Sunday, December 21, 2008

Barneys Again

As I had to get a final Christmas present yesterday (for one of my sisters-in-law), I thought I'd make a pit-stop at Barneys. The reductions are the same as they were last week, but the publicity means that most of the good items had long gone. Again, I had mild regrets about not picking Marion up last week, especially when I saw what little was left. In Mayle, mainly Cecilia tops, one Yves in a size 8, one Kaori, size 8 (at over $200 less than I spent for a dress I have yet to wear). Several Sabbias, Gias and lots of Ebba dresses. No Enikos, no knitwear. It was a small rack but it looks like they may have started bringing in Mayle stock from elsewhere--more Cecilias, for instance.

They have started reductions on some holiday 08, but only at 40% and most items appear to have already sold out. No size 8 or 10 left in Theodora, only one Zora (I think a size 0) and not on sale. The pants are reduced and I have my eye on the size 10s when they go down further--hopefully after I return. I suspect that by Jan 9, little will be left though. Maybe by then resort will be in my price range, although there isn't that great a selection and it is all black/putty--none of the pretty lavender pieces.

So, that's my NYC shopping finished for the year. I'll be in London within the next 48 hours and have too much last minute packing/cleaning/grading to do to find any time for commerce. Furthermore, the icy streets and temperatures make me want to stay inside and read the NYT.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mayle at Opening Ceremony

Just a brief note--they have spring/summer 08 Mayle stock at the Opening Ceremony sample sale in New York. It is cash only and according to they have dresses, including in size 4. I can't make it with grading and my upcoming flight, but it might be worth checking out. I doubt that they will have much in my size as OC LA seems to only stock size 0-6.

I am going to check out Barneys before leaving for the UK so I'll report back on what I find.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New York Oddities

I just finished grading one class--finished, that is, if you don't count the 10 students (out of 38) who didn't hand in a final. At least two are really great students so I suspect they are falling victim to their own perfectionism.

Before I go to bed, however, I just wanted to record the great dinner I went to on Tuesday night. My friend, Michael, is a historian of sexploitation cinema whom I met several years ago when he discovered that I was writing about Doris Wishman and femininity in sexploitation. I admire Michael as a scholar, but as a person, he's even more impressive. He has gathered together a group of sexploitation, softcore and early hardcore directors and stars/former starlets. Along with his equally amazing wife, Alison, he has befriended forgotten talents and helped make their work available on dvd and through the occasional screenings at Pioneer, Anthology and other NYC/East Village institutions. He is also Doris's biographer and they were great friends.

Tuesday night's gathering included Michael, Alison, director Joe Sarno and his wonderful, beautiful wife/actress/collaborator, Peggy Steffans Sarno, aka Cleo Nova (amongst other pseudonyms), all of whom I have known for years. I also got to meet Jamie Gillis, an AVN Hall of Famer, and Carter, a director whose last name I can't remember, but whose work is evidently very impressive. Jamie's girlfriend, Zarela Martinez, owned the restaurant and is a celebrity chef of some renown. Everybody was so interesting and smart, making it a relatively late night for me to trek back to Brooklyn. As I walked through midtown to the F, it was nearly midnight, but it was both warm and snowy, with Christmas lights ablaze. Despite the end of the semester stress and the struggle to get everything completed before I leave for the UK (and the terrible pain I always feel about being parted from my cats), this was a wonderful stolen moment. The city showed another side to its beauty, a misty, gauzy, gothic haze, where consumerism, religion, industry and media all combined into something specifically New York. And I enjoyed the wonderful pause it offered after reuniting with old friends, and their histories of what now appears to be a largely innocent erotica--something that, again, seems quintessentially New York.

And, on another note, Steven Alan is now vastly reduced. $39 cashmere hats and $59 shirts. If time permits, I'll try to get into the Nolita branch and get one more shirt to take home with me.

