November 25, 2006

Shop today's best sales!


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PLAN OF ATTACK!

By MARINA VATAJ, KIRSTEN FLEMING, DANICA LO, and RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI

November 24, 2006 -- HERALD SQUARE

1. H&M (1328 Broadway and 34th Street; [646] 473-1165) Get up bright and early, because starting at 6 a.m., button-downs and chic sweater dresses are all on sale for up to 40 percent off. Special sales end at 11 a.m.

2. MACY'S (151 W. 34th St.; [212] 695-4400) March straight to Macy's as early as 6 a.m. and head to the seventh floor to collect Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole coats at 40 percent off. Next, work your way down to the third floor, where you can snag some sensational Liz Claiborne sweaters for up to 50 percent off.

3. GAP (60 W. 34th St. and Broadway; [212] 760-1268) On your next shopping stop, drop into the lower level of the Gap - which opens at 7 a.m. - to get first dibs on sweaters, scarves and hats on sale for 30 percent off. Note: After noon, everything jumps up to regular price.

4. FOREVER 21 (50 W. 34th St.; [212] 564-2346) Trek over to Forever 21's third floor for sales racks filled with tanks and tops for up to 50 percent off, and on your way out, snatch some sporty, striped must-have sweaters for less than $30 on the first floor.

5. ALDO (15 West 34th St.; [212] 594-6255) Stomp on over to Aldo, where you'll find a large selection of luscious leather, knee-high boots for an extra 30 percent off already-reduced prices only until 10 a.m.

6. LORD & TAYLOR (424 Fifth Ave.; [212] 391-3344) Seal the best deals on the main floor and discover designer handbags like Calvin Klein, Betsy Johnson and Michael Kors on sale for 25 percent to 30 percent off, then proceed to the third floor for fantastic Ellen Tracy and Anne Klein sportswear at an extra 50 percent already-reduced prices.

- Marina Vataj

SOHO

If you're planning to conquer the concrete corral of commerce called SoHo, it's best to begin on Broadway - where the stores open earlier and have much more stock than the boutiques for which the nabe is known. And come the afternoon, they will be busier than the voices in Michael Richards' head.

1. Uniqlo (546 Broadway; [212] 966-5374) Start the treasure hunt at the casa of cheap cashmere, where from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. shoppers will receive 20 percent off all merchandise. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., this Japanese chain gives shoppers $15 off any items that are $75 or more with the coupon from its magazine (available at the store). The Wonka-esque wonderland has cashmere sweaters lining the first and second floors. Denim for $39 is downstairs, and pick up last-minute bags and women's accessories by the register.

2. Banana Republic (550 Broadway; [212] 925-0308) A few doors down, Banana Republic will award shoppers with a $25 gift card for every $150 spent.

3. Dean and Deluca (560 Broadway, at Prince St.; [212] 226-6800) Before descending into the belly of the beast on Prince Street, feed your own stomach at Dean and Deluca.

4. Intermix (98 Prince St.; [212] 966-5303) Chloe Mary Jane wedges are marked down to $399, from $740; Missoni Zigzag dream dress to $339, from $565; and select Sass and Bide jeans down to $159, from $230.

5. Club Monaco (121 Prince St.; [212] 533-8930) Don't bother with the Club Monaco on Broadway; this one is much less fussy - and less crowded. Get classic women's merino turtleneck and V-neck sweaters for $49, among many other markdowns.

6. DKNY (420 West Brodway; [646] 613-1100) DKNY sales stock from all other stores has been sent to its SoHo location. An additional 30 percent will be taken off all sale items (already reduced by 40 percent) which includes oodles of bags and shoes. As a bonus, the store is serving some bubbly to keep shoppers in the spirit.

7. Wink (115 Spring St.; [212] 334-3646) Take a quick detour to Wink for 30 percent off Rachel Pally dresses and tops starting at $198.

8. Reiss (387 West Broadway; [212] 925-5707) Hop back on West Broadway where U.K. chain Reiss is discounting select men's and women's items by 50 percent. This includes festively chic party dresses for New Year's Eve.

9. Legacy (109 Thompson St.; [212] 966-4827) After the bustle of West Broadway, head northwest to quaint and relatively quiet Thompson Street to Legacy. Everything from Issey is 20 percent off, and The Post gets action: Mention this article and they'll make it 25 percent.

10. Sacco (111 Thompson St.; [212] 925-8010) Two doors down get some luscious leather boots at Sacco where the whole collection of smart bags and shoes is 20 percent off during the November nonsense sale.

