Thursday, December 14, 2006

Basel Mania

There was a mass exodus last week from Chelsea to South Beach for the annual Art Basel conference in Miami, Florida. Artists, dealers, collectors and hangers-on flocked south to buy, see and be seen at the largest art shows in the world. Bred in the fashion industry, I had difficulty transitioning from fashionista to art connoisseur ogling more outfits than oeuvres d’art.

The men's uniform ranged from candy-colored khakis to psychadelic printed 3-piece suits. The girls were far more muted, clad in charcoal grays and blacks with ubiquitous blunt bangs and torn Converse. Skinny jeans were a must for both sexes, as was the snotty indifference only someone from the art world has perfected.

Basel is a never ending buffet of delicacies from Picasso to Basquiat, but one cannot gorge with price tags starting at $5M. Much easier on the portefeuille was the Scope fair in the design district. The Rubell Family Collection (of Studio 54 fame) also located in the trendy design district housed controversial works including genius Barbara Kruger and a less controversial outdoor space that would be perfect for private soirees.

Final Word: Personal Art Discoveries? Julian Opie and Kyung Jeon. Best party? Jalouse @ Mynt. Worst Party? NADA Rave @ Sagamore. Best dinner? Tapas @ Social. Best drinks? Setai lobby. Best Club? Fridays at Mokai with DJ Berrie, of course.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dakota Does Marc

Known for his rockabilly aesthetic coupled with grainy, voyeuristic ad campaigns shot by the slightly disturbing Juregen Teller, Marc Jacobs has constructed a public image famous for its hipster persona- paradoxically tied to a mainstream fashion customer. With muses like Sofia Coppola, Parker Posey and Meg White, these social outcasts were considered brilliant and beautiful by Mr. Jacobs. In his eyes, we yearned to dress like them. Suddenly we were in ballerina flats, opaque tights and baby dolls before you could say Mia Farrow mania.

So why has Mr. Jacobs set his sights on Miss Fanning, the sweetheart of America, for his Spring 2007 campaign? Perhaps he sees something beyond the fair-skinned, blue eyed “I Am Sam” outspoken little girl. In Marc’s eyes, and in Mr. Teller’s, she is an adult, a woman. Dressed in lace, minks and turbans, she is a sophisticate. Still animated as ever, we see a different Dakota beyond the kid genius that has made more movies than the years she’s been alive (12 to be exact), we see a girl that is chillingly not her age.

It’s not Jon Benet, but there remains something a bit creepy about the photos. Perhaps Mr. Teller wanted us to feel uncomfortable, as if we were peering into the life of a child with lost innocence. Or perhaps it’s just another cute girl selling clothes.

Final Word: Either way, Mr. Jacobs continues to push the envelope, makes us question conventions and always look for what’s new. They're right to say that Dakota is one smart cookie, she’ll be decked in Marc duds for life!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lady In Red (Or Citrine and Amythest)

Yes the holidays are upon us and stores are selling out of ubiquitous glitzy gowns that shine and sparkle, but for the girl who wishes to beat to a different bass, there is the option to go matte in jewel tones such as scarlet, aubergine and emerald. This way she won’t be confused with the disco ball at Pink Elephant.

My personal picks? A sweet shift from Miu Miu that exudes peasant-chic in an unexpected urbane way, Marc Jacobs’ violet vision of a sexy slip or Development’s jade charmeuse camisole perfect paired with skinny black jeans.

Final Word: Whichever way you go, plan to wear your opaque Wolfords with those ankle booties…you wouldn’t want to make a slip a la Britney, Paris or Lindsay. Overexposure is and never will be au courant.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Modernity at the Met: Madame Butterfly

Vive la revolution! This Saturday evening, I witnessed history in the making in the most visually breathtaking rendition of Madame Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera since, well since I can remember. Anthony Minghella, director of brilliant oeuvres such as The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley, has created a modern violently vibrant vision of Puccini’s tragic story of young Cio-Cio-San and Lieutenant Pinkerton.

Butterfly has always been a beautiful opera for me; the costumes have always been colorful, the set always pretty and straightforward with its ubiquitous dojo on a hill and cherry blossom tree that expectedly shook in Part 1 of Act II. However, the innovative-mirrored black set of Michael Levine, contemporary choreography of Carolyn Choa with designer Han Feng’s breathtaking costumes made for a modern-day dream that shook the retinas of the audience to experience eye candy at the highest saccharine-soaked level.

