Dissecting Our Love for Designer Handbags

Author: Toby (page 1 of 2)

Shopping for New iPhone Cases

I make no apologies concerning the fact that I love to shop. It’s as simple as this: If there is a store nearby, I will enter and look around. It doesn’t matter what sort of store or shop it is. If it’s a mechanics shop and it appears to have some to browse, I will enter said shop. Being in the fashion world, of course I love to shop for clothes and accessories. However, I truly enjoy browsing any sort of shop. I actually find it fun and relaxing to look and examine merchandise, to see how stores merchandise their products and what they choose to stock their shelves. Even big box stores fascinate me. You know the sort that end in ‘mart’ and they sell groceries, clothing, toys, garden supplies. I can wonder the aisles for a long time. I especially love the aisles of cleaning supplies and utensils. Suddenly I feel inspired to purchase a new mop and liquid cleaner for my wood floors. Who doesn’t desire sparkly floors? And their garden centers are equally as amazing once spring rolls around. My gardening ideas often get out of control and I end up buying too many plants and flowers.

One of my most recent assignments entailed getting the scoop on a brand new luxury department store. I couldn’t wait to hand in the perfect prose to my editor. I simply new my write-up would show the world what an amazing place it is to shop. Selling luxury goods is tricky. You need to offer hard to find products that aren’t available in every store, but you cannot come across as snooty or pretentious. No one wants to shop in a hostile atmosphere or have a sales assistant look you up and down. Not all of us dress up to go shopping. I know I don’t always put on my best designer clothes before hitting the shops. With this new assignment, I was curious how this much acclaimed department store treated it’s shoppers. I decided on a comfortable outfit, but not sloppy: cashmere sweater turtleneck, my favorite cargo pants, and brand new espadrilles wedges. I’m not a huge wedge fan when it comes to shoes, but these aren’t super high and ridiculous looking. I also carried my beloved Reid satchel. It’s one of best designer handbags I’ve ever owned.


As I entered the new high-end department store, I was astounded by the stunning decor. This was definitely not your run of the mill brick-and-mortar department store. The huge vases with blooming flowers were exceptional. They are set strategically throughout the store. My favorite floor was accessories. Not only do they stock beautiful leather goods in sumptuous leathers, but also a nice range of tech cases. I’m always stocked how many department stores do not stock iPhone cases. But this new, glossy, magnificent department store was different. I laid eyes on the cutest and most unique designer iPhone cases ever. They were so adorable, I bought one of each design. I will write about them later. However, right now I have to let you know this glorious department store stocks the most amazing designer iPhone cases. It’s worth your visit for the tech cases alone.

The Key to Fashion: Upgrade Your Designer iPhone Cases

I’ve talked and emailed to several friends lately and we all seem to agree on the same fashion point: upgrading our style.  This doesn’t mean we want to completely revamp our wardrobes and get rid of everything we own.  Instead, it means we need to add a few new items that make us feel we have amped up our style.  Amping up our style means perhaps purchasing a new handbag, adding a few new pairs of earrings, or new kitten heels for fall.  When adding new purchases to a wardrobe, they can be small and simple.  Sometimes the smallest additions can make the most impact on our looks.  I recently returned from a shopping trip to NYC and I had the best time hitting the stores and catching up with friends.  But what was the most amazing thing about shopping is that I bought very little.  However, what I did buy makes a statement.  I truly prefer purchasing smaller luxury items that make a statement.  New statement pieces doesn’t necessarily mean you need to completely overhaul your wardrobe.  In fact, I prefer to shop and upgrade my style in this way: fewer items that add to what I wear on a daily basis.

As stated above I have a habit and a love of shopping for smaller items.  It’s easy to make fashion upgrades with tinier accessories and additions.  Have you noticed that it seems easier to browse jewelry when it’s smaller and tinnier?  I love shopping for jewelry, especially earrings.  In NYC I luckily found four new pairs of small stud earrings.  I’m not sure about you, but I love studs because they are chic and seem to go with everything.  Often times big large earrings overpower the face or what you are wearing.  You don’t need to worry about that with studs.  And there are many shapes of stud earrings; they aren’t all super small.  There are circles, ovals, squares, etc.  I own many different shaped studs based on what I’m wearing that day.  I even own a few pair of larger studs for evening.  The same goes for shoes as well.  I own more flats than heels.  I like a small square heel that resembles a flat, but is about 1 inch taller.  A stacked heel is amazing for work and it looks nice as well.  Stacked heels and stud earrings, one can’t really go wrong.



