Kate Spade has become pretty well-known for her unusual designs. They typically come in collections inspired by a given theme, where each piece is different but related to that theme. The pieces are playful and unique, sometimes even taking on the shape of the object it is trying to portray. But as much as I love the idea of a clutch shaped like a gnome, sometimes you want your playful piece to be somewhat practical. That is why I like the Kate Spade New York Ice Cream Francis Tote!
This particular piece is actually part of the Flavor of the Month collection, which depicts what I can only refer to as “old fashioned” fun. The collection features bags that resemble a carousel, a bag of peanuts, a theater or carnival ticket, and an ice cream truck. All of these pieces are clutch-sized and are made to look like these objects. The Francis Tote in this collection, however, is just that… a tote. It has a fun, ice cream and Popsicle print that reminds me a little bit of the prints Dooney and Bourke used to do. I really like the colors and, despite the brightness, I think this piece would be practical for a casual summer day.
With spring just around the corner, bring on the colorful handbag trends. I am so excited for spring and even more excited for all of the spring colors. As we learned in my first post in this series (Spring Color Trends: Petal Pinks), Easter egg colored handbags are popping up everywhere and they are a great way to welcome spring. So what’s next? When I think of spring, I think of many things including flowers. However I also think of something that some people may not associate with spring — clear blue skies. There is just something about a spring sky that makes me feel connected with the world around me. It is sort of serene in a way. It makes sense to me then that a light blue handbag would have that same calming effect. In fact, I know it does! That is why I am showcasing some lovely baby blues here. You know, to provide you with a little inspiration.
Botkier Trigger Saddle Bag in Sky
Botkier is not a designer that I often associate with pastels. But the Trigger Saddle Bag sure does look inviting in this lovely shade of blue! I love the color and the complimenting silver tone hardware.
The saddle-shaped Botkier shoulder bag in glazed leather with polished studs. Long pulls hang from the magnetic front flap, and a slim pocket outfits the back. Wraparound zip at the gusset. Lined, 2-pocket interior. Adjustable shoulder strap. $248
Rebecca Minkoff Micro Perry Satchel in Bleached Blue
Rebecca Minkoff does many colors well. Pastels though, have always been one of my favorites. They always look good on Rebecca Minkoff styles though and light blue is no exception.
Zips adjust the volume of this scaled-down Rebecca Minkoff satchel rendered in pebbled leather. Concealed magnets secure the side pockets, and the top zip opens to a lined, 4-pocket interior. Double handles and optional, adjustable shoulder strap. $325
MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Multifunction Tote in Sky
Pastels do not have to come on small handbags. They look great on larger styles too, especially baby blue. It is such a versatile color, it works with more conspicuous styles like this tote.
A large, versatile MICHAEL Michael Kors tote in saffiano leather. The top zip opens to a logo-lined interior with 6 pockets and a middle zip compartment. Adjustable handles. $208
Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy is all about the combination of high fashion, street style and gothic romanticism. Since he took over as Creative Director in 2005 he’s transformed the label in his image, garnered a coterie of famous friends and turned out collections filled with must-have items. Case in point: the Antigona handbag. “Launched in 2011, Riccardo Tisci designed this duffle to mimic the Givenchy aesthetic: clean design with strong lines and geometric ornamentation,” says Senior Director of Authentication Graham Wetzbarger. “Knowing his customers’ lifestyle, Tisci designed this bag to be extremely functional and durable.”
Sleek but roomy enough in its larger sizes to fit all of your essentials, the Antigona is coveted by street style stars and celebrities. Often seen on the arms of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kate Moss, Olivia Palermo and most Kardashians, it’s something of an It bag equalizer — edgy but very pulled together. It comes in three sizes — Mini, Small and Medium — and is available in a long list of colorways, prints, exotic skins and more, so while the design is iconic, you can choose a version that fits your personal style. As is often the case with highly sought-after handbags, fake versions abound, so it’s important to know the signs of an authentic Antigona. Here, Wetzbarger breaks down the telltale signs of the real thing.
1. Givenchy Antigona Materials & Construction
“Givenchy uses various leathers from polished cowhide to goat, but it should always be sturdy and structured, which keeps the bag from losing its shape,” says Wetzbarger. “While rigid, it should still have a smooth, luxurious hand, and appear supple rather than plasticy. The triangular leather logo detail is padded with batting so it should be convex and puffy, not flat. It should also be firmly affixed without any gaps. Each letter should be separate in the Givenchy logo and very tightly affized to the bag. If you examine closely, you should see that they are very cleanly finished with no rough or raw edges.”
