Project Runway recap
In another episode of crazy twists, tonight's Project Runway had the designers creating an outfit for a jet-setter: themselves. Most of them seemed to get it...and then there was Angela, who apparently never leaves her funny farm somewhere in the Midwest. Angela and Jeffrey, by the way, are still having issues with last week's challenge and Jeffrey's treatment of her mother, but Laura, pumped full of hormones, cut to the chase and told them both to get over it, god love her. The designers had only one day to create their outfit, then the next day was the runway show, in which everyone but Michael (who we found out used to be a model) looked incredibly uncomfortable. At this point, there was still 20 minutes left in the show, so I knew something was up. Yes! After judging, the contestants had to prove how jetsetting-appropriate their clothes actually were by testing them out on a mystery flight...which, it turns out, was to Paris. Then came the best moment in the entire show, which was watching the jet-lagged designers trying to decipher Catherine Malandrino's thick French accent. Catherine judged the outfits post-flight, then she and Tim announced who was in and who was out--which was entirely weird to me. Why didn't Heidi make the trip? I liked Laura's dress the best (it looked quite comfy), but Catherine announced Jeffrey as the winner. I can appreciate why he won, although his style is not quite my taste (nor is his attitude). But I have to admit I was pretty amused seeing the shit-eating grin on Jeffrey's face when Catherine told Angela she looked ridiculous. And while Kayne's shirt was a little Eurotrashy (um, or very), I didn't think it was that bad--at least it was interesting, which is more than I can say for Vincent's super-basic top and pant combo. Still, I was pretty happy that Angela finally got auf-ed (or "au revoired" such as it was). The only person who seemed sad to see her go was Michael, apparently Angela's only friend.

Next week, the designers have a challenge in Paris (how very America's Next Top Model!) but appear to be back in NYC for judging. Jet-setting indeed!
High-fashion gossip item of the day
Since the always-underappreciated Lars Nilsson was canned from Nina Ricci last week, rumors immediately began to spread that the revered house was courting former Rochas designer Olivier Theyskens. Now comes word that Theyskens will be announced as Nina Ricci's new designer any day now. On behalf of the world's fashionistas, I say thank god. As for Mr. Nilsson, word is that he might be taking over for the soon-to-retire (and sure to be missed) Oscar de la Renta.
Website of the week
When I used to live in the West Village (which I've been avoiding like the plague lest I get too wistful for my old nabe), I walked by Tina Tang's store all the time, but I've only been inside once or twice. However, when I was looking for new charms for my charm bracelet, I came across her website, which is totally comprehensive and has a ton of delicate, feminine semiprecious jewelry. The site has a fun, girly design, and you can shop rather simply by type of jewelry (there's also a nice gifts section and a bridal section). And while her designs are supercute, the sections I find the coolest are the design-your-own pages. (As I discovered in L.A. last month, I'm a huge fan of designing my own jewelry.)

The design your own boho necklace section lets you layer chunky semiprecious-stone beaded necklaces with as many semiprecious-stone pendants as you want. The possibilities are endless!

A more affordable but equally as fun option is the lucky charm necklace. You can stick with silver, rose gold, or gold, or you can mix metals for a necklace you can wear with everything, like this one.

But my favorite part is the custom charm bracelet section. I have a Tiffany bracelet that, since every girl in the world seems to have one, I customize with charms from my travels and from significant points in my life. Granted, I realize buying a bunch of charms on a website kind of defeats the purpose, but now at least I know I have the option.

Orders over $100 ship for free, which is a good thing for me, since I'm still working up the courage to go back to the West Village.
Emmys fashion police
I feel kind of bad for poor old Emmy--for an awards show with all TV stars, there's a certain level of glamour missing, as opposed to, say, the Oscars or the Golden Globes. That said, there were some standouts, but when the TV stars fall, they fall long and hard.

The Good
As much as her character on Lost frustrates me (probably because she's even more stubborn than I am), and as much as I like to make fun of Versace, Evangeline Lilly looked amazing in this plum Versace gown. You have to admit, Donatella knows what she's doing when it comes to the red carpet. Word on the street, too, is that purple is huge for fall.

After seeing Julia Louis-Dreyfus in this modern, totally chic Narcisco Rodriguez gown, I began to wonder why his dresses don't appear on the red carpet more often. Very flattering, incredibly gorgeous.

Remember several years ago when Gwyneth Paltrow wore that awful Alexander McQueen gown to the Oscars? This is the right way to do glamour goth: Portia de Rossi in Zac Posen's gray frock, accented with blood-red lips and matching clutch.

And I know she took a lot of heat (pardon the pun) for the under-boob sweat stains, but I don't care--I thought Katherine Heigl looked incredible in this nude Escada gown. As you all know, normally I am not a fan of blondes in nude gowns, but the sparkles (and her to-die-for body) give it a very Marilyn Monroe feel.

