Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cheryl shops...Barneys New York Copley Place
As regular Cheryl Shops readers know, Barneys is quite possibly my favorite place on Earth, er, place to shop. While the Madison Avenue store is the best (and the larget), I always enjoy checking the store out in other cities--especially the Oak Street store in Chicago, where I've scored many items that are still in my regular wardrobe rotation. And while there's technically a Barneys at the Chestnut Hill mall outside of Boston, I have no idea where that is, nor have I ever been there. So I was really excited to see, when I was there last Thanksgiving, that a Barneys would be moving into the former movie theatre in Copley Place, right in the heart of downtown Boston. The store opened in March, but last weekend was my first visit, and let me say, it was quite pleasant. First of all, the salespeople are lovely, which is really a compliment, because I think, for the most part, the ones in New York are quite good. The first floor has shoes, handbags, cosmetics, and women's designer clothing, and I spotted everything from Chloe wooden-sole wedges (yes, in stock!) to up-and-coming designers like Doo-Ri and Derek Lam. If you like Frederic Malle perfums, they have a huge counter. And, oh yes, there are fireplaces for ambience. Another nice thing is that unlike the New York store, there is plenty of room to move around--the racks don't feel crammed or cramped at all. The second floor features menswear and both Co-op departments--and has a huge skylight and a spacious sitting area. The denim selection in the Co-op department was a bit sparse, but they made up for it with a bunch of stuff on sale--which surprised me considering the store's newness and the early time of the year (although Barneys' 40% sale is now in effect, presumably here too). Now, the question is, who's going to shop here? The store was quite empty for a Sunday afternoon, and as much as I love Boston, Bostonians are more of the rugby-and-cargo-pants persuasion, rather than the Prada-and-Jimmy-Choo contingent. Then again, there's a lot of Eurotrash in Boston. Either way, I'm curious to see what's left at the end-of-the-season sales. Hmm, maybe I should put another Boston trip on my summer itinerary...
Website of the week
While in Boston last weekend, MW and I came across something truly very weird: A Bigelow Apothecary store in the Copley Plaza mall. I've been shopping (and filling my prescriptions) at Bigelow for years, so seeing the store somewhat reproduced in a mall was, well, rather strange (and, honestly, not quite the same experience as going to the real one on Sixth Avenue). So how did my neighborhood pharmacy end up in a mall? Turns out The Limited now owns a stake in Bigelow (which explains why you can find its private-label line at Bath and Body Works), hence the mall-ification. I still prefer the original, but if a clone has not yet made it to a mall near you, there's always Bigelow's website, which has certainly had a makeover since my last visit to it. You can shop by category, then by brand within category, and most brands found in the store are represented here, from the house label, to organic lines like Dr. Hauschka and Weleda, to fancy European lines like Carthusia and GEO F. Trumper. Each category and brand features top sellers, and many products have useful customer reviews. I highly recommend the house label's cold cream, the lemon body scrub, and the lovely Quince Hand Lotion.



I'm excited to note that the site carries the dermatologist favorite La Roche-Posay sunblock (only in 50 SPF, not the illegal-in-the-U.S. 75 SPF), and the store's selection of fancy toothpaste is alive and well on the website. There's also a lovely homeopathic section for the pharmaceutical-weary. On my shopping list: This pretty Acqua di Parma candle, which looks incredibly luxurious and, at $79, is fancy indeed:

I probably don't quite need it yet, but I might give this Patricia Wexler starter set a whirl, just for prevention's sake:

And for summer, well, can there be a more perfect product than Kusco-Murphy's Beach Hair?

Spend $75 and your order ships for free via UPS Ground. I'll still shop at the store, but for days when I don't feel like making the 30-minute crosstown trek (having moved to the East Village, Bigelow is technically not my neighborhood pharmacy anymore), this site should definitely come in handy. That is, until a mall-ified branch opens up in Soho.
The week in shopping
Sorry for the delay--Blogger was down last night and I couldn't post.

Okay, here's the deal with the Theory sale: Clothingline has the ladies' merch and the men's is at the Theory showroom. Also, the women's sale, although the official start date is next Monday, actually has a soft opening this Friday. Good luck and godspeed. 6/2-6/7 (men's), 6/2-6/9 (women's); call 212-398-2777 for men's hours and visit Clothingline's site for women's hours; 520 5th Ave. (at 43rd St.) for men; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.) for women.

It's a start: Derek Lam's lovely clothes are 60% off. 6/1-6/2; 10-6; 601 W. 26th St. (at 11th Ave.), ste. 1730.

