Wednesday, September 3, 2008

3 Sep: Duffy shops sort of like a rock star

This AP article has shown up on several websites, including the Seattle Times.

Duffy shops sort of like a rock star

Welsh singer Duffy might have a gold album in "Rockferry," but she still keeps track of her pennies. In Manhattan to prepare her upcoming...

By Samantha Critchell The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Welsh singer Duffy might have a gold album in "Rockferry," but she still keeps track of her pennies.

In Manhattan to prepare her upcoming appearance on "Fashion Rocks," a style-themed, star-studded concert linked to New York Fashion Week, Duffy carves time for a little shopping spree at the upscale Barneys New York store on Madison Avenue. One glimpse at a sleek and chic $2,000 Valextra handbag sends her running in the other direction.

But now that she's enjoying a bit of celebrity, she needs outfits for performances, the red carpet and her rare days of down time. Those down days are the hardest to dress for now, she says, because she wants to be comfortable and relaxed, but there is the chance someone — even a photographer — might recognize her.

Duffy, born Aimee Anne Duffy, is actually hard to miss. She's got a petite frame, full lips and big blond hair. She's got a big soulful voice, too, but as she walks around the store she is almost timid.

"They've got nice things in here, huh?" she says.

The mission was to buy at least one thing for each compartment of her life: Duffy on the go, Duffy the rock star and Duffy at home.

Duffy makes a beeline for Roberta Di Camerino's vintage hard-frame bags. They complement the singer's affinity for 1960s style, but they're too big for everyday — on this day she's got a tiny pouch purse containing only her wallet, phone, hotel room key and a Nivea cherry lipstain (she stars in their ad campaign).

She then spots a red-gold-and-white, hand-woven cosmetics case by Maria la Rosa. She remembers that a red nail polish exploded in one of her bags coming from London to New York — justifying the expense.

She wonders aloud if there is a similar, bigger bag that she could use to keep the makeup for her shows. Presto, a full-size $155 bag — albeit in blue and white — appears. She's usually a sucker for a matching set but she likes them so much, she'll let it slide.

"I shop like a man. I see something, I buy it. I don't dwell on it."

That takes care of traveling Duffy.

On the weekends, Duffy says she wears a lot of hats. It's part of that funky Brit inside of her, she explains. She tries on a red cloche — calling it "an option" — then tries a red fedora with a cutout in the wool for ponytails. "Genius," she declares.

But will she be home often enough to wear yet another hat, adding to those she already has? Maybe not. "I feel like I've been hoarding things. I now have to do a clear-out of my closet every month."

Now a hair accessory, that's something that doesn't take up a lot of room. She likes the tweed headbands; those made with this season's trendy feathers aren't for Duffy. She likes a red hair clip, decorated with an antique-style jewel, best of all.

Duffy doesn't have a stylist. She makes all her wardrobe choices, even for the red carpet. She'll often buy a vintage dress and then chop off the bottom and turn it into a mini. "My mom won't be pleased I said that," she says with a laugh.

That means, though, that she doesn't spend that much on her dresses. Jewelry could be another story.

Some Ileana Makri diamond stud earrings catch her eye. After putting them on, she takes a pass because they're too conservative. A pink diamond ring is not.

"This would be perfect for a special occasion. It's dainty but sweet and sparkly."

If she were going to splurge, she's sure she'd do it on the ring, but $2,000 is still a lot of money, she says. "I have to ease myself into something that expensive."

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