More Retail Gloom, Costume Institute No-Shows

Mayor Bloomberg has proposed raising the sales tax by half a percentage point. That's certainly not going to do much to help struggling retailers, now is it? [NYDN]
• With a fresh batch of stores and restaurants closing each day, life on the UES has gotten pretty depressing. [NYT]
• A few weeks ago, Thom Browne denied that his fashion company was in trouble. The fact both his CEO and CFO departed the company today certainly doesn't bode well. [WWD]
• A few notables not expected at the Costume Institute Gala on Monday: Karl Lagerfeld, Carine Roitfeld, Matthew Williamson, and Bernard Arnault. [FWD]

• Save Fashion's pop-up store opened this morning in the Port Authority, but not before kicking things off last night with a big party. [Pipeline, Racked]
• Will shoppers ever pay full-price ever again? It's unlikely. [WSJ]
• Tiffany & Co. has acquired bankrupt handbag maker Lambertson Truex. [BW]
• Jessica Simpson is launching a lingerie and sleepwear line. Finally. [NYM]
• Even better: Bar Refaeli is designing a line of bikinis for Hurley. [SW]
• Elizabeth Hurley recycled a six-year old dress? For shame! [MB]