Monday, February 27, 2006

Object of desire
While I was shopping in Soho on Saturday, I saw a woman with the YSL Muse bag, in the same greyish-white that Kate Moss has. Oh, what a beautiful bag. Everyone's panties are in a bunch about the Fendi B bag, but I think the Muse is more classic, and way more subtle (I love how the stitching forms a Y on the front)--plus, we all know how fleetingly trendy Fendis are (baguette, croissant, spy, and so on). Like any classic bag, however, the Muse has an investment-worthy price tag of $1,295. Yikes. My income tax refund is already spoken for, so the Muse might have to wait. But I have a feeling that this new classic will be around for awhile...so maybe next year!
(Last week's) Project Runway recap
If only every episode of Project Runway could be as funny as last week's "dish" episode. Yes, of course, there were the obligatory "How did you feel when..." questions, and Guadalupe was either high or drunk, which was amusing in and of itself, but I loved the flashback montages--of Santino talking shit, of Santino imitating Tim Gunn, of Nick and Santino singing about Daniel Franco, and so on. Hilarious. Also, I felt vindicated when several designers mentioned that Nick should've been in the top three. But otherwise, it was more like a recap episode than anything else. Which is okay, because now that the Olympics are over, I'm ready for the finale. Somewhat annoyingly, it's in two parts, airing this week and next, and already America's Next Top Model is starting up again this week (with the "where are they now" starter episode this week), so my TV schedule is getting rather crowded. But more on that later.

I also watched Project Jay, which was originally supposed to be an entire series but was boiled down into an hour-long special instead. I love Jay, and the show was entertaining, but, I don't know, it was kind of sad too. I admire Jay for sticking to his morals and not accepting the prize money, and I love his outspokenness, but I kind of wonder if he's going to need to tone it down a bit to survive in the business world, because there's a difference between being frank and biting the hand that feeds you.

So, who will win Project Runway? I think I'll have a better idea after Wednesday, but I'm guessing it's Santino, based on what I've seen and heard. Then again, last year I thought it was totally in the bag for Kara Saun, so who knows what might happen? I'll post my recap Wednesday night.
The week in shopping
Get there early, because the Intermix warehouse sale has clothes and accessories from Catherine Malandrino, Matthew Williamson, and others for 40%-70% off, but the good stuff goes fast. 3/3-3/4; 9-9; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Bridal sale #1: The Union Square Filene's Basement has high-end bridal gowns by mystery designers for 70%-90% off (now $249-$699). 3/3; 8-10; 4 Union Square South (Broadway & University).

Bridal sale #2: Elegant bridal gowns by Candice Solomon Couture are 10%-50% off (normally $2,500 and up). 3/1-3/10; Tue.-Sun. by appointment only (call 212-645-7123); 327 Lafayette St. (at Houston).

Grueneyes has superfancy specs from Gucci, Dior, and Blinde for 40%-75% off. 3/1-3/5; 10-7 weekdays, 10-5:30 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 1076 3rd Ave. (at 64th St.).

Butter and Eggs' home furnishings are up to 30% off. 3/1-3/15; noon-7, noon-8 Thurs., 11-6 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 83 W. Broadway (at Warren St.).

The Art of Shopping is back with another sample sale featuring tees, jeans, and the usual. 3/4-3/8; 11-7; 72 Greene St. (Broome & Spring Sts.).

Spend $30 at Kiehls.com through 2/28 and get deluxe samples of Intensive Treatment for Dry and Callused Areas and Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 when you enter code DELUXE at checkout.

One of my favorite promotions (we all know I'm a sucker for gift-with-purchase), it's time again for the Beauty Event at Neiman Marcus. Get a sample-filled tote with your $85 beauty purchase through 3/13.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Random notes
I haven't had time to watch last night's Project Runway (I've become addicted to the Winter Olympics, and I'm all about the figure skating tonight), but I will post a recap of the "dish" episode as soon as I get a chance to watch it.

