Fashion Forward

A Novel Idea…

I’m not much of a handbag connoisseur, but I’ll sport any accessory that is unconventional and unique. If it looks artistic or reads like a masterpiece–I’ll play the canvas. Slap it under my arm and I’ll move like Baryshnikov and wax Goethe-etic.

There’s something about whimsy that makes me fall in love. I’m head over heels with every handbag from Dolce and Gabbana’s Almalfi collection (or any season, for that matter), and I’ve come to discover a few more designers that are along the same Seussian style lines.

Sarah’s Bag is a Labenese fashion house that has a poignant purpose close to my heart: empowering women. They design luxury handbags and accessories, while at the same time helping at-risk women get back on their feet and mainstreamed back into society. Wow! I absolutely admire people who use their business as a foundation for a good cause. Sarah Beydoun, the creator behind this house, is exactly as her business seems: ingenious with a noble heart. Plus, her designs are works of art. They should be sitting in their own wing at the Pompidou–right next to Warhol for Pete’s sake. Lucky for us, she has partnered with her marketing and media-minded sister to make the brand bigger and more accessible worldwide. We should be seeing more of these fanciful bags in stores near us!

Another designer who stays true to her waggish ways–Betsey Johnson. I’ve been a fan for years, since her first store popped up in San Francisco in the 1980s. An hour’s drive away from my school dorm never stood in the way of this college kid. No, not me. Betsey Johnson et. al is a master at her craft, and she needs no ‘splainin’. She is the queen of quizzical and will always reign over the whimsy.

Since I am on my teacher budget, I found a few novelty bags on Etsy.com that are reasonably priced. There are a few Timmy Woods (of Beverley Hills) creations that I have been watching–“the Eiffel Tower” (as seen in Sex In The City)–has sold. Too late! I didn’t swoop soon enough. The “playing cards” bag is stunning, though. Don’t let that one slip away!

Enid Collins is also the quintessential novelty purse designer from the 1960s. Her creations came with DIY packets and extra replacement beads. She was the first to do this, so she has become a cult favorite in the vintage scene. Click here for the link to one of her vintage designs.

Finally, there are the 60s and 70s varieties that I love! True vintage! No-name labels attached. I’ve added a few links for your perusal! Click here to see a vintage raffia bag at the Jellyjar; click here to see a vintage needlepoint bag at the VintagePurseSnatcher; and click here to see a vintage wicker fruit bag at VansVintageTreasures.


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