O.K. So you wanna shop New York for your back to school supplements and you want the most bang that your hard earned buck'll give you. Here are a few tried and trued monetarily efficient fun that will stretch your dollars and provide a really good time. Cardinal rule number one: Avoid travel above 14th street, as it is seldom necessary outside of museums and free park concerts and don't get duped into card games on the street. Cardinal rule number two: If it looks as cheap as it is, don't buy it.

Studies show that listening to Bach for fifteen minutes before an exam realigns your mind and channels your thinking more efficiently and can improve your grade score. Listening to Asa Nisi Masa, a thoroughly modern instrumental odyssey, will put you in a modern shopping mood and keep you from overdoing vintage, when you need to be looking ahead. A debut album from De Giacomo on Whirling Records, its origins are as mysterious as its composer. e-mail cgrecords@aol.com. In stores mid October.

Truth is stranger than fiction, and K-Mart, Institute of Americana, lives in full glory on Astor Place (West on 8th and Lafayette). There, you can see lots of photos of former Charlie's Angel Jacquelyn Smith and liscencing counterpart Kathy Ireland hock their wares. Aside from the entertainment factor, K-Mart offers a big 'ol building full of clothing basics, trendy accessories and bulk chocolate.

Across 8th on University Place lies the dangerous strip of trendy designer knock-offs, for real, real cheap, starting with Joyce Leslie on the corner. Overwhelming as it is, JL just expanded and took over the space next door. I recently gave into the movie star glam look and walked out of there with the most fabulous head-to-toe wardrobe (including a rabbit jacket) for 50 bucks. Once you enter, you may never leave. Pack a lunch, it's a long ride. The next few doors, Bang Bang & Contempo, hot on the Teen Scene, are more hit or miss, but worth checking out.

Heading east you'll soon pass the perfectly pink awning of Natori, on 8th b/w 1st and 2nd. Remember the place as you'll want to go back for the fiercest sushi special in town and replenish your shopping fuel. Sushi, soup or salad, AND a beer or sake for 8.50 every night, but closed Mondays. Groovy people can be found there 'round the clock.

Once you have your fall look together, you can hear live music stars around the corner at FEZ, under Time Cafe. Regular performances include the very groovy cute Daniel Cartier who sings like an angel and just finished his first recording on Elton John's label, Rocket Records. Daniel made his runway debut as the honorary, yet necessary boy in the Yum Thing section of the Girls Rule fall show.

Daniel does a Yum Thing

Girls Rule's greatest hits.

If a fashionable Mount Olympus exists and they have the cable hook-ups necessary to have seen earthly collections for the past few seasons, the goddess style patrol were driven towards a most heavenly decision. Blame it on collective consciousness, but somebody with some real smarts deemed this season as the time to once again let there be Fiorucci. Launching stateside through the new creative direction of the dynamic Darren and Ela duo behind the Yum Thing line and Girls Rule's Fashion Compilation Shows. For me it's a dream come true, as Milano would have truly been the big bore in the early '80s without my white zip-up Bowie boots to tote myself around in the stylin' fashion that I'm accustomed to. Fiorucci represented fearlessness in marketing and self-expression through clothing like nobody else, which is exactly what we mortals need in our elixer. See the launch in action November 3rd during Girls Rule at the Chelsea Piers. The drawback is the temporary loss of Yum Thing's presence for just one season. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need. Onward to Spring '98. Stay tuned.

Fashion Icon

Fall 1997