Buy Curious: December 1, 2006

This Week: Buy Curious finally spots a stylish East Bay guy! And his fashion inspiration is J.T. Leroy … We’ve got crafts fairs coming out of our ears … Discounted designer threads online … Palestinian and Chanukah gifts in one weekend … Plus some fashionable events across the Bay!


“I really love clothes.” Who: Brandon Giordano, 20 Occupation: Bartender at Bay Wolf restaurant in Oakland; Laney College student; occasional model for his fashion designer friends Spotted: Extracting cash from a Piedmont Ave. ATM Wearing: Black Cole Haan ankle boots, women’s skinny-leg Levi’s (“men’s skinny jeans are really hard to find!”), gray Donna Karan hoody sweater, blue vintage blazer with white piping, gray Benetton scarf, plastic Martin Sno sunglasses from Down at Lulu’s, wooden cross necklace that he made himself, gold bolo tie, Gucci bag. Favorite Resale Shop: Labels in Walnut Creek is one of the best. “The ladies there really like me, and they put things aside for me. Like my Gucci bag, which I got there a few months ago for something like $180. New, it was maybe $800.”

Fashion Tip: Get inspired. “What I do every season is that I’ll be really into something. Like this jacket-I had a friend who’d gone to parochial school, and I really wanted the kind of blazer those kids wear, so I went looking for one and found this in a resale shop. My most recent inspiration is the J.T. Leroy movie, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. I kind of put my outfits together with that film in mind.”

Shop Talk

Look Good, Feel Good

Check out the incredible sample sale at, a massive online warehouse of international designer threads. (You probably haven’t heard of half of the European labels here, but they’re well worth knowing!) You’ll save big bucks-we found this cozy-sexy Armani sweater, which regularly goes for $150, for just $54-and ten percent of what you spend will go to Amnesty International. Now through Dec. 5th.

Cross A Few More Names Off Your List… We’re not sure what an “alternative women’s craft fair” is-aren’t most craft fairs riddled with indie female designers? Still, we’re pretty sure that this one in Berkeley will be a blast. You’ll find everything from scarves and jewelry to funky t-shirts custom-made for plus-size women. And best of all-because nothing’s better than free-you’ll walk away with a goody bag stuffed with treats. When: Fri. Dec. 1, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. Dec. 2 & Sun. Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.. Where: 1700 Dwight Way, Berkeley

Eclectic Eclectix Somehow, there’s just no guilt involved in giving art for the holidays. At least, that’s the mantra of the El Cerrito store and gallery Eclectix. The store features “fun & strange” gifts, folk-art, clothes, masks, “Hawaiian stuff,” housewares, textiles, jewelry, furniture, and “Gothic.” Hmm… To kick off the shopping season, Eclectix will hold a holiday art reception featured mixed media works by local artists.

When: Fri. Dec 1, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Where: Eclectix, 7523 Fairmount Ave., El Cerrito

Local Designer Trunk Show

Check out a local designer trunk show at Magnet, featuring designs by Allma, Gina Pericini, She-Bible, Tinc, and Tiny Lights Below. When: Sat., Dec. 2 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Where: Magnet, 2508 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley

Jingletown Holiday ArtWalk Looking for a crafty gift? Check out the “Jingletown Holiday Artwalk” this weekend, featuring more than two dozen artists selling their crafts, including photography, jewelry, paintings, blown glass, and sculptures. Or just enjoy the street art and live music. For more info, check out When: Sat., Dec. 2 and Sun. Dec. 3 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Various locations in Jingletown, Oakland

Multi-Tasking Sustainable Shopping Get your organic fruits and vegetables, shop for gifts, and listen to homegrown music all at once. Sensory overload? Perhaps. But we’ll still check out the Berkeley Farmers’ Market 15th Annual Holiday Crafts Fair, hosted by the Ecology Center.

When: Sat. Dec. 2, 9, & 16, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Center St. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in downtown Berkeley

Sample Sales Across the Bay Stock up on ultra-soft, long-sleeve tees for a song at the Rebecca Beeson Holiday Sale. Call (415) 202-0775 for more info. When: Fri. Dec. 1 & 8, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. Dec. 2 & 9: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.. Where: 1345 Howard St.

Chillin’ Productions presents “An Evening of Art, Fashion, Film and Music” tomorrow night at Mezzanine, featuring 60 fashion designers, 80 painters and photographers, 60 filmmakers, plus six DJs. The multimedia event production company started by Irene Hernandez-Feiks seven years ago is in the process of opening its own space, which will feature an art gallery, boutique, movie theater, bar, and café. Sign us up! In the meantime, check out this fashionable event. Details: $6, 21 & over

When: Sat. Dec. 2, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Where: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., San Francisco

Give the Gift That Keeps on Giving … Music! Don’t know what to buy that finicky teenaged nephew of yours? Try a gift certificate to Amoeba! The music retailer is offering three ways to order them this year: at a store, by phone (call (415) 549-1125), or online. Just place your order by Dec. 14 to get yours in time for X-Mas.

Discounts in WC Family and friends of employees at participating Broadway Plaza stores and restaurants are eligible for some significant discounts this weekend. The two-day-only event will raised money to benefit the Walnut Creek Education Foundation. Enjoy 20 percent off at Aerosoles, 30 percent off at Free Verse, and a free sample at Bath & Body Works. For a complete list of participants, check here.

Where: Broadway Plaza Shopping Center, Walnut Creek

Peace Through Shopping We love Berkeley. Check out these two events this weekend: ** A Palestinian Handicraft Sale, featuring crafts brought over from the West Bank by an Oakland teacher. Several years ago, a group of teachers visited West Bank and Gaza and hooked up with a group of women to hold regular craft sales. Included in this event (their fifth annual) are embroidery, olive oil, woodcrafts, hand blow glass, ceramics, soaps, honey, textiles, and more. For more info, call (510) 548-0542 When: Sat. Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Berkeley Friends’ Meeting, 2151 Vine St. at Walnut St., Berkeley

** Congregation Beth El is holding its annual Chanukah Bazaar this Sunday. Find books, music, jewelry, and grub on some Latkes while you’re at it. When: Sun. Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley

Every Friday, Buy Curious posts photos of the fashion fabulous of the East Bay, as well as news on store openings, closings, new items, and sales. We want to hear from you! Tips? Send them to us! and Kathleen Richards

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