For months now, the date has been staring back at me from my Outlook calendar: November 14, the day that the collaboration between Jimmy Choo and H&M becomes retail reality. Choo shoes, handbags and clothing will grace select H&M stores across the country. It’s another in a string of partnerships between high-end designers and real-world retailers. For those of us who aren’t holding on to hope for a real pair of Jimmy Choos in our closets, these design partnerships are as close as we can get.
More and more designers are jumping on the real-world design bandwagon. And more and more frequently, shoe designers are getting in on the fun.
Vera Wang’s line for Kohl’s, Simply Vera, features some well-priced and beautifully designed shoes that I’m just itching to get my hands on. These motorcycle boots are perfect for fall.
Most recently, Project Runway alum Christian Siriano has been bringing designer shoe wear to the masses through a partnership with Payless. These Saunter flats, for example, are super chic with their snakeskin print and medallion, and ring it at a cool $29.99.
Miss Mojito can’t get enough of the mix of designer aesthetic and wallet-friendly pricetags!
Posted by Miss Mojito.
Last week’s episode of Top Chef featured chef Eric Ripert as guest judge. And now, I am totally crushing on him. He was super friendly and sweet and encouraging, and he seemed to be without pretense. He has definitely skyrocketed into my Top 5 celebrity chef picks. And, as good timing would have it, Ms. S&C was able to visit Chef Ripert’s Washington, DC, restaurant, Westend Bistro, over the weekend. Like the acclaimed Le Bernardin, seafood is the star at Westend. The Salmon Rillettes and Fish Burger may sound like average dishes, but they were excellent. Ms. S&C had a great cocktail too – the Memorial Bridge Sunset was made with Campari and Champagne, garnished with a dollop of pink grapefruit sorbet. I’ve never mixed Campari with Champagne before, but I definitely will again.
On to the Top Chef recap. The Quickfire Challenge had the cheftestants competing in a three-round fish filleting tournament with sardines, Artic char and fresh water eels. Stefan easily beat Hosea in the final round, after hammering the eel to his cutting board and peeling back the skin. It was a little disconcerting, to be honest. Stefan did not get immunity but got a huge advantage in the Elimination Challenge. After dining with Chef Ripert at Le Bernardin for lunch, the cheftestants had to draw knives to see which of his dishes they had to recreate for the Elimination. Stefan’s Quickfire win meant he could choose his dish outright. Naturally, Stefan chose the easiest dish and tops Fabio and Carla to get another win. Hosea, Leah and Jamie were on the bottom. I would have paid money to see Leah go, but it was Jamie who was sent home, presumably for not liking braised celery and not knowing how to use serrano ham in a sauce.
Stefan’s winning dish of lobster and asparagus with hollandaise
For the drink pairing, I would personally have a glass of champagne or a crisp sauvignon blanc with this dish, as to not overpower the lobster. So, in honor of a killer deal I found on champagne over at Pearson’s Wine & Spirits, I’ll pair it with the Fat Bastard Blanc de Blancs. They are practically giving it away over there — $5.99 a bottle! I so regret not buying a case.
posted by Ms. S&C
Two recent finds in the worlds of both shoes and cocktails have Miss M all a flutter inside, and I was immediately eager to share them with the S&C readers.
While returning a belt to Anthropologie just last week, I came upon a stroke of luck: an Anthropologie shoe sale! This is a rare event indeed. I’m a big fan of Anthro’s selection of footwear: it has a slightly vintage vibe, with unique picks that are difficult to find elsewhere. But the prices are far from palatable.
That’s why my heart sang when I spotted a small collection of shoes gathered under a beloved “Sale” sign. And it hit a high note when I met these peep-toe, blue and sliver suede t-strap pumps with a braid detail. Online, the originally $198 shoes are marked down to $99.95. But in-store, I snagged a pair in my size for $50! Oh joy, thy name is Lunar Puzzle Mary-Janes! So get yourself to the nearest Anthropolgie to take advantage of these crazy sales. My guess is that they’re most popular during the season-to-season transitions.