A sale worth schelpping out to Williamsburg for: Built by Wendy's downtown cool-girl clothes and special Wrangler 47 jeans. 6/2-6/3; 11-8; 46 N. 6th St. (Wythe & Kent Aves.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Upper East Side fave Cantaloup has clothes by Earnest Sewn, Sass & Bide and more for up to 80% off. 6/1-6/30; 11-7; 1217 3rd Ave. (at 70th St.).

Big Drop has a promising-sounding selection of 3.1 Philip Lim, Ya-Ya, and others on sale. Through 6/1; check website for store locations and hours.

Teeny-weeny Mara Hoffman swimsuits ($90 and under) and tie-dyed minis ($200) are on sale at this, er, sale. 6/1-6/4; 11-7 Thurs. & Fri., 11-6 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 165 Orchard St. (at Stanton St.).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store is taking 20%-50% off selected items. 6/1-7/4; call 800-468-7386 for store hours and locations.

Classic bridal gowns from Birnbaum & Bullock are 50% off and up. 6/1-6/3; call 212-242-2914 to make an appointment; 151 W. 25th St. (http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 2A.

Save 30% on your order at Cheryl Shops fave Le Train Bleu when you enter code memorialday at checkout through 6/1.

Get free shipping when you enter code FREESHIP2 at checkout Net-a-Porter through 6/16. (Note: shipping charges here are usually quite pricey, so this is a good deal!)

Save 30% at Vivre's pre-summer sale through 5/31.

Save 15% at Bluefly when you enter code MISSEDYOU104 at checkout through 6/10.

Score a free 14k gold eyelash curler with your $75 Shu Uemura purchase at Neiman Marcus.

Yay for summer sales: Save up to 50% at Barneys, Bergdorf's, Saks, and Neiman Marcus.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Not so much: Hammer time


I was killing time at H&M the other day and happened upon something so crazy, I just had to try it on: drop-crotch cropped pants. To give you an idea of how they were designed, I'd say technically they were a cross between knit gauchos and leggings, with a tight calf and baggy upper part. To put it more bluntly, they were MC Hammer, circa 1988, but cropped for summer. Yuck. (The picture at right, the only picture I could find, is a slightly more refined design from Haider Ackermann at Seven New York. The picture at left, well...) Not only are they not flattering, but they make you look like you're wearing a diaper, and unless you have some kind of bizarre fetish, I can't imagine any reason for wearing them. Now, I am not totally opposed to this '80s revival--I like a big belt around my hips, and I am actually not opposed to leggings, as long as they're under a skirt or a dress or a tunic--but I think Hammer Pants are taking it a bit too far. What's next, neon paint-splattered oversized T-shirts with cinched clips? Thus, I must officially declare drop-crotch pants: not so much.
Website of the week

Whenever I hear about a new fashion or, especially, a shopping blog, I get a little nervous at first, but after a closer look, then I relax. Not because I think my blog is superior, but because I realize that every blog is a little bit different and thus we can all peacefully coexist. I recently read about The Shophound on Curbed, one of my favorite blogs. The Shophound focuses on shopping, but with an almost real-estatey angle, and the emphasis is more on the stores themselves, as opposed to what to buy there. The Shophound also delivers delightfully snarky commentary on Alex Kuczynski's shopping stories from the Times and New York magazine's "Ask a store clerk" columns. So I definitely recommend The Shophound as a supplement to Cheryl Shops--but not, of course, as a replacement. After all, I think we can all get along.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The week in shopping
A hit-or-miss sale, Hanro's two-day blowout is worth a look--they have men's and women's underwear, sleepwear, and robes in their famous ultrasoft cotton. 5/25-5/26; 8-6 Thurs., 8:30-2 Fri., 40 E. 34th St. (at Madison Ave.), ste. 207.

For the avant-gardists out there, men's and women's Martin Margiela and Dsquared2 are 60% off. 5/23-5/24; 10-7; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 8th fl.

Lambertson Truex's lovely bags and accessories are up to 70% off. Through 5/24; 9-6:30; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Effortlessly chic Nicholas K. clothes are $20-$400 at this cash-only sale. 5/25-5/27; 10-7 Thurs. & Fri., 11-7 Sat.; 27 W. 27th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 6th fl.

Attention brides to be: Bergdorf Goodman's bridal salon has Angel Sanchez, Carolina Herrera, and Badgley Mischka for a sweet $700-$2,000. 5/23-5/26; 10-8; 754 5th Ave. (57th & 58th Sts.).

