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amNewYork's Must List day 2: Shopping and services


Graceland Credit: Graceland by RJ Mickelson/amNY

When it comes to shopping, there’s no city with as much variety — and value — as New York. The same can be said for our salons, spas and fitness facilities. From kid-inspired furniture to the best new crop of indie designers, we’ve got something for every retail activist on our Fall 2010 Must List.
Editor: Perrie Samotin Written and researched by: Perrie Samotin and Elaine Paoloni

Indie designer Mecca: Creatures of Comfort
205 Mulberry St., 212-925-1005
When word got out that this beloved L.A. boutique would be setting up shop in a downtown former police precinct, stylish young things waited with bated breath. Well, they’ve since exhaled, some even going so far as to refer to the 2,000-square-foot space as “The New Opening Ceremony.” Brands include Rick Owens, Surface to Air, Slow and Steady, Zero Maria Cornejo, as well as limited-edition collaborations with culty designers — think VPL, Rachel Comey and Confetti System. Rounding out the stock are trinkets, menswear and home goods. If shopping isn’t your main goal, check out the store’s rotating art exhibits.

Designer import: Isabel Marant
469 Broome St., 212-219-2284
France’s fashion darling made a move toward the mainstream with the opening of her first U.S. boutique in SoHo this summer. Combining femininity with a fashion-forward edge, Marant’s signature fringed leather bags and miniskirts, metallic sweaters, furry jackets and cropped leather pants have New York women freely shelling out big bucks.

Anticipated opening: Alexander Wang
103 Grand St.
When you’ve had success the way young designer Alexander Wang has, it’s only logical to start thinking big. A legit darling of the fashion world, Wang confirmed to this summer that his first-ever boutique will indeed be opening in the former Yohji Yamamoto SoHo space. If the mile-long lines at Wang’s sample sales are any indication, the store will be a major draw for both uptown and downtown gals.

Gym class: Glee Club at Crunch Fitness
Leave it to Crunch to turn theatrical phenomenons into heart-pounding workouts. They did it with "Billy Elliot," "Hair" and now Fox’s perennial hit "Glee." Set to songs featured in the show, this easy-to-follow class is a mix of dance and cardio and, yes, every member has to sing while moving. Broken up into two parts, the class starts off with small mini routines and segues into numbers that up the ante and give a true performance vibe. (Check for class locations).

Hats: Village Scandal
19 East Seventh St., 212-460-9358
Cloche chic! This East Village shop is a milliner's dream offering a staggering range of flat caps, Gatsby hats, top hats, derby hats, cowboy hats, panamas, fedoras, toques, boater, Greek fisherman hats, berets and, of course, select vintage styles provides a hat for every head. Grab a drink at nearby McSorley's and then swing by to try on styles — The Village Scandal is open late.

High-end vintage: Marlene Wetherell Vintage
40 W. 25th St., # 210, 212-691-3923
There's vintage and then there's vintage. You know what we're talking about — retro boutiques that would make Rachel Zoe swoon. The epitome of this fashion heaven can be found at Marlene Wetherell, where the accessories and clothing read like a who's who of fashion history, from Chanel and YSL to Anne Fogarty and Charles Jourdan.

Men’s shoes: J.D.Fisk
159 1/2 Ludlow St., 212-475-0565
Classic with a little edge, Dolce Vita's latest men's line, J.D. Fisk, seems poised to become a household name. Created by former Dolce Vita designer Joel Rich, the collection's average price points run between $200-$300, which compares favorably for the nascent label with similar styles going for double that price at high-end department stores.

Leather goods: Musette
438 W. Broadway, 917-691-0012
New to Soho, Musette--the Romanian leather label--treads the line between cinematic and modern with an ample collection of towering retro-style heels, ladylike bags, soigné flats and daring boots. The diverse collection seems poised to walk right into the closets of every stiletto-loving gal city-wide.

Cool clogs: No. 6
6 Centre Market Place, 212-226-5769
Forget what you think you know about clogs: shopping No.6's collection will forever change your mind about these Northern European clunkers. Priced between $24 and $450, these fashion-forward clogs come in a variety of styles, such as high-heeled t-strap, open-toe sling, lace-up corset and toasty shearling boots.

Gender-friendly store: A Man and A Woman
14 Christopher St., 212-929-6156
The name of this West Village boutique says it all. Owned by former head buyer Erin Crandall, A Man and A Woman guessed it, designer clothes for both a man and a woman. The well-curated selection boasts pieces from Ace Delivery to Jason Wu and Nightcap Homme to Spurr. Just make sure to shop on pay day: these designs don't come cheap.

