December 31, 2006

Know any geeks like me?

About a month ago, I bought a Nintendo DS and the Nintendogs game. I did it because one night I was out for dinner with my friend Akari, a very very cool girl I first met in Paris years ago. I mean, she is cool. And she is obsessed with Nintendogs.

So like I was saying, we were having dinner at Blaue Gans and she whipped out her pink Nintendo DS and showed me her new 'pet'. Her dog rolled over on command and loves having its tummy rubbed. We even played with toys -- her puppy loved when we blew bubbles at it. Yes, sitting in the middle of one of New York's best Austrian restaurants blowing bubbles at a Nintendo screen.

Anyway, From that moment? I was sold.

Now I have two Nintendogs -- two corgis: Buggles (pirate hat) and Goober (cowboy hat):

IMG00270.JPG


The idea is that you feed them, water them, take them for walks, play with them (my dogs can jump rope! No joke!), and train them to participate in competitions. You're given a set amount of money at the beginning and, in order to afford food, accessories, toys, and (most importantly) more dogs, you have to train your dog to do tricks (they respond to voice commands!) and win at agility and disc competitions. It's amazing.

Ooh, you also have to bathe them so they don't get fleas (they get dirty after going to the park):

IMG00269.JPG


And if your friends have Nintendogs too, you can beam to each others' handhelds and your dogs can play!

Seriously, this is the best fake-pet ever. No poop to clean up!

Say hello to everyone, Buggles!

IMG00271.JPG

Hollywood can read your mind

To occupy all this extra free-time during this holiday season -- seriously, give me three days off without travel plans and I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself (ordinarily I only have enough time-sucks to last a normal, 48-hour weekend) -- I've been entertaining myself with screens -- TV, catching up on emails and other computer stuff, and seeing movies like they're going out of fashion.

Like, this morning, I woke up around 10:30 and, by 11:30, was at the movie theater watching Dreamgirls, which was good, but didn't floor me.

Last weekend I saw two movies: first, The Pursuit of Happyness, which was lovely, but one of those films where when you've seen the trailer you've seen it all. The child is brilliant and Will Smith is earnest, as always. It was definitely a feel-good film, perfect for Christmas weekend.

I also saw The Holiday.

Now, I loved 'The Holiday' -- loved in that sort of unreasonable, irrational way that I know I will probably see it at least once more in the theatres and then buy the DVD the day it comes out and watch it three more times in one weekend.

See, the thing about this movie is that I really felt (and I think most women will, as well) that I could identify with a piece of each character -- Cameron Diaz's type-A career-woman character's ambition, Kate Winslet's pathetic puppy-eyed unrequited love for a hopeless man, Jack Black's feeling that he's not good enough to be loved, and Jude Law's -- well, I don't know what I identified with about Jude Law's character except that he occasionally drinks too much and has a really great library.**



**Footnote: A couple of weeks ago, I was having lunch with a friend down in the Lower East Side and Jude Law was sitting at the table next to ours clearly eavesdropping on our conversation and making ridiculous, loud declarations to his lunch companion (a guy) about how 'tasty' the food was. He is much better looking in person -- so much so that I totally didn't recognize him and was fully convinced (until the waitress informed me afterwards that it had, indeed, been Jude Law sitting across from me) that he and the other fellow were just a very suspiciously good looking male model gay couple from London.

December 30, 2006

The best room fragrance I've ever used


I just unwrapped and set up this Aedes de Venustas Anthousa home fragrance in my apartment and have already sworn that I'll never use another home fragrance again. Well, until another drop-dead amazing one shows up on my doorstep in a matte black bottle.

It's sexy and sleek, minimalist and ultra-incredible smelling. Plus it's not chemical-ly at all -- and, while it might be intimidatingly pricey, I've used plenty of Anthousa and Alora Ambiance home fragrance before (they're both famous for doing the stick-in-bottle style of home scents), and each bottle has always lasted me upwards of SIX months -- most of the time, even more.

PS Right now I'm watching 'Boys on the Side' on HBO. Doesn't Drew Barrymore look amazing in this film?

