Two Shots of Awesome.

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 🙂

Advertisements

Yoga and Fashion DO Mix.

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!

Affordable style for EVER and EVER and EVER and EVERLANE.com

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 😉

Image

Image

Image

Helmut Lang launches DIFFUSION LINE, KINETIC

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!)

ImageImageImageImage

OPERATION:Comfortable.Style

Just drafted a blog post that took me an hour to write. Rather than scrapping the entire thing due to frustration, I’m just going to post with limited writing – mostly images of pieces that I find inspiring as we head into the colder season where comfort and warmth are paramount regarding fall/winter style.

Inspiration: The temperature is falling in NYC, and with the falling mercury, a new-found focus on comfort and warmth.

T by Alexander Wang (www.alexanderwang.com)

Bella Luxx (www.bellaluxx.com)

Cape by Meg (www.megshops.com)

Equipment Silk Blouse (www.equipmentfr.com)

Inhabit (www.inhabitny.com

Beyond long legging (www.iambeyond.com)

Frye Dorado Short (www.thefryecompany.com)

Ugg bootie (www.uggaustralia.com)

Free People footless tights (www.freepeople.com)

Theodora and Callum scarf (www.theodoraandcallum.com) – honestly, you can wear these scarves countless different ways!

It’s.Belly.Bump.Season!!

I had a Closetique session with a regular customer of mine last night. What a treat to see her after our really helpful and fun session last spring. And even more of a treat is that she is pregnant this go-around. She was looking to find pieces from her closet that she could continue to wear through the first half of her pregnancy – and much to her surprise, we were able to salvage quite a few pieces that she didn’t think she could fit into anymore!

The key to dressing stylishly while pregnant is simple. Don’t lose yourself in the pregnancy. Sure, your body may morph, your boobs may feel like they are about to explode, and your hips may widen at a rate that is quicker than the rise of LinkedIn’s stock post-IPO, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress like yourself. Yesterday, one of the things that became a running theme was the placement of certain pieces on the body. For instance, a circle skirt that may not fit at the normal waistline anymore can easily be worn just under the breast to give the illusion of a high-waisted baby-doll look. Tuck in a fitted tee-shirt, tie a pretty silk sash around the top of the skirt, and voila, you have a ‘dress’!

I’ve also been a really big fan of maxi skirts the past several years. Even though I’m on the slightly vertically challenged end of the spectrum (“5’3-and a half on a good day;-)”, if you style a long skirt with a silhouette that is cut closer to the body, it can actually lengthen and slenderize. I think the same can work for the early months of a pregnancy as well. Just be sure there is ample material to allow movement (and gives the little one room to breathe!) This skirt from Free People is perfect. However, since it is a bit see through, you’ll need to layer a slip or leggings beneath it, but it can easily carry you through the first 2 trimesters…in style!

Lastly, don’t feel relegated to maternity wear. Many women do not want to invest in expensive mommy-to-be clothes that will collect dust once the baby pops out, so get creative with what you’ve got in your closet. Also, Old Navy maternity can become your best friend. Steer clear of the sloppy-looking tunics, and focus your purchases on a few comfy pairs of stretch pants. Befriend the unbuttoned button-down layered over a pretty cami look like one of the buyers at J. Crew, Lisa, did so well in the June 2011 catalog here. How cute and put together does she look?

I’m not crazy, I’m just super organized….


With the weather finally turning (slowly, but surely) toward Spring, my desire for organization increases tenfold. This is the season which best symbolizes the beginning of life and new creations. Ultimately, we all come out of our hibernation hideouts, our cozy nests and shed the dry, cold winter like snakes shed their skins.

With that in mind, organization becomes a key aspect of my spring-time regimen. It enables me to see the pieces that I have in my wardrobe, so that I can prepare for spring/summer shopping – which has always been my favorite time for shopping.

Just as Thom Yorke says, I like “everything in it’s right place”. This is when The Container Store shines – yes, they are spendy, but no other shop has the pick of the litter when it comes to canvas bins, boot hanger hooks (thanks to Desmonique Bonet for opening my eyes to these ;-), and clear shoe boxes (they all click together and line up perfectly!)

Hang clothes by color and like-type together. For example, (all from light to dark) – skirts, pants, dresses…

My hangers of choice are the the Huggable Hangers – they are thin (take up little space in precious real estate of small apartment closets), are non-slip (I love hanging my silk camisoles to prevent wrinkles), prevent shoulder nipples (never cute, because even Lady Gaga wasn’t “Born This Way”), and are very gentle on the most delicate pieces. Quite an investment (about $1 a pop) so I have been purchasing them in increments – I still have about 30 left to buy so you’ll see some of the remnant plastic hangers in there. Next time I do this, they will all be gone!

Hanging boot hooks – I purchased the Double Hanging Closet Rod for extra hanging space below my jeans…

I used a shoe rack on the overhead shelf to hold my oversized shoe boxes – they created more space for extra storage bins where I keep my styling and wardrobe supplies (lint remover, double-sided tape), tights, and shoe bags. Always have linen spray handy – and a sweet silhouette print of a boy and girl…

If you have some extra wall space in your closet (I’m very fortunate to have a walk-in), use it to hang hats, belts, bags…

and scarves…

…and if at all possible, spruce up the space with some elements for creative inspiration. It will make your closet feel more like a boudoir than a hold-all for shoes and dirty laundry. I have added some prints with inspirational quotes and colors. A buddha, mala beads and a dreamcatcher from when I lived in an ashram in Colorado – all bring me back to my yoga practice even when thinking about fashion – and a Carnivale mask that evokes fun party memories.

Want your closet to look like this? Shoot me an email at denisehatzis@gmail.com and we can schedule a Closetique Spring Cleaning session!