<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Shopping]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/the-scene/shopping http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Fri, 27 Nov 2015 03:53:11 -0800 Fri, 27 Nov 2015 03:53:11 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[1st Look Loves: Duality Nail Pak]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2012 13:27:08 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/256*120/duality-nail-pak.jpg

Leave it to a brilliant business entrepreneur mother of six daughters to come up with an ingenious “manicure system” for busy nail polish-loving women everywhere!

The duality Nail Paks come with long-lasting, chip-resistant, salon-strength polish in a bottle that looks like most others but on the twist-off bottom of the packaging is a built-in compartment featuring a nail file and pre-soaked non-acetone nail polish remover pads.

All the colors are on trend and vibrant, and the shimmery holiday collection is a perfect last-minute stocking stuffer--yu will definitely want more than a few of these brilliantly designed beauty treats, so go now to the website.

<![CDATA[An Offbeat Pop-Up Shop Lands at the Pier]]> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:54:36 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Pier81275728.jpg

Summertime meets wintertime far too infrequently, so when a terrific staple of the warmer months pops up around Christmas, if only for a brief moment, it is worth making note. And when it lands in a new place? Two notes should be made.

Note one: The LA Craft Experience is the every-so-often handmade market that takes over a good chunk of Chinatown's historic plaza each summer. Whether it is held in conjunction with Chinatown Summer Nights or on its own, it's the spot to find tees, jewelry, letterpress goods, and more unique items. 

And now that warmer event is unfurling, at least a little at Santa Monica Pier. That's note two, actually, the new location. The Craft Experience is a Chinatown fixture, so call its adventure west, which it is dubbing "Gifted," a bit of a road trip. Fans will still be able to shop for the same quality goods, goods that can definitely be considered for the person on your list who likes things that they haven't seen a million times before.

The dates are Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16. The exact spot is by Pier Burger, but you're bound to see it, what with the Yarnover Truck and the Make + Take Workshop and the DIY wrapping station.

In short, if you need to get the holiday buying done, but aren't looking forward to doing it in the usual ways, an hour at the Pier, chatting with craftspeople and creative types, may be the thing you've been needing. Plus? Free admission. That works well in summertime *and* wintertime.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks Debuts $450 Gift Cards]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2012 09:20:14 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/89841329-starbucks.jpg

If you can’t go a single morning without a cup of Starbucks brew, you are in for a treat.

According to USA Today, Starbucks will offer customers the opportunity to purchase new, limited edition, metal gift card loaded with $400.

The specially-etched Starbucks Metal Cards are made out of steel, not plastic, and cost $50 each to make, which explains the $450 price tag.

USA Today reports the card also comes with gold-level benefits such as gifts and free refills on brewed coffee and tea.

Starbucks will only make 5,000 of the metal cards.

These cards will not be available in stores, only on Gilt.com, starting Thursday, Dec. 8.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chic Collars Lend Local Shelters Support]]> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 16:01:39 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GivebonesMB.jpg

There's a segment of the holiday-giftee market that continues to grow year in and year out, sales-wise. It also happens to be a segment, strangely enough, that doesn't even know or expect that a gift is coming.

We're talking about our pets, of course. A quick browse through any cat- and dog-focused catalog or superstore reveals that December is a mondo month for spending on animals, from treat-filled stockings to elf outfits to red-and-green toys.

There is a way to gift our nearest, dearest, and furriest, and to help out pups living in Southern California, too. Manhattan Beach company Givebones is selling a line of brightly hued collars, complete with the cute Givebones logo, with the ultimate purpose of giving back.

How? Local shelters and animal-minded organizations will receive part of the proceeds of every sale; first up is the spcLA. And not just part of the proceeds, but ten percent.

The collars are $14.99 and come in a variety of colors, from Funny Bones Turquoise to Bare Bones Royal Blue. Does your dog have a favorite shade? Ours definitely favors the red-pink-maroon hues. Important stuff to think about, right?

And lest you think this is a side thing for Givebones, it isn't; being charitable and assisting hounds find homes is the company's purpose. "Join the Movement" is part of the official tagline, a tagline that speaks pretty clearly to its furry-nice mission.

Photo Credit: Givebones]]>
<![CDATA[The Library Store Goes on a Roll (Literally)]]> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 13:19:40 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/239*120/LibraryLANight1.jpg

Libraries on wheels are not a new concept -- you probably remember the commercials of book-delivering vans from your childhood, and how incredibly fascinating that concept was -- so hearing that our own Central Library is gearing up to go on a roll does not surprise.

But here's the twist: It's the library's acclaimed shop that will be heading out into our city. Yep, we have food trucks and coffee trucks but fewer trucks that sell inspiring books of quotations and quirky little greeting cards. A hole has been filled, for sure, especially since it serves to raise the library's profile.

The Library Store on Wheels, which is being organized by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, starts the ignition on Monday, Dec. 10. On its map? Six branch libraries over six days, starting on Monday, Dec. 10 and ending on Tuesday, Dec. 18 (so obviously not consecutive days). Sherman Oaks, Cypress Park, and Fairfax are three of the locations on the itinerary.

