Accessories Anecdotes

AN • EC • D OTES

This week we are launching the blogazine anew, opening discourse about the world of accessories from the perspective of our new contributors and photographers. Monthly we will present: get the look, interviews, editorials, visual inspiration, and whatever strikes our fancy.  Check out this month’s offerings from Judith Leiber exhibit coverage, our favorite sunglasses to San Francisco street style.

 

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Mainboucher’s Jewelry Dress

“What you don’t do with a dress is at least (as) important as what you do, do. Too many gadgets can spoil the dress, just as surely as too many cooks, the broth.” A quote from Mainbocher while speaking to the Fashion Group of Chicago in 1940. The wise words above are from the Chicago History Museum’s catalog titled, Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier’, which accompanies an exhibit of the same name currently on view at the Chicago History Museum through August 2017. It is the first exhibit focused solely on the designer, Mainbocher. This is fitting as Mainbocher was born on the West side of Chicago and attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Through a very circuitous route and no formal training, Mainbocher ended up in mid-life (age 40) becoming the first American Couturier in Paris.

Mainbocher’s designs were practical, exacting and tended to have an emphasis on minimalism. Mainbocher did not follow trends but set them. He was responsible for introducing the world to the short evening dress, jeweled sweaters, the cocktail apron, the strapless bodice, and reviving the corset eight years before Dior’s ‘New Look’.

Being a collector of vintage jewelry, I find the gowns that Mainbocher created in the 1940s to be the most appealing because of their jewelry-like embellishments. During World War II, because of fabric rationing and not wanting to appear too extravagant during war-time, Mainbocher repeatedly used the same dress silhouette. To create interest and make his gowns beautiful, he added embellishments. Oftentimes these embellishments looked like jewelry. They were beautifully constructed of beads, rhinestones and sequins and mimic the look of necklaces and bracelets.

Mainbocher was very exacting in his vision. By creating gowns embellished with ‘built-in-jewelry’, he could more easily ensure that a customer would not change his intended vision by trying to accessorize the gowns themselves. According to the curator of the exhibition, Petra Slinkard, Mainbocher did not disallow his clients to wear jewelry, but rather made it easier for them to forgo the selection. The use of trompe l’oeil as a design tool was one he revisited frequently, as evident in his 1940s designs.”

In 1947 Mainbocher created a red velvet strapless gown for Mrs. A. Watson Armour III. Although there was no neckline or cuffs to embellish, Mainbocher created bracelets and a choker made out of red velvet covered balls, beads and sequins to be worn with the dress in order to complete the look. When the fabric rationing of World War II ended, Mainbocher could turn his attention away from embellishments and concentrate more on textiles and garment construction to create beautiful clothing. He did, however retain his minimalist aesthetic and ascribe to the notion that, “Too many gadgets can spoil the dress.”

All rights reserved. Article by Stuart Mesires for Sarara Couture. Stuart is a vintage shop owner, as seen on 1stdibs and former fashion veteran.

JUDITH LEIBER: Crafting a New York Story

Photo by Jenna Bascom. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

JUDITH LEIBER AT MAD

April 4-August 6, 2017

by Harrice Miller

The first time I met Judith Leiber was in the early 90s when we were both doing Personal Appearances at Saks. She looked so real, so like a kindly grandma, I was struck with the dissimilarity between her appearance and the wildly glamorous and bedazzling jeweled purses she designed. Decades later, at the opening of her exhibition, “Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story”, at the Museum of Arts and Design, Judith, now 96, sat regally with Gerson Leiber, her artist husband of many years at her side, like a queen whose adoring subjects were stopping by to pay their respects.

Judith with friends in Greece. Courtesy of Judith Leiber.

Photo by Jenna Bascom. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

 

Photo by Jenna Bascom. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

The exhibition illustrated, through a series of extraordinary, iconic purses, the story of her rise as a handbag apprentice in her hometown of Budapest during World War II, to the last bag she designed before her retirement, in the shape of a jeweled peacock in 2004. In 65 years in the handbag industry, Judith revolutionized the concept of craftsmanship, with her bags ranging from beautifully fashioned leather and textiles to the Swarovski crystal-encrusted figural bags we know today to be her signature look. From the founding of her company Judith Leiber Handbags in 1963 until 2004, she designed more than 3,500 bags. She began first with leather examples and designed her first metal bag in 1967. 

Exhibit image by Sarara Couture. This was the first metal bag Leiber created and it was based on a Chatelaine made in 1967.

Rare 1968 metal bag, by Judith Leiber. Image courtesy of Sarara Couture.

