Oscar fashion roundup
I must admit, I was kind of bored by the fashions last night. Very few people take risks anymore; they're all too styled. Everyone's wearing strapless gowns with trumpet hems. Yawn. And black is back, but I became so used to color, I got annoyed with the black gowns because I couldn't see any details (although there were some exceptions). Anyway, here are my faves (with photos from E!):

Natalie Portman:
In the very fashionista Lanvin, Natalie looked like a goddess. I loved the sparkly headband too.

Johnny Depp & Vanessa Paradis
I know this is going to be controversial, and I'm not even going to comment on Johnny Depp because he's so awesome, but his partner, French pop star ("Joe le Taxi," anyone?) Vanessa Paradis, almost always wears Chanel on the red carpet, and she always looks so chic--in that unattainable, effortless French way.

Scarlett Johansson
Another controversial pick. She clearly could not breathe in this corseted Roland Mouret, but her waist was so tiny, I think it was worth it. And she got knocked for her frizzy hair, but I kinda liked it, as well as her head jewels (new trend?).

Gwyneth Paltrow
In my eyes, Gwyneth can do no wrong, but she looked particularly foxy in this Stella McCartney gown. And check out her rack! That's the best advertisement for breast-feeding I've seen in awhile.

Kirsten Dunst
I know the girls at Go Fug Yourself like to give her shit, but I adore Kirsten Dunst, and I think she looked awesome in this lace Chanel gown. I love her chic bob, too, as well as the fact that she wasn't all blinged out.

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Another frequent Go Fug Yourself victim, Maggie cleaned up quite nicely in this goddesslike gown, the designer of which she wouldn't divulge (um, okaaay...). Love the sequined sash. Do not love Jake's haircut.

Honorable mention:
Giselle: Big up to Leonardo DiCaprio for finally taking his long-suffering girlfriend, Giselle, to a major event. Quite possibly the most gorgeous woman in the world, Giselle can get away with wearing anything. I'm still kind of up in the air about her Dior gown, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. Anyone else would've looked like a tent, but Giselle, with her mega-tan and sun-kissed wavy tendrils, looked half Botticelli goddess, half Malibu hippie.

And the worst:
Hilary Swank
Thank got she's a great actress, because I thought Hilary's dress was horrible. Yes, it had a sexy back, but from the front, it looks like something better suited for a 70-something aging socialite. I mean, Guy Laroche? Come on!

Drew Barrymore
I really like Drew, and she has the reputation of being one of the nicest people in "the biz", but this Versace gown is all wrong, as is her gross hair (a bun?). And where was Fab?

Melanie Griffith
As we all know from last week's Stars Without Makeup, Melanie Griffith is starting to look her age. But there are no excuses for this super-gross Versace gown, which looks like something from a mall in Houston. The nude illusion fabric in the back certainly did not help matters.

Annette Benning
Okay, I think Annette Benning was robbed back in 1999--she totally deserved an Oscar for American Beauty. But does anyone else find it totally weird that both she and front-runner Hilary Swank both wore dark, long-sleeved jersey gowns for their 2004 rematch? I can't decide whose gown is less flattering.

Laura Linney
What was last year's lesson? Blondes should not wear beige, much less beige's nasty cousin, "greige." Laura Linney did not heed this lesson. Nor, apparently, did she wash her for a week before the ceremony.

For more snarky coverage, check out Fashion Week Daily and the Fug girls at big-time MSNBC.
Milan Fashion Week recap
NYT: Cathy Horyn raves about Prada and Burberry, appears quite bored at Gucci, and just seems tired by the final roundup. Paris should be fun this week, eh?

IHT: Suzy Menkes also has praise for Prada, but not so much at Armani. She's frustrated with Gucci, proud of Fendi, and, like Cathy Hoyrn, weary by the final collections.

LAT: Booth Moore on Milan fashion.

Also, check Elle.com and Style.com for full collections and The Daily for gossip.
The week in shopping
Are you as sick of winter as I am? Hell, I'm already shopping for spring!

Nancy Cohen's semiprecious line of jewelry is up to 75% off. 3/3-3/4; 11-7; W New York, 541 Lex (at 49th St.), 2nd fl.

Battle of the GWP, part 1: Get a free exotic-print tote by Stephanie Jonhson with an $85 beauty purchase at Saks when you enter code SAKSBEAUTY1 through 3/7.

This week at Lord & Taylor (soon to be part of the Federated empire--hey, maybe I'll get a discount there as well!), earn $20 coupons. Click here for details.

The "Italian Event" starts tomorrow at Loehmann's--find Alberta Ferretti, Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, and more. 7th Ave. at 16th St.

Battle of the GWP, part 2: Get a (somewhat ugly) tote filled with samples (details here) with an $85 beauty purchase at Neiman Marcus through 3/9.