To mix things up a bit further, the truck'll swing by Amoeba on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Hmm, books and music. Those two things go together, right?

Various library honchos will greet the truck during its grand around-town roll.

And if you didn't take "acclaimed" to heart before, we implore you to do it again: The Library Store is a great little shop. It's smart and gifty, both, which you don't find in too many places. We're just betting you'll find a holiday present or two for the book-o-phile in your life.

Food trucks, we know you're here to stay, and thank goodness, but other nice things are taking to the streets as well.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Keeping the "Buy Local" Love Alive]]> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 13:17:12 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/7588935506_71f7b7dc0e_c.jpg

Small Business Saturday was greeted with open arms, and wallets in most corners, meaning it will be back next year and all years to come.

The only frustration for many people is that is it just one of 365 days of the year. That said, there are ways to keep the spirit of that particular November holiday in your heart, and in your checkbook, if that's important to you. One way? Attend and support food and art and craft and goods fairs where the people behind the table live in the area you do.

There's an easy way to do just that on the Saturday following Small Business Saturday, and the following Sunday, too: Hit Unique LA at the California Market Center.

One of Southern California's biggest cool-stuff-for-sale spectaculars definitely has a "buy local" bent, as the name implies: Unique LA now attracts the work, muscle, and talent of over 300 artists. After a half decade on the scene, one can expect that.

The dates are Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2.

A ticket is 10 bucks at the door, and 10 percent of that will go to Inner-City Arts, a downtown-based non-profit.

So, what will you find there besides plenty of quirky tees and pieces of jewelry and artworks for sale? Free cocktails, free DIY lessons, some DJing, some photo-booth-ing, and food for sale from local food trucks. (This is the penthouse, as noted, so don't look for the trucks themselves.)

It's good stuff, but more importantly it is a local angle that continues to gain steam. Best of all, if you buy a holiday gift there, you get to brag to your giftee about how you kept it Cali this year.

Yeah, you have our permission to say "kept it Cali," if anyone balks.

Photo Credit: Unique LA]]>
<![CDATA[Weird Gifts for the Holidays]]> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 20:08:59 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/weirdgiftthumb.jpg A bed fit for a mouse: check out this cheese-themed bed. It's just one of the weird gifts that pop culture journalist David Moye featured on the NBC4 News at Noon on Nov. 28, 2012. Related: Weird Christmas Gifts: Zombie Killers, Breathalyzer Key Chains, Superman Socks]]> <![CDATA[Your Neighborhood Drugstore Sushi Bar]]> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 10:54:36 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/walgreenssushi.jpg

Everyone has had a "they can do that here?" moment inside a grocery store.

There was a day when shopkeepers scooped beans out of barrels for customers; now we live in a 24-hour world where basically anything -- fancy espressos, mail service, cupcakes on demand -- is available at our supermarkets.

And yet the drugstore, the supermarket's nearest cousin, has remained rather unchanged over the decades. There's the pharmacy at the back, the cold/flu aisle, the greeting cards, the sushi bar.

Wait. You hadn't heard of a sushi bar inside a drugstore before? You will soon, because the flagship Walgreen's set to debut at the corner of Sunset and Vine on Saturday, Dec. 1 will indeed boast one. 

There will also be an eyebrow bar -- that's not for buying but for having yours done, of course -- and other more unusual amenities one doesn't usually come across when one is shopping for tissues and leave-in conditioner.

Oh, yep, customers will find a smoothie bar, too, inside. No more remembering to run over and grab a soda from the cold case before you queue up.

The mega Walgreen's in Chicago, we should note, was the first testing ground for a sushi bar and the added-plus extras.

As is befitting of a Hollywood opening, Walgreen's will get the red-carpet treatment -- literally -- on Friday, Nov. 30. Store's open to the public at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Photo Credit: Walgreen's]]>
<![CDATA[14 Potentially Dangerous Toys Named in "Trouble in Toyland" Report]]> Thu, 22 Nov 2012 04:05:54 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/toys112112.jpg The annual "Trouble in Toyland" is out from U.S. PIRG. This year, the group named about a dozen toys that it says could be dangerous to children.

Photo Credit: U.S. PIRG]]>
<![CDATA[Small Business Saturday Around LA]]> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 13:13:36 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/lingerie_jbor.jpg

There might be more thrilling moments in life -- say, winning the lottery or riding in a hot-air balloon -- but few things can eclipse the first time the guy down at your corner coffeeshop calls you by your first name.

Is that overly sentimental? Sure, a bit. But in a world where commerce and transactions can be famously impersonal, there's nothing to compare to the moment when the woman who runs the t-shirt store down the street says she's set aside your favorite color and size.

That's the power of small business, that one-on-one-ness, and we're happy to live in a metropolis that has its robust share, in all quarters. The spotlight is all theirs on Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express. The annual support-your-local-shop is set for Saturday, Nov. 24, which is the day after Black Friday, and two days ahead of Cyber Monday.

Which means that Small Business Saturday is very much seen as a counterpoint to those other two shopping avenues. There will be consumers who mark all three -- early-in-line on Friday, a walk around the neighborhood on Saturday, and clicking from working on Monday -- but there is a stalwart contigent that observes Small Business Saturday alone.

