Shopping Preview

With its rustic wooden floors, exposed-brick walls, and floor-to-ceiling metal shelving, Polo Sport (379 West Broadway; 212-625-1660) is like a dressed-down version of Ralph Lauren’s shops on Madison Avenue. Ralph pioneered the sales-floor-as-stage-set concept, and here, everything from the swellegant Ralph Lauren collection to the sportier RLX technical label has been tucked into “lifestyle pockets” with the ease of a well-folded breast hanky. “Inspiration boards” show shoppers how to mix and match labels: a vintage denim jacket with a pashmina wrap, for example.

Beth Shepherd and Sarah Hailes take fashion as seriously as Diana Vreeland. The two stylish-beyond-their-years twentysomethings have opened Kirna Zabête (96 Greene Street; 212-941-9656), which reminds the lathed bodies that commute regularly to Europe of Colette, the too-hip Parisian clothing-and-cool-stuff emporium. In addition to the latest designs by fast-laners like Clements Ribeiro and Olivier Theyskens, and young edgier labels like Wink and Susan Cianciolo, there are scarlet iMacs and dispensers filled with dime-store candy.

Former Barneys shoe buyer and Georgia transplant Jeffrey Kalinsky ignored the naysayers who advised him not to open his store Jeffrey (449 West 14th Street; 212-206-1272) in mid-August, when conventional wisdom has the trendetti immigrating to the Hamptons. “People are waiting for the doors to open on Saturday mornings,” Kalinsky says, adding that he’s planning to unlock the shop an hour earlier. Despite its location in the fashion world’s Sahara, the 12,000-square-foot megastore is seeing a lot of the stiletto crowd, who would gladly sprint across cobblestones for a few choice cuts of Alexander McQueen.

If your credit card is still feeling like it hasn’t gotten a good cardiovascular workout, head south to Auto (805 Washington Street; 212-229-2292), a storefront showroom opening September 18 that will sell the same groovy baubles found in Wallpaper* magazine spreads. Can’t afford a handblown glass vase or cowhide rug? Hang out and page through out-of-print oversize glossies like Flair and Gentry.

Fashion’s chronically underfed fit into Katayone Adeli clothes like precisely cut jigsaw pieces. This week, the designer is unloading more cotton “Dickies-style” pants and scoop-neck shirts at her eponymous boutique at 35 Bond Street (212-260-3500), joining soulmates like Daryl K who’d already colonized this increasingly stylish stretch.

peta sympathizers will have to think twice before flinging the epithets (and the red paint) now that Trufaux (301 West Broadway; 212-334-4545) – where reasonable facsimiles of bear and zebra have been domesticated into A-line skirts and trench coats – is on the scene. Not in the market for a poncho fashioned out of the signature mink manqué? Check out Trina Turk’s ultra-leather motocross pants and Eugenia Kim’s collection of felt hats, trimmed with feathers gleaned in a cruelty-free manner, of course.

Multiculti Me & Ro jewelry finally finds a homeland in NoLIta come October (239 Elizabeth Street; no phone yet). Expect customers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna to fight tooth-and-polished-talon over the sterling-silver pieces and eighteen-karat-gold jewelry studded with precious stones designed by Michele Quan and Robin Renzi.

A refugee from the Issey Miyake design studio, Kosuke Tsumura unfolds his own shop in mid-September. Located in the former Liquid Sky space (241 Lafayette Street; 212-966-0202), Final Home sparkles with high-tech sportswear for what Tsumura refers to as our “mobile and nomadic society.” Expect lots of zippers, Velcro pockets, and a blast of techno with every browse.

Nancy Koltes at Home, another jewel-size boutique sprouting in September out of NoLIta’s precious square footage (31 Spring Street; 212-219-2271), is the downtown place with Italian-made linen sheets that may get uptown Frette fretting. The president of the Scandia Down Shops, Koltes is expanding to software like cashmere robes, fragrances, and lotions.

Creed, the Anglo-French parfumier responsible for a slew of well-doused European monarchs for more than two centuries, has crossed the Atlantic to 9 Bond Street (212-228-1940), where it’s trying to score even more pulse points. Along with the inventory of new and vintage scents (including blends formulated for Napoleon III and the shah of Iran), the store contains a library and a table where staff members will lead smelling seminars – calisthenics for your olfactory sense.

