Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In These Shoes: Sigerson Morrison

My love affair with designer shoes began in the summer of 2000, when I walked into the Sigerson Morrison store in Nolita. I walked out with a pair of purple metallic stilettos (which I still own) and a new favorite shoe brand. I've been a loyal Sigerson Morrison customer ever since; I'd say I average a pair a season of shoes from either their namesake line, or from Belle, their lower-priced line. What I love about their shoes is that they're minimal and chic but interesting, and--key when you live in NYC--you can always walk in them. They're not the sexiest in my closet, but they're the ones I find myself turning to again and again, and as noted earlier, they last forever, a quality amplified by the fact that they're not too overtly trendy. But, alas, all good things must come to an end. Sigerson Morrison the brand will live on, but founders Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison are leaving the company [subscription required]. The duo actually sold the company to Marc Fisher Footwear five years ago but has since stayed on as creative directors; according to the above article, they were shown the door on Monday. And according to this article [subscription required], Marc Fisher is looking to revamp the brand, bring in a new creative team, and likely lower price points. I'm going to try to keep an open mind about all of this, but considering how much love I have for Sigerson Morrison, Marc Fisher has some, ahem, big shoes to fill.

The founders' last collection for Sigerson Morrision will be the fall 2011 line, so I'm taking that as an excuse to snap up as many pairs of shoes by them as I can. I'm going to start with these bone white sandals, which you have likely already seen in umpteen fashion magazines this spring. I love the chunky, sturdy heel and the overall mod look--they're the perfect summer sandal, especially if you want something more sophisticated. I promise to love, honor, cherish, and resole them to make them last forever. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recommended Reading: the Sartorialist, Style Rookie & Rick Owens

Comments on The Sartorialist generally tend toward the "Love it" and "Beautiful" vein, but Scott Schuman opened up a big ol' can of body issue worms with this post, in which he described the legs of Italian blogger Angelika as "sturdy but beautiful." After some initial outcry, The Sartorialist backtracked a bit, questioning what is "normal" and defending his use of the word "curvy," both of which are good points. However, what irked me about the post from the beginning was the fact that he felt compelled to comment on her body at all. The vast majority of photos on his blog feature super-thin women; does he ever note how they're "dressed for their shape"? No. Why couldn't he just focus on her clothes, as he does for the rest of his subjects? What's even more upsetting to me is the fact that Angelika is thin--yes, she's more shapely than many of The Sartorialist's regulars, but certainly not deserving of such terms as "sturdy," "bigger," and that cringe-inducing euphemism for chubby, "curvy" (a word that used to be a compliment). Schuman is talented and has a great eye, but, man, he seems like a dick.

Tavi, a.k.a. Style Rookie, has also been getting a bit of attention for this post, in which she finally begins to feel a bit jaded by the fashion industry. I'll let her words do the talking:

Fashion Week is weird. It is very high schooly. Someone will take that and decide that it means Fashion Week highschooliness is getting me down hard without realizing how highschooly what they're doing is. I love fashion but it's disappointing when you have to sift through a lot of junk before you get to, like, the clothes, and the whole point of it all. It's more disappointing when the clothes aren't very interesting. Lately I've been looking to other places for a creative outlet and for inspiration. I miss following magazines and obsessively checking style.com the way I used to but something is different about it now. A year ago I got to go to Paris to interview John Galliano at Dior, and a couple weeks ago today he said he loved Hitler and got fired. Fashion photographs look more posed and the Rayanne Graffs I meet at school more inspiring. I only really miss being obsessed with fashion the way you miss any aspect of a former self, in a nostalgic way, not necessarily as part of a desire to go back.

Tavi is right: Fashion Week--and the fashion industry in general--is very high-schooly. I survive it just as I did high school, by hanging back and observing more than trying to be one of the popular girls. The difference is I want to be there; high school was just a necessary evil. So it is kind of meta to think of Tavi, a high school freshman, in this kind of parallel situation. I think part of why her blog struck such a nerve with the fashion industry was because of its innocence and optimism--reading about her discovery of fashion was kind of like reliving my own, and it reminded me why I love it so much. But we all have to grow up eventually, don't we?

