Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Websites of the week
I think it can be said that fashion blogs are the new media blogs: Everyone has one nowadays. Here are three (relatively) new ones of note.

There's been much to-do over blogs and their influence on the media--"citizen journalists" and all that. I happen to have a journalism degree, by the way, but I started Cheryl Shops out of frustration with my career; it so happened that people actually started reading it and, well, the rest is history (I still have a day job, however). The funny thing is that now that blogs are so influential, seasoned journalists are hopping on the bandwagon, I'm assuming, because their editors are strongly suggesting it. In the case of my hero, Cathy Horyn's blog, On the Runway, it's an interesting new way to read her writing--in bits and pieces, rather than in a well-edited longer piece. Her blog has a much more off-the-cuff, conversational tone, with some dryly amusing observations written in the first person. There's also a bit of name-dropping, but considering she's one of the most revered fashion critics in the world, I think we can let it pass. I'm eager to read what she has to say about the behind-the-scenes goings-on at Fashion Week next week.

On the other end of the spectrum is View from the Fourth Row, a blog written by a "fashion editor"--based on the title, a low-level one, I assume. The blog itself is no-frills; there are no photographs and no links, but I assume this is on purpose, to give the blog more of a diary feel. The writer, "NYC Fashionista," is quite honest, in a way that makes her seem equal parts wide-eyed, insecure and holier than thou (then again, if I worked at a fashion magazine, I'd probably be a nervous wreck 98% of the time too). Take this post on her upcoming Fashion Week stress; while I'm sure your seat assignment is a big deal when you work at a fashion magazine, I can't help but think she sounds a little ungrateful--coming out of the tents after a show, you see tons of envious fashion lovers standing outside, and I'm sure those people would kill for a standing-room-only invite to anything. The writer doesn't divulge many details about her daytime job, but after what happened to Jolie in NYC, you can't blame her. Then again, does anyone remember the Rance blog? Nevertheless, I'm also interested to see what she has to say about Fashion Week--whether her view from the fourth row is anything like my view from the standing section.

Finally, the mere week-old Fashionista is the brainchild of original (and best, in my opinion) Gawker writer Elizabeth Spiers and Imaginary Socialite's Faran Krentcil. Fashionista covers a lot of bases--shopping, news, parties--and does so in a totally fun way, so that you feel like an in-the-know girlfriend is telling you about cool stuff, not that you're reading some snarky commentary written by an underpaid smartass. There are some great tips (like this one on how to mix your own Black Satin nail polish) and I like the on-the-street fashion coverage, which takes it a step farther than The Sartorialist by interviewing the subjects. And then there are cute little features like, Is Pucci the new Burberry? And, of course, Fashionista gets bonus points in my book for linking to me. So, welcome, Fashionista, and please stay unjaded.

Monday, January 29, 2007

MasstigeWatch!
Proving that she's never met a mass-market deal she hasn't liked, it was announced today that Stella McCartney will design a line of bags for LeSportsac. Set to launch in spring 2008, the line will feature 30-40 styles with prices in the low $200 range (this counts as "luxury" for LeSportsac). The collection will be available online as well as in stores, and considering how much I love Ms. McCartney's designs, I'll of course post more info as soon as I have it.

And: Proenza Schouler's Go International line for Target launches Friday, but for you fashionistas not willing to slum it at the Atlantic Center Tar-zhay, Soho's Opening Ceremony will be selling the collection Friday through Monday only. Since Fashion Week also begins on Friday, expect to fight off models, stylists, and fashion editors from all over the world. Don't say I didn't warn you. 2/2-2/5; 11-8, noon-7 Sun.; 35 Howard St.
The week in shopping
Fight off the other twentysomethings at Olive & Bette's one-day-only sample sale. Splendid, Free People, and other youthfully casual designers are $15 and up. 1/30; 8-7; 158 Spring St. (Wooster & W. Broadway).

Look like a well-heeled Brooklynite for less at Bird and Baby Bird's sales. Think 3.1 Philip Lim and Isabel Marant for you, Petit Bateau for your bébé. 2/3-2/18; call for store hours; 220 Smith St. (at Butler St.) in Cobble Hill, 430 7th Ave. (at 14th St.) in Park Slope, and 428 7th Ave. (at 14th St.), also in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Rebecca & Drew's ingenious, idiot-proof shirts--sized by bra and height--are a mere $20 and up at this sample and stock sale. 2/1-2/3; 11-7; 344 W. 13th St. (Hudson & Greenwich Sts.).

Battle the other jet-setting hipsters at Flight 001's one-day sale, featuring luggage from Samsonite, Y3, and others for 30%-75% off. 2/2; see website for store hours; 96 Greenwich Ave. (Jane & W. 12th Sts.) and 132 Smith St. (at Dean St.), Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

Cheryl Shops fave Auto has home and fashion accessories by Philip Crangi, Missoni, Paul Smith, Etro, and others for 40%-55% off. Plus, take an additional 15% off web orders when you enter code 3DAYSALE at checkout. Through 1/31; 805 Washington St. (Gansevoort & Horatio Sts.).

