Re-Tales: confessions of a shopaholic

Lost and Found

imageA born scatterbrain, I’ve lost many things over the years such as keys, jobs, boyfriends, my mind and even shirt sleeves (that’s another story). But nothing compares to the anxiety I felt after carelessly leaving my beloved black beret behind in a taxi – a perfect-fitting Parisian velvet design, which worked wonders for bad hair days. Fortunately, while escorting a client on a recent shopping safari, I spotted a knockout knit hunting cap from designer Lara Kazan, which has quickly become much more than a suitable replacement.

Perfect for absent-minded women like me, the haute Lara Kazan cocoa-colored hat (pictured above) comes with a handy conjoined scarf, ensuring maximum warmth and style. Better yet, the neckwear can be detached, giving you two killer accoutrements for the price of one. Now how cool is that? And yes, the extra-long scarf looks just as chic when worn solo.

A New York-based designer who kicked-off her hand-knit accessory line in 2000 with “Lara Legs,” a funky, vintage-inspired collection of hand-crocheted legwear, Lara recently added a jaw-dropping assortment of clothing and other cutting-edge accessories. My personal faves: a pair of chocolate knit cuffs with detachable mittens, Lara’s signature ‘80’s-inspired legwarmers (much more fashionable than the Flashdance kind), arm warmers in edgy checkered-color combos like charcoal and violet, chic riding hood capes, cozy cocoon sweaters (the electric blue ensemble is to-die-for), fitted vests with contrasting piping and leather saddle belts.

Now that Lara Kazan’s headpiece has neatly filled the void of my erstwhile beret, my only fear: what happens if I have another senior moment and lose the hat and scarf altogether?

  • Lara Kazan Designs
  • $75 and up
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Filed: Clothes Encounters

My Funny Valentine

With Valentine’s Day only a week away, you’re probably wondering how you can spruce up one of the most obligatory and saccharine of Hallmark holidays. Rather than bore your sweetie with a candlelit dinner of white truffle risotto, chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of bubbly (so predictable), why not have some fun this year. From boudoir board games to edible body paint (ooh la la!), massage bars to eye-opening masks, here’ some sultry Valentine’s Day treats that are guaranteed to make your sweetie smile!

imageSatiate two major cravings at once with this naughty box of edible body paints. Dip the supple brush into creamy dark, milk or white chocolate-filled jars – all the tools you’ll need to create your masterpiece. Kama Sutra Lover’s Paintbox, $34.99,

imageCelebrate your burning desire for each other by stripping over flickering candlelight. The rich, warm, animalistic scent guarantees explosive results. Handi-wipes not included. Strip Votive, $40,

imageGive your honey a head-to-toe rubdown with this hydrating, heart-adorned body bar. A heady blend of jasmine, ylang ylang and sage is unleashed as soon as the bar’s exposed to body heat. Meow! Play Your Cards Right Lush Massage Bar, $8.95,

imageWhy play a traditional game of Texas Hold ‘em when you can instantly perk up his libido with this eyebrow-raising, Agent Provocateur board game. The box includes a deck of erotic cards, game chips and a book filled with guilty pleasures for the lucky winner. Condoms not included. Agent Provocateur, The Game, $21.95,

imageShow him who’s the boss with this satin, tuxedo-inspired push-up bra and panty set. While a little extra cleave never hurts, its the saucy keyhole detail on the bottoms that are the pièce de résistance. Sista Shei “Tux Deluxe” push-up bra ($80) and brief ($60),

imageBring out your inner bad girl with this satin, Marquis De Sade-inspired eye mask. For those unfamiliar with fine French literature, Marquis de Sade was an infamous writer who was incarcerated for publishing erotic prose, just like the sadistic quote on this mask! (Treat me Like the…). Marquee Eye Mask, $85,


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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Blast From The Past

imageRemember those iconic Members Only (MO) bomber jackets from the ‘80s? Well, guess what… they’re back! After a 20-year hiatus, MO – the once-hipster outerwear label, has been reincarnated with a star-studded women’s collection designed by former tabloid mag editor, Kelli Delaney.

Having recently previewed the line at a “VIP” shopping event at Henri Bendel, I thought I’d share my take on the revamped MO. While the cheese factor still exists, MO’s new silhouettes are surprisingly sexy with an edgy twist. No longer fabricated from cheap nylon and polyester, MO’s “new and improved” celebrity-driven line is made from buttery soft Italian lambskin leathers that look even hotter when paired with stovepipes or leggings.