6303484301.01.LZZZZZZZ

Not just minimalist -- small minimalist


Once upon a time I lived in a 1100 square foot two-bedroom apartment all by myself. The space was great, but, truth be told, 1100 square feet is far too big for one New York City career girl to handle on her own -- too many options for where to leave piles of clothes, shoes, papers, and to make a mess.

So now I live in a 400 square foot studio, which is, for me, the perfect size for one person. Only problem? I have to edit my belongings in a serious way -- can't buy just anything I want anymore because I can't just go out and buy extra storage space (I've used nearly all available wall space in my flat -- I mean, I have a piano...). No additional shelves or drawers will fit in my place.

So there's this store on Seventh Street between 1st Ave and Avenue A called Tiny Living that stocks small-scale furniture and products to furnish these small boxes we live in here in NYC. Today I dropped by for the first time and picked up this great toothbrush/toiletries holder for my bathroom wall. Ta-da! Counter spaced saved.

They even have tiny sofas and chairs. Check it out.

Obsession of the day: Dirty Dancing tees

Yeah, that's right.

December 29, 2006

Concealer you can wear all night and more!


HAUTE LIST

By DANICA LO and RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI

December 28, 2006 --

Tips for the Eve:

1. Back away from the glitter - tourists should not confuse your face with the ball drop in Times Square. Somehow, on New Year's Eve, perfectly sensible women abandon common sense and smear their faces with as much of the sparkly stuff as they can find. Instead, pick one part of your face you'd like to highlight, and focus on that. If you're a die-hard sparkle seeker, opt for a shimmer lip gloss.

2. Get your face put on and your hair blown out by a professional. Both the Rita Hazan Salon (720 Fifth Ave.; [212] 734-4757) and Warren Tricomi (16 W. 57th St,; [212] 262-8899) are staffed Sunday to cater to New Year's Eve party people. Both salons are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. It's all about your brows. "The biggest thing is to make sure they're really groomed," says Rae Dawn Johnson, makeup artist at Rita Hazan, the salon that touts Jessica Simpson, Carmen Electra and J.Lo as clients. "Groomed brows, lip gloss and mascara go a long way. You don't need all that glitz, glimmer and shimmer."

Johnson also says to skip foundation and opt for a tinted moisturizer and bronzer, instead.

For the aftermath:

1. Best deal of the new year: Borba's Hangover Recovery System ($25 at borba.net) includes the brand's innovative fiber-knit concentrate, emulsion, skin-replenishing drink mix, vitamin-infused "Gummi Boosters," and eye cream.

2. Freeze 24-7's anti-aging eye serum and anti-wrinkle cream ($105 and $115 at freeze247.com) uses gamma-aminobutyric acid, the body's own muscle-relaxing agent, to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, puffiness and sagging - and deliver a refreshing tingly cooling sensation at the same time.

3. The Balm's "Time Balm" concealer (above, $16 at thebalm.com) is "the best concealer I've ever used," swears one beauty junkie we know. Its trick? Wear it overnight to treat under-eye circles and wake up already made up! Also perfect for sleepovers, when you don't want to be barefaced in the a.m. (if you know what I mean).

4. Amore Pacific's Vitalizing Masque ($50 at Amore Pacific, 114 Spring St.; [212] 966-0400) is amazing. Put it on, and it instantly improves your face - de-puffs, soothes, freshens, hydrates and protects. You'll wind up looking like you never went out at all.

Obsessions of the week

* Vanity, thy name is ... (your name here): Monogramming, blinging, personalizing and customizing - there's nothing our narcissistic little hearts crave more than our names artfully emblazoned on each and every one of our girly possessions. Through January, Estée Lauder rolls out free engraving on lip glosses and compacts (from $20) at Bloomingdale's (1000 Third Ave.; [212] 705-2000) and Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Ave.; [212] 753-4000). Just make your purchase, submit the names you want engraved and have a jaunt around the shop. Engraved while-u-wait! Now your little sister can't steal your shimmer.

* Jeanius: Dedicated denim lovers have been stalking Habitual's sold-out $198 Skinny Glory jeans in dark blue/black (what they call "Satellite"). Search no more, the coveted pairs are being restocked at Barneys tomorrow.

