Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reports on Orla Keily sample sale

I visited the Orla Keily sample sale yesterday. And after being personally escorted up the warehouse-style elevator, I entered the large and well-presented warehousey room full of dresses, skirts, tops, bags, sneakers, sweaters and more. There is a loungey living room and a bar set up to one side. And racks of apparel on the other. It all looked quite nice.

But I am still old-school in that I feel like "sample sale" should mean really inexpensive. This stuff was not that. A skirt for $170 does not an unbelievable deal make. A small leather make-up-type tote for $60?

I'm sure it's all way cheaper than it would be at retail (they didn't show the retail prices), but I'm still not jumping for joy. Figures it's all London-based where everything is overpriced.

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Fashion-tainment Show Exclusively on HSN

From Miss Meghan, the shoe guru:

Big news my darlings!
Miss Meghan has a new show exclusively on the Home Shopping Network!

Shoe Therapy (TM) with Meghan Cleary officially debuts Monday, August 20 at 8 p.m. during HSN's Fall Fashion Week.

I am just so excited to share this news with you. The Home Shopping Network was the first to originate electronic retailing in 1977, and now 30 years later, with so many amazing brands and celebrities on their network from SCOOP to David Rodriguez to Teena Knowles, they are the very first to launch a shoe show like this.

With 89 million viewers, and an amazing new website launching August 2, the amount of shoe fun we can have together will be absolutely limitless!

So whether you are a Stiletto girl, a Wedge girl, a Ballet Flat or a Loafer girl, whether you are a shoe size 12 or 5 1/2, tune in to Shoe Therapy (TM) to find something special you won't find anywhere else.

Woodley & Bunny

I didn't go in this store (yet) in Williamsburg. I just like the name, mostly. And the logo looks nice too.
Woodley & Bunny: Salon, apothecary, boutique....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Orla Keily sample sale: July 30 - Aug 4

I kind of want to keep this info to myself, but since it is already in New York magazine, may as well share the wealth of knowledge:

Orla Kiely's sample sale has cheery pinafore dresses (now $156), patent-leather shoulder bages (now $83), and laminated shopper totes (now $74).
446 Broadway near Grand St., 5th floor
A/E, MC, V
July 30 - Aug. 4, 9a - 7p

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New G-Star Store / Club Monaco Sale

I walked past the new G-Star store on Broadway around 20th St. the other day and almost confused it with the Duane Reade that it sits next to. Meaning, the store was very bland, anti-septic and pharmacy-like...and not in a good way (see photos). I didn't go in, so I am providing you with limited sensory feedback, but it didn't entice me, which is what I thought a retail store was supposed to do...

So in the meantime, go to Club Monaco and get stuff on the cheap.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Good Candy at Newsstand on 86th St. & 3rd Ave.

As some of you know I am a retro-candy fanatic, along the lines of Gobstoppers, Razzles, Sprees and the like. It's not always easy to find such old tyme favorites, but I spotted a particularly rich newsstand on the southwest corner of 86th St. and 3rd Avenue. It's all I can do not to go Willy Wonka wild every time I walk by it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Can I eat well and cheaply on the Upper East Side?

Wow, so it seems that late July shopping is a bit "soft" - similar to my complaint about February. Just kind of a dead time - you've already bought most of your summer stuff and gone to relevant sales and you just aren't ready to start buying fall clothes and boots since it's still hot as blazes outside.

So what is a Guerilla Shopper supposed to do? Write about her second favorite topic: FOOD. I am somewhat astonished by the high price of food on the UES. I guess I shouldn't be, but I can't manage to get take out - my favorite kind of food - for less than $17 (and that's only if I pick it up myself so that I don't have to tip a delivery guy!). Does anyone have any suggestions for me - outside of eating pizza and bagels every night? Why isn't there a Teriyaki Boy up there, for example?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dana Buchman/Ellen Tracy Half-Yearly Sale

Dana Buchman and Ellen Tracy Outlets are offering the lowest prices of the season...plus 15% off your entire purchase, now through September 3, 2007. Bring a friend and they'll extend the offer to them as well! Only trick is...You need to get your hands on THE COUPON.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Shirt Dress at Les Nanas

If I hadn't been knocked out of the running to become America's Next Top Model, then perhaps I would be styling this dress for your personally, but you'll have to use your imagination a bit when I tell you that this "better-than-a-shirt-dress" that I picked up at Les Nanas De Gramercy is great for those of us ladies who are a little bit dress-shy.

