Next week, the models learn how to dance (always amusing), Keenyah's ego goes out of control, and the girls have a photo shoot with a male model. Tee hee.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Website of the week
As you all know, I love a good bargain. One of my favorite places in the city to bargain-shop is Loehmann's, probably due to its proximity to my apartment, but I always manage to find great stuff there. So I was delighted to hear that Loehmann's has a partnership with Smart Bargains, so now you can shop Loehmann's excellent deals online. Smart Bargains, however, is a huge site, very similar to Overstock.com, with everything from electronics to Prada bags. You can seach or browse by category, but just a warning--the site has a ton of stuff, so just browsing can be kind of intimidating. Some interesting finds: I love Sonia Rykiel perfume and can't seem to find it anywhere...until now (a lot of hard-to-find and discontinued fragrances are available here); check out this recent-season Marc Jacobs bag (everyone from Louis Vuitton to Kate Spade is also represented, handbag-wise); predictably, I love this Prada butterfly trick from last season; I absolutely love this half-price Tod's boot; and this Frette sheet set, at $500, is quite the bargain (original price: $1200) and puts my Dwell sheets to shame. Plus, everything ships for a flat rate of $6.95, with no-hassle returns. So shopping at Smart Bargains might not be as satisfying as shopping at an actual discount store, but it's far more pleasant than sifting through the clearance racks.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Random notes
1) Cheryl Shops now has over 100,000 hits! I realize that's the number of hits Gawker gets in, like, a matter of hours, but I'm quite proud of it. So thanks for reading!

2) Tonight is the famed Costume Institute Ball at the Met; since, fashion-wise, this is like the East Coast Oscars, I'll be critiquing the looks on display later in the week. To tide you over, here's Amy Larocca's excellent article, on the preparation for the event, from this week's New York magazine.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: So, it's not really cashmere weather anymore, but you can always stock up for next year at TSE's sale, where their luxurious sweaters (for men, women, and kids) are $50-$300. 5/3-5/7; 10-7, 11-7 Sat.; 102 Wooster (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Attention, shoe fiends: Goodies from Cynthia Rowley, nancynancy, and Nancy Geist are $80 and up at this cash-only sale. Through 5/6; noon-7; 307 7th Ave. (at 27th St.), ste. 2307.

Jill Platner's low-key, minimalist sterling-silver and gold jewelry is 10%-50% off. 5/6-5/8; noon-7; 113 Crosby St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

For dogs and their owners (or however that saying goes), Kwigy-bo and Ella Dish luxe dog accessories are $10 and up. 5/3-5/5; 10-7 Tue., noon-7 Wed. & Thurs.; 501 7th Ave. (at 37th St.), ste. 508.

Area's linens are on sale for $4 (placemats) to $150 (sheet sets). 5/4-5/5; 10-7; 180 Varick St. (at King St.), ste. 936.

Getting married? RM Designs/Reva Mivasagar has lovely designs for up to 80% off. Call 212-372-2804 to make an appointment. 5/6-5/14; noon-6 (closed Sun.); 10 W. 18th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 4th fl.

Again, getting married? Thread makes the most flattering, really "You can wear 'em again" bridesmaid dresses; at this sale, they're 50% off. 5/3; 10-7; 26 W. 17th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 301.

Meryl Waitz has all sorts of stuff--from vintage jewelry to bath items--for 65% off. Cash only. 5/5-5/6; 10-7; 264 Canal St. (at Broadway), ste. 6E.

Oprah fave Armand Diradourian cashmeres are 60% off. Cash only. 5/5-5/14; 160 5th Ave. (at 20th St.), ste. 901.

For the dudes, To Boot New York has stylin' men’s shoes for 50%-80% Cash only (a big theme this week!). 5/6-5/8; 8:30-6:30 Fri., 10-6 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 603 Washington St. (at Morton St.).

This shit is bananas: Chery Shops fave Girlshop is offering Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. line for 15% off through 5/5.

Get 20% off your purchase at the lower Fifth Avenue Club Monaco Thursday from 6:30-8:30. 5/5; 160 5th Avenue.

Save up to 65% at Pottery Barn Teen's online sale.

Get a deluxe sample of NARSskin Brightening Serum with your $75 order from Narscosmetics.com through 5/15.

Save up to 30% on Juicy Couture, Belle by Sigerson Morrison, and more at Bop's online sale.

Woo-hoo for Lord & Taylor coupons!

Save 10% on your Target.com order when you enter code TCTENMAYDAYS through 5/4.

Get free shipping on rugs through the entire month of May at Oriac Design.

Brooches are 40% off at Saks, plus get a free rush shipping upgrade when you enter code RUSHMOM5 through 5/3.

Save 25%-40% on select swimwear at Victoria's Secret.

Check out the May specials at BeautyHabit.com.