The Great Debate Continues! Should We Mix Our Metals?

Almost all of us have heard at least one of those weird unwritten fashion rules: Don’t wear white after Labor Day. Sneakers are only meant for exercising. Don’t mix black and brown.
They are usually imposed on us by older relatives that see to it that a certain classical way of dressing gets passed down like some dusty old knick-knack. And while I don’t personally believe that any of these rules are bad or have never served a purpose, I just think that like all things, trends come and go so most of these so-called rules, if they can’t be outright broken, can still offer us some leeway in how we choose to apply those standards when putting together outfits.

For instance, us fashion-focused folks know that winter white is totally a thing, sneakers can be both fashionable AND comfortable, and black/brown tortoise shell print is super chic. But I still have always wondered what rules exist when it comes to our hardware. Are there any requirements for how we should adorn ourselves with all of those little shiny bits that we use to spruce up our look? Is there an ideal for how our jewelry, sunglasses, and purse hardware should all coincide? After all, we spend a lot of time picking out a bag with the perfect specs so, should we be mixing our metals?

For starters, the traditional belief is that we should never mix metals and always strive for complete unison. This kind of makes sense because owning full jewelry sets used to be much more commonplace and the metal options pretty much stopped at gold or silver. This created a sense of opposition between the two and sometimes gave collective preference for one or the other during certain eras. As an example, this way of flip-flopping in and out of style was never more obvious than it is with the popularity of yellow gold.

One generation of women might have loved nothing more than to deck themselves out in striking polished 18k gold while another might see it as overly flashy and prefer the allure of lustrous silvery pieces. (see also: the early 2000s). Its popularity wanes but it always comes back around. And now in contemporary times, we not only are rocking many more ornamental pieces than in yesteryear (smartwatches, facial piercings, etc.), but we also have more choices of metal color that have undermined the strictness of the traditional rule.
No longer only contrasted against shiny metallic silvers or dazzling white gold, now there is also Rose Gold- a pinkish alloy blend that has a way of being both youthful and serene without ever appearing overstated. Similarly, there is also Champagne Gold (sometimes called Brushed Gold) that has become an increasingly common hardware option on big-name bags like Chanel and Dior. Its color is still a tad lighter and softer than 14k gold, giving it the unique ability to reflect both white and yellow light so that it never leans too hard in either direction and makes it a great “transitional” option for those who do like to mix.

On the silver side of the spectrum, there are dozens of options that share a shade, making them easy to wear all together. Sterling silver, palladium, white gold, and platinum work seamlessly together but since these metals always take center stage, they overshadow the few rarer but equally enticing options; Like pewter – a naturally grey alloy that contains varying amounts of copper or silver, giving it an interesting range of tones that at its darkest can look almost black to the lightest being an interesting metallic silver-tinted taupe kind of color.

When pondering if we should be mixing metals I am inclined to say that we can, as long as it looks deliberate. Details make a difference and many accessory brands have already hopped onto the trend of making pieces that purposely incorporate mixed metals. Using any of these as transitional pieces can help with establishing the intentionality of the look and let us have all of the glamour without it ever being considered “gaudy.”

Still yet, I’m personally in the classical camp and like to keep my metals united as much as possible and as a result, I try to keep an even balance between bags with either brushed gold or silver hardware in my collection.

I love to go for those transitional colors for my other accessories so that they can act as a workaround and ensure I don’t ever feel like anything is clashing too much. Nevertheless, there is no way to truly dictate whether we should or should not mix since we all have the freedom to wear whatever color suits our fancy. Maybe our favorite metal color doesn’t follow the modern rule that it should flatter our skin tone or maybe we just feel like going all out on a particular day and stack every shade on top of one another. In any case, we should get dressed without limiting ourselves and not do things a certain way just because we feel like we have to. Some of us simply may be more naturally inclined to lean one way while others, like our own Kaitlin, prefer to add an unpredictable cue to their look.

So, now I want to know your opinion. What is your favorite hardware color? Do you mix your metals? Does hardware color influence your bag-buying decisions?

Matthew Williams Teases New Brand Direction for Givenchy

Earlier this year, news broke that beloved designer Clare Waight Keller would be leaving her post at Givenchy after just three years at the brand. News of the designer’s departure wasn’t all that shocking, as Waight Keller never quite found her footing at the brand, at least not nearly as well as she did while at Chloé, where the designer’s aesthetic seamlessly married with the brand’s DNA. Following her departure, fans anxiously anticipated what was next for the brand. Then, two months later, it was announced that American designer Matthew Williams would be taking over the role as creative director, effective immediately.

While Williams has no formal design training, his resume is expansive, boasting collaborations with both Kanye West and Lady Gaga, as well as his own haute streetwear brand 1017 Alyx 9SM. The move comes at an interesting time both for Givenchy and fashion as a whole. The lines between high fashion and streetwear are more blurred than ever before and fashion itself is on the precipice of change.