The Small Business Saturday Facebook page? Over 3.1 million fans. That's some serious support.

So, you know the places in your own neighborhood that probably know you by name, right? If you're looking to spend your cash locally in another part of the city, there is a helpful map on the Small Business Saturday site. Polka Dots & Moonbeams, Plastica, and Jacob Jewelers are just three of the hundreds of spots listed.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Black Friday: Good for Buzz, Not for Predicting Sales]]> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 08:39:00 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/93446410_10.jpg

There is perhaps no more glaring exhibition of American consumerism than Black Friday: shoppers spending their long Thanksgiving weekends camped outside big-box stores for the chance to fight through crowds for the latest gadgets and toys.

Retailers invest a lot of hope in that day, because it can be used to build momentum for the six-week holiday shopping season, their most profitable time of year.

But Black Friday isn’t the economic bellwether that it used to be. The thrifty financial landscape, and the growth of online shopping, have arguably diminished the event’s impact, even as it grows in popularity, with more stores opening on Thanksgiving or offering sales weeks earlier.

“Everyone’s going to hype it, and there are a lot of deals out there, and some people make it an experience in itself, but I don’t think it’s as much of a leading indicator of the holiday season,” said Dennis Jacobe, chief economist for Gallup, the research and polling firm.

The biggest reason, Jacobe said, is that while the recession has abated, consumer caution has not. His studies show that that more Americans say they’re confident in the economy, but they aren’t as willing to exercise that faith by opening their wallets. That includes upper-income shoppers, who may be growing anxious about the looming fiscal cliff’s impact on their taxes. The lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy could be a factor as well.

Many researchers have reported modest spending in the weeks leading up to Black Friday.

In other words, the crowds that turn out for door-buster deals this weekend can’t necessarily be expected to remain enthusiastic.

From an economic researcher’s perspective, Black Friday is more sport than science. Analysts say that sales figures during this brief period are less a function of the broader fiscal climate than of the effort retailers go to in drawing people to their stores.

Because that effort grows every year, Black Friday—and the rest of the weekend—typically performs well, said Allen Sinai, chief economist and strategist at Decision Economics Inc. The zeal usually fades a bit, then picks up again in the days right before Christmas.

Sinai also recalled a couple occasions when a Black Friday turned out to be “a dud,” but sales rallied later in the holiday season.

That record, he said, was why he didn’t “place a lot of stock” in Black Friday as an accurate gauge of holiday-season shopping.

Tell an economist you're trying to get accurate data on Black Friday sales, and the response will often be “good luck.” Many organizations—retail trade groups, market researchers, polling firms—try it, but methods, and margins of error, vary. U.S. Commerce Department statisticians don’t break down economic data that narrowly.

Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ, takes to his popular blog every year to bemoan the “wildly optimistic” surveys that the media quotes at the end of Black Friday weekend.

Without fail, he says, the reports exaggerate consumer enthusiasm. He pointed to last year’s National Retail Foundation’s claim that sales had spiked by 16 percent – which, if true, would have been a record-breaking sum. There was no apparent attempt to check the data later on, but economists generally agree that consumer spending increased by less than 6 percent over the entire 2011 holiday season.

The NRF has predicted a slight decrease in the number of Black Friday shoppers this year.

“You should be reluctant to draw too big a conclusion from one day,” Ritholtz said. “As we’ve seen, it never lives up to the hype. In fact, part of the reason there’s so much hype and false signals is there are so many people trying to get a read into that one day, far more than what you should typically be willing to see in one day. This is an economy, not an event.”

His prediction, shared by many other researchers, is that no matter how frenetic Black Friday turns out to be, holiday season spending will enjoy a modest uptick this year. Bain & Co., for example, predicted a 3.5 percent increase in spending, compared to a 3.7 percent increase in 2011 and 3.8 percent the year before. Gallup has predicted a "good, though not great" performance.

The biggest variable, many say, is the fiscal cliff, the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending reductions that will go into effect Dec. 31 unless President Barack Obama can reach some kind of deal with Congress. If there is no solution before Christmas, consumers may get nervous, and hold back on holiday spending, some economists say.

Lawmakers are expected to get back to work on the issue after Thanksgiving weekend.

“Uncertainty is even greater than usual at this point,” said Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics for Moody’s Analytics. “Whatever sales are like this weekend, it doesn’t really help to address that uncertainty."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Black Friday Guide: How to Get the Best Deals]]> Thu, 22 Nov 2012 06:47:23 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/black+friday+target.jpg

Black Friday — it's the mother of all shopping days. A day when millions of people wielding billions of dollars scratch and claw for the biggest bargains. So what's the best plan of attack?

"My advice is to skip it entirely," says Jody Rohlena, senior editor at Shop Smart magazine.

Black Friday has been such a staggering marketing success that it's spawned Black Thursday, Cyber Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday… the list goes on. The upside, as Rohlena sees it, is there's no need to focus all your energy, time and money on one day.

"We're gonna see really good markdowns all the way up to the Holidays, and guess what — when retailers have inventory that they're trying to unload, they're going to keep setting up new sales, so there can be advantages waiting," says Rohlena.

