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Fashion Junkie Comes Clean

I’m a fairly laid back femme who finds humor in just about any kind of situation… except for when it comes to drugs. So when I came across this risqué “Fashioin Junkie” Sisley ad campaign that’s been circulating throughout cyberspace, my jaw literally dropped to the floor.

Sisley, the Italian-based fashion brand owned by Benetton who’s known for producing provocative ads (remember the controversial campaign featuring model Josie Maran milking a cow with milk all over her face?), has been slammed by slews of bloggers for pushing the envelope with this particular campaign. The distasteful “Fashioin Junkie” ad features two anorexic-looking models indulging in some recreational “fashion.” The fashion they’re actually snorting happens to be a slinky, white Sisley dress. To the left of the dress is a pile of cocaine that’s perched on top of a Chase credit card (a common cutting device). What’s even sketchier is the expression on one of the models’ faces, who looks like she’s about to O.D. Note the intentional misspelling of “Fashioin,” which brings heroin to mind.

Although purportedly fake (check out this link to see the statement Sisley’s parent company, Benetton made in reference to it), the ad is still sending out the subliminal message that coke is cool. And thanks to current celeb rehab craze, battling addictions with blow have suddenly become chic. My take on this trend? I find the ad morally reprehensible. Please note there is absolutely no connection between these ads and the website. was launched 10 years ago as a tongue and cheek blog for the shopping obsessed and I have never condoned drug use of any kind. Peruse my site and you’ll notice the playful tone, which is not offensive, nor does it promote drug use in any manner. The bottom line is, coke isn’t cool, no matter how it’s fashioned.

Feel free to share your comments about the Sisley snafu.
For a collection of past Sisley ads, click here.


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Intermix Infatuation

If you’re a fan of the trendy Intermix clothing chain, here’s something you’ll want to check out. They’re throwing a “Confessions of a 5th Avenue Shopper” contest to celebrate the grand reopening of the Flatiron store in New York. Sadly, the space mysteriously burned down several months ago after an almost complete renovation.

Interested in winning some free designer clothes? Better start writing a 300-word blurb explaining how Intermix has played a role in your “mix.” Then, send your story along with a photo to Just don’t be shocked if you see your submission posted on their site.

To see an example of what we think they’re looking for, read this entry by yours truly. You never know… the Fashion Junkie just might be entitled to some of the stash!

Intermix Infatuation

My name is Dara Fleischer and I’m a self-confessed “serial shopper.” Check out my website, to see just how serious my shopping addiction is. But I digress. While I’ve always been obsessed with the 5th Avenue Intermix store (and every other U.S. location), my real addiction began the day you opened your temporary space on Broadway. Thanks to the store’s proximity to my pad (literally a stone’s throw away), Intermix made it all too easy to constantly play hookey and collect my favorite frocks. Thanks to the knowledgeable staff and jaw-dropping mix of designer merch, Intermix has helped transform my wardrobe from so-so to “HELLO!” My cramped closet is now stocked with killer Michael Kors kicks, a chic Madison Marcus cropped leather coat (I get compliments whenever I wear it), J Brand skinny jeans, a striped Ella Moss tank and skirt, LaRok cargo pants and too many other items to name. Whenever a friend visits the city and inquires where to shop, I always send them to Intermix first. Congrats on the grand reopening of the 5th Avenue store – I love stopping by for my daily fix!

By: Dara Fleischer
Founder & Editor of – a fashion and beauty email newsletter, daily blog and NYC-based personal shopping service.

Visit or email for more information.

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Surf’s Up!

Twenty-three year-old Hawaiian-based, pro longboarder, Kelly Potts has a lot to smile about. Aside from a toned body and tropical tan, this smart and striking blond has modeled for leading surf gear companies like Billabong and is now the face of Global Surf Industries most in-demand “girly” board, Surf Betty. Fashion Junkie caught up with the Queen of the surfing scene for tips on tackling the waves (and sharks!) to staying chic while boarding.

Kelly Potts riding the waves on a Surf Betty.

FJ: Can you tell us how you first got into surfing? 

KP: Well, I grew up in Austin, Texas (a good six hour drive to the nearest coast) and didn’t really have any clue about surfing, I’d never done it. My parents have been divorced since I was three (grew up with mom in Texas) and at age twelve my father had moved from Oregon to Maui, Hawaii. The first time I went to visit him there he rolled up to the airport with longboards on top of the car and took me straight to the beach. He paddled with me out to the surf so I could get used to the feeling of the ocean and the board underneath me.  Soon I was standing up and after a few surf sessions with dad I started going surfing on my own. I watched the other more experienced surfers out in the water and learned a lot about surfing by just watching them.

FJ: What is it that you like about competing?

KP: Plain and simple… I don’t like to compete at all. I get nervous, over anxious, and it distracts me from what I like best about surfing, which is to just be and express myself.

FJ: What’s your advice for someone like me who’s fearful of the ocean (i.e. sharks)?