Christmas shopping

This week's shopping has been for others. Yesterday, I went to Banana Republic with Evan to get him some clothes--my parents wanted me to get his present as the deals are still better here, despite changes in the exchange rate. They had a deal where you spend $125 and get $50 off. He managed to buy 7 items for that--quite a difference from my shopping. I also got some adorable items from Baby Gap for my new niece. If I was less suspicious/wary, I'd have got some of them for my hoped for future child, but that will have to wait.

I haven't been back to Barneys this week--it is clear that somebody purchased Marion and my scouring the 7th and 8th floor on Saturday was all in vain. I doubt there will be much more in the way of reductions--even then, they'll likely be on items like Kaori that I already own (and for which I paid over $200 more than Barneys is charging). I had hoped to get the leather Billie Doux from shopbop, but they sold out before reducing it one more time. I'd like a Jeanne bag, but again, I'll wait and see if they go down further.

V.O.D. sent me their list of Mayle stock. They have some deals on fall items that are sold out elsewhere but they only have the small sizes. I'll post what they have soon--right now, I have to get back to grading!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Off to England

While I am not leaving just yet, I did finally get my ticket home for Christmas yesterday. Even with the now strong dollar and weak oil prices, there was only a little change out of $800. Given that this same ticket used to be around $400 a couple of years ago, this price indicates the airline industry continues to run its business in a baffling way. Still, it could have been worse. My 8.45 am flight had sold out so I had to get the 7.45, which only had two seats left. Leaving earlier would have more than doubled the price to over $2,000, so I acted just in time. I'll just be more tired by the trip which means I'll sleep better (hopefully) and have less jetlag once I get to London.

Ironically, the stronger dollar doesn't thrill me. I doubt the sales in London will rival those in NYC, although I might be able to find some of the small European lines that barely make it to US boutiques. I'm interested in seeing if I can find some Heimstone, Isabel Marant and others. As usual, I'll scout Topshop for deals (it is far more hit and miss than most Americans realize--you have to plough through many designer knock offs no better than Forever 21 to hit gold). I want to see what COS has to offer, and rely on my dear friend Sarah to show me what some of the boutiques and smaller designers are doing these days. But in the back of my mind, I'll be thinking about Mayle discounts.

I am annoyed with myself for missing out on Marion in Barneys but wonder if I wanted it or another piece of Mayle for $139. Sure, it fit beautifully, but it was a dress that I didn't originally tag as necessary or even remarkable. And I am sure black wool will pick up Peeps's fur. I'm not sure I need another black dress either, unless it is stunning like Melia or the Lily-type dress from resort. I just hope it went to a good home.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Retail Therapy

Feeling down yesterday, I took myself off to the shops. I'm not alone in finding shopping a way to escape my troubles, even if it doesn't solve anything in the long term. I can be who I want, I can enjoy the distractions the merchandise offers, the fantasy of other lives while getting out of my thoughts. These are, of course, the same escapes alcohol, gambling, drugs and other addictions offer so I'm not saying I'm proud. I don't think I am addicted to shopping--I don't just buy anything for the adrenaline kick, but I am aware I have more clothes than many of my friends and maybe I do have a problem. I am, however, able to stop and frequently do.

That said, yesterday was tough and the New York Times was even extolling the once in a lifetime sales (maybe because their ad revenues are falling?). I needed to get more Christmas presents and so I headed out in the torrential rain (without an umbrella--I was so stuck in my mind). I had not realized it was raining). My main destination was the Lutz and Patmos sale. I've never owned anything by them and assumed all they did was cashmere. Certainly, the sample sale was advertised as luxe cashmere and according to, they had cashmere hats for $25 and scarves for $50. I need a new hat, my mother would like a cashmere scarf and I figured I could get some really good presents at those prices. I'd also read that there was an amazing sale at Marc Jacobs with men's cashmere sweaters down to $50. All these reports came on blogs, from people who reportedly had got these deals.

