Tuesday, June 28, 2011

HAUTE HUNTER: Te Quiero....HI/LO!!!

Happy pre-Independence Day Weekend!

Well, I must say that I didn't realize how much my 'hi/lo'  comparison section would be missed from my last blog post!   After fielding a couple of inquiries as to why I didn't include any comps last week, I decided to dedicate today's post strictly to my haute hunt 'hi/lo' evaluations!  BUT...before I get into the comps, let me give you a brief overview as to what's been going on in the world of fashion this week....

Although NBA Champ/Olympic Gold Medalist Dwayne Wade wasn't able to secure the championship for Miami this year,  Wade is bringing the 'heat'  as a result of his partnership with Hublot watches! Wade has been hand-picked to join the ranks of sports luminaries such as Usain Bolt and Jet Li as brand ambassador of the luxury Swiss watch brand.  Both Wade and Hublot intend for this partnership to strengthen Hublot's existing ties in the world of professional athletics.   Way to go Wade!

In additional brand partnership a/k/a "collabo" news, Vera Wang's bridesmaid collection for David's Bridal that I wrote about a few months back is finally available in David's Bridal stores and online!  The line of signature Vera Wang dresses are all priced under $200 and are DEFINITELY wearable post-wedding day.   Here is my favorite for $196 (don't be mad if you see me in this dress at the next cocktail party/gala.... this  design is too good of a steal to relegate to wedding-wear only!).

In more designer news, Versace is nipping at  the heels of  Lanvin with the recent announcement that the Italian design house is designing a line for pint-sized divas/divos!  Versace's children's line will consist of clothing designs for both boys and girls (as well as a Swarovski-studded baby bottle).  Can't wait to see that baby bottle!

Lastly, when I heard about the John Barrett salon's 'Barrett’s Braid Bar' inside of NYC's famed Bergdorf Goodman department store, I almost choked on my apple! Fashionistas paying $45 per braid to mimic the pigtails, fishtails, and wreath braids that are all over the runway/red carpet these days.....WHY didn't we think of that (right, Mz. KW????) ?!?    Although I'm not knocking Barrett's hustle,  I hope that the news of this 'au courant' demand inspires some of the  real 'braid experts' on 125th Street/Flatbush Avenue to expand their customer base to accommodate the 5th Avenue-lovin' fashionistas  who are willing to pay a pretty penny for box braids!

I digress.... let me get back to the business at hand.... Haute Hunt hi/lo comps:

First, let's hunt in the world of accessories....

Check out the Bottega Veneta woven hobo bag retailing for between $1,900-$2,700 against its Top Shop 'cousin' for $175!

Likewise, Topshop is giving  Marc Jacob's  a run for his money with their $56 100% leather version of Marc's $328 'Airliner' clutch (will the 'real' Marc Jacobs stand up???  ;-)):

Lastly in accessories, I was so blown away by the design/architecture/sheer sexiness of this Lanvin 'fishnet' heel ($1050), that I had to find something a bit more 'realistic' to show to you.  Thank God I found it (albeit a more 'tame'/less 'architectural' version) in this Casadei pump on sale now for $191 at farfetched.com. 

Moving on to apparel.....
Now most of you have already figured out that I'm a huge fan of Gucci's Spring 2011 line (esp. since I've discussed or compared pieces from the line in many of my previous posts).   Continuing with that trend, I want you to check out these body suits from ASOS ($24 for the green).   You can get the same Gucci Spring 2011 'look' by pairing one of these bodysuits with a contrasting colored peg-legged pant/pencil skirt and tying it all together with  one of the $20 replica metallic obi belts from H&M or ASOS (as featured in a previous post):

 While we're on the subject of bodysuits,  check out this very Lanvin-esq bodysuit currently on sale at TopShop for $90!  It’s shape/ drape is very much reminiscent of the Spring 2011 Lanvin asymmetric  bodysuit below that you’ve recently seen on the likes of  Rihanna, January Jones, Jessica Alba, and Cindy Crawford.

Ok guys & dolls, I have to run now but if I don't post prior to the July 4th weekend, have a happy/safe holiday!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

HAUTE HUNTER: Post-Solstice Shopping Solace

Happy Summer Everyone!

So glad to be back!  Had to take a little break  to take care of some 'blog bizness' (trying to inch my way out of this 'beta' phase and into real world blogging).   But of course, in the midst of all the business and 'life' situations constantly  stealing my attention, I always find a way to 'self soothe' in the name of fashion!   Even my doctor (decked out in her examination coat and Gucci stilettos) recently prescribed a dose of  'retail therapy' to 'heal my ailments'!  Can you believe it?!?  Even this seasoned medical professional understands the solace, comfort, and mental escape shopping (or even the fantasy of/conversations surrounding shopping) can offer.  So in the name of obtaining a little solace through shopping, let's share! ;-)
Now, you know I always give you the IMMEDIATE skinny on what's going on in the world of designer collaborations but this one almost slipped under my nose last week until Mz. AM so graciously hooked me up!
VERSACE (yes, VERSACE...) will be designing a line for H&M to debut this fall!  The collection (a 40 piece line for women and 20 piece line for men) will be available in about 300 stores world-wide but will debut in the US in select stores on  November 19th.   Donatella will also design a pre-spring collection for on-line sale starting January 19, 2012.  Take a look at Donatella Versace in one of the dresses! If this is representative of the line, I dare say that the pieces/accessories will be very much true-to-form Versace ("Gianni style")!    