Judith’s handbags have been carried by First Ladies, Hollywood actresses and opera singers, including Mamie Eisenhower, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Greta Garbo, Mary Tyler Moore, Claudette Colbert and Beverly Sills. Current wearers of Leiber bags include; Chanel Iman, Kelly Osborne, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chrissy Teigen, Diane Kruger among many others. They are cherished the world over by collectors who are attracted to their often whimsical shapes including fruits, vegetables, animals, birds, foo dogs, books, musical instruments, sea creatures, Fabergé-inspired eggs and even a Buddha!

Photo by Jenna Bascom. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

 

Handbags, wax models, personal letters, and archival photographs create an atmosphere that personalizes the woman behind her creations. Judith’s inspiration stemmed from her love of travel, art, textiles, and materials, creating a body of work that MAD envisioned as exploring the gendered significance of the handbag in the 20th century and in the importance of immigrant entrepreneurship to the fabric of New York.

Photo by Jenna Bascom. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

The exhibition was curated by MAD’s Assistant Curator Samantha De Tillio, with the support of Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy. Be sure to visit the Leiber Collection, the museum is located in the East Hampton hamlet of Springs, NY.

Relevant links:

http://www.leibermuseum.org

Purse Perfection: Judith Leiber on Faberge, Rhinestones, and Her Favorite First Ladies

How to do that 1980s Earring Thing…..

DION LEE swimsuit, Boohoo.com t-shirt, vintage Ehanel earrings and Gucci hat via 1stdibs. Popmap.com 80s inspired sunglasses, Mark and Graham beach bag.

So, the 1980s earring….part of me is afraid, having lived through the 1980s and the other half is esthetically happy. The style of the 1980s was a little punk, a bit geek, over the top, and let’s face it the jewelry was pure fun. Color, especially the primary and a new class of neons reigned. You can absolutely wear the 80s earring styles that we are seeing now, in a classic way or even with a modern take. I can’t tell you how many of these have been pulled for editorial shoots recently.  So, how should one wear it without looking like you stepped out of the DeLorean in Back to the Future? There are tons of new styles and vintage examples to choose from. However; the most important part of that undertaking is a base which is classic- use black, wear some jeans and a white t-shirt, the right sunglasses or fun shoes mixed in and a focus on well, those earrings- I say leave off all other jewelry.

1980s BillyBoy* earrings from my personal collection.

She inside Cap Sleeve T-shirt, vintage 80s lightening bolts from my collection, Citizens of Humanity Rocket jean, Tory Burch heel sandal, Rag and Bone Fedora…..

Lastly, really this new take on the 80s earring is about using the glamorous oversized sterling or rhinestone earring worn in a clever modern way…. But for that to happen one must pull in their own style as well.  Maybe that is your signature curly hair, or lip color!

Collection of Wendy Gell earrings. She was featured in magazines from Vogue to Elle in the 70s and 80s.

Sterling silver 80s examples from the image archive.

Frocking Life by BillyBoy*: What’s in a Blue Box

Circa 1976 image of Billy Boy from his archive.

Let me begin by stating that Frocking Life, BillyBoy*’s new book is worth it’s weight, but if you are faint of heart proceed with caution. His explanation of interacting with his first Schiaparelli acquisition, a hat, crosses over into an almost divine experience. He openly talks about his life’s journey which yes…gasp… involves, dare I say S E X…. However, I promise his emotional and physical partners are always enthralling and lead you down a path that brings to life fashion, art, and culture. His in depth more personal description of Elsa’s journey brings to life more details as well as a clearer path in terms of how she became an icon. Where many historical depictions of Elsa, skim her early failures and successes, through his collection of personal letters and beyond, Billy breaths life into her story.
Anyone who has seen his creations, met, or read about BillyBoy* probably understands
that this is an individual which one can NOT know well from one interview or meeting. He’s got layers, sometimes too seemly fantastic to comprehendimmediately. It is very
similar feeling to glimpsing a multilayered deep chocolate fudge cake, then being told it is from an ancient secret cacao source? I will tell you, after having gotten through a bit of his layers, that I am biased andthis review will be a bit unprofessional (Lucky that I am not a newspaper writer, I guess- but I promise it will be factual not factoidual:) Initially, of course I enjoyed the book, because I want to know more about the designer of Surreal Bijoux-the jewelry I enjoy so much. However; now this has led to insights on someone who has become a friend. Just when I think well let me focus on what I am enthralled with about his work, he throws out things like well you know I used old Gripoix sample stock earrings on many of the dolls?

Marisa and BillyBoy* at the Schiaparelli show, with Go Go Marisa’s mother.