It was Kabuki Theater meets Japanimation with symbolic props and lighting as sliding paper doors for a house and a cascade of rose petals for the tree coupled with ninja-like dancers and brilliant lifelike puppetry. Too bad for the “technical difficulties” that prolonged the 1st intermission followed by soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domas falling ill just in time for Part II of the second act. Very strange incidents, yet even these hiccups did not take away from the startling image branded into my mind.

In fact everyone who is anyone surfaced for the occasion- including fashion A-listers Julie Gilhart of Barney’s New Hork, Grace Coddington of Vogue and Mr. Valentino himself. Even star du jour Sacha Baron Cohen and fiancé Isla Fisher sat a few rows behind the orchestra, canoodling and whispering sweet nothings before sneaking out after the second intermission.

Final Word: Perhaps this marks a new movement at the Met where modern day rules and tradition is played out. Either way, it seems the audience is ready for the change.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuscany in Tribeca

I’ve made a new discovery in the culinary word and it goes by the name of Bread. No, I’m not talking about the starchy glob of mass that tastes so good going down and not so good going directly to your hips and other undesirable places; I’m talking about the restaurant Bread that has taken Tribeca by storm with its super chic crowd, sexy lighting and melt in your mouth meals thanks to the newly revamped menu by chef Sara Jenkins of Il Buco fame.

Bread Tribeca, the much larger sister of Bread in Nolita, is a true restaurant by all definitions of the word. The loft-like space is minimally decorated with frosted plexiglass booths and concrete seating. From amuse bouches of ricotta on toasted peasant bread to a powder room the size of my bedroom, this contemporary lofty space was meant for fine dining, and drinking. While its sibling offers more of a “lunch” atmosphere with a menu of sandwich and soups for the shopping crowd, this Tribeca outpost is all grown up.

We were 15 minutes late for our reservation, but we were led by warm, German hostess (vive la contradiction) to the packed bar where we were given gallon-sized glasses of Gavi di Gavi and were content to people watch, who were an eclectic mix of arties, stylish couples and the young and beautiful.

Everything we tasted was comforting and delicious from the fried calamari to the whole grilled shrimp served on a wooden butcher block with rustic grilled vegetables. The fresh mozzarella risotto compliment of a very flirtatious chef wasn’t bad either.

Final Word: If dinner was this good, I cannot wait to go to brunch, which I hear is their specialty. Bread Tribeca, the corner of Church and Walker Streets, (212) 334-8282.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Walk This Way

Ray-Ban to Re-Lauch The Wayfarer.

This Wednesday, Ray-Ban will officially re-launch the most iconic sunglass frame of all time; The Wayfarer.

For the past forty-five years, The Wayfarer has been hooked on Hollywood, with a dirty little mistress in rock n’ roll.

In 1961, it made its silver screen debut in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Audrey Hepburn donned a pair with Holly Golightly’s pearls and little black dress. At around the same time, JFK wore them on weekends.

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd re-introduced them in 1980’s “The Blues Brothers.” And Tom Cruise became a household name three years later when he wore nothing but his shades, a button-down and tube socks in “Risky Business.”

Musicians from Mick Jagger to Debbie Harry, and Elvis Costello to Madonna have all been photographed wearing them. And I think Pete Doherty is hiding behind a pair right now.

They are iconic, effortless and cool. And prior to this re-release, absolutely impossible to find.

In true Wayfarer fashion, the release party will be a little Hollywood, a little rock and roll.

Taking place Wednesday at Irving Plaza, famed music photographer Mick Rock will exhibit his work as the Eagles of Death Metal find time away from their tour with Gun N’ Roses to perform for a crowd of 700.

Final Word: The Wayfarer makes its official debut in Europe next month and hits the American market in January. No word on whether they’ll be in the goody bag. Maybe I’ll party crash and try to find out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Balmain in Beantown? The MFA Does Fashion.

This month, two years after I've graduated, my alma mater's hometown, Boston, has decided to host one of the hottest fashion exhibitions of late. and baseball, yes. But fashion?

Regardless of the strange venue choice, this winter, industry insiders are sure to be migrating north on I-95 to take in the show, "Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006," opening next week at the MFA. A warning for those on the road: Manhattanites aren't exactly known for their adept driving skills or sense of direction outside of a grid. But anything in the name of fashion, right?

The show promises to highlight French designers such as Azzedine Alaia, Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano among others. The focus will also be on the City of Lights and why, in a world of instant global communication, Paris remains the fashion capital of the world.

For jet-setters looking for a chic place to stay (other than Hotel Commonwealth, which despite the charming name exudes wannabe hotel hostel), try XV Beacon and dine at their eccentric restaurant The Federalist.