If it all sounds too good to be true, it was. Lutz and Patmos was dead--nice staff, empty room (three staff, two customers, including me). It didn't even occur to me until after I left that this was insane. The reports of cheap luxe cashmere were also wrong. Hats were $40--and all were merino wool. Scarves also $50 and all merino. I scoured the sale and found next to no cashmere--only samples in a lurid orangey yellow or beige with odd cuts, chain detailing and a decidedly momsy look. The Barneys cotton/wool pieces were nice in a thrift-store way but way too itchy for me (like my mother and father, I am allergic to lanolin so most wool is out of the question, hence my cashmere fetish). The deals were good, but I didn't trek to the outposts of the Meatpacking District in pouring rain to get a wool sweater for $150. I ended up getting a cashmere/cotton spring sample sweater in black with puffed dolman sleeves and a scoop neck for $50. It was reminiscent of a sweater I had in school in the 1990s. I also got a cotton/alapaca sample sweater dress with beautifully croched short sleeves for $75, again in black. It looked lovely over my Steven Alan sweater and while it may be a little short, it will work well with leggings or even draped over a mini skirt.

Marc Jacobs was a bust. Sure it is 70% off but the label looks so matronly to me and has done for a while. Marc is a designer who has badly lost his way and needs to stop partying. That said, I was really looking for those $50 cashmere sweaters. Whoever posted that was lying/exaggerating. His men's cashmere was originally $1,100-$1,300. At 70% off, that is well over $300, not $50. I am not an idiot and can do math, so I chalk falling for that one up to my emotional turmoil. I also suspect all the posts about cheap cashmere came from people working the sales or for these brands to get shoppers in and then hoping that they'll spend even if what they wanted isn't there. It worked with me at Lutz and Patmos. But I would not have gotten the dress if it hadn't been so nice. The sweater will be useful but it wasn't a wow purchase.

I then headed to Saks. Basically everything discounted is still 50% off the reduced price and more stock is coming in. That said, Saks looks as dowdy to me as Marc Jacobs clothing, but they stock brands my mother likes, like Eileen Fisher. Alas, there was little of that left (I already got her a cardigan so it wasn't a disaster). I went to the shoe dept. on 5, and found more Chie Mihara stock in my size (40-41). I got a pair of ankle boots for $140. I shouldn't have done it, but they looked somewhat like the pair in the Mayle Fall 08 lookbook. I nearly got some lace-up shoes but they felt like they might rub. I also started feeling that I was escaping, not making my life easier. This is my IVF fund and I was spending it on things I didn't need. And I got no Christmas presents at all.

So, in short, sales are good but not as good as the hype. More Mayle is appearing online so there is a chance for some discounts later on--especially given predictions that the economy will really tank in January. Hopefully, I can get some items then, but I can't see any major reductions happening for a while. I think the stores are hurting, yes, but as always, the stuff that's really good sells, especially in New York.

Meanwhile, once I get the timer on my camera sorted out, I'll start posting pictures of my stash. Hopefully, that will curb my urge to spend--that is, until Mayle's resort and holiday collections are discounted.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update on Mayle Resort 08 Arrivals

Although, sadly, it seems that Jake and some other online retailers like Satine are no longer stocking Mayle, some more resort has arrived at LaGarconne, who seem to have most of the fall styles other than Jacinthe, Hush and eLuxury, which now has the Asina and Dezra blouses. Hopefully, other stores and styles will follow and we'll all be able to get deals on these items during the spring when we can wear them with impunity!

A Throwaway Year?

It's the end of the semester and I am feeling burned out, as are my students. I can't complain about them (they are generally good kids), but like all professors, I'm swamped with emails that really point to problems I can't solve, such as the fact that all their classes now have some kind of final exam or assignment due and the students haven't left enough time to complete them all. With the current state of higher ed, I'm also having to deny admission to my over-filled Gender and Media class for next semester. None of this is fun, nor is there much gratification to be had from the pile of papers that keeps growing on my desk, despite the fact that I've handed back over 140 assignments in the last week.

I finally have my passport but realize that I probably cannot make it home until 12/22. I dread even looking at fares as they will be likely a lot higher than I want to pay. I also miss my kitties so much when I go home.