Chef's paradise Broadway Panhandler is taking 75% off kitchen gadgets from All-Clad, OXO, and Le Creuset. 5/27-6/11; call 212-966-3434 for hours; 477 Broome St. (at Wooster St.).

Much-overlooked Strenesse womenswear is 50%-75% off. 5/23-5/25; 9-7; 50 W. 57th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 8th fl.

A sale after MW's heart: Pay $9.95 for all the books you can fit in a shopping bag at the Strand. 5/26-5/29; 828 Broadway (at 12th St.), 95 Fulton St. (at William St.).

Fancy Frette linens are up to 50% off. 5/26-7/4; 799 Madison Ave. (at 68th St.), ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway (18th & 19th Sts.).

Fancy kids' clothing and accessories are 20%-70% off at Giggle. 5/24-5/31; 10-7, noon-6 Sun.; 120 Wooster St. (at Prince St.), 1033 Lexington Ave. (at 74th St.).

For the babymamas, Cadeau has maternity clothes for $40 and up. 5/24; 10-7; 254 Elizabeth St. (at Prince St.)

Luxury home and bath accessories from DIGS are up to 90% off. 5/25-5/28; noon-7, noon-5 Sun.; 115 Wooster St. (at Prince St.), 2nd fl., buzzer 2R.

Clean, crisp Paul Stuart womenswear is 40%-50% off. 5/24-6/10; 350 Madison Ave. (at 45th St.).

James Coviello's boho-chic silk and knit womenswear is $25 and up. 5/23-5/25; 9-7; 208 W. 29th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 603.

Nicole Farhi's modernist women's collection is a dangerously low $10 and up. 5/23-5/25; 10-6; 14 E. 60th St. (5th & Madison Aves.), 2nd fl.

Spend $150 at Girlshop's Meatpacking District store on Tuesday night and get a free pair of Havaianas. 5/23; 5-8 p.m.; 819 Washington St. (Gansevoort & Little West 12th Sts.).

All spring/summer Chloe bags are a nice 20% off at Kirna Zabete.

Save 30%-70% at Shopbop's spring/summer sale.

Victoria's Secret's semi-annual sale is now in effect; get free shipping on a $100 order when you enter code SHP at checkout through 6/22.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A moment of silence, please...

...For Marissa Cooper, the only high school senior in history to wear Chanel Couture to her prom. May she be as stylish in death as she was in life.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

America's Next Top Model recap

I kind of shocked myself about being so excited about tonight's season finale of America's Next Top Model--I not only turned down an invitation to go to a trivia night, but I also insisted on watching the show on our big TV, thereby preventing MW from having his friend CK over to watch the basketball playoffs (sorry, MW!). What was not shocking, however, was who won: Thankfully not Jade (she was the first to go after a really, really bad Cover Girl commercial), but never in the history of the show has my favorite girl won. Backing up a bit, the show started with the Cover Girl challenge, in which they each film a commercial (with, yes, much product placement) then take a still shot. I thought Joanie was the only one who did a good job with her commercial, but I think her lack of smiling experience (seriously) hurt her in the still shot--it was beautiful, almost to the point of being too sophisticated for Cover Girl. The judges went surprisingly easy on Danielle and her drawl and, honestly, it kind of bothered me that Tyra kept ragging on her for it because, hello, what the girl needs is a voice coach. Jade proved to be, as always, Jade, so clearly she was the one to go. Danielle and Joanie then got to walk in a fashion show with, yes, kooky outfits and, of course, an even kookier runway that involved temples, bridges, water, and flower petals. And, well, my heart sunk a bit when I watched them walk: Joanie kept looking down, and Danielle did far better. So I pretty much knew then and there that it was over for Joanie. At judging, this was even more clear, although Joanie obviously had a big fan in Twiggy (who always seems to favor the white girls anyway). Also, for judging, Joanie was wearing her bizarre Thai-Pocahontas outfit from the show with her hair in a bun while Danielle got a glamour-girl gown and long, wavy hair. So Danielle was announced the winner, and Joanie was a very gracious loser, which made me like her even more. And I do like Danielle--basically I would've been happy with anyone but Jade (not that they'd ever let Jade win anyway)--she's funny and sassy and a trooper. And I'm sure she'll sound lovely after months of voice coaching, y'all.
Website of the week
It appears to be my lucky year. A few weeks ago, I read that Topshop wants to open a New York store. Although this would pretty much eliminate the need to go to London, I still think it would be nice. But to top off this very good mass-retailer news, I read yesterday that Spanish chain Mango is opening a store in Soho--they're taking over the Kate's Paperie store on Broadway (Kate's is moving to a Spring Street location). I feel like thanks to our British fashionistas (Kate Moss, Sienna Miller), everyone knows about the virtues of Topshop--and having been to the chain's Oxford Circus store several times, I can attest to its utter greatness. However, when I was in Spain last summer, I discovered Mango. A little younger and more affordable than its fellow Spanish chain Zara, Mango has actually already begun its U.S. penetration with stores in California. And perhaps because of this, they have a nifty little ecommerce site that you can shop from now. You can shop by style, garment, price, or season, or you can just scroll through everything on the upper right-hand corner. Prices are quite reasonable for the quality--like Zara, the stuff is nicer than H&M, but unlike Zara, you won't find much over $100. Also, it's not quite so trendy: Bermuda shorts can be found here, but there's nary a skinny jean or legging. And because the site is so nifty and flash-enabled, I can't link to anything directly, but now that I've finally figured out how to do pictures, I'll just post a bunch of photos of stuff I like.

