Friday, March 30, 2007

Buy Curious: Dance, Swap, Shop Local (Online)... and Jump Him, Already!

Fri, Mar 30, 2007 at 12:04 AM

Sales aren't much fun at this time of year - sure, you were lusting over that cashmere hoodie last month, but do you really want it now, even at half-price? Still, Buy Curious has found plenty to keep you busy. Tonight, kick up your heels with Vivienne Westwood (in spirit). Tomorrow, score an entire spring wardrobe for $5! Homebound? We spill the URL to the best site for shopping up an incredible array of goodies by indie designers. And, of course, there's Buy Clueless, here to solve your fishnet body stocking quandaries, once and for all... STYLE FILE Boogie Down at the de Young (But Skip the Stomach Suck-In)

The de Young museum boasts that at tonight's relaunch of their Friday night festivities, "In honor of the corsetry of Vivienne Westwood [currently featured in an exhibit], Autumn Adamme of Dark Garden, San Francisco's premiere corset atelier, brings more than 50 corsets for visitors to try on." We're not sure we like the idea of squeezing into corsets (don't they, ah, have a little something to do with women's disempowerment? and aren't they painful?). Nor do we believe that Dark Garden has much competition for the title of "San Francisco's premier corset atelier." (Correct us if we're wrong.) Yet ringing in the weekend at the de Young by taking in the Vivienne Westwood show and dancing however one might deign to dance to a band called the Shotgun Wedding Hip-Hop Symphony sounds like a whole heck of a lot of fun. The kicker? $10 admission--$5 less than the usual price. When: Fri, Mar. 30, 5 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. Where: De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Show Your Skivvies for Charity... ...and leave with something new to cover 'em up. A massive clothing swap hits San Francisco Saturday. Toss that miniskirt you can't believe you ever wore and those pain-inducing heels into a bag - or, guys, those pleating pants we're always bitching about - and head to what just might be the biggest clothing swap the city has ever seen. For $5 bucks (assuming you bring clothes; $10, if not) you'll get to sip sangria while trying on other people's cast-offs, which volunteers will collect and organize (and which are hopefully way cooler than yours). Walk away with anything you like - and the fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing your cash will benefit various SF AIDS organization. Warning: There won't be dressing rooms, so this is not the time to pull a Brittany/Paris/Lindsay. When: Sat., Mar. 31, Noon - 3 p.m. Where: The Phritzery, 170-172 Clara St., San Francisco

SHOP TALK Be Less Hollow Ever feel like shopping online is a hollow task? And that, when you glance at the clock after doing it, you can't imagine how you wasted so much time with practically nothing (not today, anyhow) to show for it? And your back kind of aches from slouching? And your eyes are kind of bleary? And your boyfriend has once again accused you of being an addict, which is really starting to piss you off? Well, cheer up! There's a way to make the experience a little less hollow. (Sorry, we can't help you with all of your other issues. Maybe buy a comfy chair, get glasses and dump the jerk?) Head to, where you'll find gorgeous homemade clothing, accessories and goodies for your place crafted by a well-curated collection of genius indie designers. (By "homemade" we don't mean gum wrapper wallets stitched together with dental floss - this stuff is truly top of the line.) Most of the designers - like Berkeley's Josh Jakus - have little bios on the pages displaying their wares, too, so by the time you click "buy now" you'll feel almost like you've made a new friend. For animated proof of just how skillful our boy Jakus is, click on his home page.

Wear Your Cat Geekiness On Your Sleeve (or Close to It, Anyway) We admit it: If one of us hadn't recently adopted two kittens, morphing instantly into the kind of cat person she'd always sworn not to become ("I can't meet for drinks tonight because [insert non-cat related excuse for wanting to stay home with cats]"), we wouldn't give this bag a second glance. But really--how damn cute is it? At only $36 bucks, including shipping, it's what, the cost of three yoga classes? One night of heavy drinking? Plus, we've been fans of Gama-Go since the once scrappy San Francisco brand launched in 2001. (Back then, we scored one of their sweet and silly messenger bags at a sample sale for one-third the price it costs now - pays to buy early, folks!) Their bags, wallets, t-shirts, hoodies and boxer-briefs can now be found at more than 200 stores, including plenty in the Bay Area. Where, you ask? Take a peak here.

FASHIONALYSIS Several East Bay designers made it onto SF Chronicle writer Sylvia Rubin's list of the top five Bay Area up-and-comers, published Thursday: Oakland's Stephanie Verrières and Kimie Sako, whose line, Verrieres & Sako, made its Academy Awards debut this year on the body of Jack Black's wife; Erin Mahoney, whose flirty Berkeley-based namesake line is geared toward flirty, fiery women; and Berkeley's Mandalyn Begay, one-third of Oda, a SF-based label that might be described as fairytale meets modern day Tokyo.

BUY CLUELESS Fear of Fishnet Holding You Back? Dear Buy Curious: I bought a crotchless fishnet body stocking the day before Valentine's Day, as you'd advised, hoping my husband would find it the sexiest thing on the planet. Thing is, it's still in my sweater drawer, stuffed beneath the sparkly gold sweater I wear maybe once a year. It's not that I'm too shy to have him see me in it - I'm totally comfortable with my body. But I bought it on a whim - I never wear this kind of stuff. I'm afraid he'll laugh, and kill the mood completely. Which would be fine if we had sex every day, or even every week, but I mean, we've been married quite a while now, and opportunities simply don't come up that often. (By the time we're done reading an article or two in The New Yorker in bed at night, we're primed to sleep, not fuck.) When the miracle of mutual arousal does occur, I feel like I have to seize the moment. Were I to run and pull on my crotchless fishnet body stocking, I worry that he'd find it hilarious - my usual sex gear consists of drawstring yoga pants and a tank top - and then I'd laugh, too, but I'd very quickly become annoyed by his reaction, and wham - no sex for another long stretch. Advice? Yours, Body Stocking Virgin

Dear B.S.V., Drink a glass of exceptionally fine wine while he brushes his teeth. Wait until he's just crawled into bed. Put the damn thing on. Rip the New Yorker out of his hands. If he laughs, kiss him. He'll stop laughing. If you feel the urge, take the damn thing off. Commence lovemaking. If this doesn't work, or you simply can't get up the nerve, slip the crotchless fishnet body stocking into his workbag one morning. We guarantee you'll have a good night - whether or not you ever put it on. Best of Luck! Buy Curious

Every Friday, Buy Curious dishes on the best sales, hottest new trends, and juiciest fashion news in the East Bay - and we want to hear from you! Tips? Plugs for favorite local shops? Questions for Buy Clueless, our tried-and-true advice column? Write us at:


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