Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Cheer - 12 Days of Crap and Couture

The Twelve Gifts of Christmas my true love - that would be moi - gave to me, cost under $100 apiece:

(Own a dairy? Didn't think so. Then you probably can't use eight maids a-milking. Calling birds are noisy and those ten leaping lords need room to, well, leap. And five gold rings while perfect, could be pricey).

1. The Asia Society, Park Ave and 70th St: I found Jim Thompson's gorgeous patterned silk dopp kits from Thailand for $33. While for her, some terric assorted jade pendand necklaces on black cords for $25.

2. M2 (Marvin & Mahoney), For those heading for resorts this is a terrific source for 'made in Bali' petite sarongs nicely packed in matching bamboo-handled pouches which can double as casual totes, $40.

What to pack... M2's bag and sarong
Their combo has you looking great and you don't need to pay onerous baggage fees!

3. Encore, 84th and Madison Ave: Italian high fashion designer Etro's printed cotton shirts are a steal at $95 at this upscale consignment shop.

4. Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop, 1440 3rd Ave between 81st and 82nd St): Look no further for gorgeous kid gloves in brand new assortments of various colors and lengths, $25-40.

5. Payless Shoes, all locations: Your best bet is American Eagle's red and black plaid, with
black rubber, Wellington boots priced right at $43.

6. Cancer Care Thrift Shops, 84th and 3rd: I found the perfect item, a complete manicure set, unused, in a lovely blue leather zippered case. It's worth the $50 price tag.

7. Gerard Yosca, 39 W 38th St: Sample Sale on December 11th and 12th! Find fashion's must-have trendy enamel and resin bangles from this top accessory designer at 50-70% off retail.

8. H & M, 5th Ave and 51st St plus other select locations: I loved the scoop-neck party dress in purple satin belted in black. Pair this with their black satin shorty gloves for a great party look for New Year's. Both come to under $50. With the money saved you can buy your significant other a hip black fedora for $7.90.

9. Doyle New York, 175 E 87th St: Check their upcoming holiday gift auction Tuesday 9th December at 10:00 am. Get online ( or show up in person. Here is a terrific gift for some lucky little girl: Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice in the Looking Glass published 1925 and 1927. These two slim volumes in crimson calf nicely slipcased is lot number 3545 and has an estimate of $50-100. Also a steal is lot number 3589, a set of eight musical-themed Piero Fornasetti porcelain dishes with estimate of $50-75.

10. Take the E train to Roosevelt Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens, for a taste of Bollywood fashions. Walk up 37th Avenue and scope out the authentic Indian sari's or the armfuls of colorful jewelled bangles. Too many stores to list by name, but start at 73rd Street and go up from there.

From my West-Coast correspondent, here are a couple more finds:

11. Paul Proppe Leathercraft, at the Winter Fantasy Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Beach, CA until 14th December: Beautiful calf leather multi-compartment shoulder bag with croc-embossed (looks real) flap $98. Comes in black or brown or combo with leather 'like butter' and lasts literally years. This couple has no stores or websites but shows at four or five art festivals per year and has been around for decades.

12. Stephen Frank Garden & Home, Laguna Beach Silver hinged candle snuffer with bone or precious wood handle $15. Wrought iron or steel angled candle-wick trimmer $11.50. These as a set make a unique and beautiful gender-friendly gift, especially presented in an organic brown paper, rafia and wide sage-green grosgrain ribbons and ceramic green frog charm wrapped a la Stephen / Frank.

Well, cheeers until next year! C&C

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Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row