Handbags: Wendy Nichol
147 Sullivan St., 212-431-4171
You will never want (or need!) another handbag after owning a Wendy Nichol piece. Made of quality materials, Nichol's designs are bold, fun and versatile. Highlights include her leopard satchel bag ($595), Billy Kid washed tote ($540) and Lambskin Gatherer bag ($400).

Shoe designer we wish would open his own NYC shop: Brian Atwood
Dear Brian Atwood, Your shoes have cropped up on the red carpet, fashion glossies and online style sites since your launched your eponymous shoe label back in 2001. Fans love your heels for their mix of eye-catching detail and classic look. And while they can be bought online at and Saks, it would save everyone a lot of shipping charges and return stress if you could just toast to your success and open a local brick-and-morter boutique....soon! Thanks. Sincerely, New York's shoe-shopping junkies

Still the best emergency party dress stop: DVF
874 Washington St., 646-486-4800
Sure, Diane von Furstenberg has been designing for decades, but her dresses are still a reliable go-to fashion fix for a wedding, birthday party, first date, New Year's Eve bash or any occasion that requires looking nothing short of fabulous--and stat! At her MPD flagship shop, her iconic wrap dresses, colorful shifts, strapless printed frocks and flirty skirts and tops await any shopper experiencing a true fashion emergency.

Craft-making Mecca: Spacecraft
355 Bedford Ave., 718-599-2718
Filled with every imaginable craft materials and supplies, Spacecraft is crafting crack for the Martha Stewarts of the world. Want to create a finger puppet? Done for $10. How about decorating a wooden skateboard? No problem for $45. Need a some jewelry in a jiffy? Spacecraft has every imaginable adornment ($5-$20) a creative crafter needs. This Brooklyn Mecca also doubles as a social life center with a slew of party planning packages available.

Home decor mainstay: De Vera
1 Crosby Street, 212-625-0838
A San Francisco transplant, De Vera takes an curatative approach to home decor, filling their Crosby Street location with unique antiques that could be part of a museum collection, but will instead be part of your soon-to-be awesomely decorated apartment. Perfect for browsing, the 3,500-square feet Soho store stocks everything from antique jewelry, Italian glassware, lacquer pieces and objects from around the globe.

Kid-friendly dance party: Baby Loves Disco
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., 212-505-FISH
You may have traded in late-night dance parties for 3 a.m. feedings, but that doesn’t mean the music’s left your soul. If you’re craving a few good beats, pick up your little ones and hit the dance floor with Baby Loves Disco. These traveling dance parties for kids (ages 6 months to 7 years old) and their parents might take place mid-afternoon, but let’s face it, that’s when your energy peaks these days. They feature disco hits from the ’70s and ’80s spun by real DJs. The next local event is on Nov. 7 and the cost is $20 per person — but tots and crawlers are free.

Kid-inspired furniture (for adults!): Jellio
79 Fifth Ave. (Showroom by appointment only)
Does the thought of decorating your apartment with mass produced, cookie-cutter furnishings makes you queasy? Enter Jellio, a cheeky, five-year-old line of unique furniture inspired by kids' toys and treats that still maintain adult sensibilities. A chandelier made entirely of colorful acrylic Gummi bears, a Rubik’s Cube end table or an ice cream sandwich-shaped bench, Jellio's playful — and delightfully refreshing — take on decorating stems from owner Mario 's affinity for items that evoke a certain level of nostalgia. "From a home furnishings point-of-view, the great thing about childhood items is that there are really great design elements built right into alot of the classics, that everyone responds to,” he said. “The shape of a Gummi bear, the pattern of lit pegs from a Lite-Brite, the shape of a cupcake wrapper ... the list is actually endless.”

Chic plus-sized clothing: Lee Lee’s Valise
368 Court St., Brooklyn,718-246-5337 At Lee Lee’s Valise, owner Lisa Dolan handpicks clothing in sizes 10 to 28. In addition to popular-label gear, the store carries bra sizes from 30E to 46H. Alterations are available to guarantee a perfect fit. Accessories such as wraps, belts, bags, scarves, jewelry and perfume round out the selection at this charming boutique with a vintage vibe.
New yoga studio: Yogamaya
135 W. 20th St., 6th floor 212-675-4555 Yogamaya’s Vinyasa classes are a workout for your body and soul. This type of yoga uses flowing movements to achieve a level of physical and spiritual satisfaction. The highly qualified teachers put their own spin on classes, but the sessions all feature sun salutation warm-ups and sequences that include all the physical movements. Single classes will run you $12 each, but first-timers can buy an unlimited one-week pass for $20.

