Friday, March 30, 2007

The Idol Diet

Ever since Jennifer Hudson generated Oscar buzz and morphed into a bombshell, incredible shrinking American Idol alumni are everywhere. From Kelly to Carrie to Katherine McPhee, these slimming songbirds are shedding some serious LBs and everyone seems to be taking notice.

It’s a little something we like to call “The Idol Diet,” and quite frankly, we want to get on it.

For any of you who may watch AI as frequently and obsessively as we do, you may recall last season’s Katherine McPhee. She began as the pretty, fat girl-type. A solid size twelve on a good day. The stylists did a fine job of masking it but girl was still packing.

(Disclaimer: I am not trying to give anyone an eating disorder, it is our culture’s cruel and distorted perception of beauty that makes me speak this way. I took women’s studies, I know all about it).

Anyway, back to the fatties. This month, McPhee is pictured on the cover of SELF magazine as a trim, toned and tanned picture of good health. She looks about 130, and the camera (as we ALL know) adds 10 lbs, so you do the math.

But who can blame them? Unless you’re Aretha Franklin—same rule applies to this season’s La Keisha—big girls don’t sell albums. Pretty pop tarts do.

And it goes both ways. Chris Sligh, this season’s mildly entertaining “funny fat kid” (the socially acceptable male-counterpart to the “pretty fat girl’) got booted in the last eliminations round. And while he oh-so-cleverly claimed he was “bringing chubby back” all season long, he should have known it takes a lot more than a few David Hasslehoff jokes to make America love a fat kid.

Final Word: Chris, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Idol Diet, stat.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sprites Would Be Proud

Boot-cut, flared, trouser, skinny, stovepipe…there is no end to our obsession with reinventing the jean. That is why we were surprised that we were surprised, quite frankly, with denim’s most recent makeover- dyed jeans.

It hurts my head to try and recall when the last time I wore colored jeans was but I vaguely remember a pair of stretchy Miss Sixty fire-engine bottoms that I outgrew faster than my neon puffy paint Keds.

At first glance this trend is daunting, to say the least. Images of freaky Brits on High Street come to mind, especially when we live in a society that is deathly afraid of color but in truth, this new fad is completely wearable and liberating.

Case in point: ever the cool girl, model Gemma Ward recently wore her pale pink Luellas to a NY fashion event with a black blazer and white tee. And OC ingénue Willa Holland flaunted her peachy pantaloons with white ankle booties and an equally crispy blouse in this month’s spread in Teen Vogue.

Final Word: Supermodels and pint-sized it-girls aside, this trend is tricky and one must pay extra attention to pairing and proportion. I plan to wear my hot-hued pants slightly cropped (at the ankle) with simple flip-flops, a loose cut-off tee and a stack of thick bangles a la the Color Kids…after all, even Rainbow Brite knew how to accessorize.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fashion, Fragrance & Fundraising from Proenza Schouler

From high-fashion to low-fashion to fabulous fetes, the boys from Proenza Schouler are absolutely everywhere. And not that we are complaining, going from Parsons’ alum, to industry it-boys, to household names in just a few years is quite the accomplishment.

So what’s the next step in complete domination? Fragrance, of course.

But rather than developing their own (actually, who am I kidding, that MUST be in the works) they have teamed up with Lancôme’s Hypnôse to create a one-of-a-kind couture gown to be auctioned on eBay and benefit Save the Children.

Sound confusing? It is.

Here are the deets. Through affiliation with Lancôme Hypnôse perfume, the PS boys have designed a purple chiffon gown with a hand-sewn silver sequin base and grosgrain obi.

Hypnôse spokeswoman/ fellow world-dominator, Daria Werbowy, models the gown for a photoshoot appearing in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar (check out the shoot on You Tube). Beginning April 1st the gown will be auctioned on eBay and 100% of the proceeds go to Save the Children.

