It was a beautiful weekend with my childhood best friend visiting the mall and eating at some fun places. After exploring a few of our other favorite haunts, we went to Hermès, where my SA was warm and welcoming as always. Read on...
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It took a while for me to fall in love with the smallest version of the luggage that we all know and love so much. Photos of people gracing the Nano--whether they were celebrities or simply stylish in the street--caught my eye.
I'm usually not one for small bags, but I decided to give the bag a chance. And between the stunning pictures I browsed and rave reviews online I read, my heart fell fast for this chic, little bag.
I found this beauty on a quick day-trip to New York with a wonderful friend of mine. We explored Madison Avenue and ate at Bergdorf's to cap off our shopping trip--though I do admit we did sneak in a few more stores on Fifth Avenue, post-noshing.
This black, smooth leather cross body, though small, is both very spacious and chic. If you can believe it, it fits all of the items below.
Items pictured are: Louis Vuitton zippy wallet, pen case, change purse, sunglasses (with sleeve), tissues, keys, and lip gloss. I'd like to note that in addition to all of these items, the Nano can also fit an iPad Mini comfortably.
Despite the bag's size, Céline does not skimp on quality. It still comes loaded with the attention to detail that the larger Minis have. This is a smooth black leather Nano and like other smooth leather bags, the entire interior is lambskin.
The Nano comes with a handy pocket in the back (also, all-leather), perfect for receipts, etc. Though I have noticed that if you put something rather heavy or angled in the back, it can protrude out from the back of the bag. Because I'd like for the bag to age well and retain its structure, I ceased placing bulky items in the back pocket.
Even though the bag is smooth leather (keeps its structure better than pebbled or drummed leather), there still is possibility for damage since the leather is so supple.
I've owned this for almost a month now and have been using it near-constantly. It is a well-made bag, for sure. But it isn't immune to scratches or marks. If there is makeup on my hands, it tends to leave smudges that I have to remove often. But overall I love my choice of color. Because it's black, some imperfections are harder to see.
As far as Célines go, this is my most-used bag, closely followed by the two Mini Luggages. I recall wanting to use either my Almond or Linen Mini to go out to get coffee and do errands, but I always found it so large and cumbersome for such small tasks.
The Nano is just perfect for the casual outing or a dressier date.
Here's a mod shot for good measure. It's perfect as a handheld bag but even better as a shoulder bag or crossbody.As you can see the Nano isn't really so "nano" at all. It can fit so much!
It's funny how a bag you originally weren't a fan of becomes something that you can hardly put down! I don't regret purchasing the Céline Nano at all.
Sold at speciality locations like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and at Issey Miyake boutiques, BAO BAO bags are hotter than ever. I received a pochette for a holiday gift, and it's super stylish and versatile, especially for day or evening events. What's really cool about all BAO BAO bags is that they can fold differently and therefore create different shapes due to what is inside of them. Miyake's outlook on the BAO BAO collection is that they become "shapes made by chance". It is the ideal bag for contemporary, busy lifestyles. They are available in a multitude of colors and in different shapes and sizes.
I can definitely attest to its light and flexible nature. The pochette is small but still large enough to fit your phone, wallet and other small essentials. There's also a shoulder strap, so the bag can be worn cross-body. The BAO BAO pieces are truly a dynamic addition to any collection.
What do you think of Issey Miyake's newest line?
In the March 2013 of American VOGUE (where Beyonce graces the cover), there are some seriously hot handbags being advertised. I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you!
Let's start off with this gorgeous Prada. Reminiscent of the Vuitton S/S 2012 Suship Speedy North/South, this handbag is super hot for the spring and summer. Its shape is similar to its sister bags, the Prada Saffiano Lux Tote.
Michael Kors is ushering in spring with this absolutely stunning Large Miranda Crackled Leather Tote. The structured shape and the hanging leather accents make this bag a definite conversation piece. It's additionally available in yellow and brown. Available for sale at MichaelKors.com for $1,195US.
Such a beautiful nude hue! Belstaff is promoting this exotic Nottingham tote for spring/summer 2013. It's very understated and chic. I can picture this bag used for a beautiful day out on the town or out for cocktails at a cafe by the water. Just a beautiful piece!
