Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oscars fashion recap
Every year, critics bemoan how bland Oscar fashion has become. Why doesn't anyone take risks anymore? Where are the wack-a-doodle Chers and Bjorks of yesteryear? We can probably blame stylists, but amidst all the ho-hum looks, there were some standouts--and while there were several missteps, they were on more of a subtle scale, as opposed to a feathered-headdress scale. So, without further ado...

Best
Reese Witherspoon
Nina Ricci's one-woman publicity machine scored another victory for the house in this strapless gown with diagonal tiers. My favorite part is how the layers get lighter toward the hem. Simply divine.


Gwyneth Paltrow
Granted, Gwyneth could show up in a burlap sack and I'd think she'd look amazing, but this Zac Posen dress was truly unique and a fresh look for Ms. P. I also like that it has short sleeves--great for those of us with less-than-perfect upper arms.


Maggie Gyllenhaal
She often makes offbeat red-carpet choices, but this major coup for the Proenza Schouler boys was a smart--and stunning--pick. The asymmetrical neckline and black-and-midnight-blue combo is one we'll be seeing a lot of.


Rhea Durham
Random pick, I know, but Mark Wahlberg's babymama sure knows how to dress. This is Marchesa, and it's subtle (Marky Mark was, in fact, the one nominated for an award) but gorgeous.


Jodie Foster
Here's what I love about Jodie Foster: You never read about her personal life; she just acts in a movie here and there, and when she shows up for an event, she looks great. This Vera Wang dress was age-appropriate, flattering, and, I thought, rather beautiful. And to think she was a child star.


Honorable Mention
Anika Noni Rose
You have to admire Anika Noni Rose, because as Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson got all the attention for Dreamgirls, she just smiled and held back. But Anika got the last laugh, because she totally one-upped her costars on the red carpet in this hot, hot sequined number (also with sleeves!).


JLO
This Marchesa gown got mixed reviews, but I actually liked it--it's nice to see JLO wearing something sweet and not totally flashy. The billowy chiffon would make a nice baby-bump-hider (ahem, Naomi Watts).


Kirsten Dunst
I love Kirsten Dunst and her indie-rock, "I live in Silverlake" look, and then I love how she shows up at awards shows in Chanel Couture. I think she might be a bit young to totally pull this dress off, but it's gorgeous nonetheless.


Dishonorable Mention
Nicole Kidman
My comment is about neither the color (fabulous) nor the shape (sophisticated, and the bow didn't bother me) of her Balenciaga gown; it's about Nicole herself. Between the lightened skin and the over-Botoxing, she looks, literally, like a doll. Not a good thing, especially when you're in your 40s.


Jennifer Hudson
I didn't hate the Oscar de la Renta dress, but I did hate the metallic bolero. It made her look, well, like a hooker. This is what happens when you take fashion advice from a seven-foot-tall gay black man. (For the record, Jennifer changed into a custom Roberto Cavalli dress backstage, which is what she should've worn from the beginning.)


Anne Hathaway
I don't think this Valentino dress was particularly awful; maybe it's that I just don't like Anne Hathaway. Something about her seems a bit off, like she's the goody-goody girl who tries too hard to be cool. Did anyone notice you could hear her and Emily Blunt giggling during their costuming presentation? Obnoxious.


Worst
Beyonce
Oh, Beyonce. While trend-right (asymmetrical strap, seafoam green color), this Armani dress looks like a longer version of something she'd wear on stage. Beyonce is so pretty; why does she always insist on wearing such flashy dresses?


Penelope Cruz
You know, I didn't like this dress when I saw Charlize Theron wear it several years ago (it was by Dior then, but still), and I don't like it here, by Versace, on Penelope Cruz. Unflattering color, also.


Cameron Diaz
Cameron's second white dress in a row--do you think she's trying to send Justin Timberlake a message? Sadly, all this ugly gown does is reinforce the fact that JT made the right decision. Yuck.
The week in shopping
Always a good sale, the Intermix Warehouse Sale boasts Chloe, Cathehrine Malandrino, and other trendy labels for 50%-90% off. 2/28-3/2; 9-8; the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Sexy, sexy clothing from Luca Luca is up to 75% off at this swank sample sale. 2/28-3/3; 8:30-7, 10-5 Sat.; 19 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 4th fl.

Dapper lads and ladies who love Paul Smith can now get the swank British line at up to 75% off. True samples only. 3/1-3/3; 11-7, 11-4 Sat.; 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

Eileen Fisher's low-key but luxe basics are 40%-60% off. 3/3; 10-7; 314 E. 9th St. (1st & 2nd Aves.).

