Thursday, June 3, 2010

Aren't They Lovely; Aren't They Wonderful!

At right, cocktail length strapless tulle over duchess dress with drop waist in palomino. Full length one shoulder nu-georgette gown (middle photo) in amethyst with chiffon flower detail at shoulder of blouson bodice and matching sash. At bottom, cocktail length strapless tulle over duchess dress in rose with natural waist. Photos courtesy of

TO the devil with the sky-high divorce rate, women are still getting married. And they and the rest of the wedding party have to wear something or the law might come calling – and it won’t be the justice of the peace. To help them enter fashionable matrimony are both Cynthia Rowley and, J. Crew Bridal. Yes, J. Crew (See next entry).

CR, who’s made a name for herself for almost three decades for feminine frocks with a little flirt and lots of flair, has extended her aesthetic to bridal wear. But not wedding gowns: bridesmaids dresses for day and night weddings.

In partnership with bridal wear manufacturer, the Dessy Group, the designer is celebrating Cynthia Rowley Bridesmaids with a private party at her Bleecker store this evening.

Between CR and Vera Wang, the gushing ladies behind the blushing bride will shine, too, for these are dresses that won’t be relegated to the back of the closet until the owner can’t stand the sight of them anymore.

Here are pert little affairs in colors like amethyst, palomino and rose. Some have straps. Some don’t. Others are one-shouldered styles. They come in silk, tulle and cotton sateen. At $175 to $220, none will break the bank.

The collection is available now where CR is sold in the United States, UK and Australia.

Learn more about Cynthia Rowley Bridesmaids at

J. Crew Shows a Different Side of Itself
Pictured are items from the 769 Collection (except the macaroons) at J. Crew Bridal. Photos by Yours Truly.

“J. CREW has come a long way since T-shirts and flip flops,” one observer remarks as she casts a wide glance over the array of finery on hangers, counters, shelves and in drawers on the first floor of the chain’s brand spanking new (and first) full-service bridal boutique at 769 Madison Ave. (at 66th street).

Welcome to the 769 Collection, exclusively at this location and to the bridal collection, available more widely. “We tried to cover every aspect of the bridal ceremony from the engagement announcement to the bride’s traveling clothes,” director of wedding design Tom Mora gives me to know.

TM has the air about him of a man who feels he’s forgotten something. He need not fret, for he and his team got everything down to underwear and earrings.

J. Crew Bridal flung opened its doors yesterday evening for a special cocktail party to show off all the family jewels – much, much more than the three styles that gave birth to the collection six years ago. On the first floor of the French salon-inspired space is the 769 Collection: accessories and jewelry, including the one-of-a-kind LuLu Frost necklace in mesh with attached orange baubles/brooches worn by cocktail party hostess Darcy Miller aka Martha Stewart Weddings Editorial Director. On most of its offerings, J. Crew has smartly partnered with experts to create items exclusively for its boutique.

In addition to LuLu Frost, for instance, there is Bobbi Brown lip gloss, Albertus Swanepoel headpieces and Wolford hosiery. Also on the first floor are undergarments, carefully folded in pull-out drawers, day and evening separates, as well as evening dresses and gowns, including a navy and cream silk chiffon gown with a roped belt that bride-to-be Christina’s bridesmaids (B1, B2, and B3) will wear in her wedding next May. The colors are the same as those of the clan of her Scottish betrothed.

In the basement is the by-appointment only bridal floor, complete with self-contained dressing room suites for maximum privacy. It is in one of the suites where I meet Christina and two of the Bs. A quick word about the bridesmaids dresses. While a few of the colors catch the eye – salmon, for instance – the styles are nothing special. Many bring to mind the bridesmaids dresses of old – not a good thing. The wedding gowns are another story. Christina, who only plans to shop at J. Crew, has an instant connection with a layered tulle gown with empire waist, halter-style bodice and spaghettini straps. At $3,500, it is one of the most expensive gowns in the collection. Further, it is beyond Christina’s budget and, alas, is not available in her size (10-12) at the moment, TM explains. “It only comes in these sizes [2-8] because it is very expensive to make it larger. We want to see how these do for right now.”

