Caviar Cravings, Tax Time Savings? It’s Time for HighLow Style

Yes, I admit it. My name is Kim and I’m a shop-a-holic. I’m totally Champagne taste on a tap water budget, and recently I’ve been so great and on the wagon — a really dry diet of inexpensive thrift fashion and recycled clothing.

But I’m coming down off of NYC Fashion Week last month, a horrendous winter of nothing but layers, layers and, oh yeah, more layers and just recently, work on a project involving luxury brands. Meaning? I am jonesing for something spring-like, pretty, on-trend and NEW. Emphasis on new. Never-been-worn. And preferably, shoes or a leather jacket. Platform Christian Louboutin Praia espadrilles and a shrunken washed leather Rick Owen or All Saint’s jacket, to be exact.

Now. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been trying to stave off a relapse by holding daily shopping meetings at my few fav EV thrifty places, like AuH20 Thriftique, helmed by the lovely Kate Goldwater, and Village Style, which is rockin’ a great Austin, TX., or Ralph Lauren-inspired window these days, below….

But my thrift addictions have gotten the better of me. And since Sunday, with my friend in town from Sweden in tow and a crazed expression spreading on my face and a giddy feeling emanating from my gut since Top Shop, I started sprinkling in some mass-consumption reconnoitering at all those biggies who are democratizing fashion. You know the ones.  I really lost it at Zara, where I realized I had to have the must-have ubiquitous short trench coat and then found the high-low style replacement ingredient to the shrunken Rick Owen jacket. And bought three. Plus a T-shirt for $40. A T-shirt. I had officially lost it.

It got worse. I found platform espadrilles at Forevs (in my case, we will now always refer to this shop as Forever 39. Hey. It works for me), and they were even comfortable! Then a wedgie fake-off of the Givenchy wrapped platform Fisherman Wedge stacker ($1,190 at Barneys!) in a dusty chocolate taupe that matched one of the “leathers.”

 The REAL Givenchy Fisherman Wedge

You might think I would’ve been done by then. But, oh no. You’d be wrong. At Strawberry’s, I came upon the Christian Louboutin-esque statuesque Praia-style espadrilles with the jute that becomes the back of the shoe heel. Okay, they’re too big, but I figure my feet will swell in the summer. Plus, P and I had pulled them up online that morning and they were $535 at Barneys. ‘Nuff said. I also snagged another “leather” shortie, this one even cheaper than the one’s from Zara.

The REAL Christian Louboutin Praia Espadrilles

So. Back home with my fashion porn, with shopper’s remorse creeping into my heart and the tristesse of knowing I have to pay my accountant before being able to pay Amex, I realized I will just have to return as many of these new clothes as possible. (Although, I’m definitely keeping one of the “leather” shorties, a bone sort of shade, which I plan to have serve as my trench coat fill-in for the season.)

Zara trench coat

Then yesterday, I saw this story on the Today Show, and I realized the true disease I have. Someone call AA — Aesthetics Anonymous! I am a shopping bulimic! I binge shop, out of control, and then, since I cannot afford it, purge by returning!

If only I could be an amnesiac shopping bulimic, where I binge but forget to return. Sigh.

But that would be a different ailment.

I think they call it rich.

Fashion’s Night OUT Barneys NY: Get “Untouched,” Then Touched by Johnny Rozsa

My East Village neighborhood, in particular 7th Street, rocks.

For years I have walked by a huge blowup of a glitter-y gold bikini bra wearing Mariah Carey (who actually used to be the coat check girl at a restaurant I worked at years ago, but that’s a whole ‘nuther story…) hanging in the window of Luster Photo on Avenue A. The blogger EV Grieve recently noted that the “arm pit sniffing photo” has been replaced. I think it’s now a photo of a lotus flower.

Photo courtesy EV Grieve (

Turns out, the Mariah shot was lensed by Johnny Rozsa, my neighbor down the block, who I have bonded with over time regarding dogs and fashion. He’s got 2 Chinese Cresteds who model and a scruffy but adorable terrier-chihuahua mix named Stella.  He’s also incredibly fun and humorous with a a great sense of style. And, he loves the beach.

I ran into him earlier today and asked him what he’d be wearing to his book signing event at Barneys New York tonight, part of the Fashion’s Night Out extravaganza there. He said that he’ll be the “Queen in green,” and described his plans on popping with color, from his preppy style purple and green Burberry pants to a raw silk sport coat from Hong Kong he found that he says fits him perfectly.

With his cool sense of style, he could wear anything tonight and look amazing.

He’ll be there tonight autographing his new book, Untouched, which will be available for sale and signing from 7 to 11. Here’s what has to say about his book:

“In this never-before-seen collection of 160 untouched photographs of some of the biggest names in Hollywood before they were Hollywood-ized by plastic surgery and makeovers, luminary photographer Johnny Rosza offers intimate glimpses, capturing nearly 30 years of his work. Rosza has photographed for the likes of Vogue, the Sunday London Times, and Ritz. Just some of glamorous stars included in this collection include Muhammad Ali, Halle Berry, Daniel Day Lewis, and Winona Ryder.”

Woot woot! Go 7th Street! Go Johnny! Go Fashion’s Night Out!
Barneys. Be there!

To boldly go where no man has gone before….

As Fashion Week continues…Day 4…a bagpipe serenade opens the Farmers Market at Tompkins Square Park this a.m. The East Village screams its way awake, literally, via either the homeless (hello, Hot Dog), the crazies (hello, Hot Dog, again) or the dirty-stay-out partiers in the park.

Favorite new fashion news sources this week: (holla, LM!) and (fun, cute stuff, but they need to learn to spell check). Old stalwarts remain,, Oh, and of course, The New York Times, The NY Post, both online & on page. Oh yeah, and twitter, sometimes.

Wondering if Anna Wintour’s Fashion’s Night Out was the financial impetus and shopping success she hoped for? I read fabulous snippets of amazing cocktail parties, but it sounded kind of like a pub crawl for retail. I expected everyone in drag or Dior, with a be-bobbed party puppet corralling party goers for the next stop: “Okay! Everybody! Ten more minutes with Zac! [Posen, spray painting chic, expensive frocks in Bergdorf’s windows.] Over and out here! Jonathan’s at the wheel next! [Throwing pottery at Barneys with partner Simon Doonan spouting philosophic inanities to The NY Post. Cocktails on Mary Kate and Ashley! [The Olsen Twins, bartending.] Open Ceremony after! More champers, people! More buying! Com’on! Credit cards OUT! Drink up! Drink UP! People! PEOPLE! ”

Sorta like a Santacon fest, I thought, without the garish santa or sexy elf costumes. A blogger at Huffington Post stalked elusive buyers throughout the evening. I, for one, passed through the Big K earlier that day for a curling iron, just doing my part to spur the economy. Ran into one of fashion journalism’s greats, who was NOT buying a hair appliance for his golden-ish head of curls, but with a most sweet & lovely woman at his side, who I assumed was his beautiful wife.

In all fairness, my “bargain buying” included expensive wrist splints for BOTH hands, a new office chair (lumbar support and all), laptop riser, wireless keyboard and mouse. I would have preferred to have blown those purchases off and secured some Balenciaga boots for the season and a Kate Moss Top Shop shopping spree, but…due to nerve damage to my fingers and seven of the reasons for irregular blogging as of late…I’ve had to opt for more functional fashion swipes.

Anyway. Rock on, Fash-On Week….