11. Millady's (162 Prince St.; [212] 226-9340) Wind down with a cheap and good bite at SoHo's best dive bar, Milady's, which is a favorite haunt of low-key celebs like the Wilson brothers and Johnny Knoxville.

- Kirsten Fleming

MEATPACKING DISTRICT

1. Diane Von Furstenberg (383 W. 12th St.; [646] 486-4800) Up to 30 percent off selected fall items means you'll score a great deal on DVF's most fashionable iconic wrap dresses of the season.

2. Girlshop (819 Washington St.; [212] 255-4985) With trendy, hard-to-find new items hitting the sale racks every day, visit today and often. Score a Kenneth Jay Lane chunky chain necklace and matching bangles at 30 percent off.


3. Jeffrey (449 W. 14th St.; [212] 206-1272) First round of select markdowns at this emporium of chi-chi-chic is 25 percent. Tip: Always scope Jeffrey's handbags and shoes first - the selection is small, but stellar, and popular sizes disappear fast.

4. Scoop NYC (430 W. 14th St.; [212] 691-1905) Scoop's ultimate collection of everyday wear for the just-edgy-enough fashionista is on sale - and it's the perfect opportunity to pick up warm woolly sweaters and some new frocks for one-piece easy winter dressing.

5. Carlos Miele (408 W. 14th St.; [646] 336-6642) Not only is cold-weather wear 30 percent off, but the sun-and-surf vacation-minded can still pick up summer merch at up to 70 percent off retail - look out for gorgeous Hollywood bombshell dresses, perfect for your next red-carpet turn.

6. Shelly Steffee (34 Gansevoort St.; [917] 408-0408) Shelly Steffee's shrine to urban twisty-minimalist cool gets marked down 30 percent Friday, so stock up on her great basics, like jersey tops, turtlenecks and quilted vests.

7. Catherine Malandrino (652 Hudson St.; [212] 929-8710) 40 percent off select fall merchandise means you can finally afford that gorgeous kimono wrap you've been eyeing all season. Move fast enough, and there might still be some much-coveted Cicada dresses still in stock.

8. Tracy Reese (641 Hudson St.; [212] 807-0505) Up to 60 percent off fall stock from grown-up-but-girly designer Reese - look for season staples like luxurious chunky long sweaters and pretty blouses with bows.

- Danica Lo

FIFTH AVENUE/MIDTOWN

1. Bloomingdale's (Lexington Avenue at 59th Street; [212] 705-2000) First, head up to the second floor and check out the jeans - Chip & Pepper, Joe's and Seven's are all 40 percent off. Then head downstairs to David Burke for a cup of coffee and something sweet - you'll need the energy for the rest of the day. But whatever you do, don't eat before trying on the jeans - that's just bad for your self-esteem.

2. Barney's (660 Madison Avenue at 61st Street; [212] 826-8900) Check out the Miu Miu, Dries van Noten and Marni rails, on the fourth floor and scoop up your full-priced favorites. The sale starts next week, and you can get it all price adjusted.

3. Bergdorf Goodman (754 Fifth Ave., at 58th Street; [212] 753-7300) Trade in your tired old soles in for a shiny new pair of pre-sale Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Fendi or D&G heels and boots discounted 30-40 percent off. The actual in-store sale starts Monday.

4. Henri Bendel (712 Fifth Ave., at 55th Street; [212] 247-1100) Don't be distracted by the pretty tubes and potions on the beauty floor and head straight upstairs, where Michael Kors and Alexis Hudson handbags are 30 percent off. And the Bendel's silk- or cashmere-lined long leather gloves are all 50 percent off till Sunday.

5. Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Ave., at 48th Street; [212] 753-4000) For cozy-but-cute loungewear, like Primp's adorable bedazzled frog hoodies and super-cool L.A.M.B. jackets, all discounted by 40 percent, head to the fifth floor.

- Raakhee Mirchandani

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November 20, 2006

Chris Cornell, Rock God


CORNELL, CHRIS CORNELL

By Danica Lo

November 19, 2006 -- 'I was lucky," says Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell of his recent motorcycle accident in which he was hit by a truck and flung 20 feet in the air. Before his body met the pavement - which it did, and hard - Cornell says, "I was sort of thinking, 'This is an actual accident. I hope it's not as bad as it feels like it's going to be.'"

It could have all been over for Cornell, one of the most iconic rock voices of our time, but he emerged almost unharmed.

