It’s in The Bag

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Anne Sylvain isn’t just any handbag company, and Patricia Raskin isn’t just any creative director. Anne Sylvain, born of many years of careful thought and education, along with several years of testing to find the right U.S.-based manufacturing facility, turns out beautiful one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted handbags of ostrich, python and American alligator.

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Patricia, a corporate lawyer by trade (17 years to be exact), has always enjoyed creating beautiful things, and she comes from a long line of artists on both sides of her family, including painters and a concert pianist. So, while her company is a mere five years old, being the creative director of Anne Sylvain is very natural, what she was born to do. Patricia knew she wanted to create something to augment a woman’s everyday life. As she explains it, no matter what you are feeling on any given day, carrying a beautiful handbag makes you happy. I agree.

img_5656Anne Sylvain bags, accessories and home products are made by hand with careful attention to details such as turned edges (rather than edges which have been cut and painted), and, whenever possible, she uses continuous pieces of material, greatly increasing the value and durability of her products. Anne Sylvain bags are classic shapes, which stand the test of time. The inside of the bag is just as carefully created as the outside, often in a contrasting colored leather for a nice “pop.” The side view of a clutch is also considered, using the prized belly of the python, for instance (photo above). No detail is overlooked. For these reasons, Anne Sylvain bags and products are authentically luxurious.

In 2017, Anne Sylvain is launching a home collection including coasters, boxes and catch-alls. Patricia is also turning out smaller personal items such as zip pouches, notebook covers, eye glass cases, card holders, men’s accessories and women’s cuffs.

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On December 10-11, Turner Helton Antiques & Interior Design is hosting Anne Sylvain at a preview launch party for the Anne Sylvain home collection. The event will also feature the full fall and holiday handbag collection. You don’t want to miss it!

Enjoy the slideshows featured in this post, and trust me when I say each piece is more lovely than a photo is able to capture. Any Anne Sylvain piece would make a special holiday gift for a loved one.

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Not to be overlooked, Anne Sylvain offers bespoke! The options and combinations are almost limitless. Your product can also be stamped with initials or numbers (like the catch all in the slide show above).img_5662

All photos by Bethany Siggins.

Note: The large black bag at the beginning of this piece is Anne Sylvain’s newest addition to the family, the Artemis. It features a 2 way zipper, 2 exterior pockets and 3 interior pockets. In short, it is the perfect bag for your next adventure!

New Website!

It is with great pride I announce the launch of my new website with an updated logo by New Orleans based BethanyHeadshots2015-8804Sea Level Design and photos of me by Dallas based Christina Childress. This website looks and feels like the woman I am today. Please look around and leave comments here (constructive criticism is welcomed).

For those of you familiar with my former website, you may notice I am paring down my services. Gone are the custom color analysis, the image & style evaluation and makeup lessons. When I moved to Seattle, I wanted my business here to focus on my greatest strengths and the services I most enjoyed, closets and shopping. I have rolled the style evaluation into the wardrobe consultation as it is crucial to understand the client’s style before working with their wardrobe.

I have added photography as a service. It began as an idea to do street style photography for my blog. Then a couple of people used my photos on their website, and the idea to offer this service was birthed. The photos are web-ready for use on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

I continue to do public speaking as the opportunities arise. I have always enjoyed speaking and educating groups of all sizes, and I would like to see this part of my business grow. Stay tuned!

Last, but certainly not least, my new website features a new blog! I will be adding an e-mail subscription to that blog soon, and once it is complete I will let you know so you can follow me there. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Here’s to the next chapter!—Bethany

 

Madison Park’s Canopy Blue

IMG_4011One afternoon last week I had the pleasure and the honor of minding the beautiful boutique Canopy Blue located in Madison Park in Seattle. Stepping into the shop, you are transported to a tropical location with abundant blue and green hues, not to mention the gorgeous swimwear, tunics and flowy dresses creating fantasies of an island escape. IMG_3948It is a welcoming space with cozy chairs at the front of the shop surrounded by magazines and candles (perhaps for the non-shoppers in your party?). IMG_4040The two dressing rooms in the back of the shop are canopies, lending a romantic feel.

IMG_4028Canopy Blue stocks some readily recognizable brands like Trina Turk, Splendid, Vince and Elie Tahari, along with locally designed Cute Like Mad, meticulously detailed jackets and vests by Blanc Noir, fashionable active wear by Lanston and comfy, stylish pieces by Charli, among many other lesser known lines. Jean styles are well-varied with lines such as Mother, Joes and 7 for all mankind in stock. IMG_3956One of the best things about Canopy Blue is its limited inventory, so you won’t see your dress on a friend at the next neighborhood gathering.IMG_3964

Hats, bags, locally-crafted jewelry, and special gift items round out the store’s selection.