This halter tunic looks right up my alley, and I love the braided details:


I think this top would be flattering on a lot of body types (mine included):


I kind of love this cropped jacket--equal parts Coco Chanel and bullfighter:


This sweater is an excellent Marc Jacobs knockoff (at about a tenth of the price):


And this sweater is very Rick Owens-y (again, at a tenth of the price):


This tunic qualifies as a "Cheryl Top":


This dress looks quite fancy and chic, and I love the bright-blue color:


I like these crazy plaid formal shorts:


And don't forget the accessories, like this cute chain belt:


And these adorable embellished flats:


So, order online now or wait for your local store to open? (For the record, stores are coming in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Costa Mesa.) I think I'll go for the immediate gratification and order now, but as soon as the bricks-and-mortar store opens in Soho, I'll have a report, as always.

Monday, May 15, 2006

MasstigeWatch!
I go out of town for a few days and miss some huge news: Namely, Viktor & Rolf will design a capsule collection for H&M, to debut sometime in November. This is an interesting choice on many levels; while V&R are truly skilled tailors and designers, they may be a bit too quirky for mainstream audiences--I can't imagine the stores will be the fashionista free-for-all that happened last year with Stella McCartney's collection, but I suppose I should never say never. Regardless, I've learned my lesson; I'll be there at 9 a.m. the day the collection drops. Of course, I'll have more detailed info closer to the drop date.

In other MasstigeWatch! news, Target's new Go International designer is Tara Jarmon, who is French and, due to a lack of ubiquituous handbag, is not as well-known as, say, Luella Bartley. Tara Jarmon's collection is very French, and, to me, that's a good thing--while I ended up with a few pieces from Luella's collection, I felt that, overall, it was a bit to British-punky for me. This collection is way more feminine: I adore this stretch-lace blouse (currently out of stock), this whimsical polka-dot bag, this (again, sold-out) pintucked camisole, and I totally love these bright-green bermudas. Or, if you're over the ladylike look, you can still get a lot of the Luella collection on clearance. So much for limited-time-only.
The week in shopping
I'll be hitting the Inhabit sale Tuesday for their awesome cotton and cashmere tees and sweaters; prices are $50 and up. 5/16-5/18; 10-6:30; 1441 Broadway (40th & 41st Sts.), ste. 3101.

Save up to 80% at Cheryl Shops fave Satya; cash only. 5/19-5/21; 10-6; 95 Christopher St. (Bleecker & Hudson Sts.).

Get out your claws: Earnest Sewn has jeans (now $60-$75), cashmere ($100-$125), and tees ($25) at bargain prices. Through 5/19; 7-10; 71 Gansevoort St. (at Greenwich St.), 3rd fl.

The excellent Steven Alan has house-label men’s and women’s clothing, Earnest Sewn, and Trovata for 30%-75% off; I'm going to hit the sale to see if they have this striped sweater I saw in Lucky. 5/18-5/21; 8:30-8 Thurs. & Fri., noon-7 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 87 Franklin St. (Broadway & Church Sts.).

Tocca for women and kids is up to 70% off. 5/18-5/19; 11-8; 542 W. 22nd St. (10th & 11th Aves.), 3rd fl.

Mint's spring collection is 50%-75% off. 5/17-5/19; 9-7; 252 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 6th fl.

Always a must-shop, Denise Williamson showroom has Sass & Bide, Rag & Bone, and Ulla Johnson for up to 70% off. 5/18-5/20; 9-7 Thurs. & Fri., 11-6 Sat.; 119 Mercer St. (Prince & Houston Sts.), loft 2S, buzzer 22.