But whether you brave the crowds of Black Friday or not, you still need to be prepared. Even if you're a dedicated brick-and-mortar shopper, the Internet is your best starting point. There's a host of websites — BFAds.net, BlackFriday.com and SlickDeals.net — dedicated to tracking the best deals out there, as well as store hours.

"Take a look at those ads beforehand and really find out if they're great deals or not," advises Rohlena. "You can do quick searches at PriceGrabber.com, for example. Don’t assume because it's in a Black Friday circular that it's a great deal."

To help assuage your fears of overpaying, Rohlena says the big news this holiday season is in the realm of price matching. At a lot of stores, if you buy something and then find it cheaper someplace else, they'll refund you the difference.

If big box stores and national chains aren't your thing, Rohlena is a big fan of Small Business Saturday.

"People may think that prices are higher in those smaller independent retail stores — they may not necessarily be," he said. "And there's an advantage: If you ask for a better deal, you might be dealing directly with the owner, they have a lot more leeway to give you a better price. If you ask nicely, of course.

"If you go on AmericanExpress.com, you can register you card, if you use your AmEx to shop on Small Business Saturday at a participating retailer, they will give you a $25 credit. Spend $25, get the credit back on your bill — there's another really good reason to participate: free money."

If there's something you just have to have in-hand, Rohlena suggests a reconnaissance mission: going to the store a few days early to find out where your prey will be on display, the nearest entrance and the exact hour it will be available.

Among the other Internet tools available to the modern bargain hunter is the Black Friday Survival Guide app, which has a newsfeed, lets you search each store by category or each category by item, tells you exactly when each sale begins, provides competitor prices and lets you build a shopping list you can email to a loved one.

If the thought of the traffic and the crowds makes your chest tighten, the Internet is here to help but still requires a good plan. Rohlena recommends CyberMonday.com, CyberMonday2012.com, FreeShipping.org to see who's got free shipping and @cybermonday at Twitter.

With all of the new shopping tools at our disposal, why wade into the insanity of Black Friday at all?

"For those of us who really want to make sure we're giving a nice gift to someone we care about, I think it's important to be able to compare things physically, if you know what I mean, as opposed to virtually, online," says Dr. Tina Lowrey, professor of marketing at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and editor of "Brick & Mortar Shopping in the 21st Century."

"And for a lot of people, I think they enjoy being around other people that are in the holiday spirit, it's sort of an infectious kind of social gathering to be around… the communal nature of going out and being with other people who are out for the same reason."

Rohlena is unmoved.

"I know too much," he said. "I'm not going anywhere on Black Friday."

<![CDATA[Ali Explores the Best Shopping in Brooklyn]]> Sat, 17 Nov 2012 22:03:17 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WILLIAMSBURG-1stLook.jpg Lets face it, there are few better places in the world to shop than NY. But why stay on the island when there's so much to find in Brooklyn's trendiest neighborhood? Follow Ali as she explores Williamsburg to find the best shopping available in NY's biggest borough. Maison Premiere 298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY / 347-335-0446. A Thousand Picnics 171 South 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY / 951-9SP-ECIE. Grand Street Bakery 602 Grand St., Brooklyn, NY / 718-387-2390.]]> <![CDATA[Arty Holiday Shopping, SoCal-Style]]> Mon, 26 Nov 2012 11:09:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BITBikeMuseum1.jpg

If Small Business Saturday showed us anything, beyond the fact that it is wise to start early in the day and avoid crowds, it showed us the power of the local buy.

But what does "local" mean, exactly? A few things: Supporting locally owned businesses, purchasing goods made in the area, and helping the community through the gifts you choose.

There are a number of ways to do that around SoCal, but one that's easy to love is museum gift store shopping. The local connection is clear -- you're supporting cultural LA -- but the benefits are plentiful. Educational books, small artworks, and more offbeat items are available through the shops.

A museum membership is first and foremost what we recommend each year, but if you'd rather go the gewgaw route, our institutions can deliver.

What's new in 2012? The BIT Bike at the Hammer Museum -- makes sense, given the Westwood institution's annual Bike Night -- and brightly hued Corey vases at the Orange County Museum of Art. We're also pretty sweet on the "Picturing the ABC's at the Norton Simon Museum" kids' book.

Most Southern California museums do have a shop, and while not everything is made here in the Golden State, there are several products that have a local angle. Best of all, the shops are at the museum, and patronizing our cultural places, even to pick up a quick gift, is never a bad thing at all.

Photo Credit: Hammer Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Hostess Fans Lament Twilight of the Twinkie]]> Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:21:12 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hostess-twinkies-shelf.jpg

In the mid-'70s, a youngster looking for a quick sugar rush could score a Twinkies two-pack for 15 cents.

Even in recent history -- despite bankruptcy woes and labor concerns -- the price of Twinkies always felt reasonable.

Then Friday happened.

"Hostess Brands is Closed," read the headline on the company's website.

And so began what the history books may one day appropriately dub: "Twilight of the Twinkie: the Great Sugar Rush of 2012."

Now, a Twinkie 10-pack could set you back as much as $100.