Now, just days away from Givenchy’s spring 2021 show, Matthew Williams has begun to tease his new direction for the brand in Givenchy’s latest ad campaign as well as via the brand’s social channels. In addition to the static images that were released, a video accompanied the campaign, featuring a playful monologue by rapper Playboi Carti, that toys with all the ways to incorrectly (and correctly) pronounce Givenchy.
So what can fans expect from Givenchy under the direction of Williams? For starters, fans should expect to see a whole lot of new and interesting hardware, which was revealed in the series of images shot by photographer Nick Knight, who is a longtime friend of the designer. New key hardware symbols are introduced, which Williams will bring to life in collections for both women and men, according to a statement from the house.

Following the release of the campaign, the brand then slyly posted a zoomed-in image of what appears to be a bag with the caption ‘hi’ and nothing more on its Instagram page. A chain link detail bearing the Givenchy interlocking G sits on the bag, proving that these new key elements will blend into the brand’s accessories too. All eyes will be on the runway when the designer’s spring 2021 collection debuts next week.

Did Ramona Singer Carry a Fake Gucci Bag on RHONY?

If there’s one thing that’s as common as drama on any given episode of Bravo’s reality series Real Housewives of New York it’s great handbags. The New York housewives know how to bring the heat, toting around 15 pounds of drama in their designer handbags, and yes, there are many. From Chanel and Louis Vuitton to Hermès and fake Gucci—wait, what?! Yep, that’s right, fans will recall the accusation, which was brought to light during the final installment of the season 12 reunion last week.
Uber-cool new housewife Leah McSweeney accused fellow castmate Ramona Singer of carrying a fake on the show. Funny-gal Sonja Morgan can be heard chanting ‘Chinatown,’ in the background, which is a known area in New York City to purchase counterfeits.

The argument began after McSweeney had jokingly poked fun at Singer’s over-the-top reaction to the Gucci Ophidia Snakeskin Shoulder Bag 50 of her closest friends gifted her for her birthday on the show. “Nobody acts that way over a handbag,” McSweeney can be heard stating, after claiming another Gucci bag Singer carried earlier in the season was a fake. Producers then cued to a scene of Singer with a black Gucci GG Marmont Shoulder bag on her lap.

The bag can also be seen worn over the shoulder in an earlier episode of the show, appearing to be the small size. I’m no authentication expert, and screen grabs from the scenes aren’t the clearest, but there are no outwardly jarring characteristics that scream fake to me, even when watching the show’s actual footage. Yet, McSweeney works in the fashion industry and is clearly a purse lover herself, often seen carrying Saint Laurent and other lust-worthy bags on the show. So would she lie just to make her castemate look déclassé or does her eye see something we don’t?

Well, the jury’s still out.

The Look for Less: Fall Round Up

It’s hard to believe that October is just around the corner. 2020 truly has been a blur and autumn is already upon us. With a new season comes the need for a new handbag (or two or three…). I’ve searched high and low for a fresh round up of looks for less, giving you the best bang for your buck this season!

I personally am obsessing over the Tory Burch Fleming bucket bag, it looks so similar to the Chanel bucket bag I have been drooling over but don’t have $6,000 for. I think this Tory Burch is going to be my newest acquisition, it’s perfect for fall!

Without further ado, here are the latest looks for less I found. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Introducing the Louis Vuitton Trunk Chain Wallet

When Nicolas Ghesquière debuted the Louis Vuitton Petite Malle Clutch fashionistas took notice. Despite the bags teeny tiny structure and hefty price tag, the Petite Malle Clutch was embraced by handbag lovers and went on to be reiterated season after season. Last year Louis Vuitton released a more wearable version of the Petite Malle at a much more accessible price point. Now, a year later, we have a new bag to add to this lineup: the Louis Vuitton Trunk Chain Wallet.

The newly released Trunk Chain Wallet was of course inspired by the original, the Trunk Clutch. Ghesquière elaborately crafted this design, which, much like the Petite Malle and the Trunk Clutch, features details adapted from Louis Vuitton’s historic trunks. These details include metal studs, an S-lock clasp and a Malletage-pattern lining. While the original version of the Trunk Clutch costs $3,300, this new mini version, which is currently only available in Epi leather, retails for $2,790.
The Louis Vuitton Chain Wallet is comparable in size to other chain wallets. At 7.5″ L x 4.9″ H x 1.4″ W an iPhone X would comfortably fit inside, along with your other essentials. The chain strap is removable so that the bag can be worn cross body, over the shoulder, or strictly as a clutch. Inside, there is a large gusseted compartment, a full zippered pocket and a a flat pocket. Currently both the Black and Rose Epi leather versions are available for purchase via Louis Vuitton.

