Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nina Garcia hearts Target

Nina Garcia - of Project Runway fame and Target's resident Fashion Director - really hearts Target. At the celebrity-laden party recently held for the reissue of the Go International dresses, Nina gushed "Actually, I shop at Target a lot! I buy for my kids, I buy for my husband, I buy for myself. I bought for myself when I was pregnant. I shop the collections. I shop for basics, I shop for t-shirts, for button downs, for pants. This is Target: (pointing at her outfit) Mossimo (top) and Merona (pants)." To which Racked.com commented that they thought her black jewel-embellished tank and black tapered trousers (shown here) were actually from Prada!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The rising cost of living...

According to this story from ABC News, food prices are up a staggering 29 percent worldwide. The heat wave in Russia and flooding in Australia have sent wheat prices soaring 67 percent over last year. And here in the United States, floods followed by droughts in the Midwest mean corn prices jumped nearly 60 percent in one year. Add to that the recent events in Japan, and, well, you get the picture.

And it's not just food: the cost of cotton is now at a 15-year high. As the price-per-pound ticks upward, so does the cost of your spring wardrobe. Meaning: the cost of your average T-shirt is liable to increase by $2, while a pair of Levi's 501 Jeans is expected to jump as much as $4.

I've certainly noticed higher grocery - and Target - bills. It might sound trivial, but one of the first things that caught my eye was the price of cat food. Our cats favorite canned brand (Fancy Feast) used to be 47-cents a can just a couple of months ago. It's now 67-cents a can. And that's the Target price; at my local grocery store, it's a whopping $1.09 a can!

How about you, dear readers? Have you noticed the cost of just about EVERYTHING going up? How are you adapting, and are you needing to scale back in certain places to make up for increasing costs?

Double-Take: Merona vs. Elie Tahari

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-jay and pair it up with a lookalike designer piece. Now for some reason, I've been seeing orange everywhere lately - in advertising, at the mall, etc. And at work on Friday, a colleague of mine was wearing this exact shade of orange and I complemented her on how great she looked in it, which inspired me to find something in this same hue for a double-take.

So here we have two twist-front, v-neck, ladylike dresses - both perfect for Spring. Only one is from Merona (at Target) and is on sale for just $16, whereas the other is from Elie Tahari.... and while it's also on sale, it'll run you $104 (down from $298). Can you guess while on is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Target sues solicitors

A small, largely unknown group of same-sex marriage activists from San Diego has been sued by Target. The case has broad implications for free speech, assembly and property rights — and perhaps more immediate ramifications for the Bullseye, which has been besieged by negative publicity amid a widening rift with gay-rights supporters.

The local lawsuit follows a March 1 incident at a Target store between a shopper and a persistent activist from the local group Canvass for a Cause. With this move, Target is now fending off accusations of anti-gay sentiments for the third time since July.

Last summer, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized for one of the company’s campaign contributions, which benefited a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate who supported economic growth and job creation but opposed same-sex marriage. Then this month, Lady Gaga backed out of a deal to sell a special edition of her new album at Target, reportedly because she was unhappy with how the company’s politics affect the gay community.

Target maintains in this case it’s simply trying to make shopping “distraction-free,” based on court rulings over the years that it interprets as allowing retailers without public-gathering areas to ban all solicitors, from the Salvation Army to political groups.

“To provide a distraction-free shopping environment for our guests, Target’s long-standing policy is that we do not permit solicitation or petitioning at our stores regardless of the cause or issue being represented,” it said in a statement Friday. “Our legal action in California against Canvass for a Cause is in no way related to the cause of the organization. Target has taken similar action against a number of organizations, including churches and advocacy groups that represent a wide variety of issues.”

By the way, I purposely titled this post "Target sues solicitors" and NOT "Target sues LGBT group" as so many other news sources on the web did. In my mind, Target is taking on the issue of soliciting (which is explicitly against their policy) and the group in question just happens to be promoting LGBT issues. I've blogged about this before; I don't want to be approached by solicitors of any kind while I'm shopping, and I support Target's efforts to remove this distraction. I'll also add that they need to enforce it across the board - with ALL groups of solicitors - and not enforce it haphazardly as they've done so in the past.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birds of a Feather...

