Buy Curious: Belly Exposé, Going Vintage & the End of the World


SHOP TALK Good Deed, Good Discount Iniam, one of our favorite College Ave boutiques, is collecting used clothing in good condition for A Miner Miracle. (Think stuff you might consign were it not for your generous spirit.) The SF-based nonprofit has nothing to do with mining; it’s named after Kathy Miner, who decided back in 1995 to create an organization dedicated to enabling disadvantaged women to enter the workforce in style. In addition to karma points, you’ll get 10 percent off everything in the store on the day of your donation. When: Snag the discount Fri., March 16 through Thurs., March 22. But donate clothing anytime! Store hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun., noon – 5 p.m. Where: 5902 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 597-1558 Forget the 401(k)—Invest in Vintage! Does hearing the names “Chanel,” “Schiaparelli,” “Lanvin,” and “Halston” make your heart race? Then the Vintage Fashion Expo, coming to San Francisco this weekend, is right up your alley. Sift through a wide variety of apparel from dozens of dealers — all for the entry fee of ten bucks. (Make that $8 if you show up with this coupon.) When: Sat., March 17,10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun., March 18, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sundays. Where: Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California St., San Francisco Hot Weather = Show Off Your Hot Body**** What’s sexier than gorgeous lingerie? Why, you in it, of course! Head to Fourth Street’s A La Folie Saturday for a trunk show of Dessous lingerie, and save 10 percent while you’re at it. But first, zap an RSVP to nafissa[at]visitalafolie[dot]com. When: Sat., March 17, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Where: 1816 Fourth St., Berkeley, (510) 845-1616 ****At home, that is, according to this week’s Buy Clueless. (To read it, scroll down to the bottom of the page.) Spring Sale Hush is currently having a half-off sale. Designers include 3.1 Phillip Lim, Diane Von Furstenberg, Vince, Development, 12th Street, Rachel Roy, Just In Case, Velvet, Ever, Clu, C&C, Joe's Jeans, Rock & Republic, Habitual, & Citizen's of Humanity. Where: Hush, 1354 N. Main St., Walnut Creek Ce%20Soir.jpg Lucky You … …Buy Curious subscribes to Lucky, so you don’t have to! This month, their back-of-the-book page features a guide to shopping in downtown Walnut Creek, plus exclusive sales for its readers – and you. Just mention Lucky to get these discounts. ** Ooma – Save 20 percent on any one item. (P.S. Owner Kate Logan is also a stylist who can help you with shopping, styling, and closet consulting) Where: 1422 Grant Ave., San Francisco (415) 627-6963 ** Zaza Nail Spa – Save 20 percent on all nail services. Where: 543 Second St., San Francisco (415) 495-6292 ** Ce Soir – Save 20 percent on their beautiful selection of lingerie. Check out their specialty bridal selection! Where: 2980 College Ave., Berkeley (510) 883-1082 SAVE THE DATE Mark your calendars for these upcoming shopping events! Spring Has Sprung! More than 65 designers will hawk their goods at this Appel & Frank spring shopping event. Clothes, home-ware, accessories, etc. When: Sat., March 24, noon-5 p.m. Where: The Regency Center, Sutter Room, 1270 Sutter St., San Francisco How much it’ll set you back: $10 gets you in the door. $25 will get you the VIP goodie bag. Buy your tickets now! Cocktails and Shopping and Sales ... Oh My! More than 35 designers and up to 60 percent off at the Top Button San Francisco Designer Shopping Party. When: Thurs., March 29, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Where: Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California St., San Francisco How much it’ll set you back: $20 or $30 for VIP in advance, $30 at the door For the Hip Urban Babe Worried that your ‘lil one will get teased at preschool for wearing that hand-me-down onesie that was all the rage in 2004? Drop by the East Bay Baby Fair next Saturday to guarantee her popularity for years to come. (With brand-name baby gear discounted 75 percent off retail, can you really afford not to go?) When: Sat., March 24, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Where: JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley Check out more sales in the Bay Area on YOUNG? WANNA GET INTO FASHION? San Francisco’s the Sewing Workshop is offering a beginning teen sewing class this spring (ages 12-17 only). Learn how to create your own clothes from start to finish. Call (415) 221-7397 for more information. SeenOn.jpg A couple weeks ago, Buy Curious reported on the increasing popularity of celebrity-driven shopping sites. Now you, too, can become part of the frenzy with this internship at The Web site is looking for fashion savvy, witty, Perez Hilton-obsessed students to feed their shopping portal. In an ironic twist, the internship for the site that tells you where to buy a items like this $530 Dina Bar-el Lace Cocktail Dress from Dancing With the Stars, doesn’t pay a penny. FASHANALYSIS: STYLE NEWS & VIEWS News Flash! Stop the Presses! Did you know that some people in the Bay Area may actually have the money — and want to spend it — for a $275 black T-shirt?! Apparently, this revelation was juicy enough to justify this front-page story on Writer Pia Sarkar contends that “You could easily find a similar designer shirt at a discount store like Ross and most people would not know the difference.” A few thoughts on this: Sarkar clearly does not actually shop at Ross. Who are “most people”? And