Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WELCOME....SPRING....?????

Well, I know that 'technically' we're in the beginning of Spring but  the cold rain/sleet/snow falling out of the sky in NYC doesn't do much to solidify that notion.  Nonetheless, we're going to 'keep keeping on' and won't allow ourselves to get bogged down by the weather.  With that said, I'm going to try to entice you with some nice, uplifting Springtime treats!


First off, The CFDA announced their 2011 nominees this week.  We'll be watching to see who is actually awarded the "Oscar" of the fashion industry during the June ceremony.  For now,  here's the full list of nominees:



·  Womenswear Designer of the Year: Alexander Wang, Jake McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and Marc Jacobs
·  Menswear Designer of the Year: Michael Bastian, Simon Spurr, and Patrik Ervell
·  Accessory Designer of the Year: Alexander Wang, Jake McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and Reed Krakoff
·  Swarovski Award for Womenswear: Joseph Altuzarra, Ashley Olsen & Mary-Kate Olsen, and Prabal Gurung
·  Swarovski Award for Menswear: Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, and Robert Gellar
·  Swarovski Award for Accessory Design: Alejandro Ingelmo, Eddie Borgo, Jason Wu, and Pamela Love
·  The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Marc Jacobs.
·  The Fashion Icon Award will be presented to Lady Gaga.
·  The International Award will go to Phoebe Philo of Celine.















Speaking of the CFDA, 2007 Inductee Rachel Roy has been making quite a splash this week with both FLOTUS and Halle Berry "Killing 'Em" in Roy's frocks. 
Check out the hauteness....


Mz. MSB wore this dress first (and better I may add) but FLOTUS is still stunning in it!


Let's move on with Spring Sample Sales & Specials:


As you know, the Hermes sale started TODAY  but in my opinion, the real deals will come about at the David Yurman sample sale starting in NYC tomorrow March 24th thru Sunday March 28th.   The 'word on the street is that you'll be able to grab items (including children's jewelry and sunglasses) from 30%-70% off.  You can expect to find 30% off silver, 40% off gold and a few cases cases of items for 60% and 70% off.   I am definitely a fan!
David Yurman Sample Sale
Thursday, March 24 to Sunday, March 28
Thurs 3pm to 8pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 7pm, Sun 11am to 5pm
The Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street.

P.S.- Don't forget that Dolce & Gabanna also runs from tomorrow through Sunday! 

In the world of Collaborations:


As of April 4th, Piperlime will launch a series of exclusive collaborative collections with Beyond Vintage, Ella Moss, Rachel Pally, and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent.  Each designer will contribute up to ten pieces with prices strarting at $90.   

The Matthew Williamson for Macys line has been revealed.  I must say, I'm not impressed..... His line for H&M was MUCH better and MUCH more representative of his main line.  Alas, here are a couple of pieces that I consider the 'stars' of the collection.  I am NOT, however, inspired to brave the Macy's masses in order to partake.....













Hi/Lo Comps:

Oldie but goodie, Filene's Basement, has received a rather impressive shipment of Missoni and D&G merchandise at incredible prices!  The Madison Avenue Spy has spotted amazing markdowns at both the Upper Westside and Union Square locations.    I say it's time for a trip to Filene's!

Back a few issues ago, I posted a few items that were real 'steals'  in their own right..... now look how good they look against their more expensive 'look-a-likes":  





Alexander McQueen "Samurai" Platform heel @ $1375



VS






Report Signature "Calyer" in black for $265



























Lanvin Red Trench for $1980




VS














Norma Kamali for Walmart Red Trench $25
















Jaime Wolf Bisou Ring @ Barneys NY for $3400



VS












Forever 21 'Statement Piece' Necklace $9.80

























Picks of the Day:
 
Ok, it's Spring, right? And a girl can dream, right?
Please, check out these 'To Die For' Brian Atwoods.  Retailing for $3,800 (no-that is NOT a typo) at Colette Paris, these are the ultimate shoe to literally put 'Spring on/in your step'!


While scanning the other shoe offerings at Colette, I came across these Alberto Guardiani 'Lipstick Heels' for a 'mere' $400 (well, compared to the $3,800 Atwoods, how else do I describe this price??? ).  These shoes may come off a bit kitschy but someone, somewhere will pull them off (Rhianna or Katy Perry I bet!). 

