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Chanel goes downtown


Key Party
Since even Pastis has become overrun with vacationing Midwesterners, those looking to swill with a self-selective set should make room on their Tiffany key chains. Lot 61 VIPs will be issued their own keys to owner Amy Sacco's new salon, Bungalow 8, named after Jeremy Blake's paintings of the Beverly Hills Hotel bungalows. "It's like a hotel suite without the hotel," says Sacco, who plans to be serving apple martinis by February. Until then, cravings for exclusivity and Piper-Heidsieck champagne can be satisfied in the Red Room at Flûte (40 East 20th Street). A separate entrance leads to a cavelike brown-and-red space designed by Jonathan Adler, which can hold 30 guests, who will have received an electronic key card in the mail good for that night only. "I'm a misanthropic shut-in," says Adler, "so being in a controlled environment is about the only thing that could get me out of my house."

Cold Comfort
It's always a challenge to stay sexy in winter's bulky jackets and hats and layers. And while fashion's most ardent followers haven't yet given up their strappy sandals this season, the recent teeth-chattering temperatures are making frostbite something of an occupational hazard. Some women have taken to strapping on what amount to snow tires for shoes: coin-purse-size sacks or little leather booties from Callaghan ($40, available at Kerquelen, 44 Greene Street; 212-431-1771) that slip over open toes or chilly feet. Coordinate them with the handless gloves that Alexander McQueen did for his fall 2000 Givenchy show.

Changing Chanel
With floppy cloth flowers running neck and neck with fur tippets for the Trend of the Moment crown, the purists among us might consider returning to the source: Chanel. Since December 6, it's been a little easier, as the venerable French house has gone downtown and opened its doors at 139 Spring Street in SoHo. Architect Peter Marino was assigned the task of updating the image of the company's shops to something hip enough to house Chanel's trendy and futuristic skiwear collection while retaining its très chien legacy. But don't expect anything too extreme. After all, Marino points out, "Chanel owns beige."

Smart Set
Keanan Duffty
Like all good English boys, Keanan Duffty is a huge David Bowie fan. And so when this St. Martin's graduate moved to New York in 1993 and set about designing a line of men's clothing, it was only natural that he listened hard to "Young Americans" and came up with the name Slinky Vagabond. With spiky red hair, big pants, and an uncompromising sense of humor, the 36-year-old Duffty has the air of someone younger. "I'm 36, but I'm also 18," he says with a grin. This sensibility is fully apparent in his clothing, where tropical fish coexist with the Nevada desert on photo-print T-shirts, and "Naughty Knights" remember their chain-mail tops but forget their pants ($50-$98). Duffty opened a Slinky Vagabond shop (50 Spring Street; 212-925-9833) December 1 with his wife, accessories designer Nancy Garcia, where his clothing and specially designed Reebok sneakers are available, along with quirky pop-culture gems like Timothy Leary records. Success, though, is measured another way for Duffty: David Bowie was photographed earlier this year wearing a Slinky Vagabond top.


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