I don't know if it's just me, but dresses just don't seem to fit or flatter me most of the time. I would like to wear more of them, but I am particularly conscious of my mid-section, which tends to get chubbier faster than the rest of me when I am eating and drinking like a viking. You can hide that area better with separates. However the pictured dress does a good job of being flattering and not fattering at the same time. You can also easily wear it with pants/leggings, which I intend to do as soon as the temperature and humidity wane a bit. I even got a complimented on it by another woman on the subway when I wore it.

But back to America's Next Top Model. You know the part where Tyra calls out the names of the girls who get to move onto the next stage of the competition? She always says, "The next name I am going to call is..." This drives me insane! Why doesn't she just say, "The next name is..." or "The next girl is..."?? I guess this is a pet peeve matter of semantics but I want someone to chainsaw her to bits whenever she does this.

Wow. Keep that Guerilla in a cage!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Guerilla Survives Another "Natural" Disaster

I wish I had my own photo, but alas I was running for what I thought was my life yesterday at 6:00 p.m. We all now know that it was a steam pipe explosion, but I didn't know that when I felt the non-stop vibrations and turned around, looked out the window of my office, and saw smoke billowing into the sky hundreds of feet into the air.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BusinessWeek: Pricey Jeans Are So Passé

...I couldn't agree more. I visited Scoop on the Upper East Side the other week and tried on a couple of pairs of COH jeans, which each ran about $189. I have never spent more than $98 on jeans, and even that seemed ultimately insane to me (but it was at Club Monaco, so I let it slide). So instead I purchased some Levi's 545 Low Slim boot cut jeans at Sears for $19.99! No I am not kidding and no I am not insane. The only trick is that you have to travel outside of Manhattan to find this "Sears" that you may have heard about in Beastie Boys songs of yore. But these jeans fit me better than most. Check 'em out before they are all gone (see photo)!

July 23, 2007
Looking to trim her two-dozen-pair collection of designer jeans, Julie Mathis, a Los Angeles public relations executive, recently tried to sell her $400 Antik Denim jeans to a local secondhand shop. She figured the store would snap them up. It didn't. "They were like: Nobody's wearing these anymore,'" Mathis says. The five-year-old denim craze, which has juiced sales for apparel makers and department stores alike, looks to be fading at last. Sales of women's jeans declined 1.8% last year, to $7.5 billion, the first pullback in five years, says market researcher NPD Group. Two years ago the women's jeans business was on a double-digit tear, driven largely by the premium category of $100-plus jeans. Blame consumer fatigue and an influx of cheap jeans that even connoisseurs acknowledge aren't half bad. Denim crazes have come and gone. Los Angeles-based 7 For All Mankind kicked off the latest frenzy in 2000 with its $114 derrière-hugging jeans. Before long, tony Italian and Japanese denim became commonplace, and regular folk were obsessing over styles (boot cut vs. flare), washes (dark denim vs. stonewash), and elaborate embellishments (Swarovski crystals on the rear). Paying $200 for a garment with blue-collar roots became as acceptable as laying out $3.50 for a Starbucks Venti Latte.It's been a great ride. True Religion Apparel in Los Angeles had sales of $139 million last year, a fivefold increase from 2004. The company generated operating margins of 28% last year. Polo Ralph Lauren managed 15%; Liz Claiborne, 9%.Perhaps the premium brands should have figured out that things were winding down when industry stalwart Levi Strauss finally got its mojo working again, launching new lines last year that have eaten into sales of designer jeans. True Religion's sales inched up just 1.5% in the first quarter of this year, to $36 million. Sales for Blue Holding, makers of the Antik brand, fell 28% in the same period.Another hit came when inexpensive but stylish denim caught fire in Europe. Cheap Monday, a brand hatched by a Stockholm clothing store that led the way, are now available in the U.S. at fancy boutiques for a relatively inexpensive $65 a pair. Other companies are following in lockstep. J.C. Penney will start selling $35 jeans this fall from Los Angeles designers Chip & Pepper. And Guess is selling $50 jeans at its new, lower-priced G by Guess chain. Meanwhile, women are diverting their denim dollars to dresses and bags. True Religion now sells shoes and shirts; 7 For All Mankind, $500 purses. Both also offer sweaters and jackets. Loretta Soffe, head of women's apparel for Nordstrom, says the designers have yet to prove they can make the transition. "I'm not going to lie to you," she says. "Their expertise is in denim."
By Christopher Palmeri