The Eh
I really, really like Sandra Oh, and I really, really wanted to put her under "the Good," even in spite of the fact that it looks like she robbed Jacob the Jeweler, but because of said accessory overload, I just can't. The dress is absolutely stunning, though.

I have a love-hate relationship with Tyra Banks. And if Tyra had just kept her mouth shut, I would've loved her in this dress. Unfortunately, she kept blabbing how it cost $50,000 (hmm, do you think she actually paid for it, what with all that free publicity?), and therefore, I'm going to hate on her. But just a little.

The Ugly
Did Eva Longoria think that this frothy, puffy white dress was going to make her look washed out? Even so, did she think that warranted such a shade of burnt sienna for her skin? You can take the girl out of Mystic Tan, but...

Hey, Virginia Madsen, this is the Emmys, not the Golden Globes! Put 'em away!

While I am not a fan of the ex-Mrs. Lachey, I can't say I'm too fond of Vanessa Minnillo either. Or her dress. Yikes.

And, I am sad that Cheryl Hines made such a poor showing in this dress, an example of how not to wear purple for fall. She brings shame to the name Cheryl.
The (holiday) week in shopping
Cheryl Shops fave Girlshop the store is taking 15% off summer items, while at the website, you can take 15% off everything, including new fall items. Through 9/4; 11-7 Mon.-Wed., 11-8 Thurs.-Sat., noon-7 Sun.; 819 Washington St. (Gansevoort & Little West 12th Sts.).

Alexis Bittar's fun lucite and semi-precious bracelets, earrings, and necklaces are $25-$350. Through 8/31; 11-7; 465 Broome St. (at Greene St.).

Plus, don't forget the Barneys Warehouse Sale, which ends Labor Day!
Lookee, Cheryl Shops has ads!
I've agonized for a long time over whether to add advertisements to Cheryl Shops. I didn't want any advertisers influencing the editorial content, plus I'm usually not a huge fan of how cluttered it can make a page. However, I spend a lot of time working on Cheryl Shops--so much so that it almost qualifies as a second job, albeit one I don't get paid for. So I recently found a nice compromise. The banners under "Recommended Shopping" in the right sidebar, below my links, are affiliate banners. When you click on them and make a purchase, I make money. Granted, it's not a lot, but every little bit helps. I am purposefully picking banners of sites I recommend and shop myself (believe me, I could make a lot more if I featured Weight Watchers or mortgage ads), so that even though these are ads, they're sites that are endorsed by Chery Shops. Some, such as Solestruck, have even been Websites of the Week. So, not to pressure you or anything, but please, please click on the ads and buy something. Your purchase(s) will not only keep Cheryl Shops up and running, but will also help Cheryl Shops innovate and grow. Thanks!
On Ashlee
I don't really cover celebrites much at Cheryl Shops, with the exception of awards-show attire, since that tends to influence formalwear. It's not that I don't care; it's just, I feel like other blogs, such as Go Fug Yourself, do a much better job at it than I do. Or you can go out and buy an Us Weekly. Whatever. However, after seeing recent paparazzi pictures of Ashlee Simpson, I felt compelled to comment.

Unlike her sister, Jessica, who pretty much turns my stomach, I've had kind of mixed feelings for Ashlee. I get that whole living-in-your-prettier-sister's-shadow thing, and, as the lore goes, Ashlee was the youngest student ever accepted into the School of the New York City Ballet, but she didn't attend because her father was too busy catering to Jessica's blossoming, uh, singing career. That would've been enough to land me in therapy for years. I saw several episodes of Ashlee's show on MTV, and was pretty much put off by her ultra-bratty attitude. Not to mention that her rock-lite music seemed to me as fake as her black hair. And then came the Saturday Night Live incident, which she didn't exactly handle gracefully. Ashlee was still the awkward, less pretty, less confident, and arguably less talented sister.

And then Jessica filed for divorce, and Ashlee got a new boyfriend, dyed her hair back to blonde, and released her second album. For awhile, it looked like Ashlee was trying to out-Jessica Jessica. And then came the nose job. I saw Ashlee on Mott Street in Nolita and were it not for the paparazzi following her, I wouldn't have even recognized her. (Hey, I liked her big ol' schnoz, but who am I to begrudge her a new nose?) Slowly, Ashlee lost a bit of weight (not that she needed to in the first place), and recently she dyed her hair a bit darker shade of blonde. Then she and Jessica were photographed exiting The Ivy, and Ashlee looked so cool, it was like Jessica wasn't even in the picture:

I love the hair--it totally suits her--and the dress is absolutely fantastic. All of a sudden, Ashlee looks cool and chic (she was wearing slouchy black boots with this dress, which made the look even better). I'm going to venture that Ashlee upgraded to an A-list stylist (as much as I hate to say it, I'm going to guess it's Rachael Zoe), but whatever she's doing, it's working. Take, for example, this dress.