* Pin your gloss on your sleeve: Or, on your purse. Too Faced's Beauty Brooch ($28.50 at sephora.com), the part punk, part glam, part Goth cameo pin, combines function and fashion. Once you clasp it in place, you'll never have to search around at the bottom of your bag for your lip gloss again.

Supersize scents

SMELL like royalty - if your medicine cabinet is big enough. Roger & Gallet are celebrating their 200-year anniversary with a 1,000-milliliter bottle of their classic Jean Marie Farina Eau de Cologne, complete with floating flecks of 22-karat gold, all for $145. It's the size of a bottle of vodka (compare it to the lipstick). And though England's Queen Victoria and France's Napoleon III and Empress Josephine all used it, you might be sick of the scent by 2040, when you'll finally run out. For slightly smaller necks and wrists, Comme des Garçons has introduced 500-milliliter bottles of their Anbar, Citrico and Vettiveru fragrances, $80 each at Jeffrey New York.

December 22, 2006

Haute List


HAUTE LIST

By DANICA LO and RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI

December 21, 2006 --

Mary Kay corrals

WHILE Mary Kay's always been popular with the suburban mom set - its well-priced products, which barely even graze the radar of urban fashionistas, are the best-selling skin-care and color cosmetics in the country - the company's only now seeping into Hollywood and show biz's collective consciousness.

Backstage at Z100's Jingle Ball, there was a frenzy around the table Mary Kay set up to court the young celebrity audience. Nick Lachey picked up a collection of MK Signature products to gift his mother for Christmas; Evanescence's Amy Lee applied the company's new scent, Affection, before going onstage; and the Pussycat Dolls ooh-ed and aah-ed over the Velvet Shimmer line. What's next: Snoop Dogg in a low-riding pink Cadillac? Even boys got in on the fun - Mario Vasquez picked up a bronzing powder for stage-use and the Killers' Ronnie Vanucci Jr., along with the fellows from the Fray, spent time pawing the Velocity for Men collection.

Some standouts? "I really like to wear red," says Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta. "A lot of the time I do my own makeup when we're on the road, so this color [Velvet Lip Color in Crystal Berry] will be perfect."

Her bandmates Kimberly Wyatt and Melody Thornton loved the Affection fragrance. And Ashley Roberts loved the eye shadow, "It's so shimmery!"

Available at marykay.com

- Danica Lo

Dry skin? Be a pod person

BABY, it's cold outside. And, since nobody wants to cuddle up to dry, scaly skin, try out the Hydration Station, a new full-body moisturizing machine much like a tanning bed.

First, you lie down in the spaceship style pod, pull the top down and adjust the air vent above your face. I suggest turning it way up, as the pod heats up to 118 degrees.

Basically, the machine works like a combination between a personal sauna and massage bed - it vibrates while the jets shoot out steam and mineral fragrances that drench your skin. Meanwhile, the pod changes colors to relax you.

Verdict: It works. The experience is pretty relaxing and also a relative bargain - $25 for 20 minutes.

To locate a Hydration Station, log on to planetbeach.com.

- Raakhee Mirchandani

Obsessions of the week

* Get the J. Lo glow: Check out the new, multitasking mineral makeup - it helps prevent wrinkles, breakouts and still covers up whatever you don't want people to see. Susan Ciminelli, beauty and skin-care expert to J.Lo, Ashanti and Naomi Campbell, has a new 59-piece beauty line that is made with SPF 26, doesn't clog your pores, helps prevent blackheads, and even includes healing ingredients such as jasmine, green tea, jojoba oil and lavender. Susan Ciminelli Day Spa, ninth floor at Bergdorf Goodman.


* House of Holland: Ex-journalist Henry Holland started making T-shirts as a joke - creating funny rhyming slogans for his friend, London It-designer Gareth Pugh ("Uhu Gareth Pugh"). After Pugh showed up on the runway wearing one, House of Holland hit the big time, securing accolades from British Vogue and a fan-base that includes Lindsay Lohan, Gwen Stefani, Lady Sovereign and the Olsen twins.

This week, the cult tees ($95) hit downtown fashion destination Seven New York (110 Mercer St., [646] 654-0156). We especially like "Cause me pain Hedi Slimane" and "Get yer freak on Giles Deacon." Check back soon for others to come, including "Do me daily Christopher Bailey" and "Do me in the park Marc."

