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.

Charmed, I’m Sure

Just as I suspected (and I admit regrettably) Rachel Zoe’s magic style wand has worked wonders for her exclusive collaboration with Judith Leiber on a collection of viva la glam minaudieres. But who was I kidding? (see “5 reasons to hate Rachel Zoe” post) As much as I hate her manufactured “It” girl style, it works. I just don’t admit it out loud. Whether it’s leggings and flats (believe it or not we saw them first on all her clients: Mischa, Lindsay and Nicole) or these 70s retro glam clutches for Judith Leiber, she always seems to nail that I-want-it-need-it-have-to-have-it style. But let it be known that I still remain true to my affirmation of hatred towards her — I just kinda want to own one of these mesmerizing bejeweled snake creations. Damn.

Final Word: If you can’t beat 'em join 'em.

Fall Fever

I might be the only crazy person in New York City to shop for a fall/winter wardrobe when it’s 100 degrees outside, or I may be crazy smart.

Last weekend, in the blistering sun and oppressive humidity, while my girlfriends were splashing about in their Southampton pools and my guy friends were catching rays by the East River, I aimlessly wandered the empty Soho streets (save a couple hundred tourists) for home décor ideas. For some reason Greene street just was not appealing with its ubiquitous Zen-inspired living rooms and Phillip Starck lighting. Instead I decided to go into Intermix to make something of my $100 gift card. Bad idea. (At least for my plastic.)

Repelled by the sales racks infested by teenage girls tearing apart Ella Moss tops and Chloe platforms, I was hypnotically drawn to the much more deserted rack of the first delivery of fall fashion like an insect to a glowing light. There the garments hung, crisp, cold and dark. Just the way I like them. Still, the thought of trying on the heavy knits was a tad too frightening so I settled on a pair of charming wool leggings that I knew were destined to be my fall staple.

“Am I crazy?” I wondered aloud to the sales girl? By the look on her face, I’m sure I was. Or maybe it was because I tried on a thousand outfits and settled on just leggings. But leaving the store I felt empowered, nay genius for getting a head start of those other girls I left at frenzy over half-off Matthew Williamson they will never wear.

Next stop, Miu Miu. I was on a roll. I stood skeptically in front of the fall-filled windows, contemplating whether I should even walk in. Cut to me leaving with black suede platform rounded pumps, a bubble-sleeved knit sweater and almost a pair of black cigarette pants if the considerate salesman had not dissuaded me (his name’s Alfonso ladies, honesty is rare in this business). The point is that Alfonso told me all aforementioned pieces were almost out of stock! Who are these women buying all this sh-t?? I mean, I guess I’m one of them, but I still consider myself crazy. Or am I?

The truth is, come this September when everyone will be scrounging to score that perfect shoe or perfect sweater but only to find size 36s on the rack, I shall sit on my contented bubble skirted butt, knowing that I need not fight the masses to stay ahead. Timing is everything ladies.

Final Word: The most important way to stay ahead of the pack is to know exactly what fall’s key pieces you want. So do your research or see my picks of the pack:

1. Shoe – Platform Ankle Bootie by Balenciaga or Prouenza Schouler
2. Jacket – Cropped Military Style by Phillip Lim or Burberry Prorsum
3. Accessory – Wool hat, gloves, leg warmers all by Marc Jacobs
4. Bag – Rive Gauche by YSL or Rebel by Dior
5. Skirt - Mini mini by Chanel (who else)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Project Runway Returns

Project Runway is back with its third season, and it’s back with a diva-rific vengeance. After two successful seasons, we’re ready, aching, nay, begging for more. From Tim Gunn’s now iconic catch phrase “make it work” (the fashionista’s equivalence to “you’re fired”, sort of) to Michael Kors’ signature nasally voice and harsh criticism, these industry insiders have become household names.