Final Word: I haven't been back since my graduation in '04 but perhaps it's time I visited my old haunt for a taste of culture and couture...and of course a couple keg stands for good measure. It is Boston.

"Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006", November 12-March 18 2007. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Paris Haute Spots - Black Calvados and Neo

If you happen to find yourself in Paris and if you happen to find yourself looking for the newest, chicest place to have a Kir Royale (or whatever your poison du jour), there two new boites that have all of Paris buzzing. After all, when something nouvelle opens in the City of Lights, it's quite the occasion.

Black Calvados (a.k.a. BC) - Tucked away on a quiet street in the 8th among the ultra-luxe hotels George V and Pershing Hall, this lounge-cum-club only accepts la creme de la creme. Lindsay and Fergie sauntered in last month and last weekend Lenny (Kravitz) and Lawrence (Fishburne) stopped in for a boisson. In fact I saw 2 very fashionable French girls denied before my eyes (pas moi bien sur!). Claustrophobics beware- this pint-size discotheque is walled with mirrors making you Alice in Wonderland...if Alice was an incredibly chic Parisienne with a penchant for hard liquor and table dancing. Tip: Be sure to book a table, since unless you like things below freezing in Siberia (the bar), this is a private party place.

Neo- The old Tangia in the 1st has gotten a brand new makeover. The infamous door brigade from Maison Blanche (think Bungalow 8 with a most severe French attitude. Quelle horreur!) have set up shop here where models and the men who love them flock to hear the Killers and Kelis while smoking cigarettes on banquettes. If ever you want to see the newest fashion trends, this is the place to take notes. It was here where I learned stockings are the new leggings. You heard it here first. The closest thing to a U.S. club, they even have kitschy glow in the dark stirrers - too bad the crowd's too chic to appreciate it.

Final Word: If you get in, we highly reccomend the grey goose and perries...otherwise known as the "bitch 'mince'".
BC, 40 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie ; Neo, 23 rue du Ponthieu.

For more insider information on Paris check out our new favorite blog Eye Prefer Paris ( It's like The Blackberrie with a certain je ne sais quoi, tres chic!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Short and Sweet

At first glance, there's nothing new in Chanel's Spring 2007 ready-to-wear line. A bevy of beauties clad in tweed and pearls- classic and refined. Yet with a closer look, one will see a delightful batch of sweet goodies Lagerfeld is baking for next season.

Take the mini. Girls, this sky-high hemline is not going anywhere, as we have observed at Prada. Waists are climbing and so are the shorts, which results in a look reminiscent of Brigitte Bardot strolling the cobblestone streets of St. Tropez. Although these booty shorts are just that, bootylicious, they're not vulgar thanks to the luxurious fabrics such as silk and sequins and most are shown with chunky flats or platforms rather than stillettos a la Grace Jones circa 1988.

Final Word: It's not too soon to break out the mini, whether in the form of shorts, skirt or shift, just pair with opaque leggings and round toe pumps and you're good to go! Sometimes and most times the best things come in small packages.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Skin Deep

Last night the MoMA debuted photographer Nikki S. Lee’s documentary entitled “a.k.a. Nikki S. Lee”. Lee, whose work consists of submersing herself in sub-cultures of society like Jewish-American women in Long Island, hip-hoppers in Harlem and trailer trash in Ohio, has been acclaimed by publications from the New York Times to the Art Journal. Myself being half Korean jumped at the chance check out what my generation of K-people is doing, especially when it comes to art and fashion. Unfortunately the closest I’ve come to tracing my roots is eating a bowl of kimchi, rice and bop (seaweed). Yum.

Miss Lee, clad in a non-fashionable black outfit looked diminutive and shy behind the large podium, explaining in broken English the premise of her short film. “This film is both real and fake,” she began. “It’s about the real Nikki and the fake Nikki,” referring to herself in the third person, which elicited several charmed laughs and nods of agreement. A perfect comment to what the film and the artist are, innocent and endearing but arrestingly smart.

A fairly small Asian woman, neither ugly nor pretty, neither fat nor slim, neither loud nor introverted, Lee emanated quirky contradictions. But what was most surprising to me was that she looked so normal. I’m not sure if I was expecting a disturbed eccentric artist or someone that was simply ultra-cool but she just looked like a regular Korean lady I’d pass on the corner of 34th and Broadway.

Even the film follows Lee doing “normal things” like window shopping, drying her hair and eating beef jerky. Yet there is more than what meets the eye. The film also shows Lee orchestrating her large-scale shoots, curating her gallery shows and discussing the inherent flaw of documentaries being “real”. At one point she quips, “The film is supposed to be about me being alone. I am not alone. I have a guy with a camera filming me.” Everybody laughs, because she wants you to laugh and you want to laugh.

