After months of cold and drab winter, Valentine's Day couldn't come at a better time. Suddenly everywhere plush teddy bears demand "Hug Me," aisles are lined with heart-shaped candy boxes, and pops of that wonderful color, red, fill shop windows. True, sweethearts hog the spotlight on Valentine's, but it's great for sharing the love with all your favorite people. And no matter who they are-a niece or nephew, grandmother, or good friend-in Santa Fe you've hit the jackpot for shopping. Here's a guide to some gift goodies around town.
The fashion runways are decreeing fierce, bold colors for the spring season, so now we have the excuse that reveling in red for Valentine's is chic. Over at the Traveler's Market in De Vargas mall you can browse for wonderful accessories. Something soft and feminine that's still good for fending off the winter chill is a luscious red silk chiffon shawl that doubles as a scarf. From Badinage, one of the shops in the market, the shawl is hand-sewn in traditional West Bengal kantha embroidery by members of a non-profit organization to empower women who work at home in their villages.
For an added shot of glam to a trench or jacket lapel, there's a sophisticated felted-wool flower brooch made by contemporary Italian designer Daniela Gori Montenelli. Badinage carries several examples of Montenelli's witty work.
In a more whimsical mood are some wildly colorful high-top Converse sneakers from Last Chance Arts at the Traveler's Market. Hand beaded in Bali, the high-tops are covered in quirky designs, from flowers to op-art patterns to a rendering of the stars and stripes. Sizes fit both men and women. Check out the beaded cowboy boots too.
You can't celebrate anything in Santa Fe, especially Valentine's Day, without getting decked out. Kristin's, a boutique inside the Plaza Mercado downtown, revs up classic southwest style with original one-of-a-kind pieces from local designers. Kristin's carries the clothing of Karen Wilkinson, who creates vests from vintage serapes that are overdyed and hand embellished with silk velvet and crewelwork appliqués, then finished with a bead-drop closure. Add a Carol Carr cowboy hat with a lavish silk velvet and organza rose and suede whip stitching around the brim, and strangers will send champagne to your table, even if you're not from Texas.
It seems like J. Crew is determined that we all need resort wear, rather than the cool, mid-weight clothing that they used to carry year-round. Still, if you see something in the catalog that's not available in the local store on Lincoln, you can order it at the store and shipping is free. And right now J. Crew is featuring some flirty red-eyelet ballet flats that'll go right into summer. There's also a light wool men's v-neck sweater in a dusty deep pink color that makes you want to think Valentine's thoughts.
Don't forget, for holiday gear and accessories it's always worth trolling the aisles at Target. Aside from fun and funky stuff like red-glitter heart sunglasses they have hilarious Valentine's Day costumes (see the Stupid Cupid outfit for men) and great stuff for kids. An infant boy's black cotton tee-shirt with "Mommy's My Valentine" in red-and-white tattoo graphics is a heart-stealer. By the way, if you spend fifty dollars shopping at Target on-line, shipping is free.
If you know about an upcoming fashion event, benefit, or trunk show, or have a great shopping tip to pass on, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always ready to spread the word.
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