Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fab Find: Corey Lynn Calter dress

Back in July, I reported that Corey Lynn Calter was the latest designer tapped to create an exclusive dress for Target, and that it would debut on Target.com in August. Well today I was lucky enough to find it on the rack at my local Target store. It must have been an online return, as I only found the one. But lucky for me, it was my size, and even better, was marked 50% off! This picture doesn’t do it justice; it’s made of a flowy silk georgette, and the colors are a mix of fall hues like deep purple, rich mustard, and vibrant orange on a black background. Normally I shy away from tiny floral prints like this one, but I like the colors & cut of the dress so much that I’m making an exception. Plus, this dress is perfect for the Indian Summer weather we’re having here in Northern California.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New at Target: Facebook Credits

Target is now selling "Facebook Credits". Basically, they are gift cards in denominations of $15, $25, or $50 to use to buy Facebook apps., games, and send virtual "presents" to your FB friends. Target dubs the cards as "the quick and easy way to get optional items like virtual pets and extra weapons in your favorite games on Facebook. Redeem this gift card for Facebook Credits to use in many games on Facebook or give the gift of powered-up game play to a friend!" I say file this one under "truly stupid ideas".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday's Rave: Sonia Kashuk's Lashify Mascara

Regular readers of this blog already know that I'm a big fan of Sonia Kashuk's products. And now, I have another one to rave about: Sonia's Lashify Waterproof Mascara. I'm always on the lookout for a great mascara - one that will last the day, won't flake off, and (most importantly, since I wear contacts) doesn't irriate my eyes. I bought this on a whim, and now I'm hooked. This makes my lashes thicker and longer, without any messy clumps. And - unlike some waterproof mascaras - it comes off completely with soap & water or makeup cleanser. It even comes with this cool little comb on the other end to fan your lashes for extra definition. Perfection!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Rant: Victoria Hagan leaves Target

Most Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today's rant is about the disappearance of Victoria Hagan's "Perfect Pieces" line of home decor. I cannot find any information about the designer ending her collaboration with Target (which started back in 2006) but her designs have vanished from store shelves. And if you do a search on Target.com, you'll come up empty handed, except for an upcoming book by Hagan that won't be released until next month.

I simply adored this line, and own several pieces including a lamp, a mantle clock, and two picture frames. And I coveted - though never got around to purchasing - the side chair shown here. I wonder why the heck Target discontinued this line? It seemed like it was popular, and was constantly being written up in blogs like ApartmentTherapy and CasaSugar. Boo!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taylor Swift partners with Target on new CD

Taylor Swift is the latest act to offer bonus album content to an exclusive retailer. The country superstar is joining forces with Target for the release of her latest album, "Speak Now." The store will offer fans three additional songs, remixed tunes and video content when the album is released on Oct. 25.

Swift says she tries to give fans bonuses whenever she can, so she is happy to oblige with her third album. "Speak Now" is the follow-up to her Grammy-winning, multiplatinum CD "Fearless." The first single, "Mine," has hit the country chart's top 20. And she debuted the song "Innocent" -- about last year's MTV Video Music Awards debacle -- at this year's VMAs.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Interview with Emma Hill of Mulberry for Target

Target's StyleBoutique has posted an interview with Emma Hill, creative director of English luxury handbag house Mulberry and the upcoming Mulberry for Target collection (due to hit stores on Oct. 10th). As mentioned last week, I wasn't impressed with the preview pictures, but perhaps I may buy one of the Mulberry for Target bags for my teenage niece, who seems like the demographic for the line.

Q: How would you describe the personality of the Mulberry luxury brand?

A: Mulberry may be a luxury brand but we are not uptight or
self-conscious. We are laid back, nostalgic and eclectic, with a
healthy dose of quirkiness and English spirit! We are friendly
and fun, responsible and authentic, and we love tea and cake!

Q: What was the inspiration behind the Mulberry for Target collection?

A: At Mulberry we believe in fashion that feels good, and our inspiration for Target was to create affordable bags that represent our Mulberry style and character that channeled our funky, English cool! We were inspired by fabulous prints and texture. Pink leopard print is a funky update for everyday totes, and there are also bags in black patent or velvet: luxurious feeling and amazingly affordable. We kept the general spirit of Mulberry in all the bags by utilizing our own existing iconic shapes and always using our classic postman’s lock, which we altered to read “Mulberry for Target.”

