Thursday, March 30, 2006

On the Corner of Trendy and Mexican

I love Mexican food. Love it. There’s nothing better than a basket full of salty tortilla chips, a big bowl of fresh guacamole and an ice cold margarita to wash it all down. So when I wait months to book a table at a trendy Mexican eatery like La Esquina, I expect nothing less. Or not.

When we finally arrived at the infamously hard to get into restaurant, we were greeted by a man clad in black with a list and a clipboard slouched in front of a dirty door with an “Employees Only” sign in the middle of a nondescript taco stand. Interesting. Any undiscerning tourist would have been fooled except for the number of ultra hip people crowded outside smoking cigarettes. After we assured the intimidating man that resembled Mickey Rourke of our reservations, we descended down a decrepit staircase through a bustling kitchen and into a cavernous space filled with a trendy crowd of fashion types, LA expats and girls like us on a night out. Liev Schriber made a cameo dressed casually in a hoodie and jeans; he actually was pretty cool and low key, which made my friends and I wonder aloud what he was doing with a frigid Aussie like Ms. Watts.

At first glance my friends and I were charmed by the eclectic scene and ambiance. The trek down was like a mini adventure that would amuse any jaded New Yorker. But once my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, the façade slowly fell away and I was left with an honest look of what surrounded me. To be honest, the place was gimmicky like Pirates of the Carribean the ride with candelabras that seemed to have been dripping since 1852 and an overly aged décor. Unfortunately the drinks didn't do the trick of deception since our mojitos tasted as if they were from Pleasure Island too, pretty much a concoction of Rose’s lime and crushed mint. Delish.

And the menu wasn’t any better. Glorified bar food under the alias of “Mexican,” it offered quesadillas, tostadas, flautas and some main courses that looked too complicated to try. And get this. No guac. Nada, zip, zilch. Not counting the side dish of “avocado” my glorious dip was no where to be found. What kind of Mexican restaurant is this? The surprisingly fast service made me wonder if maybe they just want to kick you out. And I had no problem with that. Most the food was tasteless or too spicy or too fried, just bad overall. Mucho disappointing.

The best thing about the place is the covered porch for smokers. Brilliant.

Final Word: Might as well go and try it for yourself to experience the walk through the kitchen (quite entertaining) but next time I’m craving sceney guacamole I’ll go to Mexican Radio next door. La Esquina (corner of Kenmare and Lafayette, 636.613.7100)

Cheap Thrills

Intriguing at first — sweet soft, and innocent. Then, as the minutes pass, increasingly pleasurable followed by a whirl of excitement and a rush of emotions. No I’m not talking about a really good glass of vintage Port. Or even an orgasm. I’m talking about my latest fragrance fascination: Lacome Hypnose perfume.

I know what your thinking, “Lancome? Yeah right.” Trust me, I too was in disbelief. I actually received the scent as a freebie during Olympus Fashion Week (the perks of being an editor) but I probably never would have bought it on my own. Actually, I never in a million years would have bought it on my own. Needless to say that didn’t stop me from giving it a test run. I immediately sprayed it all over myself moments after opening the packaging.

And I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. It is truly a hypnotic, sweet scent. One that’s addicting and pulls you right in, but isn’t overbearing (like one would expect from the over-the-cosmetics-counter fragrance breed). The core notes are passion flower and warm vetiver mixed with vanilla — but not a Thierry Mugler Angel revival of vanilla — it’s more of a mildly refreshing dose that complements the already rich floral and intense woody aroma for a truly enticing effect.

And enticing it is indeed. The day Hypnose and I made our first public outing was a day that will go down in history as the-most-compliments-I’ve-ever-received-in-my-life day. (Wait, is that sad?) All I heard was “What is that amazing smell?” and “What perfume are you wearing? I love it.” I was shocked. But I’d always manage to utter the same, “Oh well its just (embarrassed by my answer each time) Lancome actually.”

But the truth is why be embarrassed? Label caring is so 90’s. These people should thank me, not judge me. I’ve just saved them hundreds of dollars on perfume shopping! At $42.50 I’ll take Hypnose any day over my expensive $195 per liquid ounce Creed addiction. Okay so I actually get my Creed for free too (don’t hate me) but do you? Save the big bucks for more important splurges like shoes! You’ll thank me.

Final Word: My bottle is almost on empty and I’m definitely running —in my $600 Christian Louboutin heels — to the nearest Macy’s for a refill.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Everyone's A Target

With creative pursuits, success is almost always a double-edged sword. Catering to the mainstream middle market means you’re selling out, but without commercial acceptance you’re just a hack who never made it.

It’s the eternal debate of art versus commerce and often there is no winner. That is, of course, unless you’re Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld or any of the other high-fashion designers who have recently created successful sell-out collections priced for the everyman.

With thier super-low price points and ultra-hip advertising, H&M and Target are the perfect examples. In both cases, these companies have spun their brands in such a way that cheap is also cool, instead canceling each other out.

Even though designers have had enormous financial success with these lines (think quantity, not quality) these low-price/high-fashion labels are not so enticing to a savvy consumer. Having access to something simply makes it less desirable.

I’ll give you a perfect example. I went out of town this weekend and on the train ride I had a chance to catch up with my magazines. As I was flipping through the fashion pages and I came across a cool-looking canvas bag with a pastel skull-and-heart design. When I looked down, the fine print surprisingly revealed, Luella for Target, $19.99.

Since I had a little bit of time on my hands, I decided to drive to Target and see if they stocked the bag. But when they did, I almost didn’t want it anymore.

It looked identical to the image in the magazine, but as it sat there on that rack just waiting for me, I couldn’t help but think it looked like some orphan puppy nobody wanted to take home.

I ended up getting the bag. I mean, it was $20. I could spend more than that on take-out lunch. But I haven’t worn it yet. Even though it’s a perfect summer canvas tote, I’m lacking style enthusiasm.

Some eighth-grade in South Dakota is probably using it as her school bag and I think that alone is killing it for me.

Final Word: Turns out everyman fashion isn't for everyone. When Zac Posen does a line for H&M you won’t see me knocking down the door.

Harald and his Fashionable Crayon

Why is fashion so schizophrenic? As soon as you fill your closet with a wardrobe straight out of Bollywood, the fashion gods decide that anything ethnic should be burned with your incense and replaced with sober, 90s-esque minimalist frocks and books by Truman Capote. It’s not that I disagree; lately the sight sequins, embroidery or anything tie-dye has made me feel a bit queasy and in need of a clean slate.

This is why Harald could not come at a more perfect time. Designer Robert Geller introduces his first collection of girl’s clothing Harald with an astute sobriety that is well-needed after an inebriation of over embellished fashion. Trained at Marc Jacobs and partner in CFDA nominee menswear company Cloak, Geller is no stranger to high design. Born in Germany, Geller epitomizes the no-frills, straightforward aesthetic you would imagine any true German to have. I mean this is a country that inspired Conan to quip, no matter what Germans are saying, they always sound like they’re angry at you. Well it’s not that Geller’s clothing looks angry, there’s just no bullshit. They’re well-made, well-designed and simply beautiful. But don’t call it Calvin Klein, Harald is more Reade street than red carpet.

