Buy Curious: Oakland Gets Unwrapped, Emeryville Welcomes H&M, & Shopping Is Our Religion

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It's Easter, which means that unless you've got small children who fiend for life-size portions of bunny-shaped chocolate (your husband doesn't count), you're better off hitting up the sale racks and "springing" into the season's newest looks. This week, Buy Curious digs up plenty of shopping events to console you - from charity-worthy fashion shows, to a shoe donation drive that puts money back in your pocket. Plus, we braved some serious Emeryville road rage to snag a skirt from the newly launched H&M, and dish up the perfect dinner party purse. Hop to it! SHOP TALK New Site Touts Local Shopping Let's face it: Plenty of us live in Oakland, but how many of us actually drop our dollars here? That discrepancy appeared to prompt the creation of Oakland Unwrapped, an online portal supporting Oakland's independent artists and businesses through our favorite sport, shopping. Though it's still developing, expect to find guides to shopping districts, links to cool shops, and listings of indie-friendly events in the future. We say, bring it on! she-bible%20dress.jpg she-bible%20sweatshirt%20on%20sale.jpg Shopping as Religious Experience It's Easter, so what could be more appropriate than snagging a discount on a sweet, quirky-cool dress or top by She-Bible, one of San Francisco's brightest indie designers? Head to its online boutique and enter "DCSB" in the coupon code box for each piece you feel spiritually compelled to buy. No discount on the sale stuff, but those pieces are already so reasonable that we dare you to bitch about it. (Our favorite sweatshirt of all time is this whimsical fitted, bell-sleeved moss green one, on sale for $60, down from $85.) purse%20cake.jpg The Perfect Dinner Party Purse We couldn't resist this delectable pink purse. And when we say delectable, we mean it - it looks sweet enough to eat because it is. Unfortunately, you'll have to open your real purse wide in order to take a bite: this Dean & Deluca exclusive cake goes for $150. A lot of, ahem, dough, for sure! Our only question - pink is so two years ago. Can we get it in a nice butter yellow? H%26M%20madonna.jpg Emeryville Welcomes H&M Another good reason to go to Bay Street: the new H&M! (The first reason? Teacake Bake Shop, where for $3 you can buy a Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla cupcake that will change your life... or at least your mood.) We hit H&M on opening day yesterday, and while we were too late to see Emeryville Mayor Nora Davis give a speech, we did walk away with the world's most comfortable - and flattering - skirt at the opening sale price of $8.10 (including tax). As though the price weren't price enough, the clerk tossed in a free gift in the form of a big black zippered canvas bag. A handful of items, like the skirt, are half-price through the weekend. Then there's the new line designed by our favorite ageless pop star, Madonna, which is supposed to represent the singer's "timeless, unique and always glamorous style." We're not sure we could ever rock an all-white suit at the office, but by all means, go for it! azalea.gif Looking for a Bargain? Yeah, dumb question. But seriously, oftentimes the word "sale" just doesn't live up to its expectation. That's why we were overjoyed to see online fashion retailer AzaleaSF.com unloading last season's looks in their "Bargain Bin," starting at just $20. From scoop-neck baby-doll dresses to striped cowl-neck tees, this sale has plenty of trendy looks to choose from. Check out the groovy detailed stitching on these unique Faryl Robin heels --just $40 (orig. $138)! While you're at it, browse the store's collection of eco-friendly clothes and beauty products. twentytwo.jpg Soles for Needy Souls We really don't need any philanthropic nudging to spend our hard-earned cash on the lovely selection of hand-crafted shoes at Twenty Two, but heck, it doesn't hurt either. The Rockridge boutique is currently soliciting donations of shoes for Soles 4 Souls, a nonprofit that distributes footwear worldwide. In exchange for your generous deed (oh, c'mon, we know you've got a pair in the back of your closet you haven't worn for years), Twenty Two is offering a 22 percent discount on all their new shoes in the store. You don't have to tell us twice! Where: 5856 College Ave., Oakland When: Fri., April 6 - Sun., April 9. Regular store hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fashion Show, Fighting AIDS in Africa Berkeley boutique EVarize, which specializes in custom-made designs, has teamed up with the massive (RED) campaign (http://www.joinred.com/) to raise money for the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. A portion of the proceeds from sales of its RED LINE will go toward the fund. To celebrate, the store will participate in What You See Galore!, a music/art/runway fashion show featuring seven Bay Area designers, including Dulce Lalita (http://www.dulcelalita.com), Flyguy Couture (http://www.flyguysfboston.com), Vindyco Clothing (http://www.vindyco.com), Missing Clothing, VM Studios, and, of course, EVarize Apparel. Where: LoBot Gallery, 1800 Campbell St., Oakland When: Sat., April 7. Reception starts at 8 p.m., doors open at 9 p.m. How much: $5-$20. Proceeds benefit VisibleVoice.com More Sales Sales Sales East Bay: ** Afterglow Shop this indie Oakland boutique's $25 and under sale rack while sipping on wine during a reception for artist Amber Collision. When: Fri., April 6, 2007 Where: 4233 Telegraph Ave., Oakland ** Fashion's in Bloom, Sample Sale & Trunk Show Check out this East Bay sale, hosted by the Diva Dream Team. When: Sat., April 7, noon - 5 p.m. Where: 390 27th St., Oakland vintage.jpg ** Vintage Sale Berkeley's Icon Vintage and Retro Diva are offering 20 percent off their selection of vintage coats and children's clothing, plus "deeply discounted" men's and women's clothing. For a sneak peek, check out Retro Diva's online store (http://www.retrodiva.com/). When: Now! Where: 2521 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley In San Francisco: ** HeidiSays: Tomorrow, take 15 percent off merchandise at Fillmore boutique HeidiSays (http://www.heidisays.com/), including styles by M Missoni, Catherine Maladrino, Theory, Chaiken, and more. Where: HeidiSays, 2426 Fillmore St., San Francisco When: Sat., April 7 ** Jeremy's It's that time again! Put on your armor and brave the bargain hunters for this 30-40 percent off storewide sale this weekend. Best of all, they're open till 8 p.m. tonight! Where: Jeremy's, 2 South Park, San Francisco When: Fri. & Sat., April 6 & 7 ** Her Save 20 percent on all denim, including new arrivals by Earnest Sewn, James Cured By Seun, J Brand, and Paige Premium Denim. Now through the end of April. Where: 2053 Fillmore St., San Francisco When: Regular store hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Mark Your Calendars... Planning ahead? Save room in your datebook for these upcoming shopping events! ** Indie Awards Hosted by Oakland Unwrapped, this award show will highlight the best of Oakland's independent businesses and artists. Don't miss it! When: Fri, May 4, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Where: 2232 MLK, 2232 Martin Luther King Blvd., Oakland How much: $20 ** Bead Expo (www.BeadExpo.com) When: Fri.-Sun., April 13-15 Where: The Oakland Convention Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland How much: $8 daily, $20 for a three-day pass, $2-off coupon available online. ** San Francisco Birth and Baby Fair Sick of shopping at Babies "R" Us? Then you must check out this baby fair, featuring tons of local designers and their hip styles for tots. Including: Rock N Roll Babies, Wuggie Bear, and Moby Wrap. When: Sat., April 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Fort Mason Conference Center, 99 Marina Blvd., San Francisco

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