Fortuitous timing for a close call. This month, Cornell, a founding father of grunge, lead singer of the now-defunct Seattle band Soundgarden, and initiator of the legendary early '90s collaboration Temple of the Dog, makes his big-screen debut of sorts as the first man since Paul McCartney to sing a James Bond theme song.

His throaty, epic ode to 007, "You Know My Name," plays musical foil to Daniel Craig's Bond in "Casino Royale." Featuring soaring orchestrations and near-crooning vocals, the song is a departure from Cornell's signature sound.

"They wanted a voice that fit well with his persona," Cornell says. "They were looking for a singer who was unapologetically male, someone with introspection in his voice but not afraid to be masculine."

Cornell cites two of his predecessors as inspirations: McCartney, who wrote and performed the theme to "Live and Let Die" (1973), and Tom Jones, who sang the theme to "Thunderball" (1965).

"I decided that I was going to sing it like Tom Jones, in that crooning style. I wanted people to hear my voice," Cornell says. "And 'Live and Let Die' is a fantastic song. Paul McCartney wouldn't have written it if not for that movie. I [also] wanted to write a song in its own universe. I knew I'd never have it again - a big orchestra - so I wanted to have fun with it."

The song represents a move that will surely propel him into the mainstream - in fact, lob him so far into the depths of international collective consciousness that his grinding, guitar-angst grunge days will seem like ancient history.

Much to the chagrin of his Soundgarden fans, however. "Chris Cornell is not the man or the singer he used to be," complains one on the Audioslave fan forum.

He's even been called a sellout for departing from his Seattle-sound roots - for seeking out emotions besides depressive angst. But while it's blatantly obvious Cornell's work has significantly evolved in the last 15 years, so what?

"I was referred to as the quintessential angry young man," Cornell says. "But some of it is being 22. It's healthy to get it out on stage. Emotion is emotion and it comes out in different ways. That changes with age. You figure out better ways to deal with it.

"To me, there were always infinite possibilities," he adds, "and now I'm singing a song in a James Bond film. As far as I'm concerned, I can do anything musically - the perception outside of that is none of my business."

November 17, 2006

This is what I did yesterday


CHICK TAC TOE

By Danica Lo

November 16, 2006 -- This chicken may look like a birdbrain, but it can (and will) kick your butt - at tic tac toe.

It kicked mine.

The latest in a long line of tic tac talented poultry - remember the Chinatown chicken that could scratch X's and O's? - Ginger, played by one of a menagerie of 15 white leghorn chickens, takes up residence at Foxwoods casino this week through Nov. 22.

The chicks are such good players - one scratched out a win against this Post reporter - that the casino is offering $10,000 to anyone who can beat them. The parlor-game-playing poultry were raised in Arkansas by Bunky Boger and his son Kelly, owners of Casino Chicken.

Each hen - and "you have to use hens," says Kelly Boger, because "roosters only have one thing on their minds, and it's not playing tic tac toe" - plays 90 minutes at a time, pecking at a concealed light-up game board, whipping their human competitors.

November 16, 2006

How Not to Look Fat tip #78729


How Not to Look Fat Tip #78729:

Don't wear a big chicken costume.


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Fashion police


At Shvitz in Soho, you can get their own brand tanks, sweats, and tees embroidered free with words of your choice.

Here is my new Shvitz-brand Fashion Police uniform.

LOVES it!

November 14, 2006

The Rasmus free show in NYC


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Check out their MySpace page by clicking above for details on how to get on the list for The Rasmus free secret show in NYC on November 21.

Obsession of the week: House of Holland


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For a while now I've been obsessed with House of Holland, a print tee operation out of London that does funny rhymes with designer names. Like here, "Cause me Pain, Hedi Slimane" -- Hedi is the much-heralded head designer at Dior Homme. And "Do Me Daily, Christopher Bailey" -- Christopher Bailey is the head designer at Burberry.

Loves it.

The thing is, they're only available in the UK at Dover Street Market.

Which means I am heading to London shortly. It will be sale season soon, and I need to pick up a few bottles of my favorite perfume, which has just recently become completely unavailable in the USA, and a few tees at the same time.

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Do I have an problem?


A couple weeks ago, after a few too many glasses of champagne, my friend Emmy and I went to a storefront psychic in Chelsea who told me that of the 13 colors I'm meant to have in my aura, I only had three -- and they were all grey! (I always knew I was a little bit broken...)

Anyway, she said that, in order to get more colors back in my aura, one of the things I should try to do is wear more colorful clothing.

Unfortunately, this is what my closet and my rails look like.

