Prepare for the inevitable pendulum of style to swing. After a long run, low rider hip slingers are slowly being replaced by higher waists. Corsets (and the idea of corsets) are already starting to take center stage, bringing the lace up shirt to new heights. You can pay initial do-it-yourself homage to the waist enhancing idea by wrapping a long rectangular scarf around your waist at any given moment. Originally known as the "obie" with Japanese Kimono roots, this idea can breathe important new life into any shapeless frock headed towards the Salvation Army pile.

Yet another shopping trend centered around the Big Apple has taken hold. After the stop at Ground Zero, we have noticed that out of state visitors often hit Canal Street with empty suitcases to scoop up Prada and Kate spade knock offs to carry home to places like the Carolinas, where they hold tupperware-like parties and make a purty buck to boot. "We can't get these goods at home at these prices", says Chandra Lowell of Austin, Texas, "and the trip is always fun too!" This way, a girl can still have all the fun of a "luxe" label and have grocery money leftover. Last year's much publicized Kate Spade illegal label raid in New Jersey didn't exactly put a cramp in adverse knock-off operations. On one such exodus to replace my six dollar summer "Gucci" shades, I witnessed my first raid alert firsthand. As a "Prada" bag vendor noticed the knock-off police approach (from way, way down the street), she sounded a whistle that signaled a speedy, secure shut down in 10 seconds flat, leaving no signs of operation by the time they passed. Now if we could only get our national security to be that attentive...

It's hard, even for the casual consumer, not to notice the demise of yesterday's grey and khaki mainstay brands and the recent retail rise in "lots more fun for cheap". The monotony of GAP dressing has finally had an impact on falling sales, while a lively Target is opening near a dozen new distribution centers nationwide proving once and for all that cheap's gotta be fun. Answering the call to explore the cheap shop beyond the walls of your nearest H and M, Lower Broadway's jobber National Wholesale Liquidators, (known also as Turban Outfitters) has just expanded one whole floor to answer clothing needs left unfulfilled by neighboring outlets. One stop holiday shopping just got real easy. Across the horizon, Bay Ridge beckons the hard core cheap shopper like a magnetic force. Home of Brooklyn's Century 21, 5th Avenue is lined with for-real 99 cent stores with great beauty products and oversized zip-up styling bags - and also houses the oasis-like Pretty Girl clothing store. Reminiscent of Paris' TATI in the early days, Pretty Girl hocks its own private label as well as other extremely cheap fare. All of the uber trendy styles available are cheap enough to toss without shame after a hard, full season. Our seven dollar gauzy beige slip dress survived many beach trips and is already well into its reincarnated fall layering life. Take the R train to 86th street Brooklyn, walk towards 85th to Fifth. Pretty Girl 8501 5th Avenue 718-492-0216.

And what exactly would Jesus drive? That is just the question posed by Reverend Jim Ball who precides over the Evangelical Environmental Network - and according to him, not an SUV. Gas guzzling SUVs cause such harm to God's creatures, they prompted Rev. Ball to run national ads spreading the good word against them. Other vehicle related marketing news include a genius idea implemented by the savvy Meredith Group, who recently celebrated their hundreth anniversary, in part by keeping the faith in printed matter that you can hold, rather than all things Internet. In addition to mainstay national favorites like Better Homes and Gardens, the company now publishes full scale magazines geared to recent owners of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge autos. Angled at increasing consumer brand loyalty, these new rags offer targeted content that rivals popular national glossies. P.S. Jeep Wranglers boast 30 miles per gallon.

Poor alleged sinner, Martha Stewart has gotten herself into one fine pickle. Combined with watching K-Mart stock plummet to 46 cents a share, staying tuned to the saga is as riveting as a favorite soap can get. One way out for the illustrious Ms. Stewart would be be to embrace her new role, strike a deal with Target, and broadcast a campaign dressed in her new jail stripe jammy line.

Until next time...



İFashion Icon
Fall/Winter 2003
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