Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fashion Redux

Why spend your money on overpriced designer apparel ? Why not go another route and do your own thing. Instead of cookie cutter fashions, why not try going vintage. You'll find that the past has much to offer, better quality, unique styles and a full range of price points. 

Half the fun is in the search so we suggest hitting the Manhattan Vintage Show on February 5th & 6th. It's held at the Metropolitan  Pavillion at 125 West 18th Street. NYC

I've scooped up many a chic bargain, not to mention a wonderful selection of old Vogue & Harpers Bazaar issues plus a fabulous selection of vintage accessories.

Speaking of accessories, Nula Thanhauser has one of the best collections of antique and vintage purses. I'd love to own one of her stunning handbags. (HINT....I can be bribed)

Her collection is pricey but worth ever penny. She does the major antique shows around the country. 

For further information contact.........Nula @ 1-215-266-2888 or check out her website,

So dip your toes in vintage waters, I'll guarantee that you'll be hooked. See you at the shows.....


Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Ditch your Birkin, dump that's time to get with the program. Switch to Nanette Lepore's debut spring handbag collection in major retailers in February 2016.

With a 70's boho vibe, the collection includes a variety of silhouettes from to satchels to cross body, buckets, totes, etc. Besides the elegant signature gold hardware on supple leather and suede, the line features patchwork and applique detailing, fringe, tassels, saddle stitching etc. Pretty print linings add feminine appeal. All in all the different elements set Nanette Lepore's handbags apart from the rest.

In 2016, Birkins will be so 2015... Nanette Lepore will see to it! 


Now with the money that you've saved, check out her brand new watch collection. PUT ASIDE YOUR CELL PHONE ! The days when everyone owned one fine watch are every fashionista owns a wardrobe of watches. If you want to keep your arms free for all those bracelets, I recommend that you buy the pendant watch dangling from a long gold tone chain from Nanette's lower priced diffusion line. From Nanette's designer range (still very affordable) the sporty chic watch with it's double wrapped leather band offers the look of Hermes .

Stay tuned for more fashion updates from Nanette Lepore's growing lifestyle brand.

Happy shopping,


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Take Five

Fashion week is over, the tents have folded, the off-site venues have shut down, press lounge is kaput and the trade shows are finito.

While I saw quite a few designer offerings I've narrowed my selection down to my top five picks (translation...I want to owe them all).

1. TAN & BROWN : A scrumptious luxury handbag line from Australia. The saddle brown cowhide and "leopard" calf hair are stand outs. All bags are beautifully lined in rich suede.
Find out more at

What is Australian for "Leopard on the Bag?"  It Might Be "Tan and Brown."

2. CANADA BLISS: Perfect for the cold days ahead, this line of hand knit and crochet caps are comfy and come in a variety of colors. This is a great unisex line. Find them on line at

What Are They Up To in the North? Blissful Headgear.

Photos Credit: M. McKenzie

3. MOLLY BRACKEN: Recently launched in the U.S, this French ready to wear collection can be found at upscale boutiques. Perfect dresses, separates, outer wear and even shoes all have that Parisian je ne sais quoi. For more info go to

The Name Sounds Irish, but the Style is All France! Vive la France!

4. ANGELA ROI: This is a very affordable of vegan leather handbags from a talented South Korean designer. The collection includes a variety of tote bags, satchels, saddle bags that come in a variety of great colors. Buy on line at

FW Models Look Better with Angela Roi's Vegan Leather Handbag

Photo Credit: Angela Roi
Photo Credit: M. McKenzie

Photo Credit: M. McKenzie

5. ERIC JAVITS: One of my favorite milliners has outdone himself this time. Thinking ahead to resort/spring there's a drawstring bucket bag that's on trend. It's available in gold or silver with brown leather trim. Pair this with anyone of his "Squishee" packable hats. Perfect for town or travel. The line is carried at all major retailers. For more info go to

Spring 2016 - All You Will Need Is an Eric Javits Bag and Hat!*
*additional clothing may be required per local ordinances

Photos Credit: M. McKenzie


Saturday, August 1, 2015


No, I'm not talking about swimsuits and sandals. Yours truly in an never ending quest to bring you the latest fashion finds trekked to Ocean Grove, New Jersey (easy access via N.J transit). This charming resort town offers a wealth of quirky boutiques plus a fabulous ice cream parlor that should not be missed. 

