I stumbled upon an awesome new store today. Why is it so awesome, you ask? Let’s see….
Is it because, upon walking in, I was greeted by a smiling guy happy to pour me a cup of coffee with that perfectly bright and nutty flavor? No.
Is it because of the downtown chic decor (replete with reclaimed wood and steel ladder “A’s” – A is for America!), and mannequin legs peaking out from beneath a comfortably worn sofa? No.
Is it because the two shop girls triple-complimented me (YES, TRIPLE COMPLIMENTED!) on my glasses, shirt and boots? NO!
Is it because of the perfectly curated mix of NYC-based designers and vintage collections for both men and women? Of course not.
Is it because of “the places we’ll meet” sign which conjures dreamy visions of the Places You’ll Go Burning Man video? Preposterous! No way!
LIES! All lies, I tell you! YES to all of the above! Did you really think I’d dedicate an entire blog post to a shop with so many NOs?
I found myself in American Two Shot twice today. First, I was drawn in by the nondescript, very Chinatown-esque “Quick Drip $2 Cafe Integral Inside* ->” sign.
I crept over to the front of the door and peeked in to find a mesmerizingly cool array of clothing, jewelry, artwork, and furniture (amongst other things) through the glass. Jonesing for a cup of coffee in a very big way, I was greeted by an adorably sweet dude who was diving into his own cozy breakfast. He greeted me with a smile, popped up to the coffee counter and poured me a cup as he answered a plethora of questions from an overly-chatty me (I’m usually not much into talking so early in the morning, read: 10:30AM). “Where was this coffee from? What kind of store is this? I quickly discovered that Cesar Vega (Founder of Cafe Integral – with great accent, natch 😉 is a coffee connoisseur who roasts his own coffee beans uptown. “The roaster is the size of a mini cooper.” Swoon. I love this kind of stuff. This guy roasts his coffee in NYC – amazing. He sent me off with another sweet smile, and I found myself gulping this cup of joe more quickly than I’ve downed other exotic brews for double the price. This guy’s coffee is legit. 1 Point 2 Shot!
After an appointment around the corner, I came back to give this store the proper perusal it deserved. I passed Cesar on my way to the back of the store, and gave his beans a major shout-out. There is nothing better than complimenting someone on something that they do (and well). As we all know, good energy is indeed a boomerang, and a few minutes later, I’m greeted by two more smiling faces as I’m checking out a cluster of funky “Mazel Tov” bracelets on a nearby table.
One of the girls comments, hesitatingly “I just realized I was going to compliment you…twice”. Oh sweet thing, shower away! I’m thinking to myself, after the month I’ve had, a compliment or two would be lovely. The other girl tacked on another – “You were in here before, right? I was admiring your boots”. Two smiley faces. Two sets of compliments. In love. Not only were they sweet and genuine, but they have killer style, killer backgrounds and a KILLER crew of friends. 2 Points 2 Shot!
American Two Shot is a collaboration of love and life between childhood friends, artist Olivia Wolfe and ex-Theory planner Stephanie Krasnoff. The two strike up a perfect balance between creative/stylish and business/connections. Take a look at their website and you’ll see that their “City of Friends” is a a collective of super creative buddies who design clothes, books, art, jewelry (and curate a great vintage collection.) Here, you’ll find local designers like Dusen Dusen, The Lake and Stars, Timo Weiland, Porter Grey, BLK DNM, and Bodkin side by side with vintage Vans, retro tees and sweatshirts and a carefully curated collection of bags and jewelry.
One of the artist/designers was along for the chat – Sean Kinney of Eddie Eddie by Billy Tommy (yep, that’s a mouthful and he knows it :), reworks new and vintage pieces with paint, yarn or whatever inspires him. We chatted about a big name Stylist who recently purchased one of his pieces and he was grinning ear-to-ear.
The space is large enough to house events and parties, but cozy enough to render it the ideal hangout spot. Plant your butt on the American flag bench with a warm cuppa, figure out which pieces you’re going to try on once the caffeine kicks in – and there you go, the perfect place to wile away a Saturday afternoon. Don’t forget to smile. They come easily here 🙂
Yoga and Fashion. Fashion and Yoga. These two words don’t typically join each other in the same sentence. But when they are coming out of my mouth, they often do. They are my two loves – but two very different loves. As a Yogi Fashion Stylist, for many years I was torn between how to live a yogic lifestyle while working in an industry rife with shallowness, ego and vapidity. After mulling through these dual personalities, I finally came to this conclusion. Fashion and Style is what I DO. Yoga is what I AM.
Everyone has several purposes during their lifetime. And I finally realized that two of my purposes (although on the outside, very conflicting) can actually mesh beautifully in synchronicity. After dabbling in the ‘high fashion’ world for a bit of time, I came back to my focus on styling REAL (read: BEAUTIFUL inside and out) people, allowing their inner beauty to shine on the outside as well. By helping my clients cultivate their personal style, it gives them the confidence to feel as beautiful on the outside as they do on the inside.
