Thursday, August 30, 2007

Barneys Warehouse Sale? Underrated, In My Opinion

I've always avoided the infamous Barneys Warehouse sale. Twice per year, the luxury retailer rents out a space in Chelsea and drastically marks down goods from previous seasons. I've been told horror stories about this event:

1. Everything is about five seasons old, and picked-over.
2. The mark-downs aren't that incredible.
3. It's a cat-fight until the end.

I took a look-see on my way to the gym last night in order to find out what the fuss was all about. It's the end of the sale, which lasts two weeks, so I just assumed I would be starring at thousands of pairs those god-awful gingham Louboutin espadrilles every high-end retailer is trying to pawn off to their sale-seeking customers.

Untrue! Sure, I did see a couple pairs of those Louboutins, but I also found some printed Marni tshirts, a gorgeous dress from Brian Reyes and a Balenciaga blouse that I had salivated over when I first saw it on the shopping pages of Elle. I went with the blouse, which was marked down from $520 to $70.

If you're in NY this weekend, catch the sale on its final days. You might find your very own Balenciaga diamond in the rough.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pretty Petit

I'm trying my best to post original ideas and finds on this little blog, but I just have to mention Daily Candy's feature on Petit Bateau's new line of undies.

I am a HUGE fan of the brand's stripey shirts, so these delicate vests and knickers (the words tank tops and underwear are just too coarse to describe the line) have quickly won my heart.

The bra tops are cute, too, with tiny flowers embroidered in pink, white and blue. Like the Duet bras, these are for smaller chests, but I don't want to leave my bosomy friends out. If you wear a C+ and endorse a particular bra, let me know what it's called, where to find it, and I'll happily feature it.

Pleasing Pumpkin

Yesterday, I popped into to my local Starbucks and was pleasantly surprised to find that my favorite flavor, Pumpkin Spice, is back on the menu.

Later on in the day, a sample of Desert Essence Organics Pumpkin hand cream arrived on my desk.

My friend Marisa is also salivating over J.Crew's wool herringbone Bella jacket in Heathered Coral (OK, not quite pumpkin, but pretty close).

Mmm. I just love this flavor, color and scent. Next addition to my personal pumpkin patch? Trader Joe's pumpkin spice granola. And I wouldn't mind some J.Crew cashmere -- in pumpkin -- as well.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'll Take A Manhattan

I'm looking forward to September for many aforementioned reasons: cooler weather, clever clothing and of course, the autumn party season.

I'm also excited to have a hot toddy at the National Arts Club in Grammercy Park, which reopens from summer holiday September 5. Although its much like an old gentleman's club in ambiance, the NAC has been open to women since its incarnation.

I receive dining and bar privileges at the NAC because of my membership to the Newswomens Club of New York, which is also located in the historic Tilden Mansion. And lucky I am -- membership to the NAC is over 2 grand per year -- a bit beyond my limited budget.

Although you must be a member to dine at the club, many of their year-round talks and events are open to the public.

Friday, August 24, 2007


On Tuesday I went to a screening of the new Billy Crudup/Mandy Moore movie Dedication, directed by actor Justin Theroux, who played Brenda's fiancé during a season of Six Feet Under. It's out in New York and Los Angeles this weekend.

What can I say? Crudup is, as always, brilliant. He's totally nuts, totally angry, totally mean and very, very sexy as a children's book author with an unfortunate past and bleak future. Moore plays an illustrator with typical, quarter-life crisis issues. I'll admit it, I'm a huge Mandy Moore fan, but I recognize her limitations. She nearly holds her own against Crudup, which is a huge compliment.

Script? Well written. Cinematography? A little too forced for me -- lots of annoying, Michel Gondry-but-without-the-talent dream sequences and quick cuts -- but there are some great shots of the Williamsburg bridge. Soundtrack? I'll sit out on the Joanna Newsom, but the overall, it was quite good.