The film does make fun. It makes fun of the collectors, gallerists and dealers that sustain her and it makes fun of herself. You find yourself laughing at the people that praise her work for no apparent reason, and then you realize, you’re one of those people. Are there cameras watching us? Will we be the butt of her next joke? But the thing is, she’s not mean. Although she quietly mocks these people, you feel she also loves them dearly. Even the most horrendously depicted people were sitting front row at her show.

Final Word: I’ve never seen an actual exhibition with Nikki S. Lee’s work, but I can’t wait to go. In fact, I’d love to own a Lee photo, perhaps one where she’s dressed in couture looking bored in at the Ritz Paris just because it’s so beautiful, but maybe I’ll wait until I’m cool enough and have a better reason than what meets the eye. Or maybe that's enough.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Beyond Dazed, Now Totally Confused

In her teens Milla Jovovich was a stunning model. In her twenties, she became a bad actress. Now, in her thirties, she’s an awful designer.

It was released today that Jovovich—who apparently is a co-founder of the contemporary sportswear line Jovovich-Hawk (points for creativity on the moniker)—has collaborated with Habitual to create a capsule denim collection debuting in this spring.

Her inspiration? None other than Dazed and Confused, the only movie we ever liked her in (NOTE: she did not utter one word). Actually “inspiration” is a rather letting term. In all reality, she completely bit her character’s wardrobe.

With Jovovich-Hawk for Habitual’s high-waisted, flared-legged jeans and shrunken denim vests, you can practically see Jovovich’s character lounging next to a lava lamp with that hottie boyfriend of her’s. Whatever happened to THAT guy, btw?

What’s next? A swimwear line a la Return to the Blue Lagoon? I seriously hope not.

Final Word: Quit while you're ahead, Milla. Oh wait, that was 15 years ago. Now, just quit.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Couple Du Jour?

Are these two dating?? We don't know, but what we DO know is that they look like an incredibly chic couple. Clad in Chanel, Miss King exudes bubbles over with laughter in her prarie chic outfit and a touch of comic relief in the form of a large black bow. Her other beau, Jason Schwartzman looks incredibly grown up and sophisticated in a slate gray Dior Homme suit and mature scruff to match.

Final Word: Whether they're the new un-it couple or not, I'm just loving this photo because it's so fresh, so happy and so sweet. Young Hollywood couples should take a cue from these two- this is how you should look- smart, sophisticated and completely in love.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kate The Great

The September issue of Vanity Fair had one of season’s most enticing covers. A nude Kate Moss appeared, seated strategically behind angled limbs, patent leather knee boots and long white gloves.

Glossy pale lids. Blood red lips. Face framed by a Michael Kors white fox hat.

It was the magazine’s interpretation of Moss as Marlene Dietrich’s Catherine the Great from the 1934 film The Scarlet Empress.

Kate the Great, they labeled her in the spread. The article’s author, A.A. Gill elaborated on the theme.

The piece was written in true Moss style. No actual quotes from the model, just long-winded interpretations and admirations, all decided from a distance.

She always kept quite mum, it said. And that—in a large part—was the genius behind her public persona. She never wanted to be an actress, a singer or a diva. She never thought she was a poet or said she was a role model.

She was simply a fashion model. And by way of career choice, happened to become the most internationally recognized icon of style and beauty.

The piece was called “The Silent Beauty” and the title could not have been more fitting. We love to love Kate Moss for exactly what she is. A beautiful enigma with impeccable style. Admired only from a distance.

Well, Kate Moss is about to become slightly more accessible. At least her sense of style.

It was recently released that Moss will foray into design, creating a capsule collection for Brit fave (actually, mine too), TopShop. The line will debut next spring and I can only imagine it will be wildly more successful than Naomi Campbell for Rosa Cha or Kathy Ireland for K-Mart (ouch).

And although supermodels have a tendency to fall short with new career moves (honestly Tyra, you need to relax) Kate Moss for TopShop will be an unrivaled success. The Brits have not had an export this strong since The Beatles.

Final Word: Kate, we love you as “The Silent Beauty.” But you have once again chosen wisely. Kate Moss for TopShop is reason enough for me to cross the pond. But thanks to New York’s Opening Ceremony, I won’t have too.