After her appearance on America's Next Top Model, I don't know anyone who'd want to meet Nanette Lepore, but if you do, she'll be on the 5th floor of Bergdorf's from 5-8 on 3/3.

Which reminds me, the new America's Next Top Model debuts on Wednesday, which is my birthday (an excellent present, no?). But tomorrow night, find out "What the Divas Are Doing Now" at 9 p.m. on UPN. Woo-hoo!
Object of desire
So, I just got a new cell phone last year, but when I saw this Anna Sui phone on the increasingly random Shop at Style.com, my mouth started to water. See, in Japan, they have all sorts of cool phones, but over here in the U.S., we're way more utilitarian. Enter this kickass phone (see more details here), which has a black-and-purple case, a fun butterfly charm, personalized wallpaper, and a bonus lipgloss! It's oh-so-cute, and think how much fun you'll have talking on it, pulling it out of your bag, setting it on a table at a bar...the good times never end. The catch, however, is that the phone costs $300--with or without a T Mobile service plan (sorry, Sprint PCS, Verizon, and Cingular users). While I love my Sprint PCS phone, it's making me contemplate switching over to T Mobile (where the excellent MK toils). Do I have $300 to spend on a phone? No. But has that stopped me before? Well...
(Final) Project Runway Recap
Sorry I didn't post last night--I had HG, BO and others over to watch the finale, and after a few mojitos, I was in no state to write anything. Anyway, so Project Runway is over. The episode, however, in all of its two-hour glory, was excellent--so much more so than last year's three-hour Apprentice finale. So, first we saw Parsons' Tim Gunn visit everyone at their respective homes--Jay in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania; Wendy in Virginia; and Kara Saun in Los Angeles--which was cute. Jay really does live in BuFu, Wendy's house was kind of lackluster but her daughter is cute, and Kara Saun lives in a very generic-looking L.A. apartment. Anyway, fast-forward a few months, and the designers have to live together in a phat suite at the W Times Square as they finish preparing for their shows. As you'd assume, Kara and Wendy butted heads...repeatedly (the best part, of course: "You're going to need your soul someday, Wendy"). So we followed the designers as they put the finishing touches on their designs, chose models, and dealt with accessories...which was another bag of worms. To make a long story short, Kara Saun had a friend at Dollhouse custom-make shoes for her, gratis. Tim Gunn found out and flipped out; even though Kara Saun produced an invoice for $15 per pair, they agreed that the judges would just ignore the shoes and not judge them as part of the collection. If you ask me, they shouldn't have let her use them. But whatever. Also, Wendy cried a lot, but I took great joy in watching it. What a wreck.

The most exciting part of the show, however, was the runway show. Kara went first, and the weird thing was, as soon as her first model went out, I knew she wasn't going to win (although I had an earlier feeling she wouldn't, after the whole shoe debacle). Her collection was very her--lots of fur, lots of leather, very sexy. But the clothes weren't very wearable. Being the busty gal that I am, I pay particular attention to what kind of bra one would wear with everything, and you'd have to duct-tape in about 2/3 of her clothes. No thanks. Then came Wendy. Well, I will say one nice thing about her, and it's that she has a great eye for fabrics. Otherwise, I could've made what she designed, except that I have better taste. And then came Jay, who seriously rocked the house (and you could tell by the audience's reaction). I thought his collection was by far the best--he showed the most technical skill, I loved that he incorporated knits, and his collection was styled the best (and I think he had the best makeup). Even Nina Garcia seemed pleased with it. And although Jay got the dreaded "matchy-matchy" comment, he won, and I am quite happy. As HG pointed out, Jay didn't win any of the competitions--except for the final, most important one. Touché, Kara Saun!

So, my congratulations to Jay! Look for updates on his career here!
Website of the week
As regular Cheryl Shops readers (and friends) know, I went to work as a copywriter at Macys.com in December. On a day-to-day basis, my primary duty is to write product copy for the young men's, baby & kids, and juniors departments. Another thing I've been working on is a special website for the juniors section, called THISIT.com (it's pronounced "this is it," but when you see the logo, it will make more sense). It's a partnership with Teen Vogue, so there's a lot of teen-oriented content: makeovers, music, downloads, etc. I suggest checking out the "trend report" section (you flip it like a magazine) and "buy it," where you can shop the looks featured on the site. THISIT.com's design is simply kickass, and I'm really proud of having worked on it. Also, the clothes are damn cute--which is kind of funny to me, because I haven't shopped in the juniors department since I was in college. Anyway, please check out the site, and sign up for the VIP e-mails--I'm going to be writing those too!