I thought this was Mischa Barton at first, and it totally looks like something she'd wear (again, this might be Rachael Zoe's hand). I almost can't believe this is the same girl who wore combat boots and fingerless gloves just last year. And, finally, this photo was on this week:

Ohh, from the bright silk top to the skinny jeans, to the vintage Chanel bag, I love it. But aside from the more flattering hair color, the new nose and cool clothes, it's clear that Ashlee has something even more becoming: confidence. I could care less about her nose job, her disingenuous remarks to Marie Claire, her cancelling several concerts, or whatever remotely scandalous thing she might say or do. Girlfriend looks hot--way hotter than Jessica--and, most importantly, comfortable in her own skin, which is ultimately the best outcome from a makeover that anyone could ask for.
Project Runway recap
Oh dear, where to start. This week's Project Runway had a sweet twist, in that instead of designing for the models this week, the contestants would be designing for...their moms or sisters! Cue the tears (which, okay, I thought were actually kind of heartwarming). The twist, however, is that they wouldn't be designing for their own moms or sisters! Michael, last week's winner, started out on the right foot with Robert's cute, svelte sister, and the thinner moms were definitely picked first. In several strange twists of fate, Angela ended up designing for Laura's mom (in this episode, we learned Laura was pregnant with her sixth child--time to get those tubes tied, lady!), and Jeffrey designed for Angela's mom. While Angela's mom is quite possibly as crazy as her daughter, Jeffrey was indeed pretty rude to her after she told Tim Gunn she didn't like the colors. His design turned out to be one of the worst, although not as bad as Robert's shapeless schmatte, so poor Robert, who showed so much promise at the beginning, got auf-ed for being bo-ring. As for the yet another cruel twist of fate, Vincent actually won the challenge. I can't believe I just typed that. Okay, so Vincent designed something that wasn't hideous and was maybe actually a little bit flattering. The collar reminded me of Jane Jetson's outfit, and big whoop--it was a little black dress with a pencil skirt. I could design--and sew--one of those in my sleep. I think Uli should've won, and judging by the, well, judges, Michael Kors's mom wanted her to win too. (I know Uli used prints again, but the woman has a way with 'em, and her outfit, aside from Laura's, was the most representative of her typical style.) By the way, I love Michael Kors' mom, and Michael's most priceless comment to date: "It looks like Comme des Garcons meets the Amish country." The only way that would've been funnier would be if it came out of Mrs. Kors's mouth.
Cheryl shops...the Prada sample sale
I don't mean to sound like a snob, but my first thought upon entering the Prada sample sale was, "Who are they inviting to this?" Not only was the sale way more crowded than in the past, but there were some totally random people there, including what appeared to be two Texan tourists and an older Asian lady who kept trying on pants that were way too big on her and asking me if they fit her (um, no), and who didn't understand the concept of "personal space," as she was constantly all up in mine. But lest you think I'm a big ol' bitch, I told a fellow shopper she looked lovely in a cashmere sweater, and I gave the older lady the name of my tailor. Anyway, my first impression of the merchandise was: "gross." A lot of it was more than several seasons old, and much of it was stained, ripped, or both. A more careful pass through the racks turned up a few Miu Miu tanks, skirts, and pants; I didn't even bother trying on anything Prada, because what wasn't damaged was still way too expensive. I'm happy to report that on top, I can fit a sample size for Miu Miu, but I decided neither of the sparkly tank tops I tried on were worth $100. I also found a gorgeous camel wool sweater from Miu Miu, but discovered a hole at the shoulder, and even though I got them to mark it down to 50% off, it was still $80, and not worth it, I decided. There's a huge table in the middle with random accessories, and there are quite a few shoes, including a lot of Miu Miu shoes from the most recent spring collection. The cutest shoes seemed to be in the size 37 range, and since I, like the rest of the world, wear a 39, it was slim pickings for me. (All sizes, however, had a surplus of chunky menswear-style oxford shoes, so if that's what you're after, by all means...) I picked up a metallic peach Miu Miu clutch purse with a broken strap (I fixed it when I got home; it took me about 45 seconds), and then struck gold: In a bin on the side, I found these stockings (pictured at right), featured prominently in Prada's spring 2006 ad campaign, for a mere $25, so I got them in gray and in black. So, I ended up with two pairs of stockings and an evening purse. Random, yes. Is the sale worth going to? If you're a size 4 or 6, have tiny feet, and/or love Prada lingerie (they have a ton of it, for $40 a piece), then yes. Otherwise, approach at your own risk.
Websites of the week
I'm a little behind on my magazine reading, so pardon the non-timeliness of this post. In last month's Allure, the magazine did a story on beauty blogs, and I finally got around to checking them out. Now, I don't read beauty blogs as much as I read fashion blogs, for obvious reasons--I love a good lippy as much as the next girl, but my heart's in clothes and accessories. Still, for the beauty junkies out there (I'm looking at you, AW), here's the lowdown.

