Trend Watch: Handbags and Sparkling, Colorful Gemstones for Everyone

As the October 2008 Marie Claire magazine puts it, there are no dark nights this season. Sparkles rock!


Luxe handbags and shoes are in direct competition with jewelry for a woman’s accessories expenditures, to be sure, but this season’s accessories put gemstones on every woman’s mind. Gemstones lavishly adorn tempting if not irresistible evening bags and shoes. 



For all but the most affluent, the stones on those fashion accessories are faux, but how can a bag or shoes dazzling with colorful stones help but make one want coordinating gemstones on one’s fingers, ears, bodice, wrists or neck? Blue strass translates easily into sapphires. A bit of bright green and pink glass may encourage the exploration of emeralds and pink or watermelon tourmaline. White rhinestones make their perennial appearance on accessories as well, but the bright sparkling saturated hues are especially eye-catching this season.


And the love of color is not forgotten with daytime accessories. The recommendation of Marie Claire  for weekends is “velvet-soft suede in rich harvest colors.” How beautifully these bags would work with amethysts, topaz, citrine . . . .


Notice the price tags on the bags. Of the eye-catching bejeweled bags, an evening clutch of embellished gold-colored fabric by Albert Ferreti retails for $725; a blue one by Yves Saint Laurent almost $1,700. The most modestly priced black one, by Santi at Vionnet, runs $225. And those suede bags? While there are some bargains under $100 from St. John’s Bay by JCPenney, Mondani and Rampage Handbags pictured in the magazine but not shown here, they run $295 for DKNY (the yellow seen at the bottom of the cropped photo); $798 for Coach (the green); $1,000 for Cesare Paciotti (the red), and $1,895 for Donna Karan New York (the brown). The amethyst suede bag at the top by Kooba retails for $695.


What might you be able to offer your customer in real amethysts or sapphires or tourmalines on an accessory that will last a lifetime and can be handed down for generations, for the very same price as a silk or suede bag?


In its further review of handbags, the October issue of Marie Claire also considers the question why ostrich costs so much. The rationale for the price actually isn’t explained fully but rather is justified because this “hard-wearing luxury” will last 30 years. (Of course, this assumes the bag is protected from hazards such as rain, sticky fingers and ink.) The price of the featured ostrich handbag by Bottega Veneta? $6,500.