Thursday, June 13, 2013

Versace Must Be a Quilter, Or The Coolest Handbags That I Did NOT Buy

At Versace, Stilettos + Free-Motion Quilting + Naked = Sexy!
Hello, Dahlings!  Have you missed me?  Here I was counting down the days until school ended, thinking summer would bring some relaxation our way, but so far the first week of the kids' summer vacation has been pretty hectic.  The boys have had Vacation Bible School every morning this week, plus we had a new member orientation dinner at church last night, a couple of discouraging estimates for improving our wreck of a back yard, and a fender-bender for Bernie yesterday morning (not his fault).  I've also been busy working on a project for a design client, and we're about to drive Lars to an audition for a summer teen production of Godspell.  But I won't bore you with the details of any of that right now.  Today, we're going to talk about Shopping, Fashion, Couture Handbags, and Free-Motion Quilting. 
Sneaky Peaky from Versace -- Keep Reading!
A few weeks ago I spent several hours going through the entire South Park Mall, looking at every single handbag in just about every store, and (to the despair of many a defeated salesperson) I could not find a single bag that fit what I wanted for the summer.  I didn't want the hassle of having to switch handbags depending on my outfit and my plans for the day; that doesn't work for me.  I typically don't even know what I'm wearing until 5 minutes before I leave the house, and I'm lucky to make it out the door with shoes on my feet!  So I wanted a handbag that was neutral or at least versatile, but not boring; something that straddled the fence between casual and dressier days, something that didn't have anyone's logo plastered all over it, and something fun and unique that I would not see tons of other women carrying around this summer.  I wanted it to be big enough for my wallet, checkbook, keys, and clunky sunglasses case, but not so big that I could overload it to the point of throwing my back out.  Now, is this too much to ask of a handbag? 

Floral Python Bag from Jimmy Choo, $4,695
Apparently, yes it is.  After coming up empty handed at the mall, I spent a couple more hours searching online, and EUREKA!  I found several fabulous -- but not-so-affordable-- options, and I did not buy any of them.  Instead, I'm going to share them with you so we can enjoy them together.  Everything is connected to everything else where art, design, and fashion converge, so please indulge me even if you're not a handbag person.

This bag is my absolute favorite.  It's the Biker Multi Floral Python from Jimmy Choo, yours for just $4,695...  The floral print superimposed on natural python has a fun, fresh, contemporary feel -- I'm getting a very Parisian vibe here.  I wear a lot of solid clothing rather than prints, so this would actually work with more of my wardrobe than you'd expect.  Here's a closeup:

Fun Luxe from Jimmy Choo

As you've probably noticed, python is a Big Deal Trend right now, and every line seems to be using some of it.  Not just in fashion, either -- interior designer Mary McDonald has a gorgeous python print linen fabric in her collection for F. Schumacher & Co.:

F. Schumacher Park Avenue Python in Greige, 100% Linen, $196 per yard
It's a heavier-weight linen fabric, suitable for draperies, light upholstery, or wall applications...  And it would also be the perfect weight for a casual summer handbag.

After the Jimmy Choo, my second-favorite python bags are these lovelies from Gucci:

Gucci Multi Python Tote, $3,500

Multi Python Tote on Model -- Why Are These Bags So BIG?!

Gucci Jackie Malachite Green Python, $3,800 -- Pantone's Color of the Year

Gucci Jackie Warm Sand Python, $5,990 -- Love the Tassels
That last one is the most practical, from a "neutral color" perspective, anyway, and I love those big tassels.  They remind me of drapery tassels.

Just in case you're thinking that these are outrageously expensive handbags, let's look at a REALLY expensive handbag next:

Gucci Soft Stirrup Bag in Crocodile, $29,900
Crocodile Bag with Model -- These Bags Are All TOO BIG!
Umm, that bag costs more than my first car...  Granted, this is a rather large bag, and it's a gorgeous neutral that would work with just about anything, but I do like being married, so I think I'll pass.

What's with this supersized handbag thing, anyway?  Is it a purse, or a giant diaper bag? 

If you're looking for something smaller than a bowling bag, check out this lovely from Fendi:

Fendi Embroidered Leather Baguette, $2,450
Don't you just love the embroidery on the Fendi Embroidered Leather Baguette?  The size is much more sensible, and you know I love ANY color, as long as it's red...  This bag really got me thinking.  If Fendi can embroider on leather, why can't I?  Just google "how to embroider leather" and a whole slew of tutorials and videos will pop up.  The possibilities are endless!
Meanwhile, last but certainly not least, the folks at Versace have obviously been snooping around at the quilt shows:
Versace Vanitas Soft Quilted Tote, $2,295
It looks like someone has been practicing free-motion quilting designs on the Vanitas Soft Quilted Tote, doesn't it?  Chanel has been doing quilted leather forever (along with scores of imitators), but I've never seen THIS kind of quilting on a handbag before!  Hmmm...  I don't think I know anyone who does free-motion quilting on leather.  It would have to be really lightweight, smooth glove leather, NOT the upholstery stuff, and I'd need to work out the right needle and stitch length to get good definition for the quilting designs without perforating the leather...  I've never felt the urge to sew a handbag before, but this would be a really fun idea to play with.

Versace's Inspiration: Free-Motion Quilt Doodling by Rebecca
Oryany Whitney Bag, $325
So, what did I end up with after all that?  Sadly, I had to settle.  I bought this Oryany (I've never heard of them before, either) Whitney Colorblock handbag online from Nieman Marcus.  I don't love it, but I haven't seen anyone else with it, it works with just about any color, and it was inexpensive enough that I didn't HAVE to love it.  It's way too big, for one thing, a little less structured than I would prefer, and I'm annoyed by and had hoped to avoid the ubiquitous brass-plated hardware fad.  The best thing about this bag is the fun lining fabric:

It's not as exciting as the Versace or the Jimmy Choo, but the much lower price point doesn't cut into my fabric shopping budget!


Anonymous said...

That Gucci Malachite Green Python is my favorite. I would love to own it, but my husband would have me committed if I spent that much on a handbag. I sort of agree with him. But, wow, it is gorgeous! Claudia W

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Wow, you have good taste-those are cool handbags! I love, love the Versace and think I'll have to make one.