Play "Spot the Designer" at the always-bountiful Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show. Admission is $20 at the door. 2/2-2/3; 9-5; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

If you can pronounce it, you can shop it: Ylli has men's and women's clothing by Sass & Bide, Norma Kamali, and other must-have labels for up to 80% off. 2/1-2/16; 11:30-8:30, noon-7 Sun.; 482 Driggs Ave. (at N. 10th St.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

For the football-averse, Beverly Feldman's annual Super Bowl Sunday sale comes to the rescue. Her whimsical shoes are 75% off. 2/4-2/10; 10-7 weekdays, 10-6 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 7 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

If you're still rocking the '80s avant-garde, head to Pleats Please Issey Miyake, where select, uh, pleated stuff is 50% off. 2/1-2/11; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 128 Wooster St. (at Prince St.).

Gianfranco Ferre's fancy-schmancy menswear and womenswear is a generous 70% off. 2/4-2/7; 9-6:30, 9-5 Wed.; 315 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Luxe maternity wear by Cadeau is $25 and up at this sale. 1/31-2/1; 10-7; 254 Elizabeth St. (at Prince St.).

Cute Soho shop Key has Lauren Moffatt, MarieMarie, and other coveted labels for 50%-75% off. Through 2/15; 10-7, noon-7 Sun.; 41 Grand St. (at Thompson St.).

Save 30% on your sweater purchase from Cheryl Shops fave Inhabit when you enter code VALENTINE at checkout.

For the rugrats in your life, Kule's children's clothing is on sale. Cash and AmEx only. 1/30-2/1; 9-6 Tues. & Wed., 9-4 Thurs.; Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Take 15% off any order of $50 or more at Rubber Ducky when you enter code JAN234 at checkout through 2/15.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Odds and ends
I totally admire Cathy Horyn, the Times' fashion critic, and I fell in love with her a bit more as she managed to disparage Rachael Zoe within the first paragraph of her review of the Paris couture shows. I tend to not cover the couture shows because, hey, if you're reading Cheryl Shops, you're probably not dropping $50k on a couture suit. But Cathy's review is lovely, and if you get a chance, check out the photos on Style.com--it's truly wearable art.

Also, two awesome sales of note for this weekend:

Down Under wonderland Elizabeth Charles is holding its annual warehouse sale through Sunday. Prices are up to 90% off, there's a $10 rack, and for those who aren't able to trek out to the West Village, the sale is available online too. Through 1/28; 639 1/2 Hudson St. (Horatio & Gansevoort Sts.).

And a sale I'm so excited about, I can hardly contain myself: Daryl K's warehouse sale! Prices are up to 90% off, there are $25 sample bins, and free mimosas for everyone! 1/27-1/28; 10-8; 21 Bond St. (Bowery & Lafayette St.).
A trip down memory lane
The other day, I was reading Gawker, and I was shocked that they took time out of their busy irony-laden postings to write this earnest and rather girly post about Quelques Fleurs. It reminded me of my own college experience; there was this girl, who was sort of in my extended circle of friends, and I was equal parts scared of and fascinated by her. She was fabulously wealthy and, in my sheltered Midwestern eyes, very glamorous. And she wore Quelques Fleurs. The perfume smells incredibly awful on me, but if it works with your chemistry, it's an incredibly luxurious, intoxicating scent. And, yes, it does make you smell like a rich girl.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Buy it: wide-leg jeans
While I had a rather hard time finding a suitable pair, I have been and continue to be an advocate of skinny jeans--if you are thin enough to pull them off. Since boot-cut and slightly flared jeans had been de rigeur for so long, our go-to pant silhouette definitely needed some shaking up. However, not everyone can wear skinny jeans, which is why the more flattering (and forgiving) boot cut has still managed to stick around. Fashionistas in need of change but not content to go back to boot cut, however, got a golden moment of inspiration when Kate Moss turned up at the Topshop runway show in London last September in the outfit to the right: a retro top and...wide-leg jeans. Swoon. Now fast-forward a few months: While Ms. Moss is certainly still wearing her skinnies, the fashion industry is tentatively jumping on the wide-leg bandwagon. I, for one, welcome the news. I'm not ditching my skinny jeans yet, but it's nice to have options, and ones you can breathe in at that. Wide-leg pants tend to be more flattering on a greater range of body types (that is, unless you are short and on the heavier side; in that case, stick with a boot cut), and while finding the perfect pair is not quite the endeavor as shopping for skinny jeans, it is important to find a well-fitting pair, lest your legs look like tree stumps, a sad, sometime side effect of wide-leg trousers. So, without further ado, some pairs of note.