Now, I still have absolutely no idea what Lancôme Hypnôse has to do with Proenza Schouler designing a gown, or what either of them have to do with Save the Children, but whatever, it’s a good cause, we’ll support it.

Plus, we actually like Hypnôse (it’s quite delicious for a cheap-ish perfume, see The Blackberrie archives for the full review), we live for Proenza Schouler, and who doesn’t love to save a child or two?

Final Word: Sally Struthers is so passé. Ebay bidding starts Sunday. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lip Service

If you don’t know, well now you know. The hottest beauty product on the market right now goes by one name and one name only- Liparrazi.

One part lip-gloss, one part lighted mirror, the combination is pure genius. How does it work? Just pull the wand out of a chic mirrored tube, apply to your lips and magically a light appears allowing you to apply your glaze to perfection while narcissistically admiring your stylish smackers. That’s right- Nars who?

This UK invention fell into my lap after a jet-setter girlfriend brought one back from London retail mecca Selfridges. Only the Brits would come up with something as inventive and phenomenal as this, which alone may answer New York Mag’s cover question on New York VS London.

No more running through herds of sweaty bodies to a bathroom that’s miles away to reapply your gloss, no more looking like a vinyl platypus from overdoing it, and no more archaic estimation on whether your liner is on point or not…the makeup studio comes to you in this neat little package.

Final Word: Vulgarity notwithstanding, (you may get a few glares depending on the frequency of your application routine) this is in my opinion the most amazing thing since baked bread. Available online at or at Henri Bendel in New York.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jump To It

Summer is almost here. I can almost taste the 90-degree humidity, hear the drops of AC units above on my head and feel the city’s grit and grime plastered to my flip-flop clad toes…ah, heaven. Well, not really but it’s not too soon to start thinking about a warm weather wardrobe. (Especially when I’m packing my bags for a weekend in Miami…J. Lo fashion show, here I come.)

So when it’s a given that I’ll be wearing plenty of minidresses, I have to ask- what about those days where a trapeze dress just won’t cut it and I don’t feel like putting together an carefully controlled outfit of designer tee and boxy shorts?

Answer: The jumper. It’s flirty, fun and downright practical. From Stella to Proenza, designers have made the jumper their own, the former doing it best for grown-ups in voluminous and breezy styles, as every summer article of clothing should be.

Final Word: The only acceptable footwear for the jumper would be a flat sandal, gladiator, thong or slip-on, your choice. For a more affordable version, try Les Praries de Paris’ emerald green creation only available at Ludivine on West 4th Street.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fashionista Food

It’s Monday and it’s time to get back on the vicious hamster wheel of detoxing after retoxing. You know the drill- spend 5 days of grueling work, workouts and water to cleanse yourself of all the Skinny Bitches (read: Grey Goose/Club Soda/Limes), cigarettes and 4am Moonstuck sessions you so happily enjoyed, only to do it all over again starting Friday. It’s exhausting!

At least we know there are diets, drinks and detoxifiers to help us in our vain quest for balance. GT’s Kombucha Tea is one of them. This tea is so hot right now. A staple in New York Mag's Fashion Week Food Journal, it seems industry insiders can not stop talking about this tea. And for all of you Perez readers wondering what odd bottle Ms. Lohan was toting around post-rehab, this is it. A fermented, fizzy cocktail of raw nutrients and enzymes and meant to improve liver functions, aid circulation in the blood and the digestive system and “increase metabolism”. Hey they said it not us.

Final Word: Perhaps it’s all organic baloney, but I do know that after a swig of the Divine Grape concoction I do feel lighter, brighter and better about my body. But then again maybe it’s because I haven’t had a shot or cigarette in 24 hours…you decide. Kombucha Tea is available at Westerly Natural Market or Whole Foods.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It Boy Of The Week

We love us some Benjamin Cho. After taking a fashion sabbatical as “party promoter” for the past year Mr. Cho has reappeared with a renewed conviction and an original point of view in his spring 2007 collection.