IMG_4000The Canopy Blue team is very knowledgeable, friendly and ready to help you complete your wardrobe with carefully selected items you will love and wear again and again. If this shop is not on your normal route, make a special trip. You will be glad you did. All photos by me.—Bethany

Lavender Hill Farm – Vashon Island

IMG_3535With my twins entering Kindergarten this fall, I am acutely aware this summer is very special for us, a last moment of calm before the storm of schedules, reading, writing and school activities hit. Lavender Hill Farm on Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from our home in West Seattle, was an easy day trip for us, a picnic packed in the back of my car.

IMG_3448For starters, the ferry ride was gorgeous. And we did not have a long wait for the ferry, which is not always a given during summer.

IMG_3533When we arrived at the farm, we learned it was the last week they were open (end of July). Lucky us! What a charming property, not very large, with a private home (that is available for rent most months of the year), picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and a quaint store. IMG_3536

IMG_3475You can cut your own lavender or buy a bunch already cut for $6. They have a wide variety of products in the shop including hand creams, body scrubs, and, of course, lavender oil, of which they have a few varieties. They grow 20 varieties of lavender on the property, and they distill their own oil. The lavender season is short, 6-8 weeks, so plan ahead and make a point of visiting next year.

IMG_3503IMG_3504All photos by me.—Bethany

Street Style – Two Style Lessons

IMG_3886Here are a few more snaps from our evening at Casco Antiguo earlier this week. Style Lesson #1: If your top is long (longer than where your leg breaks when you lift it), you must wear a heel to create a longer leg. Otherwise, your body is cut in half (50% torso; 50% leg), which makes you look short regardless of your true height. Our lovely, leggy model Amanda here asked me about cuffing her jeans. If she had been wearing a top with a hem around her hip bone, I would have told her to go for it as she has plenty of leg to sacrifice. However, because her top is longer than the leg break, I advised her to keep her jeans un-cuffed. If you can visualize her in flats with a cuffed hem, she would have appeared overlong on her top half and, thus, out of proportion.

IMG_3903Style Lesson #2: The more leg you show, the more of your top half should be covered. I do wish I had a tan for this lesson – ha! Wearing shorts that hit at mid-thigh or shorter calls for a top that is either a half sleeve, 3/4-length or a long sleeve as I am wearing. Short shorts and a tank top is provocative and not very classy. Leave a little to the imagination, and keep it classy, ladies. It is what men prefer, actually.

IMG_3902Lastly, if you have silver and/or turquoise jewelry, now is the time to wear it. The cool tones of the silver has an overall cooling effect on your look, which is just right during our warmest season. Ditto for turquoise. The light, soft green/blue goes with all your spring/summer clothing without having to think about it. Don’t worry if you have none of this color in your outfit. Adding a new color to your look via accessories is totally okay and encouraged, actually. Happy Weekend!—Bethany

Seattle Street Style – Casco Antiguo

IMG_3891I won’t lie, finding decent Mexican in Seattle has been a challenge. I realize it would be impossible to recreate a Texas experience; however, is it that difficult to make a good home-made margarita and sour cream enchiladas? Enter stage right, Casco Antiguo in the Pioneer Square district of downtown Seattle. The margaritas are delicious, the tacos are tasty, and the chips and guacamole remind me of what I left behind in Dallas. At last!

Apparently, I am not the only happy customer. The vividly-painted patio alone puts a smile on your face, but once you enjoy a few sips of your favorite carefully-created libation, your cares slip away as the cool Seattle night air kisses your face.

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True to Seattle, the patio is pet-friendly. This cute terrior was posing for me.IMG_3921

I have visited twice, and on both occasions I have met nicely-dressed  young professional men whose casual style are distinct to each of them. IMG_5333No one is trying too hard, and they look great. I especially love their shoes. From Capri pants to shorts to rolled jeans, each one has their own take on summer casual style.

Not to be outdone by the fellas, my friends Amanda and Lori cozy up for a photo, as well. Next time you are in the area, stop in for a bite and a few sips. You will be glad you did. Happy Summer, everyone! (All photos by Bethany Siggins.)IMG_3901

Dallas Street Style Heats Up

IMG_3053My hair stylist and best friend, Gary Walden, has been doing my hair for longer than I care to admit. Today the spotlight is on him as he heats up the Dallas streets with his playful yellow and blue ensemble and his perfectly imperfect bracelet stack. The bright yellow shorts play nicely off the darker blue shirt. Neither is vying for the focus. Perfect playmates.  The bracelets are a cool mix of colors, textures and weights. IMG_3082Each one stands on its own; however, he has brought them together in one look which makes it unique and special.

IMG_3068Whatever your story and whatever your style, it is yours. Let it speak and do not stifle it. Have fun. Thank you, Gary, for showing us how to have fun with style!