Hugo Boss impresses with this (on right) beautiful brown leather tote for spring/summer 2013. It looks to be a comfortable yet sleek keep-all tote. This bag will definitely work the whole way through summer into the fall.
Salvatore Ferragamo makes a statement with this Sofia bag in Ash for spring/summer 2013. The studs make it so much more fun and undeniably a statement piece. The neutral color makes the bag essentially season-less. I can picture this bag as a cross-body when it's snowing for a winter white stunner or as a white-hot summer piece. You can really go any way with this handbag.
Last but not least is this jaw-droppingingly beautiful green python bag from Tod's. This bag is meant to be a statement piece as it exudes elegance and exclusivity. Its pop of color is certain to complete a subtle, effortless look.
Decorations are up! The chill is in the air (well, at least in the northeastern United States), and holiday music is abound throughout every radio and store. School isn't quite over yet, but I couldn't be more ready for the holiday season--and break from class of course.
I was looking to write a special holiday feature a few months ago, but wasn't quite sure about what to feature. Luckily, the lovely Rachel Reinhardt and I came into contact from an earlier post about her beautiful turquoise multi-strand necklace, and everything fell into place. I am more than happy to feature one of her beautiful, hand-made creations for The Shoulder Strap's 2012 Holiday feature. Scroll down to the bottom to read an interview with the designer herself!
This absolutely gorgeous "Layered Mixed Metal Swag Necklace" is designed and hand-crafted in the USA by Rachel Reinhardt Jewelry. From the Ashley line of her 2012 Holiday Collection, this draped necklace is quite exquisite. The golden hematite chain is strong and sturdy, and is worn very comfortably against the skin. Unlike other statement-piece necklaces of mine, this doesn't weigh heavily upon my neck. It is very delicate and precious, with elegant freshwater pearl and crystal stones . It stood out to me the second I viewed it from her Holiday catalog. Something certainly beautiful to give to a friend or loved one this holiday season.
Rachel's jewelry has been featured often in publications like 'Glamour', 'InStyle', and 'Us Weekly'. Rachel Reinhardt Jewelry is available for purchase in over 250 specialty stores worldwide and on her website, www.rachelreinhardt.com. Please see below for an exclusive interview with Rachel!
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We had the opportunity to speak with jewelry designer, Rachel Reinhardt, about her brand, her family and beautiful aesthetic.
What drives you in your creations? What keeps you motivated as a jewelry designer?
I just simply love what I do. I find inspiration wherever I go. Whether it's the produce section of the grocery store admiring the ruby tones of apples or the emerald skin of a cucumber. It's there that I often find my most beautiful color combinations for my collections. Sounds silly but it's true. My late mother's voice keeps me motivated. We started this journey almost 20 years ago together and unfortunately she only lived for 4 years of them. She passed me the baton and I will never stop and I will always be forever grateful.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why? How would you describe your aesthetic?
Our collection has always been known for its color combinations and details. We will often put a crystal or glass bead next to the finest semi precious stones. For us, it's about creating that beautiful balance. Our aesthetic is feminine and wearable. I love to work with anything that has a sparkle and feels luxurious.
What advice would you give to anyone desiring to break into the fashion/jewelry industry?
Believe in yourself and your product and stay true to what you do best. I think as a designer you should always try to maintain your aesthetic and when designing keep in mind that you are creating a brand not just a necklace or earring. One other valuable piece of advice is to have a mentor. Try to find someone that you admire and ask for advice when you need it. It can even be someone in a different field. As a designer most of us are stronger on the left side of the brain and could use a little help with the right side :)
How do you see your brand evolving in the next ten years?
My hope and belief is that we will continue to create a brand that women can wear and feel glamorous doing so. I love when I meet a customer and they tell me they are a collector. What an awesome feeling. If I can continue to move along that path my work along with my children and husband will continue to be my greatest joy!
Thank you so much, Rachel!
STAY TUNED IN A FEW DAYS FOR A SPECIAL PROMOTION WITH RACHEL REINHARDT!
NB: Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” Rachel Reinhardt Jewelry compensated me via a gift of the beautiful necklace seen above. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.