Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Bill. Multiple Acts.

THE gorgeous tie-dyed dress in black and white (right) from Calypso offered on brings to mind one of those affairs that women wore at cocktail parties in the ’60s and ’70s. It is divine and it does not cost $115. It’s actually $250, heretofore the price of the much smaller matching tunic. A simple case of the wrong price tag. Alas, alas.

Most of the items at the opening reception for the shopathon, “Pop Shop: Sewn Together” (Friday, 12 June – Monday, 15 June), are 10 to 30 percent off. Besides, the others pushing their product are Edité, Emily Clare, the artist Helena Kubicka De Braganca, the Bzoo Gallery and Little Brooklyn Private Boutique.

This group promotion scheme, I think, must be a new trend informed by the Great Recession. On at least two occasions in February during New York Fashion Week – excluding the “Project Runway” show – several designers appeared on the same bill. A couple of months back, a real estate company with the chutzpah to slap $1 million price tags on petite one-bedroom apartments in a high rise in the E. 20s with virtually no storage space teamed up with a painter who was offering his work for much less. Thursday night, of course, it was the Saks Fifth Avenue Men's store, GQ magazine and Mont Blanc troika.

On Friday, these acts are sharing a tiny stage – the hot, cramped, crowded basement of the Bzoo Gallery in Soho. I pore over the wares, certain there is more here than meets the eye. But frankly, I am hot. And bothered. Before I quite the basement, though, my eyes alight on an oversized black and brown snakeskin clutch from Devi Kroell for $2800 (formerly $3,000). It is not nailed down or chained, and no doubt will prove a great temptation for someone. Then I give the wide-eyed Georgia peach studying at SMU (Dallas) who’s spending the summer in New York City a primer on asking for a lower price for her NBF (new best frock), a clover-green floral silk skirt that ties at the waist. “Simply ask, ‘Is this your best price’?” “Thank you, ma’am,” she says with that mellifluous twang that marks one as a child of the southeast.

Ma’am now removes herself from the basement to the sidewalk where benches are set up to accommodate shoppers and those who have given up any pretense of being buyers and are boldly sipping a mysterious orange-red liquid and Champagne, including one of my favorites, the unsung Lanson. Santé.

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