Gasoline Prices Rise- Big Box Retailers Feel the Most Pain.

I don't have a car here in NYC. There really is no need. But after I took a trip out to the Gateway Plaza Mall in Brooklyn, NY a couple weeks ago, I realized how much of an impact rising gasoline prices are having on shoppers wallets. I did my research, spoke to analysts at Global Hunter Securities, even analyzed what shoppers cut back on when those prices started to rise. But it wasn't until we filled the car up with gasoline on the way home and saw the bill for $70 for a FULL TANK OF GAS did it hit me-- this is a real problem. For me $70 equals a couple things: a nice dinner at my favorite restaurant, a facial at Mario Badescu, a new handbag at a sample sale, or two weeks of groceries at Whole Foods. Check out my report here:

The Style File Daily Cheat Sheet

This Weekend's High Temps, J Woww's Fashion Sense, Hot Weather Clothing, Recycle NYC, and Givenchy Couture.

(wwd)Heat wave: what NYC wore when it hit 105°.

WWD has a recap of what NYC wore when NYC experienced the hottest weather in a long time. long maxi dresses,floral sun dresses, straw hats and SHORT shorts were among some of the fashion choices this weekend. Here's a slideshow of more pictures if you need ideas for the rest of the week, it's going to be a scorcher!

(wwd)Hot Times at Retail: Soaring Temps Drive Consumers to Stores

"Consumers throughout the Eastern U.S. sought relief from record-breaking temperatures Tuesday any way they could — including going shopping. As the thermometer topped 100 degrees in Manhattan and elsewhere, retail executives said traffic to their air-conditioned stores and malls was heavier than normal. Even the bedbug-plagued Hollister store in SoHo, which reopened Saturday, saw a large influx of consumers. The searing heat followed the warmest July 4th weekend since 2007 and the third-warmest June in 50 years. And the heat wave was forecast to continue through at least Friday, when temperatures are expected to dip to the more-normal mid-80s. Over the weekend, businesses in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. experienced double-digit increases of seasonal purchases compared to the coldest 2009 period in a decade, according to Planalytics, which analyzes and publishes the weather’s impact on retail. While consumers on the West Coast were still waiting for summer to start and holding off on seasonal purchases, other shoppers were able to think about fall wardrobes and even boots — despite the heat. Retailers said that the gain in traffic and sales will likely last as long as the heat wave — a much-needed boost as consumers’ reluctance to spend increases along with unemployment and fears of a second recession. Cold water is likely to be splashed on retailers’ recent good mood on Thursday when stores report comparable-store sales that, while expected to show growth, also will stir concerns over margins and rising inventories going into the key back-to-school season. “We had high double-digit increases,” said Susan Davidson, president and chief executive officer of Scoop. “East Hampton was off the charts. They’re buying fall early, driven by designers like Azzedine Alaïa, Missoni, Michael Kors, Phillip Lim and Marc Jacobs. We’re selling Chloé shoes and boots. Also, swimwear, shorts and little dresses.” She said business was “off to a good start” on Tuesday." read more

(nbc)Pret-A-Re-Porter: NYC Launching Massive Fashion Recycling Program

Starting in September, New York City will launch one of the largest textile recycling initiatives in the nation. The aim is to make it easy to donate clothing, almost as easy as throwing it away. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans pitch almost 10 pounds of socks, jeans, shirts and sheets per year, per person. In New York, where 190,000 tons of textiles entered the city's landfills in 2008 alone, the plan would place 50 collection bins in high-traffic areas. "I moved three times in the last five years, and each time I ended up throwing away clothes," says 25-year-old Tracy Feldman. "It is just too hard to haul it all over the city. If there was a bin on my block, I wouldn't hesitate to recycle them." The city is taking bids for a 10- to 15-year contract with a nonprofit company that will be responsible for the bins. Goodwill Industries International is one of the companies bidding on the contract. "There has not been another program like this that we know of," said Goodwill spokesman Alfred Vanderbilt. "We think they are being very creative and we hope this sets a new standard." A Goodwill Industries survey of 600 adults in the United States and Canada found that more than half of people who donate clothing say they wouldn't go more than 10 minutes out of their way to make a donation. Robert Lange, the director of the Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling in New York, said his department discovered the same problem. "You can open a black bag at the landfill and see what looks like new clothing," he said. "It is easier to throw it out than recycle." Not all used clothing can be recycled into usable clothing — take those old, stinky sneakers and torn clothing. But that doesn't mean those items can't be donated. While Goodwill is mostly looking for clothing that can be resold, there are ways to recycle even the old tattered pieces. At Wearable Collections, a New Jersey-based textile recycling company, almost half of donations are good for resale, according to the owner. The other half is split nearly evenly between being used for rags for businesses like the automotive industry and being broken down for insulation. Less than 5 percent of the total is unusable and goes to the landfill. Officials say that if New York's campaign is successful, it could lead to a nationwide movement to recycle clothing." read more

(dailymail)J not so Woww! (we'll spare you the pictures)

Not that we would want to give her any more publicity for horrible clothing, but we are giggling a bit about the launch of her new line. When we ran into her at Fashion Week back in Feb. 2010 and couldn't stop gawking at her skin-tight clothes, we were slightly curious (just slightly) to see if she would actually follow through with her own line. Not quite sure if you would call this an accomplishment however.

"With her skimpy bikinis, tight miniskirts and plunging dresses, she's not exactly known for her sophisticated sense of style. And JWoww's new  'Filthy Couture' fashion line may have a looked a little trashy to some at its Las Vegas runway show. Models sashayed down the runway in tight padded lace mini dresses, ripped white jeans and clashing corset-style tops with plunging necklines. The Jersey Shore star's range of swimwear looked a little like lingerie, with chains added to one bikini and another decorated with black lace. 'For the bathing suits I wanted to go with a grungy, or sexy-grungy look with the chains, but I also wanted to keep it girly with the lace,’ JWoww explained to, adding that she found her runway debut ‘very unreal.’ The 23-year-old star sported a low cut pink lacy dress - her own design - at the event, held at Vegas hot spot Ghost Bar. ‘I’ve had this vision for a long time, and I’ve been in school for seven years doing it but I never thought it would come true.’" read more

A Couture Treat: New from Givenchy

Givenchy Fall 2010 Couture

"Death, religion, sensuality. Provocative topics for cocktail conversation, and for fashion, as well. As starting points for Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, the themes made for an arresting, finely honed collection. Tisci’s three-part motif stemmed from what the designer called the three obsessions of Frida Kahlo (whose 103rd birthday is today, for those into such coincidences.) The artist’s fascination with the Mexican Day of the Dead inspired the skeletal lace tracings that recurred throughout the tight, 10-look lineup, delivering ample bravura."