Revolve Clothing is a great denim resource, and they even have a handy trouser/wide-leg denim navigation point. Trouser jeans and wide-leg jeans often overlap because of their similar cuts; while this Joe's trouser jean has a fairly wide cut, it looks a bit too slim in the thigh for my taste (however, this could be due to the model's body as well).


On the other end of the spectrum is this crazy wide-leg jean from Goldsign; the legs are flared so much, however, that you'd have to have rather slim hips (like the model) to prevent stumpiness.


Shopbop.com has the more subtle Dietrich from Goldsign, as well as this wide-leg Tailor jean from Hudson. Both come in darker washes, which are great for wearing now (as opposed to a lighter wash for spring), not to mention that dark washes tend to be more flattering in general.


This Marc by Marc Jacobs sailor jean looks quite promising. For those who are unsure about fit, Net-a-Porter gives a handy breakdown of measurements per each size.


On the lower end of the spectrum, Urban Outfitters has some great options. I love the androgynous, slouchy look of this Levi's boyfriend jean, but I'm perplexed by the presence of Lycra--do we really need stretch in such a baggy jean?


I think the Keanu jean by Lux, a trouser-style cut, might be a bit more flattering--there's something to be said for a bit of tailoring.


But for a true bargain, nothing beats Target: this Mossimo Red wide-leg jean is on sale for a mere $17.50.


Of course, I haven't tried any of these on yet--that's when the true fit test will come. I'm not going to have much time to shop in the upcoming weeks, but as soon as I set out to find the perfect wide-leg jeans, you can be sure I'll write about it here. In the meantime, has anyone bought a pair of wide-leg jeans yet? Tell us about it!
Website of the week
Because my shopping last week in Austin got cut a bit short due to the strangely wintry weather (30 degrees and an ice storm in January--who would've thought?), one store I didn't make it to, sadly, was Factory People. Thankfully, the silver lining in that cloud is that Factory People has a pretty cool website. One of the pioneering high-end clothing boutiques in Austin, the Factory has a Barneys Co-Op-like selection of contemporary designers such as 3.1 Philip Lim and harder-to-find underground labels like Japan's Hysteric Glamour. And, like many of the clothing boutiques in Austin, they carry both men's and women's clothing, plus an edgy selection of music. Shopping the website is pretty straightforward--search or browse by brand or by category. The great thing is that nearly everything on the site is on sale, and prices go up to 60% off (final sale, it should be noted).

I'm impressed that the store carries 3 as 4, which is hard to find even in the label's hometown of New York. This reversible jean--only for the truly thin, mind you--is a pretty good deal at $107.


This vintage-inspired sweater looks incredibly flattering, and the Factory gets bonus points for introducing me to such a cool, wearable designer, Rory Beca!


I absolutely love this fun "Dip Me" Cami from another label I've sadly never heard of, the Brooklyn-based Red Toenails. (The price isn't bad either.)


This Edward An boatneck dress isn't on sale, but it has a timelessly chic Parisian look--doesn't it look like it's from a Jean-Luc Godard film?


I had no idea that Evisu, the Japanese denim label, even made dresses, but lo and behold, here's a totally cute print sundress.


And I absolutely love this print dress from Development--like many of the clothes I noticed in Austin, it has a very wear-all-year kind of look, which is quite versatile.


So, I learned two lessons here. First, I will not be traveling to Austin in January ever again. Second, the next time I'm there, I'm going straight to Factory People.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Weighing in on the model weight controversy
In case you haven't heard (ha!), there's been a bit of discussion over models and how much they weigh. To bring you up to speed, it all started back in September, when organizers of the Madrid Fashion Week announced that it would be weighing in all models; those with a BMI of under 18 would not be allowed to work. Fashion designers, casting directors, and editors then denied widespread eating disorders in the industry, saying that Madrid was overreacting, and that, as arbiters of taste, they should be able to hire whomever they want. The death of Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston from anorexia, in November, drew even more attention to the debate. With New York Fashion Week looming on the horizon, the CFDA finally stepped up to the plate last week, releasing a "health initiative" to ensure the health and safety of all working models. As my idol, the Washington Post's Robin Givhan notes in her spot-on analysis of the debate, it's basically the equivalent of tobacco companies giving tips on how to quit smoking. The reigning supe, Giselle Bundchen, who obviously knows where her paychecks come from, then added more fuel to the fire by stating that we should blame families, not the fashion industry. I don't think that's necessarily the right answer either.