On eBay, listings for Twinkines took on a new urgency:

  • "What better way to show how you feel than with some of THE LAST TWINKIES PRODUCED!"
  • "BUY NOW! This is one of the last few boxes of Hostess Twinkies that will be produced!"

Savvy shoppers can still find digital deals on the old-school sponge cakes with creamy filling, but at least one listing began at $100 for a 10-pack.

Across Los Angeles, multiple merchants are reporting a "run" on Twinkies. A few retailers have already run out.

That $100 price tag on eBay may not seem so absurd after all -- especially based on some of these shoppers' tweets:

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ticket to Ride: The Beatles Bus]]> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:42:53 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/030409+Beatles+pic+p1.jpg

The Beatles, you won't be surprised to learn, have slipped the usual bounds of music-group greatness and entered the land of legend in myriad ways. People study the most famous band of all time's songwriting secrets or craftsmanship, of course, but fans drill down further discussing how the Fab Four's haircuts and Sgt. Pepper uniforms impacted style.

Here's another course of study: The Beatles and transport. There's the famous photo of them disembarking from a plane, there's the train-chasing scene in "A Hard Day's Night," and, of course, there's a certain submarine.

And now? The double-decker Beatles Bus. There were no Beatles aboard when it rolled into Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 13, but there was a surplus of Beatles-based goodness, in the form of 14 newly remastered studio albums. Yep, the bus was announcing the release of the much-buzzed-about mega mondo Beatles vinyl box set, and, nope, you didn't need to come across the double-decker to purchase it. It's available now, just in time for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving, if you simply can't wait.

Oh wait. Did we say vinyl a sentence or two ago? We did indeed. Remember vinyl? We know, it got hip and whatnot with small pressings in recent years, but if you haven't heard "Magical Mystery Tour" or "Across the Universe" recently, via wax, while poring over the album's artwork, your day has come.

Beep beep mmm beep beep mmm yeah, is all we can say to that.

The box set also includes a book, the "White Album" poster, and other mop-toppy goodies.

And if you did happen to see the double-decker on its Nov. 13 roll, you might have been in Santa Monica or downtown. Lucky you. Don't you wish the Beatles Bus could just toodle around our streets all day, bringing cheer and blasting "Penny Lane" from a loud speaker? Someone please make this happen. Apple? You there?

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Photo Credit: Beatles]]>
<![CDATA[Gear Up for the Mountain at Mega Ski Spectacular]]> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 12:51:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SkiDazzleBlue.jpg

If only all major conventions or events had a hand in the weather.

Then conferences all about sunshine destinations would happen during a toasty heat wave. Same with conventions focusing on barbecues, swimming pool sales, and bikinis.

Likewise, a gathering that's all about snow and the world of winter should not happen during a roaster; nobody wants to shop for anoraks or poles when they're slathered with coconut oil.

Meaning Ski Dazzle could not have picked a better week to schuss into town, which it'll be doing from Thursday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 18. Not only did an honest-to-chilliness cold snap hit Southern California last weekend, but Mammoth opened a little under a week ago and Big Bear Lake a few days after that.

Well played, Ski Dazzle. People will be in the mood to board up.

Now, about those boards and skis and hats and goggles and all the other fend-off-the-cold merch you need at the top of the slope: The mega convention has it. If it doesn't have it, it probably has something similar to it. There are also giveaways, swaps, beer tastings, a vertical ramp, and other ski- or sport-related goings-on over the four-day happening.

An adult ticket is twenty bucks and a kid's ticket is five.

We're just glad that the largest of ski conventions opens on a Thursday, given that so many people will now want to spend their weekends livin' large on the lifts.

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Photo Credit: Ski Dazzle]]>
<![CDATA[Indie, Quirky, Friendly Patchwork]]> Fri, 09 Nov 2012 14:39:26 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/PatchworkBooths1.jpg

Much has been made of the recent Americana movement in music and fashion, the return to our rootsier selves, or at least a self that likes beards and banjos and single malt whiskey and making one's own quilts and socks.

Our tone isn't teasing because look at the facts. Beards? Handsome. Banjos? Awesome. Single malt whiskey? Tasty. And being able to make your own quality stuff, or buy from those craftspeople and artisans who do, is quite the noble calling.

And, like the banjo-driven tunes of late, independent craft fairs have been on the rise. Patchwork is one of the biggies. It shows up in various spots around Southern California, in both LA and OC, and it is about to kick off an Oakland outpost. Why is this? Simple: It's well organized by friendly people, it attracts talented creators, it offers a wide variety of clothing and jewelry and bags and other one-of-a-kind products, and it always shows up around the holidays, to help take the edge off of our gift-giving anxieties.

You know that edge, right? Like, "am I trying hard enough to show Mom what she means to me?" Something handmade often goes a long way in that department.

Patchwork'll land in Long Beach on Sunday, Nov. 11. Dozens of tables and chatty stuff-makers, some of theme with beards and possibly banjos, will be seated behind them. And on those tables? Glassware and gewgaws for pets and scarves and purses and a lot of a lot. (A lot of a lot=anything, pretty much, that can be made.)

