Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bootie Craze

Booties are going to be HUGE for Fall.  They've been big for a while, but expect them to get even more popular as the temperatures dip.  With pants, skirts, dresses...seriously they're going to be everywhere.  In New York everyone wears black booties in Fall/Winter and this year my friends are buying them now, in the middle of summer, just to be ready.  I have a pair of black cage booties that I totally adore (and have blogged about before), but they're all open so wearing them when it's extremely cold or if there's snow on the ground isn't possible, so I decided I need a stylish pair that I can wear all Winter.  My lifestyle involves a lot of events so I need my booties to be versatile enough to wear even under a ballgown.  I was walking down Madison Avenue last week and spotted the perfect pair of patent leather ones in the window at Chanel and fell in love.  I don't believe in love at first sight, except when it comes to shoes.  I knew I had to have them, but also knew they were going to cost a small fortune, which I can't afford right now.  Luckily I had enough bonus points earned on my credit card to get a gift certificate to Saks to cover most of the cost, so I bought them at Saks. 

My new Chanel booties
Side and back view
The Chanel logo on the heel

An interesting side note was the salesman asking me "You're from NY right?"  He then told me that only the NY women buy the boots/booties.  Of course we do, it's freezing and dirty here in the winter and we have to walk everywhere, so we're all running around in black boots and pants.  I was actually momentarily distracted by a fabulous pair of blue suede booties with a black toe and black whipstitching from Chanel, but then I remembered where I live and why I needed black in a material that can withstand the harsh winter.

Anyway, I'm glad booties are all the rage both for practical and esthetic reasons.  I have a long history with booties so I've developed a fondness for them over the years.  When I was in high school flat booties, including the slouchy kind, got really popular, but I wasn't into them until I graduated and decided I had to have a pair to take to college and they had to be navy blue suede and not slouchy.   Don't ask me why, but that's what I wanted.  I finally found them in a shoe store in Montreal while on vacation with my mother.  We had recently disembarked from the cruise from Hell.  The two of us spent a week in a cabin smaller then a prison cell and I was seasick from the instant the ship left the dock.  Finding those booties was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  They went to college with me and then to NYC.  At some point I must have given them away, but deeply regret that.  I keep hoping I will find them in my mother's basement, but so far no luck.  I wish I had a photo of them, at least. 

Then there were the simple black Nine West ones in my twenties that everyone had.  They were my first high heeled booties, but thick sensible heels I could do a lot of walking in.  I wore them to death with jeans and struted around looking like everyone else, thinking I was so cool.  I still have them.  They live under my bed.  Also in my twenties were what I'll call 'cowgirl chic' western style booties from Guess in both black and white.  Technically they are more of a shoe boot, because they don't go above the ankle, but I'm counting them.  They were in fashion for a while, but probably more suited for a city like Dallas or Houston, than NYC.  Then again, Western wear has been trying to creep back into the fashion scene here the last few seasons so maybe I'll be wearing them again.  They live on a shelf in my closet and at the appropriate time will probably be sold as vintage.

Guess cowboy booties in white
And in black

Then came the aforementioned Calvin Klein cage booties I would sleep in if I could.  They are super sexy and incredibly comfortable.  I wear them often. 

                                                          Calvin Klein cage booties
Then I fell for a pair of brown Tory Burch open booties covered with grommets.   There was a big sale at Chuckies, a shoe store in my neighborhood that always has a selection of stylish shoes from high end designers.  Whenever I pass by I stop to peer in the window.  When I saw these I couldn't resist.  I love them still.
Tory Burch booties 

And, finally, I got it in my head that I had to have tan suede booties for those three winter days when the sidewalks are free of snow and ice.  I saw a pair on line that were allegedly Roger Vivier, but when I tried to buy them at the Roger Viver store they told me they didn't make them in tan.  I assumed they were mistaken and the NY store hadn't gotten them in stock.   I then tried to buy them on line and my credit card company informed me that they couldn't complete the transaction because they suspected fraudsters were on the other end.  I was disappointed, but relieved my cc company was so vigilant.  Instead I found a gorgeous pair of tan Gucci booties half price at T.J. Maxx.  They have a very high spindly heel, and I should have known better, but I bought them anyway.  Luckily my friend caught me when I tripped on Madison Avenue in a cocktail dress and went flying through the air.  That was almost two years ago and I haven't worn them since, but now that the fear has subsided I may try again, just indoors only. 