 Now, for some more 'affordable' picks of the day, check out what I found trolling the 'net this week that is a bit more 'pocket friendly':



Coral Necklace by Mango for $45





Forever 21 "Tribal" necklace for $14.80

Robert Rodriguez Leather/Knit Dress on sale @ various sites for around $250






Diane Von Furstenburg Wrap JUMPER (wow- never seen a romper version of the infamous wrap dress!) on sale at Saks for $288





Well, as you all know, I gave up 'shopping' for Lent but as a friend pointed out to me, I'm still basically 'shopping' for the blog although I'm not 'buying' so she said that I should have given up "BUYING" for Lent rather than "SHOPPING".  Either way, it hurts like the dickens but trust that I do have some of these items 'saved' in my on-line shopping carts  so that I can go BUCK WILD on Easter Sunday (provided my pocket allows such madness).

TTYL
xoxo
me









 
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

EVERYTHING'S COMING UP ROSES!

First and foremost, I must urge each and every one of you to do whatever you can to assist the nation of  Japan as it tries to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit on March 11th.   We are a global community so we are ALL affected/connected so don't think this isn't 'your problem'.    

Before you think of reaching into your wallet for anything trivial today/this week/this month/this year, think about what even a small portion you would spend at that trendy restaurant or on that glass of wine, sushi dinner, new pair of shoes, hot dress, 'it' bag, etc. would do for the people of Japan...

It only takes a minute to make a difference....Here is a short list of the current relief efforts to which you can donate your money/time/talents:

·          Save the Children: Emergency Relief for Japan Quake www.savethechildren.org/japanquake    Toll free: 800-728-3843. Text JAPAN or 20222 to donate.

·         The American Red Cross: Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief
www.redcross.org
Text REDCROSS or 90999 to make $10 donation by text message.

·         Salvation Army
donate.salvationarmyusa.org
Toll free: 800-SAL-ARMY
Text QUAKE or 80888 to donate $10

·         International Medical Corps
www.internationalmedicalcorps.org
Text MED or 80888 to donate $10

·         Doctors Without Borders
www.doctorswithoutborders.org

·         Global Giving
www.globalgiving.org
Text JAPAN or 50555 to donate $10

·         World Vision
www.worldvision.org
Toll Free: 888-56-CHILD Text 4JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10

So now that your mind/heart/wallets are in the right place, I'll share some 'treats' :-)
In hopes that the 'Spring thaw' will yield some much-needed peace, relief,  restoration, and beauty in our collective lives,  I want to pay homage to the "spring flowers" waiting to bloom....in particular, I want to focus on the 'rose'...ROSE GOLD that is!   You all know how much I LOVE  rose gold (jewelry, clothes, shoes, accessories, etc) so you can't imagine how thrilled I've been in my 'haute haunt' this week to see so many designers tickling my rose gold fancy!  Check out the flyness....
Mulberry "Alexa" $1239

Brian Atwood "Maniac" in rose gold $596

TopShop rose gold leather sandals $85

So while on the 'hunt', I ran across these other pieces I wanted to bring to your attention:

* On the 'hi' side (all recent additions on Net-a-porter):
Ladies who Lanvin!!!! My friend Alber is now designing bathing suits! Check out the draped shoulder. VERY St. Tropez at a VERY St. Tropez price of $785!
So, if you haven't noticed, metallic ankle cuff shoes are the new 'hauteness' these days.  From the flat sandals in the new Lanvin collection to these Giambattista Valli metal cuff t-strap sandals for $800.... No fear, I am on the hunt for a more 'affordable' version ;-)
Following up with the Prada-esq nautical-stripe discussion on my last post, check out these Tabitha Simmons "Dustie" sandal/bootie. We'll wait until this goes on sale from it's current $849 tag ;-).
Sarah Jessica Parker is DOING IT over at Halston! Look at this silk 'Kimono' style dress currently priced at $1860.  While the price tag is out of my league right now, the cut/intricate pattern/gathered midsection/side pleating/ 'batwing' sleeves are TOTALLY my thing! I doubt this will make it to the OutNet where I'd happily purchase but for now, we'll keep tabs on it ;-). 

 
*On the 'lo':
TopShop 'Slim Fit' Tuxedo jacket $110.  I must say that I have a version of this jacket from one of TopShop's earlier lines and it was a VERY sound investment.  The cut is sublime & fit is phenomenal. 

While browsing the TopShop site, I ran across more studded bottoms as featured on the last blog posting!  These studded suede 'gladiator' shorts (more like 'skorts' to me) are bold and sassy! If only I had the legs (and the nerve). A VERY unique piece for $165.
Lastly, this Scarlet Red Norma Kamali Trench Coat will definitely make heads turn this Spring. NO BRAINER for $35 at Walmart!  I LOVE the color (actually looking for a lipstick this particular hue...think I found it in the NARS Lipstick Pencil in "Red Square" but I digress.....).  Check out the classic Khaki version below  which was awarded the 2009 Travel & Leisure Magazine's "Best Travel Fashion" design award. 