Also, speaking of figure skating, I highly recommend this bizarre article from the Washington Post about everyone's favorite male figure skater, Johnny Weir(d).
Fashion Week roundup
London Fashion Week was over and done with before I even realized it, and now we're deep into the Milan week. So far, Cathy Horyn has raved over Raf Simons, who appears to be the first designer in, oh, four or five years, to actually get the Jil Sander aesthetic (not coincidentally, it was announced today that Prada is finally selling the company). Speaking of Prada, for once our dear Cathy is kind of underwhelmed by la Miuccia; Suzy Menkes, on the other hand, appeared to understand the bizarre-sounding mix of Alaia- and streetwear-inspired pieces. Suzy also makes an interesting juxtaposition of Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry, whose shows drew JLO and Kate Moss, respectively. But the big news thus far has been Frida Giannini's collection for Gucci, a very glam rock pastiche of David Bowie- and Studio 54-inspired sexy stuff. In other words, her overtly feminine collection from spring sold poorly, so she probably got strong word from the Corporation to revert back to the sexy glamazon look coined by Tom Ford. (And while I like what she did for spring, I agree--there are enough "pretty" lines out there, and Ford's vixen look was hardly broken, and thus probably did not need to be fixed. Not to mention, the pretty look most likely alienated many of Gucci's loyal clientele.) I don't know, Tom Ford is probably a bit of an egomaniac, but damn if he didn't know what he was doing. I still love the guy.

Next week, Paris Fashion Week: Balenciaga and Lanvin and Rochas, oh my!
Website of the week
I was saddened recently to read on one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy, that Thomas Paul is discontinuing his line of luxe, graphic decorative pillows. However, the silver lining in this cloud is that the pillows are on sale. At least, they are on the excellent site PillowsandThrows.com, which I'm kind of shocked to have not discovered before. So, even though MW has declared a moritorium on decorative pillows, I think I'm going to have to defy that and stock up for our new apartment. The Grid Burst and Large Burst pillows, both by Thomas Paul, will look great in our living room (right now I'm thinking a white, chocolate, and green color scheme); I think the Wheat, Rose, and Geisha would look great in our bedroom (which will be a muted blue and moss green with white accents). But aside from Thomas Paul pillows, PillowsandThrows carries a great selection of, yes, pillows and throws, plus they have fancy bedding from some of my favorite lines, like Dwell, Amenity, and Inhabit. Even more pleasing is some of the random stuff you find while browsing the collections, like this Grass wall art from Inhabit and this awesome pheasant pillow (it's for kids, but, really, who cares?). I kind of love this Pinup pillow from Plush Living, which will look awesome next to the Butterfly and Intersect from the same line. For those who want to add some texture to their decor, there's a line of Mongolian lamb pillows or, even better, mother of pearl pillows. And they have a few lamps, including this Oscar Accent Lamp with Thomas Paul silk shade for a mere $88, perfect for the living room. All orders over $100 ship for free (otherwise, shipping is $7.95), and I fully plan on spending that much--well, as long as I promise MW to get rid of some of my old decorative pillows first.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The week in shopping
Select home accessories are 20%-50% off at the deliciously kooky Jonathan Adler. Through 2/28; 47 Greene St. (at Spring St.), 1097 Maidson Ave. (at 83rd St.).

For those of you into architectural, intellectual fashion, there's no better place than IF: They've got men's and women's clothes and accessories by Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe, and more for up to 85% off. 2/23-2/26; 11-7, noon-6:30 Sun.; 94 Grand St. (at Greene St.).

Bra-fit specialists Bra Smyth has over 10,000 bras for 60% off. That's just about enough to get me uptown. Through 2/28; 10-6:30 (closed Sun.); 905 Madison Ave. (72nd & 73rd Sts.).

For pets and their owners, Trixie + Peanut has carriers, collars, and sweaters from A Pet's World for 50% off at this cash-only sale. 2/25-2/26; 11-8 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 23 E. 20th St. (Park & Broadway).

Fancy industrial-modern furniture from Desiron is up to 75% off. 2/23-2/27; 2-7 Thurs., 11-7 Fri.-Mon.; 102 Wooster St. (at Spring St.).

Luxury linens from Ann Gish are up to 75% off (now $5-$500). Through 3/3; 9-5 weekdays only; 599 11th Ave. (at 45th St.), 8th fl.

I haven't worn a Patagonia since college, but if you're the sporty type, clothes and accessories are up to 60% off at their sale. 2/23-2/27; 101 Wooster St. (at Prince), 426 Columbus (at 80th St.).

