What defines a luxury handbag has changed in the past year — from exotic bags loaded with expensive hardware, charms, buckles and other ornaments to more timeless and elegant handbags that make a statement without making its owner look like a show-off.
On a recent trip to Italy, I was surprised to find the boutiques filled with more subdued designer handbags. While still remarkable in quality, the bags that lined the windows of Prada, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci lacked extensive ornamentation or the daring patterns these designers are known for. Instead they offered solid leather handbags in a variety of colors, including red and yellow. Styles ranged from hobo bags to structured handbags in all sizes—oversized to clutch. On past trips to Italy, I’ve noticed that not many Italian women carry clutches but I saw a few stores carrying them on this last visit—mostly long, flat and oversized.
Weaved satchel, totes and bucket bags are hot this season—with black and brown leather purses and handbags being the choicest options. Women in Italy get a lot of use of their handbags; they take them from day to evening for all types of activities, so the bags they choose are of the highest quality.
Continue reading "Italian Handbag Trends" »
Where Do Handbags Come From?
Have you ever wondered where your designer handbag came from and what went in to making it? And how does a handbag go from an idea to a finished product and why do they cost so much?
Bringing a handbag or purse design to life is an involved process—and the higher the quality of the bag, the more thought goes into its creation. The process usually begins with a sketch; however before any drawings can move into production, the designer needs to consider the latest handbag trends to ensure that the finished product will fit into current styles, meet consumer demands and offer enough differentiation to make the bag unique from others on the market.
A skilled pattern maker will use the drawings to create a paper model or prototype of the bag and an official pattern that will be used to create the entire luxury handbag collection. But before the bags can be made, the materials and colors must be selected. For example, one handbag could come in several colors or types of leather, from soft, calfskin leather to ostrich. The silhouette plays an important role in selecting the type of leather; a structured shoulder bag should use a more durable and stiff leather while a hobo or slouchy handbag would use softer, more pliable leather.
After the materials are selected, a leather cutter will cut the leather for each handbag and prepare it for stitching. This is a delicate process that requires a skilled leather worker, which contributes to the cost of an authentic handbag. Each piece must be cut perfectly to correspond to the handbag pattern—only an experienced leather cutter will know how to best work with specific types of leather to ensure that the end result is perfect.
Continue reading "An Introduction to Handbag Manufacturing" »
Stretching the Dollar: How to Get the Most Out of Your Wardrobe with Accessories
The fashion scene has changed—affected by the recession designers, retailers and consumers have shifted priorities. But that doesn’t mean people have stopped shopping. In fact, accessories, especially luxury handbags, have come more into focus. Brands like Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel appear relatively unscathed by the economic climate.
Instead of buying trendy clothes that quickly go out of fashion, consumers are turning to accessories to get more mileage out of their wardrobes. Handbags, unlike most clothes and shoes, can last a lifetime. For example, a designer handbag made by Hampton & Co., becomes an heirloom piece to pass on for generations. What’s more, one good handbag is really all you need for every day use, so women are choosing wisely and opting for investment handbags that
So what are the most popular luxury handbags styles in the recession era? Comfortable, durable and versatile handbags are the most in demand. Oversized leather and structured handbags like the Lexi Leather Satchel and Black Patent Satchel easily accommodates all of your belongings and are perfect for work, school or a day at the mall. Handbags by Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Belisi fall into this category, with a variety of luxury handbags to choose from.
A handbag instantly transforms a plain black dress from a one-trick pony into several different looks. Scarves and inexpensive jewelry also create additional style options. Leather handbags in bright colors like the red handbag from Belisi add interest to an outfit without being overwhelming or forcing you to commit to bold clothes that may go out of style in a few months.
Continue reading "Handbag Trends" »
You didn't like to share as a child. Maybe you wrote
your name across your Barbie's face so that your little sister would know it was yours. Things have changed
but you still get huffy when another woman walks into the club with the same handbag as you (and take yours by mistake!). Fortunately you have more stylish options for personalizing your
belongings than a Magic Marker. How do sterling silver and Swarovski crystals sound? Boca Raton
custom jewelry designer Constance Hart Tisdale founded It's Myne, a new concept
in wearable art. Her designer charms hook onto keychains,
necklaces, handbags and whatever else you want to claim as yours. Design
yours today and mark your territory.
Animal prints have held steady for the past few seasons but with this new crop of wild things hitting the market, you can really express yourself in tribal fashion.
Muxo by Camila Alves Totisse Cross Body Bag
Continue reading "Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Fashion Goes Tribal" »
Handbags from Sex & the City
The Sex & the City movie is what everyone is talking about. Every woman has a character she most identifies with—is it Carrie and her fashion dare devilism? Or Charlotte and her Upper East side sophistication? The fabulous SATC foursome has fondness for handbag designers like Chloe, Chanel, Prada and Robert Cavalli. In the Sex & the City movie, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are toting some of their favs, with some new additions like Nancy Gonzalez and a $2,750 Swarovski crystal-encrusted Eiffel Tower purse.
Continue reading "What’s your Sex & the City Purse-onality? " »
Some trends never make it off the runway — and with good reason. But colorblocking is making a big splash from Prada to Chloe in a variety of fashion categories including apparel, jewelry and handbags.
Colorblocking is a visual technique that posits brilliant blocks of color all over in one stretch of hue or contrasting colors. The result can be bold or subtle. I love this exotic clutch by Julie K.
Natalie Sleek Clutch in Brown Exotic
We’ve grown accustomed to putting some handbags away at the turn of the seasons as styles change from whimsical in summer to more romantic and sophisticated in the fall. But for Fall 2008, pretty much anything goes. While toting a big straw bag is probably not the best way to accessorize for a brisk fall day, a small rattan clutch with serious hardware is still au currant. Of course trends like jeweled clutches are more appropriate as the mercury drops but fun wristlets and slouchy hobo bags and oversized satchels like the Lily Satchel by D&G will transition seamlessly.
Continue reading "Fall Handbag Trends" »
I'm always excited to check out the latest seasonal trends to find out what colors, textures, fabrics and shapes are the most popular. While we can always look forward to an of-the-moment trend, each season ushers in many return trends -- and for summer this means oversized canvas totes and wicker bags, fun colors and a more casual look.
Classics like satchel handbags and shoulder bags will always have a place in the lineup. You should always have a tried-and-true handbag in your closet no matter what. With that said, let's take a look at this seasons hottest handbag trends.
Continue reading "2008 Summer Handbag Trends" »
We’ve all been warned of the new charges airlines are charging for whatever they can think of — checked baggage, primo seats (in Coach!) and food. I’ve even heard that some airlines are thinking about charging for water. So what’s a savvy traveler to do? You can grin and bare it, or you can find ways to cut corners and conserve.
Continue reading "Tips for Packing Light" »