In other collabo news, Target announced the fall debut of two new accessory collaborations: the Albertus Swanepoel for Target Hat Collection and Dana Kellin for Target Jewelry Collection.   Starting October 30th, the Albertus Swanepoel 14 piece hat line (priced at $19.99  each) and the necklace/earring line from Dana Kellin (from $9.99 to $49.99) will be available in Target stores and on Target.com. 


Lastly, I'm sad to announce (not as sad as Mz. NC I'm sure) that Jil Sander will not continue her collaboration with Uniqlo.    +J will be missed..... R.I.P.

Now, on to fashion 'news'. 

Jimmy Choo has just released ads in connection with their Fall 2011 line featuring Brazilian model Raquel Zimmermann.   It seems to me that JC may be getting their 'sexy' back!  Quite interesting considering Tamara Mellon's recent sale of the company. Nonetheless, from the looks of things, I think I'll renew my 'fan club' membership (I haven't been inspired by the line recently but this line looks like the JC I know and love!). 

Speaking of corporate divestitures in the fashion world,  Prada went public last week and will begin trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange tomorrow!   This is great news for Prada fans- as the IPO is a sure sign that the brand is planning on expanding AND if you're lucky enough to be connected to a brokerage firm who trades on the Hong Kong stock market (like HSBC) , you too can join Miuccia Prada as an 'owner' of the company's coveted shares!

Lastly in fashion news, Lanvin revealed photos of their children's collection (thanks Mz. MLH!).   Lanvin Petite features Alber Elbaz's signature designs with part of the proceeds of this line will be donated to the Designing Hope charity.   Take a look at the cuteness!

For all of you 'party people', TONIGHT IN NYC, designer Tracy Reese is offering a GNO (Girls Night Out!) featuring cocktails, cupcakes, manicures, makeovers, and flash sales!!!  This is an event NOT TO BE MISSED! HEAD OVER NOW!  
Thu, Jun 23 at 5:00PM - 8:00PM
@ Tracy Reese Boutique: 641 Hudson Street.

In other "Tracy"-related fashion news, Tracy Chambers has announced her Vintage Summer Madness Sales Event this Saturday (June 25th)  in Brooklyn, NY from 12p.m.-4 p.m. at 216 Jefferson (BTW Marcy & Nostrand).    Please go out and support!  Thanks for the info Mz. CW!

Now, I can either do  my normal 'list' of sales (i.e. Zara's semi-annual sale starting tomorrow/Saks sale/Netaporter sale/etc) OR I can just jump to the FUN part of showing you my latest 'finds' .  I just made an 'executive decision' and choose the later ;-)).   
So here are the results of my most recent "haute hunts" this week (enjoy!):

 On the 'higher' end without the 'higher' prices, take a look at these 'steals' available on the net now:

On sale at Net-a-porter: Brian Atwood pink satin "Maniac" on sale for half price from $480 to $240

Also on sale at Net-a-porter: Tucker Silk Wrap Jumpsuit (in white or black) from $460 to $184

Halston Heritage Silk Dress on sale at the OutNet for $198

Also at the Outnet, D&G 2 piece suit for $307
Here are some other picks from some of my favorite/less expensive haunts:
TopShop Sequin Dress $200

TopShop Animal Print portable pouch Parka $60

H&M Metallic Wedge Espadrilles

H&M Metallic Skinny Pants

Asos Color Block Maxi Dress $60

Asos Tulip Maxi $112

Ok Folks, I'm going to try to head over to the Tracy Reese event and grab a quick cocktail.... until next time!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

JOYEUX JUIN! No Doubt About It, Summer is HERE!

Good evening my friends! Welcome to JUNE 2011!  Can't believe half the year has left us so quickly but I'm kind of liking the fact that time is flying.... I'm soooo ready for some summertime fashion,  fun, and frolicking  (as I expect this weekend at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island, NYC: http://vcseason.com/polo.).  But before the party begins, let me share some little 'gems' I've discovered this week:

We are all looking forward to the Missoni for Target collaboration this fall but I'm even more excited after seeing some of the pieces featured in some shots from the upcoming ad campaign.   As you can see from the photos below, the collection is 'true to form' Missoni (unlike the more recent Calypso collection that I felt was 'watered down' and uninspiring). 

