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A twelve-step program for beauty junkies, and more ...

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The Request Line

The battle to prevent a cherished -- and costly -- costume from being knocked off by the Gap or Club Monaco has a new war room at Lucy Barnes's meatpacking-district boutique (422 West 15th Street; 212-647-0149). For $1,200, the arts-and-crafts-inspired designer will construct a patchwork A-line skirt with a customer's favorite items (pictures of, say, animals or trees in preferred colors) embroidered and sewn into the different fabric swatches. The process, reminiscent of quilting, takes longer (approximately two weeks) than monogramming your bath towels, but the finished product is certainly more picturesque. Toni Anderson, the store manager, explains that "we want it to be very personal -- maybe a lucky number or a horseshoe. But we don't want your old cell-block number." Or your cell-phone number, for that matter.
MAURA EGAN

One Layer at a Time

Since there's a twelve-step program for nearly every other breed of addict, it makes sense that beauty junkies can now find their salvation, too. Georgette Klinger offers a new Virtual Perfection Facial in twelve steps -- and in 75 minutes ($125; 501 Madison Avenue; 212-838-3200). But this program relies less on restraint and discipline than any of its one-day-at-a-time peers. The road to epidermal recovery is paved instead with indulgences such as an aromatic steam treatment, an application of two masks, a touch of alpha- and beta-hydroxy-acid lotion, and a fifteen-minute massage with green-tea cream. And while abstinence is not mentioned as part of the program, do-it-yourself pimple picking is, of course, sternly discouraged.
DANY LEVY

A Model Formula

The model-booker for Vogue magazine has apparently gone south this winter. The first appearance of the suddenly ubiquitous Brazilian Gisele Bundchen on Vogue's cover, in July, marked what the editors termed the "Return of the Curve." But then the bodacious-bodied 19-year-old appeared on back-to-back-to-back covers of the November, December, and January issues of the magazine, earning a solo spotlight in December (the other covers were shared) after being named the VH1/Vogue Model of the Year. A Vogue spokesperson defends the recent obsession with the glamazon: "It's not uncommon for us to feature a model on the cover more than once a year. Claudia Schiffer was on it four times in 1992."
M.E.

Fifteen Minutes . . .

As all things colorful and crocheted were embraced by designers this fall, the poncho was preemptively pronounced the season's most wanted wrap. Stella McCartney offered a bright-orange-and-red knit number for Chloe's fall collection, while Anna Sui's models swaggered down the runway in her rainbow-colored fringed capes. And when Sarah Jessica Parker paraded around on Sex and the City in her Peruvian-inspired piece, it confirmed that the woolly wrap was decidedly more stylish than your great-aunt's afghan. Alas, now that a red crocheted poncho ($19.99) has gone up in the window of Strawberry, the folk-art favorite suddenly looks like this winter's shrug.
M.E.


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