Finally, people often ask me who is my favorite designer; I generally respond that I don't have one, but if I were forced to wear just one for the rest of my life (and had an unlimited budget), it would be Rick Owens. His clothes are seasonless and trendless; he has a basic vocabulary that he expands on and pushes to new boundaries with each collection. Not to mention, his clothes are just cool. So I highly recommend this profile of him in the UK's Independent; it's truly inspirational.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sample Sale of the Week: Fashion Girls for Japan

Longtime Cheryl Shops readers know how I feel about sample sales where you have to pay to get in. (Hint: I don't even list them.) However, I make an exception when the admission fee goes to charity, which is why Fashion Girls for Japan is this week's featured sale. Organized by a handful of fashion insiders with strong ties to Japan, the sale features more than 60 designers--from heavy hitters like Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang to indie darlings like Suno and Obesity and Speed, not to mention top names like Thakoon and Altuzarra--and 100% of the proceeds benefit Japan disaster relief efforts. Admission is just $5, and you can even buy a ticket in advance (or at the door). There will be DJs (these are Fashion Girls, after all); no word on the discounts, but the designer list is enticing enough. 4/2-4/3; 11-7 Sat., 11-5 Sun.; Bowery Terrace at Bowery Hotel, 355 Bowery (at 3rd St.).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Buy It: Gwyneth Paltrow-inspired feather earrings

As I have alluded to in the past, I am a card-carrying Gwyneth Paltrow lover. I thoroughly enjoyed her performance of "Forget You" with Cee-Lo Green (and assorted Muppets) last month at the Grammys, and ever since, I've pretty much been obsessed with the hot-pink feather earrings she wore (pictured at left). They're by Wilfredo Rosado and, in addition to the pink feathers, contain white gold, diamonds, and pink tourmaline, which, by all assumptions, puts them way out of my price range. I've seen a few blog posts on how to make a similar pair, but knitting is about the extent of my craftiness, and, well, I'm lazy. So I was incredibly happy to find these Zoe & Sage feather earrings today on Shock Boutique. The look is a bit different--the feathers are a mixture of black and pink, giving them a darker, more muted look, and the shape is longer and wilder--but the effect is the same: they're exotic and sexy, and look even more so peeking out from long hair. The earrings are $52, which is pretty reasonable, and they're handmade in Los Angeles, which is nice to see. And if pink is not quite your shade (or if you don't want to so obviously copy Gwynnie), they come in green, white, and a bunch of other colors. But as for Gwyneth's skintight black Stella McCartney catsuit, I think I'll leave that one to her.

TheFind Guest Post: Rodarte for Opening Ceremony Is a Match Made in Collaboration Heaven!



Rodarte always seems to have a knack for mixing textiles, prints, and styles in a way that's effortlessly cool and slightly undone-chic... and their collaboration with Opening Ceremony is no exception! The Spring/Summer Rodarte x Opening Ceremony collection features a slew of slouchy cardigans, cropped vests and jackets, leather and lace, and fringed pieces... most of which are layered together in a way that perhaps only the models can pull off, but it sure looks darn cool! Aside from all the layered prints and textures, the collection always features some covetable spring booties (love those heeled oxfords!) and sandals, as well as some retro-chic sunglasses and kitschy accessories like tattoo tights and envelope bags. While I don't normally go for the purposely-clashing layered look, I still love the way the collection boasts a carefree edge that manages to be both soft and romantic and tough-girl-chic at the same time. The collection has everything you need to stay stylish this spring without freezing your tush off (it's not quite summer yet, people!), as long as you have $750 to spare on a new pair of western booties!

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MasstigeWatch: Pamela Love for Topshop, Linea Pelle for Target & Rachel Antonoff for Bass

Pamela Love, downtown darling extraordinaire, makes very raw, organic-looking, and often tribal-inspired jewelry that's just this side of scary. I, for one, am a big fan, and so I am totally looking forward to her upcoming collaboration with Topshop. Apparently there are pictures in the April issue of Vogue; no word on prices, but the five-part collection will reportedly have a Native American inspiration--something that normally would give me pause, but in Love's hands will undoubtedly be cool--romantic, bohemian, and perfect for summer. The line hits stores sometime next month, exact date TBD.


