Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Domesticity Retail Roundup: Special Nordstrom Wing (Post-Circus) Edition

After calling the new Nordstrom at Ala Moana a FREAKING CIRCUS in my last blog entry, I decided to return to the mall this afternoon, while the weather was still overcast and the spring collections at Old Navy and J. Crew bored the heck out of me. Here's what I saw:

- Do you see that lovely blouse above? That, my friends, was from Nordies' plus size collection - and not just plus size, but Michael Kors plus size. I'm still bemoaning the fact that the "Encore" section still doesn't have the same breadth as the one at Macy's, only because it's still kind of hemajang and still hasn't manage to strike the same balance between the conservative (helloooo, Eileen Fisher!) and the disco-hoochie-mama (lots of sequins, people) - but between Michael Kors and Caslon, we're looking at a modest but well-curated collection of plus size stuff here. For the record: My apple-shaped self actually looks nice in yoked tops like the one shown above, but I was just so floored by seeing Michael Kors for $99.50 that I forgot to try it on.

- Also flooring me in the fragrance section: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Toilette. I'm a sucker for patchouli, so my uneducated nose immediately registered this one as sexy. That bottle, incidentally, was sitting next to a bunch of Apothia fragrances that I also liked. I also appreciated how the men's section now carries The Art of Shaving, which I thought was worth a try... and so did the other guys who were wandering around the men's section, as well.

- Speaking of getting suckered by brand names (and moving outside of Nordies)... How adorable was that Lululemon Athletica store, anyway? Women and men's sport wear, in a bright little store with the cheeriest-looking water bottles and (seriously overpriced, in my opinion) yoga mats. It's meant to be hip and crunchy at the same time, if you ask me, but... so cute! Even the tiny little thongs at the front counter were so cuddly.

- Williams-Sonoma: Still stocked with awesome. Chico's: Still not as stodgy as one might think.

- Weirdest store in Ala Moana: Ruehl 925. Yes, I know they're trying to make it look like a New York loft/club, but c'mon folks - did you really need that many stairs and walls inside the store itself? Did you really have to make it so dark and foreboding, like I was going to walk right into the set of Eyes Wide Shut if I wasn't careful? And did it have to smell like mothballs? Because I swear I felt like I was walking into a wall of mirrors inside there. Plus - hello, Hollister already cornered the market for "underlit clothes boutique that's supposed to feel like somebody else's home," for crying out loud, and at least their Ala Moana store has some TVs to break up all the seriousness. Really, this gives new meaning to the term "lighten up."

- And also: Hey, Ala Moana, great job with putting The Vitamin Shoppe outside the mall -- right on Kapiolani Avenue, across the street from KGMB-9... and next to the other streetfront stores that ended up being vacant (according to a Vitamin Shoppe employee, who made the same observation I did re: how people are having such a hard time finding them). Did the folks at GNC put y'all up to this? And don't tell me you did this because you wanted more people to get their exercise this way. Find more tenants for those other stores on Kapiolani, pronto!

1 comment:

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