I'm totally behind on blogging as I'm trying to rush to get everything finished before I leave for England and fit in as much socializing as I can before Tuesday. I finished my Christmas shopping yesterday (except for Evan--we owe each other two Christmas gifts and a birthday present each so we're obviously not great with gifts). I had to go to Toys R Us in Times Square which was dangerously packed--the escalators literally threw me into the people in front of me who could move because of the hordes of people ahead waiting for elevators. Not only is the store poorly designed, but it really showed me why sample sales make people wait outside. I know it is a bad economy but the crowds were insane and crowd control next to non-existent.
Onto other, more fun matters. Friday was frigid. My outfit really marked this--I was layered so much I looked several sizes heavier. I wore tights, my thick Danskin leggings (the best), my Stella McCartney for H & M wide legged pants (which are amazingly high quality and drape very well, despite being worn about 100 times and being a size too big), a tank, my thermal long sleeved grey top from Wisconsin, a black v-neck cashmere sweater, my thick chunky navy cowl neck cashmere Club Monaco sweater and Olympe (plus cashmere hat, scarf and red leather gloves). I don't think the temperature hit 32 and the winds were insane. After writing a final and starting on the MA exam grading, I headed into Lyell to meet Erica. She looked amazing--and baby Leon is the most perfectly adorable child.
Lyell have somewhat retooled their policies because of the economy and Emma's bad experience with retailers like Chicago's Jake, who took her inventory and then never paid her. She has drastically cut back her production so her designs are basically only available in the US at her store (and the inventory at Refinery 29 is that of the shop, although there is inventory in store that isn't available online). She's also doing gowns to order. The only way cheap Lyell will be available now seems to be through ebay or through the Urban Outfitters line, which is doing really well. There's also been some big celebrity buys, most notably Katie Homes who wore the beautiful short tweed scallop jacket and shorts outfit recently. I liked both pieces but passed because I don't really know how much wear I'll get from tweed shorts and the jacket is a little too similar to my older Lyell tweed peacoat from FW 06. I also discovered the pretty blouse I liked--the one in beige and black--doesn't really look good on me (the color is wrong and I would need a 10 in the blouse--the biggest remaining size is an 8).
Erica bought a lovely black jacket. I got a purple wool skirt--completely unexpected but very flattering. After walking Erica to the subway, I headed off in search of remaining gifts. I visited the Opening Ceremony sample sale--still a long line to get in at 4 p.m. Nothing great inside--lots of merchandise, great discounts but the clothing was largely ugly. After checking INA (no Mayle except the black glittery dress with puckers that they've had for months), I met my friend Rebecca and her son Charlie. They were in town for Rebecca's Ph.D. proposal defense (she passed!). I'm now on her dissertation committee and I imagine I will start receiving chapters this spring.
After a frigid day, I got home and we ate take out Thai. I still hadn't found a present for myself from my parents, and that is still on the agenda today... Hopefully it will get sorted out before I leave.