The book is for fans of his creations, but it is also for those who have any interest in fashion, vintage, Schiaparelli, or life really, because he throws very deep and juicy details out throughout the book. His candid life’s experiences seem almost to great to be true, but they are, as you see by connecting the dots to his work, collection, sketches, and photographs all very real. So, if you are doubting how someone can have meet so many amazing iconic people, refer back to my original interview with him which is chalked full of photographs. I enjoyed this book, as it challenges us to look again at it’s subjects were made of and the notion of what fashion and such artists were like before social media and reality TV. It’s the description of icons in their candid older years and tales of some of them in real interactions, that reminds us how life used to be lived and hopefully inspires one to just get a “Frocking Life”. Here, he’s searching for Schiaparelli, whose own life shaped how he saw the world in part. However, as interested as I am in Elsa…I still cannot get passed the steamer trunks full of old couture he collected or his descriptions of hunting vintage pieces in New York and Paris, when they were ripe for picking. His relationship to fashion is enthrallingly realist, yet stepped at the same time in fantasticalness.

Outfit made for Daisy Fellowes 1929-30 by Elsa Schiaparelli, from Frocking Life.

It is in this deep conversation that we get very dear and special glimpses of Elsa’s not so glamorous and inspiring beginnings as well as her personality as seen via his first hand account of speaking with  the mentor’s daughter in the 1970s.

He quotes Perrine, daughter of Paul Pioret: “They really appreciated each other’s company, and when my father had financial difficulties, it was Schiaparelli who came to his aid…At one point, he was in deep financial trouble and she’d rally all the designers around to give him help. But not in a humiliating way… she was so elegant and so devoted to him. I know he much appreciated her work…She wore his clothes and he was very pleased by that, he said she wore them to perfection….”(Frocking Life, 173).

BillyBoy* Interview:

Let’s start with a discussion of our custom made Surreal Bijoux box, which BillyBoy* and LaLa insisted on making for a 1980s surreal mouth necklace and earrings set, that Iwas obsessed with….and well had to have.

*Why was the box so important to competing this set, which was originally done in the 1980s? *Great question! Well, when I started Surreal Couture, as you read in my recent book Frocking Life, Searching for Elsa Schiaparelli,…it was about doing things organically and things which were not necessarily wearable. My only objective was to create artworks which was commentary and reflection about fashion and what fashionability meant. Back then, I used to make the jewels almost as installations, to be used as sculpture… I did boxes, stands, sets, scenarios, and all types of way to complete the work. Quite regularly and each piece I did had some set up ranging from simple to elaborate. When Lala and I were doing Surreal Bijoux on rue de la Paix in Paris, we did that much less, though we did still do it regularly. Lala understood the idea immediately, organically and as if by osmosis. These last years, let’s say this last decade, we decided to go back to our roots, or rather my roots and we decided even to go all the way back to Surreal Couture manifestos I wrote as early as 1972. We focused on doing many of our creative processes and things as I originally saw them, and I may add, we also went back to ideas Lala had as a young artist at roughly the same time I was thinking these things up. …. back then, when someone purchased the necklace from Surreal Bijoux, I wanted it to be the fullest expression of Surreal Couture and Surreal Bijoux combined. We do this now whenever any piece is sold. As you know we studied and worked on your piece for quite a while and I am delighted with the results. It’s funny because Lala says he sees me in the piece and I see him.

He is very gifted with so much that we do. We have a funny expression about our osmosis. I once said that “I am the genius and Lala is the one with talent” as a joke but he repeats it since 30 years or more by this point. I know someone could be mean and throw this joke back at me for having said it publicly, but it’s true. Lala has an incredible understanding of what I really need to say in my work and I believe I have a total understanding of his needs as co-author of the works we do together, our work is alchemistic and follows all Wiccan, if you will, “protocol”. It expresses completely my Wiccan origins, my belief in love spells which my mother taught me…and it is a tangible object which is the metaphysical existence of the soul contract I have with Lala. As I feel our work is not that easy to understand and perhaps some people possibly don’t understand us, I have to work harder to allow the work to be as organic as possible but the nomenclature must be clear. I want the work to let people know who I am and who my soulmate Lala and I are.

*I love the blue lip painting, Why blue? AH! As I may have mentioned to you when we’ve chatted, colour is an important part of Wiccan energy and like things such as feng shui and other various affirmative rituals in the world, colour is of great importance in our lives. Since I was a child, I had to sleep in a violet room, with pink incorporated with gold. I have maintained this all my life, so far. Violet is the furthest on the spectrum of the rainbow and blue is right behind, which can symbolise sky, water and earthly delights. The blue was essential for this piece as it was to surround the pieces inside…and protect it. As a double Pisces, water is my element and this box is a way of protecting it’s Wiccan powers and the energy Lala and I put in your hands, so-to-speak. We entrust you with our work and it comes along with it’s own magick spell.

