Haute list


IF you spent all winter eating and watching TV, and all of spring pretending summer was a million days away, it's time to panic: Today's the official start of swimsuit season. This means there's no more procrastinating on that pedi or blowing off your bikini wax.

Lucky for you, we've come up with everything you'll need to get ready for fun in the sun:

Hairy Scary: Get shine, moisture and life back in to your dull, dry hair with OC61's Ionic Rescue Treatment, a deep conditioner that is infused into your follicles with a hot flatiron, to help repair damage. The hourlong treatment is $150 at OC61 Salon (33 E. 61 St.; [212] 935-6261). Or, try Jonathan's new IB Humidity Lock-Out Shine Spray ($32 at sephora.com), which seals out moisture and seals in shine.

Bathing booties:
Halter-top onesies, in a range of cup sizes, give great support and are instantly slimming - even if you've been snarfing potato chips all year long. We're just crazy about this Freya "Singapore Sling" suit ($64 at figleaves.com). Also helping to hide flaws, the Miraclesuit "Captiva" underwire suit, $136 and the Fantasie "Flamenco" underwire suit, $110.

Feet first: It's impossible to put your best foot forward without a little toe TLC - try BuffSpa's Glamicure Pedicure ($70 at BuffSpa at Equinox, 140 E. 63 St.; [212] 750-4900) - an hourlong treatment complete with Buff's signature dry exfoliation, during which the technician sloughs away dead skin with an electric grinder. And, pick up a tube of Moisturizing Massage Cream ($9 at bayho.com) from Sante Active's Pedi-Relax line for in-between pedi maintenance.

The hair down there: Think of Haven's Peach Smoothie treatment as a facial for your hoo-hoo that clears hair - both ingrown and outgrown - in just 15 minutes. $50 buys you a scrub, peel, mask and antibacterial-cream treatment. (Haven: 150 Mercer St.; [212] 343-3515). Or, if you prefer the at-home method, stock up on Art of Shaving's brand-new Rose Absolute women's line. The collection ($18-$60 at artofshaving.com) includes a pre-shave oil, shaving cream, shaving brush, after-shave body milk and ingrown-hair night cream.

Summer baggage:
Since you'll need something cute to cart around all your new summer stuff, we suggest either J.Crew's adorable striped Amagansett tote ($40 at jcrew.com) or Express' oversize shiny green tote ($20 at Express stores) - both perfect for the beach.

Shiny happy people: Boscia's portable oil-blotting papers are subtly fragranced and keep oil at bay ($10 at sephora.com). Meanwhile, protect your eyeballs with Dior's Rain sunglasses ($360 at eluxury.com).

Flip out: We love American Eagle's cheap and cheerful selection of flip-flops - priced from $5.50, you can afford a pair in every color - and New York & Company's rainbow of patent sandals ($14.50 at nyandcompany.com).

Make scents: Instead of overloading on perfume this summer, try subtle perfumed body lotion. The new Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush body lotions ($18 at victoriassecret.com) make us drool - in both the hungry and hot-and-bothered ways.

Cuz that's how I roll

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I'm having a real man-streak at the moment -- and not in the dating way.

Lately I've been scoring a lot of fantastic menswear and accessories for my own closet. Rings from Margiela and L'Eclaireur mens' shop in Paris, a bag from Yohji Yamamoto Homme culled from the rails at Atelier New York, and, today, the biggest coup of all -- a pair of this season's bestest oxford from Comme des Garcons in my size (!!!!) from Barneys.

See, I've been after these shoes the entire season, but no one seemed to have them in a size small enough to fit. I even went to the Comme flagship on 22nd street several times, but they couldn't help me. Today, on a random trip to Barneys to help Gary pick out a birthday shirt, I stopped by the men's designer shoe department on the third floor and, lo and behold, they have them in a close-enough to my size and on sale!

Huzzah.

One of the best gender war short films ever made

Okay, it's a commercial. And it's hilarious.

Haute List

June 14, 2007 -- Badunkadenim
BOOTYLICIOUS babes can rest assured their generous assets will fit comfortably in fall's new crop of denim.
Levi's brand-new Red Tab Curvy Cut 528 jeans ($44 at jcpenney.com), which hits stores next month, are smaller at the waist with more room for hips and butt. The jeans are also higher in the back than they are in the front, which helps prevent against unsightly gaping. Express also has a special curvy jeans section in its denim area, which boasts its X2 jeans in multiple washes and fits. The X2 is perfect for women with bigger hips and smaller waists.