While we're on the subject of designer collaborations, one of my designers Matthew Williamson will design a collection exclusively for Macy's this spring! The 30 piece collection priced between $50 and $300 is set to launch on April 13th (the day before the H&M "Conscious Collection" launch but more on that later...).   According to WWD,  Williamson states that "the collection aims to capture the essence of the mainline brand, with a focus on the effortless galmour; dynamic prints; loosely structured silhouettes, and pops of strong color."   Although I'm not a Macy's fan, if this collaboration is anything like Williamson's H&M line (I LOVE those pieces- esp. the olive butter leather moto jacket and color splash dresses), I will bravely face the tourists/crazy crowds who normally scare me away from the 34th St. flagship to grab a piece or two from Mr. Williamson (after Lent of course ;-)). 

As mentioned above, we are anxiously awaiting the launch of H&M's "Conscious Collection" on April 14th as reported a few blog editions back.  Here are some firsthand photos of some of my favorite Alexis Bittar-like acrylic accessories and ethereal dresses  (thanks W.Lam @ Nitrolicious):





Although I claim TopShop and H&M among my most favorite places to find 'fashion steals' (after the ultimate- Century 21- of course), my original fascination with finding high-end fashions for low prices came by way of TJ Maxx during junior high school. 
I know most of us visit the TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Home Goods stores these days for mostly household and children's items BUT I recently discovered that TJ Maxx has a department dedicated to TRUE designer collections (i.e. Fendi, Valentino, Prada, Missoni, Manolo, Bottega Veneta, Helmut Lang, etc) called the "RUNWAY" department. 
Only 50 TJ Maxx stores have Runway departments (including Miami and the UWS location in NYC on Columbus Avenue & 101st st) but you can find luxury finds at most of the other TJ Maxx stores identified by purple or black labels (as opposed to the regular white price tags).  I must admit that I did find one of these purple-price-taged "Runway" items in my local/suburban TJ Maxx location and couldn't believe my eyes! I found a $500 cashmere sweater by French high-end retailer Faconnable for $39.99!    I dare say we might want to spend a lot more time combing the TJ Maxx clothing aisles for these coveted purple or black price tags!  You'll know if you're near one of the TJ Maxx locations with dedicated "Runway" departments if you see this signage:  




Before I sign off for today, I want to remind you that the Target "Go International" designer re-launch debuted yesterday.  If you missed one of  the guest designers like Zac Posen, Tucker, Thakoon, etc. the first-go-round, you should visit your local Target or Target.com to snag one of the coveted pieces. 

Also, if you're in NYC and a Lauren Merkin fan, today marks the first day of her seasonal sample sale with handbags, clutches and accessories priced up to 70% off.Tuesday, March 15 to Saturday, March 20
Tues to Friday 11am to 7pm, Sat 11am to 4pm
231 West 29th Street (BTW 7th & 8th Avenues)
212-239-2459
Cash and Credit Cards Only

Praying for our family in Japan....Wishing safe travels/safe, healthy return to Mz.TT!
xoxo
me


 


 

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mid-Week Madness and Ashes....


Hi there!

We're halfway through the week and I'm already ready for Friday! 
 To add on to the weight of having the whole second half of the week left on my calendar, Lenten Season is now upon us and guess what I've decided to 'sacrifice'?????
SHOPPING!!!!
Now, I don't know how possible that is but giving up shopping for  this period will TRULY be a test of my faith! Pray for me sistas.....

Along with Lent, March also brings with it a bevy of fashion sales and launches.

First off, joining Hermes in opening the doors to it's annual sale on March 23rd is Dolce & Gabanna!   Dolce & Gabanna will run from the 23rd through the 27th at Chelsea's Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. 

Making launch history, however, is Tom Ford who FINALLY launched his own womenswear collection in his Madison Avenue boutique this month!  Bravo Mr. Ford!   

On the other side of the 'pond' in Paris, however, March has brought with it a huge fashion phenomenon: a collaboration between Chanel and Colette! These two French fashion powerplayers have created a joint 'pop up' boutique on Rue Saint-Honore' combining fashion (featuring Chanel's S/S 2011 collection  and pieces from several young designers  specifically chosen by Colette for the jv), visual arts, and musical performances.  

Speaking of Colette, you will never guess what $424 item has flown off of the Colette shelves (and website) at the speed of light.... check out this Jeremy Scott 'underwear clutch'.... Yes, I am SOOOO serious that this American designer (and former Brooklynite) took a pair of 'tighty whities' and made an international fashion statement out of it!  


