Thursday, December 31, 2009

The JC Penney Secret: Cheap Levi's

OK, maybe it isn't such a big secret, but it was a revelation to me since I had never been inside of a JC Penney until a few weeks ago.  And now that the gift hath been given, I can let the cat out of the bag:

JC Penney has tons of men's Levi's - all styles, colors, washes, etc. - for $33 a pair!  And best news yet, they fit my recipient to a "T."

If you haven't been in the relatively new JC Penney in NYC, it's in the Manhattan Mall on 6th Ave. and 33rd St., not far from Macy's.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Whipped by the Wind? Seeking a mink or seal or faux fur?

Instead of fighting Fifth Avenue tourists for picked over selections at retail store sales, check out Vintage Thrift Shop for one-of-a-kind fur finds featuring designs from destinations across the globe. Also, vintage YSL pieces and designer threads at a fraction of their original prices could become your "statement piece" dress for the New Year. Plus, a small group of interesting jewelry, matchbox covers and pins at the counter.

Stop by at 286 Third Avenue between 22nd - 23rd St. or one the many other thrifts in the area including Guerilla fave Housing Works.

~Nancy Brenner

Monday, December 28, 2009

Starting Jan 2: Change of Season "Italy or Bust" Clearance Sale

Starting this Saturday at noon, Change of Season is clearing out what they have to make room for what comes in February (which may include men's apparel.) Now's the time to grab and run with extra discounts through the month of January.

Also, they are shopping for new inventory in February, so let them know what you're looking for & what you love...

341 E. 9th St. between 1st & 2nd St.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Empire State of Mind

From today's Daily Candy, this video on Why New York Rules (yes, I took poetic license) is worth the watch, featuring some of your favorite chefs, designers, musicians and more: Empire State of Mind

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dec. 26-Jan. 24: ABC Carpet & Home Winter Tag Sale

ABC Carpet & Home Winter Tag Sale


December 26- January 24

Save up to 75% off original prices at all store locations. Save on select home accessories, jewelry, lighting, tabletop & decorative accessories, bedding & bath and modern, grounded & antique furniture, upholstery, sofas, chairs and sectionals, handmade oriental rugs, antique & vintage carpets, contemporary rugs and more.

ABC Carpet & Home

888 & 881 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
212 473 3000
Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri 10-7, Sat 10-7:30, Sun: 11-7

Bronx Outlet
1055 Bronx River Avenue
Bronx, NY 10472
718 842 8770
M-S: 10-7 Sun: 11-6

400 Huyler Street
South Hackensack, NJ 07606
201 641 3400
M-Sat: 10-7, Closed Sundays

Delray Beach
777 South Congress Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33445
M-S: 10-6, Sun: 12-5

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sample Sale Trends for 2010

The ever-anticipated year-end wrap up, care of Nancy Brenner:

- Showrooms vs. retailers - Many sample sales stated up to 80% off retail, when it was really only half off - sales like Botkier, Hype and Autumn Cashmere. Shoppers groaned that they could score better deals at dept stores "friends & family" and flash sales.

- Team hoarding - Highly orchestrated teams of four or more that stripped the shelves - antics that would rival the opening scene of James Bond flick. Even Daniel Craig wouldn't survive these renegade shoppers stocking up for resale on eBay.

- Sugar daddies - no bailout for men squiring their younger "friends," partners, wives to sales to foot the bill - when frocks start at $600 plus level; the "take my credit card honey" days are gone. I've yet to see a sugar mamma footing the bill at a sample sale.

- No inhibitions - women openly stripping in front to their bras and whatnots in front of of males at Proenza Schouler.

- Competition fiercer than femmes vying for Tiger Woods - as die-hard retail shoppers convert to frugalistas.

-Less merch - as designers managed their inventory, like Ben Amun, there was less to choose from at prime sales.

- Designers skipping sample sales - fashion faves like Rebecca Taylor, Cynthia Steffe (where I snagged a $5 patent leather jacket last year), Beth Bowley (where I picked up $25 skirts in seasons past) did not hold public sample sales.

- The waiting game - nearly every sale offered mark downs on the last day as merch didn't move at near retail prices.

- Longer hours - once restricted to "ladies who lunch," time slots, there were a number that stayed open until 8 or 10 p.m.

- Contact sport - Nanette Lepore's sale at progressive prices shoppers in training for the 45th Superbowl at Miami's Dolphin Stadium could show the leagues that sample sales are the ultimate contact sport.

Why does it still pay to go? The one of a kind of items. Instead of Rent-the-Runway, I own the runway. Great costume jewelry designers who will adjust their beautiful bracelets for tiny wrist. Supreme selection of a favorite designer, rather than hop-stopping at Fifth Avenue stores where each brand's space has been shrink-wrapped along with the economy. Garments, hats, leggings in colors, fabrics or shapes that were never mass produced because of the cost. Meeting the designers in person. And the savings, of course. Hurray for sample sale showrooms that still believe in sample sale prices - that means discounts off of wholesale!

What will next year bring? More shoppers competing for fewer sales, fewer choice and higher prices.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dec. 18-24: Leather Jacket Sale at Klurk

Check it: New hoilday pu leather jacket is 30% off for X'mas, Dec. 18-24

360 Broome Street.
Closed Tuesdays

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Skin Care: Olay Regenerist

Some serious skin care advice from a GSNYC confidant:

I started using the Olay Regenerist line a month or two ago and I have noticed a difference. I had heard so many good things about it from various friends that I decided to try it. I was skeptical at first, as I've tried so many different beauty products over the years (from drugstore stuff to La Mer) and never really noticed much difference between them.

There are a lot of products in the Olay Regenerist line. The ones I use are as follows:
1) Thermal Mini-Peel (daily in the shower)
2) Daily Face Serum and Eye Serum (daily, in a.m.)
3) Deep Hydrating Mousse Cleanser (daily at night to wash face)
4) Night Recovery Cream (daily overnight)
5) Microdermabraision and Peel Kit (used this once when I first started on the Regenerist stuff)

By the way, I just googled reviews on this line, and apparently Consumer Reports voted it the best wrinkle cream in a study done in 2006. (see link below). It beat out lots of the expensive stuff like La Prarie, etc.

PS. No, Olay isn't paying me for this endorsement!

Dec 17-18: Be & D Sample Sale

Be & D Sample Sale

When: Thursday, December 17 & Friday, December 18, 9am to 7pm
Where: 35 West 36th Street, 10th Floor West, NYC (between 5th/6th Avenues)
Take B,D, F, V, N, R, Q, W to 34th Street/Herald Square

Cash and major CC accepted.

30-75% off Bags, Belts, Shoes, and Small Leather Goods

Special editions including the Kan-Kan Portfolio, Perry Satchel, Garbo Shoulder and Cosette Hobo.

Range of shoe sizes but lucky 37s will have additional choices.

-Be & D Perry Day Satchel in White Calfskin/Suede Trim - Original Price $995, Sample Sale Price $250
-Be & D Garbo Studded Shoulder Portfolio in Turquoise Lambskin- Original Price $995, Sample Sale Price $400
-Be & D Ruffle Kan-Kan Portfolio in Red Patent Leather - Original Price $595, Sample Sale Price $300

For more info call 212 629 3242 or

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dec. 14-18: Calypso St. Barth Sample Sale

It is so not right that I probably can't make this, but I won't hold it against you:


all week long
items up to 80% off
additional 10% off with this invite

MON 2-7P
FRI 10A -2P

260 fifth avenue (between 28 & 29 streets)


new merchandise arriving every day

Lord & Taylor - 25% Off Almost Everything Thru 12/15/09

I went to Lord & Taylor today and pretty much did all of my Xmas shopping - 25% off of almost everything in the store - even Cole Haan!.  10% off cosmetics, too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

REPORT FROM THE FRONT: Petite Payday at Anni Kuan

Nancy Brenner, of course:

For anyone who always needs to shorten sleeves, lift shoulders and shorten hems, this is a sale for you. This sample sale is so sedate that you can skip your yoga class and it's safe enough for even the most recalcitrant shopper. You won't feel like you came from a kickboxing class. The selection is small, but curated for the female looking for basics to evening wear that has classic lines infused with trends, not one hit wonders. These are clothes you can collect. Not an official petite line, but the closest I've ever seen. Prices from $15-$100 - but the $100 buys you a coat! Usually found in upscale boutiques.