As another year draws to an end, with my final class now taught, I'm also having one of those pensive moments when I look back and realize what I accomplished and what I failed to do this year. My friend, Isabelle, wisely said that this year was a "throwaway year" for her, one in which nothing really happened. I'm assessing whether it was for me too. In some ways, I have to say it was. I failed at goal number 1: getting pregnant, a goal that was my primary motive last fall too. This likely means I failed to avoid fertility treatment, something that I am trying to set up so I can go straight into it when I return. As a girl with a fear of needles and doctors, someone who does not like taking medicine, the idea of the regimen ahead scares me but not as much as the thought that the news may be so bad that I can't even participate. The miracle I'd hoped and prayed for has not occurred, making me feel there must be something wrong with me, not just physically, but as a person. I sometimes wonder what I did in a previous life to suffer this fate.

As for work, I'm in a holding pattern at best. Research has gone relatively well: the book is effectively done (revisions are always needed), I gave two conference papers this year and published two reviews. A major journal asked me to submit a paper which I will do in the new year and I came up with some ideas for new projects that excite me, and have started working on them. So far, so good. But the job market is hideous--never believe and other sites that call education a growth area in a recession. They ignore how administrators cut teaching positions as soon as any fall in tax revenues appears on the horizon, how state legislators have underfunded higher ed for decades, despite booming enrollments which actually increase costs as tuition only covers a small percentage of education. Not to mention nobody will retire in decades as their 401Ks have been eviscerated. So, there is a chance that my holding pattern might even decline as my current position is very temporary and easily cut. I have applied for over 10 positions, but know each one had over a hundred applicants and several have internal candidates, including the one for which I have a first interview on Monday. I have no expectations that I will get the position.

I did get a lot of nice clothes this year, and may get more if I decide to jettison the grading (temporarily) and head out in the rain to the Lutz and Patmos sample sale and then onto Saks, partly to look for gifts, partly to see if there are any bargains for me (including my parent's Christmas gift for me--which looks like it won't be the Billie Doux bag on shopbop as they have yet to reduce it to my target price point). But with Mayle closing, the demand for their clothing has kept my spending high and forced me to pay more for items than I would in the past. Which, in turn, means less to spend on other sales.

So, at the close of the year, I haven't accomplished my primary goals. No baby, no pregnancy and no new job. But the book is done, I saved some money and I have my health. I don't know if this makes me feel particularly happy. Other than the health, I'd sacrifice it all for a healthy child of my own and that seems to be the one thing I can't save, strategize, economize or work hard for.

So, for next year, my goals remain the same: baby, job and book, in that order. But if I accomplish goal 1, I'd be happy to put the rest on the back burner.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oliver Postgate, R.I.P.

I just read in the British papers that Oliver Postgate, co-creator of Bagpuss and Pogle's Wood, among other of my childhood favorites, died today at 83. In the UK, Postgate and his creative partner, Peter Firmin, are/were renowned for their amazing children's programs, the like of which never could exist in the US for myriad cultural and economic/institutional reasons.

Bagpuss (pictured above) was voted the best ever children's program in England even though there are only 13 episodes. I loved it as a little girl and when we were in college, my friends and I continued to adore it. My undergrad college, The University of Kent and Canterbury, gave Oliver Postgate an honourary degree the year we graduated (that's Bagpuss in his cap and gown from that day, also shown above with Postgate). Unlike in the US, this wasn't widely promoted so when Oliver Postgate stood up to give his hysterically funny speech and then pulled out Bagpuss from a wicker basket, complete with his cap and gown, my Dad says the whole side of Canterbury Cathedral where we grads to be (or graduands in the British parlance) sat, rushed up and gasped in joy.

