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Critical Shopping

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The best Cintra Wilson pieces are the ones in which she goes a store with a firm opinion and comes out with it completely changed. Such a transformation happens this week at the Upper East Side boutique of jewelry designer Solange Azagury-Partridge. "Most jewelry, to my mind, looks slightly vulgar, a somewhat primitive display of conspicuous wealth," explains Wilson, who assumed she would be unmoved by Azagury-Patridge's blindingly expensive creations. "I was not prepared to suffer from a raw and unquenchable envy that would make me consider extra moneymaking strategies like kidnapping/extortion or piracy." But the mystical geometric designs win her over. When a saleswoman shows off her kabbalah-inspired bracelet, Wilson writes, "It filled me with such inexpressible spiritual pleasure that I had a nearly irresistible urge to mug her." [NYT]