Since I'm always on the hunt for vintage finds where ever I go, I made a bee line to a boutique called "FROM HEART TO HEARTH" at 62 A Main # 732-774-0269. The shop's warren of rooms are filled to the brim with affordable collectibles, from vintage 50's straw hats and purses to jewelry, figurines, books and toys, etc. I scooped up a delicately carved intaglio stick pin and vintage Avon perfume encased in a ceramic bottle in the form of an Elizabethan era doll. A lack of funds prevented me from doing more damage......besides black raspberry ice cream was calling me.

Just letting you know that if you get the chance......Ocean Grove will be hosting a flea market on September 8th.

Since there is more to life than shopping......maybe.....take a stroll on the boardwalk that runs from Asbury Park to Ocean Grove and beyond. If time permits be sure to splurge on dinner at the "MOONSTRUCK" restaurant.....reserve a table on the second floor porch and enjoy the views. For information go to 732-988-0123.

Enjoy yourself ........who just might run into Bruce Springsteen.

Until next time......C&C

Thursday, May 14, 2015

East Meets West

Yes, I know that you've seen a million images from the latest Met gala........including a lot of half naked badly dressed celebs.  But here's the thing, The Costume Institute's "China Through The LookingGlass" is a must see exhibition. I was in awe of the fashions both authentic Chinese and Western inspired.

Fashion Didn't Stop at the Great Wall!

Photo Credit:  M. McKenzie

In addition, the magnificent displays, film clips and background music combined to make this a must see and my favorite all time exhibit.

C&C'S Minions Created a GIF of Their Favorite Styles at the Exhibit

Photo Credit:  M. McKenzie

Here's a tip:  skip the gift shop offerings and head to Pearl RiverMart in Soho for the real deal at better prices.

The exhibition runs through August 16, 2015.

Until next time.....C&C

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


If you're like me you're probably tired of seeing the same old designer names over and over. Fortunately at a recent Macy's press event dubbed" Fashion Incubators" I found some interesting noteworthy young designers on the cusp of fashion stardom. Be sure to check out these following newcomers:

VICTORIA WRIGHT - her collection is composed of diverse textures, modern florals, whimsical silhouettes and vintage references. Her line is aimed at bohemian contemporary women. For more on this designer go to

Incubating a Bohemian Style - Victoria Wright


Photos Credit:  Melanie McKenzie

SHELBY STEINER - has an interesting, unique aesthetic (think Bjork, only more wearable). I flipped out over the white puff A-line skirt and sweatshirt.....very cool. Think of these as the high fashion version of bubble wrap. For more cool fashions go to

"Wearable Bjork," a Contradiction in Terms, 
But Shelby Steiner Proves It Can Be Done!

Photos Credit:  Melanie McKenzie

MINKEEBLUE - solves the problem familiar to many women, the stuffed to the gills overloaded handbag. MinkeeBlue handbags are fashionable and functional and eliminate the need to carry two or three bags. Each bag features a 2 in 1 adjustable compartment panel. This creates an upper and lower compartment when the panel is closed. For more on this must have collection go to
Who Carries Three Bags?  No One Carrying a Minkeeblue Bag


Photos Credit:  Melanie McKenzie

EVGENIA - her take on intimate apparel can compare with the best of La Perla. I loved everything from her vintage inspired silk charmeuse shell pink bias cut gown to the ocean blue floral half slip and camisole. This collection would be perfect for a fashionista's trousseau. For more info go to

Caution:  Evgenia's Incubating Lingerie Can Lead to Incubation


Photos Credit:  Melanie McKenzie

Until next time...HAPPY SPRING......C&C

Friday, February 20, 2015


Be sure to check out the exhibit at the Jewish Museum at 5th Avenue and 92nd street in New York, Helena Rubenstein: Beauty is Power. Her cosmetics empire spanned four continents . She became a global icon as well as a leader in art, fashion and philanthropy Rubenstein was arguably the first modern self-made woman magnate.

At the turn of the century the use of cosmetics was frowned upon by the middle class. Madame Rubinstein rejected this, producing and marketing the means for ordinary women to transform themselves. This exhibit gives viewers a glimpse into Helena Rubenstein's extraordinary life. Be sure to check it out before it closes on March 22, 2015.

Until next time C&C