Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CRUSH: Canadian Juicy

Lululemon is to Canadian girls what Juicy Couture is to Americans: wonderfully comfortable, incredibly flattering, and painfully overpriced sweatwear designed for girls who want to be chic even when they’re lounging around. One of Lululemon’s best sellers is the company’s Remix Hoodie ($93):

Despite the prohibitive cost, this humble-looking sweatshirt earned cult status among our fashionable neighbors to the north for a few reasons.

Consider the construction:

The Remix is a great example of a simple product with perfect design. The hoodie features a long torso, perfect for preventing that dreaded patch of skin from being exposed to the elements. Extra-long sleeves and a high chin create added warmth. Every seam is sewn flat, which means that chafing will never be an issue. The hoodie features thick, soft preshrunk cotton, which ensures endless washing minus the wear.

TRIPLE THREAT: Winter Skin Wunderkinds

The icy chill of winter wreaks havoc on even the most flawless complexions. The one-two punch of nose-diving temperatures and dry blasts of indoor heat create chapped, flaky skin that begs to be moisturized. But those blessed with more than nature’s natural allotment of oil sometimes suffer from extra moisturizing. Fortunately, several skincare lines have developed products designed to moisturize and protect skin without aggravating acne-prone complexions.

New Yorkers in the know love Kiehl’s Centella Skin Calming Facial Cleanser ($28.50) and Recovery Skin Salve ($42).

The face wash incorporates aloe vera and chamomile into a calming yet effective soap-free formula. The Kiehl’s team developed this wash to treat skin types prone to redness, dryness, and acne. An added bonus: the product’s convenient pump packaging ensures that you’ll never use too much, and the hefty 8.5 ounce size of product lasts until the grass begins to green.

The skin salve relieves the irritation caused by waxing and microdermabrasion, but it’s just as suitable for use as a daily moisturizer. The salve feels lotion-like, making its name somewhat deceiving, and offers an un-greasy consistency that sinks into the skin almost instantaneously, leaving it incredibly soft.

If the idea of a skincare line that soothes, moisturizes, and doesn’t anger oily skin intrigues you, but you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, check out Eucerin’s Redness Relief line. The line, which include a cleanser ($9), night crème ($15), and perfecting lotion ($15), is affordable and effective in fighting against the winter flakies.

We saved the worst winter ailment for last — chapped, cracked lips. Forget slick lipgloss. For dryness this severe, break out the heavy artillery. We recommend Aquaphor (around $6), a petroleum-based drugstore find that does a great job of healing weather-ravaged lips while protecting against further damage.

LOOK FOR LESS: Fashionable Foundations

The best fashion bets ground a look in signature pieces that work with a range of other outfits. Consider these three pieces: They create the perfect ensemble for a night on the town, and they play well with others in your closet.

1) The silk vest with tie at neck could be perfectly combined over a sexy black dress or a tank and skinnies. (Myne – Audrey Vest; $72.90; Shopbop).

2) Pair the vest with American Apparels Sheer Jersey Chemise in black. Wear as a mini-dress or a long tank over jeans. (Sheer Jersey Chemise; $24;American Apparel )

3) Add Shiekhs platform heels for a high volt of staggering glamour (hopefully not literally, of course). (Shiekh DS-SW7653; $44.97; Shiekshoes)

D.I.Y.: Scarf Shirt

I caught scarf fever this summer. Every time I walked into a store, I bought one — plaid, floral, animal print, bold colors. It provides an effortless accent to any outfit, allowing you to change it up, without spending too much. But when searching through my closet one night, I found that this swatch of fabric offers even more versatility. It can double as a neck adornment and as a flashy fun party top. Follow these steps to craft your scarf into a halter top .

Here’s what you’ll need:
- One stylish square shaped scarf.
- One friend with nimble fingers.
- Two safety pins that match the scarf (optional).

Here’s how to do it:
1. Hold the scarf at the two top corners and roll about ¼ of the way up.
2. Wrapping the two ends around your neck, without tying, have a friend take the two bottom corners and tie a knot or safety pin them in the back.

3. Take the two top corners, criss-cross, and tie behind your neck, making a loop.
4. Adjust for comfort.

PROFILE: Pretty, Pretty Playthings

As young girl running around in her dad’s jewelry warehouse in Rhode Island, Keryn Tommasiello considered jewelry her playground. The senior fashion design major at Syracuse University still does. She creates one-of-a-kind statement pieces. “I love eye-catching, colorful things,” she says. “I want someone to see it, and look at it again.”

She juxtaposes the goddess of fertility next to skulls and guns. She experiments with charms, braided leather, colorful bangles, rubber bracelets, and playful ornaments that make her jewelry standout. Prices range from $20 (the least expensive being the single charm with a leather braid) to $35 (the most expensive being the stackables – more than 5 charms stacked on 15 bangles per set). She also creates anything her customers crave.

She started designing her customizable jewelry collection called KeryAnne’s Designs, about a year ago and has hosted several parties to sell her pieces within the last six months. Her items sell at boutique stores in her hometown in Rhode Island, but her designs are readily accessible to the Syracuse consumer. For more information on her collection or to arrange a time to privately view her collection, please e-mail

REVIEW: Fabulous Gloom

For anyone who pines for Halloween 365 days of the year, hope lies in the fabulous gloom of the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology's current special exhibition, Gothic: Dark Glamour. A look into contemporary couture's interpretation of the ancient theme of darkness, curator and fashion historian Valerie Steele, Ph.D., presents an avant-garde collection with an edge.

Located in the basement of the museum (Fashion Avenue at 27th Street), the exhibit's foyer introduces the themes of luxury and excess showcased in the main gallery. Human skulls and bats fill a cabinet of curiosities. Victorian mourning jewelry, among other vulcanite and silver forms of birds and talons from the 1860s, juxtapose a tattooed top hat from 2007. Behind a glass barrier, a coffin suffocates a mannequin dressed in a velvet gown from the end of the 20th century. No shoes adorn her feet. She wears minimal make-up.

Deeper inside the show, Gothic takes on a new twist with every fallen brick and shattered glass of its destructive demeanor. Gothic defines itself through the supernatural, death, sex, time, and transcendence. Black dominates the space, but every touch of red tastes like blood. With its panniers protruding, a Christian Dior dress by John Galliano, constructed from red-coated silk and black ink, commands the space. Haunting faces emerge from a screened wall paneling. A prosthetic corset by Alexander McQueen suggests the costumed armor worn by Edward Scissorhands.

An overarching sense of claustrophobia prompts one to shift stances. Scary. The floor shakes, as the subway surges below the surface. Cemetery gates encircle an elevated platform that features fashions by Rodarte and Hussain Chalayan. Black-velvet skulls and cross bones embellish a red mesh top by Jean Paul Gaultier. Other may wish to see no evil, but what fun (and fashion) is there in that.

Free of charge to anyone with a student ID, the exhibition continues until February 21, 2009. For more information, go to