All gifts are 15% off through 3/31 at Red Envelope.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cheryl shops...the Barneys Warehouse Sale
With all of my recent real estate drama, I almost forgot that today was the first day of the Barneys Warehouse Sale. (By now you all know the drill: Because I'm OCD, I get there first thing in the morning on the first day of the sale.) As usual, there was a mix of good deals and stuff that's definitely not marked down enough. In the designer racks, I saw a healthy amount of Lanvin (yes, Lanvin), Proenza Schouler, and Balenciaga, as well as Jil Sander and some Marc Jacobs collection (I tried on a gorgeous pencil skirt that was inexplicably marked down to $79 and, even more inexplicably, was too big on me--I find it hard to believe I need a 6 in Marc Jacobs collection when Marc typically runs so small). The ol' ready-to-wear racks had a nice selection of Marc by Marc Jacobs of indeterminate seasons, DVF, Rebecca Taylor, Theory, and Edun. For once, not so much private label stuff. I managed to grab a Daryl K for Co-Op suit jacket (I have the matching pants) and empire-waist top; I also found a several-seasons-old Joie mini-kilt for $9. The knitwear bins, where I usually have so much luck, were quite disappointing. They had a bunch of corduroy pants and a few jeans in the denim bins; over to the left there were children's clothes, scarves, leather bags (no designers) and gloves. Sadly, no lingerie bins (although I'm hoping they'll bust those out at some point). I'm most proud of my shoe score, however: I got a pair of baby blue patent leather round-toe Mary Janes from Maloles, a Spanish shoe company that's one of my new favorites. No, I didn't really need them, but they brought me out of my real-estate doldrums. Such a small price to pay for happiness.

So, is the sale worth going to? Of course, silly. Go now for the best selection; wait a week or two for the best deals. Through 3/5; weekdays 10-9, weekends 10-7 (opens at 8 a.m. tomorrow only); 225 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).
Project Runway recap
While I kind of felt like an idiot shedding a tear over Gay Uncle Nick's departure on last week's Project Runway, I felt somewhat vindicated watching this week's episode and seeing that all of the designers thought that Nick was shit on and that Santino should've been the one to leave (except, well, Santino). Even sweet little Daniel V. was talking shit about Santino. Shocking! Anyway, this week's challenge was to design an evening gown that reflected each designer's own signature style. (As Jay later pointed out at a cocktail party with all of Season One's finalists save Wendy Pepper, all the Season One designers bombed this challenge. Foreshadowing...) So, as usual, Santino spent the episode adding more and more trim, Kara appeared to have no idea what she was doing whatsoever, Chloe chirpingly went about her business, and Daniel V. didn't say much of anything. Except to disparage Santinio, of course (who, amusingly, has now added a Michael Kors impersonation to his repertoire, athough it's not quite as spot-on as his Tim Gunn). Halfway through the challenge, the designers found out that supermodel Iman would be a guest judge, and that she'd be selecting the winner's dress to wear to a "red carpet event." Also, sometime around this point, Chloe began to have mixed feelings about whether she really wants to win. (So, now we know there's no way she's actually going to win.) So, onto the runway show, in which the designers send out...three boring satin charmeuse dresses, followed by Santino's renaissance-faire-on-acid dress. The former three were deemed boring (rightfully so) although Daniel V.'s dress was at least sewn well, which is more than you could say for Chloe's (bunchy seams) and Kara's (uneven, unfinished hem). And while I think he went a bit nuts with the pailettes, I hate to say it, but I kind of liked Santino's the best. Even Nina Garcia said it was the most "editorial," although that word is code for "seriously, no one is going to actually wear this." Before the judges deliberated, Heidi asked each designer whom they thought should go, and all but Chloe said...Chloe. Oh, snap! Chloe seemed a bit shocked by the backstabbing, as was I, although it kind of comes down to one thing: Love him or hate him, Santino is damn talented. Santino made it into the final three, Nick V. was the winner (blah) and Chloe was also "in"; Kara, who should've left weeks ago, was finally given the auf wiedersehen. Now, if you've been reading the ol' blogs, you know that all four of these designers presented shows at Fashion Week last Friday. Of course, we'll only see the top three on TV, but the exact same thing happened last year--why, I have no idea. Can't Bravo start the show a week early and avoid having to pay for an extra show? I don't get it. Anyway, from what I've seen (I Am Fashion has a few photos from each collection), I think I know who's going to win. But I'm not saying just yet.