Anni Kuan 262 West 38th Street.
WHEN: Fri Dec 11TH 10am-6pm TO THU Dec 24th 10am-6pm (except Sat & Sun)


Thursday, December 10, 2009


Fancy Nancy Brenner has the low-down:

Have you been bumbed by designer "bargains" that are a bust? Head to Maxx NY where my friend emerged victorious. Her tale:

"Just wanted to let you know that I went to the Maxx NY (one of my fav handbag labels) sample sale last night! To quote my 8-year old niece, 'O-M-G'. My all-time favorite accessory in the world besides shoes are handbags. Overwhelmed by all the options, I was like a mouse chasing cheese. But like the a true shopping diva that I am,

Within minutes I had five bags hanging from each arm and three in each hand (now if only men were that easy to find and made my outfits look as fly, I'd be happy…but I digress).

Everything from leather to suede, east-west styles to doctor bags; totes to messengers, and every color, style and shape. I didn’t think it could get any better until I saw the pricing: bags from $30 - $100! I was so ver-klempt, I almost wept. I finally narrowed my nearly 20 choices down to two (I know - I even surprised myself with that one). I ended with a gorgeous rich brown croco bag and a large east-west style quilted black patent bag with stitching and gold chain strap - both for $60!

They say you can't take it with you when you die, but all I know is there is going to be a U-Haul filled with my shoes and handbags behind my hearse. If not, heaven better have a shopping mall that accepts credit cards."

One of the best bag buys of the season.

Maxx New York 385 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor
Mon.-Thurs., 10-6, Fri 10-5, Sat 11-5
Now through the 19th

Jersey Alert: BELLE DE NUIT Silk Flowers & Candles at Riverside Square

My calling it Riverside Square goes to show how long it's been...Oh and read the bottom for the Guerilla Shopper insider special!...

Top-notch silk flower designer - BELLE DE NUIT - is holding court at THE SHOPS AT RIVERSIDE, HACKENSACK, NJ (ROUTE 4 WEST ) through New Year's Day.

Monday - Saturday, 10am - 9:30pm (Closed Sunday - BLUE LAWS!!)
BELLE is located inside the mall between Bloomingdale's & The Cheesecake Factory

BELLE DE NUIT CANDLES: Great scents; three sizes

Special Guerilla Shopper Deal:
Mention Guerilla Shopper + SPEND $100.00 or more = receive a 100% soy candle for FREE.  Yay!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hanro: Lux Undie Sample Seekers male and female... the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as they waited on line for superb prices at this top quality line of Swiss underwear, underpinnings, sleepwear, robes and lounge wear. There were only 3 men for 3 full racks of offerings! Serious male hoarder though - and I didn't think that I'd have to compete with a husky tall male for XS underwear at 8:01 this morning - guess his goods will be on eBay tonight. One woman was finished by 8:15 with three big shopping bags full of merch that I suspect will land online too -- unless like many New Yorkers she loathes laundry day and picked up a month's supply. It was a tough crowd and one woman limbered up marathon-style by doing neckrolls and stretches. Panties were the ultra-sought after item here with prices at 6 for $30 (most were XS) and nightgowns in the $40-$45 range. The serious sample sale shoppers (like a guy who said he has been coming for the past 15 years) probably went today, so it's likely safe to do a drive-by tomorrow: 40 E. 34th Street Suite 207. A+ for most literate sample sale.

~Nancy Brenner

Dec 8-12, 2009: Eugenia Kim Sample Sale

Eugenia Kim


TUES-FRI DEC 8-11, 2009

SAT DEC 12, 2009

347 W. 36TH ST., SUITE 502



PHONE ORDERS: 212-674-1345 x10 or x12

Dec 10-23: Portolano Sample Sale

Yes, another one-

Portolano Sample Sale
December 10-23
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (closed weekends)
15 W. 37th St. (2nd fl)
Gloves and stuff.
No refunds or exchanges (so check your purchases CAREFULLY before leaving)
Major credit cards accepted

Monday, December 07, 2009

Good Sales (Furla) & NYT Article

These sales seem great: Furla!

This article is good!: "Secret’s Out: Sample Sales Move Online" (...But now the mobs are moving online, to sites like Gilt, Rue La La, One Kings Lane, Ideeli and HauteLook. On the Web, the shopping is just as competitive, but it is no longer a blood sport.)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dec. 11: Caterina Gatta (in Person!) at Change of Season

Rome based designer Caterina Gatta utilizes vintage fabrics from designers such as Gianni Versace & Givenchy to create one-of-a-kind modern couture pieces that hint at the past.
Caterina will be in-store Friday, December 11th to display and sell pieces from her collection.

341 East 9th Street btw 1st & 2nd ave
Reception: 7-9PM

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Botkier Bags No Bargain at $175-$275 - but better than Minkoff prices...

Nancy Brenner, when does she sleep?:

...and sample sale sections bags were $150 and still leftovers last night - because $150 for samples is pricey - last year you could find a slightly damaged bag for $50. They will be adding new "sample" bags - but get there when they replenish stock in the morning. This year a puny nothing tagged for $75. One man guarded his stash of about nine bags like they were Chanels.  Can you spell eBay? Last night there were fresh eBay postings - probably straight from the sample sale - of course those prices are closer to retail, but if you don't feel like dragging downtown to Lafayette Street in a hit or miss expedition, and don't mind paying a premium try eBay or some of the upscale online boutiques that are slashing prices bringing them close to (or in some cases lower) than sample sale ones.


Ga ga gold prices urging you to look elsewhere for holiday glitter? You won't need a trust fund for Blair-worthy headbands in black patent or pink silk embellished with vintage black lace at the Colette Malouf sample sale. Or Malouf's ethereal gold mesh wire hair pins, combs or barrettes. Don't know the difference between a head wrap and a head strap? Hair styles past a pony are beyond your repertoire? Don't worry. Colette herself will show you how to rock a headwrap, position a peacock pin, sweep your hair into French french knots with sparkly rhinestones and many other tricks of the trade. Creative Colette is like a live Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA, but without the crowds or admission price. Stocking stuffers seekers or those looking for gifts for each day of Chanukah, go to the source where Gossip Girls stylists pick up pieces for Blair. Dress your tresses for less with prices starting from just $5 and many in $15 and $20 range.

Head there now for inspiration - when was the last time you saw a designer at a sample sale? Thursday at 594 Broadway between Houston and Prince - tell them the Guerilla sent you!
~Nancy Brenner

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dec. 14-16: Catherine Malandrino Sample Sale Event Hosted by Savvy & Co.

Oh how I wish I didn't have a day-job!  Maybe Nancy can visit in my absence (and buy me stuff)--


Sample Sale Event Hosted by Savvy & Co.
December 14 – 16, 2009
New York, NY

The Catherine Malandrino sample sale, hosted by shopping event company Savvy & Co., will feature the Fall Winter 09 collection.

The collection reflects the great attention to detail, color, and silhouettes that Catherine Malandrino has become known for. It takes place Monday, December 14th through Wednesday, December 16th.

Merchandise at the sale will be marked down up to 80% below retail.

What: Ready-to-wear pieces that showcase the classic Catherine Malandrino style aesthetic.

Where: Metropolitan Pavilion
123 West 18th Street (btw 6th & 7th Ave.)
New York, NY 10011

Monday, December 14th 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM;
Tuesday, December 15th – Wednesday, December 16th 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Nancy Brenner say:

Autumn Cashmere where there was just a lone male shopper this morning. There are only two racks for men, but everything was under $200, with prices much better overall than for women.