Maybe every designer should take a break to party at some point (not you Mr. Jacobs,) because unlimited debauchery has only done Mr. Cho good. Lower East Sider meets Parisian ingénue, the Spring line is for the girl who has tendencies for the avant-garde yet still likes to look pretty.

His combination of edgy and elegance is in perfect proportion, ie, the mini zipper dress that opened the show. But what’s best is the infectious designer himself. Whether I see him rocking out backstage at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert, sipping mojitos at a Jalouse party in Miami or taking in art at the MoMA he is always incredibly gracious and sweet.

Final Word: This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship- between me and Mr. Cho’s clothes that is. Get your own piece of the man at Seven New York, 110 Mercer St.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's My Party...

So it's my 25th birthday this Sunday and I'm gearing up for some serious feting and debauchery, as one must when one turns a quarter of a century old. (Gulp.) But the big question remains...what does one wear to such an occasion??

Well to be honest, I already have the dress. A hot pink Christopher Kane number (not pictured) shipped straight from Ikram boutique in Chicago for which I had to give up my first born (well, not really but you get the point.) The dress is so short, so bright and so tight it’s pretty much the equivalent to 90s Versace on acid. Also, please understand my usual wardrobe consists of quiet empire waists and bohemian baby dolls so needless to say I'm a bit daunted to take my scuba suit out for a test drive.

Still, I’m obsessed. Why? Because we all have a boldly sexy Alaia girl within us (I think) and after months of being shrouded by bubble, boat and balloon silhouettes I’m ready to strip my layers for something tight….really tight. And the fact that my boyfriend loves it (shocker) doesn’t hurt either.

But all this party prepping has got me thinking about what dresses I could be wearing to my next fete. FYI, dress shopping = snowball effect. Well, I’ve already found my man. Giambattista Valli is by far the most exciting pick. His frocks are fresh, young and intoxicatingly beautiful. I’m simply drooling over every piece in the collection!

Final Word: I may have to wait to splurge on my next party dress…otherwise I’ll be all dressed up with nowhere to go. But as a confessed shopaholic, that definitely would not be the first time…

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We're Bitten With Sarah Jessica Parker

Today at the eternally hot restaurant Indochine, Sarah Jessica Parker launched her first-ever clothing line called Bitten.

Hold you horses ladies. Let me first clear the smoke.

Fact #1: It’s a pre-teens line.
Fact #2: It’s exclusively sold at Steve & Barry’s (Think Taget for Teens).
Fact #3: We know, our hearts sunk a little too.

The truth is, Miss Broderick is smart. She knows not to test her boundaries with her stylish, already loyal AND cynical fans. As many celebrity/designers can attest (Read: Jessica Simpson and Beyonce,) being a style icon does not make you a designer. So to offer her personal wardrobe as inspiration to kids across America is by all means a worthy business endeavor.

The pieces were thankfully not Patricia Field carbon copies but elegant, flirty, feminine and all very Sarah Jessica Parker. I was surprised how polished a sophisticated the line was especially for a younger set, but leave it to SJP to not underestimate her audience. Plenty of striped tees, cropped chinos and simple shifts were shown- but the best feature was the styling, which I found to be APC meets Urban Outfitters. We also love how the models were real girls…so her!

Final Word: Although we are not her target customer (sniffle) we adore SJP in all her tiny, bubbly, Manhattan-y loveliness and this latest endeavor only seals the deal. Now if only there were a Bitten for big girls like us…

Testino Lets Us In

This month fashion photographer Mario Testino debuts his latest book “Let Me In!” featuring a collection of his personal archives throughout the years of taking pictures of models, celebrities and well, beautiful people.

A behind the scenes look at some of the most glamorous parties, red carpet events and photo hoots, even these “outtakes” are more glamorous and even more intriguing than what’s published. A touching shot of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony actually makes you wonder if perhaps her love truly doesn’t cost a thing. And the shot of Gwenyth and Madonna puts to rest all those catty gossip tales we’ve feasted on.

