Fake Out: The Crackdown on Chinatown’s Counterfeit Empire

Even though Georgia native Audrey Estilette had heard about the counterfeit designer handbags sold in New York’s Chinatown, on her recent trip to the city, the fourteen year-old was more interested in exploring the authentic side of the neighborhood—or so she thought. Standing on Canal Street, surrounded by a swarm of vendors vying for her attention with whispers of Louis Vuitton and Chanel, it quickly became obvious to Estilette that sightseeing might have to take a back seat to bargain shopping.

A Look Inside StyleLikeU, Fashion’s Most Voyeuristic Web Site

For Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum, the mother-daughter team behind the addictive style blog StyleLikeU, a peek into your closet can reveal more than just your sartorial leanings. Since its launch in 2008, SLU has been documenting the relationship between people and their clothes through video interviews with an eclectic group of women and men, spanning all ages, races, and tastes.

MODA OPERANDI: Fashion’s Newest, Most Exclusive Website for Runway-to-Closet Buys in Record Time

For the last few years, high-street chains like H&M and Zara have provided women with tight budgets and big fashion aspirations the chance to indulge in runway trends without breaking the bank. Where those stores pair with haute designers to produce limited-edition collections (take Alber Elbaz’s recent collaboration with H&M), flash-sale sites like Gilt Groupe deliver actual runway duds at hugely slashed prices to women not lucky enough to receive those ‘Friends and Family’ invitations to sample sales in their Inbox.

Meet TG-170 Owner & Boutique Pioneer Terri Gillis

“It was kinda like when you find that perfect spot on the beach you want to put your blanket on,” recalls TG-170 boutique owner Terri Gillis about the moment in 1992 when shet discovered her former Lower East Side storefront at 170 Ludlow. While there is no shortage of high-end boutiques peddling designer wears in the LES today, Gillis was the first to introduce fashion retail into the area, at a time when the LES was known more for its drug and crime scene than as a shopping destination.

What Place Does Blackface Have in Popular Culture?

Fashion stuntwoman Lady Gaga is no stranger to controversial red carpet attire designed for the gossip mill, but even the provocateur pop queen’s meat gown at the recent MTV Awards couldn’t compete with the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am’s wardrobe decision. For a futuristic performance at the pre-show, Will.i.am opted to take Jay-Z’s ‘All black everything’ mantra literally, donning head-to-toe leather and painting his face black, thereby performing a kind of inverse, 21st-Century minstrelsy, and raising the question: Is it possible to sever blackface from its hate-filled history?

The Fight of Fashion Bloggers

Not too long ago, fashion editors regarded fashion blogs, with their real people and street style, as the hobby of a handful of overzealous, amateur fans. Today the fashion blogosphere’s littered with individuals sharing their passion for style, from their own daily outfits to photographing other well-dressed pedestrians. And the perks that come to the web’s fortunate shinning talents are impressive: front-row seats at fashion shows, free samples, modeling contracts, design, styling, and photography contracts with established retailers, book deals, and editorial work.

Rene Russo in Brian Atwood’s Foot Fetish Fantasy

Shoe maestro Brian Atwood’s come-hither skyscraper heels in elaborate skins and blinding jewels are always the stars of the show. Nevertheless, at last night’s fete at the OpenHouse Gallery for the designer’s exclusive new book — Role Play Rene, featuring his candy-hued Spring 09 collection — his killer heels played their first supporting role. A seductive, barely clothed Rene Russo modeling the footwear line was the main attraction.