Geller's understated feminine line of buttoned up blouses, silk bib tops and full knee-length skirts have subtle appeal for the intelligista who can’t stomach the fact that In Touch magazine has a fashion column. These are not garments for the girlie girl. They are feminine without being overt; they have an edge with a touch of street cred. The Harald girl lives in Brooklyn Heights but eats out in Manhattan, she takes the subway but could afford a private car, she looks like she could model but reads the WSJ.
They’re smart chic clothes for the smart chic girl.

Final Word: Tracey Reese and LaRok fans can stick to shopping at Intermix. Harald fans must make the trek to the hip one of a kind boutique Butter in Brooklyn that sells like mind somber brands such as Martin Margiella and Rogan jeans. (718.260.9033)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The You-Know-What In The Room

I can’t remember the last time I went to a club. Boutique-y lounge, hotel bar, trendy restaurant, sure but your run of the mill two story club? I thought I outgrew those Grey Goose guzzling, Patron pounding, base bumping days. But perhaps I spoke too soon.

The new Pink Elephant, which moved from its Chelsea location to club central on 27th street between 10th and 11th, now rubs shoulders with the likes of Bungalow 8, Home and Cain and has become the latest hot spot destination.

Turns out my girlfriend was throwing her 23rd birthday party at the joint, so of course, I forwent my usual rule of ‘no clubs’, and went. We arrived at the scene around 2am to find 27th street more packed than ever.

Looking at the infestation of people surrounding the door at the Pink Elephant, I knew this wouldn’t be easy. But without thinking twice I dove in. After shoving my way to the front and earning my share of dirty looks and sleazy remarks, I found myself at the velvet rope face to face with a short, mean-looking doorman I discovered was named Adam, based on the myriads of hangers-on yelling “Adam, Adam!” as if they were his best friend. It’s funny how easily you can see why doormen choose their craft. Napoleon Complex much?

On any other night my pride would have been too humiliated and too degraded to be subject to such pitiful pleading to this sorry stranger but for some reason on this night I was determined to get in. So I stood there. And I stood there and stood there. Calmly and resolute, I stood there in hopes that he would eventually single me out from the rest of the peons to let me and my fabulous friends in.

Thankfully before my legs fell asleep, my friend’s brother-in-law who was throwing the party stormed out and spotted me. Before I knew it, we were whisked in, past the peons, past Adam the miniature doorman, past the coat check and cashier girls and into a fantasy world that calls itself the Pink Elephant.

It was packed. The only sight in the black room was bodies moving and grooving to base-jumping sounds of house. Catherine Malandrino tops and Paul Smith shirts rubbed one another to the booming beat while entertainers worthy of an Ali Baba’s menagerie roused the crowd. To my left a man on bongos drummed in perfect rhythm to the thumping thuds coming from the stereo. To the right a small older man enthusiastically doled out immense peacock feathers to any girl without one. And in the corner of my eye a woman in her late 30s shimmied topless in burlesque fashion wearing a full-on white headdress and multiple strands pearls draped over her chest. Where the hell am I? I wondered aloud.

It took nothing short of a miracle to find my friend’s table but once I did I was quickly handed a Belvedere-Cranberry and found myself on the banquette shaking my stuff. A smoke machine spewed an eerie fog while a strobe light brought me back to my pre-teen days at Tunnel and Sound Factory (yes that was a confession). But it was all surprisingly fitting in this mega-club.

Final Word: A breath of freshness from the Aers and other element-named venues, Pink Elephant combines old school style with modern day temptations. To Cain, this is Abel. To PM, this is morning. To Home, this is a Club. Welcome to the Pink Elephant. 27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Somewhere Over the Rainbow...


I just thought I'd share that information with you. I found this out this past Friday. My good friend from law school, who happens to be gay, invited me out for his birthday this past Friday. I'm never one to turn down a celebration so I accepted. For some reason, it never crossed my mind that a gay man might want to celebrate his birthday at a gay bar. Regardless, my girlfriend and I showed up at Opaline around midnight and, to our shock, there was a line.

I had been two a couple happy hours, a drunken dinner and an hour of drinking/showering before we got on line. So I guess it's understandable that I didn't notice that the majority of the line consisted of very chatty, fashionable gentleman. And maybe it makes some sense to you that in my drunken state, I did not find it odd that there were two monstrous, dragqueens as bouncers. But it was not till I got into this club that I realized what I was getting into...

The first sign that showed me I was in a gay club, was two norsemen-like males in thongs wrestling slowly on a pedestal. I've seen stranger things, but this was quite a spectacle. After I met up with my friend, I got a drink for my girlfriend and I and started to really observe my surroundings. As I looked around I noticed a 2 key differences b/w gay and straight clubs:
1) People party a lot harder at gay clubs. Crazed dancing, absurd binge drinking and overt drug abuse thrive at gay clubs; and that's just in the bathrooms(which happen to be unisex). I got offered E twice. I didn't even know ecstasy still existed, the last time I got offered E was at a Phish show in the late 90s. Unfortunately, my girlfriend was there and she did not know me in my crackhead days, so I decided not to take it. She just wouldn't understand, plus I didn't want to end up wrestling with the norsemen.
2) The hottest girls go to gay clubs. I cannot count the amount of times where I've been at bars where the hottest girl in the place was me. It's just something about holes in the wall that don't invite drunken hot women dancing in Bacchus like rituals.
3) Dance, Dance, Dance...Man is there some serious boogying going down at gay clubs. I'm not the typical dancer, I usually am to busy trying to stand, talk and control bodily functions when I'm drinking. But I haven't danced that much since Jason Shwartz's bar mitzvah. What a blast, it was similar to the rave scene in Blade, but without the blood. Nuts.

All in all, the night was a success. I got hammered, spent time w/ law school friends, and ran into a guy from my high school. He looked at me like a ghost, till I explained to him that 1. I'm Straight. 2. I'm cool with the movement, so his secret's safe with me. And 3. I always wear rainbow shirts and snake skin shoes, it just happened to be a coincidence that I was in the one place in NY where I wasn't the only guy dressed like that.

Final Word: So fellas, if you're ever looking for hot women or Ex you know where to find it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Splish-Splash, You May Need a Bath

Two of my friends share a great apartment in West Chelsea. Though, up until recently an enormous storage company ad invaded their living space. In it, a cautiously curvaceous woman wearing black-and-white stretch pants asked, “does my butt make this room look small?” while completely bent over.

Just when we started getting used to all the junk in her trunk, she vanished. Only to be replaced by designer-looking shoes covered in mud.

The mysterious billboards contained no slogan, no logo, and no text whatsoever. Just beautiful legs in beautiful shoes completely shot to shit.