The amusingly named Lipstick Is My Crack is set up like a diary. Every day, the writer chronicles her outfit, her makeup, her skincare routine, purchases, things she got in the mail, and her obsessions, which is where the fun happens--she gives incredibly detailed product reviews, and since she notes when she received the products for free, you know you're getting an extremely objective review (as opposed to, say, in a magazine, where you never know what kind of advertiser influence or swag is involved). This is the least visually interesting of the beauty blogs, however--there are links, but no pictures (which, I know, up until a few months ago, I didn't have either).

I found Beauty Addict to be one of my favorites. It's probably the most typical blog in that the writer, Kristen, mixes product reviews (also very detailed) with news, commentary, and, as we call it in publishing, "service journalism." For example, I found the post on post-liquid-ban air-travel beauty products extremely informative and useful, since I can no longer take my beloved Jurlique facial mist on the plane with me when I fly. Plus, Kirsten writes in a very friendly, girly voice--you want to grab her and head over to Saks for free makeovers at the cosmetics counters.

eBeautyDaily is also very comprehensive, with a mixture of product reviews, pop culture commentary, and news, although there are so many ads and sidebars on the site, sometimes it's a bit challenging to read. But if it's links you're after, this is the site to go to--she's got everything from other beauty blogs to places to shop.

Jack and Hill is more of what I'd call a "lifestyle" blog--there's a lot of stuff about beauty, but also a lot on the two writers and their lives. I don't know what makes me think of this, but reading this blog reminds me of being in Anthropologie--there are some cute clothes, some fun-looking makeup, and if you feel like it, you can sit down on the sofa and have a chat with a girlfriend.

I've covered Blogdorf Goodman before; it was first mentioned in the New York Times' article last September on fashion blogs (here's my review); it was then mentioned in the Times' story on beauty blogs, so you've got to hand it to the writer for staying in the press. Anyway, her focus is now on beauty, and hers is definitely the most whimsical of the beauty blogs. Many posts begin with a quote and a vintage photograph. But the writer really goes nuts for fragrances--ah, a girl after my own heart. If reading Jack and Hill is like shopping at Anthropologie, Blogdorf Goodman is like getting lost in...the beauty floor at Bergdorf Goodman. In other words, it's an indulgence that you definitely need to treat yourself to every once in awhile.
The week in shopping
I apologize for any typos in this post. I just got back from dinner at Gramercy Tavern (thanks, SW & NW!) and am currently in a food coma. But I'll do my best.

Parlez-vous Herm├Ęs? Get there early and prepare to wait and wait and wait...8/23-8/26; 2-6 Wed., 10-8 Thurs., 10-6 Fri., 10-4 Sat.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Find Outlet is hosting the Intermix warehouse sale, and this round features bags by Mulberry and Be & D, clothes by Citizens of Humanity and C&C, and a "designer boutique" featuring Chloe, Gaultier, Lanvin, and other stuff I can't afford. 8/24-8/26; 9-8; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves).

Avant-garde paradise IF Boutique has men’s and women’s Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela, and Junya Watanabe for at least 70% off. 8/23-8/27; 11-7; 94 Grand St. (at Greene St.).

Score cool indie labels for up to 80% off if you can put up with the L.A. attitude: Sign up for the the Billion Dollar Babes sale at 8/26; 9-5;
the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Azaleas has cute lingerie and clothing by Cosabella, Charlotte Ronson, and more for up to 60% off. 8/24-9/3; noon-8, noon-6 Sun.; 223 E. 10th St. (at 1st Ave.).

Score denim by Rock & Republic, Paige, True Religion, and other coveted labels on sale at BigDrop NYC. Through 8/31; check website for store locations and hours.

At Thomas O'Brien's Aero, save 50%-75% on tabletop, furniture, and decorative gifts. Through 9/2; 11-6 (closed Sun.); 419 Broome St. (at Lafayette St.).

Fan-cee eyewear from the house label, Versace, and Dior is on sale for $59-$99 at Morgenthal Frederics. Through 9/3; 11-8, noon-6 Sun.; 399 W. Broadway (at Spring St.).

Save 30% on whatever you desire when you enter code "bissous" at checkout through 9/1 at Cheryl Shops fave Le Train Bleu.

Get free shipping on a $40 order when you enter code ENJOY at through 8/28.
Even though the Paul & Joe collection just hit the stores, Target has already posted a preview of its next Go International collection, designed by my former neighbor Behnaz Sarafpour. The look is very "holiday"--lots of velvet, lace, and faux fur. The consensus among bloggers is that this looks like the collection that's most true to the designer's aesthetic, and that it's the best one so far. I'm pretty happy with the Paul & Joe line, but there are some definite must-haves. Here are some early favorites.