Yes, most models are naturally thin; as I have said before, this is because they're all, like, 17 years old. (Case in point: When I was 17 years old, I thought I was fat, but I wore a size 6 and ate the chicken fingers dinner--that's chicken fingers and fries--at Baker's Square roughly twice a week, in addition to basically whatever else I wanted to eat.) Keep in mind, too, that most models are over the hill by the time they're 25--the age at which I discovered that I could no longer subsist on shmears, pizza, and macaroni and cheese. At the same time, Givhan has a point: Sample sizes have shrunk dramatically in the last 15 years (for a good time, check out pictures of Cindy Crawford circa 1992--she seems almost portly in comparison to today's standard), and models have shrunk in response. But while they may be naturally thin, models do diet for runway work. In the meantime, the average American woman is 5'4" and 145 pounds; to meet Spain's BMI standard, a 5'9" model would have to weigh 126 pounds. I think the only models nowadays who weigh that much are either over 6 feet tall or are "swimsuit" models, i.e. girls too "curvy" to do fashion work. I saw a news clip on CNN last week of models being weighed, and while most were meeting their target weight, they were wearing sweaters, jeans, boots, jackets...in other words, nothing the average woman would be wearing at, say, her Weight Watchers weigh-in.

The media is jumping all over this story, of course, because it's sensational. Eating disorders equal drama equals ratings and sales. And while eating disorders are serious, they are mental--not societal--illnesses. If young women were becoming anorexic in droves from reading Vogue, trust me, it would be much more of an epidemic. I'm not trying to make light of the situation, however; while we can't blame the fashion industry for eating disorders per se, we can blame them for low self-esteem. I get that they're selling fashion as fantasy, but being a size 0 is so far past attainable for so many women (like 99.5% of the population), it's downright ridiculous. I'm not suggesting that fashion designers send out "average" or even "real" women on the runways--after all, where's the fantasy in that?--but considering the rising obesity rates in the world, even a size 4 would be a step in the right direction. The CFDA has the power to make that step. Hell, even Anna Wintour has the power. It's not going to happen overnight, but it can happen. All they have to do is take a stand, one that's in the best interests of not only models but of all women.
The week in shopping
Trend central shop Big Drop has 3.1 Phillip Lim, La Rok, and Morphine Generation for 40%-80% off, plus all fall denim for $99. Through 2/4; 174 Spring St., 425 W. Broadway, 1321 3rd Ave. (at 75th St.).

Lovely Christopher Deane and Sophia Eugene cocktail dresses and skirts are $60-$300. 1/24-1/31; noon-8, noon-6 Sun.; 37 Cornelia St. (at Bleecker St.).

Swing by Williamsburg fashion oasis Jumelle for 3.1 Phillip Lim, A.P.C., Karen Walker, and Loeffler Randall for up to 70% off. Through 1/25; noon-8; 148 Bedford Ave. (at N. 9th St.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

If you like pricey designer vintage, hit up Jill Stuart's collection for Ossie Clark, Biba, and Yves Saint Laurent at 50%-60% off. Through 1/29; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 100 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Lyell's knits, blouses, and more are 50%-70% off. Through 2/15; noon-7; 173 Elizabeth St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

All Norma Kamali collections are up to 75% off. Through 2/2; 10-6 (closed Sun.); 11 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Hit the Art of Shopping for denim, tops, and accessories for up to 80% off. 1/25-1/28; 11-7, noon-5 Sun.; 72 Greene St.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Golden Globes fashion roundup
Lots of black, lots of white, many short dresses, and in spite of all the stylists, some missteps. So without further ado, the best and the worst, with some honorable and dishonorable mentions.

Best

Reese Witherspoon: "Hi, y'all. I'm wearing a smokin' hot bright yellow dress from Nina Ricci by Olivier Theyskens. That's right, I'm one of the first people to wear one of his new dresses in public. And did you see my red satin shoes? Who needs a pot-smoking, threesome-having, infinitely-less-talented (albeit hot) husband when I can look this good?"


Penelope Cruz: Not one of my favorite actresses, and I question her choice of boyfriends, but for once she made a right choice on the red carpet--proving you can never go wrong with Chanel.


Jessica Biel: Seriously, when did she get so hot? Did you see the pictures of her playing volleyball with Derek Jeter? Her body is sick. I love this dress, too--it's sexy without being "Look at me!" sexy (see Beyonce, below).

Honorable mention

Ali Larter: Supposedly she tried this dress on for the first time several hours before the show began. It shows. But if it weren't for the ill-fitting bodice, Ali would've been under Best Dressed.


JLO: I'm not quite sure why JLO was even at this event (has she been in any movies lately?), but with a dress like this, who cares? Okay, it's a bit dramatic, but this is JLO we're talking about.


Jennifer Garner: I love Jennifer Garner, and while this dress, like most of the ones she chooses for the red carpet, makes her shoulders look a bit broad, I'm willing to overlook it, based on the uniqueness of it (it's vintage Gaultier), and the fact that, hey, she's Sydney Bristow!

