Saturday, April 25, 2009

Neighborhood Watch

Now that spring has finally sprung, yours truly will start making the rounds of Manhattan’s various ‘hoods to scope out some of my favorite retail destinations. Since I live on the Upper East Side I’m starting off with my part of town, which I’ve christened NOB or north of Bloomingdales! In future blogs I’ll hit SoHo, etc.

French Sole is the place to go for those cute ballet flats that we can’t live without. Fortunately, this is the company’s outlet store so prices are definitely affordable and the selection is terrific. Personally I favor the classic quilted/patent toe cap style but there are lots more. So in case you don’t have a thousand bucks to spend on some designer name this shop is your best bet. Location: 985 Lexington Avenue; Phone: 212 472-9200

Dooney & Bourke is a wonderful source for preppy chic handbags, totes, travel bags and more. The look is old money for a fashion savvy generation. Frankly, I find the quality to compare favorably with Ralph Lauren at a fraction of the price. On my latest pit stop I found darling bright patent bags, whimsical (Dooney) duck patterned totes and lots more to love including some fabulous chunky unisex watches. For fall, there are FABULOUS tartan duffels, totes, satchels and more in black watch or Stuart plaids. And don’t pass up the “Lee” totes in gorgeous fall shades, Personally, I’d opt for one in cobalt or bordeaux. Here’s the best part – everything’s under $200 retail! That Peter Dooney is one smart cookie. Location: 20 East 60th Street; Phone: 212 223-7444.

Wink is a tiny hole-in-the-wall clothing boutique that’s chock full of affordable, (but not) terminally trendy fashions for the under 40 crowd. While this retailer also has two other outlets, this Upper East Side shop is my favorite for the range of young designer labels. On a nice note, shoppers are asked to bring in a gently worn dress and Wink will donate it to Housing Works. Here’s the best part. Do that and get $50 towards the purchase of a new dress from the Wink collection. Location: 1050 Lexington Avenue; Phone: 212 249-2033

Furla is another source for beautiful leather goods. OK, the prices aren’t exactly cheap but the quality is superb. Instead of checking out the sales, wait till July/Aug and splurge on one of their stunning fall bags. My choice would be the “Susana” clutch (yes it holds plenty) in cherry or deep cobalt faux croc. You’ll wear it for many years and always look gorgeous and of the moment. The $525 it’ll cost you is still a heck of a lot cheaper than most other “designer” bags and you won’t look like a fashion victim. Location: 727 Madison Avenue; Phone: 212 755-8986

M.A.D. is a vintage couture and designer resale boutique. Since it’s not located in trendy SoHo/NoHo yada yada yada, the shop’s off the the fashionista set’s radar. The owner, Marion Alexander has a hawk’s eye when it comes to selecting the best rtw, accessories and shoes. While not every piece carries a designer label, the savvy shopper can usually spot the provenance. Prices are terrific and there’s something for everyone. When it comes to buying vintage, forget seasons and buy what you love as it may not be there next time. I’d check out the great ‘70s YSL wool coat from his Russian collection. It won’t kill you to store it away for next winter. Marion’s also got some great jewelry from top designers and witty evening bags – all of which can be carried year round. You can also check out her website at Location: 167 East 67th Street; Phone: 212 427-4333.

So now that you’ve shopped ‘til you dropped why not stop by the cozy new Yorkville Creperie for a $6 glass of wine and one of their delicious filled crepes? Personally, I loved the midnight crepe as I’m a chocoholic, but I plan on working my way through all the other varieties. It’s only been open about a week and already the buzz has started. Prices are friendly as crepes run between $5- $7 so go ahead and indulge. And if crepes aren’t your thing, they also serve some tasty paninis. Location: 1586 York Avenue; Phone: 212 570-5445

Until next time, happy shopping, C&C

1 comment:

The Lovely and Talented said...

Love this place. So cozy, and the staff is really friendly. :) It's a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Glad someone else agrees. Love your blog.

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row