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!

Cake & Icing

A well-balanced wardrobe includes what I call cake and icing. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? The cake of your wardrobe are the wardrobe classics. These are the pieces that are available in some version year after year. They include a white cotton shirt, a blazer, a cardigan, quality t-shirts, a pencil or a-line skirt, jeans, a leather handbag, a pair of pumps and a pair of flats or loafers. The design and fabric of these pieces change a bit over the years, but you will always be able to walk into a store and find them.

The collage below, which I created in Polyvore, shows you two types of dresses, one is a wrap style, which is fitted through the waist, and the other is a shift style, which flows over the waistline. Every woman regardless of her age and her lifestyle should have one dress that fits her well and makes her feel like a million bucks.  Not to be overlooked in our list of classics, one should own either an overcoat or a trench coat.  The coat in this collage is something of a cross between a classic wool overcoat and a trench coat.

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While wardrobe classics are great, they often lack flair.  This is where the icing comes in.  The “icing” in the collage below (created in Polyvore) may not be your flavor, but the point is,  the icing includes the pieces that show others who you are.  The icing most accurately communicates your personal flair and style. These pieces mixed with classics create interesting outfits.

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Some of us are cake girls, and some of us are icing girls.  And some of us like both!  Guilty!  We may find ourselves with too much cake and not enough icing or vice versa.  Assess your wardrobe for cake and icing.  If you are lacking basics and classics, it is difficult to create outfits, as an outfit often begins with basics.  On the other hand, not having the icing to give your look its flair will leave you feeling like your outfits are boring.

If you identify an imbalance, make a wish list and start shopping.  The spring and summer deals are heating up.  If you need help assessing your wardrobe, call me.  We’ll determine your best pieces and make a shopping list together.  A well-balanced wardrobe is a must!