For a more immediate accessory fix, Linea Pelle created a line for Target, called LPLP Linea Pelle. Prices range from $14.99 for wallets to $34.99 for more intricately detailed hobos, and considering Target's buy one get one 50% off offer, you can pretty much treat yourself to one (or more) of each style. My favorite, however, is this bright blue crossbody bag. It should be noted, of course, that none of these styles are leather, but considering they're a fraction of what Linea Pelle bags normally cost, one can't really complain.

Also available now is Rachel Antonoff's collection for Bass. It's heavy on saddle shoes and penny loafers, which are styles I am, shall we say, a bit too world-weary to pull off, but if you are in your 20s, I say go for it. I think the high-heeled saddle shoes (pictured at right) are actually quite adorable and the prices for everything ($99-$129) are reasonable.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sample Sales of the Week: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Hermes, David Yurman, Dannijo, United Bamboo & more

There are so many awesome sample sales this week, I had to list them all. So, without further ado...

Normally if there is a disaster or a cause, I would encourage you to donate money directly to the charity, rather than shop for something that benefits. However, this is more of a situation where you'd be going to it anyway, and it just so happens to have a charitable benefit. I'm talking about the 2-day 3.1 Phillip Lim sample sale, where RTW, men's, and kids' samples and production stock will be at below-wholesale prices, and proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross's Japan relief efforts. 3/24-3/25; 10-6; 260 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 17th fl.

Also benefiting Japan: United Bamboo, where clothing for men, women, and cats (yes cats), plus shoes and bags are up to 90% off, with 100% of proceeds going toward tsunami relief in Japan. 3/22-3/23; 11-8; 217 Centre St. (Grand & Howard Sts.), 6th fl.


 Expect long lines and lots of cranky rich people at the Hermes sample sale, where bags, scarves, ties, jewelry, and various leather goods are up to 70% off. As usual at Soffier Haskin, bring credit cards and leave the strollers and children under 12 at home. 3/23-3/27; 9-9, 9-8 Th, 1-5 Sun; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

David Yurman's jewelry rarely goes on sale, so scoop it up at this sample sale, also featuring watches and eyewear. 3/24-3/27; 3-8 Th, 10-7 F-Sat, 11-5 Sun.; Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

In case you missed any of Dannijo's prior sample sales, you've got another choice to score their downtowny jewelry at just $10 and up. 3/22; 10-7:30; 423 W. 14th St. (at Washington St.).

Finally, if, like me, you're of the mind that one cannot own too many bikinis, hit the Sirene Collection first-annual sample sale this weekend, where swimwear by coveted lines like Zimmerman and Mara Hoffman is up to 85% off. 3/25-3/26; noon-7 F, noon-5 S; 250 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 507.

Friday, March 18, 2011

In These Shoes: Sole Society

One of the most interesting things to me, as a fashion blogger, is seeing new ways of shopping online. A few years ago, private sample-sale websites like Gilt Groupe and Hautelook were all the rage--and they continue to be, although the number of copycat sites has pretty much leveled off. Then came rental services like Rent the Runway, otherwise known as Netflix for dresses. The latest trend is for sites that offer you items on a monthly subscription basis: accessories at Send the Trend, jewelry at Jewelmint, and now shoes at Sole Society (which, coincidentally, is owned by Hautelook). All of these sites have you take a quiz to determine your personal style--it usually involves selecting a series of images--and then generate a personalized selection of products based on your answers. If you see something you like, it's a flat fee, although you can buy as many items as you want (all for the same price). Items are generally available in limited quantities, but the selection refreshes every month. So if you have a particular accessory addiction, these sites can either be very convenient or a lot of trouble--in a good way, of course.

Which brings me to Sole Society. As loyal Cheryl Shops readers know, I love shoes like most people love air or food or water, so the thought of having a personalized selection from which to choose every month sounds just like heaven. I got to preview the current and upcoming collections this week, and I can say the shoes are very on-trend as well as suitable for a range of styles--that's where that style quiz comes in handy. The shoes are all made by Marco Santi (which, a little birdie told me, is manufactured by Vince Camuto, the same fellow responsible for the Jessica Simpson Collection),  exclusively for Sole Society, although new vendors might be added in the future. What I like is that the shoes are mostly leather (although there are some fabric styles as well) and really quite stylish. And while I love fancy shoes, I also love a good bargain: Every pair of shoes on Sole Society is just $49.95, which is amazing when you consider how detailed and well-made they are.