Gucci booties in front, fake Vivier booties in backgroung picture

Once again, this Fall, like a kid with new shoes on the first day of school, I will hit the streets of NY with my new Chanel booties.  I can't wait!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Elaine Turner Fall Preview

Yesterday I attended a fashion preview at the Elaine Turner boutique on Madison Avenue.  Fashion bloggers were invited to preview the Fall 2014, Holiday 2014 and Resort 2015 collections in advance of them being available in the stores.  Like Elaine Turner's previous "Texas Glam" accessories collections the upcoming ones are glamorous, girlie and gorgeous!  I especially love clutch bags and booties and there were plenty of those in a variety of colors and styles.  An added bonus: I think the price points are very affordable for luxury goods.  Below are some of my favorites...

The Fall 2014 collection features Elaine Turner's signature envelope and minaudiere clutches in lux python, a Birkin style satchel bag in rich taupe, black & white animal print bags and shoes, and stylish pendant necklaces.

Minaudiere in red python with goldtone bamboo clasp

Python envelope clutches

Fabulous satchel bag in taupe.

Accessories in snow leopard print

Pretty pendant necklaces, very on trend for Fall

The Holiday 2014 collection has classic metallics and beautiful deep purple suede shoes and a fabulous purple houndstooth minaudiere that I predict will sell out the minute it hits the floor.

Houndstooth envelope clutch and rich purple suede shoes

Festive purple houndstooth minaudiere

The resort collection includes the most fabulous booties in black, tan and a combination.  

Elaine Turner's native Texas was on her mind 
when designing the Resort 2015 collection

Super chic peep toe booties in tan and black.  
I can't decide which one I love more!

Close up of the black bootie

Close up of the tan bootie.  

Black and tan pointy toed open bootie

I love that the entire accessories collection is sophisticated, but with playful elements like the houndstooth pattern, animal prints and goldtone bamboo hardware.  I think all of the styles are going to be very popular this Fall.  The Fall 2014 collection should be in stores before this month ends and the Holiday 2014 and Resort 2015 collections should be available in October and November respectively.  

Finally, Elaine Turner was so generous to us bloggers.  We each got to pick a pair of shoes from the current summer collection as a gift.  I chose a neutral yet sophisticated sandal in cork that I plan to live in for the rest of the summer.  Elaine Turner, cork and I were all featured in an Associated Press article last month, so I am very excited to now have some cork accessories of my own.  You can read about the cork trend, and our quotes on the subject, here and check out my new sandals below...

Elaine Turner cork sandals

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Prison Stripes & Hair Bows

I think hair bows are adorable on little girls, but feel like over the age of about ten they're too young.  However, when I saw this bow, that is actually a ponytail holder, I thought the prison stripes made it sophisticated enough for an adult to wear, especially since the bow is neither delicate nor worn near my face.

Ponytail holder
Worn on my wrist to show the proportions
The prison stripe trend has been around for a few years now, usually in black and white, sometimes in cream and black and I have to admit that I couldn't get behind it for a long time.  I think it's a hard look for most people to pull off, especially in a wardrobe staple piece like pants or a shirt, but every once in a while I see it done right, in a lux fabric and on the right body type, and it looks fantastic.  If I personally tried to wear a prison striped outfit I would look like I escaped from a chain gang, but this one relatively small accessory at the back of my head seemed feasible.  I like that the black is toned down with the rich cream color, and the combination reminds me of Henri Bendel's shopping bags, which are always a welcome sight. 
So far my prison striped bow has gotten thumbs up from my friends and not a single comment about jail....

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A look at Jack Russell Malletier on Bastille Day

I've been saving this post for Bastille Day since it's about a French bag company, Jack Russell Malletier.  I know Bastille Day is officially tomorrow (July 14th), but in a few hours it will be July 14th in France, so I'm getting a jump on the celebration.  I have French ancestry on my mother's side, so a nod to French luxury goods seems appropriate today.

A friend of mine is a very enthusiastic Francophile.  In fact, she is at a Bastille Day celebration in NYC as I write this.  She loves everything French and if you visit her apartment here in New York there are French touches everywhere.  Of course, all of her luxury handbags are French, bought in Paris when she visited a few years ago: Chanel, Goyard and Jack Russell Malletier. I had never heard of Jack Russell Malletier until she pulled this bag out of her closet.