When I was far smaller, I watched a show called Pogle's Wood, so old that it was telecast in black and white. It was about the King of the Fairies' son who was being looked after by this older couple and his seemingly half-cat, half-squirrel friend, Tog. They lived in a wood and there was magic and witchcraft around, so it was both adorable and scary, leavened with a dose of British humor. I barely remember the show but I loved it and was always so sad when the end credits arrived--a note bearing the legend "An Oliver Postgate Smallfilm" which blew through the woods. I had a Pippin and Tog pinafore when I was 2 (and liked to think that there was some magic there if I touched the pocket) and my brother subscribed to the Pippin comic which I made sure to read.

Last year, as part of my Christmas present (along with the constant selection box, Viz annual and other small gifts), my brother Giles got me the Bagpuss anthology, a book with a soft Bagpuss on the cover and all the stories. Evan's holding it in the photo above. I'm sure many other people, 4-40 got the same gift. There is something so perfectly British about Bagpuss and the other Postgate-Firmin shows, each 15 minutes of sweetness, fair play, decency, eccentricity and humor.

So, rest in peace, Mr. Postgate and thank you for so much magic.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday Shopping

In a great change from my usual Sunday routine of grading/writing, I met up with Erica ( and her husband Matthew in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill to shop. We started at the Mociun/Brooklyn designers sale which was held in a third floor apartment in a brownstone. There was a small but good selection of merchandise. I was most attracted by some prints and Sian Keegan stuffed animals but passed as I already have a lot of prints that I have yet to frame and a lot of Christmas presents still to buy. Most of the Mociun stock was in smaller sizes--I loved their t-shirts but had not brought cash with me.

We then headed into Manhattan, starting at the Steven Alan outlet on the Upper West Side. I got two cotton gathered shirts (for $49 each). They mainly had larges, and I would have bought more but I've been horribly extravagant this month and have to start cutting back. From there, we headed down to Soho, hoping to find a storefront gallery that Matthew wanted to see. As we didn't have the address and time was getting late, we ended up walking over to Nolita and up to Mayle to check resort out in person. I vowed not to get anything, yet, although I have to admit to being sorely tempted once I walked in.

Alas, Jacinthe had practically sold out in the lavender/tan. I had no idea that my favorite dress would be equally loved by Mayle's customer base. It only came in 0-6 and ran small. The lavender was a gauzy fabric and I loved it. I wonder if the tan wouldn't work against my fair-pinky skin, but maybe I was just trying to make myself feel better. It also came in the paisley, which I loved, so I hoped that would work, but that dress did not come in sizes larger than a 6. It was a big disappointment, but, again, I don't really have $600 spare to spend on a single dress right now. Erica tried on a few things, including the Mirabelle dress in black which was beautiful. I tried on Asina, which was nice, but the white cotton bib hung stiffly and distorted the soft drapery of the top. I loved Melia, which is a lot shorter than it appears in the lookbook and was underwhelmed by Jemeen. It runs very big and the fabric feels a little flimsy, even cheap. I think I would get it on sale but I'd need a 6 or even a 4. Astrid is beautiful--I didn't try it on but it evidently runs large as well.

I also tried on Hera and the other black lace blouse from holiday (nobody was paying attention to that rack--clearly resort is more wearable, prettier and, of course, new). Hopefully that means discounts. I loved Hera, but it is nearly $600. I hope I can get it on sale. Along with Zora, and maybe the dress pants, I think that would be all I need from holiday. For resort, I'd like Melia, maybe Asina and the black Mirabelle. I'd also be interested in the Dazra top in black but I didn't try it on. Much of the collection comes in multiple fabrics--virtually everything is available in plain black. There are also some more pieces from holiday, including Zora in persimmon. It is all very lovely--except Betto and the Phoebe top which are very disappointing in person. The sweatshirt fabric is too heavy and the navy blue looks like the denim-look sweatshirt/jersey fabric used to make the denim look-alike leggings sold in cheap clothing stores. I was very surprised. If they were in regular cotton, these could have been lovely.