*What was the original inspiration for the lip necklace? There were several, clearly one is Schiaparelli and Man Ray. But also it represents sensuality and life, fertility. At the time I was very much into the leitmotivs of the Dadaists and the Surrealists but they have a Wiccan significance as well. In the Bible it signifies various things notably doctrine. The mouth also is the center of many of the fundamental aspects of our humanity. Lips can mean consumption, breath, romance and speech (as in any kind of doctrine). It is communication, interaction, almost a door to the soul. As the mouth of a river, it assumes the meaning of a door, a gate or an entrance which can lead to another realm of existence. Andy Warhol even named a blue after me called Billy Boy* Blue and some silly déclassé society woman named her race horse Billy Boy Blue after me. Blue is one of my colours aside from those I mentioned. One other thing, rather hard to explain but poignant is my Wiccan mother’s views on the existence of life on earth and my role in her life. When we did the small painting on canvas incrusted into the box, we distinctly were recalling some very personal things my mother spoke to me about regarding her views about non-earthly space travel vehicles. These things my mother told me have been always a subject of discussion between Lala and I. They range from ridiculous to serious discussions and the idea of this spaceship is represented by the blue lips.

Book: *The text is very candid and really helps one to understand many motivations behind your work is this why you choose this subject? You could have focused on your collection or jewelry, you had done a book already on the dolls? As you already know, Rizzoli really wanted a memoir of myself because the huge manuscript they bought after reading it, they’d decided it was too academic and that, for a publisher is a fancy way to say fewer people would like to buy and read it. The original manuscript, while I tell anecdotes, was literally every single thing of every single year I had uncovered about Schiaparelli and I had detailed outfit by outfit descriptions for each collection she ever did as well as every license and every anecdote and document I had. Rizzoli felt the fact I knew and still know many people in a diverse array of milieu and some of whom were highly identifiable and in our current zeitgeist, they wanted my story mixed in. So, I did it though I was a bit disappointed to do so. It was difficult only in that I had not anticipated doing a whole new book and I had exceptionally many important life things to deal with including my mum’s suicide. So, though it was written through a ring of fire, the result is what it is…though hybrid, I think it makes sense when you read it. I cannot be objective. I was battling endlessly with copy editors and in total, I think there were five. They really did not know, in my opinion, what they were doing or even reading and it slowed the process down. If they had their way, I am convinced there would not be much reference to my spiritual and metaphysical journey…which is ironic as it is the singularly only thing which counted for me. The very first time I spoke to the publisher of Rizzoli, the first thing I told him was my metaphysical journey was the most important thing I wanted in the book and asked him if this would be an issue to which he replied “no”. Nonetheless, it was and I had to really battle with quite frustratingly unenlightened copy editors. Listing my own pieces would not have been an option as I already had plans for other books to deal with the various collections on academic levels, and these will come out, hopefully, on a more regular basis now that this “BillyBoy* 101” is out.

*Where did your name come from, you’ve hinted you did not give it to yourself…Is it somehow related to your real family? You don’t have to give details but we must know how such a great calling card was attributed to you My real name is Billy and my surname Boy. I certainly did not give it to myself as it’s not the kind of conspicuous name I’d want though I am proud and happy to have it now as an adult. The surname Boy originates in Berwickshire many hundreds of years ago. There was an Earl of Berwickshire (in some way related to my families) who was surnamed Boy. My real family who were purely Austrian and my adopted family who were purely Russian were linked and knew each other for literally many generations. So, with the English name Boy, through this British link, I guess it all got put together and I was thusly named, so vôila, … my adopted family did not follow through on the name agreed upon with my real family which was long and stodgy and decided this was the best solution. That’s what was always told to me…as vague as it is. I had severe issues with my family about my adoption and had many years of suffering and temper tantrums to find out more and even on the eve of my mum’s suicide she refused to tell me one single thing more about it. She always maintained that it’s best I not know about “all of that” as she’d say. So, I finally accept that as gospel and not longer suffer in that regard. The eve of her death I told my mum I forgave her all and everything and hope she forgave me and we were very happy at letting go of all old issues. I had no idea she’d kill herself, so I feel blessed this occurred before that finality. I found great peace, even after her death, knowing we’d arrived at a mutual agreement on my origins and all the issues of the many years where it was unbearable for us both.

