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The Weekly Spree

Happy Holiday Weekend! We'll save some posts for when you are back in front of your screens again next week. In the meantime, here's what's been going on:

Kiki De Montparnasse: Taking The Raunch Out Of Kink

Img_0973Most sex shops hide in the shadows, especially in post-Giuliani New York. They are usually in offbeat neighborhoods, so you can find them if you want to, but you wouldn't if you don't. Not Kiki De Montparnasse(NSFW), the new lady-centric sex shop on Greene Street in SoHo. No, they are right in a busy shopping neighborhood with the door held open by an appropriately shiny gold chain. As you may imagine, Kiki is not your average sex shop. Named for the stage moniker of Alice Ernestine Prin, the artists' model, muse and all-around it-girl of Paris in the 1920's and 30's, their website states:

Kiki de Montparnasse will ensconce you in luxury, woo your every sense, and remind you that few things are as profound as love and beauty. Once you have experienced it for yourself, you will know the transformative power of erotic license. Such freedom is intoxicating…and addictive. Because love is all there is (and love is enough).

Sure, no arguments over here. In fact you migh easily mistake the place for just a luxury lingerie shop, until you start noticing things...
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Alex K Goes Shopping: Just The Facts At Tracy Reese

29critxlThis week we find our favorite consumer, The Times' Alex Kuczynski, in a strangely subdued mood. Maybe it's the humidity, but as she visits designer Tracy Reese's store in the West Village, there are no flights of fancy or weird interpolations or irrelevant tangents. Who is this writer, and what has she done with our Alex?

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If It's Summer '06, Then It Must Be Summer '07 or We Wish We Had Something To Say About Star Jones

00110mBut since we have nothing to add on that front, we can say it's Men's Fashion Week in Milan, so if you want to know what's going to be on sale this time next year, Style.com has every look from every collection that matters. We can't really review a show without actually being there, but we're happy to hynpnotize ourselves with the latest runway shots. Click here to be a year ahead of the game.

29prada375 The Times takes another crack at "The Devil Wears Prada", and still no review yet. This time, Ruth La Ferla, who knows a thing or two about clothes, finds that the fashion crowd doesn't think the wardrobe is quite dead-on chic enough. Oh, silly fashion crowd! Don't you know that you're the ones being made fun of in the movie?

"I find it astounding that all these people in the movie have so much time to change," said Hal Rubenstein, the fashion director of InStyle magazine. "By and large, if you go from work to an event in the evening, you change your shoes, your jewelry and your bag, the same way that the magazine editors tell their readers to do."

Poor Hal's probably still wondering how the kids on "Friends" could afford such great apartments. We can't wait for the review. We hope it's not as overthought as Manohla Dargis' irrelevant 'Superman Returns" review. (It's a superhero movie, Manny.)

Lulu Castagnette Migrates To NoLita, Or SoHo

Img_0965Since New York Magazine is throwing a wrench in our editorial plans, we have decided to follow them to the latest store opening, Lulu Castagnette, the 10-year-old French brand now presenting their first U.S. store on Mulberry Street in NoLita, or is it just SoHo now? it seems like an awfully small part of town to have it's own name just because it's East of Lafayette Street. Anyway, Lulu Castagnette is everything you would expect from its name, French and cute. It is unclear if there is actually anyone named Lulu Castagnette who started the company, but the company insignia is a little teddy bear, which should give you some idea of the company's style; not up-to-the minute Parisian chic, but more middle-of-the road casual sportswear with an accent, and surprisingly affordable price tags. One other point, Lulu Castagnette is also a purveyor of an always disturbing style, Mother/Child dressing.
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TV Fashion Watch: Ozwald & Janice Go For Theirs

Ozwald Janice It should come as no surprise that The Shophound has been a fan of fashion on television since the days of Elsa Klensch on CNN (Hell, we remember when Halston went on "The Love Boat". Really, he did. With Pat Cleveland and the Halstonettes in tow. He must have been totally loaded). We still love Jeanne Beker's "Fashion Television", though new episodes seem fewer and further between, and we've even been known to sit through the hopelessly out of sync "Fashion File" (Seriously, showing Fall '05 runway shows in April of '06 is a little bit pointless). So we are filling the void between "Americas Next Top Model" and next month's return of "Project Runway" with "House of Boateng", (Thursdays, 9PM Sundance Channel) a rare menswear entry, and "The Janice Dickinson" Modeling Agency (Tuesdays 10 PM, Oxygen Network) about the self-proclaimed-even-though-we-all-know-she's-not-but-nobody-wants-to-get-into-an-argument-with-her world's first supermodel Janice Dickinson's attempt to launch her own agency. Both are trying to be seen as "Documentary Series", but we know Reality TV when we see it, and these fit the bill to a T.
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Employee Of The Week: Limbo Edition

What has happenbed to our favorite New York Magazine feature, Ask A Shop Clerk? Last week it was mysteriously absent, and this week, due to the special double Summer Issue, the regular format is suspended, but we won't know for two weeks if it will return. Our weekly review may be in peril if they have interviewed their last shopgirl. Are we going to have to find another regular Monday feature to kick off our week?

The Weekly Spree

We'll be out of the office on Monday, so here's your chance to catch what you may have missed

Lord & Taylor: Not Dead Yet

SoldAlthough it may be dead to you, it isn't to NRDC Equity Partners who have bought Lord & Taylor for a mere $1.195 billion. We'll bet you didn't think it was worth that much. Although every real estate consultant and retail pundit insists that they will sell the Fifth Avenue flagship to build anything from office towers to luxury lofts, NRDC execs insist they will maintain the location that has led the chain since 1918. The historic building anchors a retail no-man's land at 38th and Fifth. While we have fond childhood memories of eating in The Birdcage restaurant (decorated with antique birdcages and fantasy birds. Coconut cake. Heaven), we haven't been compelled to shop there since May Co. sent the store careening downmarket in the 80's. Can the 180 year old nameplate be returned to its former glory to fight it out with Nordstrom and Bloomingdales? We and real estate developers everywhere will be watching.

Juicy Couture Unleashes Itself On Lower Fifth

Img_0945Those pink awnings can only mean one of two things, and since it's not a Pepto-Bismol boutique, then the first of several planned Juicy Couture stores must be open! With pink ribbons and a clothed Abercrombie style sidewalk greeter, this shop, we have learned, is only a small taste, an hors d'oeuvre, if you will, of what we can expect when Manhattan is hit with duelling Juicy flagships on Madison Avenue and Bleecker Street this Fall, with more locations to come. If they have their way, by Christmas the city will be fairly dripping with Juicy.

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