The story itself is not indie as the rest of the film might hope to be -- it's a mainstream romantic comedy, with a predictable ending. But I enjoyed it. There were moments that genuinely reminded me of my own life, and that's rare.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fashion Week: It's like Christmas! (More Booze, Less Presents)

I am whole-heartedly excited about Fashion Week this year. Per usual, I'm only attending a few shows, but my spare schedule consists of some key events, including the 3.1 Philip Lim show, Alexander Wang after party, Tim Hamilton presentation and the Gen Art Fresh Faces event, which I love covering.

At my day job, we're putting together our Fashion Week package, and I must say, it was truly a pleasure to interview designers this season.

Normally, the interview process is incredibly tiresome, simply because most designers have a vocabulary consisting of four phrases:

"It was all very organic."

"This year, I feel fashion is heading in a completely new direction."

"I was inspired by the 19__s."

and last but not least,


Not so with the smart group of creatives I worked with in preparation for my Spring 2008 stories. Katy Rodriguez, co-owner of Resurrection and designer of an eponymous fashion line (pictured right), chatted with me about showing outside of the tents, and why it's often a much better experience for the viewer, minus convenience factor.

I have to admit, I like going to the tents because it makes me feel like I'm in it, but they're lackluster. Presentations in the Meatpacking District and places like the Grand Ballroom in the Manhattan Center are more interesting, adding a bit of color to the show's story.

However, I'm not a fashion editor who must attend as many shows as humanly possible. If I was, I'd never want to leave the ease of Bryant Park, simply because I'm inherently lazy. Too bad they'll have to this year, with big names like Marc Jacobs showing elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stunning Revelation: I'm a Geek

Those of you who survey this blog -- and do not know me personally -- might be surprised to read that I'm a huge geek. Well, maybe you're not so surprised, but anyways, here's where this is going...

I never got into blog-reading until about three months ago when I signed up for Google Reader, an RSS reader. What is an RSS reader, pray tell? Essentially, it pulls the newest info from your favorite blogs, Web sites, etc. and lays it out on one easy-to-read page. If you want more info, you can click on the post's title and head back to the site of origin.

Google Reader not only keeps me up-to-date on fashion news, design trends and content my pridefully geeky blogger bf is working on, it also informs me of stuff that's actually important, like world wars and natural disasters. Lovely.

That's my tip for the day. I'll post something a little more entertaining later on this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Because Most Handbags Cost More Than Routine Dental Work...

Two friends made the same comment to me today: why does pair of shoes -- priced at $500 three years ago -- currently sell for $1,000, and a handbag -- once marked at $900 -- boast a price tag that reads $1900?

One of the glossies (I believe Vogue) ran an excellent article on the skyrocketing cost of high fashion in last September's issue, so I won't go into incredible detail. To sum it up, you -- and my friends -- are not imagining things. Prices are climbing and our paychecks aren't climbing with them.

Fortunately, there are designers like 3.1 Phillip Lim and Nili Lotan to keep us clothed -- even if it's only at sample sale time -- but when it comes to bags, there are very few I truly love that ring in at less than $1,000.

Enter Coach. Anyone that knows me is aware of my disdain for monograms, so suffice it to say Coach hasn't been one of my go-to lines this past decade.

But Creative Director Reed Krakoff, genius that he is, has changed that, re-introducing the Bonnie Cashin classics that made the brand so famous in the 1960s and '70s. I've been searching for a navy blue envelope bag for fall and this City Bag, originally released in the 1980s, is essentially perfect. At $278, it's affordable, too.

Let's put it this way: I'm a changed woman. Despite those unsightly bags covered in Cs (the fact that they don't stand for Chanel makes them even worse), I wish Krakoff and his soaring stock all the best, and plan on contributing frequently to its success, even when I can easily afford a $1,000 bag.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fine, Funny Papers

Fine writing paper is a little obsession of mine. I've worked at quite a few stationary shops in my years, from the big box Hallmark to the high-brow Rug Road Paper Company on Beacon Hill in Boston. Regardless, I've found very few stationers that live up to my standards. There are simply too many renditions of martinis, purses and high heels poorly sketched on pink and blue card stock.