Introducing Artycapucines By Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton first launched it’s now iconic Capucines bag in 2013, and since its release the Capucines has been reimagined in many different iterations. Named after Rue des Capucines, which is the Parisian Street on which Louis Vuitton’s first store was opened, the Capucines has become somewhat of a contemporary classic. This summer, Louis Vuitton has once again introduced a new take on the Capucines bag, tapping into 6 contemporary artist’s unique visions to create 6 limited edition styles.

This capsule collection is called the Artycapucines Collection and the Capucines bag provides an ideal ‘blank canvas’ for an artists individual design. Each artist has taken this classic silhouette and created a bag that is distinct to their artistic vision. These six international artists include Sam Falls, Urs Fischer, Nicholas Hlobo, Alex Israel, Tschabalala Self, and Jonas Wood. As the brand states, the Artycapucines Collection is further proof of Louis Vuitton’s unique ability to bring artists ideas to life. Each Artycapucines bag retails for $8,600 and is available via Louis Vuitton.

 

Louis Vuitton Just Introduced a Brand New Camera Bag

About a year ago Louis Vuitton introduced a new camera style bag called the Saintogne Bag and it was an instant hit for the brand. The bag’s success is truly not that big of a surprise, as putting a fresh and modern Louis Vuitton take on classic bag structures has worked very well for the brand in the past. Not to mention, camera bags have been wildly popular the last few seasons, popping up amongst almost every contemporary and premier designer’s assortments.
For summer 2019 Louis Vuitton has introduced another camera bag to its lineup, and Damier Ebene fans will be very happy. Similar in shape, size and structure, the Louis Vuitton Santa Monica Bag now comes in Damier Ebene canvas with smooth cowhide leather in addition to monogram vernis, which was released for Spring 2019.

Loyal fans of Louis Vuitton will remember that the Santa Monica Bag used to exist as a clutch bag, and Vuitton’s website states that this bag is a new version of the compact, casual-chic Santa Monica bag. It’s comparable in size to the Saintogne bag, and with overall dimensions of 8.7 L x 5.9 H x 2.8 D, it’s a great size for everyday. Inside there is a slit pocket, and the bag can be hand carried via the top handle or worn cross body with the long strap. Purchase now via Louis Vuitton for $1,650.

Revisiting the Classic and Chic Louis Vuitton Alma

Last month I started thinking about my next bag buy. Two options came to mind, two options that I’ve been thinking about for a few months, which to me means they’re good options. Through all the noise the Chanel Camera Bag and the Celine Nano Luggage Tote have stayed at the forefront of my bag-loving mind. I’m not yet ready to pull the trigger on either one of those bags, or any bag for that matter, but now I’ve added another option to the mix: the Louis Vuitton Alma BB in Epi Leather.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve lusted after the Alma bag. In fact, my eye was drawn to the Alma way back in 2008 when I got my very first Louis Vuitton Bag for my high school graduation. My Speedy 25 was the obvious choice—it was my holy grail bag after all, but at the last minute, right before the purchase was about to be finalized, my eye was drawn to the Alma in Monogram Canvas. The sales associate asked if I wanted to try it on and I immediately said no. In all these years I never regretted not giving the Alma a second look, but it was a bag that was kind of always on my radar. And when I outgrew a lust for adding more Monogram Canvas Bags to my collection, the Epi Leather version stayed on my mind.

Last fall I was in the market for a red bag, and though I ended up getting the Sac de Jour Nano in red embossed croc, an Alma BB was an option that I seriously considered. Right around the time I began my fiery quest, my parents were vacationing in Scotland and I knew that if the Alma BB was the bag I was ultimately going to purchase, the obvious thing to do was have them purchase it for me there. The difference in the dollar coupled with the VAT tax refund would have made it cost significantly less than if I were to purchase it in New York. I FaceTimed with my parents a couple of times, did the math to figure out how much it would cost, and even had them visit the boutique to check out the bag.
Ultimately I couldn’t pull the trigger on it because I had the Saint Laurent in the back of my head, and I’m totally content with the red bag that I eventually did buy. Yet even still, the Alma keeps popping up on my radar. A couple of weeks ago I saw a very chic girl wearing an Alma BB in Black and my first thought was ‘I need that bag!’ I’ve always been attracted to it, but more and more it seems like an incredibly enticing buy. It’s sleek and stylish, yet classic and not overly branded. I also adore that the hardware is silver, which would sit well amongst my current bag lineup, as most of my bags have gold hardware (including my go-to black bag). Lastly, in today’s climate, with bag prices reaching upwards of $2K, the price point is enticing as well.

