Recession terms in need of retirement

Note to the publicists who pitch me story ideas every day: I've had enough of that fashion-gets-money-conscious term "recessionista." Really, now, you're not fooling anyone. You want to talk about wrinkle creams and boyfriend jeans and you feel weird about doing so without acknowledging that times are tight. Give us good deals. Give us quality. Give us new twists on last year's purchases. But please stop calling Target shopping trendtrackers "recessionistas." They're just American consumers.
And while we're at it, let's put a moratorium on "stimulus package" puns. It's already been used everywhere from the New York Times spring fashion preview to David Letterman gushing about Julia Roberts' box office success. It's official: stimulus package is overused.

From the moment StyledLife opened at the Galleria in Edina, the days seemed numbered for the boutique's original location at Gaviidae Center. Indeed, broke the news today that StyledLife will close its downtown Minneapolis store at the end of the month (see Sales/Specials for closing sale details). SL owner Kevin Quinn has been a big proponent of downtown shopping and I know he really wanted to hang on, but it just wasn't financially feasible – and I don't think the current state of the economy is the only factor. I know I've visited SL at the Galleria more times in the few months since its opening than I did at Gaviidae in the last year. I feel bad about that – I want to live in a city with a thriving downtown district, but the reality is, the 'burbs are easy and Galleria is really inviting. I also feel bad for Gaviidae because they've really been trying to champion the small boutique and do their best to create an interesting, unique shopping mix. They've also done what they can to make downtown shopping more appealing, by waiving parking fees and hosting events. Of course there are still plenty of reasons to go to Gaviidae – FinnStyle, Drama, Off Fifth, to name a few. But StyledLife was clearly a point of pride for the center, and the kind of stand-out, luxury boutique that should be able to thrive in downtown Minneapolis. It's a shame, all around.

Just months after opening at the Galleria in Edina, StyledLife is planning a bigger and better Galleria flagship. Locations are still being considered, owner Kevin Quinn tells me, but he plans to open the store by fall. Meanwhile, the semi-annual sale which was supposed to end Feb. 23 continues at the Gaviidae Common StyledLife in downtown Minneapolis, no spring arrivals are on display and the Laffy Taffy is down to an ashtray-sized bowl of apple only. Quinn isn't commenting. Draw your own conclusions – and take advantage of the jewelry, scarves, belts and handbags at 50 to 70 percent off!   

Even by Target standards, the McQ Alexander McQueen collection, which hits stores today, has a lot of buzz. Celebs including January Jones, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amanda Bynes and Zoe Saldana  (pictured) turned out for a New York shopping party (they get the glory, but not the Target stores) to introduce low-price line from the risk-taking designer. The limited collection draws inspiration from British rock band The Duke Spirit. Think: black jumpsuit, studded leather vest, skinny gray jeans. Very rocker, very young, very unlikely to work on most of us. But a cool get for Target, nonetheless.

The recession has hit salons and spas. With people spacing their services further and further apart, spas are looking for ways to entice customers. Here are a couple of current promos worth considering:

  • The Jon Charles Salon "Stimulus Plan." Trim the percentage you lost in your retirement fund off a hair cut or color – up to 50 percent off. Bring proof of your loss to present to the cashier. Available for the next several months.
  • Ivy Spa Club is offering a one-time free Ivy Signature Manicure ($45 value) to guests who spend $95 on spa services and a free Ivy Signature Pedicure ($65 value) to those who spend $145. Offer valid through March 31.

Say what you will about her face, Joan Rivers is a hard working broad. She lost her voice during the publicity blitz for her books/jewelry/Celebrity Apprentice, which brought her to the Twin Cities Saturday, but she still called in to my radio show, Shop Girls, right on schedule and squeaked out a solid 10 minutes on the wonders of plastic surgery ("it can make you look gorgeous"), her jewelry for QVC ("I put on three necklaces this morning and asked everyone which one to take off. I ended up wearing them all") and the red carpet, where she's been replaced by Lisa Rinna, a face nearly as pulled and plumped as her own. She took credit for pioneering the red carpet interview (true, come to think of it) and declared the current state of awards pre-shows boring, boring, boring. No one makes mistakes; everything is too controlled. She swears she didn't even watch the Oscar's pre-show this year. But she did know enough to blast Mickey Rourke – both the clothes and the surgically altered face.
The "Everything Joan" jewelry boutique will be on display at the Mall of America QVC store through March. What keeps her working, other than paying for all that surgery? She said: "I love style and fashion more than life itself!"