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Narciso Rodriguez X Kohl’s

Drawing inspiration from the vibrant city of Istanbul, the Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation collection is available at Kohl’s for a limited time. Known for his perfection of color blocking and “the line”, Narciso’s entire collection was inspired by a trip to Turkey and features misses’ outerwear, dresses, skirts, pants and shirts with prices ranging from $30 to $150. That price range means that yours truly can afford to “splurge” on a few pieces at a time!

Features distinguishing the line include color blocking, the interplay of black and white, tuxedo separates, and ultra-feminine dresses. One of the foremost American designers during the last two decades, Narciso Rodriguez plays a singular role in global fashion. As the famed, sunglass bespeckled Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue has said, “No one but Narciso has ever made a simple line look more stunning.” Narciso’s minimalist, clean design aesthetic runs throughout the collection which is also highly affordable. As the son of cuban immigrants, I appreciate Rodriguez’s offer of simple yet affordable mastery.

Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Colorblock Ponte Sheath Dress.  Structured, measured and balanced with beautifully slimming proportions. Mustard deep yellows mingle with royal purples and tethered by a basic black.

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Colorblock Ponte Dress. A gorgeous and unexpected color palette. Sky blue mingles with maraschino cherry reds, burgundies and fuchsia. Professional yet cheerful!

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Wool-Blend Coat. A billowing coat’s silhouette, cinched at the waist and juxtaposed with ultra slim tights.  The pink is uber feminine, but tamed by then manly style of the smoking jacket lapels, and robe cut.

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Lurex Tweed Jacket. Sophisticated and professional fabric blends meet dark and whimsical accoutrements. Intellectual, wasp meets punk rock mall rat.

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Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Colorblock Sweater and Narciso Rodriguez for DesigNation Crepe Tuxedo Pants. Rodriguez is continuing the trend of high-profile designers doing collections for retailers to give public access to world-class fashion at affordable prices. He has been honored with three CFDA Awards, named one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America” by Time Magazine, and won the Fashion Icon Award from the Pratt Institute. In the look above, sea-foam greens and blues mingle with the seriousness of a black rectangle. The color play is quirky yet enlightened.

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While my inspiration was drawn from the ancient and historic city of Istanbul, the collection is designed for today’s modern woman,” said Narciso Rodriguez. “Kohl’s DesigNation has given me the opportunity to deliver beautiful, quality clothing to women at a true value. It is exhilarating to see the collection come to life.” Thank goodness for these inexpensive yet chic and rich collections. My closet and wallet are thankful!

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A Spectacle Spectacular

Alternate and timely titles for this post also included Wicked Witch of the East Village, A Vision, Seeing is Believing or Nor’Easter Village , dedicated to the second storm about to hit the Northeastern Coast of the USA. Now that the power has returned to Lower Manhattan (and the heat and the water), I spent my Sunday in the city acquainting myself with the many reasons why I choose to remain on this floating island! One of these reasons is the ever changing and always unique East Village.

Badass rocker Patti Smith got her start here, as well as Blondie, the Ramones, Madonna, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, the Beastie Boys, and The Strokes (to name a few).  Andy Warhol staged multimedia shows with The Velvet Underground at St. Mark’s Place, Allen Ginsberg lived and dead within these streets, The Nuyorican Poets recite slams here, and the musical du jour of the nineties RENT, was written about this neighborhood’s crime and AIDs epidemic. In short, humanities credentials really don’t get more gritty, cool than this.

Fabulous Fanny's

Between 1st and 2nd Avenues, on East 9th Street lies the unassuming shop called Fabulous Fanny’s which has the ultimate selection of antique and vintage eyewear for men and women.The clever shop offers services you may not find at your regular opticians for example they will customize any frames with rhinestones and will rent some of their coolest glasses to you for temporarily for photo shoots and events! You might also get a little thrill from knowing that the period merchandise was worn in the Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business” starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Biting and witty author Dorothy Parker once wrote, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.” However, I do not think any gender could resist the allure of these stellar spectacles. Here I am above in a round, clear, salmon-colored pair!

Fabulous Fannys - The Walkup

Fabulous Fanny's - The Walkup

Fabulous Fanny's - The Walkup

Come for the eyewear but also stay for the derby style, fedora and pillbox hats or vintage clothing (all in good to excellent condition)!

Fabulous Fanny's - The Walkup

Feel free to peruse the drawers full of vintage and antique glasses separated by style, color, and shape. Even if you dont need the help of a lense, this store is worth the trip from beyond the metro area. You won’t find your typical aviator or wraparound shades in this retail space. It’s quirky and cleverly edited boutique has an astounding and almost museum-like array of floor‑to-ceiling eyewear.

My friend Rachel inspects sunglasses to add to her ever growing collection.

Fabulous Fanny’s merchandise includes antiques from as far back as the late 18th century, cateyes of all shapes and colors, rhinestoned one of a kinds, visionary designer pieces and iconic looks from the 50’s to current day. You can even find a Pincenez, a style of lenses popular in the 19th century, which are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose. Want to impersonate your favorite, famed glasses wearer? A Woody Allen Style? Check. A Bill Gates look? Check. Tina Fey’s plastics? You got em. Even Harry Potter, John Lennon and Gandhi would turn in their distinctive frames for a new purchases from this shop!

One of the owners, or perhaps the owner’s friend, even gave me a brief history lesson explaining that the name behind the RayBans is simply based on the fact that the iconic shades were meant to “ban” the sun’s UV “rays”. Get it? Talk about customer service!

Fabulous Fanny's - The Walkup

Fabulous Fanny's - The Walkup

A cool stranger, named Roman, who I couldn’t resist snapping! Hello plaid, leather and frayed ends.

Fabulous Fanny's - The Walkup

Fabulous Fanny's - The Walkup

There’s no shame in having four eyes, especially if your specs are from NYC’s Fabulous Fanny’s. So don’t be nearsighted, get yourself to this store today!