Q: Help give us a preview of what’s to come. Describe one of the handbags in the collection and where you take it.

A: For complete “wow” factor, the Large Satchel in pink leopard print is fabulous: roomy enough for all your everyday essentials (and more!) and a secure style to tote around from day to day. For total Mulberry cuteness, the Cross-Body bag in denim is adorable—perfect for chucking on wherever you go, and a great option for taking you from day to evening. The denim version is exclusive to Target.com, so keep an eye out for its arrival!

Q: How would you define the Mulberry girl?

A: The Mulberry girl is playful and creative. She is quietly confident and will make you smile. She enjoys fashion but hates pretentiousness. She is intelligent and generous but a little bit cheeky, with bucketloads of English charm! She loves beautiful things and is generous, friendly and warm. She knows who she is without being arrogant.

Q: We adore the tiny pups that were onsite for the Mulberry for Target photo shoot. What’s the connection between Mulberry and K9s?

A: At Mulberry we love our furry friends! The pooches on the Target shoot were French bulldogs, but we love pups in all shapes and sizes and have been producing clothes for them for a couple of seasons now. This winter we have a fantastic coat and snuggly jumper for cold days, so your pets can look as stylish as you do! People are really embracing our pet wear, and if you visit our Mulberry Facebook page you can coo over customers’ Mulberry-clad pooches in our photo gallery!

Cool Clock

I meant to post this as yesterday's Wednesday's Rave, but got too bogged down in work. So here's my current rave: this uber-cool wall clock by Umbra Loft. I love its retro-modern style, and it definitely adds pizazz to my otherwise blank dining room wall.

Unfortunately, the picture that Target has posted online (used here) just doesn't do this clock justice. Here it looks flat, but it's much more "three-dimensional" in person, so check it out in the store.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Rant: where's the John Derian?

Most Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today's rant is over the lack of John Derian products at my local Target stores. His new line launched at least a couple of weeks ago, but I have yet to see most of the items in the store. In fact, at the 3 different Targets I've been to, I've only seen them put out the stationery products - notebooks, file folders, and such - and none of the dishes, picture frames, or wall decor. And even more frustrating, many of the items in the collection - like this lovely Water Lily tray (pictured) - are already sold out on Target.com, so I cannot even purchase it online. Grrrrr......

Monday, September 13, 2010

The rumor mill: iPad to be sold at Target?

According to Electronista, Apple's iPad will soon be sold at a Target store near you. If the leak they saw of a “mystery device” in Target's inventory system is true, the iPad should show up in stores on Oct. 3rd. Electronista explains that it's common for Apple to widen its retail distribution towards the end of the year for a relatively new product, as it wants to keep sales growing by reaching new outlets at the peak sales period. And the choice of Target would make sense, as it’d be a direct shot at rival Amazon, who’s Kindle device reached Target in June and so far is their only major e-reader option.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My review for Tucker for Target

I got to Target rather early this morning (before 9) to check out the new Tucker for Target collection, and was generally pleased by what I saw. By "pleased", I mean that for the most part, what we've seen thus far in the preview pics are an accurate representation of what the clothes look like in person. The only exception is the boucle dress (pictured) which I need to caution you does NOT include the metallic belt as shown.

Some of Tucker's prints are too loud and "floral" for my tastes. That said, I gravitated to her shirt dresses in the purple "Lawn Bird" and "Diamond" prints instead. I bought them both and will probably only keep one. I also may need to exchange it for a smaller size, as the dresses and the blouses seem to run large, whereas this cute herringbone coat I tried on in the store ran small. It also "fit weird" - not sure how to explain it - but was adorable in person, and if you can make it work for you, I think it's one of the best pieces in the line.

I liked the other coats as well, including this hooded wrap jacket (which I didn't get as it reminded me too much of one I already have by Old Navy) and this "Persian Lamb" bomber jacket (although like my fellow blogger The Recessionista, I still prefer my Behnaz Sarafpour for Target lamb jacket from 4 years ago).

For the upcoming Holidays, this gold brocade skirt could be stunning paired with a sleek black top. Note that Target's web site calls it "navy/gold", but I saw it in person and I swear it was black/gold.