I later came to discovered that the shoes, are in fact, not commercial advertisements at all. Rather, they are large-scale replicas of photographs by artist Marilyn Minter, currently appearing in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. They are only advertising—inadvertently of course—the art show itself.

It seems the interpretive confusion is largely due to the photographs’ ambiguity, rather than our artistic ignorance. Minter, a former fashion photographer, apparently enjoys blurring the lines between fine art and commercial art.

Inspired by “what’s real,” her work depicts “the representations and ramifications of glamour” she said in a press conference last week.

“If you wear expensive shoes in New York City, they will get dirty.”

With this realistic rationalization Minter brings to her work a level of beauty that is simultaneously disturbing. She once equated her art to a terrible car accident; you don’t want to look, but for some reason you cannot look away.

The Chelsea shoe billboards are an intriguing but marginally reflective introduction to her graphic body of work. Minter made a name for herself in the art world during the 60’s when she photographed her dying mother’s disturbing devotion to beauty rituals.

Though that series—said to be highly demented and disturbing—has been hidden away for over thirty years, Minter has continued her craft on that same salacious aesthetic. Her entire current collection, highlighting a heinous side to human “beauty,” is appearing at the Whitney.

Final Word: If you don’t see yourself making it uptown Shit-Kicker, Splish-Splash and Runs, on 23rd Street, as well as Mud Bath on Tenth Avenue will be visually available until the end of March.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

When it comes to men’s style, a necktie can make or break a man. I don’t care if you’re rocking a Brooks Brother’s blazer or a vest by Valentino, if the tie is wrong you’re image is shot to hell. Unfortunately, there really is no end to tacky ties, which makes the average less discerning man’s life a bit tricky. I’m sorry but why do people continue to believe that ties are methods of personal expression like bumper stickers? They’re not for your religious affiliation (the Star of David was never meant to be a pattern), holiday enthusiasm (pumpkins are for carving, not for wearing) or personal praises (“World’s Greatest Dad!” is sweet but not during a staff meeting).

With so many awful choices to choose from, it’s no wonder guys have a hard time. And these days especially when the only fashion role models are Kevin Federline and Jaime Foxx. Where has all the subtlety gone? I’m not saying that Mr. Foxx doesn’t look good in a monochrome Gucci two-piece and matching fedora, but the look doesn’t exactly translate from Miami Beach to the LES. And while we’re on the subject, I’m so sick of those wannabe hipsters trying to channel the Strokes in their bomber jackets, skinny jeans and greasy EMO hair. Sorry buddy but one pair of dirty Converse, a punk rocker does not make.

So how do you rock the tie without looking like a corporate suit or like you stumbled out of a Yale fraternity?

J. Press’s skull version is the perfect mix of punk and prep. Not to worry, the pirate trend is not only for the fashion fearless. These skulls are so small, they almost resemble polka dots but at a closer look, their demon form reveals itself. Their subtlety evokes a kind of cheeky intelligence as if to say, “I’m cool enough to know what’s up but smart enough not to be so literal.”

Final Word: Walk the plank and wear your skulls with a white Oxford shirt, slim jeans and sneakers. Very Winston Churchill meets Jefferson Hack. Oh and the girls will love it. Available on

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Male Perspective

I'm your average guy. I love blackout drinking and athletics. I take uppers to get shit done, downers to get nothing done, and marijuana for everything in between. I can't stand celebrity obsession, but I'm supportive of celebrity substance abusers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some junky idiot. I'm into intellectual stuff(books on drugs) and I'm currently coasting/barely making it through my first year of law school.

As for New York, it's the greatest city in the world. In my extensive travels, I've yet to find a city half as impressive. There is no other city in the world where you could get ridiculous pot delivered to your door, ridiculous food delivered after you get the munchies, and then ridiculous [fill in your own vice] delivered to get your night going. Wait, what's this blog about again...

Fashion: I am quite clueless about fashion. I rock the preppy style when I need to trick people into thinking I'm respectable, but that's rare. Most of my evening attire is accumulated from vintage stores, athletic stores, or my uncle that was a baller in the 70s and 80s but has little use for his linen suits and velvet smoking jackets nowadays. Regardless, I was asked to contribute to this blog so I must know something.

Food: I'd call myself an eating enthusiast, love all types of cuisines. You probably won't read to much about my restaurant experiences, though. Something tells me the readers of this would rather hear about the trendy new fusion restaurant that serves micro-sized meals to techno music. But if you want to know about Peter Luger's or Brother Jimmy's give me a shout.

Nightlife: This is my expertise. First off, I hate places with lists, bouncers in suits and verbs for names. I tolerate them when I have to, but that's for friends only. I adore "hole in the wall" bars where people are puking because of how much they drink, not because of eating disorders. In all honesty, I feel the place of substance and alcohol abuse is not as important as the crowd you're with.

There that's it. My first blog. I'm not quite sure how I fit in to this fashionable page, but I imagine it has something to do with the constant debauchery I find myself getting into. Either way, hope you enjoyed this experiment. Shalom

Resin D’Etre

With the suggested use being an adhesive or varnish, resin is an unlikely candidate for the next big thing in fashion. But if Lagerfeld is doing, so will everybody in a couple of months.

In contrast to last season’s bohemian beads and wooden bangles, resin is not only modern, it’s futuristic. Rarely does fashion look to the future for inspiration. We usually recycle the same old styles with a slight reinterpretation every few years and tell ourselves they’re new. I mean do I really need to buy a skin tight Cavalli mini when my mom’s Alaia will work just fine?

But one thing I know my mom doesn’t have hiding in her closet is anything resin (not counting the ice age insect cast in the amber sap that we bought at the Liberty Science Center several years back… come to think of it, where is that?).

Chanel’s version is a bit more wearable. The collection’s resin cuff and round clutch are both space age and current at the same time. The cuff looks as if it were dipped in a vat of semi-precious stones, while the other looks like it was dipped in a swirl of white and dark chocolate. They almost look like candy, rock hard, super stylish candy.

Final Word: Come on, let’s all get stoned, Lagerfeld’s doing it. Chanel, 139 Spring Street.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Yo, yo ma!

From Donald and Melania’s billion-dollar babe, to the alien-birth TomKat debacle, it seems like everywhere we turn wildly inappropriate people are procreating.

But for those of us who lead happy lives of drug-induced infertility, there is an upside to the posse of paparazzi-prone pipsqueaks.

Although they have yet to contribute to the greater good of humanity, these little tykes have already solidified a claim-to-fame; super-cool kid’s stores.

Yoyamart, on Gansevoort Street, is already a must among Meatpacking mothers. With two locations in lower Manhattan, this uber-trendy children’s store specializes in designer clothes, books, CD’s and furniture for our fashion-conscious little friends.

Over the course of the past two years, couples J.D. & Cristina Boujnah and Stephane & Gena Gerbier, have brought to life New York's first concept store for kids. But regardless of a roster of celebrity-spawn clientel, Yoyamart is more than mere child’s play.

