Around Town

7 December 2013

With the holiday season upon us, festive markets are springing up all over NYC. It’s one of the best things about spending time in the city. You can go to a holiday market, pick up hot chocolate and cookies, then walk to the next shop and buy a scarf for your aunt. Bundle up and check out some of the best holiday markets in NYC.

Best Overall: The Union Square Holiday Market

Best Overall: The Union Square Holiday Market

Each year, over 1 million visitors attend The Union Square Holiday Market, and it’s no surprise considering how much they have to offer. From jewelry to food and art to kid’s toys, there’s something for everyone on your list, and the best part is that you’re helping to support local artisans. It’s where you go when you want a unique gift that you just can’t find anywhere else. The market runs until December 24 – perfect for all those last, last minute shoppers – and is open on weekdays from 11am to 8pm, Saturdays from 10am to 8pm, and on Sundays from 11am to 7pm.

Best for Arts and Crafts Lovers: The Degenerate Craft Fair

Best for Arts and Crafts Lovers: The Degenerate Craft Fair

Started in 2009, the Degenerate Craft Fair features fabulous items by more than 50 artists. What makes this fair even more incredible is that the majority of the items cost $50 or less. Who doesn’t love a good deal? The Degenerate Craft Fair is two days only – December 14 and 15 – so make sure you check them out before they’re gone.

Best for Foodies: The Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Best for Foodies: The Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Just short of the entrance to Central Park sits The Columbus Circle Holiday Market, a great collection of shops where you can find everything from gourmet chocolates and jewelry to pottery and accessories. You’re undoubtedly going to work up an appetite walking around this large market, so make sure to stop off and get some food at one of the many food areas including Red Thai Basil, Macaron Parlour, Wafels & Dinges, and La Sonrisa Empanadas amongst many others. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market is open until December 24, and runs Monday through Saturday from 10am to 8pm, and on Sundays from 10am to 7pm.

Best Outdoor Experience: The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

Best Outdoor Experience: The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

A favorite amongst shoppers, The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park are beloved not only for the shopping experience, but because the ice skating rink is right there and provides easy access to people watching, gliding gracefully across the ice, or falling on your derriere depending on how skilled you are. There’s plenty of shops to stop at and copious amounts of hot chocolate to consume, so get on it! The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park are running until January 5, and are open Monday through Friday from 11am to 8pm, Saturday from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

By Lauren Romano

Union Square Holiday Market photo credit: Erin Kestenbaum

Posted by Lauren Romano at 01:00 PM
Around Town , LIFESTYLE , Opinions , Shop Smart , SHOPPING | Trackback |

17 June 2013

Outrageous lines outside Roger Vivier Sample Sale

New York City’s hottest sample sales are nothing short of pandemonium. Various fashion blogs feature weekly reviews of the hottest sample sales. They’re full of pictures and prices, providing our beloved readers with an accurate opinion and description of the sale at hand, exhibiting sufficient reason to attend or skip the sale at hand, as to not waste their time.  It sounds like a pretty simple job, right? Wrong. It may sound fun to shop for a living, and don’t get me wrong – it is! – but with all good must come bad, and it’s about time we point it out for no other reason than to give fashionistas a behind the scenes glimpse to an average work day for a New York City sample sale reviewer.

For well over two years I have been covering sample sales, visiting every variety, shape and size sale you could possibly dream up. I can easily predict the crowd, selection, prices, and overall environment before even stepping foot into the mayhem.

However, despite the crazed fashionistas and deal hungry shoppers, who merely foam at the mouth for an 80% off pair of heels, the biggest grief givers within sample sales are the organizers and employees themselves. This isn’t the case for all organizers mind you (namely 260 Fifth – they are by far the most professional), but as for the other half, they seem to get their kicks by barking at shoppers, forcing them to stand in inclement weather for hours at a time, being inconsiderate with the prized designer bags, laptops, and leather jackets that customers are required to check upon entering, and perhaps worst of all, placing dressing rooms off limits, forcing shoppers to strip down to their unmentionables as they try on discounted jeans, blouses, and well, even bathing suits. What else are they supposed to do given the no refund or exchange policy? After all these years the sample sale has been eternalized as a hubbub of rabid and crazed shoppers who are itching for deals, but are the organizers actually the ones to blame for inducing this behavior?