Jack Russell Malletier tote

She has been talking all year about wanting a white Goyard tote bag for summer and was even considering selling her burgundy Goyard tote so she could buy a white one, but then she rediscovered this bag at her mother's house and fell in love with it all over again, as did I.  But I wanted to know whose initials were on the bag and that's when I learned about Jack Russell Malletier.  I love the both the lining, which is Jack Russell terriers, and the dog bone luggage tag.  

Bag lining

Dog bone luggage tag

I love Goyard totes, but I think this is much more unique, especially for a Francophile living in New York.  Everyone in NYC has a Goyard tote bag and I can not go out on the street without seeing them.  I carry mine all the time.  But no one here has JRM bags so it's not just stylish, but also unique.  I have never flown Air France, but I understand JRM even makes travel bags for Air France.

Apparently JRM bags come in leather or cotton coated canvas (such as the white one above).  My friend also has a leather one in brown and a cotton coated canvas tote in black.

JRM tote in black

My friend is taking a trip to Paris in November and a JRM bag for moi is on her shopping list.  I just have to decide which color I want.......Happy Bastille Day to my French readers!  Vive la France!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Birthday Shoes

Today is my birthday and every year I like to treat myself to a little something luxurious on the big day. But this year I treated myself about a week ago.  Manolo Blahnik was having one of their big sales so I headed over hoping to find shoes in one of the two colors I'd been wanting:  bright blue and wine/merlot.  Well, I found both colors and because they were on sale and this was my birthday present to me I was able to treat myself to both of them.  (Plus, I've been selling some old accessories I no longer use or never used, so I can justify the indulgence!)

To quote Carrie Bradshaw from my favorite episode of Sex & the City:  "The fact is, sometimes it's really hard to walk in a single woman's shoes. That's why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun."

Birthday Manolos

Two tone blue

Love the gold tips and pointy toes are back

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Accessory Generation In The News About Cork Accessories

I was quoted by the Associated Press again and Accessory Generation was mentioned, too!  Click on this link to read all about cork accessories 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Vintage Beach Jewelry

When I was a kid my family used to take a vacation in Montauk, Long Island every summer.  We would rent a small cottage that was part of the Umbrella Inn, owned by a former co-worker of my father.  Her family had started the business as a hot dog stand and the woman, Elsa, had eventually left the firm where my father worked to run what had grown into an inn.  The Umbrella Inn was the last inn/hotel on Old Montauk Highway.  Elsa was an older woman when I was a kid and she's long since passed away and the inn is now a private house.   When I was there last I drove over and spoke with the owner who told me they had converted it to be their private home.  Montauk was pretty rustic when I was a little kid (still was the last time I was there almost ten years ago) and I don't remember too many fancy stores like they have in the Hamptons.  When we would go shopping in town I was mostly interested in paper dolls or coloring books I could play with when we weren't at the beach, but I vaguely remember a kind of general store that had some souvenir accessories for kids and begging my parents to buy them for me.  I must have worn them down eventually.  I also remember all the teenagers were wearing what they called shark repellent bracelets.  I had to have one, because it was THE cool beach accessory.  I never tested the shark repellent theory, and even as a gullible kid, had my doubts that braided rope would be much help in a pinch, but it was an interesting story.

On this most popular summer beach weekend I thought it would be fun to take a look at what passed as high fashion for a seven year old when I was a kid.

The shark repellent bracelet
Another view
Nautical knot necklace
I learned how to make these, but could never get the rope quite tight
enough to look like this one
A Native American bolo tie necklace
Beaded Native American girl necklace
I was obsessed with this because it was like a minature doll
Native American boy necklace
So many tiny beads!
I wonder if any of these are still sold at the beach today?  I don't remember seeing them the last time I was in Montauk, but then again, I wasn't looking for children's jewelry.  Let me know if any of you see these styles at the beach this summer!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Here in the USA it's the 4th of July, aka Independence Day.  Everyone has the day off and is celebrating with picnics, fireworks and/or trips to the beach.  Here are a few patriotic red, white & blue accessories I've packed up for the holiday weekend.  I hope everyone has a fabulous 4th!

Gucci shoes, Annabel Ingall raffia tote bag, headband with anchor detail (gift from a friend), earrings (sitting on the toe of the shoe) from a craft fair in Montauk when I was a kid, and cat toy, blue with white stars, for my feline babies.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Mention In Social Media

I (Alison) attended the Winter Ball for the Museum of the City of New York in February and the article below just came out in 15 Minutes Magazine.  I am mentioned as the brand ambassador for Lawless Accessories which is one of Accessory Generation's advertisers.  So exciting to share some press with a fabulous brand!