In the end, we are all voyeurs- and Testino knows it. He cunningly includes cover girl Demi Moore in nothing but her birthday suit canoodling with her hubby Ashton Kutcher at home. If that’s not enough of a draw, don’t know what is.

Final Word: An absolute must-have for your coffee table book collection, you could wait and score a copy at the highly anticipated Taschen store in SoHo this spring or right away at

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bluefly Gets Busy

Last week, we reported on Bluefly’s risqué new print ad campaign; naked girl on a subway platform essentially selling us clothes. This week, they’ve kept us talking as they’ve taken their saucy sales pitch to the tube.

Like the print ad, the television spot entitled “The Catch,” uses shock value and sex appeal to paint a picture of a successful, empowered—and don’t forget fashionable—modern woman.

It goes a little something like this; hot guy asks beautiful colleague to dinner, beautiful colleague gives a flirtatious, feeble acceptance. Attractive pair tongues sushi. Hot guy leaves the table to take a phone call. Beautiful girl takes the initiative to jump his bones in the coat room (good choice by beautiful girl, hot guy is really, pretty hot). Attractive pair goes back to his place. Relations ensue. Beautiful girl spends the night, but covers her bases by ordering an outfit from Bluefly and successfully avoids walk-of-shame. Click here to see for yourself.

Let me just throw this out there; I would call myself a realist. But most people—especially those who know me—DO call me a cynic. Therefore, when viewing this ad, I cannot help but be overwhelmed with questions posed by reality:

How did she get his address? Well, they seem to work together so maybe she knows where he lives. But apartment number, zip code? Hmm. And what about the shipping? Which carrier is offering this midnight express? Maybe DHL? I don’t know so much about their plans. Must cost a fortune!! Hmmm.

But in advertising reality, these details don’t mean a thing. This is art, and if we interpret it literally we lose half the message. The print ad girl wasn’t really naked on the subway platform, and the commercial girl didn’t really order post-coital work clothes to some dude’s apartment.

These women are similar in the sense that they will let nothing get in the way of their desires. For one, it’s the perfect outfit. For the other, it’s getting busy with a beautiful man. And as I have said before, who can disagree with that?

With this advertising campaign, Bluefly is promoting a modern woman who can have her cake and eat it too. The job, the clothes, the sex. And at this point, Bluefly is not only outfitting these women, they are re-assuring and promoting them in this take-charge lifestyle.

Final Word: As long as you make it to work in the morning, go out, get laid, and never, ever pay retail.

To Turban or Not To Turban

When the fashion gods bestow a mystery upon the masses, the only thing to do is look to the style visionaries to see if and how we can actually wear them.

This is true with the turban. Or “turband” as I like to call it. Both Olsen twins have already rocked theirs as well as our super chic friend MJ. These girls have taken their cue from the catwalk and have been flaunting them from Paris to the LES.

But this look is not for everyone. And it’s not especially easy to find. I even overheard a hipster salesgirl at vintage boutique Some Odd Rubies lamenting that she could not find one anywhere, even online. Don’t despair hipster girl. You can find these chic Prada-inspired headpieces at Intermix.

Final Word: If you’re not the turband kind of gal, perhaps opt for a girl red patent headband with a bow like the one from Miu Miu. Either way, the best thing to wear with your new headgear is unabashed confidence- the hottest accessory for spring.

Marc Jacobs in Rehab

Yet another celebrity bites the dust...will this trend never end?? But to be honest, I do believe Mr. Jacobs is serious about seeking treatment for his relapse in sobriety. Unfortunately he chose a moment in cultural history where rehab is as trendy black tights and ballerinas. I thought he starts fads not follows them!

Jacobs' business partner, Robert Duffy, says, "Marc made the right decision. He'd been sober for seven years. When he relapsed, he wanted to deal with it right away. According to the experts, such a relapse isn't uncommon. Thankfully, Marc recognized the problem himself and chose to deal with it. Obviously, our prayers are with him."

