Monday, November 24, 2008

Also known as: a few good deals

AKA New York had somehow escaped my radar in the last 4 years, despite the not-exactly-low-pro women behind it: former ELLE Editors Abigale Levinson, Karen Reinitz and Ana Maria Pimentel. Personally, I'm a fan of Ana Maria Pimentel, who's currently the accessories director for Harper's Bazaar. I always love her picks and the accessories pages make my heart leap every time!

Which leads me to my approval of their collective choices in the line. Incidentally (or not, since this blog is called The Chiconomist), some gorgeous AKA New York pieces are currently on sale at Net-a-porter. I love these two pieces below because they somehow achieve the feel of vintage whilst still being very of-the-moment. I love the delicate detailing: the crochet collar, the jaunty bow. And I love how the details are imposed on colors and finishes that feel modern.

Crochet collar dress ($192 from $320), liquid lamé blouse ($210 from $350)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's that wonderful time of the year

My great glove-hunt brought me to Fifth Avenue today, straight to my favorite holiday windows: Bergdorf Goodman. Last year was a lush display of Eastern opulance with plenty of gilding and rich jewel tones. This year, I feel that Bergdorf's windows are a tad more subdued, maybe as a reaction to the economic uncertainty enveloping the globe. The breathtaking level of detail and sheer imagination that I've come to expect out of Bergdorf's is still here in spades, but without the unbridled exuberance of past years. I think it's appropriate and done in good taste.

Times may be tough, but as long as there is beauty, love and promise in the world, there's always reason to celebrate. Take a look at the gorgeous windows below. I hope they make you as excited about the holidays as I am!






P.S. I froze and shoo-ed numerous tourists to take these pics so please credit and link back to my blog if you swipe any of them. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barney's Private Sale!

Yup, you read that right. Barney's is having an online sale right now with up to 40% off AND free shipping! Some great finds at drastically reduced prices:

Clockwise from top left:
Carter Rocket tote in Honeydew by Marc Jacobs (now $699 from $1395)
Yellow gold flat flex collar by Fallon (now $179 from $298)
Silk charmeuse fan wrap skirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim (now $229 from $375)
Studded patent leather sandals by Lanvin (now $420 from $1045)
Oversize belted coat by Stella McCartney Organic (now $799 from $1595)

Oh Bebe ...

Bebe is getting major points with me for bringing the dropdead sex appeal of Herve Leger to the masses. Check out this dress, inspired no doubt by the knockout dress worn by Blake Lively as Serena on GG.

Not an exact replica but it captures the va-va-voom spirit I think. This one needs to be tried on though because if you look at the other pictures of the same dress on the website, the dress seems to gape on the sides of the chest. This dress' regular price is $119 but with Bebe's current 30% off selected dresses promotion, you can get the violet dress for just $83.30.

I'm actually more taken with this bandage dress—and not just because it's much cheaper at its discounted price of $68.60. I like how it is a tad more descreet, a little less obviously sexy than the first dress. I find that the bandage dress can be overwhelmingly sexy (such a prude!), and I think that the less is more approach would work better—for me at least.

Stocking Stuffers

One last post. I should really get some sleep (or get a life, whatever). I just couldn't go without posting these cute, cute, cuuuuuuuute socks I found on the Anthropologie site. Too. Freakin. Cute. I heart the en point socks especially. Would make great stocking stuffers this Christmas with prices at $10, $16 and $18 from left to right.

Ok buh-bye.

The Un-Gloved One

I'm in such trouble. It's gonna be a high of 39 degrees tomorrow and a low of 28 degrees, possibly some snowflakes, and I can't find a single glove. Nada. Sigh. What else can I do except look at cute gloves online ...

Clockwise from top left:
Brass rose gloves by Anthropologie ($28) -- ADORABLE!!!
Wool and cashmere snap gloves by Tory Burch ($95)
Jeweled driving gloves by 3.1 Phillip Lim ($195)
Leather ruffle glove by Urban Outfitters ($48)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Everything but the kitchen sink

Shopbop Sale! Up to 70% off! Free Shipping! And free 2-year subscription to Lucky!

