Showing posts with label Birkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birkin. Show all posts


Welcome to Miami

Recently The Vintage Contessa went to Florida for the Miami Beach Antique Show, besides seeing gorgeous jewels and selling fabulous handbags, there was also plenty to take in.  From shopping on Lincoln Avenue to dining at some of the hottest places on the Beach.  Miami was definitely a successful and inspirational trip. 


A Very Birkin Birthday

In the middle of The Vintage Contessa's birthday week a group of her closest friends celebrated over a fabulous lunch in the upstairs private dining area of Benjy's.

An afternoon filled with beautiful ladies, great food, laughter, good wine and a birthday cake in the shape of a Birkin bag - designed by her close and talented friend Elizabeth Harvey. Not only did it look amazing but it was one of the best tasting cakes I have ever had.

To view all of the pictures - visit my facebook page
you can also follow The Vintage Contessa on instagram @Thevintagecontessa


Street Style Icon | Olivia Palermo

It is no secret that socialite, model and designer Olivia Palermo has amazing style.  A mixture of Classic and Downtown Chic, Olivia is frequently snapped on the streets of New York looking as perfect as ever. I especially love how she always manages to rock her Birkin with even the most casual outfits.  She definitely favors her Black and Gold Birkins the most.


How to Spot a Fake Handbag: Texas Living- KTXD TV Dallas

I had the most amazing day visiting the set of KTXD TV, Texas Living! The co-host team of Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Hilary Kennedy were even more stylish and multifaceted in person than on the screen.
Kimberly's accolades include TV Host, Author, Radio Personality, Lifestyle Expert, Speaker, Blogger, RSVP calendar Publisher, Party Planner and Social Media Aficionado.  Hilary is a native Texan and graduate of Texas Christian University who enjoys all things lifestyle and entertainment.

The ladies and I spent the morning discussing key factors in buying authentic bags and learning the key points to look for in spotting a fake.

First and foremost, I strongly suggest you only buy from a trusted seller that guarantees authenticity or your money back. For example on eBay, look for sellers with a history and good feedback. When buying on the web, only consider those companies who guarantee authenticity or your money back.

  1. Each luxury handbag brand has different markings to consider, however, the fact remains that each bag have a serial number or stamp should be prevalent. On a Hermes Birkin it is on the flap, on a Louis Vuitton it is on the interior of the bag, on Chanel it is on a sticker inside the bag.
  2. The stitching should be consistent. It might be pulled in an area, but it won't be uneven.
  3. The patena on a Louis Vuitton bag will be prevalent on the handles. The patena is created from oils on your hands. If the bag shows wear on the bottom but doesn't show a patena, the bag is a fake.
  4. There are certainly limited edition bags, however, if the style, color and proportion of the handles aren't constant, the bag is a fake.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but these guidelines can get you started. Just remember if the price of a bag is "too good to be true", it probably is.

At The Vintage Contessa we guarantee the authenticity of every bag or we'll give you your money back. We buy every bag in our stock. We are not a consignment store. So, we in essence put our money where our mouth is.

My husband and partner, Rob Chramosta, is an estate jeweler, numismatist, vintage watch dealer and diamond dealer.  He has been in the industry for over 30 years. Our reputation means everything in our business. It would be counterproductive to sell anything fake. Therefore, we go through a multistep processes authenticating everything we buy and, in turn, sell.

On a side note, look who I ran into at the Texas Living Shoot, Interior Designer Janet Rice. 

And my best friend from college, Kathleen Plagens Evans.


Chasing Hermès Around St. Germaine

Did you know that Hermès was the first brand to introduce zippers on ladies handbags? Let's all take a minute to thank Hermès for developing a way to keep our valuables secure and safe within our fashionable accessories.

Now that we have established one of the many cool fun facts that surround this luxury brand, let's delve in to the important stuff, a.k.a the handbags themselves.
The famous Birkin bag debuted in 1984 on the arm of Actress Jane Birkin. It became all the rage then and now! This handbag holds the record for the longest waiting list of any luxury accessory. Talk about crazy!

For a handbag with that long of a waiting list I was surprised that I saw so many on my trip to Paris Fashion Week. Take a look at some of the varieties I saw. 

Of course, Hermès doesn't just make luxury handbags. They've perfected the art of luxury accessories, also. 


Birkin Obsession

A Birkin bag is a prized possession for every fashionista.
Check out the Birkin's in our shop here.

 The Illusive Birkin Obsession

Every girl has a bit of a Birkin obsession, right? Ever since Sex and the City when Samantha’s waitlisted Birkin made the bag a household name,  fashionistas worldwide young and old have  added them to their wish list. However, it seems that with growing WISH lists there are growing WAIT lists.  In fact the wait for an authentic Birkin from a Hermes boutique has grown to Jack and the Bean Stock levels.  And the prices on the resale market seem to grow in exact relation. So, I’m not one to complain about growth in the handbag market, but REALLY?  Are some handbags actually worth the price of the average American home?

I will play devil’s advocate and say yes.  And partially, I answer yes, because I mean it.  A man can have lofty goals of a Ferrari, private jet or a yacht.  Which, I realize are not limited to a man, so I hope no offense is taken, but most of the women I know have bucket lists that are a bit more intimate. So does that $100,000 plus handbag really sound so outrageous when you compare it to a private jet or a new Ferrari?  It’s all relative, right?