The collection hits stores in November, just in time for the holidays.
Cheryl Shops...the Barneys warehouse sale
I must say, hitting the Barneys warehouse sale was a lot easier when I lived five blocks away from it. Nonetheless, I hauled my ass over to 17th Street and was in line by 7:50...and proceeded to wait for 40 minutes, since for some inexplicable reason, the doors didn't open until nearly 8:30. Already a bit irritated, I spent the first 10 minutes or so not finding anything worthy. I saw a lot of Proenza Schouler and Lanvin on the racks, alas everything was still a bit out of my price range. There was, as usual, a lot of Rebecca Taylor, Generra, DVF, and Theory, and while I wasn't finding anything good at first, I at least could appreciate the lack of private-label stuff on the racks (I often complain that there's way too much of it at the warehouse sales). I finally came across an awesome Daryl K blazer in a jacquard pattern with a tie at the waist (pictured at right), and things started looking up. I then found the matching pant, making this my second Daryl K suit in a row that I've scored at the warehouse sale. I also found a silk Daryl K vest thing (note to Barneys: size mediums should not be stocked with the size 6's). The denim bins were totally ransacked, and they seemed to have way too many cutoff denim shorts anyway. I usually have pretty good success in the knitwear bins; this time they seemed to have a lot of Trovata striped tops and tees, and a lot of rather reasonably-priced Michael Kors cashmere sweaters. My favorite item of the day, however, was this knee-length ivory Mayle cardigan sweater. It was 2/3 off, and it was still a bit pricey, but the little devil on my shoulder made me buy it anyway. It is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I usually save shoes for last, since I tend to not have very good luck there; as usual, nothing too exciting in the size 8.5s. So, is it worth going? Of course it is. But be prepared for crowds, women stripping in the aisles, and lots of labor-intensive digging and picking. I promised MW we could go back this weekend and shop for him; I'm already at my limit. Well, unless I see that white crocheted Daryl K dress...Through 9/4; 10-9 weekdays, 10-7 weekends; 255 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).
Project Runway recap
I recently started reading a book about harnessing my intuitive powers, and it must be working, because I started to get an uneasy feeling in my stomach in the beginning of this week's Project Runway when the narrative became heavy on my favorite contestant, Alison. (And all of a sudden, Michael, my other favorite, has a presence, probably boosted by his win last week. He seems so confident now, however, so I wasn't worried about him.) Alison got in two zingers, 1) telling Laura she hoped they were going riding since Laura was dressed for the occasion, and 2) humming the Sopranos theme song as they drove out to New Jersey. This is why I love this girl. All of the contestants started to feel the pressure with this challenge, which forced them to be super-creative by designing out of recycled materials or, as Kayne put it, garbage. But the cameras were still focusing on Alison as she ditched her cool woven skirt and started draping with tissue paper-like material. Tim Gunn then expressed reservations over whether the dress would flatter her model, who is a bit heavier than the others (ouch!). Again, not a good sign. So even though Kayne's dress looked like a high school art project and Vincent's dress looked like avant-garde vomit (seriously), Alison got kicked off for, to paraphrase Heidi, designing an unflattering dress, even though Alison herself is a woman. Now, did kook-tastic Angela get the boot for designing that poofy hooker dress? No. And has Vincent turned out anything remotely fashionable or aesthetically pleasing since he's been on the show? No. But they make good TV, and that's clearly why they're still on the show and Alison is not. Look at the credits--at the very end of the show, it says the judges take the producers' opinions into consideration when choosing the winners and losers of each episode. I know that, after all, this is a TV show, but how much credibility can it have when they keep the crazy people like Vincent on and get rid of truly talented, innovative designers like Alison?

While I'm bitching, I'd also like to note my displeasure at Rachel Zoe's appearance as a judge on this episode. What was that I said about credibility?

The silver lining in this episode, however, is that my second-favorite designer, Michael, won the challenge. I'm glad he's starting to get the recognition he deserves. Now let's just hope he doesn't go all Santino on us and get too cocky.
Website of the week
While the last week has been a bit more tolerable, the weather this summer has really been kicking my ass. I hate, hate, hate extreme heat, and I hate humidity even more. Needless to say, I am really eager for fall, however, I haven't read all of my September fashion magazines yet, and thus my fall fashion shopping list is still a work in progress. So what can I shop for in this late-summer, early-fall no man's land? Shoes! Habitat Shoes is the web presence of a shoe store by the same name in, of all places, Kansas City. Run by a husband and wife team, Habitat is unpretentious, unassuming, and shopping it feels like hanging out at a cool couple's apartment and checking out their closet. The focus of the site is shoes for men and women, but there are some accessories and clothes for both genders as well. You can shop by category, then by designer within each category. Or you can head straight to the sale section. Designers represented include everything from '90s fave John Fluevog to current darlings Faryl Robin and Seychelles. Item descriptions are very detailed and even note whether the shoe runs true to size--very useful info when shopping online.

I tried on this Faryl Robin shoe last weekend at Nordstrom Rack; I kind of regretted not buying it, but, hey, they have it in my size here!

With its round toe and stacked heel, this John Fluevog boot is oh-so current. His shoes are very well made and definitely worth the price.

