A fantasy Christmas from Neiman Marcus


This year's Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is loaded with goods for the rich and ridiculous. Take a look:

* $4,000 -- Eleni's Cookies of New York City will replicate your home in gingerbread from photographs (Page 93).

* $10,000 -- His and hers experiences: Women can become a Radio City Rockette for the day, taking part in a dance class, a costume fitting and a walk-on role during the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Men get to be a ball-boy-for-a-day for the New York Knicks (Page 112).

* $25,000 -- A racy, reddish-orange recreational roadster (with a golf-cart base) from Universal's How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Page 148).

* $70,000 -- Limited edition Lexus SC 430 Convertible (only 99 available): silver exterior, candy-cane red leather interior, 300 horsepower, V-8 engine (Page 25).

* $120,000 -- Time-travel trips where couples "travel" back to romantic eras of 1775, 1815 or 1907, dressing the part, reenacting historic moments and sampling the cuisine in their residence, an English castle. Whoever best stays in character (there's room for only six couples) will officially and legally earn the title of "Lordship," which can later be passed on to an eldest male heir. If you're a woman, you're out of luck (Page 83).

* $6,700,000 -- Leather-clad luxury helicopter. Enough said (Page 75).

To gawk at other pricey presents, order a catalog ($10) by calling 800-634-6267 or log onto www.neimanmarcus.com.

Sneakers become loafers

Sometimes it just takes too much effort to tie and untie our laces -- or so it would seem from the number of teen-agers walking around with untied sneakers.

Well, Zack Steven has come up with a solution: the brilliantly simple Zackaroos (Steven's childhood nickname). They're elastic bands you slip into your shoelace holes (one band for each pair of holes), and they're stretchy, so lace-up shoes instantly become slip-ons.

Decorative beads and charms (flowers, dinosaurs, hearts, basketballs) are available to spruce up your Zackaroos (www.zackaroos.com; $2 to $4). -- T. B.

The good old days are still for sale

So, you're having a 1950s theme party or doing up your wedding '30s style. You've researched the era, outlined what you're supposed to wear and practiced a couple of old-time dance steps. Now it's time to get your gear, but from where?

Try your computer.

VintageTrends.com is a new online retailer that sells thousands of vintage items including apparel, household stuff and accessories. Need a '70s wrap dress for your office retro bash? VintageTrends has it. Orange chiffon hostess dress? It's got that, too. 1940s wool ski pants? You betcha. Coats, slacks, shoes, purses, men's, women's, kids -- it's all there, along with a military section (vintage and surplus), an unimpressive recycled section (used name brands) and a new-fashion area featuring sportswear by Riley.

Items date from 1930 to today and run from about $10 to several thousand. -- T. B.

Artistic attire

The Crafters Gallery holds its annual Designer Craft Show today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Annapolis Armory (18 Willow St.; for information, call 410-268-0688). Lots of wearable art will be on sale, including whimsical paper jewelry from Linda Wagner and colorful kimonos by Mimi Hodgin Hay. -- T. B.

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