Tag Archives: Accessories

Mark Cross’s Iconic “Box Bag” – a Grace Kelly Fave Is Back For Us to Enjoy in 2012

31 Jan

The Inimitable Grace Kelly Holding Her Grace Box Bag in Rear Window

Text, Vivian Kelly

Last Friday, I had an unexpected break from teaching and zoomed over to one of my favorite local designer consignment stores, Bring N Buy, to see if I could score a Friday feel good deal. While hanging out with co-owner, Tina Hassenstein, and discussing the upcoming NYFW, I internally mulled over if I really wanted  the brown LV monogram bag on the shelf. It DID have the boxy structured shape I love but… I left, sans bag.
Later that day, while at my home office desk, a pitch came in from the HL Group’s Maria Bui,  about a special launch event – “Collection 1” by Mark Cross exclusively for Barney’s NY.

There, embedded in the message was a range of gorgeous little boxy bags as clean and elegant as a die hard Minimalist could wish for.

Mark Cross’s reappearance on the fashion radar screen is interesting on a couple of levels.

Firstly, I’m not sure where Barney’s is headed creatively these days. My last visit during the holidays was a bit dismaying – over-stuffed racks, a shoe sale in which shoes and boots were strewn all over the department rather than contained on racks as they are at Neiman’s and Lord & Taylor. My friend, Anthony Palermo, felt similarly when we chatted about it last month as he bleached out my hair.  

That said, a collaboration such as this one is a step in the right direction, something that smacks of “the old Barney’s” of yesteryear, when Gene Pressman was in charge. In the Nineties, Barney’s was the place where you went for fashion items you could not find anywhere else. Their highly edited merch was the reason you went to Barney’s.

Secondly, the bags in the Mark Cross collection have an elegant retro vibe and come in boxy geometric designs. Better still, this accessories company has a wonderful pedigree, thanks largely to its longtime designer Gerald Butler and  his wife Sara, who passed away in 1964 and 1975, respectively. The company reopened in 2010.

Thirdly, the brand is associated with one of my favorite fashion icons. One of the bags in the Barney’s exclusive is the modern day version of “Grace Box”, the bag that Gerald Butler created for Grace Kelly to wear in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Grace’s little bag became so famous that the company eventually produced it for their customers to be able to have a little bit of Grace’s “very sleek and classic style” in their life.

Lastly, Mark Cross [and designer, Gerald Butler] have a rich artistic history that spans across several artistic disciplines: accessory design, literature and ballet. Gerald and Sara Murphy were people I would have loved to have met.  If the wacky Dr. Emmett Brown’s DeLorean Flux Capacitator actually worked, I’d beg him to hitch a ride on it to go back to the Forties and join them for cocktails and a chat about what they were working on next.

Dr. Emmett Brown and his Delorean Flux Capacitator

Here, a little more of this venerable brand’s history

Mark Cross was originally established as a saddler and harness-maker – bought by the Murphy family in 1875. Gerald & Sara Murphy were good friends with literary legends such as: F Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and Dorothy Parker. Fitzgerald dedicated his novel “Tender is the Night” to Sara and Gerald. The main characters in the book, Dick and Nicole Diver, are partly inspired by Sara and Gerald. THIS is true-blue glamour, with a capital G.

Product info:
Debuting exclusively at Barney’s, to arrive in stores by 1/30/12 (Barney’s NY, barneys.com)

Pricing: $1,495 – 2,350

If Mark Cross continues to do more collaborations such as this one, count me in as a Mark Cross fan.


God Save My Shoes – A Must-See Documentary featuringChristian Louboutin

30 Aug

Text, Vivian Kelly

This year has been a good one for fashion documentaries. There was the one about Bill Cunningham, the one on Duckie Brown, and now this one about some of the world’s foremost shoemakers [let’s just call them MAGICIANS] opening later on this month.

One of the highlights of the film is the section on Christian Louboutin and his red soled creations that cause women everywhere to abandon all reason and happily spend over $600 for a pair. Admittedly, as a runner, I don’t wear heels and have already endured 2 bunion surgeries. That annoying fact though doesn’t dampen my desire to own a pair of Louboutins, which I would then display in a plexi glass case lit from the bottom. They’re art right? So, why not?

My great friend, Theadora Brack, Paris Correspondent for EuroCheapo, brought this film  to my attention a few weeks ago, and then again today, with the newsflash that it opens October 4th. For the lucky few, there is an invitation-only  event in Manhattan, at the very beginning of NYFW, on September 7 and the Paris Theater, 4 West 58th Street. Fittingly, it’s around the corner from Bergdorf Goodman.

Below, a little preview to whet your appetite.

For more information go to:

CAID Productions

Tel: 212-537-5785

Tootsie’s – Miami Beach’s Go-To Accessories and Beauty Secret

4 Aug

Text, Vivian Kelly

Okay, so the title to this post is a bit misleading. I’m hoping that after reading this and watching the video, Tootsie’s won’t be a secret any more.