Late-night comic shopping: Forbidden Planet
840 Broadway 212-473-1576 You only have to be a kid at heart to appreciate the vast selection of comics, graphic novels, science fiction, manga and anime on display at Forbidden Planet. It’s wall-to-wall entertainment featuring collectibles, posters, T-shirts, toys and games. The characters that live here span the ages — from “G.I. Joe” to “Star Wars,” “Transformers” and beyond. If you’re feeling nostalgic late at night or just can’t wait to pick up the latest Constantine Hellblazer City of Demons No. 1, the store is open until 10 p.m. Sundays-Tuesdays and until midnight Wednesdays-Saturdays.

Haven for sneaker heads: Goliath RF
175 E. 105th St. 212-360-7683
Once a bar, this Harlem shop now serves a top-shelf selection of sneakers. A self-proclaimed sneaker fiend, Owner Rosemary Frazier carries a fine selection of limited-edition and hard-to-find kicks. Among the name brands you’ll find at the boutique are Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Supra, Puma and Ralph Lauren — and she’s always eager to introduce new brands. Whether you’re shopping for sporty sneaks or sleek, dressier styles, you’ll hit the jackpot here. The selection is mostly men’s right now, but there are some women’s and kid's shoes, too. Tees, caps and other street wear round out the merchandise.

Indie beauty depot: Miomia
318 Bedford Ave., South Williamsburg, Brooklyn 718-490-5599 Everyone wants to look his or her best. And at Miomia, you’re presented with the tools to do the job. This Zen-like apothecary carries more than 40 brands including Mario Badescu, Malin+Goetz, Escentric Molecules, Julie Hewett and Commes des Garcons. A selection of fine hand soaps and candles expands the inner beauty you’re feeling out into your home. If you’re on the road, there are various travel kits and even the Brave Soldier Crash Pak kit, which contains items to treat common road rash after a car crash.

Express treatment: Keratin Express Blow Out at Ryan Darius Salon
82 W 12th St., 212-255-3579
Frizz-prone gals the country over have been turning to Keratin Complex treatments — a miracle-working procedure that literally de-frizzes and calms curl. The only downside? It can get a tad pricey and it takes a few hours. Enter this new treatment, which provides the same (formaldehyde free!) results but in a quarter of the time — and the price (starts at $125). The folks at the lovely Ryan Darius Salon are experts in the treatment, which lasts for around six weeks, and provide thoughtful consultations. The three-person staff are also trained in Platinum Seamless hair extensions, makeup application and Butter London manicures, so why not go and make a day of it?

Used furniture megastore: The Furniture Market
22-08 Astoria Blvd., Astoria, Queens 718-545-3935 If you can’t find that certain sofa for your living room anywhere else, you’re bound to see something special at The Furniture Market. More than 10,000 items fill the 5,000 feet of retail space. Just stroll around and peruse everything from elaborate chandeliers and pianos to side-table lamps and picture frames. The offerings are crammed together and piled high sometimes, but it gives you the feeling of scoring that great find at a rummage sale. And if you saw a room decor on T.V. that you want to try to replicate, you could very well find the pieces here — many television, film and theater clients frequent the market for their set designs.

Salon for curly gals: Devachan
Finding a stylist that can give you a good cut and color is no easy task. Add to the mix the fact that you have curly hair, and you’re just asking for trouble at an ordinary salon. The cutters and colorists at Devachan, however, are trained specifically to deal with curls. They perform dry cuts to tailor a style to a person’s individual wave. An original highlighting technique known as Pintura allows tones to be hand-painted on the hair, taking into account the movement and dimensions of curly locks.

Couples massage: The Spa at Trump Soho
246 Spring Street, 212-842-5505
Spas are a dime a dozen in the city, but few reach the indulgence level that The Spa at Trump Soho does. Occupying 11,000 square-feet, The Spa at Trump brings a Middle Eastern decor aesthetic across two-floors. Included in this luxe layout are Trump Soho's duet suites, ideal spaces to unwind with a shared massage, from the spa's signature gemstone treatments to their classic massage options. Call to book today, as the holidays and Valentines Day will see this couple option reserved well in advance.

Color: Marie Robinson Salon
155 Fifth Avenue, 212-358-7780
Want to know celebs color secrets? Look no further than Marie Robinson Salon. Formerly of Sally Hershberger, Marie Robinson opened her own Flatiron salon this spring and brought with her the expertise that comes with counting such A-listers as Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts, Uma Thurman and more as clients. The best part? Hair color doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg; single color processing runs between $150-$200.

New Brooklyn salon-slash-tattoo parlor: Graceland
677 Lorimer St., 718-384-7677
Brooklyn's Graceland is shaking things up as the borough's hottest hybrid. Part Elivs-themed salon and part tattoo parlor, Graceland exudes a quirky, retro vibe with old-school barber chairs, an antique-looking piano and a turntable that spins the salon's impressive vinyl selection. As one enthusiastic Yelper declared, "The King would be proud!"

Written and researched by Perrie Samotin and Elaine Paoloni


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