Friday, August 31, 2007

Ciao Chickpeas

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bendel's Fetes Itself

Neiman Marcus isn't the only store celebrating its 100th Anniversary. Henri Bendel, too, is turning 100 this year and to mark the occasion, it has commissioned a roster of designers including Anna Sui, Alice + Olivia (at right), Peter Som, Matthew Williamson, Josh Goot, Poltock and Walsh, Ghita, Pollini by Rifat Ozbeck, Elise Overland, Nili Lotan and Hamish Morrow to create one of a kind brown and white wares, inspired by Bendel's signature stripes.
The designs will be auctioned off at a Brown & White Ball, at the Highline Ballroom on Sept. 11 with proceeds benefitting Keep A Child Alive, an organization that provides care and treatment to children in Africa affected by AIDS.
Limited edition pieces including Diane von Furstenberg's cashmere wrap dress for $648, L.A.M.B's striped hoodie for $235, Phi's printed tank for $495, J Brand's skinny jeans with striped pocket and waistband lining for $188, Milly's strapless dress with striped lining and pink sash for $498 and Tibi's leopard minidress for $368 will also be sold exclusively at the store beginning next week and running through the end of October. MAC caught the brown & white fever too creating a Lipglass called "Bendel Girl" and lipstick named "Love, Henri," packaged in signature brown-and-white striped boxes.

Crimes of Fashion

The fashion police are up in arms and somehow, it has nothing to do with Crocs.

Today's NYT Style Section calls attention to a rash of crime that has spread coast-to-coast. And while the criminal offense is purely a matter of style, the police are the badge carrying, siren sounding, Reno-911 sort:

Starting in Louisiana, an intensifying push by lawmakers has determined pants worn low enough to expose underwear poses a threat to the public, and they have enacted indecency ordinances to stop it. Since June 11, sagging pants have been against the law in Delcambre, La., a town of 2,231 that is 80 miles southwest of Baton Rouge. The style carries a fine of as much as $500 or up to a six-month sentence.

While I'm pretty hard-pressed not to agree that it is a crime of fashion, I hardly think the fashion should be a crime. I mean, it's seemingly ok for celebutards to flash their lady parts all over Tinseltown, but baggy pants can spell jail time? Oh the indecency!

Derek Lam online sample

Mark your calendars. Thursday, Sept. 6, The Art of Shop is hosting an online sample sale of Derek Lam bags, up to 60%.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Marc Jacob's Cover Up

When the 52nd issue of Visionaire hits newsstands Oct. 1, its polybag will be a limited-edition gold Louis Vuitton monogram miroir case designed by Marc Jacobs.

Private, the issue's name, was guest art directed by MJ with photog collaborators Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. The three set out to capture some of MJ's friends/fashettes includingDrew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Selma Blair, J. Lom Lil' Kim, Gisele Bundchen, Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney traveling to New York, London and Paris in search of their personal muses.

The issue, which can be preordered at Barnes & Noble, will cost $375.

Get in shape girl

We interrupt your regular scheduled programming for this hump day treat. Remember when this was considered working out? Remember when people wore leg-warmers? Oh wait...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A tale of 2 Rafes

Once upon a time there was a designer, who created 2 seemingly similar bags - both were a natural-hued linen, piped in leather and of like shape and size. One bag was part of this designer's regular collection. And the other alas, was destined for the bargain bin at Target. Sure there were perceptible signs that one of the two was diffused (the horror!) but did they justify a $408 price difference? (Cue suspenseful music) To be continued...

10 Items Every Haute Wardrobe Should Include

  • A fool-proof, no matter the mood, confidence boosting, night out standby
  • A fool-proof, no matter the mood, confidence boosting night IN standby

  • The perfect pair of jeans

  • A ready-for-anything LBD

  • A Mary Poppins bag – that is, one large enough to hold all of your baggage yet small enough not to betray your secrets

  • A bra that really fits (Take the time to be measured by someone other than a VS sales clerk – you’ll find it most uplifting!)
  • A pair of shoes that really TAKE you places

  • A serious, near-panic-attack-inducing splurge

  • A hat for prolonged sun exposure

  • And natch, room for new additions

Transforming Trovata

Trovata the store hit Newport Beach, CA this weekend, marking the brand's first retail shop and president and creative director John Whitledge's you-can-do-it morale booster. After the departure of his 3 original partners, Jeff Halmos, Sam Shipley and Josia Lamberto-Egan, Whitledge is forward marching - the store, transformed from the company's 900 sq. ft. headquarters, a testament to that.