Most sales also have a strict “no photography”  policy, and balk when they see journalist like myself scribbling away in her notebook. Perhaps they hope that without press, a mystique will be added to the sale and in the end draw in more curious customers. At one recent sale in particular–which shall remain nameless– they were not allowing press inside. Being that The Stylish City is relied on for delivering same day reviews, no one was going to stop me from entering this sale. Well, aside from the estimated 2.5-hour wait that is. Using my vast sample sale knowledge I found a loophole. There was about 5-minutes before the doors opened to the public, and boxes of merchandise were still being wheeled in through their loading dock. Sneaky me tip toed toward the side entrance and made my best attempt at “blending in” with the deliverymen. Walking slowly behind them I quickly ducked into a public bathroom before being snagged by security. While inside the restroom, I impatiently stared at my watch until opening time struck. As I heard the herds role in, I quickly scampered inside, successfully entering the hottest sample sale of the week without even having to wait a minute.

It’s true, sample sale shoppers can be rude, grabby, and exhibitionists. They don’t care who is in their way of a $20 Alexander Wang tee-shirt and they will most likely risk jail time for the discount. But as I mentioned, aside from the rabid fashionistas, the employees are those who immediately come to mind when envisioning the negative side to sample sale shopping.

By Caitlin Colford

Posted by Caitlin Colford at 01:30 PM
Around Town , bargain news , LIFESTYLE , Opinions | Trackback |

6 June 2013

Monday night’s red carpet at the 2013 CFDA Awards looked particularly fabulous. From fashionable veterans such as Ralph Lauren to Oscar de la Renta and other notable attendants, including Hillary Clinton and Miranda Kerr, pretty much every single person looked divine.

Whether you tuned in to watch it yourself or are reading up on all the little details now, here are the six things you need to know about the CFDA.

1. The 2013 CFDA Award Winners (Obviously!)

In case you missed it, the winners were as follows:

Womenswear Designer of the Year: Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler

Menswear Designer of the Year: Thom Browne

Accessories Designer of the Year: Phillip Lim for 3.1 Phillip Lim

As for the Swarovski Awards for Emerging Talent, those awards were handed out to the following up-and-comers:

Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year: Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty for Suno

Swarovski Menswear Designer of the Year: Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School

Swarovski Accessories Designer of the Year: Pamela Love

The lifetime achievement award went to Vera Wang.

2. The CFDA Has Been Around for Over 50 Years

Yep, you read that right. The CFDA has now existed for over half a century. This not-for-profit organization, started by publicist Eleanor Lambert in 1962, has some serious roots and it isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

3. Fashion Made for Fashionable People

CFDA stands for “Council of Fashion Designers of America” and its annual award ceremony is considered the Oscars of the fashion world.

Diane von Furstenberg is the CFDA President“Nominations for each award category are submitted by the CFDA Fashion Awards Selection Committee, made up of the 400+ members of the CFDA, along with top fashion retailers, journalists, and stylists. The nominees, as well as recipients of the honorary awards, are ratified by the CFDA Board of Directors,” notes the CFDA website.

4. The CFDA Awards Are Kind of a Big Deal

While the CFDA Awards began as small-scale, intimate event specifically for those in the fashion industry, it’s since become a much more widely covered — and attended — event. From celebrities to debutantes to political figures, everyone shows up to the CFDA Awards.

5. Diane von Furstenberg is the CFDA President

Fashion veteran Diane von Furstenberg, who won the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, currently serves as the CFDA president. She took on that role in 2009 and works with Steven Kolb, the Chief Executive Officer.

6. The CFDA Mission

According to the CFDA website, their mission is:

  • To further the position of Fashion design as a recognized branch of American art and culture;
  • To advance artistic and professional standards within the Fashion industry;
  • To establish and maintain a code of ethics and practices of mutual benefit in professional, public, and trade relations;
  • To promote and improve public understanding and appreciation of the Fashion arts through leadership in quality and taste;
  • To create partnerships which lead to collaborative design opportunities for our Members;
  • To support the overall growth of American Fashion as a global industry.

By Wendy Rose Gould

Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 01:20 PM
Around Town , LIFESTYLE , Opinions | Trackback |

9 February 2013

As an Upper East Side Ambassador, I had to report on the blizzard. I don’t know how badly it snowed in other neighborhoods, but I have to tell you, it’s pretty quiet here. It is kind of Christmas and Valentine’s Day in one. Enjoy the pics, and have a great weekend.

Fifth Avenue at 86th Street
Fifth Avenue at 86th Street
Fifth Avenue at 88th Street
Fifth Avenue at 88th Street
Fifth Avenue at 88th Street
Engineers’ Gate Fifth Avenue at 90th Street
Corner cafe & bakery Madison Avenue 90th Street
Corner cafe & bakery Madison Avenue 90th Street
Central Park
Central Park

Posted by Mirela Gluck at 01:53 PM
Around Town , LIFESTYLE , Neighborhoods , Opinions | Trackback |

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