Fidelity jeans ($140-$206 at revolveclothing.com), worn by Vanessa Minnillo and Eva Longoria, liken their pockets to bras for your butt - they're positioned right in the middle of each cheek, and the curved stitching mimics the way a bra supports and lifts your boobs.

J.Lo's new line, justsweet, comes tried and tested by the best - her lady lumps looked amazing when she wore them during her "American Idol" appearance in April. The new line retails for $59-$89 and hits Macy's stores next month.

Dressed to impress
We love the idea of a plain, lightweight summer dress that's stealth enough to be worn on the regular. Here are some yummy cotton options that can be dressed up or down, belted or not, perfect for wearing every day.
* Sweetees Goldie dress, $106, at nvclothing.com
* Cris bubble dress, $140, at crislos-angeles.com
* Cross-back empire dress, $34.50 at Gap.

Obsessions of the week

* Pretty boys: Stop pretending that elderflower toner in your basket is for your girlfriend - there is something for every man in the way of beauty this season. Hint: Father's Day is Sunday.

Fancy-pants fashion-savvy boys will love Dior Homme's new Dermo System, a high-tech-looking, sleekly packaged four-piece skin-care kit. Must-have products: the eye serum and moisturizer ($51 and $62 at Dior Homme, 17 E. 57th St., [212] 412-6009).

Down-to-earth hipsters will adore Aveda Men's Pure-formance shampoo and conditioner ($18 each at aveda.com), specially formulated to clean men's scalps, which are thicker than women's and, on average, produce twice as much oil.

Sporty types who yearn for babyfaced Derek Jeter's clean-shaven pretty-boy mug will flip for Jeter's eponymous line of skin care, produced in conjunction with Avon. We recommend the shave gel and SPF15 moisturizer ($6 and $15 at avon.com).

* Hook, line, no sinker: Don't put that $1,000 "It" bag on the barroom floor - keep your belongings away from foot traffic and creepy crawlies by popping them onto the pocket-sized Hollywood Purse Hook, a marvel of modern engineering on which you can hang handbags, umbrellas, jackets and even small dogs. Watch the kind-of-hilarious informational video and order two for a tenner at hollywoodpursehook.com.

* Belt it out: When we saw Rihanna perform at "Good Morning America" 's concert series we flipped for her belt. It was wide enough to cover a generous part of our tummies and cool enough to pair with well, everything. Get Seril's patent and plastic wide belt for $195 at (800) 669-8218.

* Beauty booty: British beauty guru Nicky Kinnaird opened the U.K.'s first Space NK apothecary in 1993 and, almost overnight, the boutique became a raging success - attracting the likes of Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley and Kylie Minogue to London's ultimate one-stop shop for cult beauty items. Today, Space NK opens its first flagship stateside. The SoHo store will stock 50 hard-to-find brands including Eve Lom (her cleansing cream, $85, is prized the world over), Solange Azagury perfume, and Zelens skin care, an all-natural line of creams developed by a Harvard and Oxford-educated skin cancer specialist. Space NK is at 99 Greene St., (212) 941-4200, spacenk.com

The bar

I have to figure out how to cut down on going to the bar after work. It's really starting to interfere with my eating.

Pimp your pump

June 13, 2007 -- TWO years ago, when Nike I.D. opened its invitation-only doors in NoLIta, boys clamored and cried for appointments to customize their own kicks. The ensuing pandemic of design-your-own-shoe opportunities - Converse, Adidas and Puma all offer the service now - fostered a Generation Me of sneakerheads obsessed with one-of-a-kinds.

Now it’s the ladies’ turn.

Steve Madden’s groundbreaking “Design Your Own” collection is a Web-only program that allows customers to choose from among hundreds of leathers, fabrics, heels, trims, finishes, and even insoles to create a unique pair of stilettos, flats, wedges, slides, mules or platforms.

And, while traditional custom-ordered shoes can cost hundreds of dollars and require several months’ wait, Madden’s customers can expect to pay between $90 and $130 and receive their shoes in only three weeks.

“We’ve had over 100,000 requests,” Steve Madden says. “Reactions [have been] enormous.”

We clocked some time on stevemadden.com designing our very own shoes - not only is the program useful for creating your very own fantasy sandal, but it’s also great for creating interpretations of super-expensive designer shoes that would ordinarily break the bank.

“‘Design Your Own’ allows our customer the opportunity to express herself individually and stand out from the crowd,” Madden says. “Giving her the power to personalize a shoe she loves and providing an outlet for creative design is very exciting to me as a designer.”