Black clothes through and through. I love black clothes. Not only are they slimming, but when I get up in the morning, the last thing I want to do is play matchy-matchy with my wardrobe. I love that everything I pull out of my closet and off a hanger will match.

So I explained all this to the sympathetic psychic. And she gave me that look -- that "Help me help you" look. And then she aquiesced and said that I should at least try to wear colorful underwear.

Okay.

Skinny UGGs


Finally, a way to wear UGGs without looking like you have fat legs! The new Sunrise boot has a zipper up the back and a slim-fitting leg that's still just as warm and fuzzy as the originals. Perfect with knee-length skirts and woolly tights for this winter! Cozy and yum.

November 11, 2006

Hackney/Dalston Shout-out


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Just for old-times sake: I walked out of my building in midtown Manhattan today and saw this (above), a #38 double decker bus from London, parked outside.

(London buses look slimmer than New York buses. Maybe it's because they're taller.)

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November 09, 2006

Momma's got some new shoes


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There's nowhere in the world like London for amazing affordable fashion. So, while Topshop doesn't deliver outside of the UK, Office and Faith, two of my favorite online footwear retailers from the UK do. Theirs are the sites I turn to when I need a cool-shoe fix.

So here are the two pairs I just got. Some people may sneer at my granny-ish choice of footwear, but believe you me, these are the cool shoes to have! All the cool boys and girls in Paris and London are wearing modified versions of jazz shoes (both pointy and round-toe), and it's only a matter of time before these super-comfortable clothes-for-your-feet make it to these shores. So I picked these up online from Office (which for serious shoe connoisseurs should be a mandatory visit because they also stock Poste Mistress shoesies).

Ta da.

(Okay, the pointy ones aren't really slimming at all, truth be told, but they are so cool and kind of sparkly distressed leather. And the jazz shoe ones are surprisingly not fattening. Who knew.)

November 07, 2006

I need my own book


More Reasons Why I Need My Own Book

This weekend my mom told me that Todai, one of the most famous seafood All-You-Can-Eat buffet chains from Hong Kong, recently opened a restaurant in New York.

So, naturally, I had to eat there immediately.

Tonight I had dinner there -- it's near KoreaTown on 32nd Street between 5th and Madison Avenues -- and it was super-yummy! Now my tummy is so distended I look, oh, about 7 months pregnant. To hide my sushi-and-fried-fish-baby, I'm going to reread the Feast chapter of my book.

Good night and good luck.

November 06, 2006

Holy Shvitz!


HOLY SHVITZ!

By Danica Lo

November 4, 2006 -- DOWN on Thompson Street, marked out front by the only Pepto-pink phone booth in the city, the shrine of swanky sweats Shvitz does swift business.

Though it's only been open for a few short weeks, proprietor Leslie Hall has already placed multiple reorders for the in-high-demand luxe-priced thermals, hoodies and sweatpants from hard-to-find celeb-fave labels like Primp, Grail, Rebel Yell, Hummel and Joystick.

Just like so many women in New York - and the customer who marched into the store during our interview demanding to know when the back-ordered heart-printed pink Primp thermal she's waitlisted for would arrive - Hall has long been obsessed with posh sweats.

"I work in marketing and I was traveling all the time, flying everywhere," Hall says. "On the plane I'd read the tabs and I saw all the celebrities in all these great, comfortable clothes - and I thought, why can't I find this stuff?"

Thus Shvitz was born - a jewel box of a boutique, all blinged out with mirrored chrome walls, Roman columns and even a baby-pink Mac desktop.

"The detail in the clothing is astonishing," Hall says. "That eagle sweatshirt from Torn? It has hidden pockets. And the V-neck sweatshirt behind it is cut like a cashmere sweater.

"I'm all about detail, and I believe it's all about presentation," she continues. So she hired Hilary White, an award-winning interior designer, to instill that same meticulousness in the shop d├ęcor. Built to resemble a modernist boudoir, the space is like every girl's fantasy vanity come to life.

Plus, "we make sure we always have candy and dog snacks on hand," Hall says. "And we monogram our own-brand crystallized tees, tanks and sweats for free." Treats and monogramming? We're sold.

Shvitz's biggest seller is Primp - "There's a crazy waiting list for Primp's hearts and arrows print," Hall says. "And our next Primp shipment will have horse heads and bits in lavender."

Fancy sweats come at a premium -$80 for a bling-y thermal top and up to $245 for a cashmere hoodie - but think of how much you'll save on shipping buying locally instead of ordering from Los Angeles.