And nicest of all? Entry to Patchwork is free. More bucks to spend on Mom, which should be practically everyone's policy in life.

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Photo Credit: Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Shine at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show]]> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 02:12:02 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/victoria-secret-new-thumb.jpg Victoria's Secret Angels took to the glittery runway to sport the latest and most extravagant bras — and share the stage with Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Bruno Mars.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marni to Launch First Women's Fragrance]]> Fri, 02 Nov 2012 09:46:06 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/marnifragrancethumb1a.jpg

This February, quirky Italian retailer, Marni—which collaboated with H&M last spring–will debut its first-ever women's fragrance produced in collaboration with Estee Lauder. 

Like the Marni woman, the scent is designed to be fresh and individual. "The perfume reflects Marni's fashion, certainly," creative director Consuelo Castiglioni told WWD. "Becuase it's a perfume that's quite individual, that doesn't evoke anything in particular. It's for a woman who dresses for herself, who doesn't follow trends but is sophisticated and also maybe a little eccentric."

That may seem like a lot of sartorial inspiration for a scent, but the the concept registers in a spicy blend of wood notes, tempered with a touch of rose oil for a feminine feel.

The bottle itself is also meant to evoke the Marni brand, inspired by an old bottle Castiglioni salvaged from a flea market.

“I wanted a bottle that was kind of traditional, that is, one that lasts over time, like the clothes we make, which last and you can still wear two or three years from now," Castiglioni says. "It isn’t seasonal. I think this bottle reflects our concept—you want to keep it. It also has the dots, which are part of our world, and a play on proportions with the cap. These elements are also important in our fashion.”

Photo Credit: Marni]]>
<![CDATA[Store Tour: Local Designers and Curated Home Goods at Joinery]]> Fri, 26 Oct 2012 09:01:49 -0800 $352 for women's; $425 for mens. ]]> $352 for women's; $425 for mens. ]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/joinery3.jpg Owner Angela Silva picks out her favorite fall finds at Williamsburg boutique, Joinery.

Photo Credit: Catherine Blair Pfander]]>
<![CDATA[The New Minimalism]]> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 09:31:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/minimalism139049827thumbnail.jpg Fall's new minimalist looks are anything but plain.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Retail Report: Playful Periwinkle Pieces]]> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 09:28:56 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/periwinkle_thumbnailfall12.jpg Somewhere between lilac and baby blue, periwinkle hues are a simple way to add a touch of "cheer" to a winter wardrobe.

Photo Credit: Farfetch/Sephora/Net-a-Porter]]>
<![CDATA[Tech Tools for Your Pooch]]> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:52:49 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dog102112.jpg Nowadays, there are plenty of tech tools for your pooch, from dogvacay.com to GPS-tracking collars. NBC's Lynda Baquero reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Oct. 22, 2012.]]> <![CDATA[Levi's to Debut New "Eco" Collection]]> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 08:55:25 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/levislead1.jpg

It may be one of the oldest fashion brands in America, but Levi's is still changing with the times. This week, the denim brand unveils a collection of men's and women's dungarees fashioned from recycled plastic bottles and even plastic food trays.

Dubbed "Waste<Less," each piece in the new line contains 20 percent recycled content—or approximately eight 12 or 20 ounce plastic bottles per pair of jeans, WWD reports.

According to the company's global president, James Curleigh, the aim of Waste<Less is to add "value to waste," he told WWD. "This collection proves that you don’t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning.”

The unique fiber—wich required more than 3.5 million recycled bottles sourced from municipal recycling programs to manufacture—is fashioned into a polyster material before being spun into a cotton yarn. Because the brown and green hues from the bottles can't be removed, each piece has a subtly green-tinged color.

Dropping this January, the new collection will offer familiar favorites like the 511 skinny jean as well as a new 504 straight fit and trucker jacket. Women sick of painted-on skinny jeans will relish a slouchier fit "boyfriend skinny."




Photo Credit: Levi's]]>
<![CDATA[Dreaming of a Rich Christmas]]> Fri, 23 Nov 2012 21:46:01 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nmwatch.jpg Neiman Marcus unveils its opulent Christmas catalog, with $1-million watches, sports cars and jet packs.]]> <![CDATA[1st Look Loves: Aerie and Bright Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative]]> Mon, 08 Oct 2012 08:47:30 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/aerie-bra1.jpg

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for a third year in a row American Eagle Outfitters’ Aerie has partnered with non-profit organization Bright Pink to promote further awareness about breast cancer, pro-active preventative measures, and raise funds for a great cause, critically important for every woman out there, especially younger women.

Running through October 21st, the Aerie Bright Pink partnership includes various components and will be promoted via Facebook, twitter, customer emails and in-store marketing. Buying bras has never felt this good or been more honorable!

For more information, please visit Aerie.com and Facebook.com/brightpink.

<![CDATA[Curves Ahead for Fall 2012]]> Fri, 05 Oct 2012 02:27:39 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/curve140615568thumb.jpg This season, designers emphasized dramatic hour glass silhouettes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Most Fashionable Covers for iPhone 5]]> Fri, 28 Sep 2012 06:36:14 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/iphone_grovethumbnail.jpg What's even better than a new iPhone 5? A slamming new accessory.