finally, does anyone give a damn about this topic? The Chron’s first hint that the answer to the latter question is “no” should have been when they polled readers to find out the max they’d ever shelled out for a tee. “What kind of stupid question is that, and who cares?” asked one gal from Oakland whom Buy Curious would like to meet, if not hire. (Assuming we could hire, which we can’t, for those of you yearning to write for us.) But lo, while luxury brand sales have risen in the last three years, the market may be in for a slump. “There are some things you're going to compromise and some things you aren't, and in my mind the black T-shirt is the first to go,” said one expert. Holy crap! Not the black T-shirt! Break out the duct tape, Batman — the end times are coming! Now, call us crazy, but here’s what we’ve deduced from this story: The end of the world may indeed be near if the Chron considers this topic front-page news (Oh wait, that’s next year.) And, if, as one luxury expert quoted in the article put it, a $275 t-shirt “makes you feel powerful…It makes you feel wealth,” then the elite shoppers of this world need therapy. (Even more than they’re already getting, that is.) Read It and Shop In recent years, the domain of fashion writing has garnered increasing respect in journalism circles. In 2006, Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givham picked up a Pulitzer for criticism. Earlier this week, it was announced that New York magazine’s Vanessa Grigoriadis has acored a National Magazine Award nomination for her profile on Karl Lagerfeld. (The Ellie’s, as they’re known, are the most prestigious magazine writing awards in the country. Check out the complete list of nominee’s, including a few Bay Area rags including The Believer, here. Seems Lagerfeld never runs out of profilability — the New Yorker that landed in our mailboxes this week features another lengthy piece on the designer. (Is the article’s title, In the Now: Where Karl Lagerfeld Lives, insufferably pretentious, or is it just us?) S%2B6_Shakira_091006.jpg BUY CLUELESS Bring Your Midriff to Work? Dear Buy Curious, I have a fashion conundrum: Is it appropriate to show my tummy at work? (I'm 26 and my stomach is flat, not flubby and offensive in any way.) I work in a very casual office environment where pretty much anything goes -- I'm just not sure if it's okay to wear a top that shows my bellybutton. Now that the weather's warm, I love showing off my piercing. Advice appreciated! Thanks! Sincerely, Loves to Bare It Dear LBI, We decided to unleash this week’s Buy Clueless query on Craigslist. We should point out, LBI, that Buy Curious does not think ANY stomach is “offensive” — “love what you’ve got” is our motto — and we were surprised that no one picked up on that remark. Ultimately, the bottom line was clear: Don’t even think about sharing your midriff with the world — unless you’re getting paid to do it. Here, excerpts from the thirteen replies we received after posting it in the site’s community section. (The replies have not been edited for grammar and spelling. Italicized comments in brackets are ours). **Get a grip. I do not care how casual the office is you should not dress that way. You are just asking for trouble. **It's unprofessional, and tacky. **Let me be the first to tell you how inappropriate it is to show too much skin at work. I had a young woman come to my last company with tops that showed maybe an inch or more of her stomach. I took the time to explain what I am explaining to you. … Your short top would be sexually suggestive and distracting to men. NEVER forget that the work place is just that, where you work. … Unless you are modeling or stripping, professional attire consists of clothes ending below the navel, above the rib cage and several inches below the butt cheeks. [We think a diagram here would be helpful!] I have been around a long time and please do not listen to the young women who are going to say, Oh girl it's okay. Please believe me, it is not okay. Sex should always be left out of the workplace. When we show our stomach, too much clevage or too much leg, we are exploiting our sexuality. Men will love it, but this is the place you want respect, not attention. **I would approach your boss and ask if it is acceptable. Most "Office" environments do not allow this, but your job maybe different. **I think that flabby or not, it's inappropriate for work environments. just my opinion. **No, it is NEVER appropriate to show tummy at work, unless you dance on a pole. … It doesn't matter if it's an "anything goes" environment; individuals should still dress professionally. It's a question of being known for your competence or for being that chick with the stomach hanging out, y'know? **Im gonna say no. Unless you work at Hot Topic in the mall, probably not. But look around and see if anyone else is wearing anything that shows their belly button. If you see someone else doing it, it might be somewhat acceptable. At the school I work at, which is pretty casual, some people wear flip flops, while the older people scowl at them and talk about how unprofessional it is. (Is the school located at the White House?) In other words, some people will probably talk even if youre not the only one wearing something like that. Tastefully Yours, Buy Curious Every Friday, Buy Curious dishes on the hottest fashion trends, news, and sales in the East Bay - and we want to hear from you! Tips? Suggestions for things you'd like to see? Questions for Buy Clueless, our advice column? Send it all to us. Email BuyCurious[at]EastBayExpress[dot]com