Described by WWD, "The interior is the physical embodiment of Trovata's West Coast dude meets East Coast snob aesthetic. Crown moldings that separate a dressing room — constructed from salvaged lumberyard fence post — from the floor's raw walnut plants represent structured society. Odes to a more relaxed existence include galvanized piping used as racks, an industrial ceiling and the tent at the rear of the store on which Sixties and Seventies-era films are projected. The East-West interplay is also suggested in the shopping bags with grosgrain ribbon handles and burlap bodies."

"One of the things I wanted to do was really make it a community spot and hangout first and have that as a place that sells clothing rather than a clothing store that is a community spot," Whitledge said. "A lot of it comes down to the whole experience,'' he added. "It is not just picking up a piece of clothing and saying, 'Oh, this looks great.' It is about really coming into a space and enjoying more of the lifestyle first and then realizing, 'Oh, this is great clothing as well.' At the beginning, it wasn't about being a fashion label. It was about being a lifestyle label that sold clothing and that was the reason for being here in Newport Beach....We lost that focus."


Monday, August 27, 2007

Because we're friends (& family!)

Back to cool:

Gucci Gucci Goo

This one's for you haute mamas!

Deadly Girl Couture Onesies, avail in Pradada, Gucci Coo, Burpberry, Louis Spitton and Dolce & Grandpa (or Grandma), $30

Just asking: The Carmen San Diego Matt Lauer Tinsley Mortimer Edition

Have you seen this missing socialite? Her name seems rawther absent from gossip columns as of late? Tinz come baaaaack!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gap Euro Collection Avail Stateside

Stop the presses - I want something from the Gap!

When was the last time you found yourself saying that??? Thanks to Fashionista for calling our attention to the surprisingly wantable wares in this week online at Arriving from the Continent, the "Limited Edition European Collection" was designed with Marie Amelie-Sauve, the Vogue Paris stylist and Balenciaga muse, and it - brace yourself - is actually stylish.

Top H&B picks include the brown pleated neck mini shown at right, $99 and these:

Fall-perfect, two-way zip coat, $98

Leather bomber, $350

Sizes are Euro (aka smaller) so order larger than usual.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

These Boots Were Made for Gawkin'

And that's just what we'll do.

Christian Louboutin Lapono Metallic Leather Bootie, Bergdorf Goodman, $880

Out With a Bang-le

H&B's love of Tiffany tends to go so far as Audrey Hepburn's "Breakfast" and a religious first stop peek at their top corner page 3 NYT's ad. However some seriously haute arm-candy has me jingle-jangling all over town and changing my tune.

Newly introduced, Tiffany's Signature White Enamel Bangle in sterling silver is the latest objection of my obsession (no seriously, I wear them every day!). Completely modern and classic at once, it seriously is perfect for summer - hello exposed wrists. Worn in pairs, they are feminine without being run-of-the-mill -- an H&B requisite! To carry them into fall, they're also avail. in black, sterling, aqua and pink.

Signature White Enamel Bangle in sterling silver, Tiffany & Co., $550

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Truth is Stranger than Fashion

I'm going through my invitations for New York Fash Week and I gotta tell you, there's one I never saw coming. Sure Heatherette, Isaac Mizrahi, Betsey Johnson and Pamella Roland are participating, but DESIGNING SNOOPY-inspired wares? Good Grief!

Presented by MetLife, the fashions presented will be auctioned off on ebay a month following the September 6th show benefiting Dress for Success, a non-profit organization which promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.