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

$300: Te Casan Shoes - Focus Group

Unfortunately, I cannot participate in the below roundtable discussion at Te Casan on Weds., July 25. But if you can, it looks like there'd be $300 in it for ya! Read on...
Date: July 16, 2007
From: Michael Thomas
Phone: 215.367.4000 x246
Fax: 215.367.4101
REF: # 361


As part of their ongoing effort to ensure that they are providing the best possible experience for their customers, Té Casan is inviting select customers to share their feedback in a roundtable discussion at their Soho store on Wednesday, July 25th.

As a valued customer, your point of view would be invaluable to this study!

If you are interested, please reply with a name and phone number or call Michael at 215.367.4000 x246 to be screened for this study.

The study involves participating in a 3 hour focus group on Wednesday, July 25th.

To thank you for your time and opinions, participants receive an honorarium in the amount of $300

When you call, please reference Study # 361.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Libertine at Target

OK, so now the New York Times Urban Eye isn't only reading my blog for ideas, they are reading my mind because I swear I was going to write about this new collection (Libertine) after spotting it this weekend. If I were younger or still in denial about my age I might have even bought some of it:

Punky but Chic

Get your masstige on: the Libertine collection arrived in Target stores yesterday. The punk-prep clothing, priced from $12.99 to $39.99, includes a lot of of-the-moment stitchery (knits, embroidery) on shorts, skirts, dresses, striped trousers and printed tops. Get it before the cheap-fashion fan Heidi Klum does.
Target, Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, Brooklyn; (718) 290-1109.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


It's hard to find maternity clothes in the children's department. Just ask this wee lady who stands at 4'10.5". :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mexx Closing in the U.S.

I've written about Mexx on these e-pages before, questioning if this apparel retailer could sustain itself in NYC. Well, we now have our answer: No. As a Mexx credit card holder, I received a letter this week explaining the following:

"We want to let you know that all four Mexx retail stores in the U.S. will be closing:
  • Georgetown, DC - Closes June 24
  • Soho, NY - Closes June 24
  • Tysons Corner Center, VA - Closes July 31
  • Fifth Avenue, NY - Closes early-September

This is simply a business decision we have made to focus corporate resources on other proven brands within our Liz Claiborne Inc. portfolio. It does not, however, change our global commitment to Mexx, which is a leading global lifestyle brand."

Yada yada yada. So, I'm thinking there will probably be some significant sales at the Mexx on Fifth Avenue between now and Labor Day. Might I suggest you take advantage?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Find Outlet Closing

Why is Find Outlet closing? I don't know...but their clothes were too small for me anyway. However, if you are in the size 0-6 range check their final sale out:

What: Find Outlet Store Closing Sale
When: From July 11th to July 12, 2007; Wednesday and Thursday 11am to 7pm
Where: 144 West 36th Street (btw Broadway and 7th Avenue)
The end of an era!
It has been an amazing 8yrs but Find Outlet, the company who introduced civilized sample sale shopping, is finally closing all of its retail stores.
Come join us for our last sale in our warehouse. Prices will be marked way way down. Everything must go so don’t miss your chance to snatch up those items you have been eyeing from the beginning of the season at rock bottom prices.
We would like to thank all of you for supporting us for the past 8 years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

American Apparel

I've not had anything much good to say or think about American Apparel - I went in there a year or two ago and sort of liked the idea but decided the "apparel" was crap and overpriced. However, I may have to revise my position as I did buy a much needed lightweight black cotton skirt in there the other day for $30. I have to say it's pretty much saved me during these last couple of blazing like hell hot days in the big bad city.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lexington Candy Shop

Eat, drink, and spend a fair amount of money at this very old school luncheonette on Lexington and 83rd St.