With international markets growing in China and India it seems that stock is more space than ever.  As Tina Craig with the Bag Snob wrote,  
“In the 15 years that I have been collecting Hermès, I have never seen demand and consumption like this! Walk into any Hermès boutique, from Paris to Beverly Hills– and you’ll most likely find them bare. There just aren’t enough bags (or wallets, or belts, or anything leather for that matter) to meet demand. Unlike the old days when they kept the good stuff below to pull out for special clients, they really don’t have any stock. And anything that does arrive is usually sold or spoken for before it leaves the New Jersey fulfillment center.”
She continues. “My SA(sales associate) at the Hermès Paris boutique told me that he gets no less than 200 inquiries PER DAY about birkins alone (one SA at the Beverly Hills boutique said it was more like 300 per day for him). One option is to purchase in the secondary market from reliable sources like Heritage Auctions– you will have to pay 30-100% more for some of the bags (depending on color) but it’s better than not having an Hermès bag at all, isn’t it?”

Birkins are truly at Cult Status levels.  In a book I read over spring break from the same author as The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger, writes a fabulous essay about the love and admiration of the almost unattainable thus even more covetable Hermes Birkin.  In “Everyone Worth Knowing” she writes,
“It’s not a purse, Bette, it’s a way of life. I would pay that (twenty grand range)in a heartbeat if I could just get my hands on one.”  

“ I didn’t think there is anyone left on the planet who wasn’t at least on the listfor a Birkin.  Put yourself on immediately and maybe- just maybe- you’ll get one in time to give your daughter one someday.”

“ You don’t get it.  It’s not just a bag.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s a statement.  It summarizes who you are as a person.  It’s a reason for living.

I think some of this is a bit overboard but people spend their money in different ways and on different thing s that make them happy.  One of my favorite advertisements years ago was for Lexus.  It said, “Whoever says money can’t buy happiness must be spending it wrong.” 
We all know money can’t buy happiness but it sure makes the journey a little more luxurious and a Birkin certainly fits in that category.


The Vintage Contessa's thoughts on Rachel Zoe

The Vintage Contessa looks to the one and only Rachel Zoe for trends and Fall's go to pieces...
For Fall, Rachel Zoe says the Tote is the Bag of Choice- Monday 26th

So many bags, so little time and so little funds, what is a girl to do? BUY vintage. Get the bag that will last a lifetime or generations to come without being a fashion victim or a budget buster. Think it through and buy a statement piece that will last. So how do you decide?

In a recent Who What Wear posting, Rachel Zoe was asked, If you were only going to buy one style of handbag this fall, what would it be and why?

Rachel said, “Anytime I am faced with the dilemma of choosing just one option of any particular item—I often encounter this predicament when traveling—my instinct is to always go with the most classic, versatile choice. So if I was going to carry only one handbag all fall, I can say without hesitation that it would definitely be a tote!”

In searching the net for what Rachel Zoe really wears, I instantly found her and Jessica Alba carrying the Chanel double flap with her precious daughter in tow.

Rachel also carried the XXL reissue … 

And Ms. Rachel Zoe with the covetted Vert Veronese 35 cm Birkin with Palladium hardware.

Shop Chanel on The Vintage Contessa
Shop Hermes on The Vintage Contessa


Hamptons Summer Style

The Vintage Contessa frolics to the Hamptons and finds Louis Vuitton, sequins and designer dog duds.

Color and laid back beach glamour are the predominant Hamptons trends. From boho style to crisp whites with sequins, glamour was the center of every choice.

The store windows were amazing. I stumbled upon a fabulous vintage store where Rachel Zoe shopped earlier in the week, picking up a few great finds that will definitely make their way to The Vintage Contessa Website. My favorite collectibles were Louis Vuitton picture frames made from actual Louis Vuitton bags. Genius!!!

In fact, this month’s Hamptons magazine has a picture of Rachel on the cover bedangled with jewels looking amazing as always. Within the pages of the magazine and on the streets, people wear long necklaces with big pendants, a great look Texans seemed to have always liked. You know that old adage, the bigger the better, and it is certainly true for necklaces this summer and appears to be a big trend for fall.
Even the dog biscuits are designer. How great are these? Only 6.99 and your dog can have designer handbag dog treats. Gotta love it… Only in the Hamptons.

My top picks for Hamptons Style are definitely Rachel Zoe inspired.

Day Tote: Hermes 40 cm Birkin


Vail/Beaver Creek Style

The Vintage Contessa's favorite style picks for an effortless, glamorous summer in Colorado.

August is here. In Houston everyone is trying to escape the heat. Fortunately we were able to run away to a great adventure in Beaver Creek and Vail, CO for the month of July.
The weather was cooperative to the point you could actually wear what was shown on the fashion pages for summer style. A sweater at night, great summer scarves to accessories, hats to block the heat of the day and LOTS of accessories.

It was surprising what a difference a few added accessories would make to a basic summer pallet of white. One night while entertaining a few friends for dinner, serving Rob’s catch from a fishing trip in Alaska just 2 days prior, I opted for a basic white t shirt and white pants. When the summer evening shower came through with a temperature drop of 10 degrees, I added a lace scarf and linen newsboy hat. Tricia and Jen both said, you changed and look so dressed up now. How odd is that, what a difference two accessories make???

I get so excited to see the transformation simple dress by adding a few great accessories. Of course adding a Birkin bag to anything will make any ensemble just that much better. My precious friend, Jen, a talented and amazingly soulful jewelry designer who lives part time in Hawaii, London and Vail ( not a bad gig if you can book it) is now the proud owner of an amazingly coveted Vintage Contessa Birkin. She is precious from the get go, but I am in love with the look with the new Birkin… What do you think?

And my very outgoing local celebrity from the Vail Valley, Tricia, was on hand for every day at the Antique Show rocking her looks. The scarf in her hair and the Chanel belt bag is so fresh and fun. Of course her personality would make a burlap bag look great. She is a living doll.

And with that I offer our final fun pic of our antique shows in the mountains. My precious girlfriends and me (on the far right) wearing fun. Because after all, isn’t that the best accessory of all???

These are a few of my favorite style picks for summer in Colorado.