With an extensive Kidrobot collection, this mini-baller boutique is the perfect place for hipper-than-thou home décor. Also, check out the 24-karat gold handcuff ring ($360) from Cartier alum/cult goldsmith Dinh Van.

Final Word: Feel like a kid again, without having any of your own. Yoyamart at 15 Gansevoort St., or Yoya at 636 Hudson St.

B Mine or B Fendi?

After a slew of empire waists, babydoll dresses and stretchy tights, it’s no surprise we’ve gotten lazy. I can’t remember the last time I actually put on a pair of jeans, which is something my old self (jeans, jeans and more jeans kind of girl), would never have believed. From oversized sweaters to flowing halter tops, street style has more resembled a Pea in the Pod warehouse sale than a Prada fashion show. God forbid you’re ever asked a due date, when the only thing you’re expecting is your next paycheck. Quelle horreur. Unfortunately, it looks like volume isn’t going anywhere, so what’s a distressed fashionista to do?

Cinch up and ship out I say. The new it-belt (apparently there is such a thing now), the B Fendi will solve all your problems, or at least your waistline’s. A simple wide belt with spring’s new iconic buckle is meant to cinch you waist and give you a Grace Kelly meets Wonder Woman look worn high above the hips so that you can play with the proportions of that Chloe shift or boyfriend’s white button down. Available in every shade and style under the sun, you’ll want it in every color (even if you won’t be able to afford it.)

Final Word: So go ahead, strap one on and see that you actually do have a waist hiding under all that fabric. At least you’ll know no one will be asking boy or girl. Fendi Flagship, 677 Fifth Ave (Between 53rd and 54th sts)

Gluttony at Gusto

Don’t believe what you’ve read and go to Gusto. I have to admit, I was deterred by the awful reviews on Citysearch and Menupages (yes, I actually read the reviews on Menupages), but when I went to this tiny Italian bistro in the Village on Saturday night for my birthday dinner, I was not only pleasantly surprised, I had one of the best meals I’ve had in a while.

The décor draws you in first, exuding an art deco charm (white brick walls and black granite counters) with a touch of old world luxury (a regal chandelier hangs in the center of the room). You would think with such a stark color palette, a restaurant would feel cold or even worse, trendy. But the small space, dim lighting and homegrown touches like bowls of snap peas and artichokes as décor lend a comforting mood to the handsome space. The result? A warm, fashionable Italian restaurant that defies the contention that good food and high style don’t mix.

At the bar, we were offered a unique list of Italian wines by the glass and since my repertoire of Italian wines is slim, the very cute and very Italian bartender suggested the Pinot Bianco that was light, crisp, like a breath of fresh air and the other a Fangelucci (sp?) that resembled a California Chardonnay being much heavier, complex, oaky but delicious. I was beginning to like this place.

The crowd ranged from Bergdorf Blondes perched at the bar discussing highlights to European men of mystery trying everything on the menu and trying to flag the former’s attention. I spotted a few editors as well, who immediately received complimentary flutes of Prosecco and antipasti.

The menu by far is what makes Gusto what it is. Fried foods have their own section from the ubiquitous calamari and artichokes to the more unconventional squash blossoms and stuffed olives. It’s true that everything is better when it’s fried. Crisp on the outside and sumptuous on the inside, each one is heaven but not too heavy. And entrees? The grilled Branzino or salted cod both perfection. No wonder Mario Batali comes here on his day off. Bon appetito!

Final Word: Try to score a table downstairs in the wine cellar. 60 Greenwich Ave., at Perry St.; 212-924-8000

Monday, March 20, 2006

Puck-er Up

Going to a sporting event with your girlfriends always seems like a good idea. You think; fitted jersey, chugging beers. Very Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. But, as it turns out, the reality of it all is far less adorable.

Earlier this evening, I went to a Rangers game on a whim. After turning down Knicks tickets on Friday, part of me truly felt like I should engage in some good ole’ athleticism.

Now, of all the major league sports played in this country, hockey reigns supreme with regards to my level of clueless-ness. Baseball, basketball. I can at least hold a relevant conversation. But my NHL aptitude is a complete and utter joke.

So when I arrived at Madison Square Garden this evening, I witnessed this crazy microcosm of hockey fans that I never knew existed. And, in addition to my initial alienation, I was forced to sit next to the biggest Rangers fan in the house. But I’m not talking take-you-top-off-and-paint-your-chest-blue Rangers fan. This guy was solo-flying-carefully-concentrating-hating-any-distractions fan.

Therefore, when I attempted to catch up with my newly-single friend’s active love life, the coals of hell burned deep in his eyes. I never felt so hated in all my life. I tried to lower my voice. Concentrate on the game. I even stood up and cheered when they scored.

But, the jig was up. And as if our fan-tastic fabrication wasn’t already written all over our faces, the stock-broker type in the pink shirt behind us fully called us out. But not, of course, before he tried to ask us out. Eww.

Final Word: I still have faith in girls night out at the arena, we just have to pick a better sport. Because honestly, who watches hockey? Definately not me.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Top 5 Dive Bars

Some days all I need to have a good time is a cheap beer and a working jukebox. For those nights the scene becomes too despicable, I hit up favorite local haunts that pretty much guarantee a dirty, drunk evening of debauchery.

1. 7B (Avenue B and 7th St)
Grimy from head to toe, this place is a real dump. They have the cheapest, largest beer cans you’ve ever seen (brand unknown), the jukebox plays Black Sabbath or Stevie Wonder depending on whose paying and floor is covered in filth and USOs (unidentifiable sticky objects). Oh and it smells like vomit. It's great.

2. Reade Street Pub (Reade St bet Hudson and Greenwich Aves)
Strollers, bagels and galleries come to mind when you think of Tribeca. But this pub defies the baby boom neighborhood drawing a young crowd (early 20s) ready for power hour. No smoking laws don’t abide here where even the bouncer lights up. Awesome.

3. Bourbon Street (Amsterdam Avenue bet 79th and 80th Sts)
A taste of Mardi Gras in the UWS (no that is not an oxymoron), this particular establishment serves beer on tap, cheap liquor and cheesy t-shirts to frat boys from Columbia University looking for a cheap thrill. Girls who shouldn’t be dancing on bars, dance on the bar to Bon Jovi and Lynrd Skynrd – it’s an awful spectacle, but everyone’s too wasted to care.

4. Automatic Slims (Corner of Washington St and Bank St)
It’s hard to believe such a place could exist in such a charming neighborhood. Sandwiched between boutique restaurants and brownstones, this dive is a true standout. The bartenders play Marley and some god awful music but it’s all good cause everyone’s dancing. Drawback: the narrow staircase down to the bathroom takes the coordination of a Cirque de Soleil staffer.

5. Hog Pit (13th Street and Ninth Avenue)
Amidst the trendy eateries, hotels and shops of the Meatpacking District lies the Hog Pit, a true dive by all definitions. There are actual cowboys in there. I kid you not, I saw the hats. With a bar and a pool table in the back, this is a no frills watering hole. I heard their BBQ ain’t bad too.

