Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Big Loser Is Pumped Up for Good Reason

Ashley Johnston, above, looks ready to take on the day in three different ensembles from the BL Body Collection. Photos from

WHAT is Ashley Johnston wearing? Of course, the Season 9 "The Biggest Loser" contestant is wearing workout gear.

But what's special about it?
The spokesperson is got up in ensems from the BL Body Collection. The only surprise here is that NBC took so long to jump on the branding bandwagon. BL Body is an athletic apparel collection inspired, of course, by “BL,” the reality series featuring obese people losing tons of weight. The collection's big coming-out party was on HSN during the Halloween season.

Performance skirted legging w/concealed mini pocket ($50) also comes in solid black and gray w/pink side stripe.

AJ is wearing (left photo, above) the Super Slim Long Tank Top ($40); Zip-Front Performance Funnel Jacket ($70), and High-waisted Mid-calf Legging w/Shapewear ($47.50). In the middle photo, she’s sporting the funnel jacket in pink; legging w/shapewear, yellow stripe, as well as the Performance Support Tank Top w/built-in Bra ($40). The Performance Blouson Tank ($45, right photo), makes four with the support tank, funnel jacket and mid-calf legging.

Men's performance mesh tee w/MP3 back pocket. It also comes in black and blue.

Who designed it?
Lingerie designer Bruno Schiavi deserves any praise or pillorying. The Aussie is quickly making a name for himself in the United States. He’s also working with the three famous Kardashian sisters (Kim, Khloe and Kourtney) on a uber-branding project that will include swimwear, luggage and shoes when it’s all said and done.

As regards BL Body, BS deserves praise for creating a fashion-forward line fabricated from materials that resist moisture and have stretch. If he is to be pilloried he’d have it coming for neglecting to design more looks for men. He produced a Performance Mesh Tee with MP3 Back Pocket ($37.50) and Core Power Stretch Shorts ($50) and called it a day. He might have, for starters, added a tank, long pant and jacket.

Is there more where that came from?
Sure. In BL Body are 27 styles in colors like green, pink, yellow, blue and five others that makeup the nine that correspond to BL team colors from each season. Naturally, the sizes don’t stop at 12, but range from XS to 3X.

The men's core power stretch shorts are also available in bright blue/aqua and gray/mustard.

Where can others get their hands on it?
Interested bodies should hustle over to (Search words: BL Body).

Does it cost an arm and a leg?
This being the beginning of the year when the bloom is still fresh on resolutions, it is a good time to invest in such frocks. It’s probably obvious by now that the answer is no for anybody with a steady income that allows for small extras. Prices range from $35 to $75. Plus, HSN offers a layaway plan.

The shaping tee w/satin trim at bodice also comes in black.

For women, BL Body is an accessible activewear line. It’s functional and utterly fashionable. After working out they can look dry and polished. There would be zero intimidation factor involved in making either a planned or unexpected stop at Bergdorf’s turned out in the blouson, leggings and flannel jacket. In fact, any of the three pieces can be worn with other garments. The blouson is perfect with a blazer, while the funnel jacket complements an A-line skirt and skinny jeans.

BL Body extends as well to foundation garments i.e., Shaping Slip ($47.50); All-in-one Bodysuit Shaper ($57.50) and Shaping Brief ($22.50) to keep the wobbly bits in check.

“The Biggest Loser” airs at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesdays on NBC.

In Snow/Snain/Sleet or Rain, They're Made for Walking

BCBG Max Azria Women's Willis Rain Boot (was $150.00/now $105.07), shown above left, in granite/luggage, also comes in royal navy/mahogany and black. Stuart Weitzman Amazonia reptile textured boot ($135.00) in black is long, sleek and protects against the elements.

THIS just in from major sales on select fall/winter goodies and cold weather footies.

Those with any cash (or credit limit) remaining after the Yuletide season can take advantage of markdowns up to 45 percent.

Tretorn Skerry Reslig Men's Rubber Boot (was $64.95/now $54), shown in olive, is also available in yellow, pink, black and navy.

Though it’s not winter everywhere, it’s powerful convenient, for instance, to have boots on feet. There is rain to consider as well. Snow is forecast for New York tomorrow, and boots will be a superior mode of transportation. ( has seemingly endless styles of all-weather types. Years ago designers got the message that both men and women desire to slush around in snow and splash around in rain in footwear that makes a statement. No longer will any ole black rubber boot do the trick. A little bright color is a partial antidote for a gloomy day when the sun is indisposed.

Donna Karan Niagara Knee-High Boot (was $99.00/now $65.77-$72.87) with fanciful design is also available in yellow, gray and forest green.

Stuart Weitzman certainly got the message. Wisely, he offers a variety of black boots, including the super, stylish, slim Amazonia. Though not on the sales rack, it is a winner rain, shine, sleet or snow. He’s also designed a yellow (jelly) rainboot that he calls sun. Yellow isn’t the only bright color designers are embracing. It is accompanied by both pink – sometimes called fuchsia – and turquoise. Navy and olive are in play for those who prefer a more demure hue that is not ebony.

Alas, there are limits at Created by in response to customer demand, the retailer is a new online store that peddles men’s, women’s, children’s shoes and accessories, as well as women’s handbags, etc. It is similar to Amazon’s retail store in that there may only be a few items available of a particular product. All of the merchandise, however, is new.

Creative Recreation Men’s dio boot (was $187.05/now as low as $103.37) in black/caramel is also available in eight other color combinations, plus a solid tan.

Having a name like Amazon behind it affords Endless the opportunity to carry stock from high-end designers/brands i.e., the aforementioned SW, as well as Donald J. Pliner, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and others.

Of course, there are lower-priced lines such as Creative Recreation, which offers an urban dandy of a boot for men that it calls the Dio. Though, not designed for rain or snow it should be.

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