One little caveat: Once you buy your first pair, you opt in for membership. You'll get an email on the first of every month detailing your new shoe selection, and you can either choose to buy a pair or skip the month (you can skip as many months as you want). If you don't respond by the 5th of the month, you'll be automatically billed $49.95, otherwise known as the membership fee. But even if you don't want one of that month's pairs of shoes, your credit is good for up to 12 months (and you can only be charged for three months' worth of credits). Based on what I saw, I would probably want to buy a pair every month, but if you are an epic email-deleter, be aware (or set a Google calender alert).

Even if you don't buy a pair of shoes every month, there's a bunch of fun content on the site--the trends page shows you what to wear with particular shoe trends, and Sole Society also enlists the advice of fashion insiders to provide fit tips, styling suggestions, and other editorial-type content. It's all in the spirit of fostering community—after all it's a Society, not just an e-commerce site. Speaking of which, don't forget to invite your friends: for every three who purchase a pair of shoes, you get a free pair. And if there's anything better than getting a new pair of shoes every month, it's getting that pair for free!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New shopping news! Shopbop Wedding Boutique

When I first got engaged last year, I thought, I'm not spending a lot of money on my wedding dress--I'll only be wearing it for a few hours. After several rounds of hearing, "OMG, Cheryl, you're going to have the most amazing wedding dress ever," however, the pressure was on--I guess being a fashion blogger does raise expectations. My next thought was to get a designer evening gown in white--not a bridal gown per se, but something unique. I soon gave up on this for several reasons: One, designer evening gowns (I was looking at Lanvin, J Mendel, and Donna Karan, among others) are often more expensive than bridal dresses. Two, tracking one down requires a lot of work--I probably went to five or six stores before realizing it was an effort in futility. Finally, I actually fell in love with a gown in the bridal salon at Saks Fifth Avenue; I was entirely surprised by this, as was my wallet, but as the saying goes, the heart wants what it wants.

For brides-to-be with more willpower, shopbop.com has introduced a Wedding Boutique, featuring everything from traditional (and non-traditional) wedding dresses to accessories and honeymoon clothes. Lots of stores, from Net-a-Porter to Nordstrom, have recently introduced similar mini-shops, but it's the wedding dresses that really set Shopbop apart. You'll find chic alternatives to the traditional dress by top designers like Thakoon, Temperley London, and Halston Heritage, as well as shorter versions by Ports 1961, Doo-Ri, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Most are white or ivory, but there are light pink and dove gray options as well. Almost all of the dresses are under $1500 (most are under $1000), which considering what traditional gowns cost, is really reasonable, especially for such in-demand designers. There's also a great bridesmaid section, and while we've all heard "You can totally wear this again," I think that old chestnut could actually apply to the styles here (most are in the $200-$400 range). I also recommend checking out the accessories section, stocked with lots of sparkly headbands (the cool-girl alternative to veils) and jewelry from the likes of Tom Binns and Dannijo. If you need help with any of the above, you can contact a wedding specialist during regular business hours, and like the rest of Shopbop, you can "heart" your favorite items and save them in a special bridal section. It's all basically a bride-oriented version of regular Shopbop, but in these high-stress times (and believe me, planning a wedding is stressful), shopping a familiar site is kind of like shopping with your maid of honor: nobody knows you better than she does.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sample Sale of the Week: Lauren Merkin

In a world where designers resort to all sorts of bells and whistles to make their handbags stand out, Lauren Merkin's understated, elegant bags are like a breath of fresh air. With streamlined but chic shapes, she puts the focus on the materials (often exotics like snakeskin-patterned leather), and in their simplicity, her purses complement, rather than overwhelm, your outfit. At her spring sample sale, you can score handbags, clutches (which are her strongest, in my opinion), and accessories for up to 70% off. Small leather goods start at just $15, and popular shapes like the Louise, Astrid, Diana, and Tess range from $95-$150. Plus, like Lauren Merkin on Facebook for updates as the sale progresses. 3/15-3/20; 11-7 through Saturday, 11-4 Sunday; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves), ste. 201.

