Filed under: Trends

Look Out for Luxury “Flash Sale” Sites!

imageWithout a doubt, the biggest new craze in online shopping is the plethora of Web-only luxury sample sale sites (a.k.a. flash sales). A trend that originated in France thanks to a site called Vente-Privee.com, flash sale prototypes in North America have proven to be just as popular and successful.

Sites like Gilt.com, RueLaLa.com, RegentsSecret.com, HauteLook.com, EditorsCloset.com are among the latest crop of members-only Web sites that sell deeply discounted luxury goods, typically up to 70% off retail for a limited-period of time. Once you become a member (you need to be invited by a member), you’ll receive a text message or email informing you when the next VIP sale begins.

Why the sudden wave of these so-called flash sites? With today’s shaky economy, unsold luxury goods are piling up in retailers’ stockrooms like never before. And since major department stores and independent boutiques are so desperate to sell stock before the arrival of next season’s shipments, flash sales have proven to be a great way to move inventory.

Due to the time-sensitive nature of flash sales (36 hours or less), die-hard serial shoppers, myself included, feel a sense of urgency and inevitably get pressured into buying the merch. For example, I just logged on to Gilt.com and noticed that they’re holding a Rebecca Minkoff handbag sale this Thursday, May 29th from 12pm–midnight. That means I’ll have to act fast if I want to score the dove grey leather hobo I’ve been dreaming about.

Flash site Ideeli.com, the savviest of these social networking newcomers, posts a digital time clock informing you exactly when a particular sale is over. Which reminds me: I only have 9 minutes and 5 seconds left to score those Valentino aviator shades I’ve been eyeing…

Buyers beware: as with any e-tailer, make sure to check return policies and shipping fees before you buy. Happy shopping!

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Filed: News & Views, Trends

Comic Couture

imageCall me crazy, but doesn’t it seem as if everyone in the art and design world has been jumping-in on the superhero bandwagon lately? First came New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala, “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” and now, Diane von Furstenberg is paying homage her favorite superhero, Wonder Woman, by debuting a capsule collection in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (on behalf of DC Comics). DVF’s haute heroine lineup includes ready-to-wear, small leather goods and footwear inspired by the iconic female superpower.

imageWhy exactly is Furstenberg so smitten by Wonder Woman? For starters, the fictional Greek Goddess happens to share the same first name as the designer, Princess Diana. In fact, Furstenberg has kept a picture of the comic heroine in her notebook for years and her staff even once gave her a framed photo of herself in the likeness of Wonder Woman as a gift. But I digress…

imageFar from cartoonish, the DVF Wonder Woman collection will feature eye-catching frocks, from signature wrap dresses to shifts with corsets, adorned with shimmery sequins and, of course, stars – the ultimate symbol of empowerment (an attribute that Furstenberg is extremely passionate about). DVF boutiques will also carry a coveted assortment of Wonder Woman-inspired collectibles that go beyond bulletproof bracelets and headbands (ker-pow!). Proceeds from the sale of select items will benefit Vital Voices Global Partnership, an organization von Furstenberg is committed to that identifies and empowers emerging women leaders and socially-minded entrepreneurs. This limited-edition collection will debut in DVF boutiques as well as specialty stores worldwide in October ’08… just in time for Halloween!

 

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Rain Busters

Although I meant to post this rain-busters round-up in April, I figured you would still find it useful given May’s grim weather forecast. And since these dreary weather conditions are expected to continue here in the Big Apple for the next five days (oh, joy), I now have a perfect excuse to stock up on the latest waterproof fashion finds. Even better: I don’t even need to venture outside to buy anything, as everything’s available online.

imageWe’ve all heard of galoshes for men… but for women? Slip on Swims’ ultra-stylish rubber overshoes to prance around in puddles, without mucking-up your pricy Miu Miu ballerinas. Choose from a host of colorful hues, including lemon, licorice, pearl gray, bubble gum pink and chocolate. Swims, $146, swimsstore.com

imageThis travel-friendly, water-repellant trench is undeniably practical and chic. The puffy sleeves and solid navy silhouette add to the appeal, while the knee-length drawstring hem and adjustable hood prevent you from getting drenched! Mackage Knee-Length Nylon Jacket in Navy, $385, saksfifthavenue.com

imageAvoid looking like a drowned rat with this punchy patent leather wide-brimmed hat. The eye-popping Kelly green shade is guaranteed to garner smiles, even on the greyest of days. Patrica Rain Hat, $126, edressme.com

imageShield yourself from unexpected downpours with this stylish and smart weather forecasting umbrella. The base of the handle has a built-in radio receiver, which illuminates during inclement weather, so you’ll instantly know when to take cover. Now that’s cool! Hammacher Forecasting Umbrella, $99.95, hammacher.com

imageTreetorn’s edgy rubber wedge boots are proof that you needn’t sacrifice your style when it’s raining cats and dogs. Not only are these kicks comfy, they’re also fully insulated so you won’t freeze when the mercury nosedives. I’m such a fan, I bought ‘em in both cypress and yellow. Treetorn Plask Rain Boot, $117, zappos.com

 

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Filed: Trends

Victoria’s Secret on the “Boob” Tube

imageSince I’ve been cursed with cherry pits, I’ve never really had the need for a bra. The only time I’ll even consider strapping one on is when I’m wearing a sheer top. Otherwise, I prefer to keep my tatas unfettered, if you will. However, when I heard about the Long Island lady who’s suing Victoria’s Secret over patent infringement for a convertible bra that she created back in 2004, I decided to write this blog post to give her some “support.”

Katerina Plew claims she showed some Victoria’s Secret execs a photo of an affordable bra with detachable straps, hoping to sell the idea (check out this Fox News video to see the prototype). One year later, she spotted a knockoff of the very same bra on the racks at a local Victoria’s Secret store. Dubbed the “Very Sexy 100-Way Strapless Convertible Bra,” Victoria’s Secret’s version also has detachable straps with hooks and multiple eyelets that enable you to wear it 100 different ways. So rather than buy a bra to match every dress in your wardrobe, all you have to do is replace the straps and hook ‘em into any eyelet for “infinite possibilities.” The convertible bra comes with three sets of connecting shoulder straps (regular, halter and a low-back converter strap) so you can wear it as a plunge, two-strap, one-shoulder, racerback, crossback, boatneck, crisscross front, halter… well, you get the picture.

For the well-endowed who have tried Victoria’s Secrets convertible bra, does it “hold up” to its claims? Share your thoughts with the Fashion Junkie community!

 

 

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Pure Platinum

imageAlthough my closet is crammed with countless styles of handbags, why is it that I still feel like I have nothing appropriate for spring? After surfing a bunch of e-boutiques (my favorite pastime), it dawned on me that the best option for this season is without a doubt, this jaw-dropping Foley & Corinna number. Having purchased a similar pint-sized version in raven red last year, I’m beyond thrilled about this new mid-sized shape. It’s more than roomy enough for stowing all my essentials and the neutral platinum shade will work perfectly with everything in my wardrobe (thanks for the tip mom!). Priced at $440 a pop, I’d better learn to love this masterpiece for life!

Fashion Factoid: Foley & Corinna’s best-selling mid-city tote comes in a multitude of colors. In fact, some styles were even created exclusively for e-retailers such as Winknyc.com (cobalt blue) and ShopBop.com (punk-infused, pebble-leather shoulder styles with pyramid studs along the top!). Better act pronto if you wanna snag one for yourself… these fashionable totes sell out fast! Happy shopping!

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Filed: Trends