Photo: Cititour.com

Neighborhood: SoHo
Type of Place: Women's Clothing Collectibles

They say the couple that plays together stays together. For New Yorkers that includes two people that could bar-hop, club, pre-plan Restaurant Week and of course, shop together. After all, agreement in fashion means agreement in lifestyles. Similar stores mean similarities in character. Hours of browsing together could measure a lifetime of patience. Where could fabulous city twosomes test this all?

The title and club-like entrance includes a disc jockey. Lounge is not an after hours hotspot but a 16,000 square foot boutique for party boys and girls. CDs for sale and some authentic records surround the d.j. booth as a collection of classic rock or underground is played. Nothing of mainstream popular culture is for sale. While that may not seem unusual, consider the front desk that caters to special members of its exclusive memorabilia collection. An electric guitar signed by Sir Bono and all of U2 ($7500), a Tour de France victory poster signed by Lance Armstrong ($6000), or another signed by the star-studded cast of Pirates of the Caribbean ($1200) are just some of what mantles the walls.

While an album signed by Jim Morrison will cost $5000, a t-shirt bearing his face will cost $95. Its men’s department, which is a majority of the store, is aimed towards the trendiest of young Manhattan men. The snakeskin jacket by Bete Noir is meant for those who trade heavily on the floor by day only to hit the dance floor that night ($1750). On other jackets by Artine, black studs bedazzled a nail grey jacket ($434) only on the collar and the top of the pockets. It also came in cross leather black ($444). Lounge had selections for the less daring, yet not at all subtle. Bogosse button-ups, for example, had square buttons ($180 and up). Cashmere sweaters are not just for yuppies on yachts. Lounge sells a variety for bad-boys. One cashmere wove in a giant skull while another a king’s crown, all with a splash of rhinestones ($400 and up).

Despite eccentric fashion, it is difficult for men to really stick out in a crowded club. Jewelry may offer some assistance. Most pieces had the Star of David or the Fleur de Lis Crucifix. With sterling silver and onyx, Licia Atelier designs each religious symbol into a necklace for rebels ($150-$220). After all, in New York City, it is known that guys that dress like nice guys always finish last.

While he shops, she could too. Nightlife attire for her waits in the next room. Betsey Johnson’s leopard is the classic short and sexy dress that would be too fabulous to wear anywhere else but New York and perhaps L.A. ($385). There are many playful and form-friendly dresses by Sky. The chain halter dress resurrects the Greek goddess within ($165). A top had a giant sparkling medallion at least 5 inches in circumference that would allow her, for one night, to leave all the bling at home ($238).

But at the end, city love is best tested long after the party is over. After all, Fashion Week and Restaurant Week, both only last one week. And a club is only good for three hours. Lounge could dress both the man and woman for those hours of quality time as well. In the back of both departments, vintage t-shirts that recall the classic cartoon characters of their childhood lay folded on tables ($36). For men, the Smurfs, Charlie Brown and Snoopy decorate faded t-shirts. For women, it is Mickey and Minnie Mouse and of course, Little Miss Sunshine.

  - Tanya Benedicto; April 6, 2008

593 Broadway (near Houston St)
New York, NY 10012