Women's samples prices higher than in the past -- about $99 for a novelty sample that retailed for more than $200. Shoppers were grumbling about discounts that weren't solid sample sale prices - seems to be a trend this season following the Nanette Lepore sale when just last season samples were $20 and $40 and then upped to $75 and $95 last month.

Cottons for women: best deal. Ladies hope you did your squats --check lower racks with the orange tags for top deals. Sample sale prices still better than retail, but no steal according to the regulars. Sold at better stores and boutiques.

Today through Friday, December 11th (no weekends)
231 West 39th Street, Suite 924.
Hours: 9a-7p

Showroom Seven Sample Sale: Dec. 7-18

Monday December 7th – Friday December 18th
263 11th Avenue - between 27th & 28th Streets - 3rd Floor

  • Orla Kiely
  • Erickson Beamon
  • Issa London
  • Tony Cohen
  • Rockstar Jeans
  • Andy & Debb
  • Hollywood Trading Company
  • Sharon Wauchob

For more info call 212 643 4810

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nov. 30 - Dec. 14: Vanessa Noel Sample & Stock Sale

Vanessa Noel Sample & Stock Sale

November 30 - December 14
M-F 10-6 Sat 11-6
158 East 64 Street
(Lexington-Third Avenues)

All current fall boots and shoes reduced 50% to 70% off. Now $200 to $2,250, original retail from $525 to $7,500. A closeout selection of 30 styles of white satin shoes to be dyed now $50, reduced from $525.
Woman’s day and evening shoes and boots. Over-the-Knee, ankle, and to-the-knee stretch suede boots, chinchilla boots, mink booties, strappy evening sandals, pumps, ballerinas, flats, alligator loafers. Also a small selection of early resort sandals.

No further reductions. American Express, Visa, Mastercard and cash accepted. All sales final. No refunds.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Don't Be a Swine In Line: Nancy Brenner's Black Friday and Sample Sale Rules of the Game

1. Don't say "I just went to get coffee" and pretend you were on line
in the drizzle/snow/cold/wind/heat for hours with the rest of us.
Besides, any true shopper would avoid liquids before a massive grab

2. Most overused catch phrase is "I think my friend is in the front."
That's nice, see where the back of the line is around that Avenue?
Catch up post sale and compare your booty - don't disrespect everyone
who got up early/took a day off/traveled in from another state to get
a head start.

3. Let go if that Moschino that doesn't work for you. Women hang out
to a dress like it's a life raft leaving the Titanic even if they
can't get it over their body armor Spanx or if the color casts the hue
of Kermit the Frog.

4. Don't block and tackle. This is not Super Bowl Sunday. Some
shoppers have taken to hurling their entire body across a clothes rack to
ensure that you won't pass them and view the items at the end of the
rack before you do.

5. The Mirror. Unless you brought your own, don't act like you did.
This is not a taping of America's Top Model. Stop preening and
prancing and doing splits in front of what may be the only mirror in
the room. Ladies - you know who you are!

Economic times are tough...but that doesn't mean you have to be too.

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Let's give thanks for Nancy Brenner:
G-III sample sale is for men and women of all sizes, ages, tastes. Lux label seekers staked out the Gucci and Armani sales last week, while savvy New Yorkers stood outside of a red velvet rope line (nice touch) for a host of outerwear brands and jackets starting at $30 for sample pieces - including Cole Haan, Siena Studio leather, Guess!, Sean John, Marvin Richards, Ellen Tracy and many others. This is the biggest range of sizes - from petites to 5X - thatI have ever spotted at a sample sale. Choose a commitment coat that will take you through the worst of winter (if it ever shows) to a one-season-wonder fling. The bottom line is if you're looking for a puffer, a trench, a classic black wool coat, leather jacket, fake fur, fake can find it here. Biggest problem at this sale - temptation. Pick your color palette - basic black to fuchsia, tan, burgundy, red...grey python, leopard leathers. Come in with a list of what you're looking for - otherwise you'll leave with more than you and your credit card can carry!

Avoid the stampedes at stores on Black Friday - you'll never find better prices than this. A Sean John leather jacket in a size 5X was $160, regularly $550. A fake fur pink party jacket sample for $30. A trench prototype in cobalt blue $30. Jackets that Sean John retailed for $245 - now $70. A light-weight Cole Haan jacket priced at 1 for $50 or 2 for $75. A red Jones wool coat: $100. A purple puffer sample: $50.

Check out the back room with a glass window for party dresses at $25 and coats with fur trim.

Head here before you head home for the holidays - and bring your hostess a jacket instead of a pricey fruit cake!

241 West 37th between 7th-8th Aves. (ground floor)
CLOSED THANKSGIVING, Mon-Fri 10a-7p until December 18th

Monday, November 23, 2009

Three Stores I Happened Upon and Really Like

Exquisite Costume: I accidentally happened upon this vintage boutique on a part of Broome St. that I may have never tread on before. I was pretty blown away by the selection, which includes pieces from the 1800s! The pictured dress from the 60s can be purchased immediately off the website for $600.

New York Vintage: I must have gone into this Chelsea-located store before, right? It is amazing! It's not your run-of-the mill vintage store, it's more like falling back in time into the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer dressing room circa 1939 (well, except for the part where they have clothes that are newer than that, but you get my drift). Clean, vibrant, extremely well-organized and flush with thrilling apparel this place is celebrity-status. Literally. Stylists, get your vintage Oscars gowns here. And for those of you who have (top-conditioned) clothes and accessories that you inherited from your grandmother but will never wear or use, you might be able to make some money. Give 'em a call - 212-647-1107.

Pas de Deux: I happened upon this fine boutique on my way to Veniero's the other night, which may be why I probably could not fit into anything! Just amazing clothes from top designers such as rag & bone and Philip Lim, et al. Not cheap, but inspiring to peruse...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

10% Sale At Klurk thru Nov. 29

I've been meaning to write about this place since I happened upon it during my jury duty stint...It's Klurk and they sell groovy Japanese-designed gear for men. Which means it's ultra super hip and not suited for most garden variety boys because few are cool or thin enough. I wouldn't even suggest giving it a shot if you aren't completely confident in your ability to put it across. But if you ARE that hip and svelte, I strongly suggest checking it out.

Closed Tuesdays. And on Broome St., not Broom street as the pictured flyer indicates.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Project Runway: Congrats Irina

I didn't love her as a person, but the styling on her final runway show at Bryant Park was badassery at its finest.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Nancy does she do it?

Is your version of the LBD really fuchsia? Find funky frocks for $50 or $35 at the sample racks at Tracy Reese. These people know how to throw a true "sample sale" on a day when it feels like every showroom on Seventh Avenue in Soho and Chelsea Markets have swung open their doors - pre-empting the Black Friday sales.

Spotted at today's Friends and Family a shocking pink spots cardi retailing for over $200- here $50. That "stars" dress that Paris Hilton wore to the David Letterman show - skirt version for $50. A ruffled strapless dress in purple for $35 - bargain basement! Ladies line up early, especially if you're the lucky sample size for Tracy Reese, Frock and Plenty. Just please ban men from the mirrors!

260 West 39th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenue - 5th Floor
9-7 Thursday and Friday

OYE Bathing Suits

I just realized that in the 3+ years I have been writing this blog, I rarely write about the most feared apparel item known to womankind: the BATHING SUIT. AHHHHHhhhhh!

But I am brave. I went to view new suits from OYE (Open Your Eyes), the Turkish-based collection of hand-crafted swimsuits designed by twin sisters Ayca and Zeynep Sadikoglu.

