Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Feeling Quirky

Ok, so I know this blog is really supposed to be exclusively about Indianapolis shopping, but I am going to break from that philosophy to post about my favorite gallery ever - Quirk, in Richmond, VA. If you've never been to Richmond, definitely plan a trip there soon. It's a great city - kind of a mini-DC but artsier and cooler. Fabulous old historic homes, good restaurants (I love Comfort downtown on Broad Street), and a really great art scene.

The best of the Richmond art scene is Quirk gallery, also on Broad Street. Exhibits in the main gallery and back in the "Vault" area change regularly, but the front section of the gallery is devoted to a shop that stocks amazing jewelry, smaller works of art by mostly local artists, clever and hilarious cards, and just lots of fun little odds and ends. And if you are into the art jewelry movement, Quirk represents several very well known jewelry artists - several cases in the shop showcase works by these artists.

Be sure to pick up the August issue of Domino magazine, which features an article titled "Neo Southern Belle," about Katie Ukrop (proprietor of Quirk) and her fabulous home, and includes a nice shout-out to Quirk and photos of some of the unique things you will find there.

I was just in the gallery this past weekend, and started my Christmas shopping early! For more info, check out Quirk's website - www.quirkgallery.com. They're not doing e-commerce on the site yet, but if you see a photo of something you like, give them a call and chances are you can buy it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ebay Unfashionable!

As a fashionista on a budget who wants to keep her closet fresh and fund new purchases, in the past few months I've successfully sold quite a few designer items on Ebay - even have sold a few for some friends. And I've never had a problem - all positive feedback from my customers, items shipped out quickly - no complaints from anyone.

So imagine my surprise when, a couple of weeks ago, I got a pop up message saying that I had "reached my limit" for selling certain designer goods - the ones that are often knocked off (LV, Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, etc.). The email was incredibly vague - no hint as to what the limit was, what exactly was included, etc. It just said "don't try to relist this item for 30 days." 30 days?? You've got to be kidding.

Well, after much investigation and many, many emails to the Ebay Trust & Security Department (I even got my hands on the PowerSeller Customer Service number and spoke to a real live person), I now know the scoop - apparently Ebay has placed a limit on the number of items by these desirable designers that you can list in a 30 day period. This is after first being told that the limit is a limit on the number of items you can post at once (that came from the PowerSeller Customer Service person) and that the limit was probably "about 10 at a time" (that came from the Ebay "LiveHelp" operator I communicated with on my second or third try at an answer).

Now here's the even crazier part - no one will tell me what the limit is. Apparently they keep that confidential to allow themselves some "flexibility." Hmmmmm. Sounds a little fishy to me.

Look, I understand that Ebay is embroiled in a lawsuit with LVMH over selling fakes. I also understand that they are virtually the only game in town when it comes to auctioning off your items. What I can't understand is 1) How imposing this selling limit is really helping to eliminate fakes (you can sell all the fakes you want as long as you stay under the limit); and 2) Why almost no one who works at Ebay in a "customer service" (such as it is) role knows and can explain what's going on.

This is why monopolies are really bad for consumers, and why I'm now recommending www.imagechic.com for all of your bag purchases and sales. Everything on the site is authenticated, the fees (for sellers) are much lower than the fees on Ebay (so prices can be lower, too), and the whole limit thing isn't a concern.

That's where I'll be posting my things from now on, and I recommend you do the same. Happy hunting!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cheap Thrills

A Saturday excursion to Castleton Square Mall caused me to take a second look at Bakers - yes Bakers, formerly known (at least in my mind) for not-even-real-leather-only-suitable-for-exotic-dancers shoes.

Well, I don't know what's happened over there or when it happened, but Bakers now has apparently become a hot spot for cheap-ish (but at least made of leather) knock-offs of fabulous designer shoes.

Case in point: I purchased both the Bakers version of the Dior shoe worn constantly by Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie, as well as a note-for-note knock-off of the seen-on-every-celeb YSL Tribute sandal. Purchased both pairs for about $150, less than a tenth of what you would pay for the originals.

I know, I know - I love a true designer shoe as much (or more) than the next gal. But in these tough economic times, it's nice to know that you can always just go to Bakers for a cheap fashion fix.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So Sorry I've Been MIA!

So, so sorry that it's been soooo long since my last post. I've been quite busy in my "real" work life, and lately all of my off-the-clock computer time has been going toward selling cast-offs from my closet on Ebay. If you've never tried that, you must - I've found that shoes and handbags are hot sellers! So far, I've sold about 30 things from my closet, and made nearly $5,000. Hooray! Out with the old, in with the new. I am continuing to post items regularly, which will hopefully fuel my IndyStyle habit for the forseeable future. It's much more fun to go shopping if you know you actually have a little cash to spend.

The one good thing about going away for a bit is that I have several exciting upcoming events to tell you about, which have been building up while I was away. Mark your calendars:

- Saturday, June 7 - During the day, check out the Design Within Reach warehouse sale in Kentucky, right by the Cincinnati Airport. I'll be there! Stuff will be 80% off, from my very favorite source of modern design. The address for the sale is 2360 Progress Dr. in Hebron, KY. It's continuing on Sunday too, and they claim to restock the sale daily, but I'm going to be there promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday for the best selection.