*You were not born in the US, but I do feel you really grew up very touched by the culture until you left in your teens- so I kind of want to claim you as one of us. How important was your time in New York to your identity? Hahaha, sure! I am fine with that, you can claim me as one of your own. I’m touched and flattered. Thank you. I am Swiss though as you know. And I may add very proud of my Swiss nationality. I cannot imagine life being any other nationality. Did you keep the collection you sent over in the LV steamer trunks, do you still have most of it? Yes, I have essentially everything still, though now it’s grown to unreal dimensions. I had to buy a factory to house it. I will one day de-acquisition and finally sell it privately to major museums whom already solicited me for a variety of different things in the collections. I don’t want my family to have to deal with it and certainly not my son, he’d be lost in it. As much as he lovesit, it’s not his nature to keep and store and take care of so many ephemeral and fragile things.

Reading about the time in New York I started to dream about going to one of those packed apartments..How many were there full of vintage couture clothing? Did you leave an storage lockers or apartments by chance so I can just take over:) Those trunks held masterpieces that rival the best of the best but they also had Bugs Bunny dolls and Eve Plumb memorabilia. Those trunks held everything which had meaning for me, so a lot of art, jewellery, haute couture, Pop culture…in my book I mention things I traveled to the Chelsea Hotel with….so you can get a good idea of what they held in them. Unfortunately for you, dear …there are no longer any empty apartments filled with my stuff. I finally got my life together and it’s better organised now. Those trunks were transformed into works of art which have been shown in various shows around the world.

I was very impressed by your descriptions and Schiaparelli’s life from a more detailed stance, which gave me a sense of who she was emotionally. To speak to this, you mention her letters….Do you have an extensive collection of first hand historic documents concerning her or her own letters? Oh yes, I am an avid documentarist. I have literally thousands of documents, letters, photos, all sorts of personal things. Go Go Schiaparelli gave me things from her mother, like Le Roi Soleil flacon designed by Dali, some jewellery which Schiap owned and wore (though did not design or have anything to do with it’s creation), her initials entwined in silver dating to maybe 1900 or so, something she wore as a young girl and later, a few things, costume jewellery in bakelite with her initials, which were hers as an adult. These pieces are not valuable unto themselves, they are not fine jewellery, but to me they are priceless. You know, I have saved every single letter, card, invitation I’ve ever received, it’s hundreds and hundreds of archival boxes and books of documents. I have collected letters from the most famous people in the world, to completely unknown people whom I had experiences with, or loved. Seeing it now, a number of these people in fashion and the arts can sort of be, to an extent, summed up and you get an idea of their work or life incredibly well. As for my collecting documentation, it’s a fascinating experience and is very thought-provoking. It has always given me helpful insight into things I was not able to fully comprehend. It adds so much dimension to a story and to the history. I guess you can see the humanity of iconic people (and even events) through the remaining letters, documents, photos and even things they owned or were made at the same time. What I don’t like, which happens occasionally, is the way someone implies the reason why I am (and others) can be so passioned by collecting documentation is linked to something fetish-y. I preserve these things, not stroke them delicately at night. Apart from this one slightly annoying thing, all of these elements are always very interesting for me. I was fortunate to be invited to some extraordinary events, and shows, fashion défilé etc and as an ensemble when I see it now it seems almost to summarise some of the mondaine events, but also some of the most outside the box underground culture that existed during 1970s up until now. I think about doing something creative with it all …like books. I will show it on my Youtube series no doubt. It’s called Spinach is Fashion and will debut in the late spring and it is going to be a show and tell of all kinds of cultural and lifestyle-related things. I wanted it laid back, casual and friendly. I hope it’ll be perceived as such.

Accessories Talk: It’s all in Your Head

Sita at Yeezy. Rachel G photo.

That’s a wrap. Another fashion week in New York comes to a close. February 2017 was quite a trip for the eyes. Rich, overdone, embellished, and yes accessorized. From the Nicholas K runway collection to Georgine, it was clear that gold and metallic was in the cards….I don’t think the athleisure /street/ punk/grunge influences have gone anywhere either, as alluded to on the runways (Desigual,Hakan Akkaya, Nicole Miller), although a few have gone decidedly militant.

 

Rachel Guillaume NYFW Feb 2017, shot for us. All images on the streets by RG unless otherwise identified.

There was a nod to the overdone 80s and embellishment in all forms. Rich hues and deep red tones were sometimes dotted with earthy carmels…. Oversized layers and off shoulder looks allowed for belt play. Lots of large furs in a kaleidoscope of colors seemed to be everywhere. Overall, pink, black,metallics, red, gold, black and white, and well just an exuberant 80s use of the color white.  Yes, 1990s florals in velvety rich combinations were on designer’s runways everywhere…… Anna Sui, who was an originator of some of these looks (let’s not forget), brought new incarnations in her show which did not disappoint.