However, a visit to Scaredy Cat on 5th ave in Park Slope was a pleasant surprise. They've got a great selection of cleverly illustrated cards, as well as beautiful wrapping paper and address books. I picked up a modernist kitchen clock (kidney shaped and deep red, with a timer for cooking) for my friend on her wedding day. (The hue matches her kitchen accessories perfectly)

Imogene, suggested by my one of my favorite bloggers, DesignSponge, also has an excellent selection. Not only are these pieces easy on the eye, but they're funny as well -- a rarity in the greeting card industry.

This card from Tennis, Anyone? is a particular favorite.

Friday, August 17, 2007


It's been a long week, so I'm off to dinner at Marlow and Sons in Williamsburg with the boyfriend.

My drink? A cold Bloody Mary (preferably made with gin). If you're in New York, enjoy tomorrow and Sunday's lovely weather. Cheers.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Idea of Paris

Recently, my friend Emme and I spent a lazy Sunday taking in Zoe Cassavetes's Broken English, an "indie movie with Hollywood sensibilities," as the always-informative IMDB puts it.
Starring one of my favorites, Parker Posey, the film is essentially a look at a 30-something's New York love life (without the Carrie Bradshaw cosmos).

Of course, Posey's performance was spot-on (as was Drea de Matteo's as her best friend) and the wardrobe was great -- lots of Jane Mayle -- but what I really loved was when the two girls ventured to Paris to find Posey's current flame.

Next time I'm in Paris, I'm taking lots of cash for shopping in the markets, but I'm also planning on staying at Hotel Particulier, a five-suite mansion in Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement.
Each room was designed by a different artist, so there's no real fluidity to the space.

But I don't think that's a negative. When I stay, I'm aiming for The Tree With Ears suite, designed by Pierre Fichefeux, an illustrator and art director who resides in Amsterdam. The wallpaper is rich in color and texture, but the room's extraordinary light adds a fresh feeling to the spot.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Best Bra

For those of us with a demure décolletage, bra "issues" often stem from an exorbitant amount of fabric and too much padding. Bras cut too high on the chest have always been my issue. Any time I would wear a deep v-neck, my lacy B-cup number would coming crawling out.

That is, until, I moseyed on into Azaleas on 10th Street in the East Village. I explained my issue; they presented the Duet bra. Made in Poland, this difficult-to-find push-up is made with a delicate flat stretch lace, and rides so low on your chest that revealing shirts are no problem. The comfortable under wire gives just enough support.

The Duet is available in six or seven colors, with a seasonal color in the rotation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Buy Him Tim

I'm in like with Trovata. In love with Band of Outsiders. But Tim Hamilton?

This guy's The One.

The menswear designer -- a 2007 CDFA Perry Ellis Award nominee --updates American classics with a slim (but not too slim) silhouette.

Translation: your boyfriend doesn't have to be Pete Doherty-skinny to look good in these clothes. Plus, the Japanese cotton Hamilton uses is super high end, so the pieces will wear well.

I love the fleur de lis on the tie pictured, and the soft-red and black take on a traditional sailor top.

Want more of Mr. Hamilton? You can pick up these pieces at Bergdorf Goodman.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Heart Boy.

I'm falling in love with one men's line after another this autumn. Luckily, one of my top picks, Band of Outsiders, has introduced a women's collection, fittingly named Boy. It's my favorite look: shrunken preppy standards like flannel blazers and overdyed oxford button downs. I'll probably go with the oxford cloth bib shirt, but this silk button down is pretty tempting as well...

: clothes to buy your boyfriend. No, really, you can't have these ones.

Scent Search

I'm always on the hunt for my signature scent. In high school, it was Prescriptives Flirt. At uni, I favored Marc Jacobs. Since leaving college, I've hopscotched my way through several different perfume bottles, from Calypso Jasmine (still a favorite) to Tocca Touch (smells great in a bottle but I'm finding it a bit cloying in the heat).