While I would  never be so bold as to carry this clutch ANYWHERE (imagine what it looks like when the bottom gets dirty :-P), I do think I'd be on the safe-side sporting Mr. Scott's winged ballet flats from his  "JS" collaboration with Nike.  We've  seen Scott's winged JS for Nike sneakers on Kanye West and word is that  Anne Hathaway even sported a pair of the sneakers at Oscar rehearsals!  
Since I'm not quite a 'sneakerhead' (not that interested in sneakers and a bit too old to feign interest now), I do appreciate Scott taking a more feminine approach in creating these (esp. since ballet flats should be on every girl's list of fashion fundamentals).  
Already released in Asia,  these ballet flats come in fuchsia, white, and black with multi-colored polka dots.  I think these are pretty fun to wear on the weekend with a pair of skinny jeans, cropped jeans, cargo pants, and even non-MC Hammer-looking harem styles.   If any of you are in Korea or Japan anytime soon, please grab a fuchsia pair for me because who knows when they'll hit state-side!




Back on this continent,  Los Angeles' 'mini-chain' store 'L.A. + JO' is making a small buzz as the more upscale 'big sister' of Forever 21/fun, economically savvy 'younger sister' of Barneys. 
L.A.+Jo carries its own line "inspired" by designers like Kimberly Ovitz and Helmut Lang as well as vintage designer denim, and accessories.   Sounds like a worthy addition to my 'hi/lo' stable of vendors so I'll definitely make it a point to check it out next time I'm in 'La La'.



 
 On the beauty 'tip', I was instantly attracted to Estee Lauder's new limited edition Island oasis eye-shadow palette when I saw it featured in New York Magazine.   As  soon as I viewed the shimmery rose/turquoise/gold/bronze hues I was immediately transported to an island oasis (in my head ;-)). 
I'm a HUGE fan of Lauder's  Bronze Goddess skin care/fragrance line (SMELLS SOOOOO GOOD!  Thanks for putting me 'on' Mz. SB) so I have no doubt that running to purchase this eyeshadow compact ASAP is a good idea - especially because, like all of the Limited Edition Bronze Goddess products, if you snooze, you lose.  

Keeping the topic in the 'eye area', I hear that the eyebrow gurus at Browhaus at 56 Spring Street in NYC is now offering Brow Resurrection services as a less invasive and less painful permanent makeup alternative. 
Browhaus describes this concept as "brow embroidery" where the treatment (which last up to two months) takes up to three hours to create eyebrow 'hairs' by way of vegetable-based dye infused 'scratches' in the brow area.  If you have an extra $1000 in your pocket (for initial treatment and 'tune ups') and want to experience this 'resurrection' for yourself, get more details at www.browhaus.com/us

Now that we're done talking about potentially painful processes, let's get into some pleasure....

Here are my picks of the day:

*Since this season's collections have been full of color and stripes (i.e. Prada's Spring/Summer 2011 collection), I found a very easy/inexpensive way to get into the action without looking too 'nautical in the city'.  Look at this cute striped straw/genuine wood handle tote bag from Forever21 for  only $12! 

*I've also been noticing shoes are looking much more 'architectural' these days.  
While I'm not quite adventurous when it comes to crazy heel shape,  structure, and 'bulk', I thought these Report Signature shoes were very unique and structurally interesting but still sleek and sexy. 




Report Signature "Calyer" shoe in 'Almond' - $265



*In H&M news, Super Model  Gisele Bundchen is the new 'face' of H&M's Spring/Summer 2011 line.  Look at this chick's post-baby body! Oh- the clothes are equally as impressive ;-)

* In more celeb mother/fashion goddess news...

Stella McCartney's newest offerings are nothing less than GORGEOUS! 
I'm SUCH a fan of her in general! I even tried to squeeze myself into some of her kiddie Gap collabo creations (I must say that not having much in 'chest' area did allow me to successfully snag a teen girl tank from the line ;-)).   
In any event, I think this jumpsuit is one of my favorite pieces from the current collection (I'm totally feeling the 'slits' up top and on bottom):



In parting, it has come to my attention that construction of the Century 21 Department Store @ Lincoln Center (old Barnes & Noble space) has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. 
If any of you know me well, you'll know that Century 21 is my most FAVORITE store in the ENTIRE WORLD (and I have made it a point to travel the far reaches of the world just to shop). 
I even had the pleasure of speaking with the owner of the mega department store chain at length at the Waverly Inn one evening (where he introduced me to my first taste of Absinthe!) where he informed me that the downtown NYC store was where they put their best merchandise! I have to dust off my rolodex to find his business card so I can get the skinny on the merchandise that will be featured at this new location.  
I can't imagine the damage I'll do but by the time the store opens,  Lenten Season will be OVA and both my salvation &  shopping privileges will be properly restored! ;-)
xoxo
me
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