The other area of my life that I’ve upgraded in the fashion realm relates to my iPhone.  Those that know me in real life, understand my love for my iPhone.  It’s always by my side.  I love it for various reasons and one of them is Instagram.  Instagram is such an amazing way to keep in touch with my friends and family with minimal tome consumption.  Unlike other social media outlets, Instagram is so easy to use and it’s not text based; instead it’s all about photographs.  I’ve upped my fashion game with designer iPhone cases.  You will be amazed how adding new designer iPhone cases to your accessories will give you a very simple fashion upgrade.

Everyone Loves Apple

It is inevitable that when Apple announces a new product or products, the world literally waits on the edge of their seats.  There are endless discussions in the news and online about what we think Apple will or should release.  A new announcement from Apple works everyone up into a tech frenzy.  Even people who aren’t interested in tech products at all even want to know what Apple is up to.  My mother still uses a flip phone, but she called one day last week and asked if I knew what products Apple would be releasing.  There is excitement around Apple and it never seems to subside.

Now the word is waiting with baited breath for their newest announcement.  Everyone says it will be a new iPhone.  I keep my phone for several years.  Even if a new iPhone is announced tomorrow, I’m not sure I will go out and buy it.  I love the current iPhone I own.  And I especially love all of the iPhone cases I’ve collected over the years.  That is one reason I’m not sure if I will update after tomorrows big announcement.  I’ve collected far too many cute cases just to throw them all away for a new model of phone.  My all time favorite designer iPhone cases come from PLIA Designs.  If there is a new iPhone announcement tomorrow and I really like it, I’ll have to first see if PLIA Designs will be making cases for the new phones.  Each time I put one of the designer iPhone cases from PLIA Designs on the back of my phone, someone always stops to ask where it came from.  There is no need for a stop sign when you have a PLIA Designs iPhone case snapped to the back of your phone.

Designer iPhone cases

Designer iPhone Cases from PLIA Designs

PLIA Designs is a women’s accessory brand.  They specialize in designer handbags and leather goods.  But they are also known for their wildly popular designer iPhone cases.  These iPhone cases are adorned with some of the cutest images I have every seen.  The vivid pops of color and attention to detail are out of this world.  The cases are slim so as not to overpower your phone.  The custom illustrations are first painted by hand onto traditional canvases.  Then they are transferred to the back of the plastic cases.  I love that their theme revolves around French pastries and Westies.  I will be emailing PLIA Designs after the big announcement tomorrow.  If they are making cases for the new iPhone6, I may have to rethink my decision.

Fast Fashion Fixes

How do you feel about fast fashion.  By fast fashion I mean the big box retailers and websites that churn out new products and collections every month or even few weeks.  We all know what stores they are.  They are anchored in nearly every shopping mall or complex.  They also take up big real estate in large cities.  Each week or month they receive deliveries of new shirts, pants, shoes, jewelry and other sundries.  Shoppers have come to expect new deliveries in a short amount of time.  Perhaps they see an expensive creation on the runway, but know one of their favorite fast fashion brick-and-mortar stores will have a near replica within two months.  On one hand I understand consumers appetite for shiny, brand new products that arrive in stores at a faster speed than normal.  But what does it say about us as consumers?  Do we value quality anymore?  And is it possible that some of the fast fashion is quality?  Because the clothes are are created so fast, it’s difficult to believe there is quality involved.

There are several reasons why I’m not in favor of fast fashion.  One, it’s bad for the environment.  With so many resources put to the test every week, it’s hard to deny the negative effects it has on those who make the products and also the side effects on mother nature.  Two, I feel it keeps consumers from discovering and further developing their own personal style.  Style is personal and it’s something you develop over years or even a lifetime.  If you are constantly purchasing items on a monthly basis from these big box stores, chances are your style isn’t consistent.  Three, it’s more difficult to concentrate on quality.  If your wardrobe is filled with low quality fast fashion bits and pieces, that means you don’t have anything high quality.  And everyone needs a few well made pieces in their wardrobe.  When you go for an important job interview, chances are a few fast fashion items won’t look as nice as a few pieces that are well made.  Just think of a well crafted blazer and how it fits so well.  Fast fashion cannot replicate true quality.

designer handbags

Even though I’m not completely in favor of fast fashion, there is room for a few pieces every now and then.  The few clothing items I do own from fast fashion big box stores, I like to wear on the weekends.  I call them my play clothes.  They are great for running to the grocery store, gardening, and hanging out at home.  But for everyday clothes, I’m still partial to a few high quality items.  And when it comes to accessories, I always opt for handcrafted and well made.  For instance, there is nothing that can replicate a handcrafted handbag.  There is a reason I love designer handbags.  They are thoughtfully designed and so well.  Keep in mind that it’s find to have a few pieces from fast fashion resources, but also save your money for a few high quality pieces such as designer handbags.

designer handbags

Shop the Street Style Look

The blogashpere and online world are flooded with street style looks. I’ll be completely honest, I like some of the looks, but not all of them. If you notice around show seasons, street style fashion gets more and more out there. Many of the fashionistas believe the more outrageous and theatrical they dress, then they are more apt to catch the photographers lens. A few years ago this used to be true, but now I’ve noticed strew photos aren’t always going for the most outlandish and colorful looks. I much prefer more streamlined street style looks. The ones who almost blend in with their surroundings. The muted greys and stone colored clothing that seamlessly meld into concrete buildings.

