Saturday, January 17, 2009

Think Spring

I’m typing this with frozen fingers at what has been the coldest day of the year so far. Where’s global warming when you need it? Just kidding folks, but I find that the best way to keep warm (next to a trip to some tropic island) is to think about spring fashion merchandise.

Now while the January issue of Vogue lists an $830 Goyard bag as the perfect item to carry one’s laptop, I personally think that there are much better ways to spend your money during a recession. That said, and I can’t stress this enough, put your cash into accessories. It’s still the best way to stretch your fashion dollars. And if you’re like me, you SHOPPED SMART FOR THE HOLIDAYS! Therefore I expect you have a few coins left to treat yourself to that special accessory item.

The stuff on my list won’t be in stores till Feb at the earliest (the fashion mags are touting resort merch) but it’s never too early to jumpstart your spring wardrobe plans. First of all, these are the key accessories to focus on: statement necklaces, gypsy earrings, clutches, turquoise stones, gladiator footwear, strappy city sandals, summer boots (talk about a contradiction in terms) and shoulder bags. I could go on but that should hold you for now. My next scouring trip will take me to the major accessory trade shows and I’ll keep you posted on the goods and more.

CINDA B: I flipped for this Atlanta-based line of machine-washable, water resistant travel bags, totes and accessories. Not only are they lightweight - think easy breezy carry-on bags - the newest patterns are simply gorgeous, especially her Bella Fiore and Casablanca groups. Check out the entire collection at

CASSAVOY & COMPANY: Also out of Atlanta, this jewelry company offers limited production and one-of-a-kind designs. Aptly named “Back to Nature” the spring focus is on trees, leaves and flowers and the pieces are fashioned in sterling, 18K gold, precious gemstones beads and something I’ve never heard of - 18K bimetal. It’s a thin sheet of gold fused to a thicker sheet of sterling silver. It gives off the richness of gold but at an affordable price! And that’s what we all want now. I loved the delicate oxidized flower gypsy earrings and matching pendant but you might prefer the bold triple strand flower necklace in oxidized sterling, 18K bimetal, semi-precious, and glass beads. Cassavoy can be found at

KAY JAY COLLECTION: This is a really special collection and worth spending money on. It’s a unique line of nomadic clutch bags made from antique Asian tapestries. Each bag is fashioned from recycled hand woven (by women in Afghanistan) fabrics, accented with tribal hand hammered jewelry, jade, or ancient coins. We’re talking one-of a kind here folks! For more items go to

CLARA KASAVINA: While not cheap by any means, if you’re in the market for a stunning clutch, forget Judith Leiber, this line is right up your alley (especially if you saved a bundle by hitting the sales for those holiday gifts). You already know that skin is in so opt for one of Clara’s gorgeous, jewel framed python clutches. My fave is “Tatiana” in soft pink with drop-in chain. While you’re at it, note the new jewelry collection, especially the range of hoop earrings. My choice would be the pave hoop clips. The collection is repped by Theresa Barone at the ITEM showroom. You can reach her at

MARK EDGE: I flipped for this eco-friendly jewelry line the designer calls “Ecovintage.” The collection comprises handcrafted one-of-a-kind pieces fashioned from reclaimed metals and wood, old stock chains and fittings, and vintage crystals. There’s a lot of great bold, unisex stuff here and as Mark put it, “green is the new bling.” Sure to start a conversation is a vintage pistol pendant attached to a vintage and plated gold link chain necklace. More delicate is the turquoise/petrified wood/quartz/cloisonné vintage charm bracelet. To view the entire collection, log on to

DONALD J. PLINER: We could almost resent Donald Pliner and his wife for being one of the most gorgeous (not to mention, nicest and talented) couples around. For spring, “The Donald” has a terrific range of city sandals, long on fashion and comfort. Let’s face it. Who can really walk in some of those designer clod-hoppers that give women the appearance of club feet? I’m sorry, but those monstrosities are just too ugly for words. Opt instead for the elegant mock croc buckled sandals with chunky heels and criss-cross straps in bright red or his high-heeled ankle strapped, bright metallic number. Don’t overlook the chic range of bags, especially the light as air faux python hobo. To view the whole shebang, go to

Normally, I would be shlepping around town to check out what’s newsworthy in stores, but frankly, everything is picked over, on sale, or just plain too boring to write about. So, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all and to all good shopping in 2009!

Cheers, C&C

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Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row