Green thumbs in the vicinity of 435 Hudson Street will no longer have to head uptown to buy hardy perennials with the launch of the third and largest Chelsea Garden Home Store (no phone yet) in mid-October. There will be a lush assortment of plants, tools, furniture, and gargoyles ready to plant on cast-iron façades – or fire escapes. In case you’ve wondered where to score flats of impatiens in Chelsea, the beloved nursery that was attached to the Home Store here moved to a bigger space (321 Bowery; 212-777-4500) in July.

Two favorite holiday-shopping destinations are spinning off downtown outlets: Tourneau explores the mid-range at Tourneau Watch Gear in the World Trade Center this December (no phone yet). Swatch will offer splashier designs in a store opening September 30 a little farther west of its SoHo flagship (436 West Broadway; no phone yet).

Escape the camera-toting tourists crawling up Fifth Avenue at the new Banana Republic flagship in Rockefeller Center (626 Fifth Avenue, at 51st Street; no phone yet). The concept has gotten an upgrade: There’s a coat-and-bag check and oversize dressing rooms with “solstice” lighting (so you can see how selections look in both the office’s frightening fluorescents and the buttery dim of your favorite French boîte). All this while a chino-clad sales assistant charges up your cell phone for free.

Not to be outdone, J. Crew is muscling into the NBC building nearby (30 Rockefeller Center; no phone yet) in late October. Drop antsy children at the skating rink below and check out J. Crew’s “Millennium” collection: an exclusive line of tuxedos and evening gowns that might inspire you to finally commit to one of the umpteen parties you’ve been hearing about.

Old Navy has already outgrown its two monster marts downtown; a new, 75,000-square-foot behemoth at 144-150 West 34th Street (212-594-0049), piled high with limitless supplies of polarfleece and cotton khakis, will butt heads with Macy’s Herald Square. Torpedo Joe’s, a sandwich-and-smoothie shop in the basement, allows shoppers to refuel as they navigate the four floors.

Long before there were bus rides to Ikea, Conran’s was bringing affordable furniture to the masses throughout Europe (and the United States, until the chain filed for bankruptcy in 1994). Sir Terence Conran, a pre-Martha Stewart merchant of domestic chic, returns on November 11 with an exquisite steel-and-glass pavilion tucked underneath the Queensboro Bridge (415 East 59th Street; no phone yet). The Terence Conran Shop expects to julienne the competition with inexpensive wares for the bed, bath, and kitchen. Opening in December is Gustavino’s, an adjacent 400-seat brasserie and restaurant that will be run by a former La Grenouille hand.

The well-traveled cousin of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, has commandeered a second downtown location, opening in mid-October (85 Fifth Avenue, at 16th Street; 212-627-5885). Shoppers on the ABC-Fishs Eddy trail can make impulse purchases of linen tea towels and aluminum garden chairs from Provence.

After a six-month delay in construction and many a newspaper column hinting at a Fashion Week opening, Donna Karan just couldn’t wait to ask customers over to DKNY, her 17,000-square-foot crystal palace of a store at 655 Madison Avenue (at 60th Street; 212-223-3569). Karan’s dreamy vision of Y2K shopping includes Ducati racing bikes and CD-listening stations scattered among the racks of eco-fleece jackets and cashmere sweaters. At a branch of Blanche’s Organic Juice Bar on the top floor, shoppers can mainline wheatgrass as they lounge in DKNY Lucite chairs and watch the kids zone out at the Sony PlayStation.

As part of its unrelenting campaign to overhaul its image as the bag-maker to the Volvo set, Coach redesigns its premier corner of 57th Street (595 Madison Avenue; 212-754-0041) to show off a new, cooler look. Architect Peter Marino, who made the uptown Barneys swank on a Medici-size budget, has given Coach ebony-stained floors, cast-aluminum banisters, and poured-concrete stairs. The traditional attaché case isn’t nearly as sexy as these new leather pea coats and motorcycle boots. The much-anticipated furniture collection includes leather director chairs and the requisite beanbag chairs.

The 38-year-old Italian fashion powerhouse Genny launched the careers of style sharps like John Bartlett and Gianni Versace; late October brings the first Genny boutique (831 Madison Avenue, at 69th Street; no phone yet) to the U.S. The current house designer, the Dutch-born Josephus Thimister, has classics like military-style coats and floor-length leather skirts marching to his own beat.

Style goddesses Naomi Campbell and Jennifer Lopez own several seasons’ worth of Roberto Cavalli, but the designer will not be clothing similarly callipygian mortals until early October, when he opens a boutique at 711 Madison Avenue, at 63rd Street (no phone yet). Like his countrymen at Gucci and Fendi, Cavalli has dosed up on plenty of feathers and fringe this season. For those not working the “Page Six” party circuit, there’s also denim and eyewear.

