28 June 2012

NYC: The Rainbow Tour Part II

Fifty Shades of Grey might be the talk of the town, but most of my favourite New York shops seemed to be filled with fifty shades of every colour apart from grey. I love bright colours, so I was very happy. I didn't find much in my usual favourite store, J. Crew, although I picked up a pair of blue shorts (pictured below), which I wanted to buy in fuchsia but they were sold out in my size. I also picked up a leather belt with a pop of hot neon pink from Madewell (pictured below). A couple of green-hued tops from Loft (one pictured below), a purple dress from Bloomingdales (pictured below) and some cropped running leggings from Lululemon were about the only other clothing purchases I made on the trip, although I did get the seahorse necklace in the photo below free courtesy of Brooklyn Charm's promotion on Bedford Avenue last weekend.

I discovered a few new shops while I was in the city, one of my favourites being C. Wonder, which is on Spring Street in SoHo (they are opening another store soon in the Columbus Circle shopping centre). It's a little bit like a poor—or at least, slightly less rich—man's Kate Spade, mixed with a dash of Ralph Lauren or, perhaps, LL Bean prep. They sell a range of clothing, accessories and homewares, which come in many bright colours and most of which can be monogrammed. I really liked the initial bangles, but they didn't have a B in a colour I liked. The prices are pretty reasonable too, for the quality--more like J. Crew than Kate Spade. At the lower end of the price range is Joe Fresh, which seems to be a hybrid of Uniqlo and Cos. Like Uniqlo, they sell a basic clothing items in many different colours, but they borrow a touch of minimalist chic from Cos. I didn't buy anything on this trip but I'll be stopping by again on future visits.

Top: J. Crew on Fifth Ave. Bottom: C. Wonder and Joe Fresh

Another favourite new discovery was Henri Bendel. I don't know why it took me so long to venture inside this Fifth Avenue department store, but I'm glad I did. It's probably most similar to Liberty in London, especially because of the ground floor, which is devoted to frivolous girly things, such as make-up, handbags and jewellery. They also sell a beautiful range of own-branded bags and accessories, many of which are really stylish and would make lovely gifts.

I've left my favourite purchase until last and I'm still very excited by it. Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that it is a handbag, although it wasn't an impulse buy; I have been lusting after this bag for a few months and even considered ordering it online from the US. I saved about £60 by buying it in New York though. And it is Rebecca Minkoff's Mini MAC in black with gold hardware. I have rediscovered black lately and I wanted a smart black clutch bag for the evening. I love the classic design, but the added edginess of the studs and the animal print lining (slightly annoyingly the lining was supposed to be blue with black spots, like the dustbag, but in his efforts to get me the bag with the nicest leather, the Saks sales assistant managed to give me one with leopard lining instead).

Mini MAC, Mitzy's little sister

Better still, you can wear the chain strap full length for cross-body looks, you can double it up to wear it as a shoulder bag (pictured) or you can remove the chain altogether and wear it as a clutch. Very versatile, then, and, after a few years of a Mulberry obsession, relatively reasonably priced, for a designer leather handbag.

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