On the bottom of the bag, you should find ‘feet’ consisting of two panels created from stacked layers of leather that are glued together and stitched down. “Inspect these carefully,” warns Wetzbarger. “Some fakes will just have stitching in the shape of these panels.” An authentic Antigona is lined with solid cotton twill and should match the color of the leather on other interior details like the label and zipper pocket. “While not fixed to the interior with adhesive, the lining is well-constructed to fit perfectly inside the dimensions of the handbag. It should not be loose or bunchy and should have one center seam across the bottom,” Wetzbarger says.
“If you have the original dustbag, it should read ‘Givenchy’ or ‘Givenchy Paris’ on white cotton twill fabric. It should have a crisp screen print with well-defined lines and edges, not bubbles or raised areas of ink.”
2. Givenchy Antigona Brand Stamping & Serial Numbers
The date code format used on Givenchy Antigona handbags follows LVMH standards. According to Wetzbarger: “The first two characters denote the location at which the bag was manufactured, and are followed by four numbers; the first and third digits represent the week and the second and fourth represent the year in which the bag was made.”
“3C” denotes the workshop location. This Antigona was made in the twelfth week of 2012.
He suggests cross referencing your date code with the seasonal specifics of you Antigona. “While some colors like black are made every season,” he says, “certain colorways are season-specific, so you can check to see if particular bags are from the correct year.” In fact, some fake date codes are so wrong that they indicate that the bag was made in a year prior to the Antigona’s debut, or a year in the future. “FW 2011 is the season the Antigona premiered, so your date code should fall between then and now,” notes Wetzbarger.
3. Givenchy Antigona Hardware
Handbag aficionados will be familiar with zipper brands such as Riri and Lampo, however the Givenchy Antigona features an oversized zipper made by Raccagni. “Within roughly the past year however, Givenchy has begun using zippers branded with their own logo,” Wetzbarger explains.
The geometric shape of the bag is echoed in both the unique pyramid-shaped leather zipper pull and strap hardware; the latter should be emblazoned with the Givenchy logo on one side of the D-Ring. Wetzbarger suggests inspecting the color of the hardware which should be “silver or very light gold in color, but nothing brassy.”
BY JODY HUME
Designer Phoebe Philo has a penchant for designing It bags. At the helm of Céline, she’s breathed new life into the once flagging house with designs that have generated waitlists around the world. The first Céline It bag was the Luggage Tote, and was soon followed by other popular designs like the Trapeze, Phantom, Trio, Box and Edge bags.
As Philo remarks of the women who are fans of her designs, “They are all different, but with the common thread of an appreciation for clothes that suggest something new but made to last far beyond fast-trend fashion.” While Céline’s bags appeal to lovers of minimalism with their clean lines, sleek colorblocking and lack of obvious logos, they are also instantly recognizable to those in the know. The popular flared gusset designs of Philo’s bags for Céline have spawned lookalikes from both luxury and contemporary brands across the industry, so taking a close and careful look at Céline handbags to ensure their authenticity is important.
When inspecting Céline, there are several telltale signs of an item’s authenticity.
1. Heat Stamping
On a Mini Luggage Tote, the exterior Céline logo should have an accent aigu, or right-pointing accent, above the first “e,” and “Paris” printed beneath. The font should not look thick and blurry, nor thin and faint. The interior label will have “Made In Italy” printed in caps to the right. Note that on different size totes, the labels will differ. On Nano Luggage Totes, the logo is embossed on a leather tab.
2. Serial Number
In most Céline bags, you’ll find a leather serial number tab. The embossed numbers are not unique and can be repeated. They should always follow this format: one letter, two letters, four numbers. Be wary of serial numbers beginning in “S-GA” as counterfeiters often use this prefix. The corners of the rectangular tab are normally clipped at clean right angles. Neither the tab nor the corners should ever be curved.
Unlike many other fashion houses, Céline does not use brand name zippers in their bags. The backs should be plain and unmarked. However, the size of the zipper is often listed on the end, i.e. the number eight. On Luggage Totes, the zippers should have an antiqued finish and should never be brassy or shiny. The D-Rings on the zippers should be large enough to leave space on either side of the leather pull.
Céline always uses high-quality, sturdy leather on their handbags, which lends to their hefty weight. Smooth calfskin Luggage Totes will have matching leather linings. Drummed or pebbled leather bags will be lined in microsuede. The Céline Trio is quite a versatile accessory, as it can be separated into three different bags. If you want, you can even mix and match different colors.