• Naturally Beautiful: Green is chic. Going green that is. We especially love the hemp Nature v. Future OBI shirtdress ($225) and the Hoodlamb jacket ($235) made out synethic vegan lambswool at Organic Avenue, the eco-conscious LES boutique. Plus, the store stocks awesome organic beauty products such as the Rich Hippie/Dirty Rock Star organic perfume and the Your Right to Be Beautiful face cream. Organic Avenue, 101 Stanton St.; (212) 334-4593

Deal or No Deal


BGX00GK_mnPicture 1


One of these shoes costs $495 a pair. The other $99.

While the photography is disparate, in real life they look shockingly similar...

Which one is which? Guess. And then click on the photos to see if you're right...

More Deal or No Deal

This is fun!

indeximage_large


One of these shoes costs $110, the other costs $690.

But when they're on your feet and you're looking down from five feet up, can you really tell?

Guess which one is which and then click on the pictures to see if you're right.

December 17, 2006

Monster Mash


A round-up of some of today's biggest 'Monster Bands'. I mean, just in case you were wondering...

MONSTER MASHERS

By DANICA LO

December 14, 2006 -- LORDI

Sound: Balls-out rock straight from the '80s

Looks: They're from hell

Shtick: Lots of pyro, and Mr. Lordi wears animatronic wings.

MUSHROOMHEAD

Sound: Melodic industrial metal

Looks like: Dead alien dolls with fangs

Shtick: Most critically acclaimed, tend not to decapitate anyone.

SLIPKNOT

Sound: Platinum-selling heavy rap-metal

Looks like: Horror-movie rejects

Shtick: They call their fans maggots.

INSANE CLOWN POSSE

Sound: Rap-metal rage

Looks like: Psycho carnies

Shtick: High-drama live shows featuring chain saws and free-flying soda.

I follow my own advice, proof here!


Structured, medium-sized tote bags with handles that are long enough to allow for both hand-carrying and shoulder-toting, are the most flattering size. They avoid looking slouchy and sloppy and neither underwhelm nor overwhelm most sizes and shapes (of people). So you won't look like a huge person carrying a tiny bag -- but at the same time you won't look like you're shlepping your life around with you.

So, Happy Birthday To Me yesterday, I bought myself a brand new structured top-handle medium-size bag. Shiny with gold hardware. Can be worn on the shoulder or carried in hand. Last night I went to a party and paired it with my crazy Miu Miu boots (seen here in the latest issue of Self Service Magazine)

Picture 6


and my new fitted and paneled knee-length Margiela black wool coat.

Welcome to the Black Parade.

December 15, 2006

Haute List


HAUTE LIST

By RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI and DANICA LO

December 14, 2006 --

Click here for Haute List Blog

Ugg! They won't die

THEY'RE the Ugg-ly trend that's hung around, amazingly, for four years - the giant fur boots women insist on wearing with everything, from jeans to skirts.

"Uggs are unbearable and need to leave town with the big glasses," says publicist and Kritik designer Jonathan Cheban. "Girls look like beasts walking down the street wearing them."

And yet ... they just won't GO AWAY.

Bloomingdale's? Sold out - and "we're not taking names because we don't know when they'll come in again," says a spokeswoman. Online? Bloomingdales.com projects an 89-day wait and zappos.com aren't shipping any more classic Uggs until Feb. 19, 2007.

The only way to wrangle a pair is to bid on eBay - where prices are currently around $150, or 25 percent higher than manufacturer's suggested retail - or overseas boutiques.

"We feel that this season particularly proves the permanence of these boots as a footwear staple," says brand spokeswoman Mary Slevin. "They're a trend that's managed to became a classic."

Ironic, since Uggs are practically the Spice Girls of the footwear world - platinum-selling, but no one you know will admit to actually liking them. The closest we could get to a testimonial? "Um, they're really practical," one wearer says. Function over form trumps all in the urban tundra.

- Danica Lo

Obsessions of the week

MORE FLASH THAN CASH: Save money and be good to the Earth this season by wrapping gifts in reusable or recyclable materials. Or "give a service any New Yorker would love: a free housekeeping visit from zenhomecleaning .com," says eco-stylist Danny Seo. "They use nontoxic products and even turn down the bed." Try this and other top Earth-friendly holiday tips from Seo's book "Simply Green Giving."