This concludes my tooting of my own horn; regular Cheryl Shops website of the week to resume next week.
Cheryl shops...Target
Here's an example of why I adore MW so much: On Sunday morning, he suggested going to Target in Brooklyn instead of to The Gates in Central Park as we had planned. Hell, I'll take budget design for the masses over, um...snobby design for the masses any day. And even though I loooove Target, I hadn't yet checked out the Brooklyn location (yeah, yeah, sorry--I don't really do Brooklyn). Surprisingly, it took us only about 30 minutes to get there on the 2/3. Target is in a weird mall-like structure called the Atlantic Center--there's also a DSW, a Daffy's, a Mandee, and other random stores. The Target is two glorious floors: food, women's clothing, shoes, accessories, and toiletries are on the first floor; housewares, linens, electronics, men's clothing, and hardware-type stuff are on the second floor.

Since MW needed glasses, dishes, and such for his new apartment, we decided to hit the second floor first. The first thing that caught my eye was a display for the Swell line with bright chartruese and pink butterfly dishes (not available online yet). As you all know, I love butterflies, but I bought a bunch of Swell dishes last year, so I opted for a tray instead, convincing MW I'd use it to serve him breakfast in bed (uh-huhhh). But an even more welcome sight in the housewares section was that of a line of Isaac Mizrahi dishes in bright, bold colors and florals (also not available online), and, a couple of aisles over, the Isaac Mizrahi furniture collection, a small collection of five pieces that are so my style, I can't even begin to tell you (I really want the four-panel screen). And I didn't see it in the stores, but the website also offers several lines of Isaac bedding. Speaking of bedding, check out the Swell All A Flutter bedding collection with its embroidered butterflies. I'm still thinking about ordering the duvet cover, although it's made of a heavy, textured, loosely woven fabric--it's not soft like a regular duvet cover. But it's cute and, at $90 for a full size, quite a bargain.

On the lower level, MW waited patiently as I hit the shoes and clothes. I loved this shoe but decided, for some reason, to not buy it then. I also loved this denim jacket, which looks a lot more expensive than it is, but, alas, they were out of size medium (another reason I love the Isaac clothing--it runs big). I also discovered a great line of soap and cleaning supplies called Method (apparently not available on the website). MW then added this Curious George painting to the cart, at which point we decided to get out of there. Total damage: slightly less than $200 between the two of us. Not bad.

Now that I know Target is just a short subway ride away, going there might not be the momentous occasion it usually is, but now I can incorporate it into my city lifestyle, instead of associating it with the suburbs. And from now on, those who road-trip with me can rest assured I won't drag them into every Target I see. Well, maybe not...
The week in shopping
After last week's bonanza, it's slim pickings now, but remember the Barneys Warehouse Sale goes through 3/6.

Eileen Fisher's mom-friendly clothes are 40% (and more) off. 2/26; 10-7; 314 E. 9th St. (at 1st Ave.).

For the knitters in the hizzy, The Lion & the Lamb has yarn, needlepoint, accessories, and more for 30%-70% off. 2/27-2/28; 11-6; 1460 Lexington Ave. (at 94th St.).

Super-expensive, supercool modern furniture at Property is 20%-60% off. 2/26-3/12; 10-6 weekdays, noon-6 weekends; 14 Wooster (Canal & Grand Sts.).

The groovy Pink Mascara has handbags by Kooba, Rafe, and more on sale for 10%-60% off through 2/28.

Get 15% off plus free shipping on a $100 order at Banana Republic when you enter code SPRG2005 through 3/14.

Get free Chanel glossimer and mascara samples when you order from Nordstrom.com's Daytime Deluxe collection.

Enter code SWIM at checkout at Victoria's Secret through 3/15 for $15 off a $100 order, $30 off a $150 order, or $75 off a $250 order.

Save up to 90% on Juicy Couture, Free People, Plenty, Velvet, and more at Clothingline's Blow-Out Sale. Through 2/23; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Lucky Chicago ladies can head to Isabella for cocktails and, more importantly, savings of 15%-90% on their swank lingerie. RSVP by 3 p.m. on Thursday to IsabellaRSVP@aol.com. 2/24; 6-9; 1101 W. Webster, Chicago.

Save 70%-80% at Bop's last-chance sale through 2/25.
Cheryl shops...the Intermix sale
On my way home from work on Thursday, I hit the Intermix sale, lured by mentions of $9 C&C tees and $39 Seven A-pocket jeans. They certainly had a lot of C&C tees--in the most foul shade of yellowish-brown I've ever seen--but there were no Seven jeans to be found (granted, they could've had more at some point in the day). I feel like the Intermix sale is guilty of bait-and-switch, which is dumb, because they had a lot of good stuff that they could've mentioned in their advertising--such as racks of cute miniskirts for $20, moccasins and ballet flats, and private-label trousers mixed in with designer ones (I saw some Moschino and Alberta Ferretti). All of that stuff would've been enough to get me into the sale in the first place, so why not talk about the good deals or the stuff they have a lot of? I feel so taken advantage of when I go somewhere and they don't have what they advertised, or they have it and it's all size 0 or a gross color. Anyway, there was a lot of space and a dressing room, two things that are lacking at a lot of sales. And they had racks and racks of cute things for $10 and $20 (tanks, miniskirts, etc.), and ugly things (ponchos). I saw several of the cable-knit Vince ponchos in a nice camel for $99. I found an ankle-length pink sweatercoat by Plenty for $99 (three people tried to take it away from me in the fitting room), but upon seeing the line to pay, which wrapped around the entire store, I ditched it, figuring I could knit something similar myself.

