Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Accessories Diary: The Festive Frenzy

For the lover of monograms ... an Edie Parker clutch with her initial at Bergdorf's.
The Festive Frenzy
By Alison Minton

Tuesday, December 22nd, three shopping days left and panic all around. I know the feeling. I used to be one of those annoyingly organized people who was finished with Christmas shopping by December 1st. That’s because I started holiday shopping in August. And that was before easy on line shopping even existed! But, life was simpler then. And, don’t even get me started on the Christmas cards. I haven’t even had time to send any out the past three years. (Apologies to all of you who have been good sports about sending them to me since 2012. I didn’t cut you from the list, there was no list.) But I’ve gotten them printed, and the envelopes are addressed, so there’s hope for this year.

In fact, time has gotten so precious during the holiday season I’ve even suggested to my family that we convert to an Eastern Orthodox religion so we can celebrate Christmas on January 6th, the Epiphany. We’d get to buy our presents on sale on December 26th and have two extra weeks to mail out cards.
The point is I empathize with all of you so much so that I’ve put together a list of new product launches and trunk shows and a few of my favorite accessories to help you survive the final festive frenzy.

On Friday, November 13th Erwin Pearl launched a collaborative
collection with The New York Botanical Garden. The collection features flowers, leaves, acorns, bug, bees and everything you would expect to find at the NYBG, and a portion of the sales benefits the Garden. One line, called Rudiments, is based on Gaetano Testolini's 1818 masterwork Rudiments of Drawing, Shadowing and Coloring Flowers in Watercolors, which is part of the NYBG’s archives. The book, and the new collection, were on display at a November 12th press party.
The Rudiments drawing book upon which one line of the collection is based.
A perfectly colored bouquet.
Daisy pendant necklace.
Rudiments Tassel necklace.
Beetle pins.
The piece de resistance of the collection — The Garden Necklace.
On Thursday, November 19th The Dog Store NYC hosted a trunk show for A Pet With Paws, an eco-friendly pet product line, that gets Fido to clean up after himself ... well, almost. The line of canine accessories includes a doggie backpack that holds poop bags which leaves the pet parent a free hand for carrying that essential early AM double espresso, or for cleaning up after Fido. The adorable doggie models at the trunk show looked chic and didn’t seem to mind lending a paw to take care of their own business.
Guest Paulie Walnuts attended with his mom, Deborah Maffettone.
Scarlett, The Dog Store's resident canine, modeled a Doggie Backpack.
A Pet with Paws founder and designer, Ann Greenberg, holds a Poop Pickup Clutch Wristlet. Visit www.apetwithpaws.com
Yesterday, December 21, 2015 was the HSN launch of a jewelry line by Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, called Homage. The line is based on jewelry worn by Consuelo’s Vanderbilt family ancestors, including some of the pieces that she inherited. I met up with Consuelo at the beautifully decorated Doubles Club where she showed me some of the pieces that are now selling on HSN and shared the very colorful stories behind them, including a little gem about an infamous pearl necklace. It seems that Alice Claypoole Vanderbilt was at the Ambassador Club when her son Reginald walked in with his new wife Gloria Morgan, who was shamefully not wearing pearls.
Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin.
Aghast, Alice allegedly picked up a scissors, snipped off a strand from her own necklace, handed it to Gloria and proclaimed “Every Vanderbilt woman has pearls.” In a humorous twist to this tale, Consuelo has little scissor charms hanging from her version of the necklace that she has dubbed the Ambassador necklace. (Incidentally, this pearl-less couple were the parents of Gloria Vanderbilt, the artist, author, designer, heiress and socialite, who at 91 is still going strong and I’m sure has a pearl necklace or two.)
The original Ambassador Necklace was owned by Alice Claypoole Vanderbilt who famously cut it and gave a strand to her daughter-in-law, hence ...
... the scissor charms hanging from the reproduction.
Consuelo inherited the original Society Brooch from her Grandmother, Iris Vanderbilt Christ.
Consuelo's ring belonged to her Great Grandmother, Consuelo Vanderbilt Earl, and is believed to have first belonged to Consuelo Vanderbilt, Dutchess of Marlborough.
Consuelo Vanderbilt Earl had four arranged marriages and the Flying Pearl ring is modeled after one of her engagement rings.
The original Vanderbilt Rose brooch was owned by Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III and first owned by Mathilde Bonaparte, Napolean's niece.
The Tempest Bracelet was inspired by Consuelo's career as a recording artist.
This Eclipse Ring comes with interchangeable pearls in different colors and there are matching Stargazer earrings.
Consuelo explains the inspiration for the collection in her own words.
On Monday, December 7th, Stephanie Loeffler invited me to a private designer dialogue and fashion presentation with Victoria Beckham, designer and former Spice Girl, and Jessica Diehl, Fashion & Style Director of Vanity Fair. The clothing and accessories featured were from the pre Autumn/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear collection. If Ms. Beckham’s collection is indicative of what’s coming down the runway then be on the lookout for structured bags with texture and lots of animal print. And, get yourself a pair of sunnies with colorful iridescent lenses.
Stephanie Loeffler bought these ultra chic Victoria Beckham sunglasses.
A Victoria Beckham leopard print pouch.
This leopard print Victoria Beckham bag was retro and modern at the same time.
This texture on this Victoria Beckham bag felt, and looked, like grosgrain ribbon.
A small Victoria Beckham clutch in a citrus hue.
On Thursday, December 10th I attended a trunk show in a private apartment at 3 East 71st Street, where even the apartment was for sale! Several vendors including Elizabeth Finkle Sans’ Pearls4Purpose, India Hicks, Jewels by Jill Goodman, Comelli Designs, and BeautyCounter got together for a holiday boutique. Lots of lovely stocking stuffers and easy one stop shopping.
Elizabeth Kellick, India Hicks, and Elizabeth Finkle Sans.
India Hicks make-up bags.
Liz's pearls.
Earrings for sale at the Kathy Comelli table.
Tunic from Kathy Comelli.
And, finally, if none of the above strikes your fancy then here is a list of my “hot picks” that I highly recommend and wouldn’t mind Santa bringing me on December 25th. I’ve got you covered for the twelve days of Christmas for ladies and only one item for gentlemen, but there were so many cool cufflinks at Michael C. Fina, just grab him twelve pairs and problem solved.

Good luck with the gift hunting and just remember, before you whip yourself into a nervous breakdown, the true spirit of the season isn’t about the gifts, but the love, and everyone loves cash and gift cards. Merry Christmas!
For the darling daughter who has your heart ... a classic Elsa Peretti necklace from Tiffany.
For the faithful ... an Elsa Peretti symbol of their faith from Tiffany.
For the glamour girl ... Ippolita diamond earrings.
For the Hollywood starlet ... a Fred Leighton vintage cocktail ring.
For the antique freak ... a vintage bauble from Camilla Bergeron.
For the man with a sense of whimsy ... a pair of Michael C. Fina cufflinks.
For the nature lover ... a beautiful Tamsen Z butterfly pin.
For the woman who likes option ... a Hueb ring with interchangeable stones.
For your charming friend ... a Jennifer Miller charm necklace. For the animal lover ... a scarf that donates to animal shelters from peacelovepawsco.com.
For the woman who likes to make a statement ... Pomellato has the perfect gems
For young girls, or young at heart girls ... an adorable elephant coin purse by Loewe at Bergdorf's.

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