Open Monday - Saturday, 7a - 7p, the Lexington Candy Shop is a step into the past, save the PRICES, which are more of a step into the future, but I'll get to that later. Whether sitting at the counter or one of the booths, you can order sandwiches, shakes, sodas and the like - they even mix their own soda! I ordered a diet coke and watched as the guy squirted syrup followed by seltzer into my glass. They also make lemonade the old-fashioned way, although I didn't order it seeing how a large costs $5.70! And a turkey club?...$12.75! Along with my diet coke, I ordered a cheese omelet, which came with toast (but no potatoes). Skeptical at first, it was actually quite tasty. But my order costs $10.40 (and remember, no potatoes), which is a bit on the high side, seeing that you can get the same and more at most diners throughout the city for $3-$4 less.

So you go here and pay for the nostalgia. Which isn't a bad thing in this day and age of chain stores and fast food. So maybe it's worth it. And the sign over the Lotto machine which reads, "Please, Lord let me prove to you that I can win the lottery and still remain humble" may make it even more worthy.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

CBGBs - Depressing Photo

So here's the depressing reality of CBGBs' current state -- I took this photo a few days ago. I wonder why tenants get evicted, basically, when landlords jack-up rents, but the landlord has no new tenant, as this photo reveals. Wouldn't it make more sense to have let CBs stay in this location until the area was actually rented to a new tenant? I guess I'm just not that smart. Well, we can all hope this space sits here empty for months on end as some sort of mild retaliation.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

East Vill: Drink at Lunasa

Heck, drink AND eat at Lunasa. On the east side of First Avenue near 7th St. you will find Lunasa in all of its pubbish glory. Everything a bar can be including indoor and outdoor seating, happy hour Mon. - Fri. 4 - 7 p.m. (featuring half-price drinks and appetizers), $10 brunch Sat. & Sun noon - 4, and Soccer Sunday wine specials. Not only a great local spot but also worth travelling to from afar. And Scott, resident bartender extraordinare, mixes a mean Sangria to which I can attest, seeing how I drank five glasses of it yesterday afternoon.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Upper East Side: Cool Food & Drink

From my relatively cool friend who hails from Texas, when I asked where a chick like I could go in this new 'hood of mine. Here's his advice:

There's a good saki bar on 76th & 1st (Haru-across from the restaurant). I like the Heidelberg (86-ish & 2nd Avenue) for awesome polka fun. Sushi of Gari (78th btwn 1st & York) is awesome for sushi. J.G. Melon's (74th & 3rd) is the best burger I've had in the city, but it's always packed. La Tour is a cool Belgian/French place on 3rd Ave between 75th & 76th (see photo). My favorite Irish bar is on 85th and York (don't remember the name but it's a great Irish bar). My favorite trash bar is Cabin Fever at 76th and York. Best Mexican food in the city is El Paso at 97th St. between Park and Madison. I love going for swankie drinks at Lexington Bar & Books at 74th and Lex (or 73rd?) or at the hotel bar at the Carlyle (Madison and 76th St--sometimes a cover charge).

In Land of Khakis, a New Focus on High Style

Perhaps one day I can become the Guerilla Shopper Chicago - my 2nd favorite U.S. city. One of my stringers tipped me off to the below article on how the windy city is focusing on growing and keeping fashion designers in town. I suppose if the midwest needed a fashion capital, Chicago would be the obvious choice. I mean better there than Des Moines. ;)