Work It Out

As I sat waiting for the Y3 show to begin at Pier 40 on the Hudson River last week, I was amazed to see how many non-fashionistas there were. Hordes of Japanese hipsters, handfuls of hip hop honchos and a smattering of fashion-industry types rubbed shoulders while sipping cocktails underneath the stars with a charming view of Jersey City just a stone’s throw away. Even some celebs (Samuel L. Jackson made a cameo) came out to play causing a paparazzi frenzy, nay, riot trampling on editors and buyers to get a money shot of an A-lister. Here was a show (the only show I attended this Fashion Week) that literally brought together people of all cultures, neighborhoods and labels to celebrate a man that meant the same thing to all of them – chic sportswear.

After all Mr. Yamamoto paved the way for the rest of the fashionable followers to collaborate with a sportswear brand. Stella McCartney for Adidas, Christy Turlington for Puma, Scarlett Johannson for Reebok, almost everyone has made a stab at the business. Yet no one (well maybe Miss McCartney comes close) reaches the stratosphere of what Mr. Yamamoto does, specifically, making a sweat suit as chic as a 3-piece suit.

In fact, that’s just what he did for this Spring/Summer 07 show. Going beyond the traditional track pant, Yohji coupled racer-back tanks with tailored suspenders, button-downs with nylon running pants and brought back spandex without any hint of shame or irony.

Yes, Mr. Yamamoto deftly undersands today’s casual chic. You know the scenario- it’s past midnight and you have a hankering for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, so you grab the first thing out of your closet – mismatched but clothed you dash out and end up utterly fabulous. A bit undone, you look messy, but in a very careful and chic messy way. That's what the show looked like, but through the eyes of Japanese visionary.

Each piece had the tailoring of a ready-to-wear collection, yet the versatile fabrics made it all sporty. This was Yohji at his best, doing what he does best.

Final Word: At one point during the finale, beneath a spectacular strobe light installation, I fell in love with Yohji’s work once again. Every piece undeniably smart and wearable, I will be hitting the Y3 store hard this spring – Ben & Jerry’s or not.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hit Parade

I am LOVING the new Prouenza Schouler Spring 07 line. At first glance, it seems they're doing the same old thing- young, urban chic with razor-sharp lines. But look closely and you'll see they're pioneering the way girls will dress for next season.

My fave look of the collection? The skin-tight minis with leather bomber jackets. Hot. They evoke the hard-ass mentality of the 80s but the pastel and muted colors bring a softness which completely modernizes the look. Harking back to the Alaia days when the female form reigned, the Prouenza boys are not afraid to make a girl look sexy. Thank god, because as much as I love roomy garments, these ubiquitous tent dresses are not for me. I thought I'd never say it, but I'm almost sick of babydolls. Well, almost.

Even covergirl for Another Magazine Kirsten Dunst rocked the look a season early like any it-girl would do at the launch party in Milk Studios. She's so ahead of the game. Love her.

Final Word: With so much to see this week, it's hard to soak it all up! At least I know that 1 dynamic duo is taking us in the right direction.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fashion Fan Mail

Dear Jenni,

Please excuse me if this sounds rude, but who are you Miss Kayne? Are you the new it-girl/designer who has burst onto the scene out of thin air with your much-talked-about wedding covered in WWD chockfull of celebs like Anthony Keidis, Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins all wearing your designer duds? Or, are you that random girl from LA that sucked down cigarettes with me in the smoking room of our freshman dorm Warren Towers at Boston University and lasted only a semester (if that) and then mysteriously disappearing without a trace? Hmmmm….I’m gonna go with the smoking room girl.

To be honest, I barely remember you amidst the freshman haze of beer and teenage angst, but I think you used to be a bottled blond. Well, I think being a brunette agrees with you and so does fame. Who knew that all that tar and nicotine was actually fueling a genius at work? I first saw your clothes at Intermix in Bal Harbour, the name lingering in my head sounding oddly familiar, but I could not place it. I have to admit, your stuff is cute, on-point trendy with bell skirts, jumpers and baby-doll what-nots. But to open at The Tents in Bryant Park your first go round? I didn’t even know you were a designer!

But good for you. The show was an apparent a hit, your references to the 80s rock, 30s film noir and 70s boho chic did not go unnoticed. Even if the line is a bit Anna Sui meets Peter Som meets Prouenza Schouler in as literal a way possible, I applaud you for showing that we twenty-somethings of Generation Y can really make it, and if we’re lucky, successfully shop our wedding pictures to industry trade publications around the world.

With the Warmest Regards,
Your Smoking Buddy From Warren Towers

PS (Final Word): I definitely plan on purchasing a shrunken leather jacket for next spring, perhaps in one of your inspiring candy-colored hues. Thanks for the tip!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Diamonds and Pearls

As Fashion Week descends upon us even our gadgets are going fabu.