Reading between the lines, it may not be one for Christina and other normal-sized brides-to-be. But there is the Sophia. It is a headturner in ivory tricotine with a bias cut, empire waist and halter top with wide straps. At $295, it is the least costly of the gowns but one would never know. Another winner – and some gowns are more winning than others – is Thea, B2’s favorite for Christina. It will flatter many figures and like a number of gowns in the collection can be worn on other occasions. This is $700 well-spent in ivory silk chiffon with a halter top and a tie at the waist. A belt can easily be substituted at the waist as J. Crew bridal personal shopper Nathayai Watts eagerly illustrated.

The sparkling wine and macaroons, notwithstanding, J. Crew bridal is going over well with the cocktail crowd, including Fern Mallis, whose appearance in the basement induces whispers by Christina&Co. I break the ice by making introductions. Asked by B1 what style she would suggest for Christina, the founder of New York Fashion Week and judge on Bravo’s “The Fashion Show” recommends gowns with empire waists to flatter her curves. What does she think of the collection. “I think it’s amazing.”

Learn more about the J. Crew Bridal boutique at (212) 824-2500; by visiting 769 Madison Ave. (New York City) or at

Giving Your Shirt and Getting Something Back
perfectly fine shirt that you’ve been meaning to get rid of – because it’s just not you – may be worth a $50 Lacoste gift card that can be used toward your kind of shirt. Or sunglasses. Or a bath towel or beach towel. Anything you please in the Lacoste collection.

That's the deal at the exchange, the “‘Royal Pains’ Summer Shirt Exchange” sponsored by USA Network and Lacoste, which is one of the labels worn by the cast (tricked out in Lacoste in the promotional photo) of the show. It’s on until 6 p.m. today at New York City’s Greeley Square Park (32nd at Sixth Avenue).

The exchange celebrates tonight's (10 EDT) premiere of the second season of the USA Network show about Hamptons doctor Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein). MF and other members of the cast were guests at a party celebrating the show's premiere Tuesday night at the Lacoste store (Fifth Avenue/49th Street).

One cannot impress upon donors enough the importance of parting with one shirt that is clean, wearable and able to pass muster. USA will kindly donate $10 to Doctors Without Borders for each collectible, maxing out at 20 grand.

Meanwhile, from the sponsor, disclaimers: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to persons who are 18 as of 3 June 2010. Gift cards only available while supplies last. Limit 1 gift card per person. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED. Gift cards subject to restrictions specified by issuer.

Learn more about “Royal Pains” at; lacoste at and Doctors without Borders at

'Big' Shoes Can Make for SomeVery Happy Feet
In a scene from "Sex and the City 2," Chris Noth as Big (below) rests his feet on Carrie's new sofa. On his feet is a pair of Donald J. Pliner's Vinco loafers (right). Top photo courtesy of Botton photo from Warner Pictures.

CHRISTIAN Loubouton is not the only shoe designer that’s getting exposure from “Sex and the City 2.” Not that CL needs or wants the attention.

For his part, Donald J. Pliner doesn’t mind at all. The designer may not have the name recognition of his colleague but male and female shoppers with an appetite for footwear that is both stylish and comfortable do know DJP. Customers may recognize the brown suede loafer that Big (Chris Noth) is wearing when he plops his feet on Carrie’s prized sofa as DJP's very own Vinco.

As Pliner’s p.r. points out, the Big loafer can be a slipper indoors and a chic shoe outdoors, especially in New York City where the rubber sole can soften the impact of the city’s mean streets. Indeed, unlike the women of “SATC 2,” Big doesn’t forgo “the concept of comfort for the look of beauty.” All in keeping with the comfort manifesto of this scion of a Chicago shoe family: "when the feet are uncomfortable, so is the mind, so is the body, so is the soul."
Amen to that.

DJP is sold at Saks, Dillards, Nordstrom and other places. The collection of shoes, as well as handbags and leather clothing is also available online at On the Web site, the loafers range from a sales price of $140 to the regular price of $210. They are available in various leathers and colors, including black and red.

1 comment :

  1. I would like to share a tip I just found about a discount gift card exchange called . You can buy sell and trade gift cards at discounted prices from all National retailers.


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