.Buy Curious: We’re Baaaaaaaack!

Sorry for the delay, folks. As you may have heard, we’ve been busy over here at the EBX dealing with our newly independent status, which meant our shopping habit got (sob) put on hold. But now that we’ve saved up (at least $30) – and summer’s apparently arrived – it’s time for more fabulous bargain shopping in the East Bay! This week, we bring you a bevy of sales (from brand name to vintage), a blissful online store for shoe lovers, and some tips for keeping your crap at a minimum. Also, we scour the Web so you don’t have to, with a roundup of what local fashion bloggers are talking about. And we tackle the toughest of all manufactured shopping holidays: Father’s Day.



Paying for Your Shoe Obsession
In case you haven’t discovered it yet, the Amazon.com-built Endless.com is a shoe (and handbag) lover’s dream. First: a near endless choice of styles and brands (think the kind you’d find at Macy’s). Second: overnight shipping that subtracts $5 from your order. And best of all: a 365-day return policy (and they pay for return shipping). Now if that’s not an incentive to buy something from this site, I don’t know what is! And now’s a perfect time since they’re currently having a half-off sale. We scored these super-sexy stiletto patent mary janes for about $60 (orig. $225)!

Cute Yoga Apparel Anyone?
Lululemon athletica celebrates the grand opening of its Berkeley store this weekend. The first 50 guests to enter the new yoga apparel store on Saturday June 16 and Sunday June 17 will receive complimentary yoga kits, yoga mat, and passes to a local studio. Lululemon takes over the seemingly ill-fated location of Ashby and College avenues. Let’s hope they can last!
When: Sat., June 16 & Sun. June 17. Grand Opening celebration is Thurs., June 21 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: 2956 College Ave., Berkeley

What to Get Dear Ol’ Dad?
Don’t know about you, but when it comes to Father’s Day gifts, it’s near impossible to give anything I’d actually want him to have. The Chron also laments this problem. So what’s on your list?
a) Boxers
b) Old Spice gift set
c) Subscription to Blade Magazine
d) Something golf-related
e) Alcohol
f) Beard trimmer
g) Nose-hair trimmer
h) Beer-belly trimmer (we wish!)
Leave a comment and let us know!

Sales Sales Sales
** Twenty Two Shoes: Check out this awesome sample sale of styles from Fall 2006-Spring 2007.
When: Fri., June 15 & Sat., June 17. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.), Sun., June 17 (11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Where: 5856 College Ave., Oakland
** Vintage Sale: Clothing, accessories, and handmade sterling silver jewelry.
When: Sat., June 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 2232 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland
** F.I.T.: If you’re one of this Rockridge boutique’s preferred customers (OK, we are), check out their private spring/summer sale this weekend. Take 40 percent off selected merch, plus another 10 percent if you got one of their postcards. The public sale starts Monday, June 18.
When: Fri., June 15-Sun. June 17 (private sale); then Mon., June 18 and on for the public sale.
Where: F.I.T., 5707 College Ave., Berkeley
** Hush: 50 percent of designers like 3.1 Philip Lim, Diane von Furstenberg, 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent, Velvet, and more!
When: Now!
Where: 1354 N. Main St., Walnut Creek

Cosmetic Surplus?
If you’ve acquired one too many cosmetics from Clinique bonus gifts or goodie bags, don’t throw them away! Take them to one of 18 drop-off locations for Working Essentials, which supplies them to homeless folks. Got other crap? Check out this handy Web site courtesy of San Francisco Magazine for a full list of where to (responsibly) get rid of your stuff, from computers mattresses.

We Scour the Web So You Don’t Have To
Here’s what other local style/shopping bloggers are buzzing about:
DailyCandy: Checking out SF design shop Chariots on Fire.
Dressed: Is this site turning into a less funny Go Fug Yourself? Dino-Ray Ramos muses on celebrity style: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, the MTV Movie Awards, and Lil Mama.
OaklandGoods: Exploring a new newsstand/record store on Piedmont Ave., a hidden boutique in the Dimond District, and a tip to StopWaste.org.
TopButton: Some sample sales, plus a special deal with Chrissy Bee Boutique in SF.
Got a local fashion blog to recommend? Let us know! buycurious [at] eastbayexpress.com