Saturday night you'll find me at the Art Couture event, the big new benefit for the Herron School of Art. Since it's the first time they've done this event, I have no idea what to expect but it sounds TERRIFIC - a wearable art fashion show, art auction (the web site says it's a "100 for $100" auction, which makes me think maybe there's a $100 limit?), entertainment and a progressive dinner. General admission tickets are $125; VIP tickets are $175 and get you valet parking, a reserved seat at the fashion show and admission to a VIP reception before the main event. It's going to be in Eskenazi Hall on the IUPUI campus.

- Saturday, June 28 - I'm actually delaying my vacation for a day for this one. The Indianapolis Art Center is hosting the gala opening reception for their summer "Two Worlds, One Language Through Art" program. I say "program," because it's really a series of classes/workshops and an exhibition, all devoted to Chinese art. I'm sure the gala will be fabulous, with food, entertainment - perhaps even a Chinese dragon dance through ArtsPark - and a great crowd. Plus it's a chance to pull out your finest "Chinese Chic" (check out www.shanghaitang.com if your closet is bare on that front). Tickets are $100 per person; the gala will be held at the Art Center. For more info, please check out www.indplsartcenter.org, and be sure to click on the "Two Worlds, One Language" travel journal - it's really cool, with pages that turn like a book, a travel journal, more info on all of the events and classes, and everything you need to know about this great program.

Summer's definitely heating up in Indy. More events to come, for sure - capped off by my favorite event of the summer, ArtSparkle. Mark your calendars for that - it will be held on August 23.

Let the parties begin!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fashionistas Vote!

Hi, all. Sorry for the lag since my last posting - things in my "real" life have been a little bit crazy busy.

Anyway, saw Barack Obama at a rally here last night, and came away feeling completely inspired. This is in no way a political blog, but I must say the most fashionable thing that Hoosiers can do today is vote. I don't care who you vote for, just make your voice heard.

'Nuff said on that front. As promised, I'm posting the photo taken of Be (0f Be & D) and me at the French Pharmacie party a few weeks ago. Fabulous time, fabulous bags, fabulous shoes.

Also, since you know I'm on a "shop local" kick, I will clue you in to a new favorite find - www.farmfreshdelivery.com. This site is all about connecting Indiana farmers, meat producers, dairies and other local food companies (for example, there's a company that makes fresh pastas and sauces) with people in the area who would like to eat fresh, local food. Each week, they put together a bin of whatever produce is in season, along with any meats, dairy items, specialty items, etc. that you would like, and deliver it right to your door. My office has a group doing this, and they drop off all of our bins on Thursday afternoons - just in time for the weekend. Delightful! Summer's just about here, so we can look forward to amazing tomatoes, corn, strawberries and other goodies. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fab Time at French Pharmacie Last Night

French Pharmacie hosted yet another terrific party last night, this time to welcome designer Be Inthavong of Be&D handbags and now...shoes, too! Yes, Be&D - known for exquisite bags with an edge (but not so trendy that you'll be sick of them in a year) - has branched out into shoes. And they are lovely.

My favorite is the Chamberlain - a very cool lace up spectator that comes in both blush and a lovely light beige with black. I'm a sucker for a spectator, but this one is most certainly not your mother's spectator. Cool, yet just classic enough to work at work. I love them!

And it was wonderful to meet Be - he's very charming, and a true craftsman. My favorite bag on display was a new take on their classic hobo, which I believe has been in the line since the beginning. But the body of this one was woven leather - very tiny strips, thinner than a Bottega bag. I've always held the Bottega woven bags up as the pinnacle of beautiful workmanship, but I have to tell you that this Be&D bag beats all.

Another highlight of the party was my first glimpse at the new spa that Stacy has opened above the store. They very generously were offering free laser peels and polish changes, so of course I partook. I can't wait to see what my new face looks like once I emerge from my old skin like a snake! Sounds horrible, I know, but that's the price of beauty.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Early Warning - Gap/Phillip Lim White Shirts Coming Soon!

So, I'm really liking the "Gap Design Editions" idea. Yes, it's a complete imitation of Target's Go Designers program, but whatever. The results are good, in my opinion.

And they're doing it right. They've taken it so far as to have opened a special Design Editions boutique next to the big Gap on Fifth Avenue in New York. When I walked by on Friday, it was full of the Gap/Pierre Hardy shoe collection.

Mark your calendars for next Tuesday, April 15. Yes, it's also tax day, but that's immaterial. What's most important about that date is that the newest collection of designers' interpretations of the white shirt will be arriving at the Gap. You might recall last year's, which I thought was stellar - Thakoon, Rodarte and others interpreted the white shirt in some fabulous ways. My favorite was probably the 50s-ish white shirt dress - it cost under $100, and every time I wore it I got major compliments. You can bet it's coming right out as soon as the weather warms enough for a sleeveless white shirt dress.

This year's collection promises to be equally exciting - if not even more so. One of my most favorite designers, Phillip Lim, has designed some of the styles. And, this year's collection goes beyond white shirts to include white jewelry designed by Philip Crangi. I've not seen too many of the styles, but the big white bangles with the gold studs look cool.

You can bet I'll be at Keystone at the Crossing next Tuesday to check out the line!