Best of NYC

By P.J. Gach

Throw out your UGGS. The new à¼ber boot for fall and winter is the mukluk. They come in every fabric, from fox to faux fur. Fur (real and faux) is big again too. Look for lots of fur accessories-hats, earmuffs, scarves, purses, belts and trims. Yes, we’re all going to look like chic modern versions of Jeannette McDonald in “Nanook of The North,” this season.

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Speaking of retro looks, another trend this season is the recherché of fashion from the 30′s to the early 60′s. If you’re dying for jewels like the ones worn by the Duchess of Windsor, but those baubles aren’t in your budget, check out the “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” collection from Alex and Ani. The workmanship is exquisite and they have an heirloom look to them. If you’re looking for more modern pieces, take a look at their Rodeo Girl collection. It’s hammered metals, leather, animal prints and lots of modern texture. Their Queen of The Nile Collection has lush velvet married to gemstones of every imaginable hue. You’ll find jeweled combs, brooches, necklaces and more. Alex and Ani can be found at Bendel’s, Searle NYC, Big Drop, Paul Labrecque or www.alexandani.com.

Sprint now brings you sex, everyday of your life. You see, if you’re a Sprint customer you can use the theme from Sex And The City as your ringer, or download screensavers of the show’s logo or your favorite character for your phone. Prices start at A $1.50 per screensaver and go up to $2.50 for the ringer.

The Web is a wonderful place; you can shop comfortably from your home or office – no lines, no waiting, and no fuss! Here are some websites that I thought you might find useful:

www.essential-oils.feelingtoinfinity.com is an informative and useful site on essential oils and natural healing. Wander around the site; the blue and white design is calm and soothing and the information about the oils is interesting and useful.

What to do with your old bridesmaid’s dress? Where can you get a fashionable one inexpensively? Look through the pages of the Glamour Closet www.glamourcloset.com. It’s an online bridal fashion consignment shop that’s based in San Francisco. It was created by Sandy Yeung. After dealing with all the financial frustrations of being a bridesmaid, she set out to alleviate the burden for past, present and future bridesmaids with her site. A percentage of the proceeds are donated to foundations dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. If you’re lucky enough to be in California during November, you might be able to catch Glamour Closet’s first ever traveling trunk show. Check the site for dates and details.

Maria “Rosie” Hernandez is a Miami based jewelry designer. Her fall line echoes fall’s palette with trinkets made of smoked quartz, amethyst, agate and sterling silver. Take a look at her fall line, “Shells Star Set,” or any of her other designs at www.RootsofArt.com.

Allison Anne Conrad designs custom made skirts in three lengths, mini (15″), above the knee (18″) and Below Knee (23″). She uses tapestry fabrics (toile, flowers, prints) for an individual, fun and very girlie look. If you don’t want to be seen coming and going, head on over to www.allisonanne.com.

Looking for a house warming or holiday gift? Wander on over to www.sacredhome.com for exquisite handmade giftware, paintings, photographs, sacred objects, spiritual works of art and more. SacredHome was created by Lorraine Aho in 1999. SacredHome has an extensive line of exclusive Made In America art and home décor. The site provides gift wrapping, gift certificates and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Ms. Aho is a lifestyle expert who has published articles an appeared on TV promoting the benefits of creating sacred personal space at home and work.

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Ilene Segal was an Art Director at New York Magazine, when one of her pregnant girl friends asked her to design a baby announcement because she couldn’t find anything she liked in the stores. After the first announcement was created, more requests came in. In the spring of 2004 Ilene gave birth to babyidesign, www.babyidesign.com the home of meltingly sweet, fresh, chic, and sophisticated baby announcements and thank you cards. Some adults have been using the personalized thank you cards as their stationery. You can purchase the cards online or at fine stores throughout the country. To find babyidesign birth announcements near you, please go to the website for locations.

Living in the city as we all know can be a tad expensive. These two websites will ease the crunch on your wallet, but allow you to look good and eat well.

Restaurant.com www.restaurant.com is a must not only for foodies, but for anyone who enjoys eating out. You can pick up a $25 gift certificate to restaurants in the city (in fact nationwide) for $5.00 or a bit more.

Sales Offline www.salesoffline.com not only gives you information about sample and in store – sales, you can buy gift certificates to trendy fun shops for almost nothing. Here’s an example, a $25.00 gift certificate for the Seven Boutique is only $12.50 at www.Salesoffline.com.

We love live theatre, but hate the price of the tickets. What to do? Become a member of www.play-by-play.com. By ponying up $98, your membership allows you to two tickets per show for any and every night of the year. You can see anything from Broadway to Off-Broadway to comedy revues.

Getting back into the real world, shoeaholics lock up your wallets! DSW has come to town. DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) is a place where you can purchase designer footwear for pennies. What’s worse, it’s in the same building in Union Square that is housing a three story (I’m not kidding) Filene’s Basement. The address is 40 E14th Street in the old Bradlees building.

Now I’ve heard about this bag heaven, but haven’t checked it out, so you’ll have to let me know how fabu this place is…Duty-Free Apparel 204 W. 35th Street, 12th floor, 212-967-6548. Open Monday through Friday until 6 PM. The owner flies to Europe several times a year, and brings back euro styled handbags for style starved New Yorkers.