SWEATIQUETTE

By Danica Lo

November 4, 2006 -- IF Left Coast celeb-wear is a barometer of casual-wear days to come, fancy sweats are the next flip-flop - soon sure to be inappropriately worn in the boardroom, to functions at the White House and dinners at Nobu. Here's our guide on what to do and when to don't:

- When in doubt, don't: Not sure whether metallic Chevron-striped track pants will match the carpet at your consulting firm? Slip on a pencil skirt instead.

- Butt err on the side of caution: For truly casual Fridays, plain Juicies may be acceptable, but stay away from rear-end writing, if you expect respect.

- Low-end high-end: Expensive sweatpants tend to be very low-cut. Make sure to get an extra-long top to cover your crack.

- Best bang for the buck: The most versatile pieces at Shvitz are definitely the slim-cut zip-up hoodies; less embellished ones can be layered for the winter and worn as business-casual when paired with dressier pieces.

- Crazy rabbit: Loud prints like Primp's sellout frogs and bunny rabbits should be saved for your spare time and weekends. The goofier and cuter sweats are, the more casually they ought to be worn.

November 01, 2006

Don't do drugs!


WHITNEY'S MAKEOVER TIPS

By Danica Lo

October 31, 2006 -- THE haggard drug addict look is soooo 2005.

Whitney Houston stepped out Sunday night looking radiant and better than ever after her stint in rehab and ditching bad-news hubby Bobby Brown. How did Whitney go from strung-out to sexy? We cracked her secret:

1. Stop doing drugs. Ever seen a drug addict with really great skin? Even coked-up supermodels have to pile on the pancake makeup.

2. Stop hanging out with people who like drugs, or are like drugs. Like, say, nothing-but-trouble husbands.

3. Drink water instead of doing drugs. "Whitney looks hydrated, with a healthy look," says Mzia Shiman, an aesthetician at OC61 salon. "She's taking care of her skin with the right treatments - her skin appears poreless, and the only way to achieve poreless skin, despite makeup tricks, is through continuous microdermabrasion facials.

4. Don't stay up all night doing drugs. "She's clearly not losing sleep over Bobby Brown, since her eye area is smooth and de-puffed," Shiman says.

5. Don't have druggie hair. "Whitney has embraced her new life as a strong single woman with a fresh and updated shorter do," says Louise O'Connor, owner and creative director of OC61 salon. "The heavy swept bangs keep it sexy and young while the lightened color and gold highlights brighten her face."

6. Work out instead of doing drugs. Houston's always had a killer body, and wearing a form-fitting dress - not body-engulfing baggy clothes - shows off her fab physique to its utmost.

7. Use warm makeup, not drugs. "Whitney Houston is about women taking control and empowering their lives," says celebrity makeup artist Napoleon Perdis. "The lips are feminine with a warm copper lipstick and hydrating lacquer for shine and sparkle - she's ready to tell her story!"

8. And, finally, stop doing drugs. It helps you get another record contract.

Go team!


In case you haven't heard: yesterday, semi-annual national publishing stats were released and they show that for the first time, the New York Post has overtaken the Daily News in New York's tabloid wars. Now we're the fifth most-read paper in the country!

(I'm a little proud.)

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Lippy


Everybody always asks me about this, and Sandra says I should blog about this, so here it is.

I've tried almost every lip gloss on the market. No, seriously, I have -- I've been sent samples at work from nearly every major cosmetics brand in the world. And, truth be told, there are so many great lip glosses and plumpers and colors on the market right now. Some of my friends swear by DuWop's Lip Venom, some adore Freeze 24/7's lip plumping glosses, others live and die for Stila (one of my friends told me how she was so up the creek for Stila lip gloss, she paid $60 for just one tube in Australia!). And if you haven't tried the fruity smelling glosses from The Balm, you're definitely missing out.

But for me, for everyday and photographic purposes, nothing tops -- wait for it -- Maybelline's Wet Shine Diamonds lip gloss. Seriously. Maybelline. It kicks every other lip gloss's ass as far as I'm concerned.

The combination of color and gloss and shimmer and glitter in Maybelline's Wet Shine Diamonds gloss has the power to transform my face. My friend R at work always comments on how "different" I look with makeup on -- when all I do is slick on some Wet Shine Diamonds.

No other lip gloss photographs as well. No other lip gloss gives me instant Angelina Jolie lips. No other lipgloss stays on as long. No other lip gloss costs so little for so much! I buy it in bulk and live in mortal fear that they'll discontinue my color.

Still, different strokes for different folks. But give Maybelline Wet Shine Diamonds a shot -- it's hot stuff.