TheFind Guest Post: Wave Prints Are Taking Spring by Storm!



Horizontal stripes were back in a big way this past winter, and now, just in time for Spring Break, this season's tops, skirts, and dresses are welcoming a beachy-inspired take on stripes with funky wave prints! Wavy stripes are somewhat nautical-inspired in a cool literal way that's a bit more chic than "sailor," and you can't help but daydream of warm sands, breezy beach weather, and beautiful spring days out on your yacht (real or imaginary)! This Tracy Reese Waves and Orchids silk dress is a gorgeous, romantic take on the wave trend -- not only with the print but with its silky layers to boot -- while this fitted Diane von Furstenberg Cyrani Dress puts a quirkier spin on the print that's undeniably cool in its whimsy. No caftan is as seaside-festive as this sheer, shimmery wave caftan by Evil Twin, which can also be worn over a tank as a tunic top, but if you're just looking for a wavy take on a casual tee, this Tory Burch wavy tunic is definitely a seasonal step up with its beach-inspired stripes!

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lazy shopping: what I want right now

In my last lazy shopping post, I noted that winter clothes had started to disgust me, but that I wasn't yet sick of my own clothes. But now that time has come. Every night when I pick out the next day's outfit (yes, I'm one of those night-before people), I open my closet to thick, fuzzy sweaters, dark wool dresses, and tired ankle boots--I am so over all of it. Why, oh, why is it not spring yet? I want color and lightweight fabrics and bare legs and sandals. I'll even settle for a lightweight jacket. So while I continue to soldier on with my Wolford tights and sweater dresses, I'm already plotting what to buy for spring, and let me tell you, it can't come quickly enough. Here's what I'm dreaming of wearing.


Clockwise from top left:

I saw this T by Alexander Wang Gauze Back Cardigan ($170) at Barneys last weekend, and I have a feeling it's going to be my go-to layering piece for spring. Plus, when the weather gets really hot, it has built-in air-conditioning, thanks to the gauze inset in back.

After hearing about it back in December, I finally tried  Dior Addict Lip Glow ($29) today, and I can report it gives your lips a perfectly natural, just-been-kissed shade of pink. Perfect for spring, when you don't want to overdo it with heavy makeup.

I saw these Belle by Sigerson Morrison T-Strap Sandals ($265) today at Bloomingdale's, and they are going to be a must-buy for me. The heel is nice and sturdy (and not too high), but what they lack in height, they make up for in the leg-elongating nude T-strap.

I am completely obsessed with this 3 1 Phillip Lim tote ($725)--the shape is absolutely perfect, and it's big enough to carry all the essentials. And while I somehow now live in a world where I think $725 is a semi-reasonable price for a handbag, well, it could be worse.

I've been stalking this Diane Von Furstenberg Egg-Zactly Dress in River Leopard ($345) for awhile, and I finally saw it in person today (can you tell I have spring shopping fever?). I can report that it's even better in real life--so much so that I might have to pay full retail for it (gasp!).

This outfit has so much awesomeness in it that when it comes to jewelry, I think it needs just one fabulous statement piece, like a Dannijo Buckle bracelet ($270).

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Object of Desire: Soffer Ari Bullet Necklace

As loyal Cheryl Shops readers know, I love shoes. Little-known fact: second only to my love of shoes is my love of jewelry, however I don't write about it as frequently for two reasons. One is that I have pretty particular taste, and two is that I have pretty expensive taste, and, after all, this blog is called Cheryl Shops, not Cheryl Covets. However, every once in awhile, I feel compelled to write about something extraordinary, and that brings me to Soffer Ari. Back during Fashion Week, I went to a fine jewelry showroom where, among other designers, I was introduced to his work. Ari started making leather pants for the Sunset Strip's rock stars back in 1995, and his business eventually grew to include leather, sterling silver, and diamond jewelry--you know, the various rock star accouterments. If there's one thing I have a weakness for jewelry-wise, it's that dark, chunky, Gothic, rocker look, and that's exactly the kind of jewelry Ari makes. On his website or at his L.A. store, you can find Maltese-cross cufflinks or earrings for under $200, but the most eye-catching stuff is on the higher end--a decadent mix of luxury and debauchery. My absolute favorite piece in the collection is the diamond-tipped bullet pendant, which hints at something truly scandalous and rock-and-roll but is, I am assured, nonfunctional. It carries a true rock star endorsement--Guns N' Roses' very own Slash (yes, Slash!) has one, as pictured here. It comes in two sizes, as well as in a diamond-less version, but I think the black diamond is the most striking. Of course, it might take a headlining gig (or several) to afford it, but what's more rock-and-roll than splurging on something supercool?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Buy it: Converse One Star

