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The Inhumanity of Airlines Today / Track Suit Guy / Corkers / Fashion / Airlines / United Airlines / Track Suits / Dress Codes / First Class Travel / → All Tags
Did you hear the one about the guy who was denied a first class seat on a United Airlines flight because he was wearing a track suit? It's a corker. Armando Alvarez (not pictured), an executive at Best Buy, used his frequent flier miles to upgrade to the front of the cabin for a flight from Washington Dulles to Connecticut on October 26, but a gate agent took one look at his Puma getup and deemed him unworthy of the fancy seats, insisting he sit in coach with the riffraff instead. United has come out and said it was all a big misunderstanding, and that the agent apparently thought Alvarez was an airline employee - and thus required to follow a dress code - but not before the story became the latest example of the inhumanity of airlines today.
Last week, we had a perfect demonstration of how not to look and how not to handle your passport when Twilight star Kristen Stewart traveled through LAX looking a mess and barely holding onto her passport. But trust good old former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham to trample through London-Heathrow in a black cape-y thing and giant shades and put in-flight fashion back on track.
No, we're not necessarily endorsing going pantsless with only a cape to keep you warm, but if you're flying first class from London back to the States as super world traveler Beckham is, you're welcome to look a little over-the-top. And that is why Victoria also gets a pass for toting a blue bag with a black outfitat least she's also got her passport under wraps.
Travel Gear / Gear / Hats / Jam It or Slam It? / Active Travel / Fashion / → All Tags
So I got this new hat, and I think it's pretty neat. It's a Tarp Hat from a company called The Real Deal and it's made from the recycled tarpaulins of Brazilian cargo trucks that have traveled from the Amazon to Sao Paolo and back again. It's sturdy and has a nice wide brim, which is why I like it, as I'll take as much sun protection as I can get.
A Chilean fashion designer has discovered the secret to getting famous in his conservative country: offend the Catholic church with racy portrayals of its most venerated saint. Reuters introduces us to Ricardo Oyarzun, who has caused a major stir in Santiago and around the world with plans for a fashion show featuring scantily clad female models dressed up as the Virgin Mary. Oyarzun claims that the show - which includes halos, religious icons, and "ample, near-naked breasts" - is "inspired" by the Virgin Mary but not intended to specifically represent her. The church doesn't care for the distinction, decrying the presentation of Mary as "an object of consumption." And a conservative group tried - and failed - to stop the fashion show at a Santiago nightclub, providing that much more publicity for the event. As with all such scandals, this one would have probably gone away quickly had people not made such a big deal about it. But when you give newspaper editors around the world a newsworthy excuse to use "busty virgin" in a headline, I guess the explosion of coverage is inevitable.
Beloved by thrifty college students and design-hunters alike, Chicago's pop vintage store Hollywood Mirror delivers a hefty dose of kitsch for little cash. Specializing in everything from second-hand mid-century modern home furnishings to the most garish Hawaiian shirts from the 1950s, the store is like a thrift version of Vitra merged with Urban Outfitters--yet most everything is true vintage.
Enter the shop and pass the little jumble of Hot Topic-ish goods to reveal the true splendor of retro revival. Need a neon nightie from 1962 or a bowling bag only Bettie Page could love? You're in luck!
The lifeblood of Hollywood Mirror is of course its faithful customer base, who keep the colorful supply rotating, but the draw of the location is helped by its surrounding eclectic neighborhood, Lakeview. To locals, however, the area is simply known as "Boystown," and it takes only a minute on the streets on a Saturday night to see why. Luckily, Hollywood Mirror holds the recession-defying recipe of offering cheap, individual style in the midst of a true urban community who will never sell them out for Design Within Reach. Priceless.
As Thanksgiving inches ever closer, we are immediately reminded of all the holiday shopping we have yet to tackle--and the budget we are lacking to tackle it with! Not to worry, we're back with this week's recession shopping stop in NYC: Saada, perched cutely on the corner of Second Avenue and 61st Street.
Saada means "happiness" in Arabic, and we have to admit that we feel pretty damn good after shopping here. There's almost always something fun in the window, and the store features tons of stuff for the best girlfriend/sister/co-worker in your life. One of the best parts about Saada is its reasonable prices: Rarely are items over $100 and they often have little-known designer sample sales and will sometimes slash prices if you ask... (You didn't hear it from us!)
Recently we scored two long sweaters, leggings, an offbeat necklace and bag for under $200. If you want to splurge, Saada also carries high-end lines like Sass & Bide, True Religion and Mackage. The two tables in front are usually covered with the items selling out the quickest, so be sure to triple check there before moving to the long racks down the wall.
The shop's salespeople are also very friendly and honest about sizes and fits. We just bought a long skinny sweater which we had an inkling would be snug and Saada called us back in a day to tell us the larger size was in and we could exchange it, no questions asked. That spells true recession retail happiness to us in any language.