Christiane Celle is heading north to 935 Madison Avenue (at 74th Street; 212-535-4100), to open another Calypso for loyal Hamptons and St. Barths customers to visit without ever leaving 10021. Cross those linen bustle skirts and pashmina ponchos off the shopping list after just one run-through. For Mommy’s stylish bébés, there are also precious bustle skirts and ponchos from Celle’s Calypso Enfant label.

His new store at 941 Madison Avenue (at 75th Street; no phone yet) will be a hybrid between a jewel box and a birdcage when it opens in December, says Christian Louboutin. Signature surrealist creations – Louboutin has pasted photographs and false fingernails on the shoes of previous lines – will be displayed in vintage curio cabinets.

With his cashmere pantsuits and cowl-neck jersey dresses, Enrique Martinez was the Calvin Klein of his native Latin America before he died suddenly last fall. But a Valentino expat has slid behind the wheel, and so Enrique Martinez will be making its first retail foray into the American market in late September (785 Madison Avenue, near 67th Street; 212-734-5776).

That Fendi baguette bag is no longer in danger of knocking over a pyramid of champagne flutes at Lalique’s tiny Madison Avenue boutique. The company is packing up its crates and heading one block south to a bigger space (712 Madison Avenue, at 63rd Street; 212-355-6550); it pretty much had to, since the collection has expanded to include fragrance, scarves, handbags, and furniture. Starting October 28 (when it opens), customers can order a custom-made crystal boudoir or crystal-paneled mahogany bar direct from the factory in France.

At Christie’s (219 East 67th Street, 20 Rockefeller Plaza; 212-636-2000), movie buffs may salivate again over Marilyn Monroe – but this time, it’s her worldly goods that have people excited. This estate sale, which runs October 27 to 28 (preview, October 22 to 26), includes more than 800 lots of the bodacious icon’s gowns, furs, costume jewelry, and furniture; the sale’s glittering prize is the beaded silk dress Monroe wore in 1962 when she sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to JFK. Given the recent importance of dresses connected to the presidency that wouldn’t make it into the Smithsonian, this one is sure to fetch its estimated high-six-figure price tag.

Not everyone can be as lucky as Richard Gere and get a private session with the Dalai Lama. Settle for an eleventh-century Tibetan bronze of Padmapani, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, with inlaid-silver eyes and copper lips (estimate: $280,000- $350,000). It’s one of the many treasures up for grabs during Asia week (September 13 to 17) at Christie’s. At the “Fine and Rare Wines” sale on October 1, oenophiles will want to slog home with a towering bottle of 1990 Louis Roederer Cristal, one of only 2,000 Methuselahs produced to commemorate the millennium. Andrés Serrano’s controversial Piss Christ (estimate: $15,000-$25,000) will hit the block on October 5 at the “Photographs” auction. And it’s too bad Liz Taylor is currently unattached: The Egyptian Revival diamond-ruby-sapphire-emerald-and-onyx Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet (estimate: $350,000- $450,000) from the “100 Years of Jewelry Design” auction on October 18 seems tailor-made for the ailing Cleopatra.

Sports fans will have a field day at Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue, at 72nd Street Street; 212-606-7909) when Yankees co-owner Barry Halper sells off his collection of baseball memorabilia (preview begins September 17; sale, September 23 to 29). The bat Babe Ruth used as a cane in 1948 during Yankee Stadium’s twenty-fifth-anniversary celebration (estimate: $50,000- $100,000) and Lou Gehrig’s 1927 uniform ($75,000-$125,000) are just a few items stepping up to the plate. Following the success of last year’s vintage-handbag sale, fashion-department head Tiffany Dubin has decided to stir things up again with a “Cocktail Sale”: Silver shakers and leopard-pattern tumblers will be mingling with a Catherine Walker gown designed for Princess Di (estimate: $30,000- $40,000) and a Givenchy sheath dress and overcoat identical to the ones Audrey Hepburn wore in Funny Face ($2,000- $3,000). Highlights may be previewed in Bergdorf Goodman’s windows September 10 to 21 (the sale is September 30). If martinis aren’t your cup of tea, you may fare better at the “Chinese Works of Art” auction (September 15), where a set of twelve Qing Dynasty porcelain cups (estimate: $550,000-$650,000), each depicting a different month, will be offered.

