From Russia With Love

The recent chill in the air has got me thinking about cold weather accessories. An essential for winters in New York City. This black leather and fox fur hat was a gift from Moscow, courtesy of a business trip. It came with a bottle of vodka. I don't drink vodka. It's enormous and fluffy and I love it! It pretty much goes with anything, although I'm sure no one really notices anything else I'm wearing when I have it on. Besides making it easier to spot me in a crowd, it actually keeps me warm. I think it's quite perfect for the snow...

Alexander McQueen De Manta Clutch

My handbag collection proudly includes this ALEXANDER MCQUEEN De Manta. The DE MANTA CLUTCH takes its name and shape after the Manta Ray and every season is re-imagined in different colors, fabrics, and trims. This one in particular features a digitally printed reptile neoprene shell, brown leather trim, and a canvas lining. I first spotted this beauty one day as I was casually flipping through a Vogue magazine where it was featured in a fashion spread. Now, I'm not usually one for multi colored items, but sometimes certain things just catch your eye... and your heart. Almost immediately I was obsessed and set out on a mission to acquire. This is a true story.
The very next day, I called up the McQueen store to inquire about the clutch. I was informed not only had it not yet arrived, but there was already a waiting list! Not only was there a waiting list, but they were only invoiced to receive six in total. What number was I? Number eight. Now, it doesn't take a mathematician to realize that things were not going to add up. It seemed that there would not be enough bags to go around and that was most certainly going to be a problem for me. Panic started to set in as I made every attempt I could to secure the bag. I offered to pre pay for the clutch; my money was refused. I tried to persuade the sales associate that whomever the first seven ladies were, they could not want the bag as badly as I did and I should be bumped up the list. To my distress, these tactics did not work. Although I was assured I would be called in the event the women ahead of me declined the piece, I hung up the phone feeling less than assured. Discouraged, if you will.

So, I hatched a plan. I say plan, but it was really me calling the store once a week. I was sure, more than sure, that life would not be right if I did not get this bag. Every week I was told the bag had not yet arrived and that they would not release any shipment tracking numbers to me. I was convinced they were withholding information and for the next two months, I enlisted the help of a couple of friends. I had each of them call pretending to be after the bag, sometimes using fake accents. (I'm not sure why they thought fake accents would help, but they seemed to enjoy it.) I was determined to see if they could gather any more information as to the whereabouts of the bag. They were all told the same thing, that the waiting list was already several people long and to forget about the bag.

Eight weeks after my initial inquiry, I received a call from the store. The UPS truck was on its way and due to deliver within the hour. I promptly told my co workers I was taking a "lunch break", flagged a cab, and headed downtown. I walked through the glass doors just as they were lifting it from the box were it had so carefully been packed. I ignored the "Oh, you got here quickly!" and moved in closer for examination. It was everything I imagined it would be and I couldn't get my Visa card out fast enough.
I left the store with a combination of euphoria and accomplishment as I stepped out into the street to hail another cab. The hunt was over, I had made the kill, and was headed home with my prize. In reality, I was headed back to work. Let us not forget, the hunt is not free...

This particular DE MANTA is from the 2010 Spring/Summer collection entitled Plato's Atlantis. The theme was meant to symbolize a "return to the sea". It would be the last complete collection that Lee Alexander McQueen would ever release before his untimely death. 


Louis Vuitton Monogram Keepall 45

With the weather in London being so... (sigh) dismal lately, I've had nothing on my mind except a vacation to a sunny place. I mean, before I moved here, they told me it rained a lot and turns out they were not wrong. I've been thinking, I really need to get away if only for a bit. Somewhere with bright blue skies, fresh mango slices, a hammock, and a scorching sun. (Because I like to get a nice, bronze-like thing going on.) Sunshine makes me happy!
In my opinion, travel bags are just as important as handbags. Mainly because airports are as good a place as any to use as your personal runway. It's worth investing in a few good pieces. After all, you want your wardrobe to get there all in one piece. Think of the horror if you arrive at your destination only to find a heel broken off your favorite pair of pumps? So far I've acquired a couple of well made, carry on pieces that have made several international trips with me.

First is my Louis Vuitton Keepall 45 in monogram canvas. This was my first real piece of luggage purchased from a company that was built on the concept of traveling in style. This is the smallest size the Keepall comes, but you would be surprised how much I can squeeze into it. It will comfortably hold two outfits, a pair of shoes, toiletries and accessories, all while fitting perfectly under your airplane seat. It's not cheap, but you will have it forever.

There's also my Gucci canvas tote. I originally purchased this bag for school as it holds all the rulers necessary for pattern making comfortably, but find I use it for traveling just as much. It's great because it holds my MacBook snug and has a long strap to wear across your body. There's an inside zippered pocket for your boarding pass and room for whatever small treasure you might pick up at duty free. Comfortably holds one outfit, plus accessories.