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The currency of fingernails

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A Fistful of Dollars

Got your money on your mind? Now you can have it on your nails too. When manicurist-to-the-stars Bernadette Thompson did a French manicure with dollar-bill tips for Lil' Kim, salons from Lenox Avenue to Flatbush were filled with customers intent on copying the look. But like shahtoosh-loving socialites, the ghetto-fabulous glamour-pusses found that their trend ran afoul of the law: Defacing American currency is a crime. One solution is to do the deed yourself: "Bring your own dollar," whispers the receptionist at downtown Brooklyn's Long Nail (143 Lawrence Avenue; 718-624-1818). Thompson simply went to Times Square and bought stacks of fake bills. "I'm not trying to risk it," she says. "The fake stuff is thinner, so it glues to the nails better. And it looks exactly the same."
ROXANNE JAMES

Hot Chocolate

Trust England's HRH of handbags to come up with a tongue-in-cheek take on logo-mania. Following Miguel Adrover's subversion of the oh-so-English Burberry plaid, Anya Hindmarch is putting a tasty twist on tube-stop treats with her new purses that look like dressed-up Cadbury and Walkers wrappers ($550). Hip but homesick Brit girls are stumbling over their Jimmy Choo heels as they race uptown to Hindmarch's boutique (29 East 60th Street; 212-750-3974). The bags are just the meal ticket to glam up a rainy afternoon at Tea and Sympathy -- but they're about as near as this John Barrett-coiffed crowd will ever get to a real-life bar of chocolate.
NAN PARRY

Silas Is Golden

"Japanese tourists scream when they see it," says Sara Batmanglavich of Nylonsquid. The Silas women's collection is the latest cult Brit label the SoHo shop (222 Lafayette Street; 212-334-6554) has exclusive U.S. dibs on. "We would've entered the U.S. market a long time ago, but it's a nightmare to ship anything to America," says Silas designer Russell Waterman. "Do you know how many Customs declaration forms we have to fill out?" Known for cutesy detailing -- a felt pattern here, a puckered sleeve there -- Silas's tunics, tanks, and jeans ($49-$109) look as good on the hanger as they do on the body. Only a few T-shirts are left at Nylonsquid, but another shipment is on its way -- if it gets through Customs.
KRISTINA RICHARDS

Shop Talk

Anne Johnston Albert got lucky last month. The designer behind the women's label Martin received a call from longtime pal Andrea Linett, the fashion director of Lucky magazine. Linett wanted to include Albert in a shopkeepers' profile, but there was a glitch: Albert hadn't opened a shop yet. No fool when it comes to free publicity -- Albert worked as a freelance fashion-show producer for P.R. powerhouse KCD -- she flung open the door to her tiny, whitewashed East Village studio and called it a store. "I was going to open up a shop in the long run," she says. "Things got sped up a bit because of the Lucky thing." Now Albert's super-sexy silk-chiffon hippie tops and "hot pant" jeans ($155, pictured), previously available only at Hedra Prue in NoLIta or Curve in L.A., can be found at the source -- right next door to Daryl Kerrigan's original East Village space (206 East 6th Street; 212-358-0011). "Remember when Daryl K used to sit in her shop?" asks Linett. "Well, that may be Anne now. But look where Daryl is today."
K.R.


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