Day Of Shopping At Time Warner Center For “Fashion Blogger Forecast” Campaign
Last Friday, I told you chicas the amazing news about Sicka Than Average being selected to participate in Time Warner Center’s “Fashion Blogger Forecast” initiative. On Saturday, then, I headed out to The Shops at Columbus Circle to face my unique styling challenge: putting together an outfit for a “Girl’s Night Out” at the Rande Gerber-owned Stone Rose Lounge, which is itself located inside Time Warner Center (on the fourth floor, providing a glorious view of Central Park). I spent the entire day shopping (hey, it’s my version of cardio) and even had a videographer film me as I made my way to different retailers and selected the pieces I wished to purchase (stay tuned for the finished webisode!). As promised, I’ve put together a recap of the experience, complete with photos of my excursion, details on the spring style trends I observed while perusing through the stores, and the scoop on all my great buys. So….drumroll, please…let’s press that rewind button!
I arrived at The Shops at Columbus Circle shortly before 10 a.m., decked out in a scoopneck, deep red, leopard print faux leather T-shirt from 213 Industry with a back zipper (part of their Fall 2011 collection); a 213 Industry cropped, black knit shrug with a shaggy texture and glittery stones woven into the fabric; fitted black Joie pants accessorized with a wide, stretchy 213 Industry belt with a jeweled buckle embellished with feathers and draped chains; a Twisted Floating Horseshoe Ring from Skinny Jewelry; and tons of silver jewelry from Little Rooms (the silver House Ring, the Radio Dial Double Finger Ring, the Lock Earrings, and the Seismograph Pendant). What can I say? I’m one of those women who gets decked out to go shopping. Now that I think about it, I tend to dress up for much more menial tasks (like checking the mail). And considering how elegant Time Warner Center is, well, who wouldn’t want to look their very best? Before I started shopping, I stopped by the Borders bookstore and got myself a nice cup of coffee. After I’d gotten my caffeine fix, I was ready to rumble!
Though I had a vague notion of the outfit I wanted to put together for my after-hours event at Stone Rose Lounge, I wanted to explore various options. Still, I knew a sexy dress would be the centerpiece of the look, and I knew just where I would find the perfect number: bebe.
So let’s start our shopping day recap at this first destination!
First Stop: bebe
There’s a reason why fashion icon, reality TV star, and sex symbol Kim Kardashian is so fond of bebe (the Kardashian sisters even designed a fashion line for bebe): the store is always chockfull of on-trend apparel and accessories in vibrant hues, playful patterns, feminine silhouettes, and a young Hollywood vibe. Countless pieces spoke to current fashion trends — from sexy separates in neon hues to animal print, caftan-inspired, floor-length halter dresses; corset-style, one-piece jumpsuits; nautical-themed tops and shorts; honeysuckle pink micro dresses (one of Pantone’s picks for Spring 2011); and skirts with undulating petal strip details.
I must have tried on about six or seven different dresses but, eventually, my eyes fell on this one piece that practically seemed to call my name: a bright red bandage dress in the vein of the Hervé Leger frocks seen on Blake Lively in Gossip Girl. When I slithered into the dress, I knew I’d found the elusive “one.” The dress fit like a glove — it hugged every curve but, rather than accentuate any problem areas like a flimsy spandex piece would do, the material almost seemed to smooth out my silhouette and provide a degree of control (a la Spanx). The double shoulder straps, meanwhile, formed a V shape and then crisscrossed below the bosom, accentuating this area. It’s a va-va-voom number for sure! The dress retails for $109, so it’s a smart and reasonably priced piece — especially given that a saucy red dress is as essential a closet staple as the famed LBD.
To give the knee-length dress some rock-‘n’-roll flavor, I chose a black leather jacket with slightly puffed-up sleeves (a subtler take on the inflated sleeves of the tuxedo jacket that Rihanna rocked to the 2009 Met Costume Gala), an angled zipper and zippered cuffs that imbued the piece with a motorcycle-ready vibe, and all-over pailletes to give the piece texture. The jacket retails for $259, which is an absolute steal for such a versatile piece. After all, what would an edgy New Yorker be without a black leather jacket?
Lastly, I sauntered over to the accessories table at the center of the store. Since I wanted to give my outfit a rocker edge, I gravitated towards oversize, audacious, silver-toned pieces, like a cobra-shaped ring (serpents are hot this season!) priced at $24 and a twisted chain bracelet with clear crystal stones priced at $24.
Check out photos of my time at bebe and the fabu dress!