Final Word: With the Irish’s claim to fame day coming up, this could not be a better time roll up those sleeves, hit the bars and chug as much green beer as you can stand until passing out. Happy St. Paddy’s Day.

Who is Edie Sedgwick?

Ok, I know it’s all about Edie right now. From Chloe’s spring 2006 collection to Sienna Miller’s new role, she is the icon du jour. Fashion magazines and their idolaters alike heatedly praise Edie as if she was the patron saint of Pop Art. I’m sorry, I may have been born in the 80s but before Sienna, I never heard of this so-called factory girl. For all I know, she could have been a Guatemalan sweatshop worker pumping out Kathie Lee Gifford parkas for 2 cents a pop.

But who is Edie Sedgwick really? And why is she an icon?

Edith Sedgwick was born in 1943 to a wealthy Santa Barbara rancher and his wife. In her short life, she was an American socialite, model, fashion icon and most famously Pop artist Andy Warhol’s muse and favorite factory girl.

The Factory was Warhol's studio. In an old New York loft building, Warhol and his assistants (“factory girls”) produced artwork by day and threw lavish parties by night. Soon the Factory became the hottest place to be in the 60’s with an eclectic mix of artists, poets, addicts, socialites, and drug dealers. (Think Bungalow 8 on LSD.)

Sedgwick, a Factory regular, also dabbled in drugs including heroin and barbiturates, which ultimately served as her demise in November 1971 when she died from overdose. She was 28. Among her accomplishments, Edie modeled in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, becoming a symbol of the 60s mod fashion; starred in a number of cult films including, Ciao! Manhattan; and allegedly was the inspiration for many of musician Bob Dylan’s love songs.

Like many fashion personalities, Edie’s glamorous life was just a façade. She suffered from clinical depression and anorexia, which eventually got the best of her. Her sad life was masked by the commercialized beauty of glossy photographs, short films and one dimensional silkscreen prints by Andy Warhol. Perhaps that’s what he found so intriguing. Obsessed with the commercialization of American culture, Warhol most likely found this forged beauty personified in Sedgwick. The plastic beauty that only grazed the surface of Edie became her public identity. Her legacy of mod minis, black tights and super long earrings is all that she leaves behind.

Final Word: Although we may never know the real Edie, we can thank her for her eclectic life, her courage to beat to a different drum and her unique style that inspired an entire movement in art and fashion alike. If that’s not an icon, I don’t know what is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hidden Treasure

I hate vintage shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I love vintage clothes and retro accessories but I can’t vintage shop. I envy my friends with closets full of vintage Guy Laroche, Missoni and Alaia. They always gush, “Look what amazing Dior dress I found for $20!” And I want to be happy for them, I do, but really I’m thinking, “Why the hell didn’t I find that Dior dress!”

I’m sorry, but am I missing something? Whenever I vintage shop all I find is polyester pantsuits from ’93 and dresses fit for Little Bo Peep. Maybe I was born without the hunting gene, but whenever I enter a flea market I break into a cold sweat because the thought of rifling through old clothes and moth-ridden shoes is frightening. And the designer duds I do find have 2006 prices. The nerve! Call me mainstream but I’d much rather buy a current Stella McCartney piece than a used Chloe at $1600.

There is a solution for us girls who want to wear vintage but don’t have the patience to look. Some Odd Rubies, a unique closet-sized boutique in the LES, offers reworked vintage clothing at prices you can stomach ($250-$500). The store actually feels like your own closet with its mini proportions and dressing room complete with antique mirrors and vintage chaises. The whole vibe is very Berlin, Germany circa 1940.

The name Some Odd Rubies is quite fitting since it offers a treasure of one of a kind vintage reconstruction pieces that not only look special but make you feel special too. Owners Summer Phoenix (sister of River and Joaquin; sister-in-law to Bennifer), Ruby Canner and Odessa Whitmire, rework the vintage clothing to create an ultra modern and ultra unique look.

Final Word: The treasure hunt is over. Pieces range from empire-waist tops and dresses, sequin capelets and original gold jewelry. Located at 151 Ludlow Street.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Leggings: In or Out?

There comes a time where you must ask yourself the question, am I a fashion victim? Trends come and go as fast as Bergdorf changes its windows and you are left with a closet of barely worn Mukluks, Paddington bags and True Religion ripped jeans with nothing to wear. Sound familiar?

No need to fret, there are ways one goes about learning what trend has legs (in this case literally) and what will last you more than one season. Every magazine seems to have its own opinion. But I rarely pay attention to the last page of Harper’s Bazaar or Gotham’s “in and out” list because they are wrong most of the time. So who is right?

A well-seasoned trend forecaster must look to the past, present and future to determine the fate of a trend. First, the past must show the trend has influenced fashion tastemakers who are still chic (If Chloe Sevigny is still wearing it, you’re good to go.) Second, the present must show that the trend has not yet hit Canal street (Sorry Silverado, you’re dead to me.) And third, designers must still be infatuated with the trend to have revamped it to fit next season’s overall direction (see below).

Currently the trend in question is leggings. Are they still in or totally out? Well based on the aforementioned criteria, they are so in. Chloe donned a pair front row at Balenciaga. Canal Street has yet to have them on the market since they are so ubiquitous you can buy them at Marc Jacobs or Target and still look chic (a street vendor’s nightmare). And everyone from Zac Posen to Prouenza Schouler went wild for tights during fall 2006 fashion week.

So brace yourself for another forgiving season of waistless bottoms. Just don’t throw out all your jeans. You don’t want to get to the point where you need to wear spandex.

Final Word: How to update your legging look? Pair them with ballet flats or ankle booties with a cropped jacket.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Poor Man's Pastis

This past Saturday, we were blessed with warm weather and blue skies all day long trading our sweaters for sundresses and our fleeces for flip flops. So I did what all New Yorkers do on a nice day over the weekend. I went to Pastis for brunch.

Now I’m not sure if there is some unwritten rule that says all trendy New Yorkers and a handful of curious commuters must go to Pastis for brunch but there might as well be. More crowded than Penn Station at rush hour, this bistro has become a tourist trap during weekends but still attracts a loyal local crowd. People just can’t get enough.

And why not? The bread is fresh (even if it comes from New Jersey). The crowd is hot (even if it comes from New Jersey). And the menu is simple but good (this one actually might be French).

What I don’t understand is why there are more lists here than at the Vanity Fair Oscars party (Haven’t been but I assume equally cutthroat at the door.) There are three lists. Count them, 3 lists! One for outside, one for the front and one for the back. They’re eggs people. I don’t care if you fry’em, poach ‘em or scramble ‘em or call them oeufs, they’re eggs. And you have to be joking if you want me to wait 45 minutes for them.