OK, so good news or bad news first? Let's get the bad news out of the way:
  • Currently, they are only available at Breeze in Brooklyn (I think we're talking Avenue U, like heading toward Coney Island).
  • They cost between $300-400 each.
  • They come in sizes XS-L. Except it was explained that a Large is approximately size 6 or 8. Not exactly "large" in most parts of the ol' US of A.
So now let's focus on the good news:
  • They are truly unique and come in a wide range of styles.

  • They come in beautiful colors and no unflattering prints. They do, however, create interesting patterns by overlapping contrasting colors in their designs.
  • A few suits can be worn in more than one way - like getting 2 or more suits for the price of one.

  • They are pretty "girly," but in a sophisticated way. Some of them are adorned with jewels and come with earrings to match! But again, nice, not trashy.

I suspect that they will soon expand their retail reach beyond Avenue U. I can't imagine that there wouldn't be some strong interest in this line.

I picked the photos above based on styles that I would consider to be more wearable for most women. Granted, you still have to be pretty g.d. hot, but you might be able to pull them off even with a few extra ounces sitting on your bones.

You will also be able to peruse and buy OYE suits (starting in January 2010) at,, and

Battle of the Bags: Rebecca Minkoff vs. Kooba Report from the Front

It's Nancy Brenner's bag, baby...

Bring a helmet to today's Rebecca Minkoff's sample sale. If you like the feeling of masses exiting Madison Square Garden post sold-out Madonna concert, head right over to this sale, which had its VIP preview last night.

Space is small, checkout slow, prices high -$350 for best bags (for a ss). Most Minkoff minions did seem happy to drop major moola - perhaps they dropped by the bar next door for a margarita during the more than half hour wait to gain entry.

Better prices at the Kooba sale - where you can find bags in the sample room - if you don't need this year's IT bag, score a real deal for $25 - if you can handle an '04 model. Ask the knowledgeable sales staffs for the provenance.

If you can hold out, wait and see if Botkier ishaving a sample sale this year where I scored a $50 bag that retailed for over $600 last year), or just wait for Black Friday or CyberMonday.

17 West 17th Street - Minkoff 10-8 thru Sunday
141 West 36th Street - Kooba 0 today and tomorrow 10-8 (closed 2-3)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sacco: Low-Heeled Black Leather Boots that Fit

Oh Joy to the World! I have been questing for black leather boots that don't hobble me with their 4-inch stiletto heels, for I need to book around town, you know!

After looking in every major department store, and frankly every shoe store I walked by, I finally found what I needed at Sacco on the Upper West Side (though they have other locations, such as Chelsea and near Union Square).

I was torn between the sleek-and-pointy short boots and the tall "cop" boots that laced up the back - mainly because I could not believe my great good fortune that they actually zipped all the way up. So I did what any lady would. I bought them both. And lucky for me, all boots were $50 off a pair last weekend - although I think that special is over for now. Not exactly what I would call cheap, but so much better than the usual $700+ per pair - each cost less than $300.

The shorties also come in a longie, but they refused to zip all the way up. Sacco does provide a boot-stretching service for those of us whose calves are bigger than 14-inches. Which apparently is not so rare, seeing how there was a woman taking them up on that offer in my presence.

I have worn them both already and find them to be more comfortable than any boots I have owned in a very long time. As such, I am booking around town in style, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Guerilla Shopper Discovers Gem in Chelsea: LINGO

By sheer accident - but perhaps there are no accidents - I discovered my new favorite west side store: Lingo. This one-woman store offers designs from independent artisans (Hapiru, Cinderloop...) from around the country at prices that are digestible.

While there are some funky groovin' casual pieces, many of the garments are work-appropriate - or can be made to look that way - especially for women who work in a slightly creative field, but who still need to look somewhat "buttoned-up:" media, architecture, design, etc. I tried about 19 things on and bought three - pictured above. [Check out the black & grey Mad Men dress. Naughty!!] She also has a wide selection of belts and jewelry that I dug, but had to draw the budgetary line at.
In addition to the great wears, I had a grand old time with the owner who was very helpful and interesting simultaneously- in the way that you wish a salesperson would always be.
So! If you live near or find yourself on W. 19th St. one fine afternoon (257 W. 19th St. to be exact) - near the Joyce Theater - I implore you to stop in.
Closed Mondays.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bloomingdale's: Last Day 20% Off / Belle de Nuit Candles

Yes, go to Bloomies TODAY (Sunday, Nov. 15) and get 20% off of almost all clothing. Went yesterday with a friend and, well, it's just good to get pretty expensive stuff for less.

Also go TODAY to the GreenFlea Market on Columbus and 77th St. I have learned that Belle de Nuit has added a candle collection (see pic.) to their amazing silk flower arrangements!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sample Size 8 Heaven at Lafayette 148, Report From the Front

Nancy Brenner, still at it:

Lest we be accused of pulling a Cintra Wilson on shopping reportage, come one, come all to the Lafayette 148 sale where there was a line curling around the corner for women of all sizes - they sell petite (a few racks where you can find zeros if you look hard enough), Missy and Women's at Lafayette 148. And if you are a Size 8 in their brand, which is generously cut, you will be burning up your credit card - so control yourselves! One of my friends said "this is not a sale for skinny minis." But if the size fits, you will find sequined jackets worthy of black tie events, perfect work wear skirts, a red day to night red dress that is currently "on sale" at a major department store for 3 X the "street sample price" of $60 and originally more than $400 - you do the math on the discount... Skirts are $40 - one originally tagged for $698 - wool, alpaca with hand beading. Leather skirts like butta are $100. Wool sweaters that retail for $200 are $40 - just check for moth holes. Ladies there are no dressing rooms and there are men at the checkout registers! So, unless you're an exhibitionist or want to outdo the infamous Highline hotel for women who don't do shades - come dressed to undress - close fitting top - if you're only looking for jackets and maybe a pencil skirt or leggings, so you can avoid stripping. This sale is on the ground floor in a space with many windows and curious onlookers! One optimistic shopper brought an empty suitcase - which she expected to fill - at these price points, she probably did. Peruse for a look at their luxurious line.

Today and tomorrow from 9am—8pm. 148 Lafayette St. between Howard and Grand Sts. (near the Canal Street station 6, N, R, etc.)

Sale & New Stuff at Les Nanas de Gramercy

I just got word that Les Nanas (de Gramercy) got a new shipment of winter clothes in from Paris and that all the apparel in the basement is 70% off (if you pay in CA$H!). On Third Ave. near 21st St.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NOW: Tibi Treats Facebook Fans to Early Entry for Sample Sale

A fashion first? Facebook Fans of Tibi are invited to fast track shopping - hours before the regulars - at 9:30 am instead of 1:00 pm - all the difference between snagging the good stuff or scavenging for scraps. Check out the yellow dress with black beading as worn by Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester and other seductress fashions on their Facebook page... or browse Who knows what will land at the sample sale?

Start Time: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 9:30am
End Time: Friday, November 13, 2009 at 6:00pm
Location: Coolture Showroom
Street: 409 W. 39th St.
City/Town: New York, NY

~Nancy Brenner

Shoshanna: Report From the Front (Starts Today!)

Back at it...Nancy Brenner reports:

Profiteering at a sample sale? With these prices, a sign was posted not to resale. First, head for the numerous $50 sample racks for this season's merch if you're a 2 or 4. I spotted an on-trend motorcycle jacket that was on its way to retailers - it was purple, and the stores ordered basic black. Other finds include one-of-a-kinds that were never manufactured, so if you're looking for an original cocktail dress, that no one else will have, check here. Also, samples from previous season. For stock piece, many of the dresses could be found for $100, $125. A sweater from past season had a tag on it from a big name retailer on Fifth Avenue.

When: Wed - 10-6:30, Thursday from 10-5:30.

Since there are a slew of sample sales tomorrow, head here first for a party dress or work-worthy black sheaths that can go from day to night with the right accessories. Sales people sweet and helpful. Do pack light, checking everything...if you're reading this you know the drill...