In other collaboration news, Diane von Furstenberg is preparing for her collaboration with Gap Kids debut! She will be designing a girls Spring/Summer 2012 line.  Guess who will be front and center for that one! ;-) 

Celebrity stylist/new designer Rachel Zoe has finally found a home for her designs (featured here in past blog posts)! Zoe's maxi dresses, wide legged jeans, and otherwise 70s-inspired fashions will be housed at my fav department store Bergdorf Goodman and its parent company Nieman Marcus.  


Speaking of new designers, I'm sure you LA folks might already have a clue but I'm a new fan of the California based jewelry design-house B. Rawlings ( http://www.brawlings.com/ )!  
New designer  Brittany Rawlings already has an impressive celeb following (Tyra Banks, Brandy, Lindsay Lohan, Mya, etc) and has already found a home for her collection at Bloomingdales in Santa Monica.  Her pieces, ranging from $50 and $600, are clearly meant to make a 'statement'.  Check out my favorite below (it's actually a 'two in one' neckpiece! You know I'm a sucker for bargains so I LOVE the 'two for one' concept ;-))

Now, if you're a lazy New Yorker like me and have YET to visit  the Met's Alexander McQueen exhibit, you will be happy to know that the exhibit has been extended for one more week through  August 7th.  In addition, McQueen fans will be able to take advantage of "Met Mondays with McQueen," whereby you can visit the McQueen exhibit during hours when the Met is usually closed (Mondays: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.).    An exclusive lunchtime visit on a Monday sounds MUCH better than fighting the general crowd/tourists on regular days!

In other news, my favorite gym Equinox  has snagged ownership of the fabu spinning studio chain: SoulCycle!   Equinox will be expanding SoulCycle's reach  by adding nine more locations and renovating some of the current studios to accommodate more SoulCycle devotees.  I'm not one for spinning but I do hear that SoulCycle is 'the bomb'.  Hopefully my Equinox membership will allow me to try it out gratis!

Now, enough of the 'serious' news stuff....let's talk sale!!!! 
In my last post, I mentioned a few Memorial Day weekend sales but did inform you that many of our favorite designers would be slashing prices 'post holiday weekend'.  Well, here's a rundown of some of the additional sales that are too good to be missed:

*Net-A-Porter.com summer sale with 30% to 50% off.
Gucci presale has begun but goes 'public' tomorrow with 30%-40% off .  Expect another markdown in coming weeks with discounts reaching 50%-60% off. 
*Alexander Wang with an initial markdown of 30% that will eventually be slashed to 50%.
*Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, Catherine Malandrino, Jil Sander, Nannette Lepore & Derek Lam boutiques are all offering 40% off .
*Vivienne Tam marking her Spring 2010 collection down to 50% with Spring 2011 being sold at 30% off.
*Lanvin, Miu Miu, Prada, and Giuseppe Zanotti are also offering 30% off certain styles.
*Chanel and Chloe boutiques will be discounting their merch at 40% starting next week.

Now, for those of you who rather look for your 'steals' on the 'net vs. combing the rack at a designer boutique, check out my latest "Haute Hunting" finds:

Although this may not look that hot on this model, I thought that $64 for this Lipsy embellished top that could be dressed up or down was a good deal. Check it out at ASOS.com

Also at Asos.com, the Asos Kimono dress for $100 has a very minimalistic yet sexy look to it...

At Zara, this metallic gold leather skirt is a good buy for $99.  I wouldn't suggest this top or these shoes but I think its a really good piece to build a sexy outfit around.

Also at Zara (and metallic....ok, I'm feeling a bit 'bling bling' lately I guess), are these silver skinny jeans for $79.  I personally like my skinny jeans to slouch a little around the ankle (assuming I'm wearing some sky-high heels) so I'd prefer not to cuff these bad boys.... 

While at Zara (yes, can you believe I actually went into a brick & mortar store!?!), I spotted this orange maxi sheath dress. It looks a little bland in the photo but in person, it's much more impressive (esp the thigh-high split and the $159 price tag!).

Still nurturing my 'bling bling' fetish, I thought these Report Signature 'Herricks" sandal was both 'au current' and sexy.  I love the clean, smooth lines of this shoe.  On sale now for $150. 

TopShop's color block shoe for $136 is a great inexpensive piece to add to your wardrobe this season, as it features the bright coral and yellow tones that are all the rage right now (and don't forget orange, fuchsia, magenta, and cobalt blue as well!)

Of course I can't finish this post without adding in one of my 'hi/lo' items.... It's just so fun!
Which of these almost identical woven shoe booties is $120 @ Report Signature vs. $1600 from a certain shoe designer with the initials C.L. (no peeking at the colored bottoms-which of course is a dead give-away! ;-))?


Ok folks, I think I'm signing off for today to start "Haute Hunting" for my next post!   Have a great weekend!
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