Libertine, highly accessorized spider web jacket.

Mixed prints, embellishments, “jewelry clothing” and textures made my review of this week a little fashion drunk, I blame you Libertine. Libertine had what I call jewelry packing its own clothing. It was so embellished and shiny, the accessories were tailored into the garment!  Their show was one of my favorites and I feel a sick need for that hand coat dress….

Overall, there seem to be a dual personality: on one end we have the soft, velvets, flowers, and the other the hard, black leather, studs, tailored atheleisure sweats, gym bags as handbags… Maybe this is more realistic, in terms of how the style of real people exists. With many layers and incarnations.

Jeremy Scott Headdress. Phone image. NYFW the shows.

Yet, the vintage drama queen in me loved Chocheng’s 40s Noir setup, the old hollywood glamour of Badgley Mischka and the decidedly classic showgirl style of Jeremy Scott’s head gear. At the Blonds there was also a bit of the showgirl vibes in the sequin jumpers that came with a dash of Grace Jones! However, let’s get back to hair jewelry because it is sure to continue to please….and yes it was on the streets too. Jeremy please send the gorgeous headdress here to the showroom #WANT.

Jeremy Scott Feb 2017, phone shot from live NYFW coverage online.

What Tales the Streets Had to Tell:

I am always surprised, for some unknown reason how much photo time we devote each NYFW to the sunglass habit. I don’t know why I am taken aback, considering I use mine all the time…. I even try to make them a constant headband. I truly need help. So, there were definitely a lot of sunnies out there and some pretty examples. Playful bags point to a probability, that next season will also be a highly pop art adorned, embroidered, textured, and colorful extravaganza. It’s definitely all in your head, well on the head this month! Attention was definitely paid to hair too, in all of its wide variety of hues.  The hair game was key and I think we saw head gear/jewelry beginning to really take off (even though we saw some last season) with more bands, crowns, headdresses both on and off the runway.

I WEAR MY SUNGLASSES

Giovanna Englebert.

Natalie Joos in a fun and comfortable looking set up.

BAGS AND SHOES:

Zanna in her kicks and leopard. Lots of leopard used in many attendees street style outfits.

Gucci bags are still going strong outside the runways. Lots of dyed fur. Rachel Guillaume photo.

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Outside Coach, New York Fashion week. Feb 2017.

Street style outside Yeezy. Feb 2017. Loving that Chanel Bag!

Coach bags, street style. Feb 2017.

Closeup on the bags and shoes, Feb 2017.

JEWELRY AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN:

Rachel Zoe really kept a sort of Hollywood Glamour to her looks. Love these earrings!

Giovanna accessorizing her legs in dot tights.

More modern geometric and colorful earring example were found and these are also appearing even more in the editorials.

Hair jewelry via Chiara at Coach.

Political messages in the form of fashion. We saw quite a few of these t-shirts and accessories. It was nice to see some definite gal power out there.

In my mind this is Debbie Harry #fan. If someone knows who this stylish New York we snapped is for sure let me know. The hat is cool as ice.

Paris and Nicky at Oscar.

Leomie Anderson, Adesuwaaighewi, Duckie Thot giving us a crew to be reckoned with.

Chiara at Jeremy Scott.

Outside Jeremy Scott. Feb 2017. Rachel Guillaume photo.

Menswear on the streets. Yeezy. RacheGuillaume photo.

What appears to be a vintage Moschino belt caught on the streets. Feb 2017. Rachel Guillaume photo.

Ending street style with a girl squad who gave us something to chew on and well were very well accessorized. Fashion week Feb 2017. Rachel Guillaume photo.

THE TAKE

What I am personally taking from this season, is some courage to go back to mixed textiles, patterns, and colors. In my home I use this credo and my closet is full of texture and color waiting for a reason to get out. This can seem tricky, but what’s life without some color.  Also, the geometric earrings in larger sizes are really flattering (Annie Costello Brown). I don’t think it’s about the brand logo. Gucci is having a moment, but even in their embroidered clothing its not all about the label text. Right now you can get away with casual finds, abused denim, artist made jewelry, and even more vintage textiles.  I guess, actually it is about having your own voice, an awakening, an expression of your identity or what means something to you. We’ve moved out of your body as a billboard for a brand and into making it a billboard for you.

