Filed under: Clothes Encounters

Hats Off!

imageAs a femme with a particularly small skull, I’ve rarely been able to find a chapeau that fits… aside from a baseball cap at Baby Gap. Most designer brands are either too big or too expensive, like Proenza Schouler’s $3,400 beaded cloche (as if anyone with a head on their shoulders would shell out that kind of cash!). Thankfully, a few years back, I met Anne De Pasquale, a master milliner who’s touted for her ultra fashionable and affordable, custom-made toppers. Now I’m now the proud owner of multiple, “head-turning” menswear-inspired fedoras – the must-have accessory of the season. Anne’s hats are so gorge, you’ll even want to wear ’em on good hair days.

Although trained in theatrical millinery, Anne’s mission has always been to design wearable hats for real people, not just the stage. Known for taking the ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, Ms. De Pasquale incorporates shimmery sequins, vintage jewelry, satin ribbon, feathers and even paint in her pieces. Her one-of-a-kind couture creations are ideal for confident, adventurous femmes who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. As a matter of fact, J. Lo was so impressed with Anne’s talents, she commissioned her to design an exclusive wide-brimmed hat line for her Fall ’05 Sweetface runway show in New York.

With a resurgence of hats shown on the Fall ’07 and Spring ’08 international runways, now’s the time to get a head start on the trend. And thanks to Anne’s incredible range of eye-popping colors, shapes and patterns, there’s a suitable chapeau for everyone. Some of my personal favorites: a 20s-inspired burgundy velvet and wool cloche (a sharp look for short, chin-length hair), a classic French beret, a teal military number jazzed-up with a vintage gold chain and flashy pin-up girl button (I just had to buy this beauty for myself) and a to-die-for black felt fedora with intricate butterfly and heart-shaped cutouts along the brim. But my all-time fave is the “Film Noir” leopard print bell-shape style that’s wrapped with an actual piece of filmstrip (yes, I snagged this one too). Anne even hand paints a number of toppers with metallic gold, copper and silver leafing for a striking, antique-y effect. Plus, she’ll soon be adding high-end cocktail hats adorned with metal and ceramic details, perfect for formal affairs beyond the Kentucky Derby.

But don’t fret if you can’t find a style that doesn’t quite fit… ask Anne and she’ll gladly whip-up something sensational.

Exclusive deal just for YOU! Anne De Pasquale is offering Fashion Junkie subscribers a special 15% discount off any hats of your choice from Monday, October 15 through Monday, October 22, 2007. Call Anne at 646-424-9254 to book your private appointment. Happy shopping!

  • Anne De Pasquale
  • 646-424-9254 (by appointment only)
  • $198-$600 ($600-$1200 for high-end hat line)
  • final sale on all items
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Filed: Clothes Encounters

Think Pink!

Given that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month*, I thought it only fitting to inform you of ways you can be fashionable while supporting a worthy cause. From cozy cashmere sweaters to blingy bangles, never has giving felt and looked so good. To help you separate the chic from the shlock, here’s a round-up of my top fundraising frocks and accessory picks:

imageThis limited-edition, patent croco leather clutch instantly punches-up any ensemble. The punky silver hardware along the top adds that extra hint of glam. Rebecca Minkoff “Kiss & Make-Up” Clutch, $115, available exclusively at 75% of sales from each bag will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.



Fearlessly flash your fanny with these comfy Cosabella thongs, made from pliable polyamide so they won’t constantly ride up your rear. Cosabella Hope Thong, $24, available at Every $1 per thong sold will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.



Sport this timeless water-resistant watch on your wrist and you’ll want to be fashionably early, no matter what the function. The 4 Swarovski crystal markers beneath the face make it that much more irresistible. Breast Cancer Awareness Coach Bridle Classic Watch, $298, available at $100 from the sale of each timepiece goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.



imageProudly show off your tatas with this fitted cashmere sweater. The flirty pink bow adds a perfect touch of femininity. Lauren Hanson’s Breast Cancer Awareness Sweater, $174, available at 100 % of proceeds benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.




What’s not to love about this “charming” bracelet? Makes an ideal gift for any girl who wants a bit of bling and good fortune. Marc by Marc Jacobs Charm Bracelet, $88, available exclusively at 50% of proceeds from each sale will benefit the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization.



Calling all New Yorkers! Mark your calendars for this week’s Boobie Bar Tour, sponsored by Feel Your Boobies, a non-profit organization focused on awareness and prevention of breast cancer in men and women.  Select bars in the East Village and Lower East Side will feature drink specials, as well as provide Feel Your Boobies information to all patrons from October 11th-14th.  Come early for t-shirts, tattoos, and more! For more information, visit and


*The fact remains, 1 in 7 women will develop breast cancer according to a recent study by the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. To read more about these startling statistics and learn what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, visit,, and


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Filed: Clothes Encounters

The Shoe Box

imageWhen shopping for shoes in New York, even I’ve been overwhelmed by the seemingly endless array of options. Department stores are crowded and impersonal and trendier downtown retailers often play deafening club tunes that make it impossible to make sound decisions. That’s why I favor smaller, boutique-y shops with more civilized service, like that found at The Shoe Box. A consumer-friendly, family-run business with 9 U.S. locations, The Shoe Box prides itself on knowing each customer on a first-name basis (myself included). In fact, they’re even happy to call you right before anything new goes out on the floor, so you’ll never miss out on the hottest merch.