Dishonorable mention

Cate Blanchett: I respect that this woman takes some straight-up fashion risks, however this is one of those times that the risk does not pay off. Does this remind anyone else of Demi Moore's lace-and-bike-shorts concoction?


Cameron Diaz: I did not hate this dress, but it just didn't seem very Cameron Diaz to me. Maybe it's the brown hair that's impairing her judgment. But if she was trying to get Justin Timberlake back, this was not the way to do it. (See instead Reese Witherspoon.)


Drew Barrymore: I get that Drew didn't want to nip out again this year, but I felt like this dress wasn't doing her any favors either. The color washed her out, the self-tanner was a bit much, and I don't like Drew's hair up. Good try, though.

Worst

Beyonce: Okay, Beyonce, we get it. Jennifer Hudson may be winning all the awards, but you're the hot one. Hey, who needs a statuette when you can dress up like one yourself?


Jennifer Love Hewitt: Where do I start with her? If Jennifer Love Hewitt ever showed up at an event in a dress that fit her, flattered her, and didn't look like she bought it at the Beauty Queen store at the mall, I think I'd die of shock.


Sienna Miller: She's another risk-taker, and while I love the grungy-bohemian stuff she normally wears, this dress was just a bit too disjointed for me--the metallic top and chiffon skirt look like they belong to two different gowns. I did, however, like the braid.
Cheryl Shops...Austin

Aside from the fact that it was in the 40s and 30s the entire time I was there, I thought Austin was a pretty great city. As my friend MT put it, if the state of Texas is a city, Austin is the gay neighborhood. Austin is also the lone blue pocket in the entire state, so with it comes a bunch of liberal-mindedness. For example, Austin is very into supporting local businesses there, a concept I also like to stand behind. Two very awesome examples of this are Book People, which is about the size of your average Barnes & Noble, but actually way cooler--there was a psychic giving readings, magnets of the local drag queen (Leslie), and an ample section of books on sustainable living (random for me to bring up, yes, but I was once an intern for a magazine called Mother Earth News, and I've always been quite fascinated by all that sort of stuff). Across the street from Book People is a great record store called Waterloo Records, which is basically like Other Music, except the people who work there are actually nice. (This is something that kept stunning me all weekend--I'm used to the garden-variety surly Williamsburg hipster, so I was continually shocked to see them smiling and being pleasant. Maybe it's the Texas sunshine.)

Across the street from Waterloo is a little shopping complex, where you can find the biggest By George branch. Sort of a mini chain in Austin, By George has been around for awhile, and I'd say is kind of like a more upscale Calypso. They were having a big sale when I was there, but most of the clothes (Dries van Noten, Miguelina, Velvet) were still in the three figures. Now, you'd think that with all of its liberal-mindedness, Austin would be full of hippies who shop at thrift stores. It is, but there are also a lot of well-heeled residents, hence the pricey boutiques that dot the downtown area.

Of course, across the street from By George is the behemoth Whole Foods headquarters. Now, I love me some Whole Foods, but words cannot describe how awesome this one is. They sell organic cotton clothing. There's a tea bar and a nut bar. There's a walk-in beer refrigerator. There's a living food station. And, this being Texas, there's an in-house barbecue pit and meat smoker. It smells delicious in there, and we ended up going there pretty much every day.



I was really looking forward to shopping on South Congress Street--it's kind of like the Smith Street of Austin--but by the time we got there, on Monday, it was 30 degrees and we were in the middle of an ice storm. So we didn't spend a lot of time over there, unfortunately, but my favorite store in that section was called Therapy and had a nice mix of clothing (guys and girls), chocolate, and candles. There's another store that we actually didn't have time to go into (impending weather and all), but I'm going to save it for this week's website of the week.

Since I ran out of clean clothing, we ended up making a trip to the mall and I bought a hat at Anthropologie. So I didn't keep my Austin shopping 100% local, but in the spirit of the city, I tried. Also, speaking of non-local companies, I'd highly recommend staying at the Four Seasons, as we did. Awesome shower, L'Occitane bath products (which I pilfered daily), and the most comfortable hotel bed I've ever slept in. Also, a special shout out to MT, who showed us a great time, in spite of the weather. Next time I'll wait till the rainy season is over!
The (half) week in shopping
Temperley's luxe-girly sweaters, coats, dresses, and more are up to 80% off. 1/18-1/21; 10-8 Thurs., 10-7 Fri. & Sat., noon-7 Sun.; 453 Broome St. (Mercer & Greene Sts.), 2nd fl.

Agent Provocateur's lingerie is super-sexy and one of my favorite lines, and now it's on sale for $45 and up. Through 1/31; call 212-965-0229 for store hours; 133 Mercer St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Samples are $50 and up at the Zero Maria Cornejo sale. 1/19-1/22; 225 Mott St. (Prince & Spring Sts.), 807 Greenwich St. (Jane & Horatio Sts.).