While Anthropologie is expanding my shoe arsenal, a new-to-me discovery is expanding my cocktail repertoire. I was excited to spy Q Tonic at my favorite local wine and cheese shop, River City Cellars. Q Tonic is, according to their PR people anyway, “dedicated to making the world’s best tonic water.” Organic agave replaces sugar as their sweetener of choice.
I hope to conduct a tonic tasting this weekend and report back with a tonic-by-tonic comparison. In the meantime, I can’t wait to experiment with and adapt a few of the recipes found over at qtoniq.com. The Q-Cumber Fizz is at the top of my drinks-to-try list.
Developed for Q Tonic by bartender Jim Meehan. Serves one.
1.5 oz white tequila
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
A dollop of Light Agave Nectar (Sweet Cactus Farms Organic)
3 cucumber wheels (2 muddled, 1 garnish)
1 oz Q tonic
Add the agave nectar, lime, grapefruit juice and 2 cucumber slices to a mixing glass and muddle.
Add the tequila and shake and strain into a fizz glass.
Top with 1 oz Q tonic and garnish with a cucumber wheel on the rim of the glass.
Do you have any new discoveries that you just can’t keep to yourself? Do share with the S&C crowd!
Posted by Miss Mojito
This has been a busy week for Ms. S&C. She recuperated from her birthday celebration, attended the Holiday Cocktails seminar, organized by the Museum of the American Cocktail (details and recipes coming soon!), and now she’s getting ready for a quick trip to Philadelphia (let her know if you have any bar/cocktail lounge recommendations!).
While she works on her S&C gift ideas and holiday drinks, here are some blogtastic posts from her blogroll friends.
- Check out what Ms. Spinach calls the Cutest.Shoes.Ever, from Kate Spade. Yes, please, indeed! That cobalt blue is stunning. Kate also has a fantastic matching clutch.
- Ms. Dekan DC has a countdown clock to Free Shipping Day. Still need to buy a few holiday gifts? On Thursday, December 18, many of our favorite retailers will have free shipping offers, with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.
- Metrocurean highlighted the “lunch crush” deal happening over at Penn Quarter’s Proof. It is only offered in the bar and lounge; nevertheless, a $12 lunch (entrée and a glass of wine) in this neighborhood is for the recession-friendly budget.
- Up.All.Night. A Jigger of Blog announced that the D.C. Council approved legislation allowing bars, nightclubs and restaurants in the District, to serve alcohol until 5 a.m., from January 17-20, for Inauguration festivities. Good thing I have Inauguration Day off.
The it-is-cool-to-be-cheap revolution continues!
Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway Season Four, just announced a deal with Payless ShoeSource, reports the New York Post.
“I’m so excited to design and create with such an amazing brand that is all about fashion and trend but, most importantly, is also about affordability,” Christian said in a statement Monday. He also went on to say, “I can’t wait to see how they will take the high-end shoes and bags I’m designing for the runway and turn them into pieces that everyone can buy. I’m all about the runway and the sidewalks!”
His line of low-price shoes and handbags will debut at New York Fashion Week in February, and will be available in Payless stores and Payless.com in the Fall of 2009. The designs are expected to range in price from $25-$45.
Skip the lines. Beat the crowds. Take care of your holiday shopping at lunch!
Shop.org and Cybermonday.com are holding the third annual Shop@Lunch event on Monday, December 1. Washington, DC locals are invited to shop online and enjoy a free lunch at the Hard Rock Café. Make plans to attend, and just tell your boss that you’ll be out helping the economy for an hour or two. Here are the dets:
WHO: Shop@Lunch is presented by Shop.org and Cybermonday.com, a one-stop shop for holiday shopping
WHAT: Shop@Lunch is a celebration of Cyber Monday, the ceremonial kick-off of the online holiday shopping season
WHEN: Monday, December 1, 11:00 am until 2:00 pm (the Monday after Thanksgiving)
WHERE: Hard Rock Café, 999 E. Street, NW, Washington, DC – the entire top level is reserved
WHY: The event includes:
- FREE lunch (a pasta station, a salad station, and lots of other “real” food)
- A chance to WIN one of 89 $50 gift cards that will be raffled off from Macys.com, Borders, eBags, Golfsmith.com and many other e-tailers
- Merchandise raffles of jewelry, sporting goods, and electronics
- FREE wi-fi
- 50 laptops for online shopping use
- A chance to be interviewed for local TV news (though you can always refuse)
RSVP: RSVPs are NOT required. However, you can see who else is planning to attend and RSVP at Facebook. Ms. S&C will be there in an official work capacity, not in a Shoes & Cocktail alter ego capacity, but she’d love for you to stop by and say hi nonetheless.
CAN’T ATTEND? You can still take advantage of Cyber Monday deals! And, when you shop through Cybermonday.com, proceeds go to the Ray M. Greenly Scholarship Fund. Here are a few shoe and cocktail-related items we’ve scouted out:
- For the athlete – check out deals from Nike Store and Finish Line
- For the outdoorsy – browse special offers from North Face, Cabela’s and Land’s End
- For the wine lover – shop My Wines Direct, or glassware from Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel
- Plus, other bargains from Zappos, Overstock, Target and Saks
Posted in shoes
It’s time for the “friends and family” rewards at some of our favorite retailers. The holiday season will be here before you know it, and given the tough economy, we all need to save where we can. S&C will post coupons, discounts, and other bargains as we find ’em! Happy shopping!
- GAP, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime
November 13 – 16, 2008
30% off, plus 5% of the amount you spend goes to charity
S&C recommended! The “Get and Give” program means you get huge savings, plus you give 5%, of the amount you spend, to a good cause. Piperlime has cool search categories for shoes, such as: Rachel Zoe’s picks, reviewer favorites, and real steals. They also do the free shipping and free returns deal.
November 10 – 12, 2008
$10 off any $50 purchase, plus free shipping
Online Only: November 10 – 11, 2008
Online and In-Store: November 12 – 16, 2008
20% off all regular and sale-priced purchases
Save 20% when ordering two pairs of boots, plus free overnight shipping
S&C recommended! Order a pair of boots for yourself and gift a pair. And, the no-hassle shipping policy means you get your items immediately and returns are e-a-s-y.
Out: the free-spending fashionista. In: the thrifty recessionista.
Recessionista is the newly coined term for a style maven on a budget. As a recessionista, you can justify your spending habits because discount brands are not only smart, they’re trendy. The New York Times’ article summed it up, by saying it “spins the economic downturn as an attractive retail trend.” I don’t know who’s responsible, but it is brilliant PR for retail, if you ask me.
Sigerson Morrison, Target, $39.99
I’m looking to exercise my inner recessionista. I think I’m going to cave and get a pair of booties. I’ve been utterly against them, thinking they’re too trendy, and won’t last after this season. Well, after seeing Gwyneth’s, and this pair of Sigerson Morrison’s my co-worker friend, Ana, picked up at Target, I want a pair. But, I don’t want to spend a lot of money (because, I won’t wear them a lot, and I still think the trend will only last one season, two tops).
Here are a few possibilities – any thoughts?
Nine West, Endless, $69.95
Aerosoles, Piperlime, $69.99
Jessica Simpson, DSW, $59.95
Worthington, JCPenney, $53.99
Twist, Payless, $34.99
This economic crisis is making everyone more budget conscious, including Shoes & Cocktails. While we were totally coveting those riding boots we shared from Anthropologie, and we were pining for the Tory Burch Jackson boots, we couldn’t justify the extravagant purchases. Gone are the days of gleeful over-spending! But, that doesn’t mean we won’t shop at all. We’ve exercised prudence and settled on these very cool Mossimo boots from Target, at a jaw-dropping price of $35!
Posted in shoes
Tagged bargains, boots