This herringbone flat by Palladium looks like the perfect weekend shoe, but you could totally get away with wearing it to work too, due to the menswear fabric.

I love Mary Janes of all shapes and sizes, and the squared-off toe, striped trim, and fresh color make this pair by Poetic License a must-have for me.

And I think this might be a men's belt, but it's gorgeous nonetheless.

Like that other shoe website (um, that would be the money-minting Zappos), Habitat offers free shipping on all domestic orders, but unlike shopping at Zappos, I feel like I'm supporting a small, locally-owned business, which is always a plus for me. After all, I'd rather hang out with friends than kick back with a multinational corporation.
A sale I forgot to mention yesterday
Oops! Register now for the Prada Sample Sale--it's next week already!
The week in shopping
It's my favorite time of year: The semiannual Barneys Warehouse Sale starts Thursday, with prices 50%-75% off. 8/17-9/4; 10-9 weekdays, 10-7 weekends (opens at 8 a.m. this Thursday and Friday only); 255 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Vintage and new clothing and accessories are up to 55% off at the excellent Foley + Corinna. Through 8/15; noon-8; 114 Stanton St. (Essex & Ludlow Sts.).

Practical yet stylish French shoes by Robert Clergerie are now $100. Through 8/19; 10-6 (Closed Sun.); 19 E. 62nd St. (5th & Madison Aves.).

I stopped by Mayle last week before my acupuncture appointment; her gorgeous, girly silks and knits are on double markdown and up to 65% off. Through 8/20; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 242 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Lauren Merkin's supercute handbags are now $90 and up (that's at least 50% off retail). 8/15-8/17; 11-7; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 201.

Think you can't afford to shop at ABC Carpet & Home? Hit the Bronx outlet and find yourself pleasantly surprised--prices are now up to 75% off. 8/17-8/27; 10-7, 11-6 Sun.; 1055 Bronx River Ave. (near Watson Ave.), Bronx.

Michal Golan's luxe, richly detailed jewelry is 40% off. 8/20-9/2; 313 Columbus Ave. (at 75th St.), 4 Cortlandt St. (at Church St.).

Yeohlee's sculptural, architectural are a mere $25-$500 (usually $300-$3,000) at this one-day-only, cash-only sale. 8/17; 8-6; 225 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

LES boutique Plum has cutting-edge designs by Errol, Nicholas K., and others on sale. 1-8 Tues.-Thurs., 1-9 Fri., 1-7 Sat., closed Sun.-Mon.; 124 Ludlow (Rivington & Delancey Sts.).

For those of you who are all outdoorsy and camping-y and stuff, hit Patagonia, where sports gear is 30%-60% off. Through 8/22; 101 Wooster (Prince & Spring Sts.), 426 Columbus (at 81st St.).

Lovely, well-chosen vintage clothes are 30% off at Nolita's Sweet Tater. 8/16-8/28; noon-7; 280 Mulberry St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Victor Hugo--the Brazilian accessories designer, not the dead French author--is having his first-ever sample sale, with everything 20% below wholesale. 8/14-8/16; 10-6; 520 Madison Ave. (53rd & 54th Sts.).

Wednesday is "Girl Talk" night at Bloomingdales; free cocktails and $50 off a $300 purchase in Y.E.S.
Project Runway recap
The beginning of this week's Project Runway episode was rather amusing to watch, because not only did the models get to pick which designer to work with (as opposed to the designers picking the models), but the models got to choose which fashion icon the designers would be creating a modernized look for. The designers all seemed put out and helpless, but it turned out the models for the most part made pretty wise decisions--well, except for Vincent's model, who chose Twiggy, and Bradley's model, who ended up with Cher. I don't think Bradley even had a concept of who Cher is, which, in my opinon, automatically makes him unfit to be a fashion designer. His finished product did look like a cross between Cher's recent Cher-bot look and her '70s Pocahontas duds, but it was all ill-fitting and cheap-looking and hence Bradley got "auf"-ed. Robert turned out another boring disappointment, and Vincent's bizarre plaid-and-solid-black dress looked neither modern nor like something Twiggy would wear. I know Vincent borrowed against his 401(k) or whatever to get on the show, but I will be shocked if he's not the next to go. As for the top three, Kayne (whenever I type that, I want to pronounce it like Kayne West, not like "cane") created a gorgeous, kind of Goth-glamour gown and Angela turned out yet another winner, an incredibly sophisticated modern dress (with, okay, her "signature rosettes"). But as soon as the camera started to pay attention to Michael, I knew he was going to win this challenge. And I'm happy, because I've liked his designs since the first episode and his totally overlooked coffee-filter minidress. He totally grasped his fashion icon, rattling off the names of all of Pam Grier's movies, and he simply rocked it out. Michael--not just Laura's little bitch anymore! Of course, he hasn't replaced Alison in my heart. (Does anyone else think Alison is totally due for a win soon? Because I do.) But I am excited to see what Michael does next.
Website of the week
I came across a really interesting post today on one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy: a discussion about Pier 1's new "Loft 21" collection. While Apartment Therapy kind of set the tone of many of the posts to follow by saying, "Obviously, we do not have a high regard for this new development on the furnishings landscape," many of the later posters came to defend both Pier 1 and the new collection. Like many people, when I hear "Pier 1," I think wicker and papasan chairs. And while there's certainly a place for that kind of furniture in the world, Pier 1 has recently tried to modernize its offerings--whether due to sliding market share or to capitalize on the covetable "young urbanite" demographic, I don't know. Regardless, this seemed to offend a lot of the posters on principle alone (how dare this cheesy "global" store try to pander to design snobs!). So I decided to look at the collection and judge for myself. Loft 21 is part of Pier 1's "Urban Spaces" collection, which also includes "Brownstone," "Lake Shore Drive," and "Micro-Pod." Um, okay. There's basically one way to view the collection, which is to to scroll through all 8 pages of it.