Holy hell, can you smell the desperation in the air? US retailers are throwing everything they can at consumers just so they'll whip out the credit cards, but the shopping apprehension is palpable. I mean seriously, I got a new credit card in the mail today and I haven't used it. Who am I?!? I mean just check out all the awesome stuff on sale at Shopbop:

Clockwise from top left:
Bubble shrug by Elizabeth & James (now $209 from $418)
Pencil skirt by Alexander Wang (now $198 from $396)
Metal Check Groovee Bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs (now $299 from $598)
Leather blazer by Alexander Wang (now $675 from $1,350)
Cuff by Kenneth Jay Lane (now $137.50 from $275)
Faken open-toe T-strap pump by Paul & Joe (now $382 from $764)

I can't believe I haven't snapped and ordered that cool M by MJ purse—I've seen Bryanboy rocking it when he's not carrying his eponymous BB bag by MJ. It's a really cute bag. But I will be good and not defile my shiny new credit card's innocence. For those free to go to town with their cards, write me and tell me all about it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I love it and will never own it, but love it nevertheless: a Paul Smith fisheye camera. It is a limited edition and of course, already out of stock, and retails for about $150. To die!!!

No more shopping allowed

Within 2 days of getting my paycheck, I've gotten a couple of big ticket items so no shopping allowed for the rest of the month. I just want to share what I hope is an awesome deal I got on Amazon (I haven't gotten the package yet, so stay tuned). I had been diligently watching the price of the Casio Exilim EXZ9, which I decided I wanted for its slim size, shooting options, and really low price. With Circuit City filing for bankruptcy and Best Buy not in its finest hour, you can imagine that there are price cuts left and right, so it was a laborious process to find the best deal. But I think I found it on Amazon through seller Adorama Camera.

For a grand total of $141.06 with free shipping (taxes not yet included), I'm getting:
- a Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z9 Digital Camera
- 2 GB SD memory card
- mini table top tripod
- carry case & neck strap
- memory card wallet
- screen protecters for LCD screen
- cleaning fluid with cloth

Pretty nifty deal, I think. The camera is sold as low as $109 on some sites but factor in the memory card and tripod plus free shipping, and this deal becomes hard to beat. I admit, I fished out my credit card extra fast when I saw that there were just 2 left! So now there's just 1 left, obviously. But do check out Amazon if you're in the market for a digital camera because there are some pretty good packages to be found there.

Can't wait to get the cam and start taking better pics for the blog!

UPDATE: I got it! Everything advertised was in the box, all in perfect condition. The screen protectors are kinda bleh. Tried attaching one then just gave up (My iPod screen isn't covered either. I need to have the OCD boyfriend around to help me with stuff like that). But the 2GB memory card and tripod are awesome. Yay!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sweat It

Yolina, a girlfriend from my Germany days, suggested I do posts on what-to-wear-to-work for those of us who are not employed by Nylon or American Apparel. Fair enough. Since I got a "Your skirt is too short" warning at the UN, I've made a bigger effort to dress appropriately. I now have a set of pencil skirts and feminine blouses that spell sexy secretary without calling for Disclosure-like situations. But these days when fall temps are making me linger under the covers, I can't be bothered with ironing my secretary ensembles. Enter the reliable sweater dress. I love them. It's the easiest way to get dressed with minimal fuss. I like the selection at Victoria's Secret.

Factoring in the 30% discount, here's the damage:
Cotton rib turtleneck dress ($33.60), merino wool boatneck dress ($55.30), puff-sleeve turtleneck dress ($41.30); cotton rib turtleneck dress ($45.50)

I like how the VS dresses are a tad more detailed that sweater dresses one might find at, say, H&M. The button details, scarf, puckered sleeves and pleating make the dresses that much more refined and make you look like you put a bit more effort, even though you just pulled it on in 2 secs.

To add to the fun, all four dresses are already discounted. AND Victoria's secret is giving an extra 30% off for any single item until Tuesday. AND if you spend $100, shipping is free in the US. Sweet.

Gone Greek ... and Trojan?

