How to Spot…Lanvin Accessories

We’re adding a new little segment to HowFashionWorks called “How to Spot.” We thought about how easy it is  to eyeball a Louis Vuitton or Tory Burch piece because of their signature logos, but what about the brands that like to stay more discreet? In our inaugural “How to Spot” we point out a few ways to spot a Lanvin accessory.

Lanvin adds a whimsical touch to their handbags by weaving ribbon through the chain strap and finishing it with a bow and signature medallion keychain. Now that you know isn’t it easy to spot on these fashionable ladies?

And pointer number two….

Lanvin also uses grosgrain to set their shoes apart. Whether it’s the fine trim on a pump or flat, the laces on an oxford, or a decorative bow on the side, the French fashion house is know for their love of grosgrain details.

Product Images via Lanvin.com, NiemanMarcus.com, Barneys.com

Street Style Images via chictopia.comfashioncoup.comcredstyle.com

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It Bags: The Proenza Schouler PS1

For our It Bags installment this week, we take a modern turn with the PS1 by Proenza Schouler. The design duo’s first handbag, the PS1 has been a fixture on the arms of celebrities and fashion leaders since its 2008 release. Luxurious yet wearable, the PS1 is available in a dizzying array of colors, materials and designs. In a perfect world, we’d collect them all.

Purchase your own PS1 here. It comes in 9 different silhouettes to suit your toting needs.

Image Source: Chi City Fashion

It Bags: The Fendi Baguette

Next up in our It Bag series: The Fendi Baguette. Fendi is currently celebrating their coveted design with limited-edition reissues and an illustrated book, so we thought we’d celebrate along with them. The single-strap bag (which doubles as a clutch) is named for the way it’s carried under the arm like a French baguette.

Since its debut in 1997 the bag has been produced in over 1,000 iterations, ranging from basic to all-out bold. In the first 3 years alone, 600,000 Baguettes were sold. The bag made many Sex and the City cameos, most notably one in which a mugger makes off with Carrie’s purple metallic baguette — truly tragic.

Does the Fendi Baguette make your lust list?

Image & Info Source: Fendi

It Bags: The Hermes Kelly Bag

Welcome to the first installment of our It Bags series.  For a little Friday fun, we decided to kick things off with the legendary Kelly Bag by Hermès.

Originally dubbed the Sac à Dépêches, the Kelly Bag is named for actress Grace Kelly. The Hollywood star was pictured with the bag on a 1956 Life magazine cover and voila! the bag instantly became a coveted classic — though the name wasn’t changed until years later. Hermès still sells the bag (each is handcrafted and takes roughly 18 hours to complete) and continually reinvents the design with different colors and materials.

Print out and decorate your own Kelly bag here.

Info Source: Worsley, Harriet. 100 Ideas That Changed Fashion. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd, 2011. Print. and Hermès

Design School: Origin of the Chanel Quilted 2.55 Bag

Perhaps the world’s most coveted piece of arm candy, the Chanel 2.55 has been a fixture in fashion for over 50 years. But there’s more to this bag than quilted leather and chain shoulder straps. As is often the case with Coco Chanel, there’s a story behind the design.

Coco Chanel first designed bags with shoulder straps in the 1920s. She was driven by her desire for a handsfree bag and took it upon herself to create one, borrowing her design from the straps she saw on soldiers’ bags. The 2.55 didn’t debut until Chanel made a comeback in the fashion industry in February 1955, which is why the bag is named such. Enduring and irresistible, the 2.55 traditionally features:

  • burgundy lining, inspired by the color of the uniforms at the convent where Chanel grew up
  • chain shoulder straps, inspired by the key chains the caretakers at the convent had
  • a zippered pocket not only intended for money, but also rumored to be where Chanel stashed love letters in her own bag
  • a back pocket for storing money
  • a Mademoiselle lock — a reference to the fact that Chanel never married. Modern Classic Flap bags sport a CC lock.
  • a quilted diamond pattern, said to be inspired by many sources: a jockey’s riding coat, stained-glass windows, and the cushions at Chanel’s own Paris apartment

Over the past half century, the bag has been re-imagined in a wide array of colors, textures, and materials. In February 2005, Karl Lagerfeld reissued Chanel’s original design, dubbing it the Reissue 2.55. The title applies only to that year’s reissued bags; bags with a CC lock are named Classic Flaps. However, all iterations of the bag are commonly called 2.55s.

And while you’re welcome to try your luck on eBay, your best bet for an authentic bag is buying one in-store. But that’s all the more reason to celebrate and make a day of your 2.55 purchase.

For more info, including differences between Reissue and Classic Flap bags, visit purseblog.
Image source: Chanel

Style School: A Closer Look at Leather

We don’t have to tell you how influential leather is in your wardrobe. Just look at your shoes, handbag, belt or considering the trends your recent pencil skirt purchase. With that in mind, we thought we’d make you a leather connoisseur (or at least more knowledgable) with our quick leather guide.

Cowhide & Calfskin

Durable, flexible, more resistant to water, and comparatively cheaper than other leathers, cowhide is one of the more common leathers used in fashion. Not necessarily a luxurious item, but still worth your consideration, cowhide is an ideal option for everyday wear.

 In contrast, calfskin rivals lambskin in soft feel and has greater durability than the latter. While it has a tight finish, it boasts a soft, supple texture that will increase with wear and age, as does its elasticity which is why calfskin was first used for book binding. In contrast to the more mature skin of a cow, calfskin today is considered a luxury leather that is often used for gloves and wallets among other accessories.

Lambskin

Known as the softest and thinnest leather, lambskin has a suppleness that could be described as buttery to the touch. More fashionable than most leathers, lambskin can pull off a more formfitting look, but is also known to stretch out and reshape over time.

Pigskin

 Another soft and durable leather, pigskin is widely used across the board. While you are sure to find pigskin made into belts, shoes, handbags, jackets and trims, it’s the football that is most commonly associated with pigskin hence the expression, “toss the pigskin.”

While it is certainly supple and dense, pigskin can also stiffen over time and shrink.

Deerskin

Standing out for its insulating ability, deerskin offers more breathability than most leathers, keeping you warm when it’s cold and cool during warmer weather. Water-resistant and abrasion-resistant to an extent, deerskin is without a doubt a durable leather that will not only maintain its sharp look but also its soft, somewhat elastic feel.

 Considered one of the strongest leathers and also lightweight, deerskin is used in clothing, wallets, gloves, hats and slippers.

Goatskin

Softer than cowhide and tougher than sheepskin, goatskin is durable and comfortable. More textured than most leathers, goatskin stands out for its waterproof qualities and is commonly used for jackets, belts and even flasks.

Ostrich

Immediately recognizable by its quill texture, ostrich leather epitomizes luxury. The more quills on a piece of leather, the more opulent and desirable the skin. Since the center of the hide usually possesses the most quills, small accessories such as wallets, belts and handbags are most desirable—and therefore the most expensive.

Its durability, thick feel, and supple nature also make ostrich leather one of the most luxurious types of leather.

Snakeskin, Stingray & Crocodile

Exotic skins carry their own fashionable clout.

Easily recognizable, snakeskin is very delicate, and quite popular at the moment for its versatility.

Stingray has a grainy feel and is seeing a recent rise in popularity.

Considered of great value, crocodile is also superlatively strong and durable.

Images clockwise from top: From the Hermes: Leather Forever exhibit, theAsianFashionJournal.com; OurGoods Barter: Report; Artisan at Hermes Workshop, Vogue.uk