* PEACE OFFERINGS: Alex and Ani, famous for those expandable charm bracelets, has a new, genius design - a necklace that expands from 15 inches all the way to 30 inches. The dainty 18-karat gold charm necklace features a peace sign, fleur-de-lis and horn pendants, $175 exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue.

* PORTABLE LUXURY: Juicy Couture's Leather Ballerina Flats, $150 at eluxury.com, is a pair of supersoft foldable shoes that come packaged in a small, leather purse - perfect for packing on long plane trips and holiday vacations.

* SNOT-FREE: Graceful Services has the perfect way to help you kick that cold - an 80-minute decongestion massage that helps work the toxins out of your body by focusing on the right meridians. But be warned - no pain, no gain. The treatment hurts a little but actually cleared out our sinuses and head. $100, Graceful Service, 1097 Second Ave. (212) 593-9904.

* DIRTY GIRL: Jonathan Product's texturing Dirt was a runaway beauty best seller last year - now the long-locked can get in on the action with light-as-air Silky Dirt, $28 at sephora.com

• WINO SKIN: Carlo Mondavi, grandson of Napa winemaker Robert Mondavi, is using Grandpa's grapes to make face cream. Davi - the line of skin care - is available at Bergdorf Goodman and includes Le Grand Cru face cream, $175; Vine Fresh Lotion, $48.50; Moscato Purifying Cleanser, $38.50; and Harvest Mist Tone, $38.50.

December 12, 2006

Five hot tips for the holiday season


Check out Fitsugar, where I provided five tips on how to look svelter this holiday season!

Also, check out my new work-blogging project, for general fashion interest: NY Post Fashion Blog.

December 08, 2006

ShopStyle!

Here's the link to My ShopStyle Stylebook, where I'll be putting together new outfits every day!

Sign up for free and be my "friend" -- check out new updates and request outfits for special occasions!

Haute List


HAUTE LIST

By SERENA FRENCH, RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI, and DANICA LO

December 7, 2006 -- The body bag

WHAT nature has neglected, now a $235 bag can correct.

The Premiere Line is a kit of silicone covers, pads and tape that will give you a new butt or boobs without costing an arm and a leg. Frederick's of Hollywood developed the product along with Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley, stylists for Nicole Richie, Penelope Cruz and Jessica Biel, to get the perfection-challenged ready for the red carpet.

The white nylon packs come in two parts: The upper body kit contains double-sided fashion tape, two pairs of nipple-concealing silicone covers and a flex bra for backless or deep-plunge looks. The flex bra consists of two silicone strips, one for lifting and one for coverage.

The lower body kit has a few innovations: There's a low-rise short that holds everything in like a vacuum pack but doesn't feel thick like a wetsuit. The Pick Me Up Derriere bands look like stockings but push each cheek up from the bottom. But the Booty Pads take the tush over the top: a pair of silicone cheeks that pass the slap test.

"Just remember if you're going home after the hot date, take 'em out first," Ehrlich says.

Upper body kit, $125; lower body kit, $110, at Frederick's of Hollywood, King's Plaza mall, Brooklyn

- Serena French

Obsessions of the week

Hollaback bag: Forget the new album, and instead spend your money on Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. collection's new gorgeous black leather Venezia Bag, $725 at Henri Bendel.

*
Uggly boots: Thought Ugg boots were a passing trend? Think again.

Despite the fact that they may very well be the least attractive pair of shoes you have in your closet, there's no arguing about how soft and comfy they are.

And today the company opens their first U.S. retail store in SoHo at 79 Mercer St. between Broome and Prince, stocked with boots, slippers and the brand's first line of outerwear, including tailored trench coats and denim.

*
Wearing your gloss on your sleeve: This season's cutest compacts are lipglosses that double as charm bracelets. There's the KLS Lucky Charm Bracelet, $37, at Macy's; Dior Pretty Charms, $70, at eluxury.com; and Lancome Glossy Charms Bracelet, $40, at Lancome.