But to what can we attribute Runway’s success? After all, the fashion industry, however intriguing with its mystifying pretension and ostentation, is quite small. Only a tiny percentage of cutthroat women and gay men are privy to such hardships of high fashion, what with its stitching, fitting, pricing, distributing, promoting. Very exciting, let me tell you. Truth be told, fashion ain’t that glamorous behind those glossy pages. So why the sudden obsession?

With Devil Wears Prada pummeling Superman Returns at the box office, I guess the world is finally interested in what goes on behind closed closet doors. Maybe we just have to know why a cap-sleeved capelet is much chicer than a cropped cardigan. Or maybe we just like drama.

And you don’t find more drama queens than in fashion. What I don’t understand is why these designers think they’re on American Idol. I guess there’s a reason we all remember loser Santino for his bitchy demeanor and outlandish looks rather than sleek and chic winner Chloe Dao (Chloe who?). Exactly. Sorry Miss Dao, however stylish your designs, there’s only room for 1 Chloe in the industry and that’s the one who churns out it-bags like it’s their job. Oh wait, it is.

But let’s be real. As “real” as this show tries to be, odds are all these would-be designers’ screaming, crying, temper tantruming will be for nothing. Sorry to crush dreams, I’m just being honest. Just like in its sister-show America’s Top Model, the winners spiral to success in an alter-universe that has nothing to do with the real world. Where is this multi-million dollar deal with Cover Girl? Where is this so-called super chic line by Banana Republic? But I guess that’s not the point, it’s show business, and there’s nothing real about that.

Final Word: Who will be this season’s winners and losers? Here are my predictions for P.R. Season 3:

Winner: Michael Knight, 28, from ATL (Love love love his smooth look and voice. Plus he’s talented!)
Villain: Keith Michael (Talented, a possible second runner-up, but a diva and clearly trying to channel Santino.)
Completely Untalented, There for Show, Drama Queen: Vincent Libretti (I’m sorry, but what was that hat.)

Project Runway on Bravo, 10pm, Wednesdays.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who Cut The Cheese?

Okay, okay so we already know that there is a major 80s movement in gear for fall fashion. We already adore Gucci’s entire collection with its flashy glam rock sex appeal because it’s a welcomed escape from all the sober and somber black. Then there’s stovepipe denim with a slight acid wash, which is also so on our radar. And of course we’re fully aware of the single most monumental comeback fashion has witnessed since the blue jean: Leggings.

Yes, I know, we all know the 80s are back. But what ever happened to the really groundbreaking, dare I say fads, that are the real representation of this decadent decade? I’m talking about all those cheesy trends we so easily forgot like shoulder pads and Members Only jackets. Well turns out we should all be rethinking that last item.

Yup, just when you thought you could easily predict the fashion lifecycle, stashing away your multi-colored logoed-to-the-luxe Louis bags and bejeweled caftans patiently awaiting their revival, the fickle fashion tides throw you a curve ball by way of the cult classic outerwear staple Members Only.

In the 80s these nylon-poly blend jackets were your ticket to the cool club, hence the name. You couldn’t stroll the mall, sipping on an Orange Julius, without one or you’d risk utter loserness. I mean everyone who was anyone rocked a Members, from Eddie Murphy to Andrew Dice Clay. But, like all fads, by the time your grandparents were wearing them they quickly became synonymous with the ubiquitous golf and tennis garb at Lake Buena Vista Country Club in Boca Raton, FL — hence their sudden blip off the face of the earth.

Luckily the savvy design team at MO has predicted how easily we forgive the fashionably unfortunate trends of seasons past. They’ve cleverly opened the time capsule, tweaked and updated, and brought us the coolest new must-have for fall 2006.

And so I ask, will you be a member? I know I will — as I patiently await a Sam & Libby reprisal — but that’s for a whole other post.

Final Word: You just might want to rethink putting the kibosh on your early 00's Juicy Couture tracksuits and Von Dutch trucker hats — they could easily make an unexpected comeback. But note, while they may be all the rage for your daughter in 2022, 40 year-old soccer moms in head-to-toe velour was so not cool the first time around.