Young designers can be way ahead of the curve and if you’re looking for the next Marc Jacobs or Anna Sui hit the racks of Forward, 72 Orchard Street (between Grand & Broome). Young hot designers like Harriet’s Alter Ego, Suxi N.Rice, SHILVY, Milda Bubly’s creations adorn the place. Forward is a combination shop, showroom and work shop for emerging designers.

Kiehl’s has opened an uptown store. Now you can find Kiehls in the Upper West Side at 154 Columbus Avenue (2121-799-3438) on your way to Barney’s new Co-Op shop on 75th Street.

Jellybags.net is a candy land for women. As soon as I stepped into the shop I fell into a swoony mood. I was surrounded by purses of every color imaginable, in every size and shape. This was heaven! Owner Tamara Smith is also a bag designer, her line Il Calozolaio are snakeskin bags and wallets in every color of the rainbow. Her holiday bags will feature Swarovski crystals. Gianni Chiani and Lapa are the two other designers who create exclusively for the store. They use a palette of 5 to 7 colors and once the bag is gone, it’s gone. Lapa will custom design a purse for you. Susan Policano is a fabric artist who creates one of a kind wraps. You choose the colors and she’ll weave up a heavenly soft and light wrap for you. Her prices start at $300. Other brands found in www.Jellybags.net are Max Azaria, Giudit and more. There are wallets, belts, jewelry and heavenly candles by Jo Malone. If you’re going there, bring a friend and plan to wander for a while. Jellybags.net 234 East 75th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Ave) 212-717-5444

Lisa Chau, a thirtyish New Yorker with a good eye photographs the ordinary and makes them works of art. Now Ms. Chau has opened her first virtual shop www.cafepress.com it’s filled with all kinds of products, ranging from totes, cards, prints, clothing and even dog accessories designed with her photographic images or paintings. She’s planning two more stores; one with a flower image theme and the other will be bright stripes and dots.

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If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for cute packaging when it comes to cosmetics, right? Well Urban Decay and Hard Candy have both come out with goodies that are packaged adorably, and are full of fabulosity!

Hard Candy Midnight Snack Kit looks like a fridge, pop open the door and you’ll be eyeballing some tasty treats. The best part of these treats – zero calories. Lip glosses that taste like chocolate pie, raspberry sorbet, root beer float and strawberries and cream. Can you say yum?! I knew you could. These glosses rev up your lips, give you glossy shine and a taste you don’t mind sharing.

Hard Candy has also come out with their Lunch Box. It’s a multi-tiered make up kit that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s got six lip glosses, eight eye shadows, two concealers, one blush, a shimmer, eye pencil and mascara. Wait! There’s also lip brushes and shadow applicators. They’re all wrapped up in a baby blue box. I toted it everywhere and so enjoyed showing it off to people. The glosses and in fact every item I tried lasted for hours and with the big mirror in the kit, I could change my look in an instant. It’s a great treat for you or for someone else.

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There’s something sexy about Urban Decay’s eye shadows. I don’t know what it is, but the first time I ever saw their Grid eye shadow, I fell in love with it. So be still my heart, Urban Decay came out with Shadow Box, a scrumptious collection of nine of their tasty colors; Grind, Last Call, Shotgun, Uzi, Shattered, Asphyxia, Chopper, Midnight Cowby and Smog. They’re gathered together in a flat case with a strong magnetic clasp, so you never have to worry about them opening up unexpectedly and showering the inside of your purse with powder confetti. This is a collection you can play with for hours.

Now that you’re dressed and ready to get out of the house, why don’t you go on a walking tour? Walk NYC www.walknyc.com walks are hosted by Michelle or James Nevius and they have 14 wonderful walking tours that will acquaint you with the city you love. There’s a $50 minimum charge for all their tours. They are tailored to your schedule, you get personalized attention and the tour goes at your own pace. If you have a large group or are students there is a discount. James and Michelle are very knowledgeable about the city and you’ll leave knowing all sorts of nifty insider history and gossip about it.

Save your pennies, because in December, the Metropolitan Pavilion is hosting Fashion at The Pavilion. It’s Friday, December 10th from 5 Pm to 10 PM. Spend an evening with the best independent and established designers in fashion, jewelry, handbags, beauty, pet and home accessories. There’s a hot chocolate bar, manicure station, massage area, beauty makeovers, music, gift wrapping stations and even pre-wrapped “gifts to go.” Tickets are $20 with a $3 surcharge. Need more information, call 212-463- ext. 233

I got a chance to see Zimmerli of Switzerland – the world’s finest lingerie spring fashion show and the colors for women are pastel mint, cream and basic black and white. For men it’s a simple black and white palette. But the cotton! It’s softer than cashmere or silk, breathable, lightweight and comfortable. The women’s line has lace detailing and shadow ribbing. The men’s has shadow ribbing as well, but they got a bit more macho with a slight bit of fishnet. It’s the world’s most expensive lingerie, worn by Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson and Keanu Reeves to name a few. It’s available at Barney’s and Neiman Marcus.

Want to know the latest sample sale news? Check in on www.topbutton.com and www.lazarshopping.com.

Originally published November 2004
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