Wednesday November 11th, 2009 @ 10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday November 12th, 2009 @ 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
231 West 39th Street
Room 422

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nov. 12-15: ABC Carpet Warehouse Sale in the Boogie Down

This sounds good (and bring the above flyer for even more money off!)

home: barbara barry, mitchell gold + bob williams, french heritage, upholstery, antiques, theodore alexander, traditional & modern furniture, grounded, lighting, table top & accessories, books, bed & bath, downtown pillows, comforters & blankets.

carpet: modern, handmade orientals, needlepoints,aubussons, flatweaves, shags, mansion sizes, runners, remnants & wall-to-wall carpet.

where: abc carpet & home – bronx warehouse outlet
1055 bronx river avenue
bronx, ny 10472
718 842 8772
m-sat: 10a-7p, sun: 11a-6p

Monday, November 09, 2009

Nov. 19 - Dec. 23: Green Finds Eco Market Place

What: Green Finds Eco Market Place
When: November 19 - December 23
Every Week Thursday to Sunday
Where: 2 Great Jones Between Broadway and Lafayette

This holiday season Green Finds is holding New York’s first ever Eco Holiday Market Place.

The Green Finds Eco Market Place is curated by Ike Rodriguez, a socially conscious grass roots retailer. The Eco Market Place fuses the best selections from local NY eco companies to major eco brands.

Every Thursday to Sunday Shop and meet the creators of Spirit Beauty Lounge, She Essential Beauty, Positively Organics, Lee Lai, Real Jewels, Kaija, Get Licked, Yania Creations, Seltzer Goods, JeeyunHa Designs, Charmone Shoes, 3r Living.

Follow them on Twitter: and join the email list at to keep updated with the special events currently being scheduled, such as the eco makeover day with Spirit Beauty Lounge or the Tea and Organic Chocolate party.

For more info contact Ike at or 917 226 9765

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nov 8-11: La Perla Sample Sale

La Perla Sample Sale
Up to 75% off retail

Lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear, and men's lounge wear

Sunday, Nov. 8, 1-5 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 9 - Wednesday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

4 W 58th St., 4th Floor
Between 5th & 6th Avenues

All sales are final
Cash & major credit cards accepted.

Report from the Front: Moschino at Aeffe Showroom

Nancy Brenner reports...
If you are a fan of Moschino, or one of the other lines at this multi-line sale, probably nothing will stop you from shopping...

Tips for shopping Moschino:
  • Prices look super cheap - but one set of numbers is Euro - ask before trying on - otherwise you'll be disappointed.
  • Head to the back rack for the Moschino Lingerie line - there were several nice "sleepwear pieces" like a black velvet top with rhinestones - embrace the inner wear as outerwear trend - no one will know - unless you tell them.
  • Multiple lines, so many price points - try Moschino Cheap and Chic for the most affordable fashions.
  • Rack checking - key as merchandise returns from the crowded dressing room
  • Study the brand online - one shopper spotted a black skirt from the runway slide show
  • Sizing - mostly sample, but many jackets are roomy
  • Markdown day - Saturday, but who knows what's left... or maybe you'll see it later on Gilt
  • Slim down your holdings - this is one of those sales where you check everything and just carry around your wallet and cell

An admonition: this is not a super cheap sale, so be prepared to spend. Shoppers seem unaffected by economy - one mother with two daughters are regulars and they seemed set on being new wardrobes... what did they do with last year's coats? One daughter wanted to spend the day there instead of hitting other sales. A whole day at a sample sale - that takes more stamina than the New York City Marathon or extra innings at the World Series.

Bear in mind, that a purple Alberta Ferretti dress was still over $600 - Can a Ferretti come between you and your IRA? This is not an impulse purchase.

Aeffe 30 West 56th Street sale through November 7th - hours from 10-6

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Belle De Nuit: Fine Silk Floral Arrangements

These are not your mother's silk flowers (no offense, mom).

I love flowers as much as the next gal - getting them, having them, wearing them in my hair and dancing with one in my teeth. However, they are expensive and you never know how long they are going to last. So...

Why not try silk flowers?

OK, I know you might be unwilling to entertain the idea. The nice ones cost an arm, both legs, and the ability to grow long eyelashes, and the cheap ones are dreadful to be in the same room with. But what if I told you that you could get the nice ones at a great price? You might call me a sensationalist; a truth stretcher - but I swear to you that Belle de Nuit, the newly launched floral design company that specializes in fine silk floral arrangements offers beauty, style and affordability. Just check out the picture of the ones I scored today at the GreenFlea Market on Columbus (between 76th-77th St.)! For $70 I got this adorable arrangement of silk flowers wearing the best colors and sitting in the coolest antique container. To compare, if you wanted something similar, such as Diane James Floral Designs available at Gracious Homes, you would start by paying at least $210, and likely much more than that.

Word is that Laura Zeitlin - the proprietor and designer with decades of industry experience under her belt - will be BACK at the GreenFlea Market this coming Sunday (November 8, 2009) from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at one of the outside tables. I suggest you check it out.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sales This Weekend: Oak and A.P.C.

From Urban Daddy:
Oak Sale 60% off
We approach the term "bargain basement" with a tinge of trepidation. Not so when that basement belongs to Oak, and the bargains include apparel and shoes from Opening Ceremony, Diesel and Acne. It's like your parents' basement without the Ping-Pong table but with better denim.
411: Through Sunday, Nov. 1
Oak, 28 Bond St, 212-677-1293

From Paper magazine's VIP Newsletter:
Here is some exciting news to soothe your post-Halloween hangover: Chic, French fashion line A.P.C. is having an overstock sale. Save up to 80 percent on womenswear, menswear and accessories. Though today is the last day of the sale, we hear that stock will be replenished daily -- so it's all good!
33 Grand St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (212) 966-9885.
Oct. 30-Nov. 1. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Georgia May Jagger: Face of Hudson Jeans

OK so my answer to that question, "Who do you like the better, the Beatles or The Rolling Stones?" is easily "The Rolling Stones."

So the only reason I am posting this is because I am intrigued by that.

So if you are too, check out an exclusive interview and video featuring starlet and model Georgia May Jagger on She's the youngest daughter of Mick and Jerry Hall, in case you didn't know (I didn't). She also happens to be the face of Hudson Jeans and that's the driver behind the short video (read: commercial).

So like I said it's not all that interesting except for who her parents happen to be.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Change of Season: New Website

My new love interest in the East Village, also known as "Change of Season" just launched a new website at: There's little chance that this little boutique outlet isn't going to be a huge hit.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Holy Shirt!: Varvatos Sale, Oct 23-24

If you're a Varvatos fan don't miss this. Report from the front - blazer originally $1,100, now $180, dress shirts now $50, cool casual shirts $35.
Menswear and accessories for men...

Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St, 4th Floor
October 23-24, 2009
Fri-Sat 10am-8pm

~Nancy Brenner

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thomas Pink: Free Custom Fit Shirt for Men & Women

Nancy Brenner in action at the Thomas Pink pop-up store in Rock Center!:

Thomas Pink Shirts, $175-$270 value for free! For men and women. Rockefeller Center near the ice skating rink big black pop-up store. Expect at least an hour wait. Fifty people waiting on line already at 9:30 am- for a 10 am start. Drew a mix of tourists, businessmen and people who just walked by and saw the line. A friend told me he was taken at 10:40, line was growing, but moving. Expect at least an hour wait - go off-peak. Six people measuring for both men and women - neck and arms. Men's choices included classic, slim or evening shirt for a tuxedo, women had a choice between classic and slim fit. White collar or herringbone - french or buttons. Free stays too. No line for free coffee or shoe shine. And free delivery -- shirts will be Fed-Exed within 10 days.
Beats waiting on line for a sample sale and pulling out your credit card - or walking away empty handed!