Photo Credit: Grove]]>
<![CDATA[The TREND: Charlie Brown iPad App]]> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:31:02 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/8150249_CharlieBrownApp_722x406_2174339397__125612.jpg Check out a new iPad app that brings to life "A Charlie Brown Christmas."]]> <![CDATA[Our Favorite High-Fashion Sneakers]]> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 02:30:40 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sneaks_thumbnail13.jpg High-fashion sneakers are strutting out of the gym and onto city sidewalks.

Photo Credit: Opening Ceremony/Net-a-Porter/MyTheresa]]>
<![CDATA[5 Ways to Go Baroque This Fall]]> Tue, 18 Sep 2012 07:45:08 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/baroquehowthumb.jpg Fall's baroque trend may feel inaccessibly luxe, but the look is a perfect way to add a dash of regal appeal to your everyday wardrobe.

Photo Credit: Polyvore]]>
<![CDATA[Get Back-to-School Cool Under $100]]> Mon, 17 Sep 2012 11:33:42 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/196*120/backtoschool_ofakind1.jpg Back-to-school season may induce midterm-related anxiety, but it also means statement-making notebooks, funky new pencils and cute accessories.

Photo Credit: Of a Kind]]>
<![CDATA[Mixed-Up Spring Florals and Smart Suits]]> Fri, 14 Sep 2012 09:59:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jcrewspring13thumbnail.jpg Tom Mora found inspiration in nature photography from old issues of Time-Life.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Holmes & Yang Debuts First NYFW Show to Limited Media]]> Wed, 12 Sep 2012 10:00:58 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jennie-yang-katie-holmes.jpg Katie Holmes' first-ever Holmes & Yang New York Fashion Week presentation went over without a hitch—and with limited media access to keep the focus on the new collection instead of Holmes' star power.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Love for Meatball]]> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:03:27 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/shirtref_large1.jpg

Fame-seeking newcomers arrive in Southern California every day, by the planeload. But few have achieved the instant notoriety of Meatball, the black bear that has repeatedly ambled in our human environs 'round about Glendale and was again captured in August.

He's got a few nicknames and handles, like any truly famous celebrity (Meatball, GlenBearian, and the Glendale Bear are all in play), and he's on Twitter, naturally. There are also people out there who love the ursine tourist and hope he lands in a long-term situation where the living'll be good and the food he was seeking on the streets of Glendale'll flow freely.

With that in mind, a good-hearted site has sprung up, purveying in Glendale Bear T-shirts and buttons. Two things to note: They pay tribute in a lighthearted way to our state flag, so that's pretty fun, and proceeds will help the Glendale Bear's journey toward sanctuary.

The XLs went fast -- these things are popular -- but a note on the site says more shirts are due in a matter of days.

If you've been following Meatball's exploits, you know there was a recent tangle in moving him from his current location in San Diego to a Colorado animal sanctuary (Colorado has regulations about housing wild bears). Best keep an eye on NBC LA or the bear's own Twitter feed to find out the latest.

While you await more news, why not buy a tee, show some Golden State/Glendale love, and help a bear out? Meatball, we're behind you. Not literally, of course, you being a brown bear and us keeping a respectful distance, but in spirit, surely.

After all, your reigning hashtag is #bearhug. Big awww.

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Photo Credit: The Glendale Bear]]>
<![CDATA[Michelle Obama Wears Tracy Reese at DNC]]> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 10:18:11 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mobamatracyreese1.jpg

Michelle Obama's stirring speech at the Democratic National Convention brought crowds of Obama supporters to their feet, but the pitch-perfect ensemble she wore to the podium deserves its own sartorial salute.

The custom creation by Tracy Reese was fashioned from a rosy pink raw silk that faded into a silvery floral-print panel at the bottom. With a high neckline and simple, sleeveless silhouette, the first lady required few accessories other than J.Crew's suede Everly pumps in pink rhubarb, subtle twinkly earrings and, of course, those killer biceps.

Reese tweeted she was "so honored" shortly after Mrs. Obama appeared on stage. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One to Watch: Osei Duro]]> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 09:35:06 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/OTWoseiduro.jpg

After flying to Ghana, Maryanne Mathias was surprised to find herself staying to design and execute a collection of clothing. Eager to do more and looking for help, she got in touch with an old friend, Molly Keogh. "I asked Molly to join me as a partner when we were at our 10-year high school reunion," Mathias says.

The girls had shared a passion for fashion since attending high school together in Vancouver, but their collection of ready-to-wear—dubbed Osei Duro, which translates to "honorable magic" in Akan—was a new adventure for both.

"When I went there originally, I was inspired by the bold African prints and their traditional handicrafts," says Mathias.

"We were excited about the traditional methods in the region, and knew that it was a relatively safe place to work," adds Keogh. "The traditional textiles are being undercut and edged out by Chinese imitations, [so we] hope that our work can increase an international demand for the real thing and help support the local industry."

Given their fashion-forward designs—all of which are produced in Ghana in conjunction with local crafters and artisans—we don't see why not, with on-trend pieces like bold clementine orange palazzo pants, open-knit crop tops and hand-dyed skirts that would sing on a rack.