My service is a cost-saving one, so rather than telling my clients they need to spend thousands of dollars investing in a new wardrobe, I show them how to ‘upcycle’ or ‘recycle’ their pieces into new and fresh looks. So we’re saving the environment AND their wallet at the same time. Yes, I will provide a shopping list of key pieces if my client requests it, but if she (or he!) is not looking to consume more, we can build plenty of looks with what they currently have in their closet! Something to consider if you are looking to save money this season ;-)….
Onto style and yoga.
Enter Tiny Devotions. Their mala beads are absolutely gorgeous. For those of you unfamiliar with mala beads, they are prayer beads used for meditation (in the Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Yogic traditions). What I specifically love about Tiny Devotions’ malas is that they are stunning as jewelry as well so it’s possible to bring the intention of yoga along with me while blending into my ‘bohemian in NYC’ aesthetic. They are crafted from rudraksha seeds, sandalwood, semi precious crystals and pearls – sacred and beautiful, each with their own specific intention. Check out the site (which is also adorable) and let me know which one is your favorite! I find it really hard to choose, but I think “Let it Go”, “Sand and Ocean” and “African Jade” are mine!
Just tried Everlane.com for the first time today. Cool concept.
By cutting out the middleman (much like Baublebar.com), they are able to sell their wares for 8x less than what we’d typically buy them retail. It’s a new retail model that is taking the e-commerce world by storm, and I LIKE IT! With no physical stores, no middleman and no markups, Everlane sells their luxury basics exclusively through their own site. Of course, with the advent of social media, marketing is built in because people (like me) will tell their friends about it, until it eventually becomes as ubiquitous as Gilt Groupe sales at noon. So far the quality looks great. I just hope they keep true to their mantra of ‘nothing over $100’. Take a look (and ahem, let them know I sent you 😉
For those of you who personally know me, I’m a huge fan of Helmut Lang. Unfortunately, my wallet is not. If I could drape my body in nothing but Lang and Wang (how perfect, it rhymes!) I’d be a happy, happy woman. But the reality is, I can’t afford this luscious dream (as most of these brands’ pieces clock in at around $300 on average). Enter Helmut Lang’s diffusion line, KINETIC. Much like the T by Alexander Wang diffusion line (easy soft basic tees, skirts and dresses), the KINETIC line is chock full of that luscious jersey fabric we have all grown to expect all designers to use (listen up, big box brands!) with the asymmetrical lines that downtown urban girls relish in their wardrobes. Many of these pieces already exist in the Collection already, but these are slashed to affordable (read: not bank-breaking) prices. Take your look at the new collection here – (most pieces are pre-order so get your CC out now before it sells out!)
Last month, I had the pleasure of styling a video shot for Habiller Blog at the Improv’d shop in the Meatpacking District with Makeup Artist extraordinaire, Brenda Momperousse and videographer, Ashley Benzwie. Not only did we have a ton of fun shooting together, but we all fell in love with the Improv’d Spring collection. Perfect for the downtown girl who drapes herself in pieces from the likes of Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang, the collection – a culmination of design genius of Sam Ben-Avraham (founder of Atrium) and Valentino Vettori (formerly of Diesel) – combines basics as well as more avant garde pieces to complete any urban fashion girl’s wardrobe (with a few extra dashes of color and texture play thrown in)!
Some of my favorite pieces (all available at www.revolveclothing.com) include the Black Blazer with Leather Trim – picture this over a pair of bright blue skinny pajama pants and a drapey white tee for a a sexy take on a suit that can take you well into the evening…
I’m also digging this beautifully draped Blue Cloud blouse (pair this white legging jeans and a bright pair of flats for the perfect summer casual night out look)….
And lastly, the Drape Front Dress (which can accommodate both tall and petite girls as well). Add a dose of color with an orange or yellow statement necklace – OR – if you’d like to tone down the body-consciousness, dress this look down with a drapey vest to bring it into more informal, casual wear territory.
Improv’d is located at 819 Washington Street between Little West 12th Street & Gansevoort. Swing by next time you head over for a walk to the Highline!
Wedding Bells are ringing all over the place – which means only one thing – BACHELORETTE PARTIES!!! And with Bachelorette parties come a whole other headache – what to do? Tthe Lucky Cheng’s tranny thing is so 1990s. And then there’s Vegas. Really? Do you feel like dancing in a club full of Snooki-likes? And those horrific penis parties should be downright illegal. If you and your girls are looking to host a fun, unique and USEFUL event for your best friend, consider hosting a Closetique Style Soiree! Of course, this type of event is perfect for more than just bachelorettes – consider a Style Soiree as an alternative to an expensive girls night out, bridal shower, team-building, or client appreciation event – the possibilities are endless. All you need is a place to host the party!
During the Soiree, all guests will have the chance to ask Denise, Fashion Stylist, their burning fashion-related questions, i.e “I’m short – can I really wear a maxi dress? Am I too old for neon? How do I breathe new life into this black shift dress?” Learn how to dress for your body type and how to pair pieces from your wardrobe together in new and unique ways, all while chatting with a group of fabulous and fun women over bites and bubbly. Each guest is invited to bring some pieces (or photos of her clothing) from her closet. Denise will provide suggestions on how to style each guest as well as recommendations on how to shop her closet more effectively.
Rates available upon request. Contact Denise today (email@example.com) for more details!