The good news is that there's still a lot of rattan, as in the Martin chair, pictured below; palm shows up in this storage box; this frankly ugly hamper is woven out of some natural material that, on second thought, probably lets your laundry breathe better than a regular old plastic or metal hamper.

There are also some totally bizarre items. Like, seriously, what are you supposed to do with these silver rattan balls?

That said, there is some cool--and affordable--stuff to be had. After spending many hours shopping for armchairs, I can tell you this Bradford chair, currently on sale for $329, is a huge bargain--even with the matching ottoman, it's still less than a similar chair at Crate & Barrel or Room & Board. Of course, I'd recommend the sit test before you buy.

I don't know how practical this onyx square shelf is for displaying knickknacks, but I really like the design. Heck, you can hang it on the wall and not put anything on it. at all!

The Deirdre table with stools is also a great bargain--for $329 you get a glass-top table and four vinyl stools, one of those great space-saving ideas for when you have super-limited room (as in a studio). This is great for entertaining.

But one of my favorite things is also one of the most affordable. People tend to rave about Pier 1's inexpensive but good-smelling candles; the Mella comes in a really cute (and probably reusable) retro glass container, and the scent sounds delicious.

So, true, it's not as great overall as West Elm or CB2, but you have to give Pier 1 props for trying to modernize their wares. It's a decent first try that, hopefully, will only get better with practice.
The week in shopping
Some of the best fitting swimwear around, Malia Mills swimwear for every body type is up to 75% off. 8/8-8/10; 10-7; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

It's time for Hollywould's insane sale, where prices for her kooky-glam shoes (which are incredibly comfortable, btw) start at a mere $25. Expect long lines. 8/10-8/12; 11:30-7; 210 Elizabeth St. (Prince & Spring Sts.), 2nd floor.

One of my favorite stores (especially for gifts), Flight 001 has bags and travel accessories for 30%-75% off. 8/10-8/22; 11-8:30 weekdays, 11-8 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 96 Greenwich Ave. (Jane & W. 12th Sts.).

Upper East Side fashion haven Cantaloup has Iisli, Prairie New York, Sweetface, and more trendy labels on sale for up to 80% off. Through 8/31; 1036 Lexington Ave. (at 74th St.), 1359 2nd Ave. (at 72nd St.).

Vivienne Tam's silky, Asian-influenced clothes are up to 75% off. 8/9-8/31; noon-7, 11:30-7 Fri., 11:30-7:30 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 99 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

The super-fun housewares store Butter and Eggs has home furnishings for 10%-50% off. Through 8/20; noon-7 weekdays, noon-8 Thurs., 11-6 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 83 W. Broadway (at Chambers St.).

Save 40% on orders of $100 or more when you enter code SUMMER at through 8/8. has merged with Cheryl Shops fave Active Endeavors; now save 20% on your order when you enter code BLUSH at checkout.

It's the Best Week Ever at Old Navy; take $10 off a $75 order when you enter code BESTWEEK at checkout through 8/12.

Save up to 60% at MoMA Store's summer sale. See website for store locations and hours.

For the well-dressed tot in your life, save up to 50% on Juicy Couture, Diesel, and other pricey brands (yes, for kids) at

Save 40% on orders of $25 or more at when you enter code SUMMER at checkout through 8/13.
Cheryl shops...Paul & Joe for Target
The announcement that Paul & Joe would be Target's next Go International designer made me super-happy, because Paul & Joe is one of my all-time favorite lines. And I can honestly say that this is the best Go International line yet. I'm firing up my AmEx as we speak. Here are the standouts:

This paisley-print pintucked silk cami is an iconic Paul & Joe piece, from the print to the delicate, feminine details. And did I mention it's silk?

I also love this wallpaper-print kimono top. At $40, it seems like a bit much at first but, like most of the tops, it's silk, and thus $40 is a pretty good deal. Plus, it's adorable.