There are a few street style stars I really like. I never did go for the outrageous ones so I don’t even bother looking at their photos. To be honest many of them look utterly ridiculous and the accessories they carry aren’t much better either. As I’ve followed some of my favorite online style stars, I’ve noticed many of them carrying a certain type of handbag. It looked to be a satchel bag in two different sizes. The larger satchel looked like it was roomy and could hold a lot. The smaller size was super cute, but still looked wide enough for a smaller laptop and tablet. I wanted to learn more about who made these bags, but I needed a name first. Several of my friends had also seen and liked the handbags a lot, but they weren’t sure of the name. Finally, I found a dear friend who knew who made the bags. She knew because she owned several herself and loved carrying them.

designer handbags

The label who made my most wanted satchels is PLIA Designs. From their website I noticed they make a beautiful collections of designer handbags. The sort of handbags every girl wants because they look like nothing else on the market. You know what I mean, right? When you go shopping now, so many handbags look the same. Or they all look like they are trying to copy the ‘it’ bags. How many variations do we need to see of a famous bag? Only the original will do, thank you very much. On PLIA Designs site, I found the two satchel bags. And like I originally thought, they came in two sizes. The larger size satchel I had to have. It is reasonably priced compared to other bags and I was instantly in love. PLIA Designs does a great job in designing drool worthy designer handbags.

Already a Fashionista

What do you think of North West making her fashion glossy debut already? Love it or think it’s vulgar?

Handbag Report from the South of France

As many of my faithful readers know I am a fashion editor. Now I know that sounds like a glamorous and fun job and it is in many ways. But what most people outside of my fashion circle don’t understand is that I’m constantly writing and always on deadline. Once a fashion show is over, there is not much time to socialize. I have to quickly return to my hotel room and start writing reviews. Once the reviews are finished, I then have to email them to my editor and wait for feedback and changes. It is rare that I get any sort of night off during the shows. And it’s not always easy to write countless reviews and make each one as crisp and detailed as possible. But that is my job and I like to think I try hard.

When one of my friends who works for a famous design house invited me to her house in the south of France after the shows, I jumped at the chance. I happened to have three weeks off and I could not think of anywhere I’d rather spend it. She is an incredible talent in the design world, but she’s also a very dear friend of mine. We always have so much to talk about. From the latest and greatest in skincare, to new movies and books, to fashion of course, we chatter non stop like excitable hummingbirds. She is also one of those friends who is not permanently stuck on fashion. Meaning you can wear whatever you want and she does not even notice. I knew my stay would be relaxing and I wouldn’t have to care so much what I packed because it wouldn’t be some sort of uptight fashion pow-wow.
Designer Handbags
Packing for my trip to Provence would be easy. Clothing wise at least. But I needed a tote that would double as a small valise and carry-on for the train and also a day bag. Since I would be visiting several markets in the region, I needed a tote that could hold several items while still be stylish. I own so many handbags, but I knew I’d recently acquired a lovely tote. If I could only remember who made it and where I stored it. It finally came to me. It was a tote by PLIA Designs called the Pewter tote from their French Toast tote collection. I found it in my closet unused and still in its plastic bag and dust bag. It was the perfect tote for Provence. How could it not be with its amazing custom grey leather. PLIA Designs makes these beautiful designer handbags that last a lifetime. I am so glad I ordered this tote bag when I did.

Christmas in Gstaad with my PLIA Designs Handbags

It is nearing my favorite time of the year. Christmas! This year I am off to Gstaad to celebrate. One of my oldest friends from childhood has a house outside of the village and I think it will be the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. Beautiful views, snowfalls galore, amazing food, lots of good drinks…I cannot wait! But first I need to do a lot of packing. Many ski destinations are also incredibly glamorous. For some, it is not always so much about skiing as it is the fashion and style.