So, if you like miniskirts and/or you're on the smaller end (size-wise), the sale is definitely worth checking out (or at least it was as of Thursday). Again, don't go expecting a rainbow of C&C tees or Seven jeans, but there are certainly some cool pieces if you have time to dig. And wait in line.
Cheryl shops...the Barneys Warehouse Sale
So, I meant to post this on Thursday night, but then I went to see my friend's band. And then I was going to post it yesterday at work, but I was super-busy. So I'm making a rare Saturday post, just for you. (And I apologize to those who've already hit the sale.)

So, as is my tradition, I went to the Barneys sale first thing on Thursday morning, at 8 a.m. The line was almost all the way to 7th Avenue, but once I got inside, it wasn't too crowded. First I hit the designer racks, where, big surprise, there wasn't much in the way of practical outfits, but there were a lot of gowns--Zac Posen, Proenza Schouler, etc. There were also some gorgeous Alaia eyelet skirts for $239. Alas, nothing for me. Then I hit the ready-to-wear racks, where there was, as always, a ton of private-label stuff, but also a lot of Marc by Marc Jacobs (lots of cute skirts from last summer, but only marked down to $79--not enough of a discount, in my opinion), Theory, and Diane von Furstenburg. I snagged a Y3 hoodie and track pants in bright apple green (as my boss TC later remarked, "Not what I was expecting from Barneys," but I love Y3). The jeans area was a disaster, but there appeared to be some Joie and Paper, Denim and Cloth from what I could see. The knitwear area was quite civil, and there were a lot of cute sweaters in there--lots of private-label cashmere for $59 or so and cute pointelle-knit Marc sweaters that I'd never seen before. (If I make a second trip, which I probably will, I'm hoping they'll still have some of those left.) I also scored my bargain of the day in the knitwear bins: a lavender bell-sleeve Lutz & Patmos cardigan for $79 (original retail price: $685). Two things missing: no tanks or tees in the knitwear bins, and no lingerie bin, which is where I've found some great buys in the past. But the kids clothes and random accessories are still there.

I always hit the shoes last, because, as you all know, shoes are my weakness, so if I go there first, I'm in trouble. I was quite surprised by the selection; I'm a popular 8.5 or 9, and I was stunned to find lots of Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik shoes in my size--cute shoes, not ugly ones! I tried on a pair of round-toe ankle-strap beige Blahniks that were $295, and I seriously had to talk myself out of them. But I ended up with the coolest pair of green, round-toe shoes from a brand I've never heard of: Maloles, a Spanish company.

So, as always, the sale is definitely worth it. The best time to go is on a weekday afternoon, but the sale runs through 3/6, and I'm sure the next two weekends will be a bit more calm regardless. And, of course, the longer the sale goes on, the more they mark down the merchandise.
The best laugh I've had in awhile
I love the bitches at Go Fug Yourself (and I mean "bitches" in the most affectionate way possible), but I nearly wet myself when I saw this post on the Black Eyed Peas' Fergie. The second photo is just priceless.
Project Runway recap
Tonight's episode of Project Runway was the dreaded, ultra-lame "highlights" episode, whereupon all the designers reconvened and the following happened:

* Austin came dressed as Yankee Doodle Dandy and has, seemingly out of nowhere, developed a strong lisp
* Wendy committed to one haircolor and lost a few pounds but is still obviously evil
* We saw many (admittedly hilarious) clips of the designers completely wasted, mostly on champagne
* Everyone ganged up on Wendy
* Everyone but Heidi Klum was good-naturedly made fun of
* Trainwreck Morgan refused to show because the producers (smartly) refused to sign a document stating they wouldn't portray her in a negative light
* Everyone ganged up on Vanessa
* Vanessa, who clearly entered the show thinking she'd be ordering people around while sipping champagne cocktails and being told how fabulous she is, stormed out
* The designers were split on whether Jay or Kara Saun would win; the only contestant who thought Wendy might win was...Wendy.

