Thursday, October 30, 2008

OBSESSION: Vodianova in Vogue

Vodianova donned Christian Lacroix, Chanel, Gaultier and Givenchy for this magnificent spread that accompanies an article about haute couture's most esteemed tailors and dressmakers — the labor behind the brilliance. A doyenne in the modeling field, Vodianova wears these masterpieces with the confidence and fragility of a true professional. Her luminous blue eyes and delicate expressions compliment the clothes, making the garments and Vodianova equally captivating. Lacroix's Haute Couture buttercup ottoman A-line dress steals the spotlight in this 12-page spread. It is mod and vintage, with a hint of gothic-chic. The opaque black tights and satin pumps serve as the perfect finishing touch to this chiffon-hooded chef-d'oeuvre.

CRUSH: Handbag Heaven's secret status makes it a gem. While somewhat of a diamond-in-the-rough, the site offers sleek and of-the-moment bags. The site sells a variety of well-made purses, some of which garner inspiration from designer labels, others are well-known brands, and some are Baghaus designed. Users shop by "new arrival," "brand," "trends," "celebrity style," "size," "color," and "price." The site provides some fun features like "Baghaus TV," which showcases the newest styles. It also offers an online chat option where users talk to a Baghaus professional to ask questions about potential purchases. The company is reliable, and items get shipped fast. But the most inspiring aspect of Baghaus is the prices. Purses usually sell for less than $100, and most land in the $40-$60 range.
"Urban Expressions Quilted Chain Satchel" $54.00
(Clearly inspired by Marc Jacobs' Stam Bag)

OBSESSION: Monitor Shopping

A smorgasbord of styles, brands, sales and service, brings a high-end extravaganza of fashion to your finger tips. Users shop by "trend," "category," "brand," and "boutique" for an array of fashionable items with equally varied prices. Brands include Anna Sui, C&C, DKNY, Robert Rodriguez and more than 200 labels that range from well-known to relatively obscure. The "what's new" section features the this-second in fashion and the "sale" section is categorized by percentage price reductions. While this site offers variety and trendiness, prices tend to be sky-high because of the high-end selection of items. The site's user-friendly navigation makes shopping effortless. And even if prices reach scary heights,'s virtual range of eye-candy produces hours of fun monitor shopping (the window-shopping of the 21st century).

EXPERIENCE: Clutter in the Closet

An untapped resource, the Cluttered Closet Consignment Boutique (742 S. Beach Street, Syracuse, New York) is a fashionista’s dream. Men’s, women’s, new, and old. Leather, fur, sequins galore. Go to the Cluttered Closet for cheap, vintage finds that scream look at me. Wigs, shoes, scarves, pins, and hats line the walls. Rows and rows of skirts, shirts, jackets, pants.

Owner Kathleen O’Toole says that she has “a big following of people who want something out of the mainstream.” O’Toole maintains an abundance of unique items. “A lot of people shop for me; they consign and they know what sells,” she says. She gets so many new items daily that she must turn some away. Volunteers come in to help O’Toole “keep up” and earn a discount in return. Students, locals, and even people from other states visit.

A family owned and operated endeavor, the Cluttered Closet moved to the Westcott area two years ago after 16 years in Cicero, New York. When asked about her shop’s name, O’Toole says she knew “what it was gonna look like eventually.” “People can’t be disappointed,” she says, “if the name is the Cluttered Closet and the place is cluttered.”

CRUSH: Blazing Blue

Watch out Wicked (5 oz. Essie nail polish $7,, Blue It by Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Extreme Wear (4oz. bottle for $2.79, is the new nail boss in town. With the onset of winter, dark colors match the mood and the absence of light. But say buh-bye to black, brown, and maroon. Done that. This season reflect the frostiness of your walk to class with nails that deliver a shine everyone will notice.