Next week is a filler episode in which the designers talk about the season and get all up in each other's grills. Whee!
Website of the week
While I receive Daily Candy emails every day, I rarely do more than skim them, mainly because I cannot stand the "Oh, we are soooo chic" tone of them. But every once in awhile, one email will catch my attention and I'll read the whole thing. Such was the case with yesterday's, which highlghted Itsasickness, a new store on the Lower East Side. While it sounds kind of gimmicky from Daily Candy's take (you can read the full editorial here), I highly encourage you to visit the website, which is, in a word, quirky. Read the history for a dark look into the logic behind the concept, then satisfy one of your addictions with the store's line of chocolates, specially developed with Cheryl Shops fave Vosges Haut Chocolat. (I'm going straight for the extra-dark 75% cacao.) Sadly, chocolate is all the site has for sale as of now, but I am definitely intrigued enough to visit the store, located at 132 Ludlow. After all, shopping: It's a sickness.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fashion Week update
New York Fashion Week ended on Friday, and I believe London Fashion Week should be starting any day now (if it hasn't already). In the meantime, here's what happened the second half of last week: Cathy Horyn juxtaposes the very '80s Proenza Schouler with the extremely talented Maria Cornejo; after championing Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein for so many seasons, she knocks him, Vera Wang, and, as usual, Zac Posen; and, most importantly, quietly raves over Karl Lagerfeld (for the record, I thought his collection was gorgeous, and I'm all for the dark, post-Goth look that's developing thus far for fall).

So, the show that I was lucky enough to go to (thanks, PB and Alex) was Manuel, who, suprisingly, got a lot of press before but not after his show (click here to read an article from the L.A. Times). Anyway, even though Manuel is no Marc Jacobs, the show was super-fun. We got to go backstage beforehand, so we saw all the models in their "street clothes" and getting their makeup done; we also ate some of the fancy catered food from davidburke&donatella (I figured none of the models would be eating the pasta salad, so I might as well); sadly, no cigarettes or champagne running rampant, but this was the last morning of Fashion Week, and like I said, it wasn't exactly Marc Jacobs. Anyway, once we were ushered to our seats, we waited a long time for the show to begin; I spent it pointing out fashion critics to PB and trying to figure out who all of the Manuel-clothed country stars were in the front row (we still have no idea). The clothes were definitely more rock and roll than country--lots of rhinestones, but also some exquisite tailoring. I was rather amused by the choice of models: slightly past-their-prime girls like Erin O'Connor and Eve (yes, she's still modeling). Still, I decided I really liked the experience of going to shows and need to do it more often. Come September, I'll see what I can do.
The week in shopping
Clothingline has men’s and women’s Ben Sherman and Evisu for 60% off. Visit the website for previews. 2/14-2/17; 10-6, 10-7 Thurs.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

The excellent Mxyplyzyk is taking 20% off its stock of cool home accessories. 2/15-2/28; 11-7, noon-5 Sun.; 125 Greenwich Ave. (Horatio & Jane Sts.).

Reason to visit the Upper East Side: Shoe paradise Chuckies has Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, and other tony brands are at least 65% off. A Valentine's day present indeed. 2/14-2/28; 10:45-7:45 Mon.-Thurs., 10:45-7:30 Fri.-Sat., 12:30-7 Sun.; 1073 3rd Ave. (at 63rd St.).

Bridal sale #1: Reva Mivasagar bridal gowns are up to 80% off. 2/17-2/20; noon-6 Mon., Fri., Sun., 11-6 Sat.; call 212-372-2804 for an appointment; 10 W. 18th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 4th fl.

Dosa does a feminine take on boho-chic in layerable silk; get slips for $60 and camis for $40 at this sale. Through 3/19; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 107 Thompson St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

The excellent Broadway Panhandler is having its semiannual sale; select cookware and utencils are up to 60% off. 2/15-2/28; 11-7, 11-6 Sun.; 477 Broome St. (at Wooster St.).