Next week, the long-awaited two-hour finale. Finally.
So, I went to a party at Louis Vuitton...
...and all I got was a shitty book of New Yorker cartoons. I did, however, drink way too much champagne, eat yummy hors d'oeuvres, and totally freeze up when I realized my idol, Cathy Horyn, was standing two feet away from me. (By the time I downed my glass of champagne, she was gone.) Also sighted: Daniel Liebeskind, models, old rich ladies, and fashion types. Sadly, no Marc Jacobs (rumor has it he already left for Paris to put the finishing touches on his colleciton for Vuitton). For a more detailed report, read MK's blog.
Website of the week
For as long as I can remember, I've had sensitive skin, and I also suffer from eczema (or, as MK put it, "You have a lot of toxins trapped in your skin"). So, considering I've found a skincare routine that works (cleanse with Cetaphil--no water, apply Creme de la Mer twice daily, use Kiehl's Buffing Particles 3 times weekly), I stupidly decided to try an antiaging cream...which gave me a rash, then dried out my skin, then caused the worst breakout I've had since high school. Needless to say, I'm back to the old routine (and my skin is back to its regular clear state), but I have learned a lesson: Find what works for you and stick with it. So if you haven't found the perfect skin routine, I highly suggest checking out SkinStore.com, a ginormous website devoted soley to skincare. Founded by a group of dermatologists all the way back in 1997, SkinStore.com offers the widest selection of dermatologist-created and -recommended skincare lines I've ever seen. You can shop by brand, and while there are many department store mainstays like DDF, Peter Thomas Roth, and Sundari, there are all kinds of scientific-sounding brands like DERMOR Labroratories and Gly Derm. You can also find the mega-expensive line from facialist-to-the-stars Susan Ciminelli. But there are so many other cool ways to browse: by product type, where you apply it, active ingredients, treatment type, skin type, day vs. night, skin conditions (yay, eczema!), or price. Many products have customer reviews, which I always find helpful (and, apparently, this $175 cellulite cream actually works!). And, randomly, they have the most impressive scar-oriented section I've ever seen. All orders over $99 ship for free; otherwise, standard shipping is an affordable $4.95. If, like me, you really have no idea where to start, check out the Education Center, where you can read all manner of articles on skincare, skin conditions, skin treatments, and so on. Of course, you might want to see a professional (dermatologist, that is) before you start slathering glycolic acid on your face, but once you know what you're looking for, SkinStore.com is like a skincare gourmet supermarket.
Fashion Week roundup
Yes, it's over now, but London has only just begun. UK Vogue is the best source for London Fashion Week coverage. But back to New York: Here's Cathy Horyn on Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Zac Posen and the interesting juxtaposition of the unfortunately-named Sweetface and Ralph Rucci. Plus: More on the "controversial" Marc Jacobs show. Here are some reviews from Suzy Menkes: from Isaac Mizrahi to Matthew Williamson and Sweetface and Ralph Rucci, again. And also comparing JLo and Ralph Rucci, LA Times' Booth Moore. And, leave it to the Post for a quickie roundup.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: Don a bodysuit and tights and sharpen your claws for the semi-annual Barneys Warehouse Sale, where my favorite department store's wares are up to 80% off. I'll be there promptly at 8 on Thursday. 2/17-3/6; 10-9 weekdays, 10-7 weekends (opens at 8 2/17-2/18); 255 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

I'm usually disappointed by the Intermix sale, but if you're not, they've got Kors by Michael Kors, Catherine Malandrino, Seven, Diane Von Furstenberg, and more on sale. 2/17-2/19; 10-8; the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

For the avant-gardists in the house, IF Soho NY has men’s and women’s Martin Margiela, Junya Watanabe, Dries Van Noten, Veronique Branquinho, and others for 70%85% off. 2/16-2/20; 11-7; 94 Grand St. (at Greene St.).

For totally unique finds, Showroom Seven has clothes and accessories from Orla Kiely, Luella, Erickson Beamon, and more for 65%-75% off. Through 2/25; 10-7, 10-6 Sat., closed Sun.; 498 7th Ave. (36th & 37th Sts.), 24th fl.

Get fancy shoes and bags from Jimmy Choo, D&G, and more for 65% off at Chuckies' sale. Through 2/28; 10:45-7:45, 12:30-7 Sun.; 1073 3rd Ave. (at 63rd St.).

Cool girls love Johnson, and the hipster line is now 10%-75% off. Through 3/1; 1-7, 12:30-8 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 179 Orchard St. (Houston & Stanton).

Awesome vintage store Psyche’s Tears has fur, jackets, and dresses for 20% off. 2/19-2/27; noon-7 (closed Mon.); 240 W. 15th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

For those of you who cook, the excellent Broadway Panhandler has Le Creuset cookware, and kitchen stuff from Calphalon, Kitchen Aid, and Alessi for up to 65% off. 2/16-2/27; 11-7, 11-6 Sun.; 477 Broome St. (at Wooster St.).

The groovy Aero has bedding, vintage furniture, tabletop, and more for 30%-50% off. Through 2/28; 11-6 (closed Sun.); 419 Broome St. (at Lafayette St.).

Ultra-swank Morgenthal Frederics has eyewear by Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith, and the house label for $50 and up. Through 2/20; 10-7, 11-7 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 399 W. Broadway (at Spring St.).