Cynthia Rowley, Nancy Nancy, and Nancy Geist shoes are $80 and up at this cash-only sale. Through 5/19; 10-6; 307 7th Ave. (at 27th St.), ste. 2307.

I have several Lulu Guinness bags, and all usually receive high compliments. Accessories are $25 and up at this sale. 5/17-5/19; 10-5; 260 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 11th fl.

Tibi and Leigh Bantivoglio clothes and lingerie, respectively, are up to 70% off. 5/17-5/19; 10-7; 336 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 15th floor penthouse.

Vivienne Tam's Asian-chic womenswear is up to 75% off. 5/17-5/19; 10-8 Wed., 10-7 Thurs., 10-6 Fri.; 550 7th Ave. (at 39th St.), 20th fl.

Girly creations from Beth Bowley are 60%-75% off. 5/17-5/19; 9:30-7 Wed. & Thurs., 10-6 Fri.; 234 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 5th fl.

Fancy-schmancy Grueneyes has eyeglasses from Gucci, Prada, and more for 40%-80% off. 5/20-5/21; 10:30-5:30 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 1076 3rd Ave. (at 64th St.) and 2009 Broadway (at 69th St.).

Working-wardrobe-friendly Lela Rose has coats, blouses, and dresses for $75-$1,200. 5/18-5/19; 10-6 Thurs., 10-4 Fri.; 224 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 13th fl.

Yigal Azrouël's lovely, sleek, yet feminine creations are on sale. 5/16-5/18; 9-7 Tues. & Wed., 9-5 Thurs.; 225 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

For the brides, the Wedding Atelier has bridal gowns from Melissa Sweet, Richard Glasgow, and Alvina Valenta for 20%-65% off. 5/17-5/24; 103 5th Ave. (at 17th St.), 2nd fl.

R.J. Graziano costume jewelry is 50%-75% off. Through 5/17; 11-5:30; 589 5th Ave. (at 36th St.), ste. 310.

Save 20% at Bloomingdales.com when you enter code SPRING at checkout through 5/23.

Save 25% at Cheryl Shops fave FengJunk.com when you enter code "welcomeback" at checkout through 5/28. Plus, get free shipping!

Get free shipping with a $100 dress purchase when you enter code THEDRESS at checkout at macys.com through 5/21.

Get free shipping on a $150 order at JCrew.com when you enter code FS-515 at checkout through 5/17.

Get free shipping on a $20 order at Mark.

All Ya-Ya, Generra, and Free People are 30% off at iShopBlush.com through 5/21.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

America's Next Top Model Recap
Either I'm good, or America's Next Top Model is getting really predictable. This episode was all about Sarah, and thus it became clear to me that she'd be the one to go this week. Well, and also, because while she's very beautiful, she's also very stiff and, honestly, just not a great model. Which is fine, because I feel like Sarah is too smart for it, and she'd be better off as, I don't know, a TV reporter or something where stiffness doesn't work against you. Anyway, the main focus of this episode involved the models going on go-sees to various Thai clients and traveling by these bizarre open-air taxis that looked like golf carts to me. Jade complained about this mode of transport more than anyone else, although Danielle was not feeling the humidity. Danielle technically won the challenge, although since all the girls were late returning from their assignment, Danielle was denied the prize, which was racks upon racks of clothes from the designers they met with. Ouch. The girls then traveled to Phuket, which had been hit heavily by the 2004 tsunami; enter Tyra and her Serious Message about the aftermath of the tsunami. This seriousness threw Danielle off her game, and she had trouble focusing during her photo shoot, and while Sarah stumbled at first, everyone else pretty much nailed it. Joanie was called first at judging, then Jade. And while Danielle took more shit about her accent (um, hello, get the girl a speech coach--she's not going to drop it on her own!), Sarah's stiffness did her in--although, to her credit, I think this photo was the best one Sarah had taken thus far. Still, she wasn't America's Next Top Model material.