This particular day was no exception. 45 minutes at least. Downtrodden and rejected but not willing to wait, we weighed the alternatives. Vento. The epitome of Meatpacking garbage, this Italian eatery serves nothing but hype on a plate. The Diner, it’s new and I haven’t tried it and I wasn’t feeling particularly moonstruck at the time. And finally, Paradou. A quaint looking café with a chalkboard sign outside reading, “We’re cheap but good!” The last actually looked charming in a charmless neighborhood.

The maitre’d in a t-shirt (Fruit of the Loom not Ferragamo) and jeans walked us past the kitchen to a quiet garden in the back where diners were laughing and discussing their Friday nights on folding chairs and benches while nibbling on poached eggs, French toast and Artisanal cheese plates. As I looked around, this crowd looked less like Pastis rejects and more like good friends actually enjoying their brunch without the rubbernecking strain of people watching. Charming!

Final Word: Let’s face it. There are days where you’ll suck it up and wait. But for those times you don’t feel like brunch at a bus terminal, try Paradou where you actually can eat, drink and be merry. Go on Movie Mondays where they play old flicks in the garden while you sample cheese and wine. 8 Little West 12th Street between 9th and Washington Avenues.

Bottoms Up

Every substance has its respective connoisseur. Food = Foodie. Wine = Wino. Drugs = Addict. But I don’t believe there is a term to describe my line of expertise and appreciation for water. Yeah, that’s right, good old H20.

I was hooked from early on: Ice (the frozen state) was my first word. By age 11 I had dabbled in Evian and San Pellegrino, but it wasn’t long until I moved on to Fiji —mesmerized by the exotic packaging. It accompanied me everyday to high school in my brown-bag lunch. By the time I got to college there were some new players on the scene, namely Vitamin Water and Smart Water. Ahh, the good times.

Yes, I am what they call a water snob. I scoff at the distilled imposter brands — ahem, Aquafina, Dasani — that claim to be ‘purified’ to perfect taste. Today my refrigerator’s inventory is always varied: Volvic (my classic staple), Zephyrhills (a local label, is inexpensive but still refreshing), Contrex (first came to my attention when I heard it was ‘slimming’, the verdict still out on that, but until then I do enjoy its unique flavor).

Then there are the so-called designer waters. Their prices are absurd, but isn’t their packaging worth it? You can most often find these labels (think Voss) at around 4AM in the club du jour, when too much Goose has left your body dying of thirst and you’re willing to pay a king’s ransom for some fresh non-toxic fluids.

And on that note, I started thinking… what are the hot new labels of 2006 and where in the world will you find them? Here are my top 4 picks:

1. Bling H2o, South Beach

Think Mynt, Red Room at the Shore Club, and Prive. Why? Because that’s where the ballers be throwin’ down bills on bottles of crystallized Courvoisier. And, sorry, but you can’t exactly follow an iced out show like that with Poland Springs – you got a rep to protect.

2. Antipodes, Los Angeles

The sleek and simple packaging is so Zen, making it the perfect accoutrement to any yogi’s designer gym bag. (So it’s more Sunday brunch at Toast, than all-nighter rage.) Plus, it’s available sparkling or still and can be delivered direct to your doorstep from the New Zealand factory.

3. Fine, New York

It’s aged to perfection (each fluid ounce has been over 1000 years in the making) and has a rich mineral bouquet (acquired from Fuji volcanic rock), so this Japanese import is for sophisticated, discerning palettes only. (i.e., any red-blooded Manhattanite)

4. Voda Voda, Las Vegas

Voda Baby, Voda. The name reads bigger than any neon marquis on the strip and with its expensive price tag, you’re gonna need to win big to afford a sip of this stuff. Straight from Serbia (who knew?), this water is made of a natural compound of bicarbonates that is considered healing, so it’s practically essential by sunrise.

Final Word: Have you had your 8 glasses today? Get out there and expand your H20 repertoire.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Les Enfants Not so Terribles

Les Enfants Terribles is everything you want in a funky downtown French bistro. It's small. It's loud. It's packed with cool, young European patrons who quite conceivably would be shocked if you were to tell them they were in Chinatown and not St. Germain.

On Saturday I had a late dinner with my girlfriends at le Pere Pinard's sister resto. The darkly lit room with tiny tables surrounding a bar exuded a sexy, mysterious charm. The maple wood walls lended a cozy warmth to the room while the banquette seating gave it a clubby feel. The scene added to the party vibe with tightly packed tables filled with chic, international diners dancing to techno beats being spun by a DJ.

The menu is small but to the point. Steak frites, roasted chicken, scallops. Mostly bistro fare with a touch of North African influnce (fried plantains and casbah lamb). The wine list is also streamlined but well-priced. Try the Pouilly-Fuisee or Sancerre. They go perfectly with the roasted chicken that's crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

The cutest touch? A throwback to elementary school, antique classroom deskchairs sit outside for smokers wanting to chill and chat. The French think of everything when it comes to fumeurs.

Final Word: The perfect antidote to the trendy mega eateries on Food Network row, (Del Posto, Morimoto, Buddakan...)les Enfants will make you feel like a rebel against all things oversized, overpriced and overhyped. Vive la Revolution! 37 Canal St at Ludlow St

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It-Boy of the Week

Fresh off a new episode of “The O.C.” it would seem Adam Brody could not get any hotter. That “lucky bastard” has some of the best lines on television, a perfectly paired pocket-size girlfriend and an upcoming role in the much anticipated big-screen comedy, “Thank You For Smoking.” And as if that wasn’t enough, he now gets to share Orange County set time with Nikki Reed (anyone catch Thirteen? Yeah, turns out she wrote it).

But this month, Adam continues to up the ante as he graces the cover of Nylon Guys, the official debut of well, Nylon for guys. Previously offered as an insert in the chick issues, this spring we’ll see if the dude version can stand on its’ own.

With that sexy suggestive smirk on the cover and the promise of hanging with the world’s hottest snowboarders on the inside, shit, I’ll subscribe. Plus, men’s magazines are always a bit more fun. They’re better at being naughty.

Final Word: The official release party hosted by Brody is somewhere in New York on March 15th. Any tipsters? I’m dying to go.

A Charmed Life

We’ve all heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve, but now you can wear it around you neck. Make an appointment with Nicole Schumann Designs for a custom-made 14-karat-gold charm necklace, and express whatever that little heart desires.

With trinkets that range from skulls to lockets, and Buddha’s to geisha girls, these one-of-a-kind creations are as unique and personal and they are, well, charming.

The hand-made necklaces are distinct in that Schumann mixes materials from all over the world. She uses wood, metal, semi-precious stones and vintage charms all hung from a 14-karat-gold-filled necklace.

Started as a hobby, Schumann wore a necklace she designed when traveling Europe one summer and was constantly complimented. When she returned to New York, she made a few for a baby shower and since has not stopped filling requests.

Final Word: Nicole Schumann stills designs by appointment out of her apartment. She encourages anyone interested to call her at 917.796.7092. You’ll find she is just as personal and charming as the necklaces themselves.