I first went there 2 or 3 years ago, while attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim. Prior to leaving, I’d been on deadline and desperately needed a pedicure as MBFW Swim is all about wearing Havaiana flip flops; the Oasis tent at the Raleigh has a sand floor. The idea – you’re at the beach and relaxing while watching the show, not working.

Tootsie’s carried quite a few Havaianas, including hard to find ones like “Wonder Woman” with the gold straps. [I bought them this time, finally – last pair!].

This MBFW Swim, I’d set aside Monday morning as my “shopping/HUNT” day, and went about hitting some of my favorites, but ran out of time and didn’t make it into the Oribe Salon on Euclid or to Base and Jonathan Adler on Lincoln Road, or to see Gabriella at The Jewelry Connection on 16th between Washington and Collins for yet another knuckle-busting costume cocktail ring.

FORTUNATELY, I DID make it to Tootsie’s on Washington, just around the corner from Lincoln Road sucking down the last of my 31 oz. Arnold Palmer “Trenta” ice tea from Starbucks. There were CLOTHES there and a framed rave editorial in Allure Magazine. I mentally crossed-off a few other stops on my list and decided to really look around.

I was rewarded by scoring some quality time with Robert Radice, the owner who explained the amazing selection of caftans, and accessories you can now pick up there. If you love accessories, or even just like them, you must go here. A fun ethnic print caftan in shocking purple or parrot green can make you feel as glamorous as Liz Taylor when she vacationed with Richard [Burton] at their Mexican Villa in Puerto Vallarta between takes of  “Cleopatra”.

If you’re not someone who would ever wear a caftan, there are beaded bags and clutches that are hard to pass-by, especially as they’re under $60.

If the bags don’t get you, the Havaianas will, because Tootsie’s is a   I walked out with 4 pair, 1 for each member of the family. Since you’ll doubtlessly leave wearing a pair of Havaianas, you may as well get a mani-pedi when you’re at it. Best to make a reservation, as the day I arrived, the crew of Tom Cruise’s new musical “Rock of Ages” had just called to book it solid for mani-pedis. I wonder if Tom himself every strolled in?

Watch the video of my conversation with Robert as he explains his retail strategy and what’s on tap at Tootsie’s.

Shopping Info:

Tootsie’s nail Salon & boutique

open 7 days a week – Open @ 11a.m.

Tel: 305.674.0068

Facebook: tootsie’s nail salon

The Mara Hoffman Resort 2011 Collection Show at the Raleigh

2 Aug

Text, Vivian Kelly

This season, I had the great pleasure of reporting for The Fashion List during Mercedes Benz Miami Swim. It was a rough schedule [for Miami], but I saw some great collections that show a trend of designers combining Swim and Resort into one collection and showing it at MBFW Swim, rather than just in the showroom. Mara Hoffman did this and her colorful show made a big splash.

For my complete write-up on Mara Hoffman Resort 2012, click on The Fashion List to read the details and to see a gallery of images from the show.

I think you’ll agree that the outsize tassel bag is irresistible!

THE HUNT – the FE’s Farmington Finds

31 May

Text, Vivian Kelly

This past Memorial Day Weekend, I took THE HUNT to the Farmington, CT. area. I ended up, kind of predictably, at the West Farms Mall in Farmington, in search of a prom dress.[oops, sorry, Middleschool graduation dance dress]. That was “a fail”, the best find being a white lace-covered cocktail dress that looked to white and too cheap, at Forever 21. The distressed denim overall shorts were adorable and cute in that Daisy Duke like way but we passed as we were on a mission, and it wasn’t for overalls this time around.

The two shopping trips to Westfarms though, were not a total loss though, and here’s why.

Louis Vuitton anyone? The Louis V. store at the Westfarm Malls was closed, but the Sweet Factory was not. It was there that I found a mini LV monogram attaché case $2.99 – mints included.  I snagged the last one.

Speaking of LV, there were a lot of Louis out and the denim Louis was the most popular followed by the standard issue original monogram. Both models were large sized, as were the taupe leather beauties in the window. Total LV’s spotted on 2 trips to the mall – 6.

The HUNT requires energy, ie: food and as a life-long diner aficionado, I insisted we go find one BEFORE shopping. Found – the New Britain diner, winner for “Best Breakfast”  award 2 years running. For under $25, we left with 2 enormous omelets with home fries, 1 giant muffin, 3 tire size pancakes and a side order of scrambled eggs and 3 free 16 oz. juices as a thank you for trying them out.

Done with breakfast, it was time to hit Westfarms again, along with everyone else who decided they’d rather shop than water ski that holiday weekend. Some other trends we spotted at the mall – buzz around the MAC Surf Limited Edition collection. While I didn’t buy the orchid color that had drawn me to the counter in the first place, I did  leave with a tube of VIVA GLAM IV – the perfect neutral shade of daytime red.

As far as the looming spectre of Father’s Day, the score was zip, but I have the email from Levi over at MIN New York to fall back on for that difficult shopping situation.