I watched Troy for the first time today—how I lived before that, I don't know. Good lord, what a beautiful movie. I've come to two conclusions:

1. Every movie should have Eric Bana and Brad Pitt in it.
2. Every plain dress I have must be embellished in Trojan fashion.

#1 is a given; I didn't rent the movie for the suspenseful plot. The bigger suprise to me was how I would fall for those gorgeous embellished gowns. This was my ultimate favorite:

I love the use of precious stones to anchor an otherwise simple gown. It's inspiring me to run to the fashion district and dig up jewels to sew onto dresses I've tired of. DIY coming soon!

And just cos it would be wrong to mention Brad and Eric without showing their gorgeousness, here are some stills from the movie from Don't let the drool hit your keyboard.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The mink isn't safe in NYC

Just yesterday I was mulling over this fur cape that I found on the Neiman Marcus website. My co-workers weren't quite on the same page as me because they don't and have no desire to wear real fur. Hell I don't wear fur either, but I thought finding a cape in the $600 price range could be an excuse to start. I'm not being very PC, I know, but as long as still I'm devouring steak, lamb chops and foie gras without hesitation, I can't very well start proclaiming I care passionately about saving chinchillas.

I do have the fear of getting doused in paint firmly instilled in me though. I was starting to think that maybe New York is no longer a city where red-paint-throwers-at-fur-wearers congregate. But I learned today that that isn't quite true. As I was passing Bloomie's on my way home, I saw a picket line marching outside. What were the picketers protesting? FUR. "Shame on Escada" "Fur is death" and all that jazz ...

Thus ends my mini fur fixation. I may not be squeamish about wearing a chinchilla around my neck anymore, but I am scared of New Yorkers with red paint.

UPDATE: Paris isn't safe for fur either! Lindsey got a flour bomb dropped on her fur according to Dlisted. Tormenting fur wearers is apparently en vogue in PETA again.

Like Stealing

I had been obsessed with these MJ-esque lace-up booties (above, left) at Nine West for days. But the thing was, the Cuzza booties did not seem to share my sentiments. They totally made me look like I had cankles! But I kept on obsessing until today I landed in Nine West. While I was waiting for the salesgirl to bring the Cuzzas in my size, my eye landed on the sleek Annah booties (above, right). The display shoe happened to be a size 5 1/2 so I slipped it on. My oh my, why hadn't I noticed these beauties before? Sleek, sexy and for some reason, 10 times more comfy than the Cuzzas!

Instead of buying the shoes in store, I went home and got online. At the store, the Annah booties had a $119 price tag and a 20% discount. Online, the booties were $109 and had a 25% discount. And then I found a promo code on that gives a $10 discount off purchases over $65 (DO NOT buy anything online without checking for promo codes first! There's almost always some discount code on these sites). That brought the total down to $72.49. Did I mention shipping was free too?

It's like stealing, I tell ya ...

Feeling Gray

On a satchel hunt and found some perfectly slouchy, gray leather bags at Anthropologie. Really loving the one on the left, which is actually the cheaper bag at $198. The convertible bag on the right is $228. Here starts the evil cycle of bag-buying though. I keep thinking, well if I'm gonna buy a bag that's about $200 anyway, then why not just shell out a bit more and get the bag that I really want, which is that M by MJ Dr. Q Frasier satchel.

Stop it. Just stop it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Being frugal hurts

I am trying to ignore the fact that from tomorrow to Saturday, two amazing sales are taking place in New York that I would die to be at BUT I have to be frugal. I cannot afford a shopping spree, lest I end up eating nothing but Mickey D's in Europe.

If I could be at the Chloé friends and family sale taking place tomorrow at the Flathotel conference center on the 5th floor at 52nd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, I might find a lovely satchel like the Saskia square tote, perhaps severely discounted from the regular $2005 price.

Available at Net-a-porter

If I could come to Mike & Chris' first EVER sample sale on 447 W. 36th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, maybe just maybe I could be the proud Mommy to an Alastair leather jacket, normally priced at $957 but at a more attainable price.

Available at Tobi

But I can't ... if anyone should see these babies, please give them a great home?