Two more I'm dying to try? Crabtree & Evelyn's Summer Hill -- a small investment at $28 per bottle -- and Prada Infusion d’Iris, which debuts this September. The former is a blend of field lilies and wildflowers, and the latter features Iris Pallida, an elegantly stiped flower.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Men's Pajamas and a White Nightie

It's finally cool enough to get cozy in my oxford blue Brooks Brothers pajamas, which were a birthday gift from a very kind friend. I've come to this conclusion. A girl really only needs two sleeping ensembles: a pair of men's pajamas and a white nightie (whether you opt for a full-on lacy nightgown or a slip regarding the latter is a personal choice). Why? Because both are comfy, and either can be sexy.

To be clear, I'm not talking lingerie, here. There's always more room for Araks.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Design Within Your Inbox

There are very few email newsletters I actually read. Actually, there are exactly three: The Cool Hunter, JC Report, and DWR's Design Notes. Originally penned by founder Rob Forbes, these essays highlight his world travels searching for great modern design. Now Forbes has semi-retired, and although CEO Ray Brunner says, in the latest installment of Design Notes, that the master will still be dispatching time and again, the entries are going to consist mainly of blogs from the company's staff of 300 modernists.

Here's hoping they keep Forbes' voice alive.

Also, if you live in the Bay Area, DWR is having a sample sale this weekend. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Displaying a dish of novelty soaps in the WC sounds awfully antiquated. But when the Fall Collection from Gianna Rose Atelier arrived in my office, the idea of displaying a set of triple-milled acorns on a dish next to my electric toothbrush no longer seemed so far-fetched. Plus, the blend of jasmine, sandalwood, and pine gives off a sophisticated -- not fuddy-duddy -- scent. I also love this little hen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just One Last Dress...

I know, I know, the moment of The Dress in capital letters has passed, and this autumn we're all going to be salivating over high-waisted Hepburn-style wool trousers and below-the-knee pencil skirts with great aplomb.

But let me indulge just once more. One of my favorite designers, Jason Chauchi, who founded the Dallin Chase line in 2006, has unearthed one last sample of the dress I've been searching for all summer -- his Art Dress in green (shown here in blue). I'll wear it with thick wool tights and a turtle neck when the weather turns chilly, but until then, I'm sticking to a simple gold chain and sandals.

Check out Jason's Fall 2006 line -- which includes winter-ready dresses and skirts -- on

Monday, August 6, 2007

Jane's Becoming Costumes

As a Jane Austen fanatic, I've read all six novels and seen nearly every film adaptation of her work, naming Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility as my all-time favorite, with Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version) a close second.

Becoming Jane -- an admirable, but not stellar -- fictional interpretation of Jane Austen's real life, starring Anne Hathaway (as Miss Austen) and James McAvoy (as her admirer Tom Lefroy), may not match the aforementioned in terms of rich storytelling, but the costumes, I must say, are my favorite thus far.

What I liked about Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh's designs were her fabric choices. Of course, there were the requisite brushed cottons and tulle, but there were also black polka dots on cerulean blue and delicate hand-stitched flowers on black calico. I'd say they pleased me even more than the beautiful designs in Emma, starring Gwenyth Paltrow. This picture doesn't do the black calico piece justice, but Hathaway and McAvoy do shine in the candlelight.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Anticipating Autumn

It may be 83 degrees Fahrenheit, but I'm still day dreaming about my autumn wardrobe.

First on my list? 3.1 Phillip Lim's three quarter length sleeve wool lumberjack coat in red and black.

Lim has been my favorite designer since his days at Development, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening of his first stand alone store in Soho on July 17. Of course, I desired essentially every piece on the racks, but this transitional coat seemed to capture my personal style best. Other favorites include: a blue and gray plaid blouse with a white bib collar, and a shrunken canary yellow raincoat.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

This amazing store in Red Hook...

Erie Basin, an antiques, furniture and fine jewelry gallery, displays its pieces as sculptural works of art. I fell for an ivory and onyx 19th century ring that was moderately priced at $145. Owner Russell Whitmore was friendly and clearly engaged in his work, which makes it even more satisfying to pick up pieces by contemporary designers like Giles & Brother by Philip Crangi.

The shop's closed for the second half of August, but if you're a New Yorker, I suggest heading down to Red Hook one September Saturday, combing through Whitmore's treasure trove, then heading to The Good Fork for mussels and French martinis.