"I love Peanuts because it represents a theme in my childhood to do with not fitting in, with being an outsider," said Isaac Mizrahi. "The Peanuts characters, especially Charlie Brown, made the issue of being different easy to understand and gave it a resolution. The outsiders were as wonderful and glamorous as the insiders."

ps - I'm TOTALLY going!

Daily Candy

Today's Daily Candy reads:

AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY! This bag is the one you’ve been searching for!


New to the market, Dunlin is the roomiest bag in town. These leather babies can gather, fold, and expand to become almost twice their perceived size.

Seriously in need of "Champagne on a Coors Light budget" after yesterday's Prada debacle (Yes! I said, "Debacle"), I checked out these get 'em while they're hot bags over at Oak. Well, not sure what kind of beans they're making (or smoking) over there in DC land but when was the last time you spent $812 on a Coors Lite? Just asking.

Doing the Math with Dominque Cohen at Target

This week Target introduced Dominique Cohen's limited edition accessories line, albeit considerably less loudly than its Go Designers. Cohen, who is known for her yellow and rose gold chains accented with precious and semi-precious stones, launched her eponymous jewelry company (which will introduce handbags for holiday) in 1999 in Los Angeles as an appointment-only atelier catering to the film and fashion industries and natch celebs. This year, she added a flagship on Robertson and has a 2nd store opening on Madison this fall.

Flash forward to now, when her name will likely become more recognizable thanks to a decidedly less elite clientele. Her Target collection is actually a major step up for the mass-retailers accessory department. Even Devi Kroell and Rafe's items still had a chintzy look to them. Her pieces do look fun though - costumey for sure, but certainly fun accent pieces. The issue I have is the following, I like this look:

But if you piece it together, here's what we're talking about:

Cameo Chain Necklace, $49.99
3-Strand Pearl Tie Necklace, $59.99
Lace-Covered Bead Necklace with Ribbon Tie, $29.99
Chain Ribbon-Tie Necklace, $29.99
Bead and Gunmetal Bracelet (worn as a choker I believe), $19.99

If I've correctly fashioned the look, the grand total = $189.95, which seems high to me for Target accessories, even if they are designer created.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I went to Prada and all I got was this lousy mood

Dispatch from the Prada Sample Sale (also to be filed under

Today's mood level: Sour (+ whiny). Just returned from the Prada sample sale and am chock full of aggravation, frustration and disappointment. Despite a primo spot on line at the first time slot and a desire to buy, buy, buy I am back at H&B headquarters empty-handed and rain-soaked.

Upon arrival, my sister (mini H&B) and I made a mad dash for bags - which honestly are the bottom of the barrel. There's a one-per-person limit and the pickings are so slim that we spent 45 minutes shadowing a satchel-hogging mother-daughter tag-team that in the end, chose the precise two Miu Mius we had set our eyes on.

Adding more grrrr to the experience is that the merchandise is discounted off retail, not wholesale as they have done in previous seasons, meaning even if you do find something, chances are you're likely better off spending the same on a bag you want than $700-800 on a bag you're settling on.

Finally, shoes were pretty beat up, and apparel was rarely available in more than one size. There were however an abundance of mauve desk accessories and turbans (hurrah!) for $150.

Sad clown. Prada, you've disappointed. H&B is VERY bothered!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Karl Lagerfeld To Launch Accessories Line

Fashion's Czar is launching his own eponymous accessories line (and no, not "Czar").

Karl Lagerfeld has inked a deal with Accessory Network Group to design, manufacture and distribute Karl Lagerfeld handbags, small leather goods and luggage, reports WWD. Joining the ranks of Calvin Klein, Ghurka and Isaac Isaac Mizrahi accessories, the collection will be a part of ANG's prestige brands division.

The collection will include a designer line of bags starting at $1,000 as well as a contemporary portfolio with price points of $350 - 850, available in fall '08.

Couple of thoughts:
Will this collection dilute the brand as Isaac and Calvin's surely did?
Will the bags be infinitely more stylish than the H&M bag he designed?

Give Me Juicy or Give Me Death: The I'll take death version

Congratulations Juicy! You have out-uglied even the Ugg with your Beatrix Signature Mule. Not sure calling these puppies your signature is the best of ideas but hey, we still consider you a way overpriced sweats company so what do we know?