The sneaker freaks have probably already cleaned it out, but Classic Kicks has Nike Dunks, Vans Vault slip-ons, and other coveted kicks on sale. Through 1/20; 11-7; 298 Elizabeth St. (Bleecker & Houston Sts.).

My favorite lingerie store in the city, La Petite Coquette's awesome selection is up to 90% off at this sale. 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 51 University Place (9th & 10th Sts.).

Fancy French undies and bras from Huit are a mere $3-$25 at this cash only sale. 1/18-1/19; 11-5; 40 E. 34th St. (Park & Madison Aves.), ste. 710.

Meatpacking District fave Auto has accessories, gifts, and housewares from Missoni, Etro, Paul Smith, and more on sale. Through 1/31; 11-8 weekdays, noon-7 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 803-805 Washington St. (Gansevoort & Horatio Sts.).

Fancy lingerie from Christian Dior, Paul & Joe, and other pricey lines is 30%-80 percent off at Catriona MacKechnie's delicious-sounding sale. Through 1/20; 10-8; 400 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.).

For the dapper guys out there, Seize sur Vingt's impeccably made suits, shirts, and sweaters are about $60 and up at this sale. 1/20-1/28; 11-7; 267 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Cool shoes, clothes and accessories from indie designers like Dru New York and Nicole Young are cheap cheap cheap at this multi-designer sample sale. Cash & checks only. 1/18-1/20; 11-6; 902 Broadway (20th & 21st Sts.), 20th fl.

Alice + Olivia's coveted fall line (dresses, jackets, pants, etc.) is up to 70% off. Through 1/20; 9-7 weekdays, noon-5 Sat., closed Sun.; 80 W. 40th St. (5th & 6th Aves.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif).

For the preppy dude in your life, select items at Gant are 50% off. 1/19-2/2; 10-7, 10-8 Thurs., 11-7 Sun.; 645 Fifth Ave. (at 51st St.).

Judith Ripka's precious jewelry is a bargain 50%-70% off at this sale. 1/18-1/19; 10-6; the Benjamin Hotel, Morrison Room, 125 E. 50th St. (at Lexington Ave.).

Grueneyes' fancy eyeglasses from Gucci, Prada, and the like are 40%-90% off. Through 1/21; 10-7 weekdays, 10-5:30 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 1076 3rd Ave. (at 64th St.), 2009 Broadway (at 69th St.).

Find Outlet sent a very cryptic email about their warehouse sale, which starts tomorrow. I don't know the hours, the location, or what they'll have, but I'm going to assume it's at the 17th Street store. Good luck. 1/18-1/21.

Select floor samples are 30%-50% off at Jonathan Adler; see website for hours and locations.

Take 20% off your order at Bloomingdales.com when you enter code NEWYR at checkout through 2/1.

Select women's and kids' items are 50% off, online only, at Nordstrom.com.

It's time for the Beauty Event at Berdgorf's. Spend $200 on makeup, fragrance, or skincare and receive a goodie-filled Felix Rey makeup bag.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Don't mess with Texas!
Clearly the Lone Star State and I don't get along so well. Not only did I have to endure 40-degree weather for my entire stay, but I also got stuck in Austin for an extra day, due to...an ice storm. Yes, when my plane finally took off this afternoon, the dusty Texas countryside was covered in snow. Needless to say, I just got home from the airport and I'm exhausted. I'll be back tomorrow night with sales, my shopping report from Austin, and my critique of Golden Globes fashion. Please come back then!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yee-haw!
I haven't been to Texas since my family's first (and last) road trip, in 1984, to my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversay. (In retrospect, it's a rather amusing story, but the highlights included my sister's broken leg, shriners/clowns--of whom I am deathly afraid--staying at our hotel, and a Deliverance moment on the way home in which our car broke down in rural Arkansas.) Alas, MW and I are off to Austin for the weekend to visit my dear friend MT, eat good Mexican food, listen to music, and drink beer. Hopefully it will be better than my last trip to the Lone Star State (fingers crossed--no clowns this time!). I'll be back on Tuesday night with sales, Golden Globes fashion, and perhaps a shopping report from Austin. Come back soon!
Object of desire
I am a Thierry Mugler girl. I alternate between two of his lesser-known fragrances and basically love everything the man does (which, sadly, nowadays, is limited to perfume). I am even on the Thierry Mugler mailing list, through which I was very excited to hear about the "Perfume" Coffret. Inspired by the current movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (a two-story-tall poster of which I can see perfectly from my living room), this set contains 15 scents--everything from the conventional (but supposedly breathtaking) Absolu Jasmine to the intriguing Virgin No. 1 and the puzzling Human Existence (ah, the French). The set isn't meant to be worn; rather, it's an exercise in the art of perfumery (or parfumèrie, as it were). But, alas, art comes at a price: $700, to be exact. Makes that $80 bottle of Angel seem like a bargain, no?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Website of the week
I'll make fun of it from time to time, but there's no denying the sheer size and power of Zappos. The behemoth stocks shoes by everyone from Steve Madden to Sigerson Morrison, features multiple views of every shoe, has (admittedly useful) customer reviews, and, best of all, offers free shipping and free returns. Zappos is pretty much a goldmine, and most other shoe websites don't even come close to its selection or services. Well, until now. Amazon's new venture is Endless.com, a site featuring shoes for men, women, and children, as well as women's handbags, albeit in a Flash-enhanced, way more aesthetically pleasing design that lets you do everything from narrow down your search results by size or mouse over to see all the colors of a certain style. (One of the things about Zappos that annoys me is that each color of each shoe comes on a separate page, which I find time-consuming and unnecessary.) The kicker, though, is that Endless raises the ante by offering free overnight--yes, overnight--shipping. The question is whether you'd want any of these shoes so urgently that you'd really need them overnight. While lower- and mid-priced brands are well represented (think Nine West and Skechers), and there are even some trendier favorites (Penny Loves Kenny, Oh Deer), the "luxury" shoes peter out with Delman and Donald J Pliner. And many of the styles are somewhat lackluster. Like, this FarylRobin boot is somewhat basic but cute...but I'm not sure if it's so special that I need to have it tomorrow.


