Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tahari at DSW

I just visited my favorite discount shoe store in Union Square: DSW. I had a $20 DSW "premier rewards certificate" as well as $20 left over on a gift card burning a hole in my pocket. After perusing the cheaper-yet-still-frighteningly expensive designer shoe area, I came upon some groovy Tahari shoes in black, gunmetal and the plumaliscious pair you see pictured above.

I love these shoes because they actually look better on AND they have a low yet alluring heel. Following years of wearing 3" spikes, my feet have HAD IT and will be so pleased with my new approach.

After utilizing the coupon and gift card, they ended up costing me a whopping $27. I WIN!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Unfashionable: Dowtown 6 during morning rush

If I have no other reason to move back downtown this would be it. The 6 train running downtown from the upper east side is one of the worst experiences of my life.

I made the grave error in judgment this morning when I decided to catch it at 77th St. Not only is it about 150 degrees down there, not only is the platform PACKED, but also each train that meanders its way down from 86th St. is 98% full - and nobody gets off the train at 77th St. during morning rush-hour to allow for more space.

So, today, I arrived at the platform at 8:31 a.m. and had to let FIVE trains go by before I could shove my way onto the sixth at about 8:53 a.m. Glad I didn't have to be at work at any specific time, because the old "trains weren't running" excuse is not readily accepted by those who don't take them. Especially from the UES.

Let us pray: Please God. Please let Laura move back downtown as soon as possible.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fashion Overload: H&M, Frye, National Jean Co., Burberry

Wow, there's so much good stuff going on, I am just going to throw it out there for you in an blog-collage:
H&M is opening today at 42nd & Madison. Apparently there were lines at the doors in the wee hours.

Frye, those old sorta dyke-y boots of the 70s are kicking it large with some amazing styles and seemingly top-quality leather. I viewed several styles at Lord & Taylor last night.

The National Jean Co. is opening on the Upper East Side next month, and there's a grand opening party on October 11. See details on attachment.

And in closing, outside of the annoying "plaid" that has been beaten to death and then re-beaten, Burberry clothes really do kick ace. Check out the blue on the dress pictured above.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Southern Hospitality

OK so another BBQ joint has recently opened in NYC. The draw on this one? JT is an investor (Justin Timberlake). While we all might agree that JT is merely Joey Lawrence with a bit of an edge, I can't get enough of this guy. In fact, it was enough to get me to go to Southern Hospitality on the Upper East Side. Well, that and the fact that I currently dwell about four blocks away.

So what's my take on this joint? Eh. It was fine. The food was fine. The service was kind of weak. There were 15 of us, so that may have presented some service challenges and issues, but stuff like there being almost no BBQ sauce on the table is kind of unforgivable at a BBQ restaurant.

It left me with the vibe like it could have (and perhaps should have) been a chain restaurant in the mall.

Sorry JT, stick to cranking out better than average pop music and videos.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FT: The 3-Piece Suit Returns

Getting waisted It's elegant, versatile and practical. Simon Brooke celebrates the return of the three-piece suit.
22 September 2007
Financial Times