FASHANALYSIS: Style News & Views

Burglarized … Again
How sad is this? Temescal boutique Afterglow reported another burglary on Tuesday. In May, the store suffered a devastating burglary that resulted in the loss of merchandise worth more than $12,500. This time, thieves squeezed through a 18″ x 14″ window. Here’s the press release from owner Amy Cools:
news of sorrow & joy for afterglow & Amy M. Cools
Hi all!
I’m sorry to say that afterglow has been burgled again, sometime between 12ish noon on Tuesday June 12 and 8:20 am on Wednesday June 13th, despite the security improvements I and my landlords had made after the last burglary. Two officers from the city of Oakland had actually inspected the security of the shop after these improvements, and had though them quite good: I had clad the door around the locks in metal sleeves, ditto the door frame, installed a back security door over the back door, which has a deadbolt & plank that fits across it, and placed barricades in the window frames so the window’s couldn’t be opened.
I was actually on my way to the Temescal Merchants safety meeting, where we were to discuss the most effective ways to increase security for the local businesses, this very morning when I discovered the burglary.
This time, the burglar(s) unscrewed the top of the bars over the bathroom window, bent them back about two feet from the wall, and amazingly, squeezed over the bars, through a 18″ x 14″ window, and onto the sink, after prying out the glass. It was an incredible feat of gymnastics that had the police officers and the maintenance manager & property managers shaking their heads in wonderment. The property & maintenance management for my building, who have been most responsive & helpful throughout, immediately came back and installed ultra heavy-duty bars over the back windows with one-way bolts which can’t be removed, and I’m installing an alarm system, which I’ve just now been able to afford to consider doing.
This time, they stole an array of Oaklandish merchandise (about 3 dozen pieces), about 10 necklaces by The Weekend Store, the entire stock of lingerie by Porcelynne, three pieces of gold jewelry by Venus Superstar, four of Elly Karl’s new hats, about two dozen of my own designs, and sundry other assorted items, after ransacking my entire store, dumping out bags, boxes, & bins. I’ll be taking a thorough inventory within the next couple of days. For all my beloved consigners, rest assured: your pieces are insured against theft.
So here’s the good news: my wedding is coming up in about a week and a half! I’m excited & joyful about the big day, which nothing will dampen. Recovering from the last burglary made it necessary for me to work a crazy amount of hours and put every other aspect of my life on the back burner. This time, my personal life takes precedence. Between now and a few days after my wedding day, afterglow will be open Saturdays and by appointment only, and whenever I’m able to be there: probably, June 28th will be the date when I start to open again at regular hours. Don’t be shy about making an appointment until then, I am very happy to meet with you: call or write me anytime!
As for the shops that carry my designs, my bathing suits will soon be ready as well as other new summer stuff I’ve just come out with. I will send you all new pieces as soon as the bathing suits come in. Please let me know if you have special requests for new designs.
love, Amy

Rent Threatens to Close Living Room
This isn’t exactly style related, but our dear friends at the Living Room Gallery are facing closure as a result of their rent being increased and are asking for donations to stay open. Here’s the release from Derek Schmidt:
To all our circles of communities,
I am writing to announce on the behalf of the Living Room Gallery that we have had our rent increased by our landlord, and we are in danger of being forced to move out. As our space is zoned as live/work, we do not have many of the same rights and protections as most people have in Berkeley, and perhaps have little standing to contest it. The rent increase itself is not wildly substantial, but it is just enough to add substantially to our overall stress- with finances, with the continuation of artists’ receptions, music performances, readings, etc. For almost two years we have continued the Living Room experiment, creating a space and forum for emerging Bay Area artists and performers, with a mixture of financial support from its members and from door and beverage donations. As we have looked back these last two weeks with the impending move-out, we are most proud of the community that we have created- oftentimes being the first gallery an artist has shown his work at, inspiring others to begin or continue to create, establishing networks of likeminded people that are struggling to find their own way in the arts, and breaking down the conventional boundaries of engagement with art.
We know we have done this, we know we would like to continue to do this. As informal as our little experiment is, it has already accomplished so much. Despite day jobs, our own creative pursuits and lives, we have made space for these endeavors in a way that has surprised all of us. As we have tried our best to contribute to the world around us, we are now forced to actively reach out for help from that same world, to continue this work.
More to the point: we are in need of raising $2400 to offset the rent increase for one year. We have become adept at creating receptions, performances, and parties that have often come close to paying for themselves, and the small amount of money past that has always gone to future shows. As stated above, we are an informal institution, and we are tentative to formalize ourselves, distracting us from the real work that we enjoy. We are asking for grassroots support in the same way we have always done things around here. We would also appreciate support in the form of advice, fundraising ideas, etc. If you or anyone you think might be interested is helping with this challenge, please forward and distribute this as widely as you can. We are ready to thrown in the towel if need be, but not before we explore every possible option.
In the meantime, the next show will be a solo artist’s reception for Michael Deane, an incredible East Bay artist we are excited to host, Saturday, June 30th. Music will be provided by various Bay Area performers, such as Abby G., and Ship. If you have not already come to a Living Room show, we invite you now to come and see what it is we are so very proud of here.
Thank you for reading this and for those of you who have already supported us in one way or another. We earnestly look forward to the future of the Living Room and all that it may offer.
Derek Schmidt
The Living Room

Every Friday, Buy Curious dishes on the hottest fashion trends, news, and sales in the East Bay and beyond. If you’ve got suggestions for shops or Web site to feature, comments on the blog, or a burning style question you’d like us to answer in our occasional column, Buy Clueless, send them our way! Write Kathleen and Lauren at BuyCurious[at]EastBayExpress[dot]com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

East Bay Express E-edition East Bay Express E-edition
Support the East Bay Express, local news, donate
Support the East Bay Express, local news, donate