Food For Thought

The oldest myth in skincare is chocolate equals bad skin. It’s practically a no-brainer, ingrained in our heads since adolescence — that is until now, thanks to Borba's clarifying anti-acne chocolate bar.

The indulgent treatment combines the science of skincare guru Scott Vincent Borba's nutraceutical concoctions with the culinary delights of Kristy Woo chef and co-owner of Jin Patisserie, the Zen-ified pastry boutique and tea garden based in Venice Beach, California.

The chocolate is infused with nutrient rich supplements like walnut husk, pomegranate, and green tea to help remove toxins and improve the skin’s clarity. The result is brighter, more radiant skin sans the occasional breakout. Perfect for, ahem, that certain time of the month.

Plus, recent studies have shown that dark chocolate has four times the amount of anti-oxidants found in green tea and is beneficial in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease. In other words, a dietary must.

Final Word: Genius! Because when was the last time you actually felt good about consuming an entire bar of chocolate?

$8 each, available exclusively at Nordstrom department stores in April

I Wear My Scojos At Night

What’s more annoying than ridiculously big sunglasses face, made popular by pseudo-celebrities like Mary-Kate Olsen and Nicole Richie? Oversized glasses a la Jackie O summering in Santorini are one thing. Humorously humongous shades that dwarf your face are another. Call me a rebel without a cause but nowadays I have a violent reaction to anything deemed trendy in tabloids. I’ve had enough. Paris gripping her Sidekick? I’ll take my defunct Blackberry. Ashlee toting around her petite pup? Bring on a Great Dane. Jessica sporting absurdly enormous sunglasses? I’ll stick with my Scojo's.

Scojo, a fashionable eyewear company based here in New York, offers modestly priced reading glasses and sun readers with high style designs. Inspired by the understated and intelligent style of New Yorkers (group names range from the Soho to the Tribeca collections), their glasses offer a sleeker look for the modern girl or guy and also aid reading. With clean lines and distinctive designs, you can chicly shade the sun without looking like a science experiment gone wrong (think Jeff Goldblum in the Fly).

CEO and Founder, Scott Berrie says, "Eyewear, like any fashion accessory, inspires people inunpredictable, creative ways." Indeed.

My personal favorite? The Aviator bi focal sunreader. Very Sarah Jessica Parker in the West Village. Scojo is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Flight 001 and

Final Word: Scojo holds its first sample sale today through Saturday, from noon until 5pm, at 185 Varick Street, Suite 1430, 14th floor. Reading glasses originally $65 are now $10. Sunglasses originally $30 are now $5.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

You're My Idol

American Idol is my guilty pleasure. Always has been. By the time the season is over I will have memorized all of the vitals on the top 12 contestants and developed passionately strong opinions on my favs and foes. So far, 2006 is all about the boys. While each season has their standard breakout hottie—this time it’s Ace, last season was Constantine and before that, Rubin (no, that was mean)—but for some reason, I have recently developed an overwhelming amount of quirky crushes. Quick, check them out before they fade into obscurity.

Taylor Hicks
Sure, he’s 29 and has full head of gray hair, but he wears it well. We’ll call it salt-and-pepper, just like George Clooney. Now, I know that Big T is not your classic cutie, but this Birmingham-native has got more soul than any white boy I’ve ever seen and I find it irresistible. When he played that harmonica for the judges, ooh, I almost melted.

Kevin Covais
Just look at this little guy, how could you not fall for him? He’s this big dork with all the confidence in the world, and I can’t get enough. Plus, this 16-year-old Strong Island boy knows how to get down—he says he raps to Kanye when he’s not singing sweet love songs to his girl back home. He won’t make it til the end, but I’ll swoon over Kev for as long as he’s here.

Chris Daughtry
Ok, Chris actually is a hottie. He’s a serious rocker with the pipes to match, plus, just look at that face. Move over Bo Bice, there’s a new rockstar in town. Only hitch, he’s got a wifey and some kids back home in North Carolina. But there’s still plenty of time for this 26-year-old to lose his soul in Hollywood and dump the extra baggage. I just can't help it, I have a thing for baldies.

Final Word: Do you think I have a shot? Someone get the AI publicist on the phone before they’re voted off and I lose all interest.

It-Bag Identity Crisis

Every season the fashion gods decide what women will wear for months to come. From voluminous dresses to super skinny slacks, high fashion is not necessarily for the masses. With trends leaning more and more to the theatrical side, it’s becoming more and more difficult to look of the moment without looking like a complete clown.

This is where bags come in. Bags are the rock stars of the fashion industry. They’re seen on the arms of the hottest girls, they all have waiting lists, and before you know it, they are discarded after too much publicity for a newer, hotter, cooler version of themselves.

Although the hottest bags are reaching mortgage worthy prices, they represent the one thing that is most accessible about fashion. Can’t afford Balenciaga’s pinstriped pantaloons? Go for their striped canvas bag. Burberry coat break the bank? Opt for the small satchel with signature print.

But it’s not just about what you can afford. The fact is most of us can’t pull off Balenciaga’s Victorian Goth look without looking like Boy George in drag. Wear it on your arm, conversely, and you’re totally chic.

It-bags are certainly the most memorable. Who really remembers what Marc Jacobs did for Louis Vuitton in ’03 but everyone remembers the Murakami bag. Likewise, could anyone pinpoint the direction John Galliano took for Dior in ’01? No, but you better believe they all had the Saddle bag. Why? Because when you have an it-bag, you're part of an upper class. You're envied. You're respected. You belong.

And this season is no different. The following five are my picks for the it-bags for every type of bag hag. (At least until September.)

1. The Urban Bohemian: Chloe’s “Edith”
Exudes Chloe’s casual couture look with supple leather and subtle detailing. It’s simple but perfect.

2. The Vintage Vixen: Marc Jacobs “Carrie”
What would a MJ collection be without an it-bag? This particular style is unique with its clean lines, gold hardware and feminine retro look.

3. The Fickle Fashionista: Fendi’s “B Fendi”
The ultimate statement bag. This is what it-bags are made of. Iconic buckles, available in every color and treatment, and publicized to the max. This is not for the fashion feeble.

4. The Stylish Jet-Setter: Dior “Gaucho”
It hasn’t really been about Dior lately but maybe Galliano will earn a comeback with this new, slouchy style. A deconstructed version of the Saddle bag, this purse exudes effortless elegance.

5. The Fashionable Intelligista: YSL “Muse”
A serious bag with serious it-appeal. The silhouette is unique and the handle straps and structured style seamlessly echo this season’s sophisticated feel.

Final word: From Baguettes to B Fendis, it-bags will always represent a woman’s style persona and status. So who will you be this season?

Call Me Loco, But I'm Obsessed

When visiting (or in my case living in) South Beach there are several must do's: sun (with SPF protection of course), clubbing (only acceptable with an entourage), and Mexican food (my guiltiest pleasure in the city of vice). And as the Miami Blackberrie correspondent I wouldn't exactly be doing my job unless I wrote about - hands down - the best Mexican food I've ever tasted: Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.