What a pear: A humble pear tree, originally planted on Peter Stuyvesant's farm, stood on the northeast corner of on 13th Street and Third Avenue for 220 years - "The Oldest living thing in New York City," declared Harper's Monthly in 1862 - gracing the front steps of Kiehl's apothecary until it was run over by a wagon in 1867. In 2003, Kiehl's replanted the tree - and this season, they've created a limited-edition Pear Tree Corner body cleanser and lotion ($15-$19.50 at kiehls.com) in its honor.

*
Ro, ro, ro: Italian xylography (um, that's woodcarving) artist Mariaelisa Leboroni has designed a nine-piece collection with ro handbags (robags.com) that will be auctioned off for cancer charity Team Continuum Monday at Nolita's Public.

- Raakhee Mirchandani and Danica Lo

TOP POPS

Anglo-fashion-philes, break out your plastic, because this week, for the first time, Topshop.com began shipping to the USA. For about $20 in shipping, you can don the togs of celebs such as Kate Bosworth, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss - who is in cahoots to design a line with the British megastore.

December 02, 2006


When did we get too old to say, "I'm mad at you, I'm going to kick your ass" and start saying, instead, "I'm mad at you, I'm going to sue you."

Seriously, WTF.

December 01, 2006

Where the Wild Things Are





WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

By Danica Lo

November 30, 2006 -- ONCE upon a time, there was an '80s and '90s downtown New York culture where Limelight's promoter reigned supreme, Danceteria was the place to be, and St. Marks Place did not have a Chipotle.

It was a time and place where men could be men (in drag, that is) and women may or may not have been born that way.

But what happened when these clubkids - those crazy-looking young people who made the city's nightlife legendary post-punk and pre-Giuliani - got older? Answer: They grew up into clubadults - creative forces to be reckoned with in fashion, media, film, art and dance who still like nothing more than a good party.

And thanks to a revival in both maximalist clubwear and New Romantics on the catwalk, those who love to get their freak on (emphasis on freaky) are having a moment again.

The growing fame and influence of designers like Gareth Pugh, a favorite of Anna Wintour who constructs clothing from, among other things, enormous balls; emergence of more and more dress-up mainstream bands like the Scissor Sisters, AFI, and Panic! At the Disco; and growing interest in early-'80s fashion has created a great and unmet demand for nightlife excitement.

Enter Susanne Bartsch, a 25-year veteran of the downtown party scene, who co-hosts Tuesday nights at Flatiron club Room Service with Kenny Kenny, one of the most legendary club personalities in New York. The main room hosts performances - "That's old school," Bartsch says. "We have all sorts of shows - artists, whatever, showcasing their talent" - and the adjoining strip club entertains its regular suited clients in one section while Bartsch and Kenny Kenny's dancers gyrate on spare poles.

Bartsch, who created the legendary Love Balls of the late '80s and early '90s, returned to party planning after a long absence from the nightclub circuit. "I left the scene before it was worn out," Bartsch says. About a year ago, while producing events for other people, "It was becoming very hard to see everybody," she says. "I wanted people I liked to come over and hang out - I wanted to see all my friends in one go."

Crashing through the complacent lull of nightlife in recent years, Bartsch's Tuesdays, which recently relocated from now-defunct club Happy Valley, is one of the most successful nights in town - so successful, in fact, that watching choreographer Jonte perform in the main room this week was akin to rush hour on the IRT.

And, just like 20 years ago, going out is all about the look. "What I do is definitely in the spirit of those days," Bartsch says. "But it's not those days, you know? Things are very androgynous now. And what I like about my parties is that you can come that way or not - it's not that you have to be dressed up."

Still, a quick glance around the room proves the maximalism of years bygone hasn't vanished. After all, this caliber of preening has been around in New York since the 1970s. These days, the handcrafted individualism demonstrated by Bartsch's friends and patrons flies squarely in the face of current Hollywood-stylist-driven mumbo-jumbo and investment-banker-style bottle-service bars.

"It has to be real," Kenny Kenny says. "And the music has to be modern. We're not about re-creating the '80s - we're about having modern music, modern performance, modern looks. It's modern and mixed. New York is the only place in the world you can live like this."