Screw Target--get Liz Lange's high-priced maternity line for $40-$75, plus a ton of other maternity and children's clothing lines; see details at Clothingline. Through 3/2; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

The Art of Shopping is back with another denim sale; see website for details. 2/28-3/4; 11-7, noon-5 Sun.; 72 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Get free shipping on Rebecca & Drew's new Swiss dot line when you enter code SWISSDOT at checkout through 3/7.

Get a cute leather-trimmed tote when you spend $300 on Marc by Marc Jacobs at Saks.com when you enter code MARCTOTE at checkout through 3/18.

Take 15% off a $100 or more order at Girlshop.com when you enter code spring07 at checkout through 2/28.

Take 30% off your order at Cheryl Shops fave Le Train Bleu when you enter code Birthday at checkout through 2/28.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I have the flu.
Posts coming as soon as I can remain sitting for more than 2 minutes. Please check back later!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Object of desire: Loeffler Randall Kit Boots
I spent a lot of time waiting around at Fashion Week, but the fun part of waiting is checking out what everyone is wearing (well, it's not really fun, but at least it's mildly entertaining). I noticed a lot of the models wearing an almost-flat, knee-high boot, and these boots just looked so slouchy and cool, I instantly became obsessed with them. After several weeks of searching, I finally figured it out: Loeffler Randall's Matilde boot...which is from the fall/winter collection and is now sold out nearly everywhere. Bummer. But, lo and behold, Shopbop now has the spring line, which includes this awesome Kit Boot--it's nearly identical to the Matilde, but it has a cute buckle on the side. What makes this boot so flattering is the tiny one-inch wedge heel--just enough to lengthen your legs, and for those of us used to wearing heels every day, it's actually more comfortable than a truly flat boot (oh, the joy of shortened Achilles' tendons). Of course, such a perfect pair of boots does not come cheap; these puppies are $685. Like jeans, though, I consider boots to be a good investment, and as scary as that price is, I think it might be worth it. So starting next paycheck, I just might have to begin a Kit Boot savings fund. Hopefully they won't sell out before I reach my goal.
Website of the week
Fashion is currently having a Edie Sedgwick moment. This was most likely spurred on by the movie Factory Girl, starring current fashion It girl Sienna Miller, and while Factory Girl has pretty much bombed (I saw it at the Angelika; I highly recommend reading Edie: American Girl instead), Edie's fashion influence (black opaque tights, smock dresses, fur coats, striped tees) persists. Factory Girl has also drawn more attention to Andy Warhol and his Factory, and Warhol is now hotter than ever. Hence this week's website of the week, the Warhol: Store. The gift-shop arm of the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, the store features everything from posters to clothing and everything in between. Basically, it's a pop-art bonanza, and I'm sure Warhol himself would've loved the commercialness of it all. You can browse by category or search; I can't link directly to anything, however, so finding everything is up to you.

In honor of the girl of the moment, there's a special Edie shop with books, notebooks, and more. I think this train case is appropriate, considering how much time Edie spent on her makeup (although she might've used this bag to carry around her drugs too).


Everyone knows Warhol coined the "everyone is famous for 15 minutes" adage, but he also had some other great phrases, like, "Waiting makes it more exciting," which certainly applies to the fashion industry. This ribbon would look chic tied in your hair or even wrapped around your wrist.


I also love these magnets featuring Warhol's fashion-related bon mots. (My favorite is, "Wasting money puts you in a real party mood.")


And while I'm pretty well acquainted with the Warhol oeuvre, I must say, I didn't know he did butterfly prints! I love butterflies, of course, and while they're scattered throughout the website, I think the nightlight is my favorite.


So while Andy Warhol (and Edie Sedgwick) is way over his 15 minutes of fame, well, with stuff so cool, I think that's a good thing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The week in shopping
Save up to 50% on pottery, lamps, linens, furniture, and more at Cheryl Shops fave Jonathan Adler, online and in stores. Through 2/24; see website for store locations.

Furs, clothing, home accessories, and jewelry are on mega-sale at Dennis Basso. Watch out for PETA. 2/25-2/28; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Treat your pup to a new collar, carrier, or coat for 50% off at Trixie + Peanut. 2/23-2/25; 11-8, noon-5 Sun.; 23 E. 20th St. (Park & Broadway).