Whenever I’m in need of a footwear fix, The Shoe Box’s Murray Hill location (a residential hood known mainly for its abundance of Indian restos) perfectly fits the bill. An unpretentious oasis of calm that carries a surprisingly choice selection of multi-label kicks, The Shoe Box even stocks several reasonably priced finds that perfectly fit my bony, AA-width feet. Some current styles on my radar screen include Loeffler Randall (suede, peep-toe pumps with pleating), Modern Vintage (racy ankle boots with ruching), Nanette Lepore (burgundy peep-toe covered platforms), Marc Jacobs (‘80’s-inspired leather booties) and Michael Kors (knee-high motorcycle boots). And since a girl can’t survive on shoes alone, The Shoe Box also stocks a smattering of haute handbags from Rebecca Minkoff, Luba J (I snagged the stunning glazed leather shoulder bag in gray), Anna Corinna (the hipster Jetsetter tote) and Lauren Merkin (classy clutches) to name a few.

Should you find yourself paralyzed from the abundant selection of shoes, don’t sweat it. Fama (the adorable Murray Hill store manager) and the other style savvy shop girls will surely help you find your footing.

Exclusive Fashion Junkie Deal Just For YOU!
Receive a 15% discount off any The Shoe Box items of your choice at the Murray Hill store on Third Avenue when you present a print out of this email upon purchase. Offer valid from Tuesday, October 2nd through Tuesday, October 9th, 2007. Happy shopping!

  • The Shoe Box
  • 537 Third Avenue (@ 36th street), NYC
  • 212-937-5750
  • Mon.-Thur. 11-9pm; Fri. 11-8pm; Sat. 11-7pm; Sun. 12-7pm
  • $99-$1,500
  • Refunds within 7 days of purchase; exchange or store credit after 7 days (excludes sale items)
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Filed: Clothes Encounters


imageA bonafide New York urbanista, I’m always on my feet. And since I’m vertically challenged (barely 5’2”) and refuse to wear flats, I’ve mangled countless pairs of prized pumps simply from stepping onto the city’s sidewalks. Harrowing “heel offenders” such as hidden cracks and metal grates keep me in a constant state of panic. Call me paranoid, but once a sliding subway door even managed to close on my foot and slice off the heel of one of my brand new patent leather Sigerson Morrison pumps. But those were the days before Smart Heel, a portable and inconspicuous plastic stiletto protector, came into my life.

The ultimate armor for shoes with spikes, Smart Heel has become a saving grace for fashionable femmes on the fly. After damaging dozens of her own designer heels from walking outside, founder Stacie Urbach felt compelled to invent something durable to shield against abrasive surfaces that tear, scratch and ultimately destroy stilettos. A clever plastic covering designed to clamp onto thin 4” heels, Smart Heel will save you from wasting time and money at the shoe cobbler. Simply slide the sleek protectors onto your hottest heels before heading out the door and pull ’em off when you want to showcase your favorite footwear. Partial to kitten or chunkier heels? Smart Heel will soon be introducing additional models to cater to a wider range of styles. Plus, they’ll be available in a host of eye-catching hues that complement the color of your favorite shoes.

Ever since test-driving the clear “Tango” model on my Pedro Garcia booties, I’ve become sure-footed enough to even stroll along the cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking district. Be forewarned, since Smart Heel is designed to mold to the shape of each heel, you’ll need a set for every pair you own. But at only $9.95 a pop, Smart Heel is still a lot less than what you’d pay for repairs. You just might want to read the handy Smart Heel instruction booklet and idiot-proof YouTube demo before jumping in… ‘course I had to replay it five times ‘til I finally got it right.

  • Smart Heel
  • $9.95 per set (available in clear and black)
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Filed: Clothes Encounters

Yummy Mummies

imageMuch to my mother’s chagrin, I’ve never felt the burning desire to bear children. Call me shallow or selfish, but to tell you the truth, I’m petrified of acquiring saggy, post-pregnancy boobs and stomach rolls. Plus, I’m a total bitch without my requisite 10 hours of beauty sleep (just ask my hubbie). That said, after recently bumping into a friend swathed in Isabella Oliver – a chic London-based line of maternity wear, I just might have to reconsider (hey, Mom… are you reading this?).

Drape yourself in Isabella Oliver maternity designs and instantly transform those nine months of hell into swell. An expansive 65-piece collection of comfy and yes, fashionable frocks for every occasion, Isabella Oliver will want to be worn well after your little one is born. Conceived by Vanessa Knox-Brien and Baukjen de Swaan Arons, two European mums who noticed a dearth of modern maternity gear when they themselves were preggers, Isabella Oliver has become the go-to label for expecting fashionistas who refuse to compromise their sense of style. In fact, even hot mamas like Heidi Klum and Amanda Peet have proudly pranced around Tinseltown sporting Isabella Oliver’s trademark wrap dresses and ruched tops. Touted for their tailored fit and top quality fabrics (from soft jersey to elastic woven), Isabella Oliver’s silhouettes won’t stretch out, even when your stomach does.

This season’s luxe lineup includes cuffed wide-legged trousers, sexy ruched shirts with slouchy sleeves, curve-hugging dresses, over-sized cowl-neck sweaters, kimono-inspired tops, racy off-the-shoulder gowns and swimwear (perfect for playing-up up that new-found cleavage). Plus, everything’s available in an earthy color palette (from charcoal grey, ivory to black) that perfectly complements every skin tone.

Why waste your time waddling around town looking for an entire maternity wardrobe, when with the click of a mouse, you can buy everything you need at Isabella Oliver’s online store. And if your purchases don’t fit at first, trust me… you’ll grow into ‘em.

  • Isabella Oliver
  • 866-614-9387
  • $65-$330
  • returns or exchanges within 30 days of purchase with receipt
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Filed: Clothes Encounters