I do not own a lot of fancy ski wear. I have a pair of basic boots, but they are not glamorous in the least. So off I was to various websites to order cute boots, nice parkas, ski goggles and a faux fur hat. I didn’t want to look as if I had no idea what sort of fashionable clothing other guests would wear. Sometimes you want to fit it and not look like you rolled in from the country and don’t have a good sense of style. I love cold weather for the cozy clothes. I already had a stack of amazing sweaters so I did not need anymore of those. Each autumn I order several new sweaters. I actually sort of have a sweater problem. There is nothing more cozy than a proper wool sweater. I never understand the fashionables who prefer cotton. Wool keeps you warm and so easy to clean.

Now for handbags to pack for my beautiful Gstaad getaway. I would need a gorgeous clutch for evening parties and dinners. Maybe a smaller day bag for when I wasn’t on the slopes and something larger for my carry-on. I usually don’t like to travel with too many handbags, so three would suffice for this trip. I lined up all of the designer handbags in my wardrobe so I could see them properly. I knew instantly that my large Reid courier satchel from PLIA Designs would be my big bag and carry-on. If I decided to do some small shopping in my snowy Alpine retreat, this bag would be great for holding small packages. For my smaller satchel, I decided on PLIA Designs once again. I love PLIA Designs designer handbags. They are absolutely marvelous and the craftsmanship is out of this world. I thought I’d make it the perfect trio and chose my Milton clutch from PLIA Designs to round it out.

Designer Handbags

Perfect! All of the designer handbags I chose for my trip to Gstaad would be from PLIA Designs. They are the perfect combination of glamour and old-world craftsmanship. I will feel confident carrying these on my arm.

The Reid Courier Satchel Range

A style of bag that has gained popularity in recent years is the satchel. However, the satchel is not a new design style and has a lot of history behind it. In an effort to encompass the history of the satchel PLIA has created the Reid Courier Satchel range. This satchel range offers you a journey through the history of the satchel while giving you an elegant designer handbag.

The Design

The design of the Reid Courier Satchel range is very different to the other designer satchels on the market. There are a number of design features that make this bag stand out from the crowd. The materials used for this designer handbag are different each other.
The body of the satchel in the range has a different material to the straps and flaps. This offers a beautiful dichotomy and contrast which makes the elegance of the bag stand out even more. The actual materials will vary depending on the satchel from the range that you get.
The satchels in this range offer two carry designs. The first is the historical long strap that can be slung over a shoulder or across the chest. The second method is the top handles of the satchel which offers an easy handbag carry style for the days when you do not want the bag on your shoulder.

Designer handbags by PLIA Designs

The Size of the Satchel

Historically courier satchels would have been smaller than this designer bag. However, the needs of today call for a larger bag. The Reid collection is large enough to carry 15” computer or a tablet. The interior of the satchel is divided into different compartments which allow you to elegantly organise your life.

The satchel has also been crafted to ensure that you can fit everything into it. The defining design characteristic that you need to know relate to the front buckle straps of the bag. Many designer handbags and satchels use front straps as a means of aesthetics without thinking about the practical aspect of these straps. This is where the Reid collection differs from the rest.
The front straps on the satchel are crafted to be larger than the body of the bag. This allows you to close the satchel even if it is overstuffed. This adds an air of elegance to the satchel as you never have to worry about your personal items being on display or not being able to properly shut your bag.

The Materials

The materials used in the Reid collection are only the best on offer. Some of the satchels in the range have marbled calfskin making up the body of the bag while others have nylon canvas. This offers you the option of choosing the material that you enjoy and feel would highlight the satchel against your fashion. The flaps and straps of the bag are made from smooth calfskin which is soft and elegant.
If you are looking for a satchel that stands out from the rest then you should consider the Reid Collection by PLIA. This collection has 4 different satchels which you can choose from. These satchels have many features which make them stand out and elegant.

Going Blonde. Low and Slow

Do you love Guy Tang as much as we do?

We are big fans of his work because not only is he so passionate about his career, but he’s passionate about the health of his clients hair. This is not a colorist who will be dumping volume 30 or 40 on a scalp to get a quick (usually brassy) lift. He totally gets that slower and lower (lower volume) is better. This method takes more time, but it ensures you get to be the best, glossy blonde possible.

Low and slow method works well for on scalp bleaching. It’s possible, with bases 5 and above, to lift dark roots with only volume 10 and a creme bleach. (We LOVE Joico creme lightener and so does Guy!)

Usually on scalp bleaching is done without heat and you let develop on roots for about 45 minutes. If you try this with only volume 10, then you wait double the time. We experimented on a base 5 with only volume 10 and bleach and after 1.5-2 hours the roots were a very clean and clear blonde. We did cover with a shower cap. No brass! Brass happens more with higher volumes. It lifts fasts, but doesn’t let the inside of the hair lift as fast as the outside. Thus a brassy mess!

Guy sort of explains the method in the video below. Although with Asian bases, you will need to use volume 20.

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