Desiron's contemporary, industrial-chic furniture is up to 75% off. 2/22-2/26; 10-7; 63 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Secrets of Charm's fall/winter line is 50% off at Ravinstyle.com.

Monday, February 19, 2007

MasstigeWatch!
After being held hostage at the Post Office for nearly a week, my Proenza Schouler shipment from Target finally arrived on Saturday. (I decided not to brave the Opening Ceremony crowds a few weeks ago.) And as much as I loved the Paul & Joe collection, I think this might be my favorite Go International line to date. I ordered a bunch of the tissue tees and the purple pencil skirt, which I totally love. I'm waiting for that bustier top and the purple palm-print dress to go live, and then I'm going to order those too. But as with all Go International collections, I suggest ordering up a size--I'm glad I did.

Still thirsting for more Go International goodness? No Good for Me reports thumbnails for the next installment, designed by former Perry Ellis and Paco Rabanne designer Patrick Robinson, have been posted here. It's all very Talitha Getty beachy boho chic, and, well, it looks pretty darn good to me.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

No, I did not go to the Barneys Warehouse Sale this morning
You heard right: For the first time in probably five years, I didn't go to the first day of the Barneys Warehouse Sale. Why not, you ask? Because when I woke up this morning, it was eight degrees. And snowy. And windy. And while I love me some Barneys, I really do not love freezing to death in the name of fashion. So I'm planning on going tomorrow--either first thing in the morning or after work (knowing me, probably after work). I figure if I missed the best stuff, so be it. I'll post my report tomorrow (or perhaps Saturday), but in the meantime, for those of you who want the scoop, Fashionista's Bess Levin braved the crowds and lived to tell about it.
Reader request: chic gym bags
Now that it's mid-February and the New Year's resolution-makers are starting to slack off, it's the perfect time to join the gym (or if you've been avoiding it, to start going again). So reader CB requested my help in finding a chic, not too overt gym bag with enough room to hold the basics plus some extras like lunch. Here are my suggestions.

For a traditional gym bag, specifically one with a sporty logo and such, eBags has numerous options. The Kayla, however, is logo-free and is available in several female-friendly pastel shades. It comes tricked out with multiple pockets (including ones for your iPod and water bottle). It's a little on the small side, however, so it's more for the sports-bra-and-short-short wearer, as opposed to the girl who works out in bulky sweats.


Adidas also has a ton of stereotypical gym bags, but the microfiber Adilibria bag is a bit more streamlined--the shape is more reminiscent of a purse, and the long strap can be worn across the body.


Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers line has some cute, colorful, non-gym-baggy options that are nice and roomy. I like the Uh-O tote and the the Narita Bag, a more cross-body style.


DKNY's Urban Fusion Gym Bag is more on the traditional side, but it's durable and well designed (which the price reflects). And as far as gym bags go, it's pretty sleek and chic.


For a gym bag with an obvious Gucci inspiration and a retro bowling-bag look, the adidas Premium Hold All comes in easy-to-clean vinyl.


Another Gucci-inspired look but with way more feminine styling, this floral tote from Victoria's Secret is big enough to hold all the essentials and doesn't look anything like a gym bag--good for those of you who like to pull off that whole "I don't work out" little white lie.


A bag so cute, you'll want to carry it everywhere--not just to the gym (and, for the price, you'll kind of have to): the Laminated Marc Tote (it's waterproof too!).


This cool print bag from Parcel is big enough to hold the bulkiest gym sweats and can double as a weekend travel bag.


For those of you who work out at fancy gyms like Equinox, this super-chic Plank Tote from Auto will do the trick. Or, if you're a Jivamukti girl, you can cleverly strap your yoga mat to the outside--no dorky yoga backpack required.


But my favorite gym bag of all is the Puddle Jumper from Shop Intuition. It comes in an array of colors, has lots of pockets, and has a cute sporty quilted pattern. It's also been endorsed by none other than Oprah--who, of all people, should know a good gym bag when she sees one.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Website of the week
My friend BN has a theory about the Booty Fairy. Sort of a Fairy Godmother for single gals, the Booty Fairy determines whether you get some action, so you have to do things to get on her good side, like get your bikini line waxed and wear cute underwear. And I will say, even though lingerie is something that people tend to associate with Valentine's Day, I think it's more fun to buy it for yourself. You know, to encourage the Booty Fairy. A great place to indulge in this practice is Gigi's Closet, a website with a carefully chosen selection of sexy, sensual lingerie. You can browse by category, or if you have something special in mind, search by category, brand, style, size, and/or particular attributes (like "comfortable" or "ruffles"). I'm always a big fan of any lingerie site that allows you to search bras by size, and thankfully Gigi's Closet carries a wide range. Overall, I'd say the selection is slightly to the sexy side of practical, with mid-level brands like Felina and Jezebel, as well as fancier French lines like Simone Perele, Aubade, and Huit.

