Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hot Weather Cool Stuff

I should be sipping a pina colada on some tropical beach right now, but nooo, instead I’ve scoured the streets during New York’s record breaking heat wave on your behalf. Granted, summertime means slim pickings as far as finding newsworthy fashions and accessories to pass on but I have come up with some terrific finds for holiday and beyond.

1: If you love the classics then you’re sure to want NAUTICA’s fresh new take on the toggle and puffer coats. These feature unique touches such as grommet hardware and striped grosgrain trim. For resort right through the summer I loved Nautica’s classic rugby striped shirt with woven stripe detail on the under collar.

2: If you’re looking for the perfect all season handbag, look no further than “Kick”, a large croco embossed suede zipped shoulder bag with a grainy goatskin leather strap and covered rings from Paris-based firm SEQUOIA. Also noteworthy, the brand’s darling ballet flat offered in crinkled patent, nappa leather or goat suede. It features Sequoia’s signature leather covered ring. In case you’re interested, both collections are designed by Pierre Hardy whose it factor is right up there with Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo etc. Click for Kick

3: I should be getting kick back for writing about ANN TAYLOR so often, but I can’t help it if the brand keeps getting stronger and stronger. It’s not often that I can say I want every piece in a collection but that’s exactly what happened when I attended the Holiday press preview. For the sake of your wallet I’ll narrow my selections down to a few items that you shouldn’t live without like the creamy heather beige, belted “sparkle cardigan” with gold sequins across the front, or a metallic paisley jacquard pencil skirt. Both pieces can go non stop from the office to dinner no problem. Also worth mentioning, the Chanel-inspired chevron quilted “Townhouse” shoulder bag in petite or medium sizes.

4: I was invited to attend the launch of ZAIKEN, a fine jewelry collection reflecting a blend of designer Malak Atut’s Middle Eastern heritage with her sophisticated NYC upbringing. I like the fact that each piece is hand crafted right here in New York City using the finest gold, sterling silver, precious and semi-precious stones. My favorite pieces come from the “Crescent” collection and are offered in satin or polished yellow, rose, green and white gold, with emerald and sapphire accents. The crescent moon, an ancient symbol dating back as far as 100 B.C. is used in many cultures and to me looks as timeless today as it did centuries ago. For more info, go to or call 201 410-3240.

5: 80/20 is a fabulous footwear collection that’s high on style and comfort and low on price. I plan to be first in line at Intermix boutique to grab a pair of grey flannel ankle booties with hidden wedge and tan leather trim and laces.

Use Occam's Razor To Decide To Buy This Shoe

6: Ordinarily, I’m not a big fan of unisex jewelry, but I changed my mind when I saw RUSSELL SIMMONS stainless steel (no polishing involved) collection. Some of the pieces are pretty pricey but trust me, they’re worth it. My money’s on the bold link bracelets and a fabulous modern cross necklace. Some pieces are diamond studded but you need not spend the extra bucks on those, just stick to the more understated styles and you’ll wear them forever.

7: Believe it or not, I also like to check out the latest in makeup ideas. POP BEAUTY offers a lot of bang for the buck in its’ Holiday line. My picks, the “Magnetic Mosaic and “Jigsaw Gem” combo kits. At $25 and $20 respectively there’s plenty of eye shades, liners highlighters, etc., to fool around with and the packaging is pretty and compact enough to fit in your handbag.

8: While we’re n the subject of beauty I must tell you about a fun press party I attended to herald the launch of ALICE & OLIVIA’s MAC makeup collaboration. The cool factor comes because the party was held at Beauty Bar, a trendy club that in a past life was an actual “beauty parlor”. The bar has retained the original hair dryers and model hair photos from the late ‘50s. In addition to the open bar and live disco music were treated to manicures offered in the three trendy new MAC colors from the line. Given the choice of either a bright teal blue, steel grey or metallic purple I chose the latter (there are some colors you just don’t wear at my age) and I’ve gotten compliments ever since. For more info on the collection check out Alice & Olivia’s web site.

That’s all for now as I really must get to a beach.

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row