Super Hotel

(One of my pet press peeves is when you seek someone out to write a story to promote them and give them press, then they pretend to be cooperative, but are really un-cooperative -- i.e. they don't send you the things you requested to photograph and they place crazy restrictions on what you're allowed to do, like not being allowed to go in the bedroom of a hotel room (i mean, what is the point of shooting in a hote room then, duh) and harrassing the model about not wearing a suit to the shoot (who knew!?) -- and then they phone you up when the story comes out to tell you off and make it clear that they're mad you didn't devote tons of space to them and run the crappy picture that resulted from their absurd limitations. For the record, I had to scramble to turn the angle of this story around at the last minute yesterday because of the PR firm's bungling. Never mind, I liked the concierge angle better anyway...)

GRANT GUESTS' WILD WISHES

June 12, 2007 -- New services at the city's top hotels are giving New York's tourists more bang for their buck - literally.

Starting next week, The Bryant Park Hotel, which has played host to Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez and Usher, will be offering a 12-item "Objects of Pleasure" menu in partnership with sex-toy store Pleasure Chest.

From Botox-and-lox brunches at The Sagamore in Miami to pole-dancing vacation packages at W Hotels in New York, all across the country, high-end hotels are pushing the envelope to keep guests entertained.

"Sometimes, I'm convinced they're laying up in their beds, thinking, 'What shall I torture her with tomorrow?' " says Christine Serio, chief concierge at the five-star Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South.

"A couple of years ago, I received a cryptic fax from a travel agent requesting to have a life-size Mickey and Minnie Mouse waiting in a guest's suite for their arrival."

"As it turns out, his girlfriend was an avid Disney fan. The gentleman was planning on proposing while staying with us. I hired actors to play Mickey and Minnie Mouse as well as Cinderella. I also rented a Prince Charming costume for the gentleman so he could be suitably attired for the big event."

A 20-year veteran of the hotel business, Serio has seen it all - guest demands for an autographed guitar from "someone famous," British first-editions of "A Clockwork Orange," and planning foreign travel itineraries are all in a day's work.

At the St. Regis hotel, head concierge Maria Wittorp-Dejonge has sent employees on planes to reunite guests with forgotten makeup bags, ordered enough roses to cover all the surfaces in suites, and arranged for a staffer to serve as a legal secretary to a visiting attorney.

"One gentleman decided that he wanted a male Chihuahua puppy no more than 12 weeks old at 6 p.m. on a Friday evening," Wittorp-Dejonge says.

"A concierge found a breeder who had a litter of Chihuahua puppies which had just been weaned and were ready for new masters."

Michael Shepard, a former Soho House concierge, worked there in a team of four or five with no assistants.

"For April Fools' Day, a guest asked me to get a Borat impersonator to fool his wife and kids," he says. "It was a Saturday request for 9 a.m. Sunday breakfast, but I was able to come up with a Borat look-alike."

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Seen at Comme des Garcons this weekend: patent Elephant shaped handbags in white, black and red, $520. Love love love.

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Ask any of my office cohorts -- my favorite trend of the season (besides messed up denim shorts) is the Lindsay-Lohan-Georgia-Rule inspired little white poofy minidress. Both figure-flattering and easy to wear, there seem to be endless incarnations of this dress in stores right now.

One we especially love? This one from Armani Exchange, the Bubble Mini Dress, $130, that was just snapped by at the L.A. store by Desperate Housewive resident hot stuff Eva Longoria.

The sound of silence

Long time no blog! I've been swamped at work and with some new projects I'm busy concocting in my "spare time."

This weekend was great -- had brunch with my friend G, who's been stuck working in Italy for three weeks (I know, sounds brutal, huh?) and then trawled around Soho looking for a fun birthday present for Jen, my freshman year roommate from Dartmouth who was in town to support her brother Brad Anderson, who has, in the last few years, become a huge soap opera star playing a young upstart on General Hospital. Brad was in town making an official appearance and meeting fans -- it's kind of kooky how famous he's become! The first time I met him, he was a teenager helping Jen move into our triple share in 1995.

If there are any fans of Brad who've googled him and found this post, you might find it amusing to know that Brad is brilliant at karaoke. He will also bring his friends, stars in Broadway and off-Broadway musicals, to karaoke and they will solidly kick your ass. I am going to think twice before I go sing with professionals again! Ha ha.

I'm obsessed with the Rihanna "Umbrella" song at the moment.

And the sales have started, so I'm thinking about buying some shoes. But then again, I should save money because I'm off on a big trip in July, so we'll see. Maybe my short-term footwear greediness will win out.

"Observe Everything. Always think for yourself. Never let other people make important decisions for you." — from Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn