Archive for May, 2010

MICHAEL Michael Kors Python-Embossed Patent Leather Tote

I wear totes more than any other bag.  They are large enough to carry magazines, my laptop and all other daily essentials as a working mother on the go.  MICHAEL Michael Kors Python-Embossed Patent Leather Tote is a beautiful turquoise with an exotic finish. Details include gold-tone hardware, side patch pockets, hanging logo tag, top-zip closure with interior zip, cell phone and additional pockets; interior key ring, and protective metal feet so that the bottom of the bag stays intact.  Price: $198 at Bloomingdales.

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Bloomingdales Designer Handbag Sale

Bloomingdales is having a designer handbag sale!  Now is the time to shop for a new beach bag, straw bag, metallic bag or THAT bag you’ve had your eye on for the last couple of months.  Enjoy 30 to 40% off select designer bags now through Sunday, June 6th.

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Interview With Peter Marino – Architect of the Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison

Peter Marino, FAIA, is the principal of Peter Marino Architect, PLLC, an internationally acclaimed architecture, planning, and design firm founded in 1978 and based in New York City with offices in Philadelphia, PA and Southampton, NY. Peter Marino’s design contributions in the areas of commercial, cultural, residential and retail architecture have helped redefine modern luxury worldwide, emphasizing materiality, texture, scale, light and the constant dialogue between interior and exterior. He is widely known for his residential and retail designs for the most iconic names in the fashion and art worlds: Giorgio Armani, Andy Warhol, Valentino, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Ermenegildo Zegna, Donna Karan and Barneys New York. His latest work is the Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison.

What makes the New Bond Street Maison unique?
This New Bond Street address is one of the most luxurious shopping streets in the world – the traffic is at an incredibly high level, not just monetarily but in terms of style, taste, and people. It’s, dare I say, the most sophisticated place for shoppers. The New Bond Street Maison is, for me, going to be the most luxurious Louis Vuitton Maison in the world. To achieve this, we had to take a lot of space, a lot of light, and a lot of materials. What we are looking for in London is a more modern shopping experience that remains at a high luxury level. The whole concept of London – which is important to understand for people, is that we call it the Louis Vuitton Maison: ‘The House of Vuitton’. I would like to make the visitors feel at home. When you come in, there’s a beautiful entrance, part of the home is to relax, part of the home is more formal, and maybe part of the home is where you take off your clothes.

What were the challenges for the New Bond Street Maison?
There were several. One was joining two buildings, with concrete floors at different levels, to make a unified whole. Another was the historic façade, which we were not allowed to alter, but I wanted a totally contemporary interior. So we built a “skin” structure inside to separate the store from the façade. You enter from the street and cross the gap over a bridge, which is symbolic of entering the Louis Vuitton world. I was also desperate to get light into the first-floor Librairie area at the back, which is why we came up with the vaulted skylight, which is great for reading.

What are your favourite elements about the New Bond Street Maison?
My favourite elements are some of the touches which represent the Louis Vuitton ethos but also add fun to the shopping experience. There’s the glass staircase running right across the front of the store between the façade and the interior skin – it’s a work of art with LCD image generation and ever-changing artists’ work. The ten-meter high trunk wall at the entrance was inspired by those wonderful lost luggage areas in old-fashioned stations where cases pile up – they’re always tatty but we’ve done it in a good way with wood and brass. It was great having the height and space to do it. The Bag Bar is just fun. Some shops are just lethally serious but we want people to smile. I think its fun when things are not static so the bags move to a rhythm. And the Murakami sculpture and the circling planets – they just make you laugh.

Image via Steve Benisty

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Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison

Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison Façade. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton will open the doors to its New Bond Street Maison in London on May 28th 2010. This is the most important date in Louis Vuitton’s 125-year association with the city of London, since it opened its first store in 1885. This Maison, which reflects Louis Vuitton’s rare art-de-vivre and savoir-faire, is conceived as the home of a collector who loves only the best and the rarest.

New Bond Street has been the heart of Louis Vuitton’s presence in London since it first opened its doors there in 1900. Since the eighteenth century, when auction houses first established themselves on the street, closely followed by jewellery and fashion emporia, New Bond Street has had a reputation for supplying the best of luxury goods and is today one of the world’s premier locations for international luxury brands.

For Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, “London is one of the most important fashion and cultural cities in the world which brings together heritage and innovation. Opening a Maison in London is an expression of our belief and optimism in the future of this city”. To continue the journey with London, Louis Vuitton has launched at this occasion the “Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project” : an unprece- dented partnership with five of London’s leading cultural institutions, with the aim of contributing to the development of the cultural and artistic dimension of young people’s lives in London.


Situated at the junction of New Bond Street and Clifford Street, this Maison will be, in the words of architect Peter Marino, “the most luxurious Louis Vuitton store to date”. The New Bond Street Maison, which reflects Louis Vuitton’s art-de-vivre and savoir-faire, is conceived as the home of a collector, who loves only the best and the rarest. It gives visitors opportunities to discover new and exciting experiences.


Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison Entrance. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

The double building, extending over half a block, has been unified with a new façade of white Portland stone, with double-height windows giving an open and airy impression and featuring the golden, logo-inspired, mesh cladding that has become a signature of the Louis Vuitton’s Maisons worldwide.

Glass Staircase. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Visitors enter the New Bond Street Maison by a bridge that gives spectacular views over one of the most brilliant design features of the store – a glass staircase with 23 square meters of glass tread surface which includes LEDs to show frequently-changing film and artistic animations.


Lounge. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

The ground floor features the full range of accessories, including areas for collections of precious and rare items. There are two areas for “exceptional bags” – precious and embellished styles in exotic skins.

Vintage Trunks Installation. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Entering over a bridge, to the immediate right is the impressive trunk wall, with the newest collections running up high on gold titanium plated metal shelves, contrasted with a special installation of historical trunks, weightlessly suspended, like artworks, with wire cables.

Horlogerie & Joaillerie © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Architecture Info: Through two Afromosia wood thresholds, clients enter the high-end area of fine jewellery, watches and exceptional bags with its warm and intimate feel. This is created by rich French lacquer wall panelling and partitions clad in dark woven metal, flooring areas in solid wood boards and carpets with an exotic tiger stripe motif, all giving an opulent mood.

Mens and Womens’ watches are to be found each in their own secluded corners where they can be viewed in comfort. The range will include a temporary exhibition of one-off haute horlogerie models : Tambour Tourbillon and Tambour Mystérieuse, where movement appears to float unsupported in the sapphire crystal. Customers can personalise both models by choosing details like the colour and number of precious stones to adorn it, as well as placing their initials on the movement within the watch. Moreover, two new and highly innovative watches of the Tambour Spin Time Collection will make its European debut at the Maison. The Tambour Spin Time GMT and the Tambour Spin Time Jewellery introduce a new and playful way of reading time.

Nearby the watch & jewellery room, visitors may admire, in a private viewing room, Louis Vuitton’s first High Jewellery collection, “L’Ame du Voyage” – unique jewellery pieces designed by Lorenz Bäumer.

Bag Bar. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

To the left, a more relaxed area features smaller items. Louis Vuitton Bag Bar, a technically innovative showcase for iconic bag styles perched in chrome-framed boxes which moves as if its a puzzle.

Scarves Area. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Another area is devoted to scarves, where four colourways (Turquoise, Beige, Corail & Encre) of the iconic Leopard Stole in very limited numbers – 125 of each – will be exclusive to the store.

Fancy Jewelry Area. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

In the circular costume jewellery area the mood is light-hearted, with two Louis Vuitton- branded “planets” circulating round a ceiling sparkling with Saturn-like rings and a rotating sculpture by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami enlivening the scene. Louis Vuitton’s extensive sunglasses collection, all made to the House’s exclusive specifications, has its own striking cylindrical area.


Men’s Universe. © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

The glass staircase, with its ever-changing LEDs, leads down to the men’s universe. Men’s bags, scarves and other accessories join areas for the full range of men’s ready-to-wear and shoes, which will include sneakers and car shoes in exotic skins for special order. In the centre is the men’s club area with sofas and displays of high-end ready-to-wear, where customers and their guests can relax watched over by Gilbert & George’s ceiling-height artwork.

PAWS by Gilbert & George © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Architecture Info: The men’s universe features much darker finishes throughout, giving a masculine, clubby and intimate mood. Dark stained oak flooring links the various areas and the leather goods zone, shoes area and men’s club are finished in an engineered stripy high-gloss wood veneer while men’s fashion has a sportier French embossed leather. The club area is another example of Peter Marino’s “residential” style with relaxing sofas and low tables while the carefully-chosen 2005 artwork PAWS by London-based artists Gilbert & George, dominates the scene.


Louis Vuitton Ready-to-Wear Exhibition by Katie Grand © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

On arrival to the first floor an area for temporary exhibitions. The first exhibition is devoted to Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear designs by Marc Jacobs. Curated by stylist and editor Katie Grand, this exhibition brings together and mixes up, in a delightful way, emblematic pieces of Louis Vuitton’s ready-to-wear collections, constantly refreshed by Marc Jacobs since thirteen years. It also reflects Louis Vuitton’s delicate craftsmanship, consistent throughout the collections.

Daywear Area © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Shoes Area © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

The first floor also features three ready-to-wear areas which has different moods to complement the aspects of Marc Jacobs’ highly sought-after collections: two geared to daywear, decorated in different tones of French embossed leather, and one in light French lacquer as a backdrop for evening wear.

Librairie © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

Also in this floor is the the Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison Librairie which is a unique cultural concept within a retail store. This specialist area on the first floor, with its skylit, vaulted ceiling, is a peaceful haven conducive to browsing the superbly crafted and extremely limited edition books within, many of which are collectable works by well known British artists. There are four main components to the Librairie, from bespoke books of original, fine art limited edition prints to Louis Vuitton’s own publications and rare collectable titles.


The Apartment © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

The second floor is devoted to “The Apartment”. “The Apartment” comprises of an open plan space which can be sectioned off to create individual suites, all equipped with striking fireplaces, as well as antique and vintage furniture, which can only be accessed upon invitation, via a private lift. Designed for total privacy, these suites carry carefully chosen artworks by high-end artists such as Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hans Hartung and Bertrand Lavier.

