Target + Neiman Marcus

I was on the verge of frustration last night as the post Thanksgiving crowds made it impossible to make my way down 5th avenue after work when something wonderful happened!  As I cursed the tourists for slowing me down, I noticed a formerly vacant storefront decked out in Target’s signature red, its windows featuring black and white portraits of some of today’s best young designer talent. Could it be? A pop up shop on my very own block! The gentlemen wielding the clipboard told me to come back tomorrow at 9am and you better believe I woke up this morning ready to shop!

Typically these affairs are unfortunate, crowded and over hyped displays of consumerism at a low point. The Missoni for Target pop up shop during fashion week almost gave me a heart attack and I walked out with nary a signature zig zag.  This morning at 8:50 however, after a brief 10 minute wait on line and some free hot chocolate dispensed by a friendly Target rep, I entered Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection pop up shop and was VERY pleasantly surprised.

I have long been a fan of Target’s designer collaborations, if not for the hype, than for the innovation and imagination it can take for designers  accustomed to couture to adapt to the confines of mass market.  While fabric quality is usually an issue, sometimes certain pieces make the cut.    Proenza Schouler, Rodarte and Tracy Feith for Target all have a place in my closet!  These items are fun collectibles and a way to score a piece from designers you admire for the price of a dinner out.

This morning’s experience made my day!  First stop inside, free warm ginger bread cookies shaped like sunglasses made with the Band of Outsiders cookie cutters (29) definitely the way to a pregnant girl’s heart.

free cookies!

Then, we were given a 5 limit coupon, a quick ride up the escalator and a beautifully appointed,  spacious shopping experience filled with great gifts designed by the likes of Jason Wu, Caroline Herrera, Tory Burch, Joseph Altuzarra, Rag & Bone, Brian Atwood, Diane von Furstenberg, and more!

I scored some adorable presents, including a cozy gray Rag & Bone sweater for the Mr.  which is beautifully made in a cotton and wool blend.  The lack of synthetic fabric here is making me SO happy and I think it warrants the $70 price tag. For my flower girl Sofie, a super retro blue and green geometric print Tory Burch lunchbox($20) the matching thermos ($24) I couldn’t resist and I’ll be using it to carry hot tea to go on the subway.  The tiny Jason Wu dress($60) I picked up in red taffeta for baby Charlie to wear over the holiday season is making me wish for a girl, as did the baby Marchesa gowns, though I think the designer’s signature ruffles might overwhelm a tiny frame.

What else? Bright dessert plates by Tracy Reese,  dreamy, space inspired Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper designed by Rodarte, pet gear by Oscar de la Renta  and limited edition watercolor Proenza Schuler ipad cases and sweatshirts! For the most part I found the quality to be pretty good, with the exception of the chintzy Judith Leiber compact mirrors and Eddie Borgo trinket box.  Borgo’s letter opener however was beautifully designed and heavy, a great gift for a stylish desk.   The purple watercolor print dress in a 50’s silhouette by Lela Rose was quite pretty while a Thom Browne nautical/Americana inspired blazer ($179) and Marc Jacobs glittery pouch ($69) were cute but overpriced.  The Altuzarra cocktail shaker and glasses were memorable although I’d spring for a vintage set instead which are ubiquitous at antique stores and of better quality.  They paired perfectly with a chic black snakeskin tray with brass detailing ($80) but I could barely lift it off the shelf, it was so heavy.  For a large credenza, bar or entry way table, this piece would fit,  but forget about carrying drinks on it.

I would post pictures here but the format on target.com make them hard to lift so go see for yourself! I’ll admit, I went back for another round of 5 items (and gingerbread cookies). Surprisingly at 9:30am, there was no one online! If you happen to be in Midtown, stay out of my way, but definitely check out the pop up shop on 44th street and 5th avenue. If you can’t make it, the 50+ piece collection drops online on December 1st.!

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