The sandals currently on display are all samples--the real thing should be in soon. They are a reissue of an earlier cork-heeled t-strap wedge. They are also remaking an ankle and knee high boot, evidently square-toed with an oxford detailing. The sandals are $295, the boots will be around $500 and $800. She decided against remaking the clogs, which is a shame. I have a pair and they are pretty and comfortable. All the accessories this season replace sweaters--there are none for resort or holiday, so Aiko was one of the last.

As we left Mayle, Erica and I mused about what would be reduced. I think there will be another sale, especially as all fall and pre-fall has been packed away (although I think it can still be ordered online). I think Betto will be left, and Jemeen, and maybe some of the separates. Certainly nobody tried on the romper!

I left Erica and Matthew at their subway stop. I really enjoyed meeting them--and I hope I didn't talk and walk too much, or monopolize their afternoon. It was so great to meet somebody whose work and taste I've admired afar from a long time and find out that they are just as lovely, smart, stylish, interesting and creative in person. It was, in short, a really great afternoon and one I hope we can repeat sometime in the not too distant future.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My current Mayle favorites from Resort

Thanks to Christina, I've been able to copy some images. Here they are--if I was wealthy, I'd get them all.

Resort is up online

This blog wasn't supposed to be devoted solely to Mayle. My obsession will be temporary and other aspects of fashion/life will be featured. But right now, I'm in love with the Betto dress in gray and the Jacinthe dress (the lavender dress I've been obsessing over). I also love the Asina top. The lookbook is up on Mayle's site. I love Jacinthe although I think it might make me look pregnant and really hope I can get it.

I didn't make it to Mayle today--and it may just be as well. I decided to check Barneys stock first as they currently have better reductions. They have yet to receive resort--which gives me hope that eluxury may get more Mayle in soon. They have no further reductions on Mayle, but have received another Yves dress in rose (size 6, I believe), and they have several more Enikos in Ivory Paradiso. I suspect they are consolidating stock from elsewhere. Lots of Ebba so I assume I can get it in black at least for around 70-80% off--that is, if I still want it. Curiously they seem to have sold out of all Mayle sweaters--they had a lot of Riri and Jeanne in black last week--all pilling. Holiday doesn't seem to be selling, other than Zora. I suspect it is because it is all in black and doesn't include the beautiful blouses like Hera and Athena.

Other than that, I went to the Inhabit cashmere sample sale. It wasn't as great as last year when I got 8 sweaters for $400. Almost all the cashmere was $80. It was mainly the same sale stock up on their website, although there were a couple more styles and, curiously, fewer colors than online. I got a black fitted round neck cashmere sweater that I'll wear until it falls apart, an oval necked navy sweater and a very soft gray cardigan with very long sleeve, pointelle detailing and cropped at the back (I wish they didn't do that but it is beautiful otherwise).

Sorry about the lack of images here. I cannot work out how to copy images from the Mayle site.

Update: Impulse has some more resort in--so hopefully eluxury will follow. I borrowed their image of the Betto dress. They also have the Dezhra blouse and some accessories.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Trickling in...

As part of my early morning procrastination (I have 40 papers to grade today...), I checked out eluxury to see if Mayle's resort collection was in. As luck would have it, two dresses are now up there--the Melia in white and the Jemeen, both shown above (the store will also have these in the black and white colorways). I love both of them, especially Melia. Of course, these are not the two on my must have list, which makes me realize I am going to have to get them from the store, maybe even at full price, or just pass on them entirely. Having seen these two dresses at eluxury, I think I'm going to want a lot from resort, but of course, I can't afford it if they aren't going on sale. If eluxury is only taking two pieces, this is going to be a pretty limited collection, although I hope other pieces trickle in. I think these are classic Mayle dresses with beautiful detailing. Nobody else has anything from resort (yet?), although I'm hoping Hush isn't the only online retailer to carry it. I expect LaGarconne will get a fair amount in, but we know that we'll have to wait for years for any discounts.