Location: 1439 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 33139

The vibe is laid-back fiesta at this local hangout that the critics tout as “fresh, tasty, and blessedly inexpensive.” It's the perfect place for a post beach nosh or an inexpensive (but guaranteed to be fun) evening with friends. My faves are the lo-carb steak fajitas, Tijuana tacos, and the chicken taquitos, but there's plenty more unique creations worthy of a try: Sangria Icees anyone?

Final Word: In a town where size negative zero models lurk at every corner, it's comforting to know that great Mexican food can still be found. But do heed caution it might just become your next addiction.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

You’re Mean, Jean

When I first saw this picture of Kate Moss I thought, “Wow, she’s really messing with us now.” And by us I mean "us", her loyal cadre of admirers who ooh and ahh her every outfit then replicate the next day before the masses. If Kate’s doing it, we’re trying to do it: Sass & Bide straight leg skinny jeans, check. Cropped leather vest, check. High-waisted straight leg denim with pockets and buttons, uh, uncheck.

If there’s one thing I’ll do for myself this season it’s think about the reality of my body type before I slip on a pair of ass and thigh highlighters such as the ones Ms. Moss recently donned on a night out in London. You see, there is a very visible fine line when it comes to fashion dos and don’t-ever-go-theres, and for that simple reason I’m sticking to my guns with this one. Some things are best left to the professionals.

The pants in question are by Ghost, part of their fall 2006 collection. And for the record I respect this look on the runway, would admire them in a fashion editorial, and of course love them on Kate. But the reality is I (and the rest of "us") have not been afforded the same genes as KM and therefore cannot afford to wear the same jeans as KM – simple as that.

And she knows it! I can almost see that catch-me-if-you-can smirk on her face as if to say, “try this one on for size, bitches!” For once the empress strikes back, advantage Kate.

Final word: What might look aiight on Ms. Moss may just be the worst outfit you’ve ever worn. And while I’d love to jump into a pair of these and prove even my worst inner critic wrong, I think this is one Mossfit I’m going to miss come fall.

Skip To My Ludivine

I’m a shopaholic. Like many unfortunate souls I live paycheck to paycheck, spending on the essentials: shoes, clothing and bags. I can equate myself to Carrie Bradshaw who exclaimed one episode after realizing that she had spent more money on shoes than on rent “I literally am going to end up the woman who lived in her shoes!” Not so far fetched. Some might say I’m setting myself up for bad credit, some might say I’m wasting my money, but at least I know what makes me happy. So I guess money can buy happiness, or at least temporary euphoria.

That being said, when I stumble upon a new store, it’s like finding a diamond in the rough, an oasis in the desert. And this doesn’t happen often. I shop at the same places selling the same things to the same people. Soon enough I start looking like everyone on the street. And that, my friend, is style suicide. But there is one store, which I recently discovered, that offers a solution to this shopping ennui, a certain je ne sais quoi to the New York style scene.

Ludivine, owned by two Parisian ex-pats Ludivine Grégoire and her sister, is a boutique that carries cult French brands like Vanessa Bruno, Tsumori Chisato, Sonia Rykiel and Les Praries de Paris. In addition to cozy knits, silk tops and babydoll dresses, the store sells simple accessories like round toe pumps, sequin skinny belts and delicate 24 karat name plate gold necklaces. Their collection is edited to perfection.

The minute you walk in their shoebox sized store, you feel at home. Pale pink walls decorated with Victorian mirrors exude girlish charm. French singers croon in the background because “my father used to listen to it,” says one of the Grégoire sisters. It’s the kind of store you’d find while strolling through the Marais district in Paris, not in the West village sandwiched between a burrito joint and a smoke shop.

Ludivine is truly a treasure. Their best feature is they only carry clothes you can't find anywhere else. And what’s not to love about that?

Final word: For Francophiles and fashionistas alike, Ludivine provides a Parisan outlet for the otherwise jaded shopaholic.

Monday, March 06, 2006

78th Academy Awards: Best and Worst Dressed List

I know. The last thing you need is another best dressed list. From E! to CNN Headline News you will be flooded with the same photos of the same women on the same lists. But how does one really determine a starlet’s style score that will either boost her to fashion fame or condemn her to the depths of “don’t” hell? The answer is, you can’t. Style has always been subjective and in the eye of the beholder, or stylist. Fashion is always changing so something that looked so right will look so wrong a season later. (Uggs anyone?) Nevertheless, I will give you my list of the best and the worst of them because everyone is entitled to an opinion, right?


1. Salma Hayek in Atelier Versace knows what works for her. The ocean blue hue was perfect for her olive skin and the fit accentuated all the right body parts. She looked gorgeous, just how a Latin bombshell should look.

2. Michelle Williams in Vera Wang. She took a chance with the color but succeeded. The saffron hue of the dress and wine-colored lips was unexpected but chic. And her retro waves completed the epic and unique look. Michelle, you’ve come a long way from Dawson’s Creek.

3. Felicity Huffman in Zac Posen. Why is it that after an actress plays an unflattering role (ie: Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry and Charlize Theron in Monster), they feel the need to overdress and overprimp at the Oscar’s in order to prove they actually are attractive women? You were acting, we get it. Thank god Felicity knows better. With simple hair and makeup that grounded the stunning dress, she looked like a knockout without trying too hard.


1. Naomi Watts in Givenchy. The bottom was harmless but the top looked was a shredded mess as if King Kong got a little frisky and took a bite out of her top. The color was wrong for her complexion, making her look washed out and ill. Maybe she was channeling Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride”?

2. Sandra Bullock in Angel Sanchez. I’m all for choosing unknown designers but what was Mr. Sanchez thinking? Pockets? Was she cold? Did she need a place to stock her mints and lipstick? On top of that the dress was ill-fitting and made her look like a linebacker next to Keanu. Sorry Sandra, loved you in “Speed” but it’s time to find a new look.

3. Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture. Ironically during E!’s Live from the Red Carpet, Ryan Seacrest gushed the actress could wear a garbage bag and still be gorgeous. Well turns out she did, and well, she didn’t (respectively). Unfortunately Miss Theron who once was immune to fashion “don’t” lists lost her couture kryptonite by becoming the definition of a fashion victim last night. Choosing a way too “fashiony” piece that had no place being on a red carpet, the dress engulfed her statuesque frame and made her look like a 6 foot walking present. To make matters worse, her teased updo and raccoon eyes were overdramatic for the already theatrical dress. You really have to wonder, “What was she thinking?”

Final Word: Fashion and risk taking has no place on the red carpet. Thanks to the myriad of paparazzi and viewers at home, these women will be immortalized in Hollywood history so classic is the best way to go. This is not the place to set trends. In a world of Kitson-shopping, Sidekick clutching, Starbucks guzzling photo ops – here lays a chance to actually look like a movie star. So why is this still such a hard concept for some actresses to grasp?