Monday, November 10, 2008

A handbag you wanna take a bite out of

My co-workers were talking about falafels all day long, and by the time the clock hit 6 I was craving tahini. I walked over to Third Avenue and stopped by Crisp, which was enthusiastically recommended by aforementioned co-workers.

The menu is blessedly uncomplicated. There are 8 kinds of pita sandwiches, 6 types of hummus bowls, and 5 flavors of gourmet iced teas. The "crisps" are hearty, flavorful and perfectly cooked falafels. Generous helpings of crisps are tucked into the fresh pita bread, which is baked from scratch in the premises. I picked the Parisian handbag sandwich, which is jazzed up with a sundried tomato spread, copious chunks of goat cheese, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, garden greens and red onions. It is not the cheapest sandwich at $9.75, but it was so hearty and satisfying that I felt full halfway through my meal. (I'm still eating the other half as I type, 2 hours later)

The beverage list sent me over the moon. House blended iced teas flavored as such: Gaucho Mint Yerba Mate, Strawberry Magic - Green, Lychee Red - Black, Ginger Peach - White, Passion Fruit - Rooibos. The options for unsweetened, sweetened and semi-sweet sealed the deal. I officially love this place. I chose semi-sweet lychee red black iced tea, and it's fabulous.

Special shout-out to the packaging designers. All packaging used is eco-friendly, and I love the brilliant design of the pita handbag, which keeps the contents of the sandwich neatly inside the pita and away from one's trousers.

It is so amazing to have a Crisp close to work. It's not the cheapest option, but it's both guiltless and satisfying—which is hard to come by whether we're talking cuisine or couture.

Where: 684 Third Avenue between 43rd and 44th St.
When: Open Mondays to Fridays from 11am-9pm, and Saturdays from 11am to 7pm

Sunday, November 09, 2008


What a beautiful jacket by J. Crew. Metallic houndstooth tweed in a classic, Chanel-esque silhouette. This is one of those pieces that, I feel, would totally change my wardrobe. It's priced at $250 right now though so I'll hold out for the sale and see if it can change my life for a little less!

Ok enough blogging. It's a gorgeous day and I should get out. Seriously.

Handling my compulsion

It took all sorts of willpower to order just ONE thing from Forever 21 and not go to town with the justification that I get free shipping with a $75 purchase. I didn't want to pay $5 and change for shipping, but I also didn't want to go crazy buying stuff I would ultimately feel sorry I bought. I figured that the alternative to paying shipping, which was hauling ass to Forever 21 and actually buying the damn thing, was not much cheaper. I'd have to spend $4 on the subway ride. And then seriously, I'd pay $1.50 to not have to search for the damn skirt in 4 floors packed with messy merchandise, shoppers, and long long lines on a Sunday afternoon.

The one thing I HAD to have was a black sequined mini, after seeing this outfit on Karla. With the holidays fast approaching, I needed to secure a New Year's Eve ready mini at a reasonable price (Last year in a panic I shelled out over a hundred for a sequined dress that however fabulous cannot be worn multiple times). If I wasn't being so conscientious about spending, I would've bought all of this:

I'm hurting a little for not ordering the rosette-topped shirt. I didn't see it before placing my order and now I just don't want to pay for shipping uh-gain. I guess I can live without it. The roses would probably look like doodoo after 1 run in the washing mashine. I thought about the faux leather jacket long and hard. I love the silhuette but I will never be truly happy with a faux leather jacket so I thought I'd just put the $35 dollars towards the ruffled coat that I really want from Urban Outfitters and call it a day. The shoes are cute but I shouldn't tempt the gods by ordering shoes priced below $30. They would probably hurt like hell, and if there's something I cannot afford right now, it's shoes that hurt too much to actually wear.

Aaaah I miss the days of thoughtless, impulse buying. Tough times indeed.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

So excited!

I am extra excited to watch Gossip Girl on Monday because of two things.

#1: This blouse. I love ruffles.
#2: Cyndi Lauper's cameo. When she talks does it sound like she swallowed helium too? We shall see.

