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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Celebrity Style: A little "Chloé" Goes A Long Way

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It seems like forever since I wrote up a celebrity handbag sighting. It felt great looking for those gems of a photo that satisfy the voyeur in me. It was quite coincidental that both my finds were Oscar winning stars with a thing for Chloé bags.


First up is Reese Witherspoon, who looks better with every passing year (hate her!). On the set of her new film, Reese was photographed looking sleek and sophisticated and topping the chic look off with a Chloé Elsie Shoulder Bag. This particular design is one I like more in person than in photographs. It comes across as a bit flat, which it's not. Even in this shot of Reese, the bag looks a tad deflated (the props department for the film should really stuff these bags properly).

One of the reasons why I feel this design is a step in the right direction for Chloé accessories is the fact that, although it sort of resembles a rather famous designer bag that shall remain nameless, it looks and feels more youthful than other chain-strap designs. You can nab the 'Elsie' in black buffalo leather for just under $1100.


The second bag is not only one of Chloé's best handbag designs to date, it's also my top handbag pick for the fall. The understated Hilary Swank toted her Chloé Cary Bag while making her way through the airport. Taking the 'Cary' along while traveling is the perfect choice. This, folks, is a practical designer bag - such a rare commodity in the luxury handbag world. But I wouldn't expect anything less from Chloé nowadays.

This roomy satchel-style bag has lots of little nooks and crannies to shove all your stuff inside. Pockets abound and two main compartments are just what a woman-on-the-go wants and needs from her bag.

Chloé Cary Bag

For me, however, it's all the tiny details that push this bag right to the front of the pack for fall. The polished, square metal accents on the double handles, the fact that the handles are attached to the bag on the sides rather than the front and rear, the choice of adding a structured center divider rather than leaving the bag a big old sloppy mess, the fact that the side zippered compartments along the bottom seem appropriate rather than afterthoughts - all these elements exemplify a thoughtful design process. A simple, sophisticated and special design all at once. Hilary's bag knocks it out of the park with respect to all the aforementioned traits. The smaller version of Ms. Swank's Cary Bag is available on-line in anthracite grey (gorgeous) and khaki beige for $1565. Hilary's larger chocolate brown iteration is just a few hundred dollars more in case your interested.

Shop Chloé bags via Nordstrom

Photos: Just Jared and Chloé.com

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Legacy Fit For A King

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As I sit here writing about yet another Alexander McQueen Skull Clutch, I find it difficult to believe that he is no longer with us. His unrivaled talent is so ingrained in every piece he every designed that I feel as if he hasn't really left us at all.

This version of his now legendary Skull Clutch is nothing short of spectacular. The design - part of his final collection - is a testament to everything he stood for as a fashion designer. A man known for pushing the boundaries of design, the "king of avant-garde", took a youthful, punk-inspired, rock-n-roll chic bag and transformed it into a work of art.


Is the rhinestone-clad queen skull adorning the clasp a bit over the top? Well, yes, of course. This is Alexander McQueen we're talking about. I'd expect nothing less. I can turn to a myriad of designers for prim and proper bags. But let's not mince words here. My favorite detailing on this particular clutch is the pattern of gold-accented red patent leather petals covering the entire exterior. Oh, how I could stare at this bag forever! What is not to absolutely love about this parting gift from McQueen? Red patent leather, gold detailing, skulls, rhinestones - it's all a crazy yet sophisticated melding of elements. In a word, it's perfection.

Thank you for leaving us with these jewels of design to treasure forever, Mr. McQueen. Thank you.

Available for pre-order via Neiman Marcus ($2265)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Alexander Wang Spring 2011 Collection: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

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I congratulate New York fashion designer Alexander Wang for a Spring 2011 collection that took two very important steps forward in terms of overall style evolution. First, NO BLACK!!! It's refreshing to see a sans black collection from "Mr. Downtown Cool" himself. The offerings this time around were fun, festive but still very "Wang". Just a more optimistic Wang.

The structured yet deconstructed looks fit in perfectly within Wang's established aesthetic. The smock-like jackets were my absolute favorites. So chic and flattering, I couldn't help but admire how much Wang has come along. If I ever said he was a one-trick pony, I'm prepared to take it back and eat crow.


Another well-executed step forward came by way of shoes. High-heeled construction-style booties were nothing short of genius. Not that they haven't been done before, it's just these were better than their more mundane predecessors. It really is a pity that, taking into account how fantastic this collection was, Wang decided to neglect his most successful venture to date - handbags!


 What can I say about the incredibly boring bag offerings - I suppose I just said they were boring (which they are) - other than they were a HUGE step back. Tisk, tisk, Wang. Don't just go on the assumption that your fan base will scoop up ANY bag you put out just because it's a Wang bag. Other more well-established labels (Fendi, anyone?) have done this season after season only to meet with financial loses.

Crack that whip and work on your bags for fall, OK? ;-)

Photos via Style.com

See by Chloé Metallic Day Tripper

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After a much-needed sabbatical from designer handbags, I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue focusing my time on them. Truth be told, some of the comments and e-mails I received earlier in the year were very personal and insulting. I have pretty tough skin, but devoting the time it takes to research and write for this blog (time I'm spending away from my family for little or no compensation) seemed to go by unappreciated except for a few loyal readers who kept me going. I'm not asking for praise or acceptance, but courtesy. If you don't like what you're reading here, simply move on. There are PLENTY of handbag blogs on the web. There's no need to hang around reading mine if my opinions are "worthless". I plan to continue sharing my "worthless" opinions and I'll begin with this fabulous metallic See by Chloé Day Tripper.

Coming in at just over the all important $500 mark, this sporty handbag receives a touch of urban chic with the addition of gold and silver flecks over the entire black leather exterior. It has the usual Day Tripper front zippered pockets and detachable shoulder strap. It's still a fun and relatively affordable day bag, but now it's cool enough to use at night.

It's good to see this moderately-priced line continues to evolve, even if it is at a relatively slow pace. The metallic See by Chloé Day Tripper is another step in the right direction.

Available for $520 via Net-A-Porter

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Alexander Wang Tai Train Case Bag

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I think many designer handbag enthusiasts will agree that Alexander Wang's foray into handbag design has produced mixed results. Initial designs were promising and edgy, but sub-par construction and deceptive marketing photography yielded a debut grouping that required much improvement. The past two seasons provided only countless rehashings of the Coco (I mean, Rocco - oh, whatever!), and, frankly, I was losing hope of ever seeing any cool bags from the design world's "cool" kid. But lately there are glimmers of hope on the horizon. One ray of light in Wang's dark and modern utilitarian world comes by way of the Tai Train Case Bag.

This bag is sharp and absolutely adorable in a simplistic sort of way. Is this bag practical? Probably not (it's not very big at 9 x 7.5 x 3). Is it cheap? Well, at $750, it's all relative. Is it fabulous? YES!!! C'mon now, a cute little train case? How could it not be? The strap and studs closure is masculine, and the square shape is boyish as well, but this is Alexander Wang we're talking about, folks. That's exactly how he wants his ladies to look - hip, sophisticated and a tad "Adam-ish". If you have $750 lying around, this could be a fun option for that whimsical bag every gal should have. Granted, the Tai Train Case Bag isn't your typical whimsical design, so use your imagination :-)

Available via Saks.com
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