Celeb Look-a-locks


CELEBRITY LOOK-A-LOCKS

By Danica Lo

November 30, 2006 -- ANY die-hard grooming junkie likely spends hours each week parked in the salon chair having her tresses meticulously washed and blow-dried to smooth helmet-ic perfection. For novices, the prospect of shelling out big bucks for a professional blow-out can be daunting - one false move with the round-brush could yield grandma or, worse, anchorwoman hair.

Luckily, celebrity hairstylist Paul Labrecque - whose clients include luxe-locked Lisa Ling, John Galliano, and Reese Witherspoon - has developed three distinct party-worthy blow-outs - the "Penthouse Sleek," the "Loose and Loungey" and the "Velvet Rope Volume" - that clears up any chair-side confusion.

Gisele Bundchen "Loose and Loungey": "This is black-tie chic," Labrecque says. "This is the most requested look for holiday parties - the abstract line of sultry, loose culs is very sexy and very of the moment."

Mena Suvari "Penthouse Sleek": "This is the most commonly requested blow-out in both my salons," Labrecque says. "The New York woman is sophisticated and prefers a hassle-free look that will last a few days."

Faith Hill "Velvet Rope Volume": "It's a very uncontrived look," Labrecque says. "It's loved by clients who feel the beat and want to run their fingers through their hair - or let someone else's hands run through their hair - all night long."

Blow-outs from $70 at Paul Labrecque, (212) 988-7816, paullabrecque.com

Get the Look: Clubland


TAKE STYLE TIPS FROM THESE INSPIRATIONS

November 30, 2006 -- TO the average Joe, the crowd at Room Service Tuesdays must look like an odd melange of Santa's elves, pretty waif Goths, and lollipop kids - with Glenda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West thrown in for good measure.

But while it may look like an oddball group, there is rhyme and reason behind these fashion choices. It's not merely enough to throw on a mermaid costume, a generous dose of glitter or a homemade toga. The best-dressed know that, just like fashion, the art of dressing up ought to be approached with a due sense of gravitas, with these inspirations and influences:

* Leigh Bowery (pictured), legendary designer and performance artist, has been, by far, the most influential aesthete on both the New York and London scenes in recent years. His outre top-to-toe hand-stitched costumes, facial piercings and out-of-this world use of color has inspired many modern takeoffs.

* Harlequin patterns, inherently colorful and flamboyant, make for standout tailored pieces, like capes, and go fantastically well with feathers, which are also wildly popular in all shapes and sizes.

* Vegas showgirls, their eye makeup, and their headpieces are a natural choice for exhibitionist clubgoers, both male and female.

* New Romantic Goth - think less scary versions of Marilyn Manson - was wildly popular in '80s London, and it making its comeback today in both clubs and on MTV.

* Victorian and Edwardian motifs in both clothing and grooming - like corsets and curls - have always influenced film noir, which, in turn, inspires clubgoers.

• The colorful and absurd - "The Cat in the Hat," large birds, religious motifs - are all fair game.

How Not to Flash


IT'S AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE

November 30, 2006 -- DEDICATED to Britney, Paris and Lindz - a list of how-to's for our favorite feeble-minded flashers everywhere.

How to get out of a car: If your car is low- like Paris Hilton's Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren - try the swing and tuck. Keep your knees and thighs together, and swing your legs from the car to the pavement. Then, tuck your skirt tightly against your body and get out, flashing only your smile to the waiting paparazzi.

How to wear underwear: What's a panty-hater to do? "Oh honey, that's easy," says Linda Becker, owner of lingerie mecca Linda's. "You want to go 'Commando' all the way - they make thongs and girl shorts that are 'better than nothing.' If you hate wearing thongs, On Gossamer panties are the best - I call them invisible panties because they don't show panty lines and they're the most comfortable panties out there."

How to go commando: The Anti-Panti (five for $10 at antipanti.com) is a 4-inch diameter cotton pad that adheres to the inside of your trousers, altogether replacing the need to fuss around in your panty drawer for the perfect pair.

How to use tit tape: Any skin-friendly double-sided tape will do. Cut into small squares and place tape along the seam of the fabric - avoid using one long strip for a more natural look. This way, nipples and other vital bits are well-covered. Sticky stuff difficult to remove? Try dabbing on a bit of nail-polish remover.