Fall Back Plan

If we were willing to accept that summer was winding down (which we most certainly are not!), these coats would be atop our fantasy falldrobe:

Cause a Stir: Take one part classic trench, 2 parts patterned metallic snakeskin and a splash of magic and you've got a tall glass of Gryphon's Shiny Sophisticate, Active Endeavors, $850.

Victorian styling meets motorcycle chic in Development's fitted leather ruffle collar jacket for edge-lite (the Diet Coke of edgy!), Active Endeavors, $720.

Giant buttons and a stove pipeneck update Soia & Kyo Back Buckle All-Weather Trench, Nordstrom, $225.

Red is a must this fall (which we STILL are not acknowledging) and DVF's s pretty pretty princess coat is the optimal way to go about it. At once fiery and demure, the Simone Coat is double breasted with an empire waist and mock ruffle collar,, $695.

We're mad for plaid alone, but coupled with an oversize ruched collar and sash, this coat from Alice + Olivia is a check, check, check! Shopbop, $440.

Because we're friends (and family)

WHAT: The annual BY APPOINTMENT ONLY Prada sample sale

WHEN: Beginning tomorrow through Thurs, 9am - 7pm

WHERE: The Fuller Building, 45 E. 57th St, (@ Madison Ave)

WHY: Where to begin - the sale features bags, shoes, RTW for 60-80% off and is NOT to be missed.

HOW: Check out available slots at Credit card only.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Travel Feature: 10022-SHOE

Book your first class ticket now. New York's hottest shoe destination, 10022-SHOE opened on the 8th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue today. With its very own zip-code, an exclusive elevator opening to 10,000 sq. ft. of selling and 9,000 sq. ft. of storage space and a VIP room for private shopping, it is immediate clear (much like the 70-foot-long curving wall of hand-blown Muranoglass bubbles) that this is no ordinary shoe boutique.

The expanded department allows Saks to increase its inventory by 150% - with between 1,000 - 2,000 styles on the floor depending on the season. It also will have an expert shoe repair and refurbishing service on hand as well as a cafe. "We're adding a number of exciting new designers, plus we're vastly increasing the depth and breadth of our current vendor assortment," said Ron Frasch, President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Saks Fifth Avenue.

We're thinking we'll be picking up loads of frquent flyer miles.

To commemorate the floor's launch and its unique zip, Saks commissioned some of its fave featured shoe designers to create a set of limited edition stamps that are avail as a gift with purchase.

PVC - Pretty Vulgar Choice

I know it's Friday and I shouldn't
be bothered but... a word on those vinyl MJ totes:


Some more words on those vinyl MJ totes:

Why? Sometimes a $50 Marc Jacobs bag just doesn't add up. It looks cheap and is way too prevalent to be an ironic hipster joke. H&B says, "Save that $ and apply it to a nicer sale bag."

Let the Madness Begin

Up for a little groping in the name of bargains? It's the Barney's Warehouse Sale! Shop at your own peril.

Today through September 3rd in New York (255 W. 17th) and through the 19th in LA (Baker Hangar).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Che Chic!

Full disclosure: H&B has never seen an episode of Soapnet's Fashionista Diaries

Even fuller: And yet, she is strangely drawn to its logo. Which got her thinking (which clearly is the aim of all Soapnet programming - fostering dialogue, right???)

She has mulled around what she thought were some obvious and not so obvious answers and compiled this list:

Marc Jacobs - You needn't have read this month's Glamour interview with him by Simon Doonan to know he's influenced practically everything in your wardrobe - round toe shoes, trapeze dresses, Marc, Marc, Marc

Margareta van den Bosch - What's that? You haven't heard of her? Well you've surely worn her. Van den Bosch is the head of design for H&M and it is under her helm that the "fast-fashion revolution" has conquered the globe. Overseeing the production of 500 million items of clothing, it's safe to say she's a serious contender.