Lately, I've had birds on the brain. A while ago I bought this adorable bird vase in white, which I thought I'd blogged about once before (but can't for the life of me find the post). In doing a quick search on Target.com, I found a lot of other "bird decor", including this gorgeous wall mural (shown here) which is actually a giant decal! I like how Target has used it to cover an entire door.

Other wall decor options include this 21-piece hanging bird wall set from Umbra Loft, which is totally cute but sounds like a bit of a hassle (and a wall full of holes) in that each bird hangs on its own nail. For less mess & fuss, you can try this bird & blossoms wall decal kit instead.

I also found this sweet bird doormat from Smith & Hawken, which is perfect to ring in Spring. And for a homespun addition to your couch or bed, here's a bird & branch embroidered pillow from Springmaid in earthy brown.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jennifer Hudson says "I Do" when Lady Gaga "Doesn't"

Pop star Lady Gaga may not want to sign an exclusive arrangement with Target, but other music stars aren't following her lead.

Target announced Monday that Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson had signed an exclusive deal with the Minneapolis-based retailer for a deluxe edition of her new album, "I Remember Me."

The deluxe edition, which includes four additional songs and bonus video material, will be available exclusively at Target starting today, the company said in a news release yesterday.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Miss Trish hits Target

Almost a year ago now, Target quietly launched a new collection of Miss Trish of Capri for Target sandals in Girls and Toddler Girls sizes, with virtually no fanfare or advance warning. This year, it seems they've done the same thing, as they've just launched a similar collecion on their web site. I'd like to give a shout-out to my friend Rosalie who alerted me to this, and I can only assume that a new Miss Trish selection of women's styles will eventually follow.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Double-Take: West Elm vs. Target

Remember last week's double-take, which featured "Hollywood Regency" style? Here's another riff on that theme. Pictured are two mirrored console tables, which illustrate Hollywood Regency's ultra glam vibe. Only one of them is from West Elm and will set you back almost $550, whereas the other is from Target for less than half that price. Which one is which? Check the comments section for the answer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coupons Catch On In Down Economy

Now that the economy is in a downturn and food prices have skyrocketed, coupons are more popular than ever. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, almost 94% of Americans redeem at least one coupon a year now, and 16% of coupons redeemed for groceries are printed at home via the internet. That’s up significantly from 2003, when only about 80% of shoppers clipped coupons, with just 1% of coupons redeemed off the internet.

People tend to think the average coupon user is low-income, but it’s typically a woman with kids in a household with an annual income of $50,000 to $75,000. And curiously enough, the five most popular types of coupons redeemed are (in order) breakfast foods, oral hygiene products, pet food, household cleaners and vitamins/supplements.

Some Americans are clipping so crazily that TV channel TLC has debuted a reality show called “Extreme Couponing.” In one recent episode, a hard-core couponer packed more than $5,000 worth of groceries into multiple carts, but after redeeming his coupons, he paid only $250.

Target offers a ton of coupons on their site, which you can print yourself and redeem in-store. And if you're a Target RedCard holder (as I am) you'll get "coupon books" sent to your home about 4-5 times a year. Target also offers "mobile coupons" for smartphone users, where you can get exclusive offers up to five times a month via text message on your web-enabled phone.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My own favorite Target Designer collaborations....

Today's post on Target's GO International Designer Collective made me think about my own closet. What were my own favorite Target design collabs? I decided to limit it to just dresses (like Target's re-issued collection) and focus on what I had personally bought and worn in the past. Clockwise from upper left:

1) Patrick Robinson's tribal shift dress. What a shame that they didn't include Patrick in Target's recent Designer Collective! I actually bought two of his Target sundresses, and then I bought this dress about a year afterwards on eBay. Unfortunately (for me!) this was one collab that was sized too generously, and since it was too big, it went in the Goodwill pile. I still search eBay from time to time hoping it'll show up in my size. It's very 'Tory Burch', don't you think?