[Photo: Google Maps]
Once the weather turns chillier, we inevitably turn from our closets in despair: Where did all the cool clothes we bought last winter disappear to? Hm. Time for some seasonal shopping, although this year's budget is, um, a little bit tighter than last year's. So we're delighted to offer you some Recession Shopping spots to check out worldwide.
If you're sick of shopping for new fall and winter clothes in giant department stores or chains with canned-response sales clerks who tell you everything looks good on you, take a break from them all and head to Greenpoint in Brooklyn to the mecca that is Dalaga. Located "on the sunny side of Franklin Street" Dalaga is what we imagined mom and pop shops were like decades ago.
The staff is friendly, honest and actually helpful. The lighting is just right and the interior, assembled with bits of a Victorian bedroom set found by the owner and friends in the neighborhood, makes you feel as though you've stumbled on an amazing closet of finds. Opened in 2006 by designer Michelle Mangilian, "Dalaga" is a Tagalog word that Michelle interprets as "quintessential woman in her prime." Guys, don't feel left out, there's awesome men's clothing too.
And the racks of clothes? Excellent both in style and in price. We found a very cool Sherlock Holmes-y style fall cape for under $100. Dalaga seems to have something for every day too, from formal dresses and suits, to more casual sweaters, boots, hats and fun tights. The best part? We were eager to step out of the dressing room each time because the staff straight up told us what worked and what didn't. We never felt like they were just trying to make a sale. Dalaga's open from noon-9, Tuesday-Sunday.
Sneakers / Shopping / Shoes / Fashion / Fashion Travel / → All Tags
Two is a trend when it's this random. What's up with faux-restaurant sneaker shops? First, Philly starts selling sneakers from an undercover Chinese joint, and now New York's latest sneaker shop is disguised as a soul food counter.
At SoleFood NYC, you can check out rare Nikes or bring in your own sneaks to be customized by local graffiti artists. The sneakers are stored in deli-style display cases, and you can try them on while hanging out at diner-style booths.
SoleFood NYC does one-up the Philly joint: On Sundays, they even operate as a bit of a real restaurant, too. You can take your new kicks home along with a takeout container full of collard greens, candied yams, and other soul food goodies.
[Photo: Jonathan Sloan]
Mexico City likes to break records. The world's largest city is also one of Mexico's wealthiest and one of its most dangerous. After a dip in crime in the early 2000s, misdeeds are back en vogue. Now, the market is responding, with a bulletproof clothing boutique cropping up in Polanco, the Rodeo Drive of the DF.
The store, called Miguel Caballero, takes its name from its Colombian owner. Bulletproof items there range from leather jackets to polo shirts, parkas and white ruffled tuxedo shirts. But before you apply for a sales position, be forewarned:
It's always a perk to visit a city and have a close friend to show you the best spots to shop. You know, nowhere near the mega-chains, but full of local flavor and artistry. The result is usually a new closetful of pieces (and an empty wallet) that beg the question 'Where did you get that?' and the satisfaction of knowing your look can't be replicated by anyone back home.
Sneakers / Shopping / Shoes / Fashion / Fashion Travel / → All Tags
We've heard plenty about secret bars hidden behind restaurants and down dark alleys, but secret sneaker shops has got to be a new one.
That's the case with Abakus Takeout, a new footwear mecca in Philadelphia's Chinatown that comes complete with an imitation Chinese takeout joint atmosphere.
Justin Timberlake poses with buddy Trace Ayala (right) and two designers for their William Rast label, which made its debut at New York Fashion Week Spring '09 this week.
Just like last week's US Open, it seems like the Fashion Week tents are buzzing with more celebrities than usual supporting their favorite designers, from Renee Zellweger at Carolina Herrera to Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Lopez at Marc Jacobs. Maybe the recession's convincing them to lobby harder for free clothes!
But how are the reviews for William Rast, the upscale jeans line for which Timberlake made a promo video of himself beaten up? Style.com found the women's line surprisingly wearable, and the Hartford Courant said the runway set "conjured Cracker Barrel meets 'Deliverance'" but "went straight for a modern zing lurking in old wardrobe standbys."
But fashion news standard Women's Wear Daily only snarked about guests' disappointment that Timberlake didn't sing at any point during the show.
· Justin Timberlake Hosts ESPY Awards Shindig At The Standard L.A. [HC]
· Celebrity Restaurants: Justin Timberlake Takes On Harlem Soul Food [Jaunted]
· William Rast Spring 2009 RTW [Style.com]
· New York Fashion Week: Diane Von Furstenberg; William Rast [Courant]
· State of Confusion at William Rast [WWD]
· Celeb Travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Socialite Life]