Best of Silicon Valley 2004

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Best of Silicon Valley 2004
Arts & Culture
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Style & Beauty
Editor's Short List


Style & Beauty
Editors' Picks

Best Clothes for Goth Strawberry Shortcakes
Amy Doan's Shrinkle

Twenty-four-year-old Amy Doan creates clothing chaos in her J-Town kitchen using two sewing machines, fabric, embellishments and bags of thrift-store finds. Like her fashion icon Betsey Johnson, Doan's line, called Shrinkle, is girlie but tough. Corsets are embellished with piping and fishnets. Punk T-shirts are disassembled and reconstructed. An ugly pink sweater is turned into a hot-pink tube top. Doan's couture can't be created from Simplicity. Like a savant, she cuts, sews and shapes until instinct says "done." Doan began her empire with no background in fashion—she just loved to modify clothes (a few slutty creations got her sent home from Milpitas High). She taught herself to sew, and now her machines hum to the tune of eBay. Shrinkle ships worldwide and has appeared in a few magazine spreads, but she wants to get her clothes into boutiques. These days, she spends more time in the fabric store than the thrift store as her designs grow beyond the punk/goth subculture and embrace high fashion. "I've noticed that a lot of up-and-coming designers try to set themselves apart by making their designs as 'extreme' as possible," she says. "They think that the 'weirder' it is, the better. But I'm not into that. I like my clothes to stand out and be unique, but it also has to look good and not be so over-the-top that you feel silly wearing it." Visit (TI)


Best Place to Dangle Your Toes
The Island Pedicure

Manicure/pedicure places rarely evoke thoughts of warm breezes and piña coladas—more like noxious fumes and chemical peels. But Jennifer Taroni's Island Pedicure, tucked into Los Gatos' Opera House shopping area, really does bring Hawaii a little closer. While waiting in the walnut wood and luau print-decorated front room, you can choose from coffee, tea or pineapple juice (with or without the rum). A product line from Mandalay Bay uses natural ingredients like dried milk and honey (for a foot soak) and volcanic ash from the Big Island. In the back, three private cubicles offer shelter from the glare of prying eyes, and toes are dunked in built-in blown-glass sinks in the floor. Book a group Beauty Luau and soak in pineapple mimosas, a light island supper, gift packs and a live hula performance. 140 W. Main St., Los Gatos. 408.395.3722. (TV)


Best Place to Snap Up a Cowboy Shirt
Silver Buckle

If head-to-toe means Stetson-to-Tony Lama, then the Silver Buckle is where to lasso your look. The Campbell store is stocked with rows of quality boots, stacks of hats, cubbies full of Wrangler jeans and racks of fancy and casual Western wear by popular designers for men and women. Fringed suede, faux rhinestones, big silver belt buckles and silver concho belts are perfect accents for a night at a local honky-tonk or a visit to the rodeo. Try before you buy in the "stalls" that double as changing rooms. Wrangle Western-themed gift items in the Gift Corral and cowboy duds for tiny tots in the Kids Corral. There is also a variety of Western-cut formal wear for special occasions. 275 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell. 408.378.1111; (SQ)


Best Prep for Wild Girls' Night Out
The MAC counter at Westfield Valley Fair

Ever wonder how some club girls look so amazing? If you're at a loss when it comes to gussying up, stop by the MAC counter at the Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair. You can indulge in a wild makeover or just get some makeup hints from their staff, all of whom are "MAC certified" to help you glam it up. They take appointments daily and each makeover session usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. The MAC store is located in the middle of the mall, right by the entrance to the Crocodile Cafe. 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara. 408.244.6533. (CL)


Best Place to Buy a Gift and Feed the Stomach
Pizza My Heart

What the world needs now is a new cool T-shirt. There hasn't been a truly global hipster shirt since the famed Hard Rock Cafe T. That's why I'm single-handedly trying to make Pizza My Heart the next Hard Rock Cafe. Well, that and the pizza. Five bucks buys locals the deal of the century: a shirt and a slice. Since slices normally go for $2.50-$3, that means you're getting a T for basic pocket change. Holiday shopping, anyone? There are folks wearing Pizza My Heart shirts in Florida, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Colorado and even England—all thousands of miles from the nearest store. The one connection between these people is that they are all on my heavily budgeted holiday shopping list. Of course, the downside to this thrifty plan is I can only befriend so many folks or else I won't be able to fit into my Seven jeans. Multiple locations in the South Bay: (JH)


Best Place to Leave Your Wife
Harmonie European Day Spa

It's so European, this kind of an affair. Leaving your wife. At a spa. Harmonie European Day Spa's French-themed clinic treats both men and women to massage, aromatherapy and thalassotherapy (which uses seaweed and seawater imported from Brittany), earning the spa accreditation from the elite Day Spa Association. Other treats include deep-cleansing facials and dermabrasion peels using top-notch European products. The 4,000-square-foot retreat was founded in the late 1980s by a French aesthetician. Today, it's at the same discreet ivy-covered location and has a semiprivate relaxation lounge, soothing steam baths and a shower area that offers a choice of famous French perfumes. The woman in your life will leave entirely renewed. 14501 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.741.4997; (AB)

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From the September 22-28, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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