Oct. 22 - Nov. 1: Madeline Weinrib Sample Sale at ABC Carpet

Madeline Weinrib is hosting a sample sale featuring 40-70% off select carpets, textiles, fashion and home accessories from past seasons. The sale will include many of Madeline’s carpet designs such as the Mandala, Brooke and Megan in one-of-a-kind colorways, as well as a limited-edition range of her Ikat pillows that were not produced for regular retail distribution. In addition, an exclusive selection of samples and vintage items from Madeline Weinrib’s private archive will be available and on sale for the first time ever.

When: Thursday, October 22nd - Thursday, November 1st, Mon-Sat 10a-7p, Sun 11a-6:30p
Where: ABC Carpet & Home, 881 Broadway, Lower Level T, 212-473-3000 x.780
Pictured: Pink Daphne Ikat Pillow, 18x18 in; was $450, now $225

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yes, There is a Stickley Furniture Sale This Week

207 W 25th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 337-0700 started last Thursday. I haven't had a chance to get over there, though!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct 19-23: Portolano Sample Sale Returns!

I think I am running out to this today in search of new and improved black leather gloves:

Sample Sale
Oct. 19-23 (Closed Sat. & Sun.)
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
15 W. 37th St. (2nd Floor)
between 5th - 6th Aves.

Gloves! Knits! Hosiery! Ties!

No refunds or exchanges...
Credit cards accepted.

Friday, October 16, 2009

10/22-23 Sanyo Sale: Seeking stylish warm raincoat? This one's for the boys...and you heard it here first

When is rains, Nancy Brenner pours her heart out:

Sanyo sample sale. I'm so jealous.... Sanyo's claim, "Even in the most torrential downpour, you can rely upon its quality to keep you comfortable and dry, while its lightweight nature makes it a pleasure to wear at any time, effortlessly transitioning your wardrobe from business meetings to formal events..." is all true! I have a Sanyo (when they were still doing a women's line). It's classic, fab, and has the warmest rabbit button out lining.

Now, it's only menswear - guys forget about the friends & family at Saks, or holding out until Black Friday standing outside of some major department store waiting to get a steal - this is it - it even inside security pockets for your cool tech gear, sunglasses and credit cards. Check out range of styles you might see at the sale -

Sanyo retail price points are $300-$800. Sale will be from 30-70% off - look for the sample sale rack for best buys.

525 Seventh Avenue @38th St.
Suite 1709
Thursday October 22, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Friday, October 23, 9 am - 5:30 om

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"School" Shopping: Madewell & Metal Pointus

So that nice human I mentioned the other day thought I needed some (more) clothes and jewelry. And indeed I did.

But perhaps as important, I have two new tidbits to impart:

1. If you want some kickass v-neck T-shirts that come in excellent T-Shirt colors and are as soft as you like, go to Madewell (486 Broadway), where they are offering two-for-$30. My only issue is that they are marketing them as "the 'boyfriend' T." This angle is now officially annoying. Everywhere I look, "the boyfriend blazer," "the boyfriend sweater," "the boyfriend flannel.." OK, we get it, the oversized look is back! Additionally, there's something un-feminist about the whole idea. "Oh I just want to spend my day wearing Todd's T-shirt, so that I have a little piece of him at all times!" That's creepy, and believe me, Todd does not feel the same way about you. He's worried about baseball and the hot new receptionist at his office.

2. I am not a huge jewelry fanatic, but when I find a store I like, I fall in love. Such is the case with Metal Pointu's (252 Elizabeth St.). Lots of big metal jewelry that weighs a lot. So if you are into the pretty little delicate look, this is probably not the place for you. But if you want a bad ass ring, like the one pictured above, that sort of reminds you of a Sleestak, then I highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jaime Mascaro: Los Zapatos Nuevos Y Verdes

The nicest human on the big island begifted me with this fancy fabulous fun pair of green patent leatha shoes from the much more Euro-than-American Jaime Mascaro on West Broadway in Soho.
Why is it that whenever I tell a Euro shoe store that I'm a size 9 they bring me a size 39, which is actually an 8-1/2? Well anyway, just keep that in mind and sleep well tonight knowing that they had a size 40 (aka 9) that fit lovely.
I am so looking forward to wearing these kitten heels with hot pink soles when the sidewalk least expects it.

Friday, October 09, 2009

10/22-10/24: Gunmetal Warehouse and Sample Sale

For 3 days only Gunmetal will be selling hundreds of shoes, starting at $75 per pair (from original prices $595-$795). The sale features stiletto heels, platforms, wedges, boots, sandals and includes special one of a kind showroom samples.

Gunmetal Luxe shoes, made by hand in Italy, are sold exclusively in fashion retail icons such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Dates: 10/22/2009 (Thursday) – 10/24/2009 (Saturday)
Hours: 10am – 7pm
Payment: Cash Only

Metropolitan Pavilion
The Gallery (4th Floor)
123 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011

Oct 21: Housing Works Wedding Stuff Big Sale

Housing Works' Bride on a Buck Wedding Dress Sale and Vendor Extravaganza returns on Wednesday, October 21.

Are you getting hitched anytime soon? Yes? Congrats! OK, so then check all this out:

$300,000 in discounted high-end bridal merchandise; on-site vendors and Giovanni Ravello in person.

Deeply discounted designer wedding dresses and other bridal goodies, including dresses from:
  • Peter Langner (valued at $7,300)
  • Monique Lhuillier (valued at $6,200)
  • Ulla Maier (valued at $4,900)
  • Jenny Yoo Collections (30-plus gowns)…and veils valued at $1,000 slashed to $250.
Event sponsors Starbright Floral Design ( and Elaine DeLuca of Exquisite Events ( will provide on-site matrimonial advice, as well as Giovanni Ravello himself.

Other vendors:
The Works Catering (
The Housing Works Bookstore Café (
The Cake Diva (
Dramatics NYC (
Robert Griffin, calligraphy artist (

Event Details:
WHAT: Housing Works Gramercy Thrift Shop Bride on a Buck 2
WHEN: October 21, 10am - 7pm
WHERE: Housing Works Gramercy Thrift Shop; 157 East 23rd St. between 3rd and Lexington Aves.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hot Hot Prada News ...if you're reading're invited

to the sale of the season...sources say nice selection of men's shoes...and handbags...

Location: 609 West 51st Street between 11th & 12th Aves.
When: Saturday, October 17th - Friday October 23rd
Hours: Saturday, October 17th and Sunday, October 18th, 9am - 6pm; Monday, October 20th - Friday October 23th, 10am - 7pm
Registers close promptly at 6pm and 7pm respectively.


Merchandise: Prada & Miu Miu Ready-to-Wear, Footwear, Handbags, Wallets, Accessories...
Women's and Men's FALL/WINTER 2008 and Select Merchandise from earlier seasons

(NO cash or checks)


(courtesy of Nancy Brenner)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

ANNA: The Beetle Dress & the Excellent Jacket

I loved the groovy beetle print dress at ANNA but felt like I needed to ensure that it could be worn any day or to make it day-job appropriate? Well, I figured it out! By putting this short dark navy jacket on over it and tying the belt loosely around its collar I managed to create a bit of a retro office outfit, but with bugs! Funny when people see you from a distance and then change their expressions when they get a closer look at the dress pattern. This is how I entertain myself on the job.
Then I also snagged myself the fab tweed jacket, which is form-fitting in a Ducati leather motorcycle jacket kind of way. It rocks, looks good with anything, anywhere, anytime...and also comes in a red and black pattern (although they are so fantastico that I wouldn't be surprised if they are almost all gone!). Oh, and the big collar can be worn up and closed with a little secret hook-and-eye for those windy fall days.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Change of Season: New Shipments of "Stuff"

New shipments of stuff have arrived at the new Change of Season in the East Village (341 E. 9th Street) including: Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, Costume National, See by Chloe', Margiela & Galliano accessories, Byblos, P.A.R.O.S.H & CLONE/BORDESE shoes & boots.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oct. 7-12: abc carpet & home hackensack warehouse sale