"Put me in a three-piece suit and I tend to resemble Roger Moore in his appalling early 1980s period, but without the raised eyebrow," says London-based men's wear designer Simon Carter. So why is he making such a feature of suits with waistcoats in his collection for this autumn?
Simple: his clientele are asking for them. "There's suddenly a revival of interest in the three- piece suit," says Carter. "It's actually a very versatile look, because you can add all kinds of detail to the waistcoat, such as extra pockets. Last year it was our biggest seller at Selfridges."
Indeed, the recent return of the suit and a more dressed-up approach to men's wear has brought with it the waistcoat. While some designers consider the reappearance of what Americans call the "vest" to be evidence that the much-vaunted return of the dandy is now fact and not supposition, others see the phenomenon as a more macho kind of development.
"I missed the three-piece suit the first time around because I'm too young, but I love them," says solicitor James Tilbury, 31. "They're masculine and actually very neat - they keep your shirt and tie in order when you've taken off your jacket. Since I've started wearing my three-piece suit in meetings, I've heard nothing but praise . . . There must be lots of men who would love to wear a three-piece suit and are just waiting to be told it's back."
"I think one reason people don't wear three-piece suits any more is because they think they're restrictive but, actually, they're still really elegant and are very popular with our customers as they are quintessentially British," says Sir Paul Smith, who created a City pin-striped suit with a two-button notch lapel suit jacket this season and another in traditional gamekeeper check in chocolate and camel. Ede & Ravenscroft also has pin-striped three-piece suits in its collection. Matthew Farnes, its bespoke tailor, is finding that younger customers who have not worn them before are beginning to ask for them.
Mark Donnor, 33, who runs a real estate private equity fund, has a collection of three-piece suits, including a morning suit, which he had made at Ede & Ravenscroft for his wedding. "It's a very neat, sharp look," he says. But it's also very practical - you can use it for pens and notes when you've taken your jacket off in the office."
"One customer told me that he feels really dressed up, really ready to work - the pin-stripe is always popular and has real impact," says Farnes. "Waistcoats also allow men to show their individual style. I've made one with a purple backing, for instance, which looks very striking, a bit like wearing red braces. It's also very functional because you've got those useful extra pockets."
A two- or three-button singled-breasted jacket works best with a waistcoat, advises Farnes. Men can also wear their trousers higher, with the waistband under the waistcoat, for a more elegant, elongated silhouette, while today's lighter fabrics mean that even with the extra layer of clothing, wearers will not feel too hot and encumbered.
"The three-piece suit felt right for the autumn/winter collection, even though for some time it's been considered a little old-fashioned," says Carlos de Freitas, head of men's wear at Dunhill. "For our collection, we've created a new slimmer silhouette with a shorter jacket that has a contemporary edge. As men's wear has become progressively more casual, it is good to have something in the wardrobe that is refined and sophisticated."
He's not the only one who thinks so. "Over the past few seasons, we've seen a general return in men's wear to more sophisticated and elegant dressing," says Robert Triefus, Giorgio Armani's executive vice-president. "The waistcoat continues that direction, especially when it's worn with tone-on-tone shirts and more fitted jackets. It combines for a very contemporary feel."
Outside the office, waistcoats also work well. Tony Lutwyche, of London tailor Lutwyche Bespoke, finds that although some clients once associated three-piece suits with John Travolta's brilliant white number in Saturday Night Fever, they increasingly appreciate how a waistcoat can make clothes more elegant for the evening and, indeed, other occasions. "With more men getting married in dinner jackets," he notes, "quite often you find that the groom wants a really elegant waistcoat just to help differentiate him from the other men there."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fashion Photographer for Hire

I just learned of a young photographer named Liz Hopson who is on the cusp of breaking out. So if you are in the market for a portrait, fashion, beauty photographer, grab her before she's too booked and famous to call you back. I was truly taken in by several of her shots.

Robert Polet's 5 Tips on How to be Stylish

...and the Guerilla Shopper's italicized commentary.

Do you know who Robert Polet is? He is the CEO of Gucci who used to be the head of ice cream and frozen food at Unilever. Read the Wall Street Journal for Bob's sake (page B2)! Drumroll...

1. Splurge on high-quality fabric and leather. "Two years ago, I put all my sweaters away in a cupboard and went out and bought myself 10 cashmere sweaters in the same colors I'd had before." (Yo, Bob, so then can I get those sweaters you stashed in the cupboard? My elderly father is cold.)
2. Match your watch to your mood. (I guess I'm always pissed off.)
3. Stay up to speed with technology. His most recent gadget: a BlackBerry 8800. (My most recent gadget is one of those new-fangled "cordless" phones.)
4. Feel at ease in fashion. "I had a pair of flashy leopard-print loafers from Yves Saint Laurent--in fact they're so flashy, I don't wear them today." (Nor would I. Most of my Yves wardrobe is relatively conservative.)
5. Dress down on vacation. On his sailboat this summer, "I didn't put on socks for three-and-a-half weeks." (This guy is zany. Is Gucci sure they want someone so off-the-wall in charge?)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

From the LA Stringer: Alvin Valley

it's raining (that equals crisis here).

these pants are beyond belief.

sale-Label: Alvin Valley

Deal: Up to 80% off jackets, tops, pants and skirts from the label

When/Where: Wednesday September 19th through Sunday September 23rd.Wed—Fri noon—7pm; Sat noon—6pm; Sun noon—5pm.
632 Broadway between Bleecker and Houston Sts, suite 602 (212-253-0095).

finders fee for certain size 2 pant styles.

your west coast correspondent

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ayla: The Anti-Cowboy Boots

I am not a fan of cowboy boots. But I am a fan of these boots that have a cowboy "spirit." Brought to you by the calf- (no pun intended) friendly Ayla boots, this pair, known as "Rodeo" provides the city slicker with a way to wear some sh*t stompers in style.

And if I haven't yet sold you with my delicate approach, let me remind you that they are both made-to-order AND reasonably priced ($159)! This style provides a little extra room around the leg that allows you to easily tuck your pants into the boots if you so choose. And they come in black too, if you so choose that!

