Friday, August 15, 2008

Booty Call

Don't get excited. This isn't turning into a porno site. I'm talking about a treasure trove of accessory finds for those of you who love them as much as I do. That said, I plan on passing on to you a listing of my top ten picks on a semi-annual, (quarterly), oh hell, whenever-I-feel-like-it basis.

After a two day tramp through the major accessory trade shows – Accessorie Circuit and Accessories The Show, here's what I came up with (and it wasn't easy as I'm in hog heaven when confronted by baubles, bangles and beads and bags and….):

Wherever possible I'll try to list a contact phone/email, etc for info on retail outlets.

1. CLEVER CARRIAGE COMPANY: I drooled over the casually sophisticated genuine South African springbok (think antelope) east/west natural satchel and the capacious mailman messenger bags. Also chic and well-priced for the real McCoy is the "Kruger" crocodile flap clutch available in six colors. CleverCarriageCompany or 212-268-1117

Clever Carriage Company's Springbok Bag sans C&C'S Drool

2. GERARD YOSCA: One of my all-time favorite costume jewelry resources. I've been collecting Gerry's baubles for many years and always get compliments. This time I practically drooled over a magnificent faux ivory, hinged-cuff bracelet, embellished with gorgeous glass stones in a rainbow of colors –very Verdura/Chanel in looks, at a much better price and sure to up the fashion quotient of any outfit. This stunner also comes in black. Yosca or 212-302-4349

Yosca's Elephant-Safe and Bank Account-Friendly Bangles

3. MURVAL PARIS: This handbag/tote/travel collection was a real find. And judging by the crowds of buyers at their booth, I wasn't alone in thinking this. OK so I'll narrow my choices down to a fab oversized vinyl double-handled satchel (also offered in two smaller sizes). It comes in red, plum and black. Also hot is Murval's black moc-croc tote on wheels. It resembles the iconic Birkin bag and is in my opinion a terrific way to travel light and look chic at the same time. Murval or 305 715-9066
Let's Make It Simple.
You Want Murval's Satchels!

Murval's Moc-Croc on Wheels
C&C Doesn't Schlep Her Luggage. Why Should You?

4. SAM EDELMAN: Ever try finding a pair of boots which doesn't require taking out a small bank loan? Well I just did at this fashion-forward footwear collection. "Belle" is a knee-high, flat boot in buttery perforated suede and comes in delicious shades of sun, lilac, stone and ice. Sam also makes a bootie version which features an architecturally sculpted mid-height heel. California girls would probably wear these all summer long. For the rest of us, either pair will take fall/winter in style.
samedelmanshoe e-mail: or 212-245-7993

5. ESPE: I originally stumbled on this Ontario-based handbag/small leather goods resource in a trendy upscale Montreal boutique. The look is whimsical, almost kitschy, but really, really adorable and very affordable since everything is made of patterned vinyl with cute appliqué details. I bought one of the lunch bags (really a small zip-top handbag in rich red detailed with a cute olive green frog) and a butterfly wallet in brown/olive combo. There are lots of designs to choose from, each one cuter than the next. Espe or 800-786-7690

Lunch is in the Bag! Really. Ok, so I would never dare put food in this beauty by ESPE.

ESPE'S Butterfly Wallet
A Lovely Place to Keep All That Money You Just Saved

6. JEFFREY CAMPBELL: The craze for rubber rain boots continues with everybody and his brother hopping on the bandwagon. However, this footwear company was the first we found which offered boots in knee-high lengths which are much more flattering than the ubiquitous mid-calf versions. My personal fave was the paisley patterned boot called "Marsha". Also nice was "Voom" a rubber boot with a low wedge heel in an abstract pattern. jeffreycampbellshoes email: or 347-623-0758

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!

When Art and Footwear Collide... Va-Va-Va-Voom!

7. BOSOM BUDDY BAGS: Can't afford a Nantucket basket? Then check out the next best thing, this collection of made-in-Bali wicker handbags. I love the total Waspiness of the large oval Bali in natural with black handle trimmed with a tortoise buckle, and the medium oval bag in natural with woven handles and the same tortoise buckle. Both are part of the Buckle Series. Not cheap but beautifully hand crafted and worth the bucks.
bosombuddybags e-mail: or 410-823-3669

8. SAND BY NIRVANNA DESIGNS INC: Gladiator sandals are still a major fashion trend. However, most of what's out there only looks good on a ten-foot tall model. I happened upon this extensive sandal collection and found some terrific alternatives. Particularly chic is the "Carrie", a flat t-strapped version with mock snake band which works nicely for "city" while the "Alexandra" and "Athena" would look best worn strolling the Greek Isles. or 718-361-6520

She Dumped Those Other Girls and Got Herself Some New Friends

Meet Alexandra (left) and Athena (right)
Beautiful, Self-Assured, and Much, Much Less Neurotic

9. ORLA KIELY: Can't afford Hermes' latest item, a zipped leather pouch which opens up to a tote in one of their iconic signature silk prints? Here's the next best thing, Kiely's zipaway shopper available in three print colorways. Want a "real" handbag instead? Then go for her oversized satchel in tonal patent leather. It comes in dusk, truffle, claret. Not cheap but well worth the investment.
orlakiely or 212-643-4810

10. LOUISE GREEN: One of the best milliners around! Berets are in this season, so while Louise always offers in her extensive collection a charming assortment of cloche hats and face- flattering shapes, this time I fell for her must-have muted wool tweed beret accented with two tonal plaid appliquéd flowers centered with tiny satin buttoned bows. I love it in olive, but medium brown, dark brown and charcoal are also available.
LousieGreen or 310-479-1881

The Louise Green Olive Beret - You Need One!

Cute and Timely
Lawrence Green, CEO of Louise Green Millinery and
2004 and 2008 Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh

11. LACOSTE: I know, I know, I said that I'd keep this list to my top ten but I couldn't leave out this last but definitely not least designer. You already know about their great sportswear separates but maybe you've overlooked the terrific range of handbags and totes. In the latter category I flipped for the large glen plaid shopper – very bon chic bon genre or to put it another way – preppy with a French twist. For weekend getaways nothing beats Lacoste's gigantic signature tote bags complete with detachable zip top clutch inside.
Lacoste or 212-888-7442

That's it for now, next stop the gift shows to see what's hot in home accent décor. C&C

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row