Jewelry History Spotlight: 1955 Gripoix Brooch for Chanel

coco-chanel-ad-and-brooches

I was honored to have had this piece for just a bit, before it was acquired by a Chanel collector. This very interesting brooch was from the collection of Robert Clark of Haskell and De Lillo.  He had an extensive archive and this piece was sourced directly from Gripoix in the 1950s.  It was one of 6 created  in reference to a jeweled piece that Coco Chanel had made by Verdura earlier. She is also said to have also had one of these copies. Stamped Made in France and in very good condition for it’s age, it was one of the more interesting piece coming through the doors as of late, and I couldn’t resist a little highlight on it for others interested.

chanelad-1

Vintage ad from Sotheby’s concerning the original Verdura piece which they auctioned off.

gripoix-brooch-1955

1955 Chanel Gripoix brooch.

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Signature detail/ construction.

Accessorize Talk- Here’s To A Bejeweled Fashion Week Season

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If you follow my obsession with the accessorized streets of the city during fashion week, you know I could NOT close out my review of the fashion week season without the jewels!  Having taken photography classes in college, being slightly obsessed with jewelry history, and I’m actually a trained anthropologist…. fashion week is kinda of my guilty pleasure. It combines the anthropology of material culture, people watching, and literally various cultures with accessories and photos! I love to be on the streets shooting when I can, but sometimes I am busy styling or finding jewelry, attending a show, and just trying to organize the media madness of accessories news as it comes in from the online shows. Things are definitely changing in the fashion world and with the online access and direct to customer designs now occurring it’s hard to keep up.  Reviewing the street style jewelry and runway looks helps me in selecting some vintage pieces for the shop and with my own accessories designs. So to wrap it all up for this season, I am combining the best of what we shot on the streets in NYC with pieces seen on the runways in New York, London, Paris, and Milan instagram style. There were streets lined with big earrings again, big belts, metallic sunglasses, statement necklaces and cuffs, and even glam barrettes.  Let the belt, earring, necklace, ring, hat….festivities begin.  (Click here for the bag and shoe review).

THE STREETS OF NYC:

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A Quick Instagram Illustrated List of What I’d Cut a B#@CH for From NYC, LONDON, MILAN, and PARIS:

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Delpozo earrings via their instagram SS 17. Amazeballs. @delpozo.

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Creatures of the Wind Earcuff, via their instagram. @creaturesofthewind

Tom Ford, Fall Winter 16. Ready to wear, presented during SS17 NYFW. Gigi Hadid via the instagram @myqueengigi

Tom Ford, Fall Winter 16. Ready to wear, presented during SS17 NYFW. Gigi Hadid via the instagram @myqueengigi

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Alexa Chung rocking a Girls hair clip by Ashley Williams London. 

@Balmain metal body jewelry outfit and collar chain by @wmag.

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@fentyxpuma corseted body pearl style jewelry fit for a queen by @lynn_ban.

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@Loewe madness, large leather and metal cuffs, statement necklaces. By @portermagazine.

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@crfashionbook instagram account image, @Balmain earrings.

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@ellebrasil instagram coverage of @Balmain. Another necklace from the well accessorized show.

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@wmag coverage of Phillip Plein’s belts! @ambravernuccio photo.

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@thesatorialist coverage of Fendi boots.

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@proenzaschouler earring lust….

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@BritishVogue Dior accessories coverage.

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@Givenchy agate necklaces. Via @nayla_alnaimi

Accessories Talk: NYFW SS17 Best of the Bags

Loving this bag strap! Rachel Guillaume photo for Sarara Couture. SS17 street style.

Loving this bag strap! Rachel Guillaume photo for Sarara Couture. SS17 street style.

It’s extremely hard to admit that indeed, I was not that into bags until well through college. There I said it.  Maybe I just used my “school” bag so much (pause for gasp) I just never used anything else, but my jean pockets and that, gulp, book bag. It was the 90s I blame it on that….. Then when I moved to Brazil that all changed. I did my doctorate there in the early 2000s. It was then that I got back into the creativity and joys that fashion design has to offer. Maybe it was the fresh coconut water, fruit availability, the music, Copacabana, the walks, bus rides ( you need to carry your stuff around when you don’t have your own car)…. or maybe it was just their take on bags; from bohemian styles, straw bags, recycled plastics to various color options.  I’d always loved jewelry and that whole history that comes with it, but “the bag” had meant nothing to me. Then all of a sudden I had…well let’s just say more than 10 where there had been only 1 or 2. I began to use the objects I once thought only utilitarian to add something to my wardrobe as well, I figured out they were yes….accessories!