The Apartment © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

The Apartment © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton


“Collection” Window Display © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

The seven windows of the New Bond Street Maison, unified by a background of the signature Louis Vuitton metal mesh, will have displays designed to amaze and delight passers-by. For the inauguration of the Maison, the windows reflect the overall theme of “The Collector”, and show what an eccentric British collector might possess if they had been a collector of Louis Vuitton over the years and had perhaps inherited some pieces. Each of the seven windows has a neon word to reflect the display, such as “Obsession”, “Temptation” and “Accumulation”. The windows engage the viewer with Louis Vuitton’s history, craftsmanship and the passion of creation.

“Accumulation” Window Display © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

“Considered” Window Display © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

“Obsession” Window Display © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

“Temptation” Window Display © Stéphane Muratet / Louis Vuitton

What an amazing store! I hope I could visit here someday. But for the Londoners and those who are currently in London, be sure to visit the new Maison. It will be officially opened to the public starting May 28th, 2010.


For larger sized photos and those that are not included in this post, check them out at ILVOELV’s Facebook Page. Be sure to LIKE!

Image via Louis Vuitton

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Louis Vuitton Spring 2010 Inspired by Gilly?

As I was watching past episodes of Saturday Night Live, I can’t help but wonder if Marc Jacobs was inspired by Kristen Wiig’s hilarious character Gilly for the styling of the models for his Spring 2010 collection for Louis Vuitton. Giant afros topped with a ribbon, its very much like Gilly’s style… I love it! So was the LV looks inspired by Gilly? Who knows?!

For those who aren’t familiar with Gilly, here’s a video of her skits at SNL:

I hope there’d be more of Gilly next season in SNL.I just love her! LOL..

Images via Louis Vuitton, screencap from SNL

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Mega Shopping Forum!

Loving to shop is a passion and I am always looking for new ideas and the best websites. I found a new one today called and it is a ten on the cool scale. You can find reviews on all kinds of products that are all non-biased. It is actually a forum based site that you can register and enter your own shopping reviews. Unlike most sites where someone is stating an opinion biased by a payment you can count on this site for real opinions based on actual product usage. The site is easily transverse with the normal threads and organization that you can just do a quick search and find the subject you are shopping about. Shopping Review Forum is very useful and well planned. I can see this really taking off and growing because it involves you in it so well. I plan on making this a regular visit and make it my shopping research site for future purchases. Check it out and remember I sent you!

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Tory Burch ‘Tory’ Synthetic Straw Tote

I wouldn’t ordinarily splurge on a straw bag.  There’s something about straw bags that seem temporary, like it will fall apart after a year or two.  However, if someone were to give me the Tory (synthetic) straw tote, I would happily wear it for the rest of the summer, and maybe even next summer too! It’s spacious with plenty of pockets to stay organized, and it’s trimmed in leather.  It seems like it would hold up for several years to come!  Price: $250 at Nordstrom.  Available in Tanzania Purple and Ivory.

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Rachel Rachel Roy Wanderlust Satchel

I want this bag for two reasons.  First, I have a thing for ikat prints. There’s something very “ethnic” about them and so many colorful variations which make them fun to shop for.  Second, I love the Rachel Rachel Roy collection.  It’s modern and sexy with a chic, urban appeal.  She’s not afraid to experiment with colors and prints, and that’s all I need to make me happy!  Price: $69.99 $50.99 at Macy’s.

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Be & D Sample Sale Happening Now! (May 25-27)

It’s that time again! Be & D is having a sample sale with fantastic markdowns.  Enjoy 30-75% off handbags, footwear and small accessories!  See the details below -

Tuesday, May 25th – Thursday, May 27th


35 West 36th Street

10th Floor West NYC

Transportation: B D F V N R Q W @ 34th Street/Herald Square

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Shop for a New Summer Bag with a beso Shopping Spree!

beso is my go to site for shopping because I can browse through items at thousands of stores – from major retailers to exclusive boutiques – all in one place.  What exactly does that mean?  Much of my existence revolves around handbags since I am constantly researching the latest trends, designers, and what’s new in stores. beso allows me to shop for the latest handbags without the hassle of visiting each store’s website.

Elie Tahari Leanne Silken Leather Tote

My favorite bag for summer is the Elie Tahari Leanne Silken Leather Tote.  The slashed suede detailing, geometric cutouts and tonal topstitching give this tote layers of texture that you just don’t see everyday.  The camel color leather is rich yet understated, and since it’s neutral, the style options are endless!

beso has teamed up with to offer a $250 handbag shopping spree! Simply follow these steps:

  1. Find your favorite summer bag on beso and post the beso link in our comments section telling us why you love it.
  2. Become a beso fan on Facebook
  3. Post the contest link on the wall of your Facebook page to share with all your friends!

One lucky person will win a $250 shopping spree to their favorite store on beso!  The winner will be chosen based on their style and originality. Contest ends Monday, June 14th and open only to U.S. residents. If you are new to beso, learn how to customize your shopping experience {here}.

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