Thursday, November 13, 2008

TRIPLE THREAT: Crushing on Crochet

Beware: This is not your grandmother’s knitting. Designers from John Galliano to Valentino are incorporating traditional techniques to give your outfit a bit of boho-chic flavor. Oscar De La Renta’s Crochet Sweater ($1,690; gradates from green to yellow, providing a stylish optical illusion that transfixes onlookers. Milly’s Crochet-Trim Cashmere Cardigan, ($375; gives decided flare to the traditional schoolteacher’s look. And, Giuliana’s Teso Mink Knit Crochet Scarf ($350; Bergdorf radiates with textural drama.

REVIEW: Double Teamed

Watch out world: The Miller sisters are here and there’s no way to stop them. After conquering the realm of film, Sienna Miller teams up with her sister Savannah, who earned her fashion cred working with Alexander McQueen, to create the clothing line Twenty8Twelve, named in honor of Sienna’s birthday. Reflecting London Chic with a punk-meets-boho edge, the sisters offer everything from jeans to outerwear, dresses, and bags. The duo based their accessories collection, including gloves, totes, belts, etc., on the 1980s movie "This Is England." Rocking lustrous black, blue, and red leathers with gold facets, the line adds flare to even the blandest ensemble. Go for a sleek, tailored look with edge in the Clyde Jacket in Mink ($590; Channel your inner rock star in the Brittany Tunic in Raven ($125; Wear the Cordella Tank in Oxblood clubbing and never second-guess your fabulosity ($100; Or look sophisticated, stunning, and stylish in the Prudent Blouse in Enamel ($210; If you crave instant chic, you found it (

OBSESSION: Fortunate One

Working retail always includes folding numerous amounts of denim. I spent everyday wishing for an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and tedious hours making sure that the left pockets faced up, the tags tucked, and that the stacks of jeans sat in size order, ruler straight.

After a long Friday at one internship (where I was paid in vegan food at lunchtime), I stared at the new denim shipment. Christie, my bubbly employer ran over to run her hands down the denim. “Everyone loves these jeans,” she said. It was true. From May until August, everyone — rich tourists, trophy wives, motorcycle-gang lesbians — wanted these jeans despite their $295 price tag (my clothing allowance for a year). I ran my hands down the jeans. They felt like cashmere woven into a denim twill. Christie took pity on me and offered to charge me the wholesale price, a mere $110.

I stared at them the whole summer. Size 27. Low-rise. "Karen" fit. Chinese coin button surrounded by 24 perfect Swavorski crystals. Chinese Tang dynasty satin pockets. Satin waistband. (According to the sales representative the Tang dynasty symbol was just recently made legal to wear for those not related to the emperor's family.) And a satin fortune sewn into the back of the waistband read: "Tropical vacation is in your future." But the best was they really made my butt looked phenomenal. August arrived, and the $110 sat in my pocket from working at my other jobs. Roughly, these jeans cost 14 hours of work, and my parents could never know that I spent a dime on anything other than a loan payment. I picked up the jeans and held them for a second. Overwhelmed with guilt, I put them back. At the end of the day, Christie handed me the jeans. "I have money in my bag for them," I said. Christie shook her head, "No, please, you deserve them."

HOW TO: Tie One One

We know. A scarf’s job reads: keep the neck warm. We also know that long stretches of fabulous fabric deliver more than heat and utility. They possess the power to make a tee look rich and a cashmere sweater look Trump rich (in pre-recession dollars). Learn these knots, expand your looks, and earn a Ph.D. in scarfery.

The Italian Loop: Consider this the scarf with training wheels. Fold the scarf in half and put it around your neck. Pull the ends through the loop and pull it tight. Wear it snug to your throat or lose. Both ways convey simple elegance. It also works over or under your coat.

The Square Knot: Wrap the scarf around your neck making sure that one end is longer than the other. Wrap the longer end all around your neck, around the shorter end, and then pull it up and trough. The tighter the fit, the warmer the neck. It also works as a coat topper.

Easier Square Knot: Wrap the scarf all the way around your neck then tie one end through the other pull your coat over to keep you warm.

The Safety: Wrap the scarf all the way around your neck as many times as you like.