While I'm more apt to go for something girly like OnGossamer's Avant bra (which, conveniently, links to the matching briefs at the bottom of the page)...


...I feel like men tend to like lingerie that's a bit more overtly sexy, like the Aubade Basier Brulant demi bra. (And, to be honest, I kind of love the tanga that goes with it.)


But if we're talking about things that men like, I've found that side-tie undies, such as Arianne's Venus thong, are quite popular.


I also think there's something totally alluring about a bodysuit, such as this one by Simone Perele.


And remember the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie and Berger have bad sex, so she buys the sexy shoes? Well, here you go.


I don't have a ton of use for the Booty Fairy anymore, since I'm in a long-term relationship and all, but that doesn't mean I don't like treating myself to some lingerie here and there (although 90% of the time, I wear the same bra, by Chantelle--I have it in nude, white, and black). But for those of you who need to please the Booty Fairy, well, start shopping! To get you started, here's a promo code: VDAY15 for 15% off your order through 2/14. Happy Valentine's Day, and may the Booty Fairy be with you!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fall 2007: Fashion Week in Review
In case you don't feel like reading all of my reviews (and I don't blame you--I tend to be a bit verbose), here's a rundown of Fashion Week: my favorite shows, the trends you'll be wearing next fall, and what I thought about Marc Jacobs.

Number of shows I attended:
19
Number of shows Special Correspondent Leighann attended: 6
Number of shows I missed (mainly due to scheduling conflicts):
5
Number of shows I tried to talk my way into but failed miserably: 1 (Costello Tagliapietra)


My top five favorite shows (in no particular order)
Michon Schur: A tightly focused collection of girly dresses, beautifully cut coats, and fabulous head wraps and gloves.
VPL: Layers upon layers of cool-girl knitwear with a feminist-cum-military bent.
Nanette Lepore: Totally fun looks for real girls; if only they passed out an order form with the run-of-show sheet.
Ports 1961: Chic, wearable clothes with an avant-garde, Icelandic inspiration that, while odd-sounding, worked.
BCBG: Rock star ensembles for the modern-day Stevie Nicks (but without the drug addiction).

My top five favorite shows that I didn't attend (again, in no particular order)

Phi: Call it variations on a theme: lots of layers all paired with the most to-die-for over-the-knee boots I've ever seen.
Proenza Schouler: Awesome super-slouchy pants and great dresses, all inspired by Paul Poiret. Okay, I'm starting to understand the hype.
Derek Lam: The reviews were mixed, but I loved this Alaia- and Leger-inspired collection.
Yigal Azourel: Totally out of left field, but I think I'd wear nearly every look that came down the runway. Yes, including the menswear.
Daryl K: I know I worship at the altar of Daryl K, but her Klute-inspired collection was full of more must-have looks for downtown girls.

My thoughts on Marc Jacobs...
A week later, I'm still digesting the collection. At first I loved it, then I hated it, and now I'm somewhere in the middle. Yes, it was gorgeous, but it just wasn't the Marc Jacobs we all know and love; really, it was more like Yves Saint Laurent circa 1974. That said, Marc Jacobs is the New York collection that people pay the most attention to, and he has unmeasurable influence on fashion. Everyone seems to be thinking that we're moving away from pretty toward a more streamlined, somber silhouette, so it will be interested to see what happens in Milan and Paris.

Top five fall trends
Metallics: At this point, metallics are, well, the new black. In other words, they're pretty much here to stay. So shine on, you crazy diamonds.


Russian (a.k.a. fur): Fur hats, fur coats, fur trim, fur boots, fur muffs...you get the picture.


Paul Poiret
: Drop waists, Art Deco, cocoon coats, and cloche hats--think 1920s flapper by way of the Costume Institute's spring exhibition subject.


Purple
: Jewel tones were all over the runways, but only one was everywhere. It's the color of royalty for a reason, girls.


Wide-Leg Pants
: Eat as many carbs as you want, because for fall, it's all about being a big slouch.
The week in shopping
It's my favorite time of year: The Barneys New York Warehouse Sale starts Thursday! Yippee! 2/15-3/4; 10-9 weekdays, 10-7 weekends (open 8-9 2/15-2/16); 255 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Uber-trendy West Village boutique Mick Margo has Isabel Marant, Rachel Roy, and cult-fave labels for up to 75% off. Through 2/15; noon-7; 19 Commerce St., (just west of Seventh Ave.).