I am so not a polo person, but with the Peter Pan collar, gathered front yoke, and banded sleeves, this jersey polo is so chic, it might just convert me.

I think the green trim adds a little something extra to this fairly basic V-neck sweater. Plus, it just looks like something I'd wear.

This is a fine-looking pair of cropped pants, with Lurex thread for a bit of sparkle. Paul & Joe's trousers tend to be cut incredibly well, fyi.

The wallpaper print turns up again in these cute silk tap pants. Probably not something to wear in public, but adorable nonetheless.

This is the dress that's getting all the attention, but based on the reviews thus far, it looks like it doesn't fit very well. Perhaps too much volume for the average girl? I might give it a whirl anyway.

Accessory-wise, it's a veritable Cheryl bonanza, with a lot of butterflies. But I find the owls and turtle even more eye-catching, like with this owl pin...

...and turtle belt.

And, yeah, I totally love this butterfly hobo. Obvious, yes. But totally cute.

Now through August 26th, get free shipping when you spend $50 too--and with stuff so cute, that shouldn't be hard to do at all! I can't wait until my order arrives! Wahoo!
Website of the week
I quit the gym a little over six months ago, and at the time, it was very liberating. I used to love to take classes at the gym (yoga, hip-hop), but eventually I started to hate being confined to a schedule, so then I just lifted weights and did cardio machines, which got to be incredibly tedious after awhile. Looking back on it, I think that while I started going to the gym for good reasons (to be healthy), after awhile, I was just going through the motions. And it sucked. So I quit. And while since then I've been doing yoga and pilates on my own, I just can't get the same workout at home that I can in a class where I have someone pushing me. But the worst part was that working out this way, I clearly was not releasing enough energy, of which I have a lot, and if I don't get it out, I get all stressed out and go crazy. A few weeks ago, I had my second major epiphany of my adult life, which is that the only exercise I really enjoy doing is dancing, because, as cheesy as this sounds, it not only lets me release my built-up physical energy but my emotional energy as well. So I've started dancing again! Since it's been a long six years since I've taken a proper dance class, my dance accoutrements have fallen by the wayside. Thus far, I've attended class wearing all manner of former workout clothes--stretchy pants, sports bras, old tees and tanks, plus my ancient jazz sneakers (they were the first ones ever made and, yes, I still have them)--because I can't find any of my old leotards and stuff. Granted, dancewear has changed a bit since my '90s glory days (which can best be described as "grunge ballerina")--I used to attend class in spaghetti-strap leotards and footless tights or a unitard, paired with thigh-high legwarmers. Leotards still appear to be popular, but there were a lot of leggings and stretch pants too. And since I can always use an excuse to go shopping, I hit the web in search of places to shop for new leotards and such.

I was delighted to find the online home of Discount Dance Supply, which has always been my favorite source for shoes, leotards, and such. Back in the day (like, before the Internet), DDD was just a catalogue--which appears to still exist--but the website is even better because, like Amazon, you can rate the products. This is helpful especially in the case of shoes, because most of the time, you never know how good (or bad) a shoe is until you actually dance in it. But, for example, there's a Bloch jazz shoe (please note, I can't link directly to anything on this site) that has 10 five-star reviews, making it (hopefully) a pretty sure thing. The reviews are also great for leotard-shopping, as the reviews note which styles fade, gape, flatter bigger busts (very useful info for me), and etc. I won't bore you with the details of my leotard, tights, and jazz-shoe search, however, because as I remembered while browsing, dance stores always have cute "warmups" and other dance-inflected clothing that you can incorporate into your look, plus it's all more authentic (and cheaper) than the dance-inspired looks that periodically crop up in designers' collections.

For example, I'm always a fan of the chiffon wrap skirt. True, it's sheer, so you need either a slip or some thick tights underneath, but nothing else says "dancer" more clearly and, at $16, this Capezio style is quite a bargain.

These ABT shorts would be great for wearing to a regular old gym, especially if you have great legs, but I'll be wearing mine over tights.

Dance catalogues are always a great source for basic legwarmers, but sometimes you can find funky styles, like this open-knit pair from Grishko.

And, I know these "dancer overalls" look kind of ridiculous, but, trust me, they're so comfortable, perfect for lounging around your apartment on a lazy weekend.

This K.D. Dids sweater is almost as iconic as their thigh-high legwarmers, and it's a little less obvious than the classic wrap sweater.

And dance catalogues are always a good resource for footless tights. This durable low-rise Capezio style is a mere $7.80, and it will last far longer than that pair you bought at Urban Outfitters.

Now through August 13th, shipping is a mere cent on orders over $100 (usually, from what I remember, costs escalate quite quickly), but in case you want to postpone your purchase, the site has a great wish list feature, of which I'm always a big fan. I'm going to hit the K.D. Dids store on Lafayette tomorrow, but I think I've found at least a couple of leotards and a new pair of jazz shoes here. So while my dancing might be a bit rusty, I'll at least look like I belong there.