One of my favorite stores, the vowel-less Myxplyzyk, is taking 20% off everything in the store and on the website--think quirky housewares. Through 2/28; 125 Greenwich Ave. (Jane & Horatio Sts.).

Going on vacation? Hit J Rosen Showroom for Havianas flip-flops, swimsuits by Vix, Lisa Curran, and Bella Brazil, plus coverups and jewelry. Prices are $10 and up. Cash only. Through 2/25; 8-7 (closed weekends); 250 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 510.

Treat yourself to some cute jewelry at Alexia Crawford's sale--everything is $6-$35. Through 2/18; 11-7; 35 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 6th fl.

Loehmann's is having a Presidents' Day sale; take an extra 25% off clearance merchandise. I went there a few weeks ago and they had a ton of Theory (now in the back room) and Juicy Couture. 7th Ave. at 16th St.

Lord & Taylor coupons, whoop-de-doo.

Snaps to Nordstrom.com, which is now offering $5 flat-fee shipping on everything, forever. Yay!

High-end San Francisco emporium Gumps is having an Internet-only sale, where select items are up to 75% off.

Also, check out the Presidents' Day Sale at Macys.com--I wrote the homepage!
Fashion Week update
So, Marc Jacobs presented a controversial show--not as controversial as the "grunge" show that got him fired from Perry Ellis, but still controversial--inspired by Comme des Garcons and Romeo Gigli. Here's Cathy Horyn's take (she appears to appreciate it, and also touches upon Proenza Schouler, who, despite a messy breakup, managed to bang out--pardon the pun--a good collection), whereas Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune pans it. As for me, I'm a bit...puzzled by it. The coats were fabulous, there were many childlike dresses, and the cropped jackets and tops were overall pretty good. But the skirts...If it makes a 5' 10", 110-lb model look dowdy, think about how it's going to look on a real woman. Yikes. And as for the Marc line, there were a few cute pieces here and there, but I was a bit underwhelmed. Most women I know don't want to look like picnic blankets or tablecloths. Anyway, as for the rest of the shows, here's Cathy Horyn on Michael Kors, Behnaz Sarafpour, Narcisco Rodriguez, Rouland Mouret, and others. As always, check out Style.com or Elle.com for complete collections.
Project Runway recap
I am shocked. Shocked. By some bizarre act of god, Wendy Pepper made Project Runway's final three. In this week's episode, the designers had two days to create a look for Access Hollywood anchor Nancy O'Dell to wear to the Grammys. All four designs were ripped to shreds by the judges--quite harshly, I thought, but then again, this is the fashion industry. For some reason, Nancy chose Wendy's design (hey, they're both fortysomething women!), ensuring Wendy's place in the final three. Kara Saun and Jay are the other two, so that made Austin "out." Now, Austin is a bit crazy and he definitely has a unique style (that, okay, is maybe not very modern or practical), but he is ten times more talented than Wendy. And, let's not forget, Wendy is a shrew. I mean, come on, orange feathers? Does she think Nancy O'Dell is a ho? (Does Nancy O'Dell think she's a ho?) People don't wear orange feathers to the Grammys. Although I guess there's a first time for everything...

Now, if you saw New York 1 over the weekend, you saw that the Project Runway show already happened, and that to prevent media leaks, they had all four designers show their collections--so hopefully poor Austin can find some funding. As for who wins, I assume we'll find out next week. Rumor has it that Jay got the loudest cheers, but my money is still on Kara Saun. And if it's Wendy, I am giving up on reality TV forever. Seriously.
Website of the week
I'm currently working on feng-shuing my apartment, to de-clutter, improve the flow of my chi, etc. Living in a studio apartment in NYC, this is a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, I recently discovered Apartment Therapy, a blog about aparment-living in our fine city. It's written by two brothers Ryan: Maxwell is an interior designer/life coach (hire him for help organizing your space) and Oliver is a journalist. On the blog, they do everything from answer home-decor questions to highlight great products and stores in NYC, across the country, and online. The Stores Guide is particularly useful, and you can browse by location, by style of furniture, or by category. (More links can be found here.) They host classifieds, where you can find all sorts of nice furniture from design snobs. But one of the best features is the posts' comments, where you can find some great tips from design-minded readers. And, hopefully, after my apartment's feng shui makeover, I'll be one of 'em.
Fashion Week update
I work in the garment district, a block away from Bryant Park, and I always know it's Fashion Week when I see a 500% increase in well-dressed, 110-pound women tottering around in five-inch heels. So, down to business:

NYT's Cathy Horyn on Tuleh, Oscar de La Renta, Doo-Ri Chang, and DVF and the early collections. Plus, an early trend: tapestry.

Also, check out Style.com and Elle.com for detailed shots and The Daily for gossip.
The week in shopping
I apologize for the dearth of sales this week; I guess everyone's too focused on Fashion Week to shop.