Next week, it's the finale. I think Jade goes first, so it's down to Joanie and Danielle in the end. Danielle's got youth on her side, but Joanie's better spoken. Any guesses on who takes it?
Website of the week
When I think of "Hawaiian style," I think of leis, grass skirts, and tropical-print shirts. Granted, I've never been to Hawaii (well, except as a fetus--my mom was pregnant with me on my parents' honeymoon there), so I was quite surprised when I came across Aloha Rag, an incredibly edgy-cool boutique located in Honolulu. Aloha Rag has a well-designed Flash-enabled website for those of us on the mainland (you can also shop in Japanese), and there are no leis, grass skirts, coconut bras, or anything of the sort to be found. In fact, the selection reminds me a bit of Barneys--a mix of established and up-and-coming designers, great jewelry, and stylish presentation. You can shop by category or by designer (guys, there's a ton of stuff for you too, but in the interest of most of my readers, I'm going to focus on the ladies); merch ranges from Belgian Ann Demeulemeester to It-girl label Chloe to trendy denim like Rogan and Tsubi. There are also a lot of under-the-radar handbag and jewelry designers, which is great--I love having accessories that no one else has. Like this Lena Wald butterfly necklace--I know I'm a sucker for butterflies, but how minimalist yet cute is this?
I also, even though it's a bit tacky, like this Dsquared2 horseshoe bracelet:
I also love this totally girly ring from Wouters & Hendrix, this quirky Tom Binns Mickey Bomb necklace, and, because this is Hawaii after all, this coral-inspired Heremitit ring from Moea. But aside from outstanding accessories, the site has some quality clothes, like this subdued (for them) DSquared2 Frill Top:
I totally want the Grand Hotel pant from Golden Goose, a new-to-me brand:
And I think I can live all summer long in this comfy-looking strapless dress from Rogan:

Sadly, like everything else in Hawaii, shipping is on the expensive side ($10-$25), but orders over $500 ship for free. And, hey, that's a lot cheaper than flying out to Hawaii, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain!
As you might have noticed, Cheryl Shops looks a little different. This is kind of an accident, and kind of on purpose. In short, I'm in the middle of redesigning the site, adding links, and doing all sorts of good stuff that will hopefully take Cheryl Shops into the 21st century (yes, I know we are already in the 21st century). So please bear with me and my utter lack of HTML skills; more changes are coming soon!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The week in shopping
Score Paper Denim & Cloth jeans for all members of the family for a mere $18-$75. Through 5/12; 9-6; 230 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 4th fl.

Cashmere in May? Why not? Score TSE sweaters for men, women, children, and home at wholesale prices and below. 5/9-5/13; 10-7; 72 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Save up to 80% on trendy brands like Ya-Ya, James Jeans, and Edward An at Billion Dollar Babes' sample sale. As always, you have to be on the list to get in (sign up at bdbinvite.com. 5/13; 8-6; The Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Twinkle By Wenlan's awesome summer knitwear is up to 75% off (now $20-$200). 5/12-5/13; 11-8 Fri., 11-6 Sat.; 545 8th Ave. (at 37th St.), 17th fl.

Aeffe has Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, and Jean Paul Gaultier for 60% off; expect sample sizes only. 5/10-5/13; 10-6 weekdays, 11-5 Sat.; 30 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

On Wednesday night, you'll find me at the Araks sale, where their luxe cotton lingerie is $5 and up. 5/10-5/12; 8:30-8 Wed., 9-8 Thurs., 9-7 Fri.; 121 E. 12th St. (3rd & 4th Aves.), ste. 6I.

Fairly new boutique Wink is having its first warehouse sale; 10% of sales will benefit arts & music programs at PS 234. 5/11-5/13; 10-7; 401 Washington St. (enter on Laight St. between Washington & Greenwich Sts.).

A veritable sample sale bonanza, Showroom Seven has Imitation of Christ, Issa, Tara Subkoff for Easy Spirit and more. Through 5/19; 10-7; 498 7th Ave. (36th & 37th St.), 24th fl.

Accessibly luxe Hayden Harnett handbags and accessories are up to 60% off. 5/10-5/11; 1-7; 330 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 503.

Gorgeous Angel Sanchez bridal and evening gowns are 50%-75% off. 5/11-5/13; 10-7 Thurs. & Fri., 11-4 Sat.; 526 7th Ave. (at 38th St.), 9th fl.

MaxMara womenswear is $77-$625 at this sale. Through 5/9; 9-5; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

I'm a huge fan of Kartell's plastic furniture; new orders are 10% off, and overstock and discontinued items are 30%-50% off. Through 5/14; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 39 Greene St. (Broome & Grand Sts.).

Swiss Watches from heavy hitters Tissot, Hamilton, Swatch, and others are 50%-70% off. 5/11-5/13; 1-7 Thurs., 9-7 Fri., 9-5 Sat.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Much-loved UES yarn store The Lion & the Lamb has lost its lease and is taking 50%-70% off yarn and knitting accessories. 5/9-5/12; noon-8; 1460 Lexington Ave. (at 96th St.).