This silver buckle flat is very Edie Sedgwick, but sadly my size is out of stock.


This Steve Madden wedge is a nice Christian Louboutin knockoff, at about a tenth of the price of the original.


The selection of handbags leaves something to be desired--it runs the gamut from boring to tacky with not a whole lot in between--but I think this Charles David satchel is not bad.


So...Endless.com isn't exactly Zappos (I even had a hard time finding any shoes that had been reviewed, but then again the site has only been up for a week), and it certainly has a bit of growing to do. But as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day, and I'm always willing to cheer for the underdog.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The week in shopping
I am so upset that I'll be out of town for the entire duration of Opening Ceremony's three-day sale, but for the lucky ladies in town, clothing from British designers Hussein Chalayan, Cloak, and Topshop (!) is a whopping 75%-90% off. Cash only. 1/12-1/14; 11-8, noon-7 Sun.; 35 Howard St. (at Broadway), 5th fl.

Wink NYC's already affordable (well, in NYC terms) accessories and shoes (think Andrea Brueckner, Fornarnia and Felix Rey) are even more so: They're now up to 75% off. Through 2/28; 155 Spring St. (at Wooster) and 188 Columbus Ave. (at 69th St.).

Dress like a Lower East Side lass in Johnson's fall line, now on sale for 20% off. Through 2/25; 1-7 Tues.-Fri., 12:30-8 Sat.; noon-6 Sun.; closed Mon.; 179 Orchard St. (Houston & Stanton Sts.).

Make like a stylish Sloper and hit Diana Kane, where Lewis Cho, Orla Kiely, and Armand Diradourian are up to 50% off. 1/10-1/31; 11-8, 11-7 Sun.; 78-A 7th Ave. (at Union St.), Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I was not the biggest fan of the Bridal Garden (which is, however, a charitable organization), but if dirt and tears don't faze you, find gowns by Vera Wang, Ulla Maija, and other normally pricey designers for 50%-75% off. 11/1-2/5; call 212-252-0661 to make an appointment; 54 W. 21st St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

If you're a classic-white-shirt-lover, hit Anne Fontaine Paris for her signature basic at 30%-50% off. 1/13-1/21; 10-7 weekdays, 11-6 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 610 5th Avenue (at 49th St.).

Clothingline is back with Milly, Ben Sherman & Evisu (still), Inhabit cashmere, and other Cheryl Shops favorites. Through 1/11; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Finally, it's time for one of my favorite sales, the semiannual "Me Spree" at Girlshop.com. Enter code mespree2007 at checkout to receive 20% off everything you order (including sale merchandise). Through 1/19.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New features at Cheryl Shops!
In case you want to search anything on Cheryl Shops (I've been around for--yikes--over three years now, after all), I've added a Google search bar on the right. You can search within Cheryl Shops, or you can search the web at large. I know the Blogger search bar at the top of the page is kind of crappy and unpredictable, so this should make finding things much easier. I've also added Google AdSense ads on the right sidebar below the archive. The great thing about these is that, through the magic of Google, the ads are generated through Cheryl Shops searches, so hopefully they'll start to reflect what you, my dear readers, are looking for.