For the ultimate in high-end eyewear, Joël Name has Chanel, Gucci, and Prada eyewear for 20%-50% off. 2/12-2/26; 65 W. Houston (at Wooster), 448 W. Broadway (at Prince St.).

Ghost's boho-chic clothes (very trendy for spring!) are up to 70% off. Through 3/1; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 28 Bond St. (Bowery & Lafayette).

Liora Manné's home and fashion accessories are up to 50% off. Through 2/13; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 91 Grand St. (at Greene St.).

For the avant-garde, Pleats Please Issey Miyake has select merchandise for 50% off. Through 2/13; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 128 Wooster St. (at Prince St.).

Take an extra 10% off everything at Bluefly.com through 6:30 a.m. on 2/9 (weird, I know).

Items by Blue Cult, World According to Jess and more are on sale at the excellent Ravinstyle.com.

Another reason why I love Hollywould: The store is hosting a kegger from 6-8 on 2/12 to benefit Free Arts NYC. $3 gets you unlimited beer. I am so there. 198 Elizabeth St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

And, of course, Lord & Taylor coupons.
The Cheryl Shops Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Yes, folks, it's time for every man's favorite "holiday" (MW, the quotes are for you). Guys, don't buy your lady chocolates. Believe me, if a gal wants a piece of chocolate, she'll go buy one for herself. And, ladies, my personal experience has told me that guys can stomach Valentine's Day more easily if you emphasize the sex--not romance--part. That said, here are my gift ideas for him and for her.

Gifts for him
A "nice" gift: Women indeed go crazy for a sharp-dressed man, and, to me, one of the most irresistable things is a man in a close-fitting cashmere sweater, preferably in a dark color like charcoal gray or navy. J.Crew's Hampton sweater is pricey but luxurious, and you won't be able to take your hands off of him--good for both of you.

A nice-smelling gift: In previous gift guides, I've extolled the vitrues of such fragrances as Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry Brit, but the best ever--and most luxurious--is Creed's Irish Tweed. Yes, it's kind of Waspy (a whiff conjures tweeds and Wellingtons), but, come on, Cary Grant wore it.

Another nice-smelling gift: Chances are, your boyfriend's apartment smells like dirty socks and has some manner of unwanted visitors (roaches, mice, dirty hippies, etc.), and if this is the case, you probably don't want to stay over there very often. But get him this incredibly sexy-smelling Baies candle from Diptyque (in a masculine black glass container, to boot!) and you might be able to forget about the other stuff--as long as your eyes are closed.

A dorky but cute gift: Am I a dork for wanting to get these personalized boxers for MW and write "Property of Cheryl" on them? Well, yes. But they're better than the cheesy red silk ones you can get at your local department store.

A dirty gift: Like I said, guys can handle Valentine's Day so much more easily when you emphasize the sex part. Hence, this dirty (but funny) I Heart... tee. For indoor use only.

Gifts for her
A gift with ulterior motives: She'll see this pretty, innocent-looking dragonfly necklace and think you're the greatest boyfriend ever. When she wears it, however, you have open license to stare at her boobs, due to the dangling nature. If she calls you on it, you can say, "I was just admiring your new necklace on your lovely neck."

A gift with slightly more clear ulterior motives: Sure, the name Hot Sex Box certainly isn't subtle, but she'll love the contents--a bath bomb, lip balm, massage bar, and shower gel--and will hopefully get the hint.

A gift with ulterior motives that she'll be somewhat aware of: With fishnets everywhere these days, sexy hosiery has come out of the lingerie drawer, so to speak, and into the mainstream. The final frontier? Almost-obsolete back-seam tights will give your moll an incredibly sexy retro look.

A gift with fairly obvious ulterior motives: If you're going to buy your girl sexy lingerie, there is a golden rule that needs to be followed: Classy, not trashy. Anything from La Perla is a safe bet, and this Malizia Frou Frou babydoll is sexy (i.e. see-through) for you and stylish (cute ruffles, luxurious) for her.

A gift that's totally obvious: My friend J works at a downtown salon that will give you a completely bare bikini wax, then adorn your, um, special area with crystals. If your girl is more DIY, perhaps she'd have a field day with this bikini art kit. Sorry, guys, there's no "Property of..." kit.
Project Runway recap
As was made clear in last week's preview, this week the Project Runway designers had to redesign the U.S. Postal Service uniforms. Before they got to work designing, however, the contestants got all suited up in the current uniforms and hit the ol' delivery route in Hoboken. Now, at first I rolled my eyes, thinking this was an America's Next Top Model-style stunt, but then I realized the outing had a purpose--for the designers to realize firsthand how dowdy and uncomfortable the uniforms are. After returning to Parsons to get down to business, Wendy spazzed out when she found that someone had drawn a mustache on her favorite photo of her daughter. As much as I dislike Wendy, I felt kind of sorry for her. Anyway, it was a rather amusing runway show: Jay's model was m.i.a., so Austin ended up modeling Jay's outfit--and he did a pretty good job, really. But anyone could've predicted what happened next: Kara Saun won (deservedly so); Jay made a stylish but slightly butch ensemble; Austin's look was cute but prissy; Robert's design was completely underwhelming; and Wendy went beyond dowdy (side pleats?!?). And while I would've given Wendy the boot, the judges finally realized Robert was all talk and little talent, and so they sent him home.