That’s right, RIM, the crew behind Blackberry mobile devices (not to be confused with The Blackberrie, obvi) will debut the Blackberry Pearl this week.

The Pearl, as slim and sleek as the Motorola RAZR, has all the original Blackberry capabilities. New features include a 1.3 mega pixel camera, downloadable MP3 ringtones, 64MB flash, and Bluetooth 2.0, just to name a few.

So for those of you who are still lugging around the cobalt blue laptop-like version (that would be me) and then carry a cell phone because the archaic one can’t possibly double (me again), it’s time for a serious upgrade.

And since these things are constantly attached to our heads and our hands, they need to be a lot more goddess and far less geek. The Pearl is on the right track.

Final Word: The Pearl rolls into T-Mobile stores Tuesday, September 12th; $199 with service agreement.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rebel With A Cause

Black nail polish. You’ve seen it on Lindsay, Fergie and Mischa. They’re all doing it. I’m not saying that I’m inspired by these Rachel Zoe zombettes but I am intrigued.

Not since Chanel introduced “Vamp” in the mid-90s have we seen such frenzy over nails. I thought we were destined for a life of Sugar Daddy, Limo-Scene and Adore-a-Ball tips until the beauty gods threw us a curve ball with not chocolate, not espresso but black as night nail polish.

What comes to mind when one mentions the shade? Marilyn Manson, Pat Benatar, the Ramones…and Lindsay Lohan? In the past this non-color was limited to the goth and punk sets, trumpeting their rebellious selves with an ironic nod to vanity in a dark and demonic way. How sweet. Yet today, to devilish delinquents’ dismay, fashionistas around the globe are taking over the domain of rebels without a cause, stalking their local Ricky’s for a bottle of the coveted hue. Even Chanel has released an ultra-luxe version of the ultra-punk phenomenon called Black Satin (your local nail salon should have the Essie counterpart “Licorice”. And Mr. Lagerfeld is never wrong. (As much as I love the Olsen twins – they are “frumpy”.)

Personally, I just love the look of the ebony nails paired with a vintage lace dress or a schoolgirl-inspired jumper. The contrast of the sweet and the viscous is so ultra-modern, it’s irresistible.

Final Word: This weekend, I test-drove the fad myself and felt as equal parts rock star and Chanel ingénue, all the while feeling like a rebel with the greatest cause of all- fashion.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eye Spy: The Linda Derector Store

Sunglasses. You can never have too many pairs. I carry at least 3 in my purse at all times (it helps that my bag is the size of carry-on luggage) just in case I change my mind mid-day. I have oversized versions, aviator versions and oversized aviator versions… the list goes on.

Nowadays (I’ve recently decided) I’m loving vintage frames — big and glam in all their pastime glory. This realization came in full force last night as I was watching Wonderland — the 80s era biopic starring Val Kilmer. Throughout the movie Kilmer had on these fabulous oversized, gold aviators that reminded me of the cool Carreras my dad used to wear when I was younger. At that very moment I made a mental note to find those sunglasses!

A quick phone call home came up blank — dad’s are long gone. So that leaves me with no other choice but to actually go out and find a pair on my own. The trouble is I’m definitely not the type to ever be in the position to find such glamorous, old school shades. For one, it usually requires frequenting smelly vintage stores, sifting through dollar bins and dousing said finds in gallons of disinfectant before wearing. Not exactly my ideal shopping experience. I’d much rather buy a brand new pair, thank you very much.

But this morning (talk about timing), as if an angel from the heavens heard my ridiculous spectacle pleas, I received an email announcing a new store opening on Mott Street. I opened the contents: Linda Derector, a stylish emporium of vintage sunglasses and assorted costume jewels. Could it be? Have my prayers been answered? Turns out the store is a treasure trove of eyewear inventory dating back to the 60s, not to mention uber glitzy costume jewels and evening clutches that rival those on the set of Dynasty. The best part? The store is beautiful and far from smelly. The merchandise is delicately displayed on sleek glass shelving, which pops against the vibrant red walls — no wonder numerous stylists and celebs have already been there and back since it opened last month.

Final Word: With Fashion Week just days away Linda Derector gives you a great excuse to splurge on some much needed eye gear — after all, if you’re going to be doing some serious incognito people watching, you might as well do it with style.

Linda Derector, 211 Mott Street, 212/680-3023

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Viva La Blackberrie

Sometimes The Blackberrie can be a bit of a Francophile.

But this past month we took it to the next level as we had a slight identity crisis.