The president will soon be practicing his schwing, er, swing, on Westchester greens, and seemingly just in time, William Doyle Galleries (175 East 87th Street; 212-427-2730), in collaboration with Bonhams of London, will be holding a “Golf Memorabilia” sale on October 5 (preview, October 2 to 4). After he retires, Bill can futz with vintage irons or a 1566 book containing the first printed reference to the game (estimate: $50,000-$70,000).

Those who tend to experience more turnover in their closets than a retail store are slowly learning to appreciate the charms of vintage; they wouldn’t miss the “Couture and Textiles” auction (preview, November 13 to 15; sale, November 16), which showcases a century of designs by the likes of Poiret, Norell, and Halston. Doyle has divvied the estate of choreographer Jerome Robbins into a pas de deux: Works from his modern-art collection – drawings by Al Hirschfeld from West Side Story and Ben Shahn works on paper – will be presented at the “20th Century Art and Design” sale (November 17); furnishings will go to the gavel on December 15.

Now that Swann Galleries (104 East 25th Street; 212-254-4710) has doubled its space, it is offering more sales than ever before. On October 7, Swann will hold its first “Photographs” auction of the season: Edward Weston’s 1936 Dunes, Oceano (estimate: $40,000-$60,000) and Man Ray’s Study of Lee Miller, circa 1928 ($25,000-$35,000), are among the many images. Prefer canvas to Kodak? The “Works of Art on Paper” sale (November 11) will feature sundry oils and watercolors: Important pieces include Edward Hopper’s 1922 East Side Interior (estimate: $30,000-$50,000) and Andy Warhol’s 1983 Endangered Species silk-screen set ($40,000-$60,000).

The first New York Armory Antiques Show of the season will run from September 29 to October 3 at the Seventh Regiment Armory (Park Avenue at 67th Street; 914-698-3442); 100 international dealers will be flogging everything from pre-Columbian statuettes to rococo commodes.

Designers like Nicole Miller, Marc Jacobs, and Vivienne Tam have been known to sweep through the Vintage Fashion and Antique Textile Show (October 7 to 10; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street; 212-463-0200, extension 236) in search of inspiration from an antique sari or a Deco gown. Nearly 60 dealers are expected to show, and “vintage” can translate into a museum-quality garment from the 1700s. But unlike at a museum, you could walk out with a sixties Norman Norell gown or an early-American quilt. This year marks the first preview gala ever (on October 7).

At the Gramercy Park Modern show (October 8 to 10; 69th Regiment Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th Street; 212-255-0020), dealers will be toting furniture, home accessories, and paintings and textiles spanning from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods through the fifties and sixties. Another required stop is the Modernism show held the following month (November 11 to 14; Seventh Regiment Armory), where 70 international dealers will unfurl late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century goods; Lalique, Georg Jensen, Jacques Adnet, Tiffany, and Jean Royère are just a few of the boldface names you’ll spot here.

Admirers of the Cloisters’ unicorn tapestries can hunt down a replica at the Gramercy Park Antiques & Textiles Show (October 15 to 17; 69th Regiment Armory; 212-255-0020). Browse through textiles, gilded consoles, and estate silver, or visit a new special section that, in the spirit of Martha Stewart, is devoted to do-it-yourself – with original bath fixtures, antique wallpaper, and restored stoves. If you happen to fall in love with a frayed Aubusson, you can pick up some pointers on its rehab at a seminar on rug restoration.

Scholars, collectors, and curators will crowd into the world’s largest Print Fair, at the Park Avenue Armory (preview, November 3; sale, November 4 to 7; 212-759-4469). Included are 100,000 works ranging from old masters to Japanese prints.

The ever-popular Triple Pier Expo is held on two consecutive weekends (November 13-14 and 20-21; Piers 88, 90, and 92; 212-255-0020), and more than 600 dealers hawking furniture, collectibles, and accessories will be in attendance. Helpful tip – each pier is dedicated to a different period: twentieth-century design, Americana, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European antiques.

If Empire armchairs are on your holiday wish list, the New York Armory Christmas Antiques Show (December 8 to 12; Seventh Regiment Armory; 914-698-3442) offers everything from seventeenth-century French secretaries to Art Deco accessories to Patek Philippe vintage watches.

Replace your champagne-stained Louis XVI divan at the Seventh Regiment Armory’s annual Winter Antiques Show (718-292-7392). From January 21 through 30, more than 70 dealers will exhibit American, European, and Asian antiques and paintings dating from antiquity to the twentieth century.

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