Sunday, July 30, 2006

The new miu miu

Shown in Paris, with better quality and higher price point, miu miu has evolved. In addition to the traditional wool felt coats, jackets, and pants, miu miu played with volume and bold prints in the FW06 season. Intrigued by a picture in the August issue of the British Vogue, I paid a visit to the Soho shop.

In the Vogue picture, the model wore a similar outfit to the one shown on runway: a stripe shirt, a cardigan with a strap closure, and a print puffy skirt. I loved how everything worked together, and I figured that I really needed that cardigan to update my traditional cardigan plus cute skirt looks.

I picked up more than ten items off the racks including some items featured on the runway show. The strip shirt was very sexy with the back splitting to two pieces (deconstruction, plus point) but it was so awfully oversized that I had to pass. The print skirt, on the other hand, was made of heavy silk with a great deal of volume (think Balenciaga). The skirt was way more puffy in real life than it looked on pictures. "I'd wear either the print or the volume, but not both." I told my SA, and she nodded.

The skirt's price was $1,060. A new high for miu miu, I guess.

The grey cardigan with a strap was also unfortunately oversized. It was designed for the puffy skirt, so the bottom of the cardigan would be stretched apart to show the strap. It was a brilliant idea, but it was useless without pairing with the puffy skirt because the bottom would look too generous.

A red cocktail dress became the new "it" dress in the store. A handful of girls tried it on within an hour. I put it on, too. It was really cute. I liked the idea of the shape although it had to be tailored here and there. The price? More than $2,200 – for this Polyester dress. The SA told me that there were three people on the waiting list already, and she could guarantee that I'd receive mine as long as I leave my credit card number. "No thanks". I was talking to myself: there was no way for me to justify it.

Eventually a cardigan with a built-in knit scarf caught my eye. The cardigan fell on my body in a flattering way yet with a twist. An oversized golden pin also dressed it up. If my budget allowed, I would have also got a black wool felt skirt, a pair of straight leg wool pants, and a pair of ankle length boots. After all, summer will last for another month, and I still have plenty of time to figure out what the most crucial items I need to update my fall wardrobe. With more interesting design and the free tailoring service, I will definitely go back. At the same time, if you happen to visit miu miu, be prepared, don't be shocked by the Prada level price.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Competitive shopping

Shopping can be a very competitive activity. Excited by the new Balenciaga website (, I visited the store located on W. 22nd street on Friday. I was hopeful that I could find some leg lengthening pants from the Pants capsule collection, but the trip turned out to be very disappointing. The selection was so little that the store looked like an interior design display with some nice clothes as background: most of the pre-fall items featured in the look books were reserved long time ago and therefore never made the way to the floor.

My SA also informed me that for small sizes, such as French 36, they only bought one for each style. With a city full of stylish and slender women, how is it going to work?

It's is exactly what Balenciaga wants. It makes the individual who pays big bucks to buy the cloak feel somewhat special. But for the unfortunate second place, Ouch.

I was kicking myself for taking too much time thinking before I tried to place an "early" order. Too bad, the SA said, there are three people ahead of you.

I've learned my lesson. I'll call the boutique the morning right after the Paris show in September and put my name down. I might not be able to buy and afford everything, but at least I need to place my name on the waiting list early enough to make sure I have a chance.

There is a game, and let's play.