Within the last year or so, being a fashion blogger has become a hot commodity, so much that designers, beauty companies, and a host of other entities now hold special events just for bloggers. After years of toiling in anonymity, I must say, it's pretty nice to be wined, dined, and swagged. Of all the events that I attend, however, my favorite tend to involve getting the chance to style looks. It's like playing dress-up in someone else's closet, and my ego likes taking a fashion brand's wares and putting my own stamp on it. So of course I jumped at the chance to assemble a few looks from Converse One Star's spring 2011 collection last week. As you may or may not know, Converse One Star is sold exclusively at Target, and has a ton of casual, urban-cool basics that are perfect for the weekend. Below are the looks I created (and, yes, they had me pose with them, so while I'm normally not a post-pictures-of-myself blogger, well, here I am); the best part is that you can shop them right now on Target.com.

Look 1: Kristen Stewart runs errands
Don't laugh, but I saw this trench coat and thought of Kristen Stewart in various paparazzi photos, where she looks boyish but cute, like she's borrowing Robert Pattinson's clothes. I wanted to contrast the tailored but low-key look of the trench coat with slouchier sweatpants. As a nod to the Forks, Washington weather, I layered the look with a lace-trim tank underneath a button-down. I also added a fashion-y wide belt on top of the trench, because adding a random belt instantly gives you a fashiony look, and it prevents everything from looking too relaxed.

Isla Trench Coat, $49.99
3/4 Sleeve Sport Shirt, $22.99
Lace Trim Tank, $12.99
Leisure Cropped Pant, $22.99
Accessories unavailable online.


Look 2: Rick Owens lite
This photograph does not do this jacket justice (It also doesn't do me justice, but let's ignore that for now)--it's super-soft, super-lightweight, and it looks way more expensive than it is. It has that biker-lite vibe that's been happening for a few seasons now, so I decided to take a cue from Rick Owens and layer it with two tank tops and a drapey jersey vest (also a great piece, but sadly not yet available online). The skinny jeans have motocross-inspired stitching details, continuing the vaguely outlaw-ish vibe. I finished with a big shoulder bag and several strands of snake-like silver necklaces to dress it up a little. Again, this is a pretty casual look, but it's my favorite of the three.



Roxie Jacket, $34.99
Lace Trim Tank Tops, $12.99 each
Skinny Jeans, Dark Wash, $29.99
Vest and accessories unavailable online.

Look 3: mixing it up
I decided to get a little crazy on my third and final look (as evidenced by my pensive expression here), so I pulled one of my favorite tricks, which is mixing patterns. This is actually a peasant top over a dress, and I added a belt to create a waist. For some reason, I feel like mixing patterns is easier with warm-weather clothes; the key is to 1) pair a larger-scale pattern with a smaller one, and 2) to keep it all in the same color family. I think you could wear this to work, but it would also be a cute weekend brunch outfit. I'll have eggs benedict and a bellini.

Plaid Miriam Top, $24.99
Dress and accessories unavailable online.





FTC disclosure: I was compensated for my mad styling skillz with a Target gift card, although I had so much fun, I would've done it for free.

Sample Sale of the Week: Creatures of Comfort

Considering how perfectly Creatures of Comfort nails the supercool downtown aesthetic, it's somewhat ironic that the store is a West Coast import (the original is on Melrose in L.A.). And since the store opened here last fall, it has yet to have a sale...until now, that is. This weekend, it's taking up to 90% off its stable of designers like Acne, Tsumori Chisato, and Isabel Marant, and you can expect every hipster fashionista below 14th Street to show up. Be nice to that girl who accidentally tries to walk off with your No. 6 clogs. 3/11-3/13; hours TBD; 435 Broome St. (Crosby & Broadway). 

