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Celebretail Part II:Emmett McCarthy Graduates From Project Runway


As another season of Project Runway heats up, the question of what happened to previous contestants inevitably arises. A few veterans always seem to hang on to the spotlight, and rather than fading into reality-star oblivion, one of last season's contestants, Emmett McCarthy, has opened his own store, EMc2 on Elizabeth Street. The real test is if he can make it away from the judgmental eyes of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia.

More after the jump.

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A Whiff Of Le Labo On Elizabeth Street


We were directed to Le Labo by someone who had heard of the independent perfumer who opened earlier this year. "You have to check this place out. It sounds totally pretentious," we were told. But one person's pretension is another's intrigue, and we like to approach a store with blank slate. We looked at the extensive website, and there were a lot of words written about smells including a manifesto, which is never a good sign. When you come right down to it, a fragrance either smells good or it doesn't. Still, we learned that founders Fabrice and Edouard were disillusioned with the commodification of fragrance, and wanted to return to a purer, more artistic expression of the fragrant arts. Find out if they succeeded in sparking their revolution after the jump.

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Tom Ford's Black Orchid Exposes Itself!

072806_1Women's Wear Daily has revealed the new Tom Ford women's fragrance called Black Orchid. The first step in finally creating a Tom Ford brand will debut this November, and the black Lalique crystal perfume bottle has an elegant, retro silhouette, with a provocatively shaped, elongated stopper that looks like, uh...well, it's sort of...extended. We're not perverts or anything, but it's definitely...symbolic of something. Let's just say they could sell it at Kiki De Montparnasse. Does it come with batteries? Oh, come on! You can see it! It makes us wonder what the bottle for the inevitable men's version is gong to look like.

Diesel Union Square 2.0

Img_1022We should be soooo over them by now, but for some reason, every season there are about four pairs of Diesel jeans that we desperately must own. Now that they have renovated and re-styled their Union Square shop, everything looks better than ever.Img_1021_1 The DJ is still there. They have gotten rid of the 55DSL room and discontinued the Diesel Style Lab collection so there is plenty of room for the main collection and lots of jeans with weird names. Really, Shazor? Viker? Ronhar? Who thinks of these names? What do they mean?

Diesel Flagship 1 Union Square West 

Alex K Goes Shopping: Ralph Lauren Anhedonia Edition

867madisonWell, today Alex Kuczynski has thrown us a little bit of a loop in the Thurday Styles of The New York Times by writing about the expanding Ralph Lauren fiefdom on Madison Avenue between 71st and 72nd streets. In the spirit of full disclosure, we should let our readers know that The Shophound briefly (and unhappily) worked there. Before we get to that, let's have a short look at Alex's mild, but still amusing freak-out of the week as she comes upon a reference to Ralph in a Joan Didion book:

I stopped. Rubbed my eyes. Reread. There it was: Page 194. This titan of literature, one half of perhaps America’s greatest literary duo of the last quarter-century, had seen fit, in the Pulitzer Prize-nominated ode to her late husband, to muse on Ralph Lauren’s expansion on Madison Avenue.

888madison_1 Really? So Shocked? A fine writer shouldn't mention something as lowly as a store when writing about prosaic activities? Apparently actual details about life in New York don't belong in fancy "literary" books.  It's a good thing we never read those. We might be constantly horrified!
Anyway, on to Ralph, and a tiny bit of dirt from us after the jump.

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We Can't Bring Ourselves To Do It

Img_1016This has been a disturbing development for a while, and this little window at Barney's just reminded us. We know that they are the latest, chic-est, very last word in premium denim, but we just can't seem to bring ourselves to wear jeans from a company named after a dreaded skin condition that makes teenagers miserable (although the price is also something of a deterrent).Img_1017 Really......ACNE? Couldn't they think of a better name? Maybe it means something else in Sweden where they come from, but still, what a way to ruin perfectly good jeans.

Celebretail Part I: Phoebe Cates-Kline Grows A Blue Tree.

Img_1009_2It's Upper East Side Week here! It wasn't so long ago that every celebrity wanted in on a restaurant deal, and suddenly every new cafe had a bunch of famous names attached to drum up hype, but lately among the proliferation of celebrity fashion lines (hello, Scarlett Johansson for Reebok) there seems to be a new craze for opening a boutique as a little sideline. Seriously, how many more times can we see Lisa Rinna's Belle Gray boutique on Extra or The Style Network? We heard about Phoebe Cates-Kline's Blue Tree from Women's Wear Daily, and if they were writing a serious article about it, we figured it had to be more than a hobby. Apparently, the former 80s teen temptress was so disappointed about the closing of neighborhood gift store Penny Whistle, that she took the space and opened her own shop with business partner Lisa Matlin last fall. Rather than choosing trendier neighborhoods like the West Village or Soho, Cates-Kline chose to stick close to home in low-key Carnegie Hill, which should give you an idea of her point of view as a retailer, and she does have one. No dilettantes over here.

More after the jump

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Uptown Luxe Preview Part II

Img_1012We're sure that this plywood wasn't there last weekend, but here it is now heralding the imminent arrival of Samsonite Black Label in a plum spot right between Cartier and Gucci in the old Westbury Hotel building on Madison Avenue. Black Label is Samsonite's luxury collection, and the store will be open in plenty of time to sell the exclusive luggage collection from Alexander McQueen we told you about. The store will also have an exclusive line from design guru Marc Newsom and should go a long way towards repositioning Samsonite as a more upscale brand.

Img_1014How could we have missed this giant image of supermodel Nadja Auermann? Her presence signals the Madison Avenue debut of Italian Jeweler Pomellato, making this a little pan-European block of gems with the Greek Ilias Lalaounis and the French Chanel Bijoux between 64th and 65th Streets.

Canadians Are Pissed

2006_07_parasucoIt seems Canadian denim maker Parasuco is none too pleased with the state of things at its new flagship store on Spring Street. They are suing their landlord over the lingering scaffolding on the neoclassical facade of the shop; scaffolding which, ironically, serves as a giant billboard for...Parasuco. Apparently, they were none too pleased with our report on their opening, as their PR chief posted an indignant comment which you can read after the jump. Hey, we call 'em like we see 'em!

Jeans Retailer Sues For $5M Over Blocked View (New York Post via Curbed)

Previously, Canadians Are Coming, Canadians Are Here

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