Brace yourself for colors and cuts that are radically different: from Winter white belted trenches, midnight blue men’s-inspired vests, black quilted patent biker bombers, capped-sleeve ensembles adorned with glitzy gold buttons to body-hugging mini knit dresses in strapless, plunging v-necks and keyhole back cuts (ooh la la!). My favorite newcomer: a flashy metallic gold bomber that Cameron Diaz just bought.

Sopranos fans rejoice! You’re still getting the same wide knit waistbands, zip-up front and buckle neck closures along with the classic tagline, “When You Put In On, Something Happens.” But with prices topping $1,430 (eek!), it might be tough to join the club.

  • Members Only
  • Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue @ 56th St.
  • 212-247-1100
  • $330-$1,430
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Filed: Clothes Encounters

Hair Apparent

imageAdmittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Jessica Simpson, however, I must say, I do admire her beautiful, bouncy (nope, not those!), natural-looking locks. Since I’m cursed with ultra-fine and thinning tresses, I find myself frequently covering my head with hats. But that only serves as a band-aid and not a long-term solution for coping with my condition. That’s why I’ve turned to HairDo – a collection of virtually undetectable clip-in hair extensions designed by, none other than, Jessica Simpson and her personal stylist, Ken Pavés.

imageWith HairDo, you too can instantly sport dozens of faux, yet fabulous-looking red carpet manes everyday day of the week. Unlike those el cheapo, drugstore extension brands, HairDo is a luxe clip-in line made from 100% human hair that’s dying to be colored, permed and heat styled. Available in a variety of head-turning hues (bleach-blonde, black to reddish brown), lengths (10-23 inches) and textures (wavy to pin straight), HairDo wants you to be free to change your hair as often as you change your mind.

Perfect for time-pressed prima donnas, HairDo allows you to create dozens of chic styles such as low-slung ponytails and sexy chignons, none of which require pricey and professional salon application. For best results, however, it’s worth having a stylist cut, bleach and curl it with a hot iron before attaching it to your natural strands. Kelly from L.A.‘s Ken Pavés salon did the honors with my 17” chocolate copper extension. As for the results – check out the before and after photos above and judge for yourself.

Feel free to email your thoughts to and I’ll post your comments on my blog.

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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Earthly Delights

imageFashion designer Nina Valenti’s raison d’être is to minimize waste. So much so, that she recently designed a formal dress made entirely from trash! Created exclusively for world-renowned concert pianist Soyean Lee, during her Carnegie Hall debut in New York this February, this wearable work of art (pictured above) was compiled from over 6,000 recycled juice pouches and took Nina over 2 months to make. Now that’s what I call dedication!

While the “garbage” gown is guaranteed to generate some buzz, Nina’s biggest claim to fame is Nature vs Future, her cutting-edge, yet eco-friendly and biodegradable clothing label. Designed for confident women who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd, Nature vs Future has received accolades for its ultra flattering fit and innovative use of sustainable fabrics. Even celebs such as Parker Posey and Tina Fey are fans of Nina’s earthy, yet edgy approach to fashion.

Unlike traditional eco-friendly clothing lines that often resemble potato sacks, Nature vs Future’s silhouettes are sexy yet sophisticated, with tailored, architecturally designed shapes. Each piece is produced from organic wool, hemp, soy, bamboo, seaweed, lyocell (a.k.a. wood pulp) and Ingeo (made from corn), along with recycled and technologically-forward fabrics such as Polartec, which is made from soda pop bottles and industrial waste (who knew?).

A few earth-friendly numbers I have my eye on: a fitted Polartec fleece jacket in chocolate brown, a swirl collar tunic dress in black, a leaf-green top with ruching and a silk charmeuse button-down shirt in dove grey. As for Spring ’08, standouts include a soft pink, body-hugging jersey dress with edgy shoulder cutouts, a pleated, bubble hem shift with multiple shoulder straps (made from recycled polyester) and a delicate sea foam, linen sheath.

Just goes to show you, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Exclusive Deal Just For YOU! is giving Fashion Junkie subscribers 20% off any Fall/Winter items of your choice from Thursday, January 24 through Thursday, January, 31st. Simply enter the promo code “FJFIX” upon checkout to redeem your discount. Happy shopping!

  • Nature vs Future
  • $100-$600
  • within 7 days of purchase with receipt
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Filed: Clothes Encounters