Bridal sale #2: Fancy-schmancy Wedding Atelier has gowns from Carmela Sutera, Alvina Valenta and Richard Glasgow for $400 and up. 2/15-2/21; call 646-638-3263 for an appointment; 103 5th Avenue (at 18th St.), 2nd fl.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fashion Week update
I will gladly say that I loved Grunge back in the '90s, I think because this was the fashion when I was coming of age, in high school, and I have so much nostalgia connected with it. And while it still might be too early for a full-on grunge revival, Marc Jacobs kind of brought it back--albeit in a more sophisticated, streamlined manner--on Monday night. And he's so good at it, I think he's getting to the point where he doesn't mind the G-word. Cathy Horyn certainly agrees, lavishing well-deserved praise upon him. Also, I really like legwarmers, so anytime they pop up, I'm happy. Good ol' CH also liked Alice Roi, as well as Narcisco Rodriguez, Michael Kors, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Ms. Horyn seems unusually positive this season; is she in love, perhaps?

As always, I recommend Style.com for full slideshows and The Daily for gossip.

Also, there is a good chance I'll be going to an important show tomorrow (yes, I know, they're all important). Summary to come this weekend...
Project Runway recap
Based on Gay Uncle Nick's near-miss on last week's Project Runway, I was a bit nervous to watch this week's episode. And, um, with good reason, but more on that later. Daniel V. tactfully handled Andrae's model's tearful departure, then the designers found out their next, model-less challenge: to give each other makeovers. This was fine for Santino and Daniel V., as they had to make over Kara and Chloe, respectively, but challenging for the ladies (and Nick), as they all had to design menswear--Nick (who was making over Daniel V.) actually had experience doing this, but Kara (doing Santino) and Chloe (doing Nick) did not. The designers actually had two days to complete the challenge--a lot of time considering the past challenges--and other than Santino telling Kara what to do all the time, things seemed to be going pretty smoothly. Until the runway show, or, rather, right before, when Santino was gluing the sleeves into his still-unfinished jumpsuit for Kara. The judges obviously loved Chloe's vest-and-pant combo for Nick and Kara's neo-preppy look for Santino (who, amazingly, trimmed his beard and cut his hair)--again, highly ironic since neither Chloe nor Kara had ever designed menswear before. The designers pretty much hated Daniel V's very Dynasty-looking dress for Chloe (as Heidi so perfectly said, "We don't like what you did to Chloe"), but thankfully for him, he had immunity, so he was in. Chloe won the challenge (Nick looked so cute in her outfit!); it came down to Santino and Nick in the end, but since Nick sent Daniel V. down the runway in what was essentially a women's suit (and a poorly sewn one at that), he got the auf wiedersehen. And because I had already been crying last night, I cried a little more for Nick. But I'm hoping Project Runway is kind of like America's Next Top Model in that just because you don't win doesn't mean you don't have a good career.

Next week, it's down to four designers, and they have to create an evening gown for a celebrity of some sort. Expect major snippiness.
Website of the week
Obviously, it's New York Fashion Week, a.k.a. Olympus Fashion Week. And it's almost over. But so far this season (Fall 2006, for the record), there has been much ado about fashion bloggers. I admit I've been slacking a bit this week (I have a good excuse: real estate drama), but here and there I've been perusing these "trendsetting" (ironic quotation marks, mine) fashion blogs. Fashion Addict Diary, a blog I mentioned a few months ago because it was part of that whole New York Times roundup, has a lot of great info, but I'm really digging Viva Las Divas, a Vegas-based blog I discovered through the also-excellent I Am Fashion. Not only do the Divas have excellent behind-the-scenes coverage, but they have great runway analysis (with photos). It's not a Style.com replacement, but rather a refreshing supplement.
MasstigeWatch! a.k.a. the Luella update
On Tuesday, I received my pencil skirt and button tank from the Luella for Target collection. By Wednesday morning, both were en route back to Target, plus I cancelled the rest of my order (including the tulip skirt) which had yet to ship. I will say that the Luella stuff appears to be made much better than anything I've ever bought at Target, Isaac Mizrahi collecction included. However, I ordered up a size in the skirt, just to be sure, and still it was far tighter than I would've liked--aside from being extremely insulting, I don't think going up yet another size would've helped matters, due to the cut of the skirt. And the tank gave me monoboob--although, strangely enough, it was too big in the shoulders and waist. I suppose this is the problem when clothes are sized by juniors sizes, but still. When it comes to fashion, Target is no H&M.
Cheryl Shops...independent designers
Even though I'm trying not to spend any money, I agreed to accompany HG and BO to Nolita on Saturday for a two-part shopping mission. The first part was to check out The Market NYC, a nifty little market held every Saturday and Sunday in a Catholic school gymnasium. The way it works is that designers pay a nominal fee to use the space, then shoppers like me come in and buy their stuff--which, based on Saturday's selection, was everything from semiprecious jewelry to vintage clothing to screen-printed T-shirts to super-potent chocolate (that was my only purchase, for $5). I was, overall, really impressed with the selection (many of the vendors are cash-only, but a lot take credit cards too), especially the jewelry. I saw a lot of pretty, delicate chains, as well as oversized, chunky stones and a lot of circles (I managed not to buy a gorgeous long gold chain with huge scattered circles--very Mod, but a bit much for me at $120). We did a lot of price-point investigation, because HG makes these really pretty bracelets made of crocheted sterling silver thread and Swarovski crystals (we saw several vendors with similar stuff, but none as cool as HG's); we decided The Market NYC definitely looks like a good venue, so I'll let you know when HG schedules her first appearance.