TheFind Guest Post: Cara Accessories 'Critters' Cocktail Rings Are Creepy Crawly Chic!



April showers bring May flowers... and you know what Spring also brings? Bugs! But it's hard to hate the season's creepy critters when they're brilliantly colored and beautifully bejeweled, and quite honestly, make for some pretty fierce accessorizing! From birds and bees to fish and even reptiles, Cara Accessories new 'Critters' collection of oversized crystal cocktail rings takes the most unglamorous parts of nature and spring and makes them gorgeous instead of gruesome with rainbow-colored crystals and gold plating. Ranging from $38-68 (available at Nordstrom), you may not be able to collect them all (unless you really want to), but they're certainly a cute, affordable little addition to your spring jewelry collection! The first step is choosing your favorite, then deciding if you actually want to show up at a party rockin' a fish on your finger (but that's just me).

What do you make of these critter-shaped cocktail rings? Are they festive and whimsical or do they just give you the heebie-jeebies?

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

MasstigeWatch: Target Go International Designer Collective, Derek Lam for eBay & more

So much has happened in the world of masstige since my last update! This is going to be a long post, so let's jump right in.

Target has released images of all the Go International Designer Collective dresses (otherwise known as Go International greatest hits) due to hit stores March 13th. Racked National posted the entire lookbook for all 34 dresses, so you can make a plan of attack. Going through it was a fun trip down memory lane for me; I will definitely be ordering the Thakoon dress at right (I already have the batik-print one that's also part of the collection) and the Rogan leopard-print dress--those were two of my absolute favorite collections ever, and who doesn't love a second chance in life? And even better, all dresses will retail for $50 or less!

And speaking of Target, their spring collaboration with Dolce Vita is already live--there are 20 or so styles (some are left over from winter and are on clearance), many of which are very similar to DV's main line. I have my eye on this nude wedge espadrille ($29.99!).

Forever 21 has also gone masstige-crazy recently; a Rollergirl-themed Petro Zillia collection debuted last month, and as of today, Rory Beca's collection is live on their website. Both lines are reportedly available in all 250 Forever 21 stores, but as you know, finding something specific at that store is, to paraphrase Clueless, like searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. Regardless, I find the Rory Beca line to be more on the wearable side; I might just order this romper--not bad for $28.

Also available now, but of a slightly elevated masstige level is Steven Alan's collaboration with Dockers. There are three pants and a skirt for women, and three pants styles, one short, and one shirt for men; prices range from $128-$148--higher than usual for Dockers, but much lower than Steven Alan's usual prices. Everything is pretty basic but sure to please Steven Alan's many devotees.

If you missed out on voting for the upcoming crowd-sourced Derek Lam for eBay collection during Fashion Week, here are the 5 looks that will be produced. Prices range from $175 for the black sheath (one of my favorites) to $295 for the floral-print maxi dress (my other favorite), all styles come in sizes 0-16, and all will be available for purchase staring May 10.

Finally, apparently Vena Cava let slip at a Fashionista-sponsored panel that they're collaborating with Uniqlo. No details are available yet, but based on Vena Cava's numerous past collabs (Gap, Bloomingdale's, Via Spiga) and Uniqlo's, I have a feeling it will be pretty awesome. Of course, I will provide more information when I have it, so check back soon!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