The New York Times
July 2, 2007
In Land of Khakis, a New Focus on High Style

CHICAGO, July 1 — Mayor Richard M. Daley — who moves about town in perfectly nice, but not overly nice suits — is hardly the picture of fashion-forward dress with his blue shirts and the occasional striped tie.
But no matter: Mayor Daley, now serving his sixth term, has made the nurturing of Chicago’s fledgling fashion industry one of his pet projects. He is determined to remake the city as a fashion hub, even though it has often seemed to display a fashion sense that reflects his own, with all the flair of a golf shirt and khakis.
“These are great artists,” Mr. Daley said recently of the young designers whose careers he hopes will take off — and remain — in Chicago. Fashion, the mayor said quite sincerely, “is the heart and soul of the city.”
So, with strong guidance from City Hall, the city has started an ambitious plan to support young fashion designers and to try to prevent them from leaving for the coasts, where design jobs are more plentiful. Some of the 250 or so designers here are in the beginning stages of their careers, sewing samples in their living rooms, while others are more established.
In response to a reporter’s question on Friday, Mr. Daley elaborated on the reasons for his support: “Fashion designers add excitement and flair to the city. They attract attention from around the nation and the world.” “And,” he added, “they create jobs.”
Last year, the mayor created a position in the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs to focus on helping fashion designers and linking them with the local industry they need to thrive. Melissa Turner, a former lawyer turned fashion advocate who took the job, has since become the city government’s official face of fashion.
Ms. Turner plans Fashion Focus, Chicago’s equivalent of Fashion Week. She organizes shopping trips to some of the neighborhood boutiques selling items by emerging designers. Later this summer, she will start a Web site compiling industry and business resources for designers, a must-have in a city with no centralized fashion district, she said.
Ms. Turner acknowledges that the city’s hands-on approach to fashion is unusual. Unlike the established fashion capitals, where the industry is ingrained in the local economy and history, a city like Chicago needs a little more help from local government to get things moving, she said.
“It is a different approach to cultivating artistic talent,” Ms. Turner said. “The goal is definitely to get a very good, solid foundation laid, and then to keep building on that to support the different levels of designers here.”
Though Fashion Focus’s weeklong whirlwind of fashion shows and shopping tours has been well-received since its inception in 2005, its debut in a Midwestern city known for sharp-elbowed politics — but not quite for style — was met with some amusement back East.
“At first there was a sort of snicker,” said Lee Trimble, the fashion director for Gen Art in New York, a group that promotes emerging artists, including fashion designers, and has an office in Chicago. “It seemed an oxymoron for a city in the Midwest to have a fashion week. Not to sound snarky, but honestly, that was the feeling.”
Undeterred, Mr. Daley pressed on. The next year, he appointed Ms. Turner and created the Fashion Advisory Council, a group of designers and industry experts.
The last time a Chicago mayor tried to jump-start the city’s flagging apparel industry, acid-washed jeans and shoulder pads reigned. That was in 1987, when Mayor Harold Washington created a city agency to promote the sewn products industry here. Mr. Daley’s plan “is simply taking Mayor Washington’s vision to the ultimate,” said Dorothy Fuller, the president of the Apparel Industry Board Inc., the agency created by Mr. Washington. “To have a city agency behind you is a great deal of help, and it’s unique.”
Lara Miller is just the kind of designer Mr. Daley hopes will stay in Chicago. Ms. Miller, 27, a native Chicagoan, began selling her free-form hand-loomed garments at local boutiques while still a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
“Chicago is just part of who I am,” said Ms. Miller, who often listens to Cubs games while working in her studio. “In New York and Los Angeles, it’s a lot more competitive. You’re a little fish in a really, really big sea.”
At Habit, a boutique in the Wicker Park neighborhood that features emerging designers, about half of whom are based in Chicago, the owner, Lindsey Boland, said she was content to market her clothing line, superficial inc., locally.
“I’m not pursuing a national market,” said Ms. Boland, 34, a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design in New York City who grew up near Chicago and moved back here a few years ago. “I’m happy with my Chicago market.”
She welcomes the city’s involvement. “It’s really exciting to feel there are people trying to put programs out there that will help you, give you forums to show your work.”
And though Ms. Miller now sells her clothing line in 16 states, including New York and California, hometown pride keeps her in Chicago.
“I don’t expect it to be glamorous,” Ms. Miller said. “I just want it to be fun.”
As for the mayor, even he says the city has only just begun to perfect its strut down the proverbial catwalk. “We’re going to keep working at it,” Mr. Daley said. “We’re not going to say we’re there yet.”