Miuccia Prada - You never know where Miuccia's whims are going to take her (or us for that matter) but be it robots, parrots, or tie-dye, she is fashion fearless. "When they tell me something won't sell, that is when I want to make it," she has often said.

Mary Kate Olsen - Loathe as I am to include her, MK's homeless/boho look has been watched and imitated relentlessly WITH staying power. How many stars can say that?

Who do YOU think is CHE CHIC?

Kitty Kards

At first we thought the Kimora Lee Simmons Hello Kitty jewelry was a joke - I mean, c'mon $4,500 for a Japanese cat charm? But apparently, the joke's on us.

Say hi (hello would be too formal) to the new Hello Kitty Platinum Visa, a card and cat that obviously mean serious business. What else would explain the "exclusive Hello Kitty Business Card Holder" applicants receive.

It has World Perks and a sticker book. Does your credit card do that?


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

J. Crew Collection

If you've shopped J.Crew the past several years, odds are you've noticed something about its price points - namely that they've been creeping up, up and up. Well perhaps sick of answering to why or wanting in on the higher-end market, or a bit of both, it is launching J.Crew Collection, a higher end, limited edition luxe line of wares and accessories that will be available on its site and in a stand-alone Madison Avenue boutique.

"As we looked at the market, we said we're going to keep stepping up quality, design and detailing and see if we meet with any kind of [price] resistance," said Millard Drexler, chairman and ceo of J. Crew Group. "Whenever we did this, customers kept buying and liking it more. They still are, and want more of the best. For us, it's a natural opportunity...The best costs too much." Just how much? currently, the collection, ranges from $23 for a silk twill sash belt to $1950 for a silk gown.

It's not only a different label though, that sets these items apart from J.Crew's mass line. Unusual prints, colors and details (like the Library Print Baby Dolly, $225 at right) and better fabrics and fits will explain its higher prices and appeal. To achieve this, the company has established "partnerships with couture beader Shameeza, Italian print house Ratti, leather manufacturer Borge Garveri and Clerici duchesse satin, which has provided fabric for Vera Wang and Chanel," reports WWD.

Says the store, "[It's] a natural evolution, representing a grown-up version of J. Crew's 'classics with a twist' style — updated with an emphasis on elevated quality and originality."

Monday, August 13, 2007

If Looks Could Kill

I'd consider the slammer for this coat:

Oscar de la Renta Lacquered Jacket, $2,590, Bergdorf Goodman

Quote Unquote

"I'm rather pro-prostitution," Karl Lagerfeld says in Lagerfeld Confidential, the upcoming documentary about the designer's life, reports G2 [via British Vogue]. "I admire people who do it. It can't be much fun. Thank goodness for it. People need relief or they become murderers."

We're calling it: Up next, Karl Lagerfeld Ho-siery™

Factory Girl

Icon? Muse? Pop art subject? It's check, check, and check for Kate Moss, one of the many legendary celebs (think Grace Kelly & Mick Jagger) appearing in The Hospital Gallery's Warhol Vs Banksy exhibit, going on now through September 1 in London.

The first of its type, the exhibition is a face-to-face show of classic drawings and paintings by Andy Warhol set against the infamous graffiti work of Banksy.

The Gallery at The Hospital, Endell Street, London WC2.

It's Monday & My Panties are in a Twist

Undercaffeinated, sleepy and in a cube, this grouch has decided she's been devoting far too much time to haute finds and not enough to the world of things that are bothersome. So without further's bother:

Finding a fab pair of shoes, like these gold Giuseppe Zanotti's - on sale (to boot) only to find they are only available in size 11. Boooooo! If your foot fits the bill, run over to Bluefly, and pick up the booties beauties for their "Blue Sale" price of $219.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And the Barney's Champ is...

The Dubai-based Istithmar!

After upping its bid to $942.3 million (in cash) from $825, Fast Retailing bowed out giving Dubai the win (not counting the Jones Group, natch)!

Thou Shalt Covet: World's Most Expensive Bags

Things that $261,000 can buy: a college education, a house, 1,160 pairs of Tory Burch Revas, a week on a private island in Fiji (for up to 14 people inclusive of luxe accomodations, meals, drinks, and entertainment), a Ferrari, dinner out at $100 for 7 years AND...a Chanel bag.

