September 26, 2011

    Discount Missoni, Beyond Target

    By: ManhattanMataHari

    Do not despair if you missed out on the chaos that was the Missoni for Target launch. There are plenty of places in Manhattan to get your discount Missoni fix without sacrificing on the quality from the bonafide items. We have put together a list of the best places to go for discounted Missoni. We know that the prices still aren’t as low as the Target collab but the headaches are much less too.

    Filene’s Basement @ Union Square
    40 East 14th Street, New York

    The Filene’s Basement, in Union Square, is stocked with racks of the Italian designer’s original Missoni line in both the women’s and men’s sections. Prices range from $80 to $700. Finely woven wool blazers and elegantly tailored jackets are the more pricey items. The most wanted items, knit sweaters are $360. Lightweight silk print tops and sweaters are a bit more budget friendly at $300. We also spotted a few embellished and woven Missoni gowns in “The Vault” for $600. For the fashionista on a budget, we found it hard to resist the $40 socks and woven Missoni hosiery, including $80 thigh-high socks perfect for wearing under boots with a skirt.

    Keep in mind that these prices are just temporary. Filene's tends to mark down items very quickly. Before you know it the collection will be an extra 75% off and that Missoni coat and gown will be just $150.

    TJ Maxx Columbus Square
    808 Columbus Ave @99th Street

    At the farthest most uptown TJ Maxx, we spied enough M by Missoni to make you mind zig-zag. Most dresses that incorporated the iconic knit were priced at $230 (retail $460) and long cardigans were $200 (retail $400+). We suggest opting for the dresses that are part-knit and part-print so that your new purchase will never be confused with a mega-store collab.

    Century 21
    Broadway and West 66th Street

    Last week we scouted out the new Century 21 on the Upper West Side and found plenty of the Italian company’s playful prints for discounted prices. Silk scarves ranged in price from $40 to $120 and large wool scarves were between $180 and $100. Shoes were $300 and rainboots were just $120.

    181 Madison at 34st Street
    Rainer: 212-685-0095

    If your mouth watered from the Missoni home collection, at Target,, you may want to head over to DDC. The design store is having their biannual Missoni Home sale and current floor stock is discounted 15% to 30%. Although the discount isn’t large, the quality and array of items are sublime. Signature bath towels are $236. Woven throws originally priced between $455 and $850 are now 15% off. Plenty of throw pillows, which retail between $200 to $400, are 30% off. Small ottomans in an array of sizes and prints start at $615 but are also 30% off. Larger versions are over $1000 and only marked down 15%. Unfortunately, bedding is not included in the sale but designers can get a 15% discount on all custom orders, all the time. This sale ends Oct. 31.

    Milan Luxury
    482 Broome St
    Francesca: 212-228-6651

    If DDC’s prices seem a bit too high we suggest trying your luck at Milan Luxury. The inventory is currently a bit low but the store continues to get more items. Duvet/sheet sets are $389, pillowcases range from $89 to $118, small bath towels run from $39 to $79 and large towels are $130.
    September 22, 2011

    Hermes Sale Let Down

    The Hermes sale officially starts on Thursday but today press and VIP's were given early entry and access to the best selection of merchandise. As usual, we sent in our top spies, but they were unexpectedly disappointed. As a matter of fact, we are told that the entire experience was a let down.

    "It was horrible," said our Hermes sale veteran. It wasn't just the merchandise or the prices that were a disappointment but our spies were disturbed by their entire experience. "First they were not letting anyone in at all. After waiting and witnessing horrible behavior from shoppers -- line cutting and nasty arguing -- we were let into the sale. There were only about 20 shoppers inside the sale but they still made people wait outside."

    The sale went down hill from there. There were virtually NO BAGS. The only exception was a "hanous" Garden Party that was an irregular shape. There was only one small box of gloves and just a few belt straps with no buckles. The sale contains NO SCARVES and ties are marked $111 from a retail of $185. Crystal glasses started at $300 and up. "Pathetic."

    So what can shoppers expect to find if they do decide to brave the sale? There are shoes and there is jewelry. Shoes are marked about 40% off and most jewelry items are 50% off. Sounds decent, right? Well it's not.