We thought that we were French and took off the entire month of August.

But hey, everyone deserves a little holiday, right?

But do not fret. For fall we are back like fashion—in full force. So bonjour baby, because you’ll be seeing a lot of us.

Final Word: Stay tuned; the best is yet to come!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Patented Design

For the longest time, I had exactly two absolutes when it came to shoes; no ankle straps, and no wedges.

Ankle straps create an unnecessary line, making your legs appear shorter. And wedges—put simply—were the anti-chic.

Something about so much density below the sole could never compare to a sleek, slim heel. I admired girls who wore them well, but that was never me.

That is, until now. I think Chloe may have created the perfect shoe.

This wedge defines chic.

The high-gloss black patent leather is absolutely irresistible against the dark wooden sole. The round-toe and elastic sling-back create a flattering, functional shape.

This shoe will take you from summer to fall, day to night, and apparently, wedge-hater to completely obsessed.

Final Word: They’ve already arrived in stores and are presumably walking out. But you know your size, order a pair online today.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Where to Wear Your Balenciaga Bowler Hat?

I know this is has been the burning question for all of us the past few weeks. Every fashion bible under the sun has hailed Nicholas Ghesquiere’s latest collection for Balenciaga as the best thing since Coco Chanel did tweed. So obviously we are going to get every piece he put on the runway, right? The most striking piece of the collection was no doubt the bowler hat. Already seen on Kate Hudson in Vogue and Lindsay Lohan in Harper’s Bazaar, this is a trend you won’t want to miss. Just heed our few tips below, since this look may not be for everyone…

1. At the movies
-There’s nothing worse than having a really tall man sit right in front of you while his teensy weensy girlfriend sits in front of the huge man next to you. Get revenge by wearing this chic accessory to the theater. It also acts as a fantastic helmet from any popcorn thrown your way.

2. To the Met
-Bring a green apple and stand in front of Magrittes’ Businessman and make tourists wonder if it was in fact you who stood for the painter.

3. At the Races
-Wear this in a stable and no one will ask questions.

4. To a Fashion Event
-Everyone will admire you for your bravado and fashion forward taste. Just don’t leave it at coat check or some tasteful jockey is likely to steal it.

5. To a Restaurant or any other “normal” place
-You’re on your own here, other than the aforementioned places, this hat will no doubt get more confused/enraged looks than at a French bar during the World Cup 06.

Final Word: There’s making a fashion statement and just plain crazy. I’m gonna go with crazy on this one. But if you can’t resist (and there will be a few), you can find your bowler hat at Balenciaga on 542 W. 22nd St.

Who Wears Short Shorts?

There comes a time in a girl’s life when she has nothing to wear. Ok, so there there are many times. It’s never because a girl has lack of clothing as many a man’s problem, it’s just that they don’t have the right clothing.

Sometimes it’s because every piece of clothing she owns looks dated, like those oh-so-cute True Religion ripped jeans that look worse than a pair of Paris Blues right now. Sometimes it’s because she had one too many Skinny Bitches and nothing fits (ah, the irony). Or sometimes it’s just that time of year when it’s time for a new fall season’s wardrobe but it’s just too damn hot to buy anything that’s not made of linen, cotton or lycra.

That time would be now. It’s August and fall is just around the corner, not that anyone would know it in this blistering heat. The stores are stocked with fall/winter’s latest delivery but no one’s buying. How could they when they get heat exhaustion trying to hail a cab? (Not the heat exhaustion a la Lohan or Richie but the real king that sends you crashing to the pavement.)

Not to fret. The fashion gods have taken pity on our misery and bestowed a gift on its hopefuls. Wool shorts. Ok, ok, it may be too hot right now, but come late-August and you can’t even look at your mini bubble dress, you’ll thank me.

Wool shorts are the hottest new thing since leggings. You can wear them in warm weather bare-legged with a pair of flip flops or platforms and come winter, throw on a pair of knit leggings, a sweater and combat boots (as pictured) and you are good to go! It’s all about recycling this year.

My favorite shorts are by Vince (the basics master) – tailored to perfection and not an ounce of hooch but both Daryl K and editor-fave Phillip Lim make a mean pair as well.

Final Word: A tailoring tip, always go baggy. It compliments a snugly fit sweater or tee and there’s nothing worse than too tight shorts. Come to think of it, there’s nothing worse than too tight anything. Vince corduroy shorts available at and Intermix.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nectar of the Gods

I was out the other night with my girlfriend (sales assistant at Christie’s) at the Spotted Pig in the West Village and she ordered a drink I never heard of:

The Skinny Bitch.