2) Rogan's Zebra Halter. It's too bad that Rogan Gregory only has one dress in the GO International Collective. I love (and still own) this one, and what you cannot see from the pic is the fact that the dress has subtle zebra stripes (in black and charcoal gray).

3) Loomstate's little black sundress. Rogan's second collab with Target produced Loomstate, and this adorable cotton belted dress. This is still in my closet, and is a summer staple of mine. The subtle-flare on the skirt gives it a slight 50's vibe.

4) And finally, Thakoon's Shibori-print dress. A sellout when it first debuted a few years ago, and again a sellout now. When Target first introduced this dress, it was available in both blue/white (shown) and black; the reissue only had the black. I had the blue one and even sizing down from my usual size, I felt that this dress had too much "volume" in the skirt, so I eventually consigned it at my favorite resale shop.

My Review of Target's GO International Designer Collective

Target's new GO International Designer Collective - celebrating 5 years of designer collaborations - has hit stores and Target. com. Earlier today I was able to view the offerings up close and personal... and my reaction was "meh, OK, but nothing great". If you recall, I was really excited about this Jonathan Saunders polka dot shift dress, which I don't remember from his original collab with the Bullseye. So I did a quick web search, and lo and behold, The Budget Babe had actually reviewed this dress back in 2008, and had the same impression I had: the dress was cute, but the material was super-thin. So thin, in fact, that I could actually see my hand through the black when I held it up to the light. Not good! Needless to say, I put this back on the rack and didn't end up buying it.

As for the other dresses: they were fine, but nothing that I "had to have". The Thakoon, Libertine, Zac Posen and Tucker offerings looked most like their original offerings. Some of the others seemed almost identical to the original releases, but may have had slightly different cuts or fabrics. Perhaps my memory is failing me (as it did with the Saunders' dress) but some of the styles - especially this Erin Fetherston Bunny Print dress - I don't recall seeing before. I can tell you that the "hot seller" at my local Target was the striped Libertine t-shirt dress (shown here) as I saw 3 different gals swoop this up and add it to their cart.

How about you, dear readers? Did you buy anything today from Target's Designer Collective, or do you plan to?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Charlie Sheen/Target connection....

Amazingly, dear readers, I was able to make a connection with Charlie Sheen (WINNING!) and Target. Someone on Charlie’s Twitter page posted this picture of a C9 by Champion brand t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “All I Do Is Win”. While the saying is actually attributed to Nascar driver Denny Hamlin – whose signature catchphrase is “All We Do Is Win” – it’s close enough to Charlie’s mantra to surely be a sellout at the Bullseye.

Target 'Surprised and Disappointed' by Lady Gaga

Target has responded to Lady Gaga over statements she made related to her nixed deal to sell a special edition of her upcoming album at the retail giant.

The Advocate reported on Tuesday that the singer wasn't comfortable when she learned that Target donated corporate funds to MN Forward, a political action committee that supported anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer in his failed 2010 run for Minnesota governor.

"We were very surprised and disappointed by the statements made by Lady Gaga's organization related to her partnership with Target," the company said in a statement late Wednesday, as reported by The New York Times. "Target remains committed to the LGBT community as demonstrated by our contributions to various LGBT organizations, our recently established Policy Committee to review our political giving and our respectful, inclusive workplace environment."

My question is this: how could Lady Gaga (or her management) NOT know about the Tom Emmer fiasco? It was widely reported, even by me. Plus, Gaga had previously told Billboard that her relationship with Target was tied to its "reform ... and to redeem the mistakes they've made supporting those [anti-gay] groups", which seems to indicate she DID know about the Emmer indicent beforehand.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Double-Take: Horchow vs. Target

Today's double-take has a bit of a history lesson behind it. I've always been a fan of these "starburst" mirrors (shown) and had pegged them as being part of the Mid-Century Modern movement. However, after a little web-surfing, I discovered that they're actually attributed to the genre called Hollywood Regency. Here's a definition of the style:

Hollywood Regency is a style of interiors that is synonymous with the adjective “glamorous”. Used today any time a room needs “glamming up”, the style sports a wide array of looks, but definitely includes similar elements throughout its designs. The look first took hold in the cinema’s golden years of the 1920s and 30s and continued right on prospering all the way into the 60s and some 70s. Originally representing glamour, movie stars and the ultimate luxurious lifestyle, today the Hollywood Regency style exists as a full and exciting alternative to a more minimalist approach to design. While the style encompasses many looks, specific elements are known to be Hollywood Regency, such as chinoiserie and the use of Asian-inspired d├ęcor and black, white and bold colors. Faux bamboo plays an important role, popping up as mirror frames and furniture accents. You can’t have Hollywood Regency without a little glitter, and that’s why metallic colors like gold and silver and mirrored furniture pieces play an important role.

Which leads us to the question of the day: which one of these swanky starburst mirrors is a hefty $415 (including additional shipping/processing) from Horchow, and which one is a much lighter $84.99 (with free shipping) from Target? The answer appears in the comments section.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fab Find: Mossimo Layering Top

I bought this Mossimo top (in Gray as shown) shortly after x-mas. It was the lone one - in size XS, no less - on the clearance rack, marked 50% off. At first I was dubious that the XS would fit, but believe me, the fit is generous on this top. And since purchasing it, it's become my "go-to" layering piece; I wear it for running errands, yoga class, or just doing chores around the house. What I love about it is that it's made of soft, stretchy sweatshirt material - only instead of frumpy sweats, it has the chic look of a flyaway cardigan.

I still haven't been able to find this top in stores again, but I finally stumbled across it online. Besides basic Black and Gray, it also comes in Grape. And yes, I'll be ordering more soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Glitzy Green

Earlier this week, Blake Lively stepped out to a fancy Chanel dinner in her honor, where she dressed up her frilly white frock with gorgeous green gemstone earrings. The unexpected pop of color added glitz to her otherwise monochromatic outfit, and if you want to try this colorful trend for yourself, here are three options from Target (from left to right):
14K Gold Oval Emerald and Diamond Earrings - $69.99
Gold-toned Sterling Silver Peridot and Diamond Earrings - $19.99
Temple St. Clair Green Drop Earrings - no longer available online, but I've seen them in stores recently on clearance for 75% off! (regular price $29.99)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Consumer Alert: Target Recalls Circo Beaded Curtains

The U.S. Consumer and Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Target, have released a voluntary recall on Circo brand beaded door curtains due to strangulation reports. Approximately 79,000 Circo beaded door curtains are included in the voluntary recall.

The Circo Pink door curtain (shown here) comes with a set of two curtains, each of which is 12 inches wide and 72 inches long. There is a warning label on the package that includes, “Not for use near cribs or playpens...” with another warning label reading, “Do not tie bottom to form loops.”

The Circo beaded curtains were sold nationwide exclusively at Target Corporation stores for $15 and at Target.com for $13 from February 2009 through May 2010. Consumers are urged to immediately take down the curtains and contact the FAB/Starpoint (manufacturer of the product) for a full refund. To contact the FAB/Starpoint for additional information or for a refund call toll-free at (888) 333-2684.

Pure Energy's New Spring Collection at Target

Last May, I blogged about Pure Energy's upcoming Fall collection at Target. And now, Pure Energy - Target's plus-size line for women sizes 16 and up - has just debuted their Spring 2011 line, which includes lots of floral prints, cropped cardigans, and trendy denim.

Shown here are Pure Energy's skinny jeans for $29.99, and red ruffled shirt for just $21.99. You can view the entire collection here on Target.com, but be forewarned: from what I've observed, Target only carries about half (if that) of the complete Pure Energy line in stores. So if you see something you like online, order it, as your local store probably won't have it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New at Target: Linea Pelle

Racked.com made a random discovery this past weekend: a new - and previously unannounced - Target collabration with Linea Pelle handbags (shown here at the West Hollywood store). Here's their take on the line:

"This collab is indeed a headscratcher, since the styles are fairly generic, and -- how to put this delicately -- there's nothing Linea Pelle-like about the cheap non-leather bags that smell faintly of polyurethane. The good news is we didn't see anything with a price tag higher than $29.99. And there are plenty of them!"