Fight off the fashionistas at Showroom Seven's sample sale for Erickson Beamon, Issa, and other trendy stuff. Through 2/16; 10-7; 498 Seventh Ave. (at 37th St.), 24th fl.

Score fall shoes from Marni, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chloé for 65% off at Upper East Side shoe wonderland Chuckies New York. 2/13-2/28; 1073 3d Ave. (at 63rd St.), and 1169 Madison Ave. (at 86th St.).

Hit the Wink warehouse sale for Twinkle by Wenlan, Felix Rey, and Rachel Pally for 80% off; 10% of sales benefit the P.S. 234 PTA. 2/15-2/17; 10-7, 10-4 Sat.; 401 Washington St. (at Laight St.), 3rd fl.

Fun vintage stuff is up to 40% off at Marmalade. Through 2/14; noon-9; 172 Ludlow St. (at Stanton St.).

Project Runway's own Emmett McCarthy is taking 50%-75% off womenswear at his store, EMC2. 2/14-2/19; 10-8, noon-7 Sun.; 240 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Morgane Le Fay's Goth-y dresses are up to 80% off. 2/14-2/18; 11-7; 60 W. Broadway, (at Prince St.).

Hit Broadway Panhandler's new 8th Street location for fan-cee cookwear (think All-Clad and Le Crueset) for up to 60% off. 2/14-2/25; 11-7, 11-6 Sun.; 65 E. 8th St. (Broadway & Mercer Sts.).

The most posh "drugstore" in Manhattan, Zitomer has fancy kids' stuff for 50%-75% off. Through 2/28; 9-8 weekdays, 9-7 Sat., 10-6 Sun.; 969 Madison Ave. (at 76th St.).

All manner of preppy-chic accessories from A. Tierney are $2-$15. 2/13-2/14; 10-8 Tue., 10-6 Wed.; 29 E. 93rd St., (Fifth & Madison Aves.).

Make a last-ditch cashmere run at Meg Cohen's sale, where everything is 50% off. Through 2/18; 11-7; 59 Thompson St. (at Broome St.).

Treat yourself to a Valentine’s Day gift for up to 50% off at Catherine Angiel. 2/14; noon-7; 43 Greenwich Ave., (at Charles St.).

This week, Clothingline has Kooba Bags, Karoo Mark Eisen sweaters, and a ton of other good stuff. Check website for hours. 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Take 50% off everything in the online store at Laura Dahl when you enter code "valentine" at checkout.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fall 2007: Charles Nolan
My very last show of Fashion Week was Charles Nolan and, as I was standing in line to get in, it was clear that this wasn't going to be any ordinary show. A credenialed redhead came into the standing-room line and started asking us where we were all from. There were several fashion students, so she said, "Hi, I'm Charles' sister" and plucked about eight of them from the line to go inside early, which I thought was very cool and, in the hierarchy that is the fashion industry, rather refreshing. And, in fact, the entire show was a family affair; amidst all the models, male and female, members of Nolan's family--children included--walked the runway. It was a bit cheesy, yes, but it helped to reinforce the "lifestyle" of the brand, as well as the fact that it can be worn by so-called "real people."

The funny part is that the audience actually applauded for the "real people," such as this woman, who I think might be one of Nolan's investors.


I saw jaws unhinged in the front row when this woman came down the runway; I think everyone was shocked by the presence of breasts. The photographers definitely enjoyed them though.


But lest you think the show was all "real people," there were indeed models, and the collection itself was classic American sportswear in the tradition of Bill Blass and Anne Klein. This was one of my favorite looks.


I loved this mod orange-red dress too, although I wouldn't recommend wearing it with purple tights.


There were some great cocoon coats as well, such as this red one--I love the scarf-like tie collar.


And did I mention there were male models in the show too? After seeing women, women, and more women, let me tell you, I was quite glad to see some men. And since the collection was inspired by England, they all looked very prep school. Tasty.


The last seven looks were obviously for evening, and this was one of my favorites--I don't think I've seen a more sparkly dress in my life. (Mini pailettes are what did the trick.)


So, thanks to Charles Nolan to ending my Fashion Week with a refreshing, cheerful, irony-free bang (and a gift bag that included a super-fun huge cocktail ring). It was a blast!