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fall

Falling in Love with the Phantom

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Falling in Love with the Phantom

Whew! It's been quite a whirlwind of life events since my last post. But I couldn't go on any longer without posting about this beautiful Céline Phantom in Beige Supple Calfskin Leather.

Celine Phantom 2

Since receiving my beautiful Marc Jacobs in the mail, I've spent so much time selling unused pieces from my collection, even some that have appeared on my blog. There is absolutely nothing like cleansing you life--be it from clutter, negativity, or other unpleasant happenings around us. If you haven't already, take a moment and clear your life of clutter. I started my decluttering journey in my closet!

Celine Phantom in Beige

Once I sold plenty of my items via consignment, I had enough handbag funds to go searching for a new companion.

A long time ago I posted about my cousin's girlfriend's beautiful Taupe Celine Phantom. Every time I saw it, I would always silently (and sometimes not so silently) ooh and ah at its beauty. However, I know it was a little bit light for my taste. Luckily, the Phantom comes in a few different variations on that shade--some of them being Taupe, Light Khaki/Beige, and Khaki.

Celine Beige Phantom

The bag is incredibly soft and smells unbelievable. Not to mention, the leather is incredibly sturdy. It's a beautiful hue for all the seasons. I used this bag as a subject for a photo shoot about a month ago. Even after taking it outside and posing it next to various plants and--eek--even on the ground, it still looks brand new.

Phantom Face

This close-up above shows how the color of the bag changes depending upon in what light the bag appears. The pictures from the outdoor photo shoot are more Taupe-looking, except in most lights, the bag is most certainly darker.

Celine Phantom Interior

The Céline's beautiful suede interior is a touch darker than its exterior, making it a beautiful and discreet two-tone. As you can see above, the bag comfortably fits my MacBook Air 11" computer, iPad, folder, wallet, and other essentials. It can also fit my MacBook Pro Retina 15", but it stretches the bag a little. Though it can fit the larger computer and can certainly hold an incredible amount, I am not so keen about pushing the bag's boundaries. It never once felt as if it were going to break (so no worries there), but keeping the bag to a "healthy-full" is my preference for usage.

As far as value goes, you can't go wrong with Céline. After Louis Vuitton's most recent price increase, there are some canvas bags that push $2,000 USD with tax. When purchased, this all-leather and suede beauty cost $2700, just a little more than canvas from Vuitton. If you want leather from Vuitton, be prepared to fork out $3,000 USD or more. But Céline seems to be catching up, price-wise. In just two days on November 18, 2013, there is a market-wide price increase coming to Céline bags that is pushing $3,000 USD and up for the Mini Luggage tote. I'm not sure about the price for supple calfskin phantoms (like the one here) yet, but I will update the post with info when I do.

Overall, it is an incredibly wonderful bag. From the type of material to the value itself, it's a great fit to any handbag collection. You cannot go wrong with a Céline Phantom!

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#NYFW: Boy Meets Girl® by Stacy Igel Pre-Fall 2013

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#NYFW: Boy Meets Girl® by Stacy Igel Pre-Fall 2013

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Boy Meets Girl® by Stacy Igel show at New York Fashion Week 2013. iFabbo sent me to New York to cover the exciting and high-energy runway show. Check out the article here!

BMG-NYFW1

It was such a treat to attend, and the show was interactive and fun for everyone, no matter sitting or standing. Before the show, I had the opportunity to interview Stacy and she was very welcoming, kind, and extremely passionate about her brand and her commitment to activism. That was one of the things that really struck me about Boy Meets Girl. It isn't fashion with a side of activism. Stacy equally puts her all into both, and there are no afterthoughts here. It's real. You can always tell when an activist is putting in their heart or not. And after volunteering for four years with a human rights organization, I can definitely sniff those people out. :)

Rosario Dawson

Celebrity Rosario Dawson was in attendance among other television personalities (see picture above).

My favorite look was from the Boy Meets Girl Classic Collection (pictured at top). The model is wearing Igel's Groupie Cropped Top with an Amethyst Suede Skirt. An additional Classic look that I loved was the Army #LiveOutLoud Jacket with Red Britannia Dress. Just beautiful pieces. Remember to check out my article and share!

xoxoStephanie

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Hermès Narrow Balcons du Guadalquivir Enamel Bracelet

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Hermès Narrow Balcons du Guadalquivir Enamel Bracelet

Hermès never ceases to impress. In addition to scarves, my other favorite collectibles are enamel bracelets!

The fun thing about collecting the narrow enamels is that they are easily stackable to create a classy, eclectic look. And they seriously stand up to daily use. I wear my Brandebourgs enamel daily, and you can't tell its age (almost one year old).

Hermes Balcons

Part of the Fall/Winter 2012 collection, the Balcons du Guadalquivir bracelets are on their way out. So if you love this pattern and see it in the boutique, I'd highly suggest pulling the trigger on the purchase.

This piece matches a scarf and handbag combo that I've been trying to further accessorize. Points for any readers who can point out the designer/collection that the bracelet rests upon in the comments!

It was nearly a story of love and loss, because I almost waited too long! It was the last in my size. Without flinching, I said to my wonderful SA, "This was meant to be!"

What are your favorite accessory collectibles?

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100th Blog Post: Louis Vuitton Monogram Kusama

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100th Blog Post: Louis Vuitton Monogram Kusama

If you can believe it, it's The Shoulder Strap's 100th blog post! It's not even been a year, and I'm happy to say that I've had a fantastic time so far with this blog. It is such a release--a fantastic outlet to throw creativity into, and I am driven everyday by my readers and the beautiful accessories that come onto the market.

What I'm writing about today is the absolutely beautiful Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton collection. Since the summer, there have been two launches--one in July and one recently in September. The earlier collection was mostly vernis patent leather with various colors of polka dots, as seen below.

The later collection, just released on September 7 in the US, is primarily focused on the Monogram Town Square pattern, which is highlighted by original pictures in this post. The Monogram Town Square pattern was overwhelmingly more popular than the initial collection. Often compared to a Mickey or Minnie Mouse kind of pattern, there are lots of items still available from the first collection at stores nationwide. These new monogram town dots, though, are flying off the shelves!

I was lucky to grab a few pieces to add to my collection before they go away forever. To me, the red stood out the most. As I was incredibly lucky to add a Monogram Rayures to my collection, I decided to stay away from the white even though I loved it. Money doesn't grow on trees, or I probably would've grabbed a blue Kusama Speedy as well! :) As you can see above, the interior of the Zippy Wallet is red leather. It's a simply beautiful piece that is both sturdy and gorgeous! I would definitely recommend the Zippy wallet over the Insolite. The leather zipper pulls quickly curl (and stay that way!) and doesn't look as "new" as a Zippy might after a few months. I say this because my Monogram Rayures Insolite wallet isn't aging as well as I had thought. Only using it a few times, it doesn't hold well in the dust bag. Definitely consider this when purchasing an Insolite!

Perhaps my favorite part of the new collection is the Neverfull. Not having any red accessories (surprisingly), I decided to choose this gorgeous bag. Another reason is because it is notable that most if not all of the limited Neverfull bags are made with a stronger, more durable canvas. The Monogram Rayures has the same integrity of product. One of the best things about the bag is the interior! Peeking out of the back, if you can see, is this beautiful red and black spotted fabric lining.  Something certain to be a great collector's item today and years from now.

What do you think of the newest Kusama collection?

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