KP: I always wondered how I could be related to my mom who is completely terrified of water. She can’t go under even when she’s taking a shower. Some people just don’t have it in them no matter how much they force it. I never like to force anything. Some people enjoy swimming and being in water but the ocean scares them and that’s fairly normal. The ocean is something to be humbled by because it is so powerful and is always changing. I was lucky to learn how to surf at a place where the water is always pretty calm and protected so it was fun, relaxing and easy to learn. I would suggest finding a spot like that to learn so the open-ocean elements aren’t as scary. (Open-ocean can be very unpredictable, and the elements like wind and swell can be extremely hazardous for someone with no ocean knowledge.) As for the shark factor, I’d like to think of them as my “amakua,” my own personal protector who could just be my ancestors. This helps to not feel scared, which could attract the attention of a shark.

FJ: Does anything frighten you? 

KP: Oh, sure. I get frightened by some things, such as really big waves. I can surf some pretty big waves, but I do have to draw the line when it gets to a certain size. Riding a longboard in big waves is very intense, more so the paddling around in the big surf than the actual riding part, which is such a thrill!  There’s this thing called womanly instinct that definitely makes me more hesitant in trying something extreme. I call it the “What If” instinct whereas men have the “It’s going to be awesome” instinct.

FJ: Where are some of the best waves to surf? 

KP: I think some of the best waves to surf are on Planet Earth….  I’ve been to a lot of places around the world to surf and every place I’ve surfed along the way has been unbelievable in it’s own special way. Australia has so many great breaks with so much coastline, the Maldive Islands are set up so perfect for point breaks, Costa Rica, California…. I don’t know which one would be the best. 

FJ: What kind of workout do you get from surfing? 

KP: I get a really “gnarly” upper body workout from surfing: my shoulders, my arms, my back muscles, my abs, and my pecks… it’s almost too much sometimes. I have to do some counter active training with my lower body (when the waves are small of course).

FJ: What else do you do to stay in shape (aside from surfing)? 

KP: I clean homes and vacation rentals in Maui so the hard work I put into that is like a workout in itself. I usually only want to surf after that. Sometimes I do my old track workouts, like really slow moving, good form, lunges on the beach, or just slow jogging on the beach. But to be honest, I pretty much just surf to have fun and the staying in shape part just goes hand-in-hand with surfing.

FJ: Why do you think it has suddenly become more and more chic for chicks to catch the wave?

KP: Blue Crush had a huge impact on women and wanting to surf. It seems to be more of a fashion trend than it is a connection with the earth and oneself, but I’m sure there are a few women out there who have come to see surfing as a soulful experience and not just for the hot body and trendy attire.

FJ: Can you give us some key safety tips for entry-level surfers – what are some common dos and don’ts for starting out?

• Watch the waves at the spot you’d like to surf at for a minimum of five minutes before heading out
• Look for current and what direction it is moving
• Look at what kind of wave set up it is: beach break, reef break or rock break. This helps you find a good spot to line up
• Look for your safety channel to paddle out, even after catching a wave
• See if the wave is easy to handle. You can look at the other surfers in the water to see if you are at the same level of surfing. (If there’s ripper’s out doing tricks you can’t comprehend, don’t go out.)
• Always fall flat (back-flop or belly flop) when wiping out. No head dives or jumping feet first you could break a very important part of your body
• Always look behind you at the wave and other surfers when paddling for a wave
• Look both ways before making the drop. Dropping in on someone is a bad NO!
• There’s almost always a current in the water, so after you’ve made it out beyond the surf and have found the peak, find something on the land to line up with the peak. That way you can always be at the right spot
• If you wipe out hard, STAY CALM! It is the one thing that’ll save you
• Always stay in control of the board, don’t let the board control you.  Hang on to it or it could end up hurting yourself or someone else.

FJ: Are there special surfing ensembles that women should wear to prevent injuries?

KP: There’s really only your brain for protection. Use it and think ahead. If you want to protect your brain, get a helmet.

FJ: What are some of your favorite surfing apparel brands and why?

KP: I really love Honolua Surf Co. clothing. They have a hint of surf style along with a classy, sophisticated egde and are always comfortable. Element has some good styles I enjoy as well.

FJ: Explain the phenomenon over GSI’s Surf Betty boards. Why have they become so popular?

KP: I think the movie Blue Crush attracted so many women to surfing, and during this time the Surf Betty was under way. It’s a great board to learn and progress on. It also has cute girly designs on all the boards and there’s a suitable size for every woman. I hope everyone can come to know surfing on the Surf Bettys.

Exclusive deal just for YOU! Global Surf Industries is giving away a 7’2” NSP Surf Betty (pictured below) to one lucky Fashion Junkie Fix subscriber (a $375 value!). All you need to do is sign-up and forward this email to five friends and you’ll automatically be entered to win. The winner will be notified via email on July 9th, 2007. You must be over the age of 18 to qualify. 