Understandably, the bartender looked at her like she was crazy (probably since there were plenty to pick from in front of the bar), but my friend coolly replied, “You know, Grey Goose, club soda and lots of limes.”

But of course. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? It’s the perfect name for the perfect drink. To be honest, I don’t know where I’d be without the skinny bitch.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of what alcohol does to a girl’s figure. Perhaps that’s why curvy divas like J.Lo, Beyonce and Mariah abstain from the stuff completely. But for social girls like us, that’s not really an option. So what to do?

Skinny Bitch. It’s simple as that. No more worrying the bartender will misunderstand and give you tonic instead of soda and no more weird looks from your male compatriots. And the real plus? It’s actually delicious.

So there you have it. Bartenders are still catching on to this new craze so don’t be shy to pass the word on.

Final Word: Feel free to try variations of the drink. Enjoy!

-Skinny Rich Bitch (Substitute Belvedere for Grey Goose)
-Skinny Sorority Bitch (Skinny Bitch with a splash of grapefruit)
-Skinny Serious Bitch (Hold the limes)
-Skinny Scary Bitch (Hold the limes and the soda.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No Junk In This Trunk

Just when you thought summer fashions were folding, DoucetteDuvall has come to resurrect our interest in the sundress.

That’s right, Blackberrie fave/vintage-inspired line is hosting a trunk show. Tomorrow night. Butterfly Studio.

Manis, pedis, cocktails and frocks. Who could ask for anything more?

Oh wait, you want a perfectly tailored, rain-repellent mini-trench for fall? They’ve got that too.

The NY-based design duo will debut their fall fashions offering early birds below retail prices on the Fall 2007 Collection before it hits stores.

This season's silk-charmeuse sundresses will be available at wholesale prices.

They’ll accept cash and personal checks. They’ll even accept a post-dated check! Now that’s a company that understands a frugal (not-by-choice) fashionista.

But we already love them. See The Blackberrie archive, “Playing Dress Up,” for more DoucetteDuvall information

Final Word: Thursday July 27, 2006, 5-8pm. Butterfly Studio, 21st & 5th.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The De-Mark-ation of Design

At about this time last year there was a frenzy surrounding Mark Eisen. The former Perry Ellis designer was coming out of semi-retirement to debut Karoo, a luxurious line of knitwear with innovative designs and reasonable price points.

Generous coverage in the New York Times Sunday Style Section, followed by a late summer trunk show at Bergdorf’s, and all the fashion folks were a-talkin’.

I signed on early. His grey cashmere shrug hung around my shoulders from the hot summer nights of July til the wintry ways of January and February.

I bought a wool-blend deep v-neck in September, a ribbed black cashmere turtleneck in January and a thick sleeveless cable-knit mock-turtle in March.

Come to think of it, I haven’t purchased that many pieces from a single collection since I shopped at Abercrombie in ninth grade. I was hooked, and so was everyone else.

So what did Eisen do with his re-discovered success? Parlayed it into the mass-market, of course!

That’s right; a 35-piece collection for Wal-Mart label George ME by Mark Eisen hits the chain of super-duper markets this September.

Expect recycled silhouettes, prone-to-pill fabrics and $17.98 (and falling) prices.

But if you’re the type of person who will wait in line overnight at H&M for the designer diffusion du jour, then perhaps this is for you.

Final Word: What’s next, the $9.99 twin-set at Sam’s Club? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

That's Like, So Ten Years Ago..........

If we’ve learned anything from fashion over the past few years it’s this; if Marc Jacobs does something the rest of the world will soon follow.

The B-Berrie has already reported him putting grunge back on the runway for fall, but we want to be the first to declare an official comeback of nineties. Since we can’t control fashion, we wish to rule the lexicon.

Here’s what we feel is worthy of revival:

Then: As If
Now: Yeah, I might actually consider that.

Then: Not!
Now: O-K (in the most sarcastic way possible).

Then: Phat
Now: Sick!

Then: Whatever! (with the double-hand “W” formation for added emphasis)
Now: Whatever (in a tone as blasé as humanly possible).

Then: Get a Life
Now: You’re such a loser.

Then: Straight-Edge
Now: Avoiding re-hab.

Then: Mosh
Now: Dancing on banquets.

Then: Bogus
Now: Soooo not legit.

Then: Talk to the hand
Now: Ummm, why are you speaking?

Then: Don’t go there
Now: I can’t even……..

Then: Take a chill pill
Now: Honestly, RE-lax.

Then: Fresh
Now: Killer.

Final Word: You should like, totally use these fly phrases. On that note, I'm outtie.