I was a bad girl last night. After working all day, I decided to check ebay. They had a pair of Mayle Vita pants in size 8 with an auction ending soon. I got them even though another person bid just 24 cents less than my maximum bid 15 seconds before the auction ended. I tried them on in Bird last summer--they were a tiny bit tight but looked great. I just didn't want to spend over $100 on an item that didn't fit perfectly. At a shade under $70, however, they are an incentive to get back into better shape (and they fit, just the button was a little tight on the waistband).

There's also the issue of what I will wear the most--I love my dresses but in the winter I need sweaters and basics, like Steven Alan shirts, while in the height of summer, I have to get cotton dresses. Most of my Mayle frocks are silk.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back in town

I spent part of this Thanksgiving weekend in the Berkshires with Evan's family. As people would be traveling from Boston, Long Island, NYC and upstate New York, we picked a neutral spot, gathered at a hotel and ate at a restaurant. All in all, it was good fun--and didn't involve any Black Friday shopping.

On returning to New York late Friday, I met up with my dear friend Jenny who now lives in D.C. after a decade in Salt Lake City. I love having her close by as weekend trips are easy and we get to see a lot of each other. It was a cold weekend, but we wandered around Williamsburg, Nolita and Soho, saw Synechdoche, New York and ate at her favorite Mexican spot in the Lower East Side. Even though I shouldn't have really taken the weekend off, it was a lot of fun.

Jenny is not a big clothes shopper, but I did find ways to end up in Jumelle and Mayle (of course). Jumelle has the new Mayle bags--a tiny version of Jeanne with a long double chain strap and a larger version of Jeanne (I think it is the Agnes) with a thick braided leather strap with chain woven in. I loved both of them--the larger one was particularly suitable for me as I carry so much around the city. Whether I can afford to get it remains to be seen. They also had the fold over bag in a white "lace" cut-out leather. It's basically a rectangular purse with a zipper at the top.

Mayle was extremely quiet on Saturday afternoon. Granted it was late (6 p.m) but we were the only people in the store. It was all pretty picked over--although the Votivo candle was burning away again. Most of the paradiso items had gone and the stock looked very limited. I saw a black Aiko in large and wished I could have swapped it for my medium as I'd love the extra length in the sleeves. Resort arrives on Wednesday (they are shut today and tomorrow, presumably to restock the store and update the website). I put my name down for the lavender dress (at $595), the gray/putty cotton dress (around $560-595) and the black and white top (about $440). I am now more into resort than holiday but want Hera and Zora if possible. I noticed several names down for the dresses and tops--but not overwhelming numbers. I have to start playing the waiting game--watching for bargains--as I cannot sustain the level of spending from last month, especially with Christmas coming up.

I finished my shopping with a look in Steven Alan--Erica, they have your hat on sale--and then walked over to Red Flower to pick up Gardenia shower gel.

Overall, I noticed few people in stores on Saturday. Maybe it was the brutal cold but I think it was more the economy. I suspect there will be a few more Mayle reductions Wednesday--but there is little left that I really want. If Ludovine in birdseye goes down further or they finds some size 8 or 10 pants, maybe. Or if a sable Aiko in large suddenly appears. But basically, I'm now waiting for the reductions on holiday/resort.

I did receive my box from Odessa. I love Ludovine although my original preference for birdseye remains. Aiko is great--and very soft--but the sleeves run short. I may have skipped getting it had I known, but I do like it very much all the same. It runs true to size in the body but not the sleeves.

I am in love with my Yves dress. I'm wearing it now and taking advantage of the relatively balmy 53 degree weather before we plunge back into arctic temperatures again.

I'm going to pop into Mayle on Thursday to see if I am so in love with the dresses that I can't wait. I'm also going to head in for the Inhabit cashmere sample sale. I hope they have more interesting stock than they have for their online sample sale. I have to think gifts, however. My mother wants a red or blue scarf and I'd like to see if there is anything there for Dad, Evan or my brother Dominic and his wife, Cara. But I have my eye on the crewneck sweater with three buttons on the shoulder and the shawl collared round neck cashmere sweater for myself.