Rachel Reinhardt's costume jewelry is up to 75% off. 5/9-5/11; 10-7; 37 W. 39th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 901.

Clothingline has Chilewich vinyl bags and home accessories for $4 and up. 5/9-5/12; 10-7 Tues. & Thurs., 10-6 Wed. & Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Lola's chic hats are 60% off at this cash-only sale. 5/9-5/11; 10-7; 535 8th Ave. (at 36th St.), 20th fl.

Get a reggae-inspired look at Catch a Fire's sale. 5/10-5/12; 9-7; 632 Broadway (Bleecker & Houston Sts.).

Rubin Chapelle's clothes are $65-$280 at this sale. 5/11-5/13; 11:30-7:30 Thurs. & Fri., noon-6 Sat.; 410 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.).

Tough yet chic Tracy Watts hats are at least 50% off (now $35-$95). 5/11-5/12; 11-7; 305 W. 20th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

It's never too late (or early) for fur, apparently: Adrienne Landau furs are 60% off. 5/11-5/12; 10-7; 519 8th Ave. (at 35th St.), 21st fl.

Treat Mom to a shopping spree at Lafayette 148--their office-friendly clothes are 80% off. 5/12-5/13; 9-7 Fri., 10-6 Sat.; 148 Lafayette St.--how about that!--(at Howard St.), 5th fl.

The First Call sale has begun at Neiman Marcus; get free shipping on a $150 order when you enter code SALE through 5/15.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Met Costume Institute Gala
Monday night was the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute Gala, which is arguably more important to fashion people than the Oscars. The event is a fundraiser for the Met's Costume Institute and usually occurs in May, right before the Costume Institute's big summer exhibit opens. Also worth noting: The gala is always co-chaired by Anna Wintour, so it always draws fashionistas of the finest caliber--design houses buy tables and, for increased press coverage, invite fashionable celebrities, give them gowns to wear, and have them sit at their tables. This year's exhibit is all about British fashion (I cannot wait to see it), and while some invitees go overboard with the theme (Sarah Jessica Parker, I'm looking at you), others just look hot. I suggest clicking through Style.com's slide show; Fashionologie, I Am Fashion, and Go Fug Yourself all have excellent coverage of the event as well. For the record, I think Drew Barrymore looked incredible in a strapless Oscar de la Renta lace sheath; Kate Moss and Stella McCartney both wore tuxedos (Kate's had leather pants); Sienna Miller ruined her outfit with horrible hair (and, yes, we get it, you're playing Edie Sedgwick in an upcoming movie); Charlize Theron needs to take a big step away from the Dior; and I thought the Olsen twins, especially Mary-Kate, looked awesome. But in the end, the models--everyone from Lily Cole and Daria Werbowy to oldies-but-goodies Helena Christensen and Linda Evangelista (who, despite obviously having had some work done, still looks exquisite)--looked better than everyone else. And isn't that the way it should be?
America's Next Top Model recap
Even though this week was the "make the models partake in local traditions" episode of America's Next Top Model, I almost didn't mind, because Joanie kicked so much ass. The first part of the episode had the models learning Thai dancing, then performing in front of an audience full of Thai people, the most amusing part being that they totally busted out laughing when Furonda blanked and started grooving out, hip-hop style. Joanie won the competition and took Sarah with her to dinner with the editor of Vogue Thailand (kind of a lame prize compared to a diamond necklace that Jade won earlier, but whatever) and Sarah was an ungrateful little bitch because Joanie picked Sarah because she hadn't won any challenges before (for the record, neither had Joanie). In the meantime, poor Danielle, who had previously broken her toe and got her gap-tooth fixed, was hospitalized for dehydration and food poisoning. Ever the trooper, Danielle ignored the doctor's advice and went to the next day's photo shoot, in which the models had to pose on elephants for motorized Venus razors (cue lengthy product placement shots). Joanie especially rocked the shoot (as did Danielle, who, miraculously, did not barf through the entire thing), so much so that Sarah decided to steal like all of her poses--except that Sarah's were nowhere near as good at Joanie's. Also, we learned two important facts about elephants, courtesy of Jade: They're descendants of dinosaurs, and they're "preposterous" (um, Jade, that word means "absurd"). After a ridiculous mini-challenge at judging where the girls had to convey emotion with a pose by wearing masks on their faces, it came down to Furonda, who's inconsistent, and Jade, who's just...Jade. So while Jade is...Jade, she can pose, and she certainly makes for good television (especially when she teaches us all about elephants), so Furonda got the boot. This makes me a little sad, because I've always liked Furonda. The funny thing is that the judges never mentioned her bad skin; apparently Danielle's poor speech is okay to criticize, but Furonda's skin is off-limits? Interesting.