A few things I didn't care for was this fleece top; I wanted to like it, but it doesn't drape well and just made me look "bulky" on top. Ditto with the boucle dress shown here; I loved it on the hanger, but once on it seemed to visibly add unwanted pounds. And this orange sweater dress made me laugh out loud; not only is the color arresting, but it's cut SO small - and in a ribbed knit, no less - that only teenagers or supermodels need try this on.

I do wish they had used silk or cotton for this line instead of polyester; on some items, the poly-look is more apparent than others. But other than that, if Tucker fits your style - meaning boho, romantic, and floral - then you'll probably like this line.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Target's Take Charge of Education Program

Do you have a Target RedCard? If so, did you know that you can designate a school of your choice, and that Target will automatically donate 1% of your purchases to your chosen school? It's so simple, and only takes a minute to sign up; just go here on Target's site, enter your school, and you're done!

I happened to be on Target's site today to change my preferred school; now that both boys are in high school, I swapped their former middle school for their HS. And, I was happy to see that I was the 75th local "RedCard" participant to choose that school, and that last month they received over $1,000 in donations.

Interview with Gaby Basora of Tucker for Target

The much-anticipated Tucker for Target collection hits stores tomorrow (Sept. 12th) and as part of their preview of the line, Target's StyleBoutique has posted this interview with Tucker designer Gaby Basora:

Q: What inspired you as you put pencil to sketch pad on the Tucker for Target collection?

A: I am continuously inspired by life and not afraid to try. I value big and small moments alike. I hope that women sense the same energy that captivates me when I look at an old picture of Sophia Loren or Francoise Hardy—something timeless, powerful and original.

Q: If you had to pick three words that best described the Tucker for Target collection, which ones would you choose?

A: Sumptuous, romantic and spirited.

Q: Each print you select for your collections has a mini epic wrapped up in its name—based on its texture, shapes and colors. What kind of stories will the featured prints in the Tucker for Target collection be telling?

A: My spirited spin on a print is that it is perfectly classic, refined and utterly lady-like, yet unexpected. The very modern and slightly imperfect shape on the polka dot is a nod to the independent feeling that is good to have even when wearing a perfectly classic polka dot. Tales have inspired the mosaic print—stories of my mother’s road trips to faraway places with her art school friends and her brother, my uncle who loved to work with stained glass. And the rich purple abstract floral is an ode to a woman I know who is powerful but quiet. She is multifaceted. Some of her qualities are more visible to the eye and others require a closer look.

Q: How would you define the Tucker woman?

A: She is multifaceted and reflects all the diversity life has to offer. She wears Tucker over and over again because she feels beautiful in it.

Q: You come from a family filled with artists working across different mediums. Have you had the chance to collaborate with family members in the making of Tucker?

A: My entire family collaborates in order to make Tucker a success. For example, my youngest sister is barely out of college and started a film production company, I am Pictures, and created a Tucker video series of short films that draw from the spontaneity of life and the numerous and unique Tucker fans.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sneak Peek: Mulberry for Target

The Budget Babe has posted some sneak peek pictures of the upcoming Mulberry for Target handback collection. All bags are priced under $50 and are supposed to evoke the Mulberry "brand spirit, rather than a compromise on quality." Meaning: the collection will not use real leather, but instead use PVC and fabrics such as denim and velvet to allow for "playful and innovative" designs while maintaining an accessible price point.

I share The Budget Babe's disappointment over the fact that these bags look more like Juicy Couture than Mulberry. In fact, IMO, some of these bags look downright cheap! What a letdown. I'd rather spend my hard-earned cash on the classy Mossimo bag I featured last Friday.

The rumor mill: Prabal Gurung for Target?

Fashionista is reporting that Prabal Gurung is rumored to be the next Go International designer for Target. First, they noticed that among all the celebrities who attended Target’s fashion event at the Standard last month, Gurung was also seen on the red carpet. And since then, they've heard from two sources that Gurung is indeed Target’s newest guest designer. Their take is that Gurang's use of bold colors, sharp tailoring, and elegant cocktail dresses would translate well for the masses.

So who is this guy, anyway? Gurung is apparantly a rising design star (his first runway show was just last season) with just the right buzz to land a Target collaboration. He’s adored by editors and celebrities alike (including Michelle Obama and Oprah), he wins fashion awards, and hasn’t shied away fashion reality TV either (after making an appearance on The City this past June).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What to buy (and NOT buy) at Target

Yahoo! Finance has published an interesting article from CBS Moneywatch on what to buy - and NOT to buy - at Target. You can check out the full article here, but please bear in mind this is THEIR opinion, not mine.