Part two of our mission was to check out EMC2, Project Runway designer Emmett McCarthy's store on Elizabeth Street. I wasn't expeciting at all, but we walked in and there was Emmett! (For the record, he is very tall and very nice.) The store is a bit sparse, but he's got some funky accessories and a pretty lace slipdress for sale. He overheard us talking about where to find a budget bridal dress for BO and her upcoming nuptials, and rattled off a bunch of suggestions for where to go. Also, he has an adorable black chihuahua. We left technically empty-handed, but our Project Runway fixes were satiated, and now BO has a list of cool stores to check out in her search for The Dress.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The week in shopping
The fabulous Find Outlet has merch from LaRok, Adam + Eve, Salt Works, and more for super-cheap. 2/9-2/12; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Hit Showroom Seven's sale for a super-hip selection of clothes and accessories from Orla Kiely, Erickson Beamon, and Imitation of Christ (yes, including Tara Subkoff for Easy Sprirt shoes). Through 2/10; 10-7, closed Sun.; 498 7th Ave. (36th & 37th Sts.), 24th fl.

If you've got a car, schlep up to the ABC Carpet & Home Bronx outlet for floor samples, lighting, rugs, and more at up to 75% off. 2/9-2/20; 10-7, 11-6 Sun.; 1055 Bronx River Ave. (at Bruckner Expressway), Bronx.

Inspired by Alex Kuczynski's Times article? Hit Bra Smyth for (well-fitted) bras by Le Mystère, Chantelle, Hanro, and more for 60% off. Through 2/28; 10-6:30, closed Sun.; 905 Madison Ave. (at 72nd St.).

Score True Religion, Mint, Rebecca Taylor, and more for up to 80% off at Big Drop's warehouse sale. Through 2/12; 11-8, noon-7 Sun.; 1321 3rd Ave. (at 75th St.).

Home furnishings from the excellent Aero are up to 75% off. 2/10-2/28; 11-6, closed Sun.; 419 Broome St. (at Crosby St.).

Upper East Side haven Cantaloup has Sass & Bide, LaRok, Pegah Anvarian, and other trendy labels on sale for up to 70% off--at both locations. Through 2/14; 11-8 Mon.-Thurs., 11-7 Fri.-Sun.; 1036 Lexington Ave. (at 74th St.), 1359 2nd Ave. (at 71st St.).

It's the final two days of Bluefly's Blue Sale; save an additional 15% through 2/7.