I just received this pair in the mail via UPS and frolicked about my apartment (sorry downstairs neighbors) listening to some cowboy music, pretending I was line dancing in Kansas. OK I am 100% lying, but I thought it might make for a good visual.
And I still wish they had size 8.5!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rachel Flotard Rocks the Mike

For my second musical outing of the weekend, I had the great good fortune to see my good friend Rachel Flotard, who is usually the lead songstress of Seattle-based Visqueen do her best Billie Holiday in front of Jon Rauhouse and his band of merry men (who are incredible musicians who you need to see and/or hear, I might add).

We saddled up to the tables at the Living Room - after having to hand our IDs over to the doorman who put them in some portable machine...has anyone seen one of these before? What the hell is that all about? Is big brother now keeping track of what bars I go to? Good grief Charlie Brown.

Anyway, back to the important musical issue at hand...I was pretty much astounded by Rachel's singing voice and ability. It's like there are two people living inside of her, one with her regular Flotard speaking voice, and the other with this unbelievable singing talent that I can hardly grasp. I guess this is what happens when you go to high school with someone, you all still think of each other as being 16 years old and half-retarded.

RoFlo is not only multi-talented in the realm of music, but she also doubles as a hilarious stand-up, providing great rapport with the audience and her bandmates throughout the set. Basically if you don't fall in love with her voice, you will fall in love with her personality, and more than likely: BOTH.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Underworld in Central Park: Sept. 14

The GSNYC spent most of the weekend entertaining herself with musical interludes. The first was the Underworld show in Central Park. Amidst the 'boys' and Europeans, I was able to get a couple of photos and videos of the show, which was quite good in a "sh*t, I haven't been to something like this in a looooong time." Why is it that Euros and Vegans alike love electronica so much?

For the uninitiated, Underworld is the band with the song in the film Trainspotting, to be perfectly depressing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fall Sales to Bide the time

Some great entertainment moments from the weekend to share are forthcoming, but for now here are some quickie shopping tidbits to hold you over.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fashion Blues

...I have no fashion news today, nor am I inspired to whip something up. Sigh. But if anyone has any information about rent stabilized apartments in Manhattan for less than $1,800/mo, let me know!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Olga Kapustina

OK, so Fashion Week passed me by, but some designers have reached out to me - there is hope yet! For example: "Olga Kapustina made her runway debut on Friday, September 7th with a gorgeous Spring 2008 collection."

Olga Kapustina's signature dresses "have become de riguer for smart, single women on the prowl." I would say that the above pictured dress is a strong indication of such, especially the 'prowl' part.
Her wears are available at Barney’s and TG-170 in Manhattan and a few boutiques in Brooklyn.

Apparently, "the Chelsea-based gamine has a loyal following in the film industry, with Angelina Jolie, Sophia Bush, Cameron Diaz, Rachel Bilson, and Reese Witherspoon all wearing Olga on the red carpet, on the dance floor, and in the streets." The streets? What are those ladies doing on the streets? Oh yes, they are also on the 'prowl."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I just got this email from a friend in the film industry. If you are interested in having your apartment in this exciting new film, contact her!

Dear Fashionable Friends,

I am working on yet another movie and need your help.

Walt Disney Pictures is currently in pre-production of a feature film entitled "Confessions of a Shopaholic", based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name. The film will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, will be directed by P.J. Hogan ("My Best Friends Wedding", "Muriel's Wedding") and star Isla Fisher ("Wedding Crashers"). We begin filming in New York City and Connecticut in January, 2008.

"Confessions" focuses on a young woman named Rebecca Bloomwood who works as a journalist for a gardening magazine but has high hopes of working in the world of high fashion. She is also a woman obsessed with shopping and simply cannot pass up a sale (but really, who can?).

Since the story is based around the lives of young, fashionable New Yorkers, I am reaching out to you, fashionable friends, and friends with fashionable friends- as we are currently doing research on where these women actually live. Would you be able to help me in this process by showing me your apartments and/or reaching to your friends to do the same? Basically, we would love to send (myself or) a location scout out to photograph any people and places that may be open to this. *As a side note- we are currently planning to build our "apartment" set on a soundstage, but if we find an apartment that our production designer (Academy Award winning designer, Kristi Zia) likes, we may want to pursue the idea of filming at a practical location.

Please be assured we are working with the full permission and support of the NewYork City Mayor's Office for Film, Theatre and Broadcasting as well as the NewYork State Film Office.

I look forward to hearing from you and feel free to contact me (Laura) at Disney (Production Office) at 646/652-3432.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I call B.S. on some Discount Stores

I recently read an article about how some discount stores that claim to have top designers at low, low prices are in fact selling sub-par apparel to the masses. "Hmmmmmmmm...." I thought to myself. Could this be true? So I did a little investigation at a Filene's Basement and Marshalls and have come to the conclusion that it is true. I tried on Kors by Michael Kors at one, and looked at Tahari suits at the other. The clothes were crap.