Final Word: All kidding aside, we wish the designer well and hope he gets better soon!

Weekend Update with Catherine Holstein

Over the weekend I went to Barney’s, which unlike my high school days, is an event (I rarely find myself north of 23rd street other than to get my haircut or waxed.) So walking onto the 8th floor of COOP, I had pretty low expectations of Vince, Splendid and Rogan to be splayed out in a mess as little girls rifled through them immediately squashing any real appeal. But instead, hidden in the corner was a humble rack of sweet frocks that caught my eye.

I was drawn to their simplicity - they had something the other baby dolls did not…thought. These smart pieces seemed sadly discarded, but they were fawning for my attention. A 1920s halter dress in eggshell with ivory buttons running down the front, a tuxedo style silk jumper and a creamy drop back shift with loose pockets in the front embodied a retro feel yet were more contemporary than anything else on the floor.

I looked at the label- Catherine Holstein. Eureka. I’ve seen this 23-year old’s photo on for ages arm in arm with Victoria Traina and the Proenza boys with the caption “designer” below. Sure, everyone is a designer these days but I had no idea who she or her work was.

After some research I found her Teen Vogue article in June 06 and it was her sailor dress that Mischa wore last summer, albeit in a completely un-chic way. But why did she have such awful retail real estate? And why haven’t I heard of her??

Final Word: It’s official; I have a crush. In the end, I left with only one of Miss Holstein’s dress, but could’ve left with four. And I can’t stop thinking about my dress let alone the others I left on the racks. Perhaps I’ll have to make my trip uptown a weekly occasion…

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Loeffler Randall: Head to Toe

Some people, or companies, just do everything right. That seems to be the case for Loeffler Randall. Their business began as footwear collection in 2004, picking up press and distribution by Fall 2005.

When their first boot hit the “Best Bets” page of New York Magazine two falls ago, it was love at first sight. When the boots were delivered to Intermix a week later, I picked up a pair in camel without hesitation and have been a devotee ever since.

Made from fine leather, with a simple slip-on design and 3 inch cone heel (pictured above), the boot is pretty much perfect. From black, to deep midnight blue, most of my friends now own a pair, and even a year and a half post-purchase, collectively, we are rarely without them.

Our wardrobes now also stock high-levels of their flat Matilde boot and Estella Sweetheart pump. Recently, I have begun to notice that when I am immediately drawn to something in a shoe department or magazine, Loeffler Randall is usually behind it.

But my friends and I are hardly their only fans. In 2006, designer Jessie Randall—who owns and runs the company with husband Brian Murphy—was nominated for the Swarovski Perry Ellis CDFA Award for new emerging accessories talent. By 2007, the company had enough steam to launch a line of handbags.

This week, Randall will debut her first ready-to-wear collection, Fall/Winter 2007. With a sneak peak at their lookbook, my love affair with Loeffler Randall will undoubtedly continue, bordering on full-blown obsession.

Randall, targeting the “chic, modern girl,” operates on the aesthetic of designing accessories—and now clothing—that she would want to wear, but was never able to find. Lucky for us, her taste—and work—are impeccable.

For the ready-to-wear collection, expect voluminous coats and capes with two-layered batwing sleeves and high-waisted belts, short, loose-fitting dresses of wool, satin, metallic and plaid, and blousy tops that pair perfectly with fitted jeans and the aforementioned boot perfection.

Final Word: The Butterfly and Fraulein series are amongst our faves, but we’ll have to wait months to get our hands on them. For the time being, stop into Bergdorf’s or Intermix to accessorize for spring. Mark my words, you’ll be back to more.

Friday, March 09, 2007

CK One...the sequel?

Yesterday the New York Times covered Calvin Klein’s new fragrance, CK in2u, equivocating it to the 90s cultural phenomenon, CK One.