In short, they recommend you steer away from furniture, movies & music, exercise equipment, and shower curtains & some toys due to PVC concerns. I tend to agree with their assessment that movies, music & exercise equipment can be found at better prices elsewhere. As for furniture, I have only bought one item there - a chair to match a desk I found at a garage sale - and it's been terrific. The chair was easy to assemble, well priced, and has held up well. I would recommend that if you're planning to buy any furniture from Target, to first check their web site to see what sort of customer comments the piece has received.

Regarding the PVC concerns: I happen to disagree with the article. Target has made great strides in reducing (and trying to eliminate) the amount of PVC in their products. And actually, I was just there yesterday looking for shower curtains, and most (if not all) are now marked with "CONTAINS NO PVC" in large type on the front of the packaging.

The top 4 things they recommend you buy at Target are the Kindle (as they are the only national brick-and-mortar retailer to carry it), "green" cleaning products (due to the variety of choices they offer) and cosmetics. They also pick groceries, due to Target's expansion in that category. According to the article, Target now carries 70% of the things you would find in a full grocery store, at prices that are 10 - 20 percent less.

Wednesday's Rave: this Converse One Star jacket

Military jackets seem to be all the rage this season. I even saw a "style" segment devoted to it on E! News last night (which of course, I cannot find online - sorry). So I was pretty excited to find this one by Converse One Star; it's cut well, meaning it's more fitted than boxy. And it's lighter-weight, which makes it the perfect topper to transition from Summer to Fall.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Rant: Lazy Customer Service

Most Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. This rant is an open letter to all those Customer Service Reps. that try to ignore my receipts:

Dear Target Employee:

While I realize that it might be easier to just scan my Target VISA to return my item, please note that I've taken the time to either A) find my original receipt and bring it with me, or B) printed out an online receipt if the item was ordered from Target.com. And while it might take an extra 3.2 seconds to scan both the receipt AND slide my card through the reader, please do that to ensure that you're crediting the right item to my account. I'm only following Target's instructions to - whenever possible - bring in a receipt, and I simply ask that you do the same and follow your employer's policies.

Thank you in advance,

Clearance Alert: Target Garden Center

As I reported back in July, Target is phasing out all their Garden Centers. This past weekend, I noticed that the one Target in my area that still has a Garden Center is having a "final clearance" sale. Obviously the sale is limited to stock on hand, but you can find some great buys on patio furniture, fountains, garden decor and planters, as well as a variety of potting supplies and plant food. The plants themselves don't seem to be on sale (yet) but I'm sure as Sept. 30th draws closer, they will be.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

And the winner....

...of my latest giveaway is reader "Lolo"! Lolo, congratulations on your entry being picked at random (by Random.org) as the winner of the Sonia Kashuk makeup bag. Your prize will be mailed to you this week. And thank you to everyone who entered and who reads my blog; I really appreciate it!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tucker for Target Look Book

Nitrolicious has posted the entire Tucker for Target look book on their web site. I'm still not thrilled with the styling of some of these outfits, but perhaps the individual pieces on their own will be more impressive. The collection - including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear and knitwear - range in price from $19.99 to $79.99, and will be available from September 12 - October 17 at Target stores and on target.com.

PS: Some Tucker for Target items have already started showing up on eBay. The only way I can explain this is due to the fact that there was a Tucker "pre-sale" on Gilt Groupe back on Aug. 20th (which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago). My only guess is that items from that event are now being re-sold for profit.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oprah hearts Target

Or to be more exact: Oprah Magazine hearts Target products. I just returned from a business trip to Chicago, and on the plane ride home I was flipping through the latest issue of O Magazine where I found several Target products showcased in the "Great Buys Under $100" section (starting on page 98 of the September issue). Among those items featured was this stylish moc-croc bag (shown) from Mossimo, this retro-plaid print dress from Merona, these elegant earrings from Temple St. Clair, and this bright-floral flowy blouse by Tucker for Target. Those items are all $40 or under, and in the $50 price range they featured this necklace of beads and luxe-leaves and a timeless trench coat by Merona.