Up to 75% off original prices on upholstery, antiques, theodore alexander, french heritage, traditional & modern furniture, lighting, textiles & accessories, bedding and organic mattreses, modern rugs, handmade orientals, needlepoints, aubussons, flatweaves, shags, mansion sizes, runners, remnants and more...

when: october 7-12

home: upholstery, antiques, theodore alexander, french heritage, traditional & modern furniture: dining, chairs, armoires, sideboards, bookcases, mirrors, office, beds, lighting, textiles & accessories, bedding & organic mattresses
rugs: modern, handmade orientals, needlepoints, aubussons, flatweaves, shags, mansion sizes, runners & remnants
wall-to-wall carpet: wool, sisal, seagrass, coir, berbers, designer & commercial carpet

abc carpet & home – south hackensack
warehouse outlet
400 huyler street
south hackensack, nj 07606
201 641 3400
m-sat: 10-7, closed Sundays

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Barneys & Bergdorf's: A Shoepacalypse

There was discussion among the downtown set at Anna the other day that the shoes at high-end department stores were crazy, ugly and/or unwearable. I thought that sounded plausible, but wanted to do some real investigation (while looking for some new boots) myself, so I headed to two meccas: Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.

Um, yeah, holy tacky cheese fest. There were easily 8,000 pairs of shoes and boots between the two stores, and I liked about 4 of them. I'm not even going to get into the absurd cost factor, but it seems to me that these retail shrines have turned to pandering to the lowest common denominator of style. Think Sopranos. And beyond style, who can actually wear these 9" heels?

Speaking of which, as I walked in the door of Bergdorf's Furio from the Sopranos was walking out. And no I am not kidding.

My quest continues. It's possible that this year in shoes is a wash. Or it may be time to refurbish ye olde boots in the closet. Either way, I shall continue to seek on all of our behalves.

p.s. Just say NO to over-the-knee boots. Especially if you are not 5'8" or taller!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Best 'Poo and Conditioner

Short story: Go to Ricky's and buy this shampoo/conditioner brought to the masses by Deva Products. The products run between $15-$36 a bottle.

Slightly longer story: I was getting extremely concerned about my oft-color-treated 'do - it was turning into cotton candy and falling out in record volume. My fab hair stylist (Helik at Mario Diab) quickly snapped into action by changing up my hair color a bit and demanding that I go fetch myself some no-poo/low-poo products. I did as he said, and after a couple of weeks I truly noticed a vast improvement in the quality of my wig. Give it a try, I suspect you won't be disappointed. Oh, and stop washing your hair so much!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Starting Sept. 25: Built by Wendy Sample Sale

From PAPER magazine's VIP Newsletter:

Built by Wendy, the fashion line catering to every side-parted hipsterella worth her WNYC tote bag, is having a three-day-long fall sample sale. Oversized wool felt coats are $180 (originally $405), wool drop-waist button-front jumpers are $85 (originally $279), canvas fishtail parkas are $100 (originally $326), and men's herringbone sport jackets are $100 (originally $280).
Built by Wendy, 46 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718) 384-2882.
Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 12-6 p.m.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sept 22-24: Slane & Slane Sale

September 22-24
Tues 2-7; Wed 10-6; Thurs 10-7
48 West 25 Street(6 Avenue-Broadway)
11 Floor

Sample & stock sale. Save 50 to 70% off Slane & Slane designs. This sale will offer a large assortment of 18kt gold and sterling silver rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and earrings. Sterling silver rings for $60 (retail $120), 18k cuff for $1,620 (retail $5,400) or freshwater oval pearl necklace for $165 (retail $330).
Mastercard, Visa, American Express and cash accepted. All sales final.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jutta Neumann Closes Retail Location

So I had the sale card sitting right there on top of my microwave, and didn't realize that the reason for the "buy 1, get second 80% off" sale was due to the fact that Jutta Neumann is CLOSING the retail store on 158 Allen St. And now the sale is over. I am sad but not surprised as the last time I was in there we had a discussion about how oppressive retail rents are...

Anyway, it looks as though you can still buy the iconic handmade goods online. So do that instead.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little King Ltd.: The Best Bracelet on E. 9th St.

Finally! I made it to Little King Ltd. yesterday after years of seeing their ads and thinking "why have I not yet gone to Little King Ltd?"

Well my glorious monkeys, I have to say it was worth the trip, if not only to come upon certainly the best bracelet on E. 9th St., if not the whole of the East Village. And here it is! It is a most substantial piece, and yes the heart is comprised of real, live red rubies. Like a million of them. And so goes the story - you get what you pay for, so alas our fine bracelet is not cheap! But it is one of a kind, and I was told that a similar sister bracelet is on its way shortly.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Store to Watch (and Shop at): Change of Season

I went to the opening of Change of Season in the East Village (341 E. 9th Street) last night and am adding it to my list of stores to watch...and go to...often.

Tagged as "a boutique outlet," owner Clinton explained to me that he carefully procures pieces from last season among various non-U.S. based, high-end designers, including Vivienne Westwood, Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garcons and more. The prices are reduced to the point of actually affordable (most things I liked seemed to fall in the $125-$285 range) and the quality is impeccable. And almost as important, the variety includes all kinds of shapes and sizes. He is looking to expand the breadth and depth and I intend on offering him some ideas.

Additionally, the jewelry selection from Milan-based GM Collections and Florence-based Gaggio (see photo) were thrilling, especially Gaggio's bronze skulls with hand worked beading necklaces. Again the prices were in the attainable range, and well worth checking out in person.
Located in the old "Enchantments" retail space, I'd have to's witchcraft...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WSJ: Style: Heard on the Runway / News From New York Fashion Week Spring 2010

Since I got boxed out of Fashion Week yet again, I thought I would provide you with a decent roundup from Christina Binkley at The Wall Street Journal:

Style: Heard on the Runway / News From New York Fashion Week Spring 2010
By Christina Binkley
16 September 2009
The Wall Street Journal