    Our spies say that most of the merchandise appears to have been marked up for the sale. "On most items there were three stickers. If you peel them away you see that the shoes were marked down lower than they are selling them for at the sale."

    H sandals range in price from $220 to $340. The stranger the color, the cheaper the shoe. Most other shoes are priced at about $500 and boots are about $1100. The sale also had lots of enamel bracelets but no Clic Clacs. There is also a limit of two jewelry items per-person. Strangely enough, a lock is considered a piece of jewelry.

    Our spies are giving this sale two thumbs down. Between the marked up prices and the shoppers who acted like WWF contestants "it's just not worth it!"

    Hermes Sample Sale
    Thursday, September 22 to Saturday, September 24
    Thur. 9am to 8pm, Fri & Sat 9am to 6pm
    Soiffer Haskin
    317 W. 33rd St, btwn 8th and 9th Ave.

    Photo Credit: Mizhattan...
    September 21, 2011

    Baccarat Jewelry Sale

    Starting Thursday, Baccarat is hosting a jewelry sale where select items will be up to 70% off retail. Unfortunately, crystal housewares and decorative items are not included int he sale but you will be able to find a wide array of bracelets, earrings, pendants, necklaces and rings.

    If past season's sales are any indication, some items may even be marked down lower than the advertised 70%. We just caution you about the rings. One wrong swing of the hand and you have shards of broken glass on gold.

    Baccarat Jewelry Sale
    Thursday, September 22 and Friday, September 23
    9am to 5 pm daily
    625 Madison Ave., (b/w 58th & 59th Sts), 2nd Floor
    All sales final...
    September 20, 2011

    Madison Avenue Petit Bateau Closing

    The Madison Avenue Petit Bateau is closing this Friday. The store is liquidating samples and old merchandise at rock bottom prices. Boxes of merchandise are broken down by size and gender and have been placed in the middle of the store. The company's famous cotton t-shirts are $10 and baby onesies are $5.

    Most of the merchandise has been well picked over but there are still plenty of tees in size 12. There is also a box of men's underwear and girls dresses. The best deal though is the fixtures. A display bathtub is $50 and tables are just $20. Someone with a keen eye for decorating would have a blast picking up decor pieces at incredible prices.

    This Petit Bateau location is the only store in Manhattan. Once the boutique is closed shoppers will have to head to Beverly Hills, Boston or online to shop for this European iconic brand....
    September 19, 2011

    Century 21 Upper West Side Opening

    By ManhattanMataHari 

     A trip to the orrigional downtown Century 21 always carries a certain level of dread mixed with the anticipation of finding a good bargain. Century 21's new store, on Broadway and 66th street, is a much more pleasant and fruitful shopping experience. The store doesn't offically open until Thursday, September 22nd but we were able to use our VIP connections to spy the merchandise.

    Upon entering the store, shoppers will immediately see the huge difference between the new location and downtown: the spaces, the décor and the accessories. Huge glass encasements contain all the high-end designer goodies. Derek Lam bags were on display. Two gorgeous clutches--in olive leather and black and white pony hair-- were both $229.97. Despite seeing none of their popular embossed totes, some Carlos Falchi python clutches ranged in price from $299.97 to $439.97 and a large hobo was $1100.

    There was a good selection of sunglasses ranging from $69.97 to $99.97 with designer labels like Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Burberry, Oakley and Ray-Ban. Towards the back of the accessories floor there is a massive selection of silk scarves by Versace, Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni and Pucci ranging from $40 to $120. We spotted Missoni and Fendi wool scarves behind the cash registers going for $79.97 to $99.97. (Who needs Target Missoni with these prices?)

    Heading downstairs to the shoe department, we immediately noticed two racks replete with various styles of Manolo Blahniks all around $250. We found Blahnik booties hanging on the wall for between $300 and $400 but the the overall selection of designer boots was not all that impressive. They did have much better shoe brands than downtown, with racks of Givenchy, Casadei, Sergio Rossi, Pucci and Missoni.