Second Stop: STUART WEITZMAN
Once I’d selected my ensemble, I needed to jazz up the look with some ferocious shoes. And where better to go than Stuart Weitzman? Since I’m a shoe fanatic, being inside Stuart Weitzman feels like being inside a candy emporium, with a million pieces tempting me from their sleek white shelves. From the wall of ikat-covered espadrille wedges (part of Stuart Weitzman’s collaboration with Theodora & Callum) to the various leopard-print heels and raffia pumps, the designer footwear boutique was lined with fashionable finds.
After trying on an adorable pair of closed toe, woven raffia pumps and some sky-high, leopard print heels with a sexy peep toe, I stumbled on the footwear Golden Child (in my eyes, at least): a pair of black raffia sandals with a conical heel, crisscrossed ankle straps, a small peep toe, and a color-blocked pattern of angled raffia strips (gray, white, and black) along the sides. Dubbed the “Bradford,” these sandals (available for $375) spoke to two key spring footwear trends: raffia as a prime material and color-blocking as a design technique.
And, of course, they worked perfectly with the red dress and black leather jacket.
Check out photos below:
Third Stop: BOSS Hugo Boss
Though BOSS Hugo Boss is best known for its extensive array of perfectly tailored men’s suits and slacks, it also offers some elegant pieces for women, not to mention shoes and handbags in premium leather. After a quick look at the safari-inspired neutrals and the perky orange blouses and dresses in the racks, I made my way to the handbag area. Right away, I zoomed in on a black cross-body purse with two pyramid shaped suede strips in a snake-like texture along the front flap. Not only did I love the play on textures (the shiny leather versus the matte suede), but I appreciated the fact that the purse could be worn as a handbag or as a crossbody (the latter is, after all, one of the hottest handbag styles this season).
From a practical perspective, I love the idea of a lightweight crossbody for a girl’s night out since it allows me the freedom of not having to worry about constantly holding my clutch and keeping an eye out for it whenever I lay it down on a bar or table. I also adored the fact that the purse had a zipper along the center that, in turn, allowed access to two compartments: one along the front flap and the other along the back. Since you could tuck items in this front flap’s interior compartment, the purse actually allows you to carry twice as much as you normally would (normally, that top flap is only there to safeguard your belongings).
Check out photos from the store and get a closer look at the bag (retailing for $450):
Fourth Stop: True Religion
Next, I ventured to denim mecca True Religion to check out some of their latest styles. The store was packed with crisp white denim, turquoise cargo pants and shorts, retro plaid shirts, and a bevvy of floral print button-downs that speak to the current fascination with Boho ’70s style. Perhaps my favorite new pieces, however, are the skinny jeans made in collaboration with Swarovski Crystallized, which feature button closures and pocket button accents covered with Swarovski crystals.
Take a look at some of the highlights inside the store:
Fifth Stop: A/X Armani Exchange
My last stop was A/X Armani Exchange, where I hoped to find just a few more accessories for my outfit (hey, I’m big on the accessories). Among the many monochromatic pieces in the store (all-white and all-black pieces are all the rage at the moment), I found a side table covered with must-have accessories. First, I noticed a ultra-soft, black-and-white scarf (priced at $38) with a print that reminded me of cracked cement. The color composition and the urban motif seemed perfect for my glam rock look, so I snatched it up immediately!
Next, I noticed the most amazing statement necklace (priced at $38): a silver, multi-strand, bib necklace with stacked beads along either end, rectangular bars with a mirror-like sheen that lent the piece an Art Deco flavor, and square beads strung closely together along the center to resemble bricks, giving the necklace an Egyptian vibe.
And those weren’t the only treasures I unearthed! I found a pair of silver-toned stud earrings shaped like angel wings and covered with pavé style stones (I’ve playfully dubbed them my Icharus earrings), priced at $28, and a matching silver-toned ring with feather-like strips and pavé-set stones priced at $32.
Just as I was getting ready to check out, my eyes fell upon the finishing touch: a gunmetal-colored hinge cuff with a belt-like closure (priced at $38).
Check out my amazing finds below:
Late Lunch: Landmarc
Phew! I worked up an appetite while doing all that shopping! Now that my mission was complete, I took a minute to unwind and grab a quick bite. Since Landmarc is located right next to A/X Armani Exchange, I couldn’t have asked for a more convenient location to get some lunch. I nibbled on the Crispy Prosciutto & Fontina Flatbread, a deliciously crunchy appetizer with juicy baked tomatoes and perfectly salty prosciutto. Yum!
Once I’d regained my strength, it was time to head out an get ready for my big night at Stone Rose Lounge.
Want to see how I put together all the various components and created my final look? Stay tuned, ma chéries! On Wednesday, you’ll get all the details, plus I’ll officially be launching a giveaway!