Singular and the City

Singular and the City

Start spreading the news, singulars swing into a New York-style shopping spree.

Singular and the City

The HBO television series Sex and the City portrayed it perfectly. Watch any given episode, still popular in reruns, and see before you the fashions and frolics of the single woman in New York City, each character giving life and personality to the experience in a distinctly different way.

Notice as well that no matter what the theme of the episode, the characters are fashionably dressed while they shop at trendy boutiques, dine at chic restaurants and enjoy nightlife galas that pop off the screen in one big subliminal mantra: “All you single ladies, come to the fabulous Big Apple and take your own delicious bite.”

Best of all, no matter how many times you visit this fast-paced metropolis, there’s always something new that is waiting to be explored. So pack a quick suitcase, grab an additional carry-on for all of your shopping spoils, take one friend or a bunch, and head to New York for some serious retail therapy.

Shopping in NYC, Carrie Bradshaw Style

Carrie Bradshaw

Carrie, a New York newspaper columnist, freelance writer for Vogue and fashionista extraordinaire is best known for her addiction to expensive designer shoes notably Manolo Blahnik’s, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo. Eclectic by nature, she often mixes thrift shop vintage finds with high-end labels. Her style is edgy and spontaneous.

If Carrie reflects your style, the Upper East Side of the city is a great place to start. On Madison Avenue, notorious for both its trendy and classic boutiques, you will find Barney’s, a world-class department store stocked with everything from Manolo Blahnik’s to Christian Louboutin shoes.

Still haven’t found the right pair? No worries. Jimmy Choo’s flagship store is right up the block. Anne Fontaine is yet another fabulous boutique whose claim to fame is the simple white shirt, tirelesslyreinvented by this designer season after season. Betsey Bunky Nini carries Paul Smith, Piazza Sempione, and Alberta Ferretti lines just to mention a few.

Henri Bendel, though technically a department store, feels more like a cluster of elegant boutiques, devoted to the likes of popular designer staples such as Diane von Furstenberg and J. Brand Denim. The first level’s slew of makeup counters carry such lines as Nars, Trish McEvoy and Mally, to round out your spree nicely.

If on a budget, Roundabout (also has a store in Soho) offers resale couture pieces (also new), carrying brands such as Hermes, Missoni, Prada and more. The Intimacy Bra Boutique looks to single handedly resolve the common issue of women wearing the wrong size bra by taking time and care to help you choose the perfect fit, sort of like Cinderella and the glass slipper.

Be sure to visit Julie: Artisans’ Gallery on Madison Avenue, the first gallery devoted to handmade clothing as an art form. Representing textile artists working in silk painting, shibori-resist dying, textural knitting, crochet and weaving, you can always find a unique piece. Each artist represented by the gallery uses their own innovations to create pieces that express their artistic vision.

Charlotte York Style

Charlotte York

While Charlotte’s style is uptown high-end, she is certainly able to get her chic on all through the town. For her conservative personality, it is only proper that she have a wardrobe filled with designers such as Oscar De la Renta, Prada, and Christian Dior. Her style is clean and proper.

Pas de Deux is a good example of a Charlotte-type shopping spot. Modeled after a Parisian boutique with checkerboard-tiled floors, gray-blue walls, antique-inspired furniture and chandeliers; dresses, skirts, and tops in feathery fabrics line both sides of the narrow space. You’ll find silk skirts from CLU to Rag & Bone denim and Phillip Lim’s knit dresses and angora sweaters. Jeffrey New York is another one-stop, easy shopping experience. Likening his store to the perfect closet for any man or woman, each season Jeffrey and buyer David Rubenstein edit their collection to feature the best of the best.

Oscar de la Renta is a must for those looking for best bet selections while Lucy Barnes clothes are feminine and flirty. Zelie offers couture pieces in her new meatpacking-district store. There are hippie chic skirts, fun embroidered tees, stretch-denim strapless dresses, and an Audrey Hepburn-esque tulle dance skirt — very Charlotte indeed.

Samantha Jones Style

 Samantha Jones

Samantha’s style is just like her personality: young at heart. Everything she wears is tight, fitted, and often a bit revealing. At times she favors flamboyant. While she may be the oldest of the four, her age does not show and her clothes usually prove it. She would shop in Vivienne Westwood, YSL, and Graeme Black.

Agent Provocateur is the spot if you’re looking for a bit of edge. From the stylishly sexy mannequins in the window to the sassy silver and pink interior, this is a shopping experience fashion-forward bad girls can’t afford to miss. Here, Leila Peep Bra’s share space with slinky gold-brocade pieces, scores of corsets and sweet pastel-hued silk panties.

Jewelry designer Alexis Bittar’s store sparkles in Soho. Her bold and colorful jewelry accents a range of looks from punk-rock to pretty-girl. Look for hand carved, hand painted Lucite and delicate, beaded pieces with pearls and semiprecious stones set in sterling silver or 24-karat-gold vermeil. Bonus perk: Allan and Suzi’s mix of new and vintage designer clothing and jewelry, supplied the wardrobe for the Sex in the City TV series.

Miranda Hobbes Style

Miranda Hobbes

Miranda’s style has evolved over time. Years prior, she often wore over-sized denim overalls and a baseball cap. Later she wore more flattering and conservative dresses. Retro inspired, many of her pieces have a 60’s appeal, but with a modern twist. She would shop in Roberto Cavalli, Bottega Veneta, and Ralph Lauren.

With its smoked mirrors, wrought-iron displays, and undulating staircase, the Bottega Veneta store is a fitting tribute to the sensuality of leather. This two-floor boutique, appointed with Euro beats and capped by a greenhouse ceiling offers signature woven leather handbags and women’s understated ready-to-wear collections, featuring silk cocktail jackets and swingy shift dresses. Bottega carries an ample supply of women’s strappy sling backs and demure cut-out pumps.