What does this have to do with fashion week? Glad you asked. On the streets during this time can be found one of the biggest free for all, eye candy shows of amazing bags to behold.  The bloggers, stylists, designers, models, fashion fanatics, just whip out everything from the latest Chanel or Gucci to unique vintage finds.  What did we spot this time? Glad you asked…yet again:)  There were some themes in terms of modern lines, smaller shapes, chains and grommets, metallic details, lucite, color block bags, interesting shapes and even surprises.  We shot lots of inspiration images on the streets for you to wet your whistle with and get those creative juices flowing next time you are pursuing a new purse. Now some of these are in the higher investment piece area in terms of price. I have also included some ideas that are priced less.

THE HANDBAGS:

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Fantastic look with this oversized tote or the new it bag the “Bazar” Balenciaga. Rachel Guillaume photo.

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Black and white Prada, in a smaller size. The contrast is chic! Rachel G image.

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Structured and bejeweled. Fairy tale style bag Dolce and Gabbana Autumn 2014. Rachel Guillaume photo.

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Mother and Daughter duo. I think the bags are Valentino- maybe the mini?Rachel Guillaume photo.

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Bing Walton in between shows. Taken outside the Proenza venue. Loving this modern fanny pack look on her. Rachel Guillaume photo.

Smaller scaled structured bags. Baby pink Prada bag. Caught by Rachel Guillaume photo.

Smaller scaled structured bags. Baby pink Prada bag. Caught by Rachel Guillaume photo.

Provenza Schouler Hava Bag.

Provenza Schouler Hava Bag.

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This bag has a very 80s vintage look with the zip top! Rachel Guillaume photo.

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Rachel Guillaume photo for Sarara Couture. Golden chain detail and the Mondrian style color block suede make this a fun bag!

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A great little check bag, yet another colorful option! Rachel Guillaume photo.

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Rachel Guillaume photo.

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Kate Spade Crab bag. Out of Stock. Rachel G photograph.

More chain details. Photo Rachel.

More chain details. Photo Rachel.

Love bag.

Les Petits Joueurs Women’s Gold Alex Mini Pleated Leather Crossbody Bag. Link in photo.

Our Lust List:

This Dionysus bag is great with the hand effect, Gucci has really brought out the guns on design lately.

This Dionysus bag is great with the hand effect, Gucci has really brought out the guns on design lately. Gucci image, linked.

Vintage Rambler on etsy bag image of a 70s Char bag. Any boho bag by Char is a big YES. In this color and style =LUST..... You can get lucky and sometimes find her bags on etsy or eBay on 1stdibs they command more. Rare.

Vintage Rambler on etsy bag image of a 70s Char bag. Any boho bag by Char is a big YES. In this color and style =LUST….. You can get lucky and sometimes find her bags on etsy or eBay on 1stdibs they command more. Rare.

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Cambridge Satchel Company. They have worked with J. Crew and I’ve seen it on Gilt once for less than 200. Their site has the most options.

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Gucci Ghost bag. Image from Gucci site, link in image.

Angular Pouch by Anthropologie.com, image link via their site.

Angular Pouch by Anthropologie.com, image link via their site.

Chloe patchwork Drew bag.

Chloe patchwork Drew bag.

Vintage Vespa Bag. Toilette's Vintage on Rubylane. $48.

Vintage Vespa Bag. Toilette’s Vintage on Rubylane. $48.

Edie Parker "Downtown" bag, filed under their custom designs. I love her work, vintage and modern! Brett has her hand in both when designing these. From the edie_parker instagram account. Linked image Edie Parker.

Edie Parker “Downtown” bag, filed under their custom designs. I love her work, vintage and modern! Brett has her hand in both when designing these. From the edie_parker instagram account. Linked image Edie Parker.

Zara fabric mini. Image Zara, linked.

Zara fabric mini. Image Zara, linked.

Always a classic, vintage 1990s Chanel lambskin bag. From 1stdibs dealer: Endappi.

Always a classic, vintage 1990s Chanel lambskin bag. From 1stdibs dealer: Endappi.

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Valentino Rockstud Untitled Clutch. I say this with a bit of sadness as I have a vintage brown envelope bag about the same size and I was happy to be the only one with this style! While it is not the exact match, my loss is your gain. Studs and all… Link in Valentino image.

Mr. Ernest vintage magazine bag. Memphis Vintage, etsy.

Mr. Ernest vintage magazine bag. Memphis Vintage, etsy.

Zara leather "back pack", I like the way it can be worn cross body back or front.

Zara leather “back pack”, I like the way it can be worn cross body back or front. Zara image, linked.

Recycled computer keyboard bag by Joao Sabino, linked image by Keybag.

Recycled computer keyboard bag by Joao Sabino, linked image by Keybag.

Stated Style on etsy. Vintage Moschino Fanny Pack.

Stated Style on etsy. Vintage Moschino Fanny Pack.