Friday, November 07, 2008

In the market

Images from New York magazine. See NY Mag's full review here.

I'd been planning and plotting to go to Market Table at the West Village, and finally got a chance when Johan stopped by NY last month. I'd had a tough day at work and needed a glass of wine and good food so badly. Market Table did not disappoint.

While perusing the menu, I caught a sumptuous whiff of truffle oil in the air and scoured the menu for the dish emanating that heavenly smell ... our waiter finally put me out of my misery and told me that today's special appetizer was risotto with shaved truffles ... MMM. I got that as my entree (Perfect portion by the way since risotto can be so heavy). We actually pretty much just ordered all the specials. The special entree was snapper so scrumptious that Johan would not quit talking about it. Oh, we started with oysters, by the way, that were so fresh and flavorful that we wiped out the dozen in no time.

The real star of the meal though was dessert. We ordered the intriguingly named polka-dot cheesecake and OHMYGOD was it good. And I don't even like cheesecake. It's polka dotted because it's a combination of cheesecake and chocolate mousse. It should be called a little piece of polka-dotted heaven.

I am not through exploring Market Table's menu. According to reviews, there's a cheeseburger and New York strip steak with my name on it there. I'd also love to explore the restaurant's market, which sells the ingredients used for their spectacular dishes. I'm gonna keep coming back for more, for sure.
Where: 54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014. Tel. 212.255.2100

Online Obsessions

Hipster Musings turned me on to this site called Hel Looks. Me being me, it took 3 full minutes of thinking, "Wow hipsters are really tuning into Finnish fashion. They know Marimekko and IvanaHelsinki and all ... " before I realized that Hel stood for Helsinki. Ding ding ding!

I got a tad obsessed because I'm "preparing" (read: obsessing over what to pack) for a Helsinki trip in December. So I wanted to see what people there wear. I realized they all dress like people from Williamsburg. Got it.

I recently discovered Jak & Jil blog, and since seeing this picture of stylist Caroline Sieber have not been able to navigate away. I want everything she's wearing. So simple but so chic. Giant black hobo, skinny leather pants, tailored blazer.

Sale sale sale ...

The sheer number of sale alerts that I get everyday is indicative of how terrible the economy is doing. I've never encountered so many sales before Black Friday! I am incredibly thankful that my reason for cutting my shopping budget out is a trip to Europe, and not because I am in financial distress. For those people who are fortunate enough to still have a shopping budget in these tough times, here's a roundup of this week's great sales. Don't feel guilty. It's your patriotic duty to keep the retail sector going, I say. Enjoy!

At Saks, designer wares are up to 40% off online. There were some great totes at good discounts, like an Yves Saint Laurent croc-embossed tote selling for $696.50 (take note it's made of PVC, not leather, but it looks pretty cool nonetheless). There's also a jaunty blue tote by Tod's priced at $945.00 (down from $1,350). The Marc Jacobs Carter Rocket Tote is now $976.50 (down from $1395). Some pretty lovely deals if you're in the market for designer bags.

The Dr. Q Fraser Tote by Marc by Marc Jacobs that I've been coveting is down to $390 from $558 at Neiman Marcus! Items from over 150 designer labels are at 40% off until November 8, and shipping is free for any amount when you type in the code NMNOV at checkout. Please don't buy this bag so the price can drop further and then I can buy it. Yeah right.

It's 25% off all items (excluding UGGs, Fryes and the 2008 Fantasy bra) at Victoria's Secret. So if you were, let's say, pondering getting these cute Colin Stuart fringe booties, which are regularly priced at $98, it might make the decision a tad easier that the price can drop to $73.50. Use the code 25ITEM at checkout to apply the discount to your purchase.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Real Star of Stylista

... should be Kate Lanphear. Check out the nonchalant utter coolness of this chick. I love the seemingly haphazard layering of accessories. I especially love the layering of delicate necklaces. I was trying not to get sucked into that show but I'm 2 episodes in now and it seems I'm in grave danger of getting addicted. Hopefully there's more of Ms. Lanphear somewhere down the line so I can at least get inspired watching this.