    In the designer clothing section, on the second floor, we found Halston Heritage, Escada, Sonia Rykiel, Vivienne Westwood, Just Cavalli, Viktor & Rolf, McQ by Alexander McQueen, Emilio Pucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Love Moschino, Cacharel and Marc Jacobs. It's not the Prada, Lanvin and Balman we used to find downtown but that was a very long time ago.

    Although the clothing area is more spacious and better organized than expected, waiting 45 minutes in the only seemingly unairconditioned part of the store will be unaccaptable once the store officially opens. To bypass the fitting rooms alltogether, we suggest wearing leggings and a layer tank to do try-ons in front of the numerous mirrors throughout the floor.

    Prices were not surprising. Dresses from Pucci and Viktor & Rolf dresses ranged in the $500-area. A McQ tuxedo blazer will set you back $399.97 but a Diane Von Furstenburg’s silky beige boyfriend blazer is a much better deal for $80. The best deals were on Halston cocktail dresses that wereall priced about $149.97.

    Our overall experience at the newest Century 21 was quite pleasant --minus the dressing room debicle. We highly recommend the bountiful accessories and shoe department and the geographically desirably location!...
    September 16, 2011

    Fashion Week: Bill Blass

    We thought we would close up fashion week with an American classic, Bill Blass. The collection was shown at the Union League Club, which had the feel of a intimate European fashion show. Designer, Jeffrey Monteiro clearly charted the collection in a nautical direction. Much of the collection was shown in navy blue and white and anchors. The overall look was minimalist natural beauty.

    Although the fabrics were luxurious and the cuts elegant, we thought that the nautical theme was a bit too literal and lacked a strong vision for the brand. We hope that Jeffery's vision becomes more distinct as seasons progress. There's nothing that we would like to see more than Bill Blass return to it's perch as a top American trend setting brand.

    Stand out trend: Yacht club prep with a splash of neon yellow

    How to get the look: The make-up and hair in the show was very natural. Tight and high pony tails and nude cosmetics. The nails were short and round in Deborah Lippmann's classic Parisian red, aptly named, It's Raining Men.

    Who makes it work: Your garden variety Nantucket blond

    September 15, 2011

    Fashion Week: Norma Kamali

    Staying true to her reputation as a fashion and technology trailblazer, Norma Kamali presented her spring 2012 collection in the most high-tech structure imaginable. In place of a traditional catwalk, Norma Kamali's showed her fashions through 3D glasses on a 42-foot screen. Starting tomorrow, this fashion technology will be integrated to a new Norma Kamali website where shoppers can view the film and 3D shopping pages. We know Norma isn't stopping here. Next season we're expecting holograms.

    As for the fashion, what can we say? It's Norma Kamali! There are streaks of trendy neon, creative use of fabrics and a breezy use of tassels. Each item is a statement of its own.

    Stand out trend: We can only guess what flashy ad campaign will use the orange tassel dress.

    How to get the 3D look: Facebook fans of Norma Kamali can receive 3D cat-eye glasses to better appreciate the intricacies of the new site.

    Who makes it work: The lighthearted with a vision of the future....
    September 14, 2011

    Fashion Week: Improvd

    By TJ Kennedy

    Mastering the contrast between hard and soft, feminine and edgy, is no easy task. With ethereal blue tie dye dresses holstered with textured leather belts, Improvd hit the nail on the head. The collection was sexy, with slits up the skirts and leather detailed wrap dresses, but it looked comfortable and put off an chic bohemian vibe.

    Stand out trend: Sky-like print tie dye maxi dresses with thick black leather belts

    How to get the look: This messy French braid is easiest to have done by someone else, but with a little hairspray and a lot of Bobby pins, you can pull it off yourself. Uncleaned hair will make this easier. Tease the top and start braiding from the crown of the head all the way to the ends. For the eyes, we are seeing copper eyeshadow almost at every show. It's absoulutly time for a trip to Sephora. Depending on eye shape, apply shadow liberally, use minimal mascara and pair with a natural lip tone.

    Who makes it work: The California girl who made the move to the Big Apple look effortless; she kept her Boho style but mixes it up with edgy accessories....