The same article mentioned that the only places that you can be sure to find the real deal for less are sample sales or Century 21. Shoot. I guess I believe it, but shopping those is a real nightmare pain in the ass.

I guess the lesson is to be very discerning when considering purchasing "designer" clothing for less - if you think about it, how could all of these discount chain stores that continue to pop up all over the country carry top-of-the-line apparel? It's just not rational. I'm not necessarily saying that these stores are selling false or counterfeit goods, it could be that the designers are licensing out their names to mass manufacturers who are creating select items using less expensive materials and designs.

Since so many of these labels are owned by publicly traded companies, they have to continue to figure out new ways to make more money year after year. So be a smart consumer and don't be "had!"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Leave Being Paris to Paris

For the love of fashion, if you are not Paris Hilton, please try something else, like being yourself, for example.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Anthropologie Catalog

I just got the Anthropologie catalog and while I like the uniqueness of each item, the outfits or perhaps the way the models are wearing them remind me of Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club. The basket-case types who are likely sleeping with your boyfriends because they are freaks like that. "Porno librarians." You know what I'm talking about.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Book: Think Like a Guy

I just heard about this book: Think Like a Guy by that crazy-I'm-not-sure-if-in-a-good-way-or-crazy-way-looking E! News Anchor, Guiliana DePandi.

Basically, in a completely non-academic conversational way, much like the tone of this blog, but not as genius, Ms. DePandi tells it to the ladies straight: Times have changed, so don't act like a little girl - even if you feel like it - or you will likely not end up with the guy that you want.
She's actually somewhat entertaining and seems pretty normal. (Trust that this is a compliment, coming from me.)

So basically take the George Costanza approach and do the opposite of what you normally do when trying to get or keep a guy you are crazy about, and you just may see things go your way. If nothing else, it probably can't be worse than what you've already been doing and (not) getting.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fashion Week Likes (some) Bloggers

You may have read that the powers that be at Fashion Week, which is literally happening right now about one block away from me, decided to invite more fashion bloggers than usual to cover the event. Bloggers such as The Sartorialist, who I have mentioned on these e-pages before.

Did my invitation get lost in the mail? Am I a threat to the fabric of the fashion world (pun intended)? Fine, whatever. Just don't expect me to say "yes" when you beg me to show up next year. I won't even accept the invite. I will "return to sender." I hate fashion. It's stupid. Why would anyone want to go? Nyah.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ayla: Leather Boots that Even YOU Can Fit Into

To all the women of the world who have calves bigger than your forearm:

I, like you, have pretty substantially sized calves...and always have - from at least when I was a senior in high school and the captain of the wrestling team took notice and exclaimed, "Wow! I wish I had your calves!" Now, this isn't usually taken as a compliment, but hell, that's how I took it. And through the years I have had various men take notice, in a good (maybe too good) way. So why is it that the good bootmakers of Earth only make tall leather boots for skinny minnies? I have only been able to wear short boots or stretchy boots, BUT I WANT TO WEAR TALL BLACK LEATHER BOOTS! And I promised to throw a tantrum until I got my way.

And then along came Ayla Boots - "Leaders in calf fitting boots," I kid you not. And the tantrums ceased.

Eight styles available in whole sizes 7 through 12 can be ordered online. Just input your size, calf measurement (widest part of your calf in inches), and preferred color, and you're on your way to owning a pair of boots that fit! Also, none cost more than $189, so get on the bandwagon now before the owners get wise and start charging more!

The style pictured above, known as "Milano" are the perfect answer to the too-narrow, too tight, too high, too expensive styles of late. I ordered a 9 and an 8 to determine which is better - the jury is still out. I guess I wish they had half-sizes because the 8.5 would likely be my best bet. However, I have to say that either one fits me better than most others I have attempted to try on during the past couple of years.

I think I may even get another pair! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Eileen Fisher Sample Sale: Sat. Sept. 8

This Saturday, September 8, 2007 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Eileen Fisher is having a Fall Sample Sale at the 314 E. 9th St. boutique. If you're into this kind of stuff, head on down. Not really my cup of tea, personally - in case you were wondering. But sort of like Bruce Springsteen, I respect him but I don't own one album (or song, for that matter).

Monday, September 03, 2007

Jill Anderson: High-waisted jean

I'm not sure that I'm really "down" with this look. I feel like you have to be 6 feet tall and really freaking skinny to make this look "work" - otherwise you will look like a great big flag or something - way too much material going on here for short people, and not a great look for those with prominent "tummies."