Next week, the competition heats up between Joanie and Sarah. (Bring it, Joanie!) And, since there are only two episodes left (I think), I'm going to start placing my bets. I think Jade goes next, then Sarah, and Danielle and Joanie will be the final two. And since Danielle kind of sounds like Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain when she talks, I'm going to venture that Joanie wins. At least I hope she does.
Website of the week
In the past six months or so, I've lost a little weight. Twelve pounds, to be exact. I know it doesn't sound like a lot--and because I'm totally neurotic about my weight, if you ask me, I think I could stand to lose another six or seven pounds--but most of my clothes are quite baggy on me now. This became very apparent last weekend when I switched my closet from fall/winter to spring/summer. The funny thing is, I've lost weight in really weird places, like my upper chest between my collarbone and my boobs. I've also noticed that my underwear is baggy, which makes me think, did I have a fat above-crotch area before? Regardless, I need to do a little underwear replacement (sadly, my boobs appear to be the same size, so no new bras for me). And a few days ago when my coworkers and I were discussing the guilty pleasure of shopping in Grand Central Terminal, I remembered The Pink Slip, which is my favorite waiting-for-the-Hudson-Line diversion. While, yes, the Pink Slip has slips, they also have everything from costumes to hosiery to swimwear, and on the website, you can shop by category or by brand (you can also check out new items, specials & sales, and top sellers). But because I'm looking for underwear, that's what I'm going to focus on. I think this Felina Lowrider Boyleg seems like a nice basic and, at $9, the price is right. I am a huge fan of Mary Green's lingerie, and this Cotton Boy Short looks like it's right up my alley. (I'm a little scared by the model, though--is that a mannequin?) This Ruffle Rhumba Hot Pant isn't exactly for everyday wear, but, to paraphrase my former dance instructor, it looks like underwear that's fun to wear. I think I'll also stock up on Hanky Panky's famous Low-Rider Thongs, which are incredibly comfortable, as far as thongs go. I'm also intrigued by this Lace-Trim Cotton Boythong, also by Mary Green, which appears to be a non-full-coverage boy short. The great thing about Pink Slip is that it has a Wish List feature, so you can save all the things you're pondering (or that you want someone else to buy for you) for later. And should you choose to make some purchases, shipping via FedEx is a mere $5.95, with free exchanges and easy returns. Which seems kind of gross when it comes to lingerie, so, um, hopefully you won't have to utilize that aspect.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The week in shopping
Hello, Dolce! Score Dolce & Gabbana for up to 80% off. 5/5-5/7; 9-6 Fri., 10-6 Sat., 11-5 Sun.; 85 Spring St. (at Broadway).

I am always a huge fan of the Dwell sample sale, where you can get their mod, geometric sheets for 40%-50% off. 5/4-5/21; 11-7; 476 Broome St. (at Wooster St.).

I am also a fan of retro-classic Delman shoes; at this sale, they're 50% off. 5/2-5/5; 10-7; 730 5th Ave. (at 56th St.), 8th fl.

This week, Clothingline has Ben Sherman and Evisu clothes for 60% off. 5/2-5/5; 10-7 Tues. & Thurs., 10-6 Wed. & Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Jill Platner's lovely, modern handmade silver jewelry is 10%-50% off (now $50-$1,000). 5/5-5/7; noon-7; 113 Crosby St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Calling all design snobs: Highly coveted Knoll furniture is up to 44% off. 5/5-5/8; noon-7 Fri., 11-6 Sat., closed Sun., noon-6 Mon.; 76 9th Ave. (at 15th St.), 11th fl.

Blah blah blah, Alvin Valley makes great pants...blah blah blah. Through 5/6; noon-6; 264 W. 40th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Luxe Armand Diradourian cashmeres are 60% off at this cash-only sale. 5/5-5/13 (closed 5/7); noon-6; 160 5th Ave. (at 20th St.), ste. 901.

It seems like everyone's getting hitched these days. If you're one of 'em, hit Reva Mivasagar for a bridal gown for up to 80% off. 5/4-5/8; call 212-372-2804 for an appointment; 10 W. 18th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 4th fl.

Get free shipping on a $100 order at VictoriasSecret.com when you enter code FSHP through 5/18.