Ruff and Ruffled Up

I am in love with this peacoat by Kimchi for Urban Outfitters. I am a sucker for frills and ruffles and all things girly. But I especially love feminine details juxtaposed with tougher, more masculine ones. Incidentally, I was also just thinking today that I really need a short coat. All my coats are longer and really make me look even shorter since I'm constantly in flats.

The price is actually quite reasonable at $138. However. I am supposed to be saving money for our December Europe trip so I will have to quell my love for this coat. If it should go on sale though, it's so mine! Me in this on a gondola in Venice. Oh yeah.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Welcome to the oval office President Barack Obama!!!!!!!

T-shirt at Urban Outfitters.

Going Public

Ok it's been fashion overload on this blog ... time for a food post! A few weeks ago, Johan and I stopped by Public for a quick dinner and it was goooood. Public is a slick and expansive space deceptively tucked in a quiet stretch of Elizabeth Street between Spring and Prince in Nolita. Mika and I stumbled onto this restaurant but never got the chance to eat there, but I fully intend on dragging him there for another dinner!

The restaurant was packed that night so we ate at the bar, which I would recommend if you're not having a formal night out. The meal somehow still felt intimate even though we were seated at the bar. The restaurant evokes a feeling of being in an old municipal building, with library card catalogues used as dividers and menus resembling old office forms. It looks cool, but there's a total disconnect with the cuisine. That said, I enjoyed Public's Australasian-inflected cuisine. Johan had pan-seared New Zealand snapper on wasabi-boniato mash with poached conch, pickled ginger, and yao choy. The snapper was perfectly flaky and extremely flavorful. One bite of it made me swear I'd be back to order the dish for myself! I picked the roast duck breast with grilled peach chutney, taro root pancake and green mango-jicama salad. I loved how the rich flavor of duck was tempered with the sweetness of the grilled peach chutney and the crisp freshness of the green mango-jicama salad. The taro root pancake, I was not a fan of, but I never really enjoyed taro anyway.

Also worth mentioning is The Monday Room, Public's adjacent wine bar without a bar. Whilst seated in soft tufted leather chairs, a wine steward serves you your choice of libation from a list of 60 wines. There are great cocktails, small plates, and desserts to be had here, too. It is intimate, secluded, and absolutely perfect for a date.

The Monday Room

Where: 210 Elizabeth Street. Tel. 212.343.7011. Reservations are recommended.

Herve Leger Lookalike Alert

The necklace the dress is worn with hurts my eyes, but I love Arden B's take on the bandage dress. I tried on Bebe's version but wasn't too taken with it. Too many crazy colors. I like Arden B's quietly sexy take, and their spot on choice of colors. Like Bebe's versions, this is priced at $98. I'm gonna hold out for the sale.

I want one to wear one to go clubbing in Estonia. Heard it's one big party city; Vegas but inundated with hot Eastern European chicks. Good lord. Must hold my own. Dress is now highly necessary ... go on sale already Arden B!

how to ... wear an Hermés scarf

I finally decided to take my Hermés scarf out today. Previously, I had all sorts of excuses like, "I'm having spaghetti bolognese today. I will faint if I get tomato sauce on it." But since today's lunch is unagi (no sauce), I thought it was time.

Once I had the fine silk in my hand though, it became, "Now what?" What is the best way to wear this sumptuous scarf? Enter the Hermés website. On the site, you can download 2 PDF files with illustrations on the many ways one can wear a scarf. Right now I'm wearing mine like this:

It's very cool though to see how versatile an accessory it is. My scarf is definitely going on my Euro tour. Other ways to wear the scarf:

I think that if you buy the scarf at the Hermes store, they provide you with the how-to booklet. But for other sample sale gals like me, the downloadable version is a godsend.


I don't know how I feel about this. In concept (and in the picture) it seems like a great idea. But if I really think about these sequined leggings from Express? The friction (between legs) would wear out the sequins, and quite possibly just ease them off the fabric. Leggings with sequins falling out between the legs=not attractive.

But if I just get them to wear for New Year's though, they might be okay. Oh, how much? $98? Then, um, no.
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