Another option is Roberto Cavalli’s flagship store offering over-the-top luxury. The store’s bright white walls are lined with richly dyed silk scarves, bright pink leather miniskirts, and the brand’s signature animal print dresses and pants. Gold ceiling fixtures and gleaming mosaic floors offset crystal-encrusted jeans and body hugging ball gowns; the fitting rooms and couches have animal-print pillows to further enhance the extravagance of sequined bodices and shredded silk cocktail dresses.

Where to Stay

The song says this city never sleeps, but after your long day of shopping, you’ll want to enjoy the best accommodations the NYC has to offer. Here are a few we like:

Fashion 26 – A Wyndham Hotel

Fashion 26 - A Wyndham Hotel

The refined style and elegant simplicity of the hotel’s 280 guestrooms create a relaxed and comfortable sense of place. Classic design icons inspired the color palettes and accent furnishings for each room, which boast custom designed hardwood furniture and premium Frette linens and terry robes. Upscale amenities, including daily turndown service, a weekly listing of NYC sample sales, fine chocolates and free Wi-Fi internet complete the perfect package. And what guest wouldn’t enjoy a sweet start to their stay? The hotel delivers special edition, fashion-inspired Crumbs Cupcakes, made exclusively for the property.

The Kimberly Hotel

The Kimberly Hotel

The Kimberly is a European-style boutique hotel offering gracious hospitality, timeless elegance and a renowned location in the heart of midtown’s fashionable East Side. A member of World Hotels Deluxe Collection, the Kimberly Hotel offers 187 spacious guestrooms highlighted by private balconies and wet bars. Hotel facilities include an on-site fitness center, and ‘The Upstairs,’ a new 3,000 square-foot rooftop bar offering spectacular 360-degree views of Manhattan.

The Dream

The Dream

Situated between New York’s theatre district and Central Park West, Dream New York brings an avant-garde level of surrealism to the hotel lodging experience. Housed in a landmark 1895 Beaux-Arts building, graceful blue lights illuminate the facade’s architectural features and introduce visitors to Dream’s eclectic fusion of modern and traditional aesthetics. With creative imaging and architectural elements, the vibe throughout Dream intertwines luxury with fantasy.

The Bowery

The Bowery Hotel

From a gracious welcome at the door to a roaring fire in the lobby, hand-picked antique furnishings, high-tech room accessories, absinthe at the bar to fresh-baked cookies at turndown, The Bowery Hotel brings the opulent warmth of a classic European hotel to New York’s most intriguing neighborhood. The Bowery updates Old World hospitality with smart amenities and original touches. The hotel’s logo, a dandy in a red waistcoat and top hat, reflects the neighborhood’s rakish past, but also its stylish present. Doormen wear the signature red jackets, black top hats, and black pants in tribute.

Bites to Take Out of The Big Apple:

Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro

Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro

Much akin to a classic Parisian bistro, this 160 seat Art-Deco space offers everything from a wine bar, which boasts a bar menu and up to 160 wines by the glass and a grand dining room. In the back corner of the room, their piece de resistance is a temperature and humidity controlled cheese cave, where a number of handcrafted cheeses are aged to peak flavor. Request a table in the cave for a fairy tale experience. Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan adds playful twists to classic French bistro dishes. The Skate Fish is melt in your mouth luscious, the cheese fondue is a bottomless silky smooth bath for the fresh bread chunks. Knowledgeable staff coaxes you toward best bet choices, assuring a perfectly suitable meal with wine pairings extraordinaire.

Max Brenner’s Chocolate by the Bald Man

Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man

Willy Wonka step aside! Not only does this chocoholics paradise strive to be a dessert destination, but it is also loaded with lunch and supper menu items, all good enough to dine here, in the event that chocolate is not your bag. A cocoa-themed color palette of browns, caramel, orange, and cream warm you up for a fantasy chocolate experience, with selections such as “Max Iscream” (ice cream), Sweet Icons (fondues, soups, s’mores), and Desserts (cakes, meringues, truffles).

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien

This dining spot offers simple, traditional dishes including tartines, soups, salads, quiches, pastries and desserts. The menu includes many organic ingredients and a number of vegan and vegetarian options, the cornerstone of the menu being its handmade, organic bread. Belgian chef Alain Coumont offers the most buttery of croissants and the best baguettes in town. Perfect after a shopping jaunt around Columbus Circle and the Upper Westside.

Alice’s Tea Cup

Alice's Tea Cup

This is a whimsical tearoom where every cup served is brewed to perfection and offered with tantalizing accompaniments if you please. Tea is served in proper chintz style in an atmosphere that takes you into Alice’s original wonderland. Their scones are to die for.

Sarabeth’s

Sarabeth's

Located on the Upper Westside, this charming eatery offers menus throughout the day from breakfast goodies such as their Three Bears style hot porridge choices to dinner selections like a free-range chicken pot pie or a price fixe lobster dinner. Brunch and afternoon tea with finger sandwiches hit the spot when taking a mid afternoon break from shopping.

 

Copyright © Karen Holly Berliner 2010 Singular Communications, LLC.

Karen Holly BerlinerNative New Yorker Karen Holly Berliner is a freelance journalist with a love and flare for luxury food, wine and travel writing. Her work has been featured in Singular magazine, Westchester Magazine, Simply The Best, New Jersey Life, Ocean Style, DUO Magazine, Gladys, Island Life and The NY Journal News. She offers expertise in niche travel markets such as getaways, luxury resorts, cultural itineraries, spa finds and culinary and wine treasures.
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