According to Forbes, the Top Ten Most Extravagant Handbags are:

  • The Chanel "Diamond Forever" Classic Bag, (13 available worldwide), $261,000

  • Hermes Matte Crocodile Birkin Bag, (1 available worldwide), $120,000

  • Lana Marks Cleopatra Bag, (1 available worldwide), $100,000

  • Leiber Precious Rose, (1 available worldwide), $92,000

  • LV Tribute Patchwork Bag, (despite mixed reviews, the 4 available stateside have already sold), $42,000

  • Gadino Bag by Hilde Palladino, $38,470

  • Fendi Selleria Bag, $38,000

  • Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile Handbag, (1 of the brand's MOST popular accessories), $30,000

  • Nancy Gonzalez Porousus Bag, $30,000

  • Devi Kroell Alligator Hobo, $28,990

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Breaking: It's Fistacuffs Over Barneys

WWD reports,

"Jones Apparel Group and Istithmar have inked a new $942.3 million cash deal for the Dubai-based firm’s purchase of Barneys New York.

"The new agreement allows Fast Retailing Co. Inc., Istithmar’s competitor for Barneys, to make one more offer for the upscale retailer. That offer has to be submitted by 5 p.m., Thursday. Should Jones accept a new offer from Fast, the U.S. apparel giant must pay Istithmar a termination fee of $34.7 million."

Just as we suspected...EVERYONE HEARTS BARNEYS

It's a Pucci...It's a Plein (Sud)

It's...a DVF's Suron dress! And it's half-off at Nordstrom. How super, man! Originally $355, this butterfly patterned wrap is poised to flit away so prepare yourself for a chase Lois!

$176 at Nordstrom

Best in Shop

Shopbop, online purveyor of our contemporary faves, has just launched a designer boutique that is sure to have fashettes bookmarking it on the quick. The boutique's first initiates include Derek Lam, Thakoon, Givenchy, Peter Som, Rachel Roy, Zac Posen, Erickson Beamon, Subversive and even Kiki de Montparnasse. Collections are carefully curated (read: a tad limited) but exciting none-the-less.

So far top picks are as follows:

Rachel Roy Grace Dress, $1,500

Zac Posen Iconic Group Aurora Handbag, $1,500

Derek Lam Long Sleeve Pleated Dress, $1,990

Givenchy Open Toe d'Orsay Pump, $440

Art of Shop Online Sample Sale

What: Art of Shopping Online Sale

Noon Today!

Where: 435 Broome Street in SoHo or

Premier denim like 7 For All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Ted Baker, T Luxury, & more 40 - 80% off

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

H&B's Swamped

And all kinds of bothered about it. Promise she'll be back tomorrow with loads of haute picks. Besos!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Avatar Armani

Giorgio Armani is opening his first the virtual world Second Life. A pixelated version of the designer will oft be on-hand in the boutique - a reproduction of his Via Manzoni megastore - to welcome shoppers and make sure everything is running as it ought, reports WWD.

"The store will allow viewers to purchase the brand's top 10 products virtually via Second Life currency, the Linden dollar, or in actuality."

Armani join Stella McCartney who staged a PETA rally there earlier this summer.

Lacroix Mass-Market!

Karl Lagerfeld paved the way for a haute couturier to produce a mass market line...and following in his fashion foward footsteps is Christian Lacroix, who has designed a small collection for the French catalog co. La Redoute that is sure to have fashionistas parlez vouzing "Charge it Please" on the double.

Modeled by fash darling Lily Cole, the sparse collection features the gorgeous ruffle embellished "Faballa" trench (shown at right) for $299, a silk/taffeta lace dress, 2 bags - a tote and hobo, a pair of black leather boots, towels and a partridge in a pear tree. View the line in the whimsical world La Redoute created at

Later, stop by the catalog's main site (pick up a sporty Courréges number, some of which are on sale while there) to enjoy free shipping.

Christian Lacroix for La Redoute