Each finished piece represents hours of creative collaboration between the ladies and their crafters.

"There is a lot of back and forth as we develop the prints," says Keogh. "We might request an experimental technique that is new to the dyers, or they might suggest a traditional method they think suits a need. We send samples and sketches back and forth with the dyers and the sewers and the cobblers until everyone is satisfied with the results."

Thankfully, the top-notch product shows their dedicated efforts, and soon, Osei Duro will expand into homewares and accessories.

Check out the complete collection at www.oseiduro.com

Related Stories:

One to Watch: Sord

One to Watch: Lauren Wolf

One to Watch: Ana Kata



Photo Credit: Osei Duro]]>
<![CDATA[25 Top Apps and Sites for NY Fashion Week]]> Mon, 03 Sep 2012 18:32:01 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/fashionapps_thumb.jpg Idling in line for a fashion provides ample time for sifting through the latest apps on your phone, while also letting you eavesdrop on the latest tech-savvy chatter. Here, 25 apps everyone will be talking about.

Photo Credit: Stylmee/Poshmark]]>
<![CDATA[Rugged Bootlegger Looks for "Lawless"]]> Fri, 31 Aug 2012 07:52:39 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/prohibition_thumbnail.jpg "Lawless" is chock-full of rugged '20s-era fashion, complete with wide-collar lapels, fedoras and suspenders.

Photo Credit: Annapurna Pictures]]>
<![CDATA[Tough Military Looks for Fall]]> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 14:02:10 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/military139614386thumbnail.jpg In spite of fall's romantic mood, some designers explored more masculine territory with rigid military-inspired ensembles.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Majorly Luxe Finds on Etsy]]> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 14:02:14 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/artemerthumb.jpg No longer the domain of moms with knitting needles, Etsy sellers are upping the ante with seriously luxe products.

Photo Credit: Artemer]]>
<![CDATA[Customizable Baubles and Charms]]> Tue, 28 Aug 2012 13:32:19 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/personalthumb2.jpg Why buy the same baubles as everyone else when you can personalize your accessories?

Photo Credit: MyNameNecklace.com]]>
<![CDATA[Jennifer Hudson to Launch Clothing Line]]> Thu, 23 Aug 2012 09:09:08 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Jennifer_Hudson_blurb-2.jpg

Jennifer Hudson is launching a clothing line.

The Oscar winner plans to debut her collection, to be sold on QVC, Sept. 6 during Fashion's Night Out, one of the kick-off events for New York Fashion Week.

Hudson will join Nicole Richie and Isaac Mizrahi on the cable home-shopping network from 9 p.m. to midnight ET to debut the line.

Her collection includes printed dresses, flowing skirts, leggings and a hoodie dress. Hudson has told multiple publications her line aims to represent women of all sizes.

"I’ve been on both sides of the fence," Hudson told Women's Wear Daily. "I’ve been a big girl and now whatever this is, the average size, whatever you want to call it. But I wanted the clothes to be where any girl could wear it — no matter what size you are — and you could feel comfortable in it.”

Photo Credit: Cindy Barrymore]]>
<![CDATA[5 Ways to Dress Down Lacey Looks]]> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 09:04:18 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dressinghow_lacethumb.jpg Lace may be the preferred fabric of Victorian damsels and romance novel heroines, but the fabric doesn't have to feel frou-fou.

Photo Credit: Polyvore]]>
<![CDATA[Race-Ready Looks Inspired by "Hit & Run"]]> Fri, 24 Aug 2012 03:01:40 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hitandrunthumbnail1.jpg High-speed chases in "Hit & Run" have us looking closely at the track pants and racing-ready looks on the catwalk.

Photo Credit: Open Road Films]]>
<![CDATA[KISS Unleashes a "Monster" (Book) ]]> Tue, 21 Aug 2012 12:18:47 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/173*120/Kiss+2+300_5048.jpg

Best break the news to your coffee table that a new book is coming its way. A book that is, let's be honest, probably larger than the table itself.

If you're a KISS fan you probably have caught rockin' wind of "KISS Monster," a tome that is "tall as a guitar" and sports ten different covers. The band's mega new book, which just debuted on Tuesday, Aug. 21, has the "launch price" of $4,250.

We'll just type that again: $4,250. It does come with free delivery, we'll add, and there will only be 1,000 copies sold.

Now, the nitty-gritty of one very huge book: "Every signature page is signed by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer." There are special messages "to the fans," in the book, mondo photos, beautiful book-making craftsmanship, and loads of the out-sized, stagecraft-cool stuff that KISS fans have come to want and expect over the decades.

The band itself'll swing by the Viper Room on the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 21 to celebrate, says kissonfire.net.

Here's food for thought, KISS Army members: The book'll be delivered by Dec. 31 of this year, should you purchase it, meaning you could well have it as a holiday gift for the #1 rocker in your heart. But our question is this: Where will you hide your surprise gift? We don't think it'll fit on the top of the closet or in the linen cupboard. Best start planning that one before you place your order.

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Photo Credit: Steve Covault]]>