Interesting. I had no idea Calvin Klein had something new brewing in its perpetual cauldron of Madison Avenue shifts, obscure jeans and counterfeit Canal Street underwear, let alone a groundbreaking fragrance that could single-handedly give awkward adolescents courage to go to second base (theoretically speaking).

According to the Times, this scent will be marketed to “technosexuals” (it’s actually trademarked) born between 1982-1995. In other words, us. Sounds like something out of To Catch a Predator. What’s worse is the name is supposed to be an IM, as in it’s so instantaneously sexual, they couldn’t even write the word out but had to text it. Really bringing out the think tanks on this one.

Still, last night when the company threw their launch party, I had to go since everyone loves a party. And actually, it was awesome. Converting the first floor of the CK offices, the whole space looked like a warehouse rave with graffiti splashed walls, box crates for seats and a DJ spinning from atop . Only serving beer and hard liquor with a tequila room in the back and no product in sight,– this place was actually cool.

Even Sienna Miller was there lending style cred with boyfriend Jamie Burke in tow. Surrounding her were crowds of 20-something hipsters and no shortage of black leather, fedoras and facial hair with an occasional prep or jap in betwen. I guess this is what the CK One generation looks like grown up.

Final Word: After all is said and done, I haven’t even smelled the perfume. Apparently the women’s has grapefruit and red currant tones while the men’s is more tropical with lime and cocoa. Yum. I guess this begs the question, do I want to revisit junior high all over again? If it means getting to pass notes, go to make out parties and have spring break- then yes, yes I do.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

White Hot American Summer

Whether or not you admire the Olsen twins’ style, you have to at least respect it. These days no chic chicas in the biz leave the house sans stylist, except maybe Sienna Miller, who’s British so she doesn’t count. But when an American relies on her own judgment in the closet, anything a step up from country bumpkin is a coup.

But regardless of whether luxe hobo is your personal style or not, this dynamic duo start trends rather than mimic them. In fact after both pint-size fashionistas sported their white frame sunglasses as early as last year with designers following suit including Luella and Proenza Schouler for their Spring 2007 collections.

Final Word: This summer, I plan to rock the retro punk look paired with something ultra feminine, say a baby doll dress. But steer away from skinny jeans, for fright of looking like some hipster-freak at Don Hill’s on a Monday- ew.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Why European Socialites Are Chicer, Cooler, Better than Ours…

I am ashamed to admit that I’ve even considered this, but might as well digress.

Although I’ve never rubbed shoulders with the Royal European set (at least to my knowledge,) I have, to my dismay, feted with the latter group on a number of occasions. Without a doubt this social enclave is one of the most prudish, frigid and ennuyeux bunch with whom I wouldn’t deign to share a banquette at Bungalow to save my life. My guest appearance (as a meager plebian) to the Young Lions Ball at the New York City Library last year made that point very clear. Girls in borrowed dresses with zero personal style sipped cocktails of Perrier and lime, while air kissing their way to the paparazzi that mechanically took photos with no sense of genuine zeal. The whole event seemed contrived, fake and well, not fun.

But having read my fair share of HELLO, OK! and POINT DE VUE I’ve seen enough young royalty (Charlotte, Tatiana, Camilla) abroad to know that these girls are way more stylish, interesting and cooler. Even French VOGUE who prides itself on being above society focused its lenses on the young glitterati last month in a photo collage by Mario Testino.

Maybe it’s because they don’t care. Truth be told, there really is no place to go from princess. Meanwhile on the other side of the pond, the idea of meritocracy exists even in the upper echelon of New York society (see Tory Burch) where our local celebutantes desperately try to outrank each other every day (see

In Europe the privileged aren’t afraid to look or act like rock stars, sexpots or girls their age. Rebellious as any royal spawn should be, these ingenues are the next big thing.

Final Word: Granted none of this banter means much to the average girl, but these public princesses are, in my humble opinion, much more worthy of our endless scrutiny and mimicking than your regular Robertson Boulevard it-girl du jour. Why? Because they have something our faux socialites just don’t have- class. Or at least something that looks like it…