In These Shoes: Valentino Rockstud Pumps

At Fashion Week, there's the hierarchy based on seating, and then there's the hierarchy based on shoes. You can spot the journalists right away: They're in flats, the better to dart out of shows as quickly as possible. Socialites who are there to attend just one show are usually in flashy, sky-high Louboutins. Bloggers tend to wear super-clunky platforms--trendy but comfortable. Fashion editors, however, still the crème de la crème of Fashion Week, get to wear the most daring, impractical shoes because they all have drivers for the week and thus the only time they actually spend on their feet is the brief dash from the car straight to their front-row seats. The pair that I spotted the most frequently--or at least the one that inspired the most frequent shoe lust--was Valentino's Rockstud pumps, a style that's been around for a few seasons now, but that Valentino keeps bringing back for more--understandably so. They come in black and nude, but the nude is by far the sexier style, and the more extravagant for winter too, because they beg to be worn with bare legs, truly driving home the point that the wearer, well, has a driver (as in being so rich, one doesn't have to deal with the weather). The 2-1/2-inch stiletto heel almost seems practical when compared with the behemoth platforms of recent seasons, but the pointy toe ruins any delusions of comfort. And then, of course, there are the cage-like straps meant to grace only the thinnest of ankles (no cankles here) and adorned with edgy yet luxurious gold pyramid studs--they're designed for women who wear camel cashmere sweaters...with racy La Perla lingerie underneath. I like this sexy new side to Valentino, a label that often skews too coquettish for me; I'm glad to see creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli are modernizing the brand a bit. And while one might argue that true modernity would come from wearability, I'd argue that it's all about desirability. And if these shoes don't inspire desire, I don't know what will.

Oscar fashion: the best, the worst, the meh

Add me to the list of cranky-pants fashion critics who think the Oscars red carpet was as boring as ever last night. So few standouts, so few risk takers, so many ill-fitting strapless dresses. While this year's attendees deserve some props for being on trend (red, nude), only a few gowns made me put down my glass of rosé and Tweet words of praise (or vitrol). And so, here are the good, the bad, and the otherwise noteworthy.

Best Dress
Hands down, my favorite dress was Gwyneth Paltrow's Calvin Klein. It fit her like a glove, it was sparkly and glamorous yet interesting (a nod to the minimalism trend for spring), and to put it simply, she looked damn hot. Granted, I am a flag-waving GOOPer (yes, please, tell me more about your organic diaper delivery service and vegan juice cleanses, Gwynnie), but she nailed it.




Honorable Mention
Year after year, I complain about actresses not taking any risks, but I have to hand it to Cate Blanchett, in Givenchy Haute Couture. This dress was another crowd-divider, and, okay, maybe the front cutout was a bit odd, but this was by far the most interesting dress on the red carpet, and that's good enough for me.

Most Age Appropriate
When you are a woman d'un certain age, you want a dress with sleeves. Trust me. Kathryn Bigelow's YSL has them, but it also has mega-sexy cutouts at the shoulder (the one part of a woman's body that never ages/sags/gets fat) and a daring yet tasteful slit. She looked warm and comfortable and, most importantly, hot.

Best Hair
I'm going to refrain from commenting on Scarlett Johansson's Dolce & Gabbana dress and instead focus on her hair. I don't know who her mystery date was, but based on the sexy, disheveled look of her bob, I have an idea of what they were doing in the limo on the way over. Or at least her hair was meant to look like it. Regardless, win.
Best Dressed Man
I admit, I was pulling for Jesse Eisenberg to win best actor--having seen him in Roger Dodger nearly 10 years ago, I was glad to see his angsty-geek act reach its pinnacle in The Social Network. And while winner Colin Firth wore Tom Ford, Eisenberg played to his generation with a tux by Band of Outsiders. Slim young dudes with money to spend, take note: this is one good-looking suit (shaggy hipster hair optional).

Baywatch Award
Jennifer Lawrence is young and talented and looks like she actually eats on occasion-- all good things. She also has a smart stylist: Claire Danes and Emma Stone earned props for their brightly colored minimalist Calvin Klein gowns at the Golden Globes, so putting her in this bold red Calvin probably seemed like a no-brainer. Except for one thing: I saw this and instantly thought Baywatch. All that's missing is a buoy.

Dishonorable Mention
I wondered on Twitter whether any actresses would wear Dior, in light of the recent John Galliano situation; it turns out both Nicole Kidman and Sharon Stone, longtime Dior loyalists, did. Knowing how talented Galliano is, my inner optimist wanted his designs to triumph over his personal problems. Sadly, neither of these gowns are going to help his case.


Worst Dress
She may have dropped an F-bomb during her acceptance speech, but Melissa Leo's Marc Bouwer dress offended me even more. I have no idea what the intent was--vintage? futuristic?--but the execution was stiff, outdated, and just plain weird, kind of like if Liberace put a doily on top of a gold sequined tablecloth. Just yuck.