Advance warning: The next Billion Dollar Babes sale is less than two weeks away; visit the website to RSVP. 2/18; 8-6; the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Object of desire
Clearly I've been a little jewelry-obsessed lately. I have no explanation for this, other than I'm in a jewelry phase (sometimes it's a shoe phase, sometimes it's a scarf phase, and so on). So when I got an email announcing Dior's spring jewelry collection, I knew I was in trouble. I've always admired Victoire de Castellane's designs for Dior Joaillerie (the fancy stuff gets the fancy name), and for spring, she's really outdone herself with one piece in particular. Click here, then click on United States, then Collection, then Oui. I am so in love with the Oui ring. For those who are impatient or have funky browsers, the oui ring is the word "oui" written in cursive with a diamond dotting the "i". I don't know why I love this ring so much, but I do. There is no price listed, which scares me, and I can't seem to find it anywhere online. It's not even availabe at eLuxury, although they do have the Mimioui ring, which is a mere $340. (Is it wrong that I feel like this is a bargain?) So if anyone out there is feeling generous, my birthday is just a month away, and I wear a size 7.5 in rings. Oui indeed.
Project Runway recap
Episodes like this week's Project Runway are what make me love the show. After schmoopy goodbyes between Gay Uncle Nick and his former model (who had to leave since Zuleema got kicked off last week), Heidi informed the designers they'd be designing dresses for a garden party...a deceptively simple-sounding challenge. Good ol' Tim Gunn informed them the next morning, after a short trip to the flower district, that they'd be making said garden party dresses out of organic materials, i.e. plants. So after the designers freaked out for a few minutes, they got to work selecting materials. Clearly a lot of them had seen last season's corn husk dress designed by Austin Scarlett, because they were all worried about potential wilting, and most went with green leaves and plants, rather than flowers (more on that later). As the designers got to work--with six contestants left, the competition is getting rather intense--Santino redeemed himself (to me, at least) with a hilarious impersonation of Tim Gunn, extended to a story in which he and Andrae take a trip to Red Lobster (which is right around the corner from Parsons) for dinner. And, shock of shocks, Santino actually blushed when Tim caught him in the act--so Santino is human after all! Aside from Chloe's frantic last-minute leaf-gluing, there was very little drama in this episode, which was kind of nice for a change. I think all the designers really kicked ass on this challenge...as semi-trashy as Gay Uncle Nick's dress and as boring as Andrae's dress were, you can't help but be impressed by everything. Even Kara pulled out all the stops with hers, and were it not for the judges' obvious infatuation with Daniel V., I think she was thisclose to winning the challenge (although Chloe's dress was gorgeous also). I was very underwhelmed by Santino's design; I think he does the best with the least amount of direction, which doesn't necessarily bode well for him in the future. For once I agreed with Nina Garcia, who was disappointed in the lack of color, aside from green. But Daniel V.'s dress was totally gorgeous (and one that used probably the most color) and did deserve to win. Now with four wins under his belt, Daniel V. is quickly becoming this season's Kara Saun. It came down to Nick's kinda-trashy dress and Andrae's kinda-boring frock in the end, and even though I loved his gutter-inspired creation from last week, I kind of understand why Andrae was the one to go this week--he was kind of inconsistent. I'm a little worried for Nick; he needs to step it up big time, especially since Daniel V. has immunity next week (well, not that Daniel V. is really in danger at this point). C'mon, Gay Uncle Nick!

Next week, the designers give each other makeovers. Expect much tension to ensue.
Website of the week
I often list sales at Miami-based store/website Daszign, which, as much as I make fun of the awkwardly spelled name, is a great source for jeans by Seven, Citizens of Humanity, and the like, plus cute tops by C&C California, Splendid, and more. And while I love their selection of basics, the site is sorely lacking in accessories. So I was happy to get an email from them announcing the arrival of their sister site, StylePatch.com. StylePatch is all about the accessories--jewelry, specifically--and the prices are, refreshingly, considerably lower than Daszign's, even though the merchandise is just as trendy. You can shop by category--necklaces, charm necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and hair accessories. You can also check out the best sellers, or just search for what you're looking for. Browsing, of course, is the most fun, I think, especially since the jewelry is trendy but not fleetingly so. I love this Fiona necklace, which also has matching earrings. Chunky beaded necklaces are also well represented, but I kinda dig this Sienna Miller-esque Mercedes necklace and this pretty-funky Madison necklace. I like this shiny Zoie bracelet and the equally shiny Ava earrings. So not only is all this stuff affordable, but for the next week, you can save 20% on your order by using the code STYLEPATCH through 2/10. For orders under $75, shipping is $3.99, and it's free for orders over $75. So while I'm a fan of the pricey jewelry, some of my favorite pieces are cheapies (my favorite earrings in the world were $4.99 at Target); I have a feeling I'll find a lot of great pieces at StylePatch to add to my collection.