On that note, I'd like to remind you about the ads found at the end of the right-hand sidebar, under "Recommended Shopping." (They haven't been updated in awhile, but hopefully I will get around to that one of these days.) These are all websites that I actually do recommend and shop from myself, and whenever you buy something from them, I get a small but helpful kickback. So, please, click on them and shop to your heart's content, because it supports the day-to-day operations of Cheryl Shops. To quote Liz Phair, it's nice to be liked, but it's better by far to get paid.

That said, it is nice to be liked. If you look to the right-hand sidebar, you'll notice a little icon for the Glam Network Awards. If you have a second, please click on it (or the link above) and vote for me. My inner high school wallflower will greatly appreciate it.
Two noteworthy news stories
I read Salon.com pretty religiously, due to three awesome regular features: Since You Asked (one of the more intelligent advice columns around), Ask The Pilot (aviation-themed stories written by, well, a pilot), and the Broadsheet, Salon's excellent feminist blog. But today, a rather cheeky headline caught my eye: Big Breasts for Dummies. The story has an interesting premise: While shopping with her husband in Miami, the writer, Wendy Paris, noticed a non-XXX store with a DDD mannequin in the window; she then began to investigate whether this was an isolated incident or a widespread trend in the retail industry. In other words, are DDD mannequins (this is "Mary" from StudioRox.com) coming to Bloomingdale's next? While I understand where the writer is coming from--slightly disgusted, she asks whether the well-endowed dummies are reflective of a wider, surgically-enhanced trend in America--she seems to have a few factual errors in her reporting (there's no way the average bust size in this country is a 34B--did she take that statistic from 1970?), and, judging by the comments, which are often my favorite part of Salon, she managed to insult every natural D+ Salon reader (myself included). Many of the commenters do have a point: The lithe, size-2 mannequins in most stores not represent the vast majority of American women. (The fashion design student in me, however, notes that clothes do indeed hang better on a size 2, rather than a size 14.) While I don't necessarily think that DDD mannequins are the answer, women do come in all shapes and sizes, so maybe mannequins should too, a conclusion that the writer haphazardly, somewhat unclearly, also arrives at in the end of the story.

In sadder news, the O.C. has been canceled. I know, this isn't really shopping-related, except that it made young fashion stars of Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson, and that Marissa Cooper was by far the most stylish (and, yes, okay, fictional) high school girl I've ever seen. Granted, the show hasn't been the same since Marissa kicked the bucket, and I've been pretty annoyed with the story lines so far this season (Ryan goes all Tyler Durden on us; Summer turns crunchy granola then gets kicked out of Brown; Taylor is all of a sudden not annoying; why aren't any of these kids' parents concerned that they're not going to school?). Oh well, I'll always have my Season 1 DVDs.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Website of the week
As MW will tell you, I have expensive taste in just about everything. But my wallet often takes its hardest hit from my shoe addiction. The argument I like to give for spending a lot on my footwear is that expensive shoes tend to be more comfortable, but that's not entirely true. The real reason I like to spend more on my shoes is that expensive shoes just look nicer--the leather is softer, the shape is more streamlined, and you're less likely to find errant threads or bits of glue. So, yeah, I'm pretty snobby about my footwear, but every once in awhile, an affordable new brand comes along and knocks my (literal and figurative) socks off. I first started noticing Dolce Vita shoes while in L.A. over the summer, then come fall, their foldover ankle booties were everywhere (including in the Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide). The brand is now carried on a bunch of sites, from Urban Outfitters to Zappos, but I've found the best place to find the entire line--as well as a well-edited collection of jewelry and clothing--is on Dolce Vita's website, which happens to be having a nifty little sale as we speak. Dolce Vita shoes are generally a step above Steven by Steve Madden price-wise, but they look far more sophisticated--think Lower East Side hipster, not Lower East Side hooker. For example, this cuffed black boot is trendy (slouchy shape) and classic at the same time (stiletto heel, gently pointed toe).



I think it can be a challenge to make a platform boot or shoe not look tarty, and this buckle boot is anything but. I can totally see Kate Moss wearing it with a skinny jean.


These Mary Jane flats remind me of a style made by a certain downtown New York footwear designer--at about a quarter of the price--and I love that they come in an array of colors.



And I've definitely been looking for a pair of brown riding boots. These are a strong contender.



I was even more pleasantly surprised, however, by the selection of clothing, from such well-made, totally cool designers as Vivienne Westwood and McGinn. Random, yes, but how gorgeous is this Vivienne Westwood top?



I also liked this quirky, and totally affordable "Winged Migration" necklace from the small but focused accessories collection.



Shipping for all this wonderful stuff ranges from $9-$17, but when I clicked on location, I felt really stupid--there's an actual, bricks-and-mortar Dolce Vita store at 149 Ludlow Street, a mere six or so blocks from my apartment on, yes, the Lower East Side. Duh. So I'll be taking a trip there this weekend to try my shoes on in person. After all, they may look expensive, but they have to be comfortable too. Or so I tell everyone.