Marc Jacobs Air-Kisses the '80s Goodbye
Usually, you show up at fashion shows fashionably late. For Marc Jacobs, you show up a half-hour early. Anna Wintour was already there for the 8 p.m. show when I arrived at 7:30. The only person who strolled in looking unworried at precisely 8 p.m. was Madonna, her hair blown dry and poofed like a blonde That Girl.
Spread the word: Marc Jacobs is as punctual as a German train these days.
Jacobs brought us the whole 1980s power-clothes thing last year. Now, just as the rest of the world is getting in sync with shiny leggings, big-shouldered jackets and blouses pleated at the neck, he's moved on. His show Monday night was juicy and surreal -- and incredibly, laughably feminine. It was a circus of ruffles and frills, tamed by some 1960-ish men's trench coats and a touch of S&M wear. It was the opposite of power dressing.
Supermodel Jessica Stam wore a kinky black plastic (or patent) suit with holes cut out and huge epaulette-type ruffles at the sleeves. There were gray "Mad Men" trenches belted over lacy dresses.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the crazy styling of Jacobs's shows. This season, the models' faces were powdered white, and their hair was drawn up tight. They looked like cabaret clowns.
But look closely: Those fabulous "Mad Men" trenches were nearly vintage. A series of softly pink and mossy silk blouses could be worn in any boardroom. There was a nearly collegiate sportswear feel to some knitwear. The bags were rich-looking and the shoes mostly flat sandals, but they looked hard to walk in because the heels were several inches in under the sole.
Vera Wang Gets Personal
Vera Wang's clothes don't change drastically from season to season. There's an intimate quality to her work, as well as her shows. If you're a fan, you're going to find a satisfying consistency in her collections, which aren't the bridal gowns she's most known for.
This is the clothing Wang wears herself -- her personal style: black and gray silk sheaths, jackets transparent and light as a feather, and sculptural creations using tiny strips of fabric sewn together for texture.
A highlight at her Tuesday show was a black faille jacket and ivory-washed tank worn over a flanged skirt cut on the bias. Another was a series of prints -- lavender-colored flowers on a black background -- on which Wang had tacked each flower by sewing over and over a small square. It gave texture and richness to the lovely print and will be a signature as loud as her name.
Rodarte's Tattoo Theatrics
From the theatrical smoke on the runways to the mud-painting tattoos drawn on the models' arms, and the ragged, gauzy, vegetable-toned cheesecloth that draped the models' bodies, Kate and Laura Mulleavy's world is tribal and apocalyptic. It's Mad Max emerging from a cave, but dressed with the extraordinary artistic skills of two of fashion's most daring designers.
Their label, Rodarte, is becoming known more for artistry than sales. True to form, there was little in the collection, shown Tuesday, that could be worn to most offices. These are clothes for artists, special events and collections. It's hard to imagine that they could even be dry-cleaned. Yet they get you thinking.
Dresses were made from cheesecloth, silk linen and ruched leather, some covered with cobwebs of wool, which also wrapped the models' hair. Hand-braided belts -- some of the more sellable items -- encircled waists. There were macrame dresses with yarn hanging in strands. And in them, elaborately, were lace, velvet and leather wound and draped and stitched to look haphazard.
The audience was crawling with celebrities. Sunny Elijah Wood chatted with teen blogger Tavi beforehand. Backstage, actor Jason Schwartzman talked to model Madisyn. A spectacularly heavily made-up Courtney Love chatted animatedly. Kirsten Dunst sat in the front row.
As for the influential styles that will come of this show, I'm looking forward to a whole new trend in arm tattoos.
Stuart Channels Cher
Women of various generations flocked to Jill Stuart's noon show at the New York Public Library Tuesday. Teen girls watched while cameras trailed Leigh Lezark, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland and Peaches Geldof to their chairs. A bevy of Bravo's "Real Housewives" from the New York and New Jersey editions attended.
While last season's collection was softly feminine, with fluffy tulle skirts and puff sleeves, this season's collection was all aggressive sex appeal. Body-hugging dresses with revealing sheer panels and cut-outs suggested an '80s exhibitionist club girl. Most dresses were cut so ultra-short that models tugged at the hems, with a few inadvertent flashes as they took their runway walk.Stuart says this collection's "angel rocker girl" look was inspired by Cher. A silver mesh dress was cut so low in the front and back that it prompted the question about what underthings one would wear with it. "You can't," Stuart said with a laugh. "You have to be pretty risky to wear that."
-- Elva Ramirez

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Great Hamburger Experience: Miller's Bar, Dearborn MI

I found myself in the cutting-edge town of Dearborn, MI this past weekend and had been informed that for one of the best burgers in the country, I had to go to Miller's Bar on Michigan Ave. So my family and I went.

Our first challenge was finding a door to get in - the first door we opened led right into the men's room. The second door looked like once we stepped in that we might never return. But brave and hungry we soldiered on. The largest table in the place sits four, so we arranged five chairs around a four-person table and waited for our waitress. She appeared and barked at each person:
"Whaddya want?" Hamburger.
"Cheese or no cheese?" No cheese.
"How do you want that done?" Medium.
"Fries or rings?" Fries.

Note that we got no menu (there isn't one) and she didn't tell us what they had (turns out they have a few other sandwiches, but no desserts).

The burgers arrived. On pieces of thin wax paper. There was nary a plate in sight. But we ate every last bit and rejoiced.

Then the waitress returned:
"You guys ever been here before?" No.
"Well you don't get a bill." You mean it's free?
"NO! We're on the honor system. Go tell the guy at the bar what you had and he'll tell you how much."

So how were the burgers? They were good, but I think the Miller's experience is the real draw. And this from a New Yorker who thought she had seen it all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Album Launch of Note: Visqueen's "Message to Garcia"

Please Guerillas, I implore you to check out Visqueen's third album, "Message to Garcia." It's rock by Rachel Flotard, a lady who is really good at rocking. She's the ultimate kind of leadin' lady that girls want to be and guys want to be with. In fact, she was named Seattle's "fifth most bangable rocker" by The Stranger. She has been known to travel and sing with Neko Case, and in return, the lovely and talented Neko sings on "Message."

But wait! There more! Inspired by her dad's NYC Steamfitters union, Rachel has launched the new album on her very own new label called Local 638 Records. As the touching but excellent story goes, she was the primary caregiver to her dad for six years. She moved him out from NJ (where she grew up) so they could be together. Sadly, he passed away a little more than a year ago, but not before this Visqueen mini-biography was filmed for It's worth the seven minutes it takes to watch Rachel in action, and ol' George steals the show:

And if you don't believe me, then believe John Richards, the host of KEXP's Morning Show in Seattle: "If it's possible to top their excellent debut, Visqueen has done just that. The long awaited third album from one of Seattle's best bands shows a ton of growth with even catchier songs and really tight songwriting. Every song is a single. One of the best records of the year."

Buy it here, $11.99 album/$0.99 per groove:

Report from the Front: Fashion Night Out

Thanks to Nancy Brenner for reporting on the new national holiday (while I was home sick last night!):

Major missed opportunity for men - bevy of fashion forward women who dressed like they were going to sashay down the red carpet at the Emmy's next week. Platform heels, ankle booties, mini dresses and toned thighs abounded - and that wasn't even the celebs. Started at Saks expecting scores of major makeup freebies as widely promoted. Not so much. I went to numerous counters and I'm too much of a lady to name names, but the consensus was sample only with purchase. Estee Lauder did it right - offered nice samples of Private Collection Jasmine White Moss - and you didn't have to go to the counter to beg for it. Blowout from Frederic Fekkai - only one person doing blowouts - until 7 - for thousands of women on the main floor. On the plus side, I got to meet Teri Jon designer Rickie Freeman who was very gracious and thanked me for coming over. I was two steps away from Elie Tahari who was posing for pics with customers. Spotted David Yurman. And met new to Saks, designer Yoana Baraschi who assured me that her stunning black and red knit color block number featured in the catalogue would fit me - and she was right. She even told me the secret to her rockin legs - Pilates. Wish there was a Nielsen's overnight ratings for sales - just curious how many credit card swipes aside from the makeup counters which were jam packed when I left.

Next stop Prada. Grace Coddington striking flaming red hair and all signing stacks of Vogue - standing with September little red riding hood model Sasha - looking teensy, but gorgeous next to her. I asked about the free t-shirts for Fashion Night Out they were supposedly giving out - but again, this was a gift with purchase.

The big B - Bergdorf's was bustling. Headed straight up the escalator determined to meet the Olsen twins at 7 p.m. Escalators were packed and they stopped letting people on to the 7th floor where the Olsens were supposed to be tending bar. Lots of smells mixed in - free chocolate and nut bits, flowing wine and strangely sausages. Seventh floor was packed worse than the A train at rush hour, but Olsens were nowhere in sight at the appointed hour and many of the hoards simply left in search of water. Ground floor packed with paparazzi snapping pics of celebs. Lots of people buying "Fashion's Night Out" tees. Disappointed hot Olsen fans just left. Major line of fashionistas waiting to get into the store. BG - A+ for coolest crowd, food and liquor freebies, empty makeup counters - if you really wanted a makeup makeover, this was your opportunity.

Final stop - Stacy London of "What Not to Wear" fame - pumped up arms, black peep toe ankle boots. Was standing right next to her at Ann Taylor when she picked out a soul in the crowd who needed a little bit of London tough love. Have to admit, it's one thing when you're fashion quarterbacking from your couch, and another when you are just an eyeball away from her as she's deciding who needs a new bra. London's dad was there - I asked him when she started her shopping sprees - he said she as always a big shopper. London offered to help everyone in the dressing room - the ultimate personal shopper.

Fashion Night Out - Where else can you mix with designers, celebs, models and real people? "What's Not to Like" Just paying retail...