As if by fate, the Alma once again popped up on my radar this week when I was clicking around on the Louis Vuitton website. There was a feature on the Alma listed on the LV NOW section of the website, a sort of ode to this iconic shape. It was created by Gaston Vuitton and initially named the “Squire bag”. It was relaunched as the Alma in 1992, and now over 25 years later it is a true symbol of Parisian elegance. The Louis Vuitton Alma BB Epi Leather is available via Louis Vuitton for $1,620.

I’m Considering Paying Double the Retail Price to get my Hands on Louis Vuitton’s Onthego

When Louis Vuitton released the Monogram Giant Collection, I was instantly smitten. I’m a Louis gal through and through, and this collection has been checking all of the logo-mania boxes. I became particularly obsessed with the Onthego tote bag, and quite frankly haven’t been able to get the dang bag off my mind ever since. The Onthogo is quite large, measuring L 16.1 x H 13.4 x W 7.5 inches. You can easily fit a laptop, book, scarf, wallet, sunglasses, and any other belongings you like to carry around with you in a bag of that size. Worried about it being super heavy if you load it up with your belongings? Fear not, because the Onthego is made of coated canvas, so it won’t get as weighed down as a leather handbag of the same size would. That is one of my favorite things about Louis Vuitton, the canvas is so lightweight and low maintenance.
There are a lot of details about the Onthego that I love. Most obviously, the giant logo being the main one. Another detail that makes a huge statement is the contrast of the mini monogram on the handles. Such a small monogram packs a big punch, particularly up against the giant oversized mono on the bag! Speaking of handles, this handbag has two sets of them. You can carry it by hand with the mini mono rolled handles, or throw it over your shoulder with the longer straps for hands-free carrying. Each panel of the handbag is a different color, so depending on the way you carry it, it looks like a different bag. I am wildly obsessed with the khaki green/white/beige/crème combo, but would happily take a reverse monogram (which isn’t even appearing on the US Louis Vuitton site at this time). Any time I go to add the khaki color (it also comes in rouge and vert) to my cart, I receive the dreaded “Call for Availability” message on the site every single time. I’ve been told it will become available sporadically, but I have not been lucky enough to purchase offline yet.

When I was in Paris earlier this month, I went to Louis Vuitton every single day of my trip to try to stalk this bag. I went to multiple locations, in hopes that I would get lucky while I was there. A tip if you’re in Paris and in the market for a new LV, I found the St-Germain location to be the least crowded and have the friendliest sales associates (and I stopped in a few times!). Despite multiple attempts, I was told each time that the Onthego was completely sold out in France. I ended up purchasing another LV on my last day of the trip, but instead of satiating my desire for a new LV, my fixation on owning an Onthego has only intensified.

Since finding an Onthego in a boutique or on the LV site has been such a challenge, I decided to look into the resale market, which is a place I shop often. I’ve been able to score premier designs for a fraction of their retail cost in the past, but it’s always been a few years after the height of the bag’s popularity. Because the Onthego is limited edition and one of the hottest bags of Summer 2019, resale sites are capitalizing on that. To purchase from a reputable resale website, the price of an Onthego is averaging $4,000. For reference, if you were to purchase an Onthego directly from Louis Vuitton, it will set you back $2,440 (the price was raised in June from its original price of $2,340). As much as I want this bag, $4,000 is a pill that I just cannot swallow.

I can’t bring myself to buy an Onthego for nearly double the price, but I can’t seem to shake my need for this bag. What’s a girl to do? Give up on my dream of owning this bag or continue stalking the LV site? Are there any bags that you can’t let go of?

 

Introducing the Fendi Hand in Hand Baguette Project

Arguably one of the most iconic bags of modern time, the Fendi Baguette, which was designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, has been reinvented time and time again. Since its relaunch last year the bag has sky-rocketed back to popularity and remained a staple for the Italian design House. Now, Fendi is proud to introduce its latest line of ultra limited-edition Baguette Bags. The collection of 20 bags is part of the Fendi Hand in Hand project which is a grassroots partnership with local artisans across Italy.

Thought up by Silvia Venturini Fendi herself who wanted to celebrate community and had the idea of showing what’s behind a beautiful product, the partnership is an ode to Italy and its storied history of artisanal craftsmanship. The project showcases Italy’s centuries-old techniques, many of which have been used for generations, by tapping into the talent of 20 different artisans that were hand selected from every region in Italy.
Each limited-edition Baguette celebrates an atelier or workshop’s local craft, transforming the classic shape into a true work of art. Time-honored skills and specialties of craftspeople across Italy are featured in this unprecedented project. The diverse group of artisans have reimagined the Baguette using their own traditional techniques, and each one is stamped with the atelier’s name and location along with a gold ‘FENDI Hand in Hand’ logo. For an inside look at this extraordinary new project check out the video below and discover the Baguette via Fendi.