For more information about Global Surf Industries, visit or call 877-474-6503.

This Surf Betty board could be YOURS!

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Talk To The Hand

Find out why Fashion Junkie is so fixated on the DevaSun Dryer

I’ve been test-driving the DevaSun Dryer all week and lemme tell ya… this thing seriously blows away the competition.

A “handy” device designed especially for curly girls, the DevaSun Dryer is truly unlike anything I’ve seen on the market. Even those el cheapo Hot Sock foam diffusers don’t come nearly as close to doing the deed as well (mine’s completely torn from traveling). Why I’m so smitten? For starters, the Freddy Kruger-esque claw attached to the dryer (a.k.a. DevaFuser) was designed to replicate how stylists use their hands to cradle curls while they dry. So it dries gently, without dislodging curls or blasting them into a bushy halo. Anyone in the kinky-haired clan can relate to that. Plus, its powerful ion-generating technology dries hair incredibly fast and thoroughly, so you’ll never be out-the-door with damp roots, which is a big bonus during winter.

While at first I was skeptical (I’ve purchased dozens of dryers, most of which have fried my hair into a bushy Brillo-pad consistency), but when the DevaSun Dryer arrived at my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to crack open the pretty lime green and white box and begin my new blow-drying regimen. Here’s how it went.

DevaSun Dryer and DevaFuser Directions

Step 1: Immediately after showering, I combed my hair, added a dollop of DevaCurl AnGell and gently scrunched my strands with a few sheets of paper towel – a tip I learned from Lorraine Massey, co-owner of Devachan, NYC’s cult curly-hair salon. Contrary to popular belief, heavy towels actually promote frizz, so try to stick with paper towels. And don’t worry about waste… you can air dry paper towels and re-use them as often as you wish. 

Step 2. I plugged in the blower, flipped the switch to high and closed the lid on the toilet. What can I say, I’m a spazz, ok?

Step 3. I tilted the DevaFuser slightly for a full 360-degree airflow, then flipped my head over to one side and placed the plastic claw onto my scalp, starting with the nape area. I held it there for about two minutes to evaporate the moisture and seal the curl. Then, I repeated the same process on the other side.

Step 4. I placed the DevaFuser on the top of my scalp (a.k.a. the temple region), right above my ears. Two minutes later, my curls were transformed into tight, Shirley Temple-like corkscrews.

Step 5. For extra oomph in front, I glided the DevaFuser onto my forehead (not too close, it gets hot!) and tilted the drier upwards. The end result: super shiny, voluminous hair that held in place all day.

Total drying time: about six minutes.

Fed up with your Roseanne Roseannadanna-like fro? Don’t fret… check out or call 1-800-573-4303 to order your DevaSun Dryer and DevaFuser today.

The proof is in the pictures!

Dara test-driving the DevaCurl Dryer & Deva Fuser

The final result: Shirley Temple-like corkscrews.

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Oral Fixation

In case you didn’t catch today’s Fashion Junkie Fix newsletter (gasp!), for the next twenty weeks, I’ll be documenting my very own Invisalign tooth progression. A clear and less conspicuous alternative to metal mouth, Invisalign is a DIY dental breakthough used by millions of people like me who suffer from the dreaded snaggletooth. To see what I’m referring to, take a look at this scary snapshot of my eyetooth. This, my friends is a snaggletooth.

It’s hard to believe that after years of teenage orthodontic work (read: gum surgery, Ugly Betty wire braces, a lip bumper and headgear) I glanced in the mirror one morning last month and suddenly found the sucker. As if spotting grey hairs and wrinkles weren’t enough of a curse (ahh, the joys of turning 35), I now had to deal with the consequences of chucking my retainer in high school?! No way Jose… I simply refused to settle for a smile with crooked chompers, no matter what the cause. So when I heard about Invisalign – the removable plastic aligners that resemble tooth-whitening trays, I knew I had to test-drive the treatment.

Luckily, my sister-in-law happens to be a trained orthodontist who just opened a new office in Dallas, so I immediately flew to Texas and a few hours later, I was being prepped for my customized Invisalign program (woo-hoo!). All it took was a quick 3-D computer-imaging scan of my jaw (check out the digital photos below), some teeth filing (a must for inserting the plastic aligner trays), followed by bite impressions et voila… my set of 10 disposable aligner trays were shipped in the mail. And now, when worn sequentially for the next twenty-weeks, my teeth will gradually be transformed from ghoulish to gorgeous.

Ready for your Invisalign treatment? Don’t delay… book a consultation with Wylie Orthodontic Specialists today! Call 972-941-9363 and ask for Drs. Rachel Thieberg or Rodney Lewis. Visit for more information.

Tune into the Re-Tales Blog regularly for a real-time report of my teeth transformation. Week One:

Yours truly being prepped for the Invisalign program

A jarring digital imaging scan of my jaw

Notice the nearly “invisible” trays on my teeth?

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