Next week, it's the final challenge (and perhaps the final episode): the designers must create a red carpet-ready look for the Grammys. Also, New York Fashion Week begins this weekend, so I'm assuming the Project Runway show is sometime next week...and thus we'll know the winner sometime next week. My money's on Kara Saun. Anyone else?
Website of the week
Last Friday at work, no one felt like working. After watching some pudgy guy lip-synching to a German disco song and checking out Toxic Teddies, I found Tomatoalligator.com on Gawker and I was laughing so hard, I nearly fell out of my chair. You see, Tomatoalligator is the home of the Shit Bitch Bear, a hilarious teddy holding a heart that reads, "Shit bitch you is fine" [sic]--and it's quite a bargain at $12.99. Hey, it's better than the crap at Hallmark, and according to the website, it's been proven to increase response and lower inhibitions of its recipients--in other words, guaranteed action. The rest of the merchandise (they sell six items, total) is equally juvenile but still kinda funny. And if you and your significant other are not into the whole Valentine's Day thing, it's an excellent source for silly gifts. I especially like the Boobies T-shirt, a design based on when you type 5318008 into a calculator and turn it upside down (c'mon, you know you did it when you were eight). For the laundry-averse, there are the Ass Face towels, and for the flustered, there's the Wait up! shirt. Rounding out the offerings are the conversation-starting devil boy briefs for girls and T-shirt for boys. All clothing is by American Apparel (sweatshop-free and made in downtown L.A.) and items ship via USPS Priority Mail. As for the crazy people behind the site, click here to learn more. Sort of.
The week in shopping (tax-free shopping week edition)
For the trendy ladies out there, Big Drop has Rebecca Taylor, Development, Ya-Ya, and others for 50%-80% off (that's $19 and up). Through 2/12; 11-8; noon-7 Sun.; 1325 3rd Ave. (at 75th St.).

Get girly, flirty women's clothing by my fellow Chicago native Cynthia Rowley for $75 and under at this sale. Through 2/6; 10-7, 11-7 Sun.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Beverly Feldman is a smart lady: On Super Bowl Sunday, her whimsical shoes are 75% off. 2/6; noon-6; 7 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Morgane Le Fay's ethereal bridal and eveningwear are 70%-80% off. 2/3-2/7; 11-8; 411 W. Broadway (at Spring St.).

Rafe's supercute bags and shoes are up to 70% off. Through 2/13; noon-8, noon-7 Fri. & Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 1 Bleecker St. (at Bowery).

This week, Clothingline has goodies from Connecticut chain Wish List—including Juicy, Blue Cult, Miss Sixty, and more. Through 2/4; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

If you're a tiny, tiny girl, head to East Village hipster mecca Martin where samples are just $20. That's right, $20 buckaroos. Until merchandise runs out; 1-7, 206 E. 6th St. $20 Sample Sale

The wittily-named Fury has all manner of faux fur accessories for 85% off ($15-$199). 2/4-2/6; 10:30-6:30; 93 Crosby St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

The pride of upper Third Avenue, The Shoe Box is taking up to 80% off its selection of shoes by Marc Jacobs, Pucci, Sigerson Morrison and more. 2/2-2/6; 9:30-8; 1349 3rd Ave. (atf 77th St.).

I've never heard of Back Fashion Cult, but they claim it's sold at Bendel's, Saks, and Bloomie's. At the sample sale, everything is 60%-80% off (now $35-$300). Cash only. 2/2-2/5; 11:30-8, 10:30-7 Sat.; 320 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 9C. (btwn 8th and 9th Aves).

When you buy two pair of shoes, get 20% off your second pair (must be of equal or lesser value) when you enter code VDAY05 at checkout through 2/14.

Save up to 80% at Bop's Grand Finale Sale.

Lord & Taylor coupons--woohoo!

Everything at the Bluefly store is $200 and under, including stuff by Michael Kors, Balenciaga, and Dolce & Gabbana. 102 Wooster St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

My employer, the lovely Macy's is having a customer appreciation sale in stores 2/3-2/6. Plus, the website is having a home sale with free shipping through 2/7.

Save up to 80% (off the originally 40%-70%-off prices) at Century 21.

Get 20% off everything at Art.com through 2/2 when you enter code BigSale2 at checkout.

Click here for Beautyhabit.com's February specials.

Head over to the excellent Find Outlet for a special members-only preview of their semi-annual warehouse sale. They've got Paul & Joe, Julia, Alice + Olivia, Twinkle, and more. 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 229 Mott St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).