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.


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!

Get Organized

According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, January is National Get Organized (GO) Month.  Is organizing your home, your office or any other space where you spend a lot of time on your New Year’s Resolution list?  If so, let me offer a few tips for organizing your closet, which I consider one of the most important rooms of your house (it is, after all, the place where your ‘look’ comes together each day).

First, purge.  Yes, you knew this was coming.  Of course before you start organizing your closet, you must first get rid of the things you are not wearing, as well as toss the things that no longer fit and/or flatter you.  Do you remember my F.L.R.?  Ask yourself these three questions when you come to a piece you are not sure whether to keep or to toss: (1) Does it flatter me?, (2) Do I love it? and (3) Does it represent me?  If you can’t say yes to all three questions, toss it and move on.  Let someone else get some use out of it.

Second, streamline your hangers.  Yes, it is a small investment to change every hanger in your closet, but it is worth it.  I adore the Real Simple Slimline Hangers from Bed Bath & Beyond.  They are $29.99 for a pack of 50. But don’t take my word for it.  Look at the before and after in a client’s closet:

Can you believe it?  Her closet looks like a boutique with just a simple change of hangers.

Third, get your accessories out of their boxes and pouches.  I always say, if you can’t see it, you won’t use it.  The Container Store makes these wonderful hanging pocket organizers that are perfect for necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  Of course, being the jewelry addict that I am, I have the large size, as shown here:

Fourth, do this with the rest of your “stuff.”  Your shoes need to go on a shelf or in a hanging shoe organizer, your scarves need to go on a special hanger of their own like this one from The Container Store, your belts need their own hanger, as well, etc.

Finally, organize things in a way that makes sense to you.  Most people find it easiest to group their pants, skirts, tops, etc. and then organize each group by color. 

Bottom line, you need to see everything that you have in one place so you can assemble interesting, complete outfits each day.

If all of this is a little overwhelming, never fear, Bethany is here!  I am here to help.  There’s no better treat for yourself at the start of the new year than to get your closet in tip top shape.  Give me a call.  I would love to help you feel more organized.  Most of all, I want you to love your wardrobe and your closet.

Copycat Fashion in Action!

Well, I have no sooner confessed to all of you how much I enjoy stealing your ideas when I open my May issue of Glamour magazine and stumble upon an idea I must immediately make my own!  If you have a skinny belt and a flower brooch, you too can make a flower belt like the two I am showing here.  Aren’t they fab?  I was lamenting the fact I had not worn my flowers much lately, and quite frankly, I was a bit bored with pinning them to my jackets and sweaters.  How relieved I am to find a new use for them.  Let me know what you think and send me pics of your flower belts!