Athens, GA, 2008
ME: That’s an awesome leather bag. Where’d you get it?
JULIE: Thanks! Actually, my friend Elke made it.
It’s hard to forget a name like Elke. So, when my friend Julie shared that By Elke had recently launched a new site, I had to check out the latest designs from the maker of the bag I’d coveted seven years prior. Within a few clicks, I fell in love all over again.
NYC, Upper West Side Trunk Show
One of a Kind Summer Bags, Accessories, and Jewelry
By Elke & Kim Clary Designs
Please contact me for details as this is a private event
It was a beautiful spring day on the evening of the trunk show. When I arrived at the Upper West Side high-rise, I was greeted by a doorman who directed me to the elevator. I entered the third floor apartment warily and walked toward the buzz of chatter and laughter. The spacious living area was lined wall to wall with handbags, satchels, totes, and cross-bodies galore. In the center were tables decorated with clutches, wallets, and other small accessories. The smell of fresh, supple leather permeated the room. Some women were holding up the bags, inspecting their insides, and discussing the various colors and styles. Others were modeling prospective purchases in front of a large wall-mounted mirror.
I kept walking, through a threshold and into another open space with tables of beaded baubles. In this room, women were piling on stacks of bracelets and layering varying lengths of necklaces, contemplating the perfect combinations.
At first, I was overwhelmed. I was standing in the midst of a trunk show in a home on the UWS with a porch larger than my entire East River-adjacent apartment. I was wearing jeans and my comfortable city shoes because I’d walked across town nearly three miles since “the weather was nice” but really to save on cab fare. I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful handmade leather bags and beaded jewelry I’d ever seen, and dozens of well-dressed uptown women were whirling around me, modeling bags and jewelry in the midst of their own personal fashion shows. I needed a drink to diffuse my insecurities.
After hitting up the spread of refreshments in the kitchen, I was ready to shop. First, I composed a bohemian arm party by pairing beaded bracelets by Kim Clary Designs with By Elke’s leather bangle. Then, it was onto the handbags! Once I spotted this woven clutch (similar here) with tassel detail, I was smitten. After I made my purchases, I took one final moment to bask in the beauty of the spacious UWS home before heading back across five avenues, twenty blocks, and through Central Park to my humble East River-adjacent apartment.
Photography by Sonali Prabhu of So Narly
Crave, a verb:
1. To long for; want greatly, desire eagerly
2. To require; need
The routine has become second nature to us. We open our Facebook page, Twitter app, Instagram feed, Pinterest board, we start scrolling, and we click, click, click away at that little Like button as something passes by that strikes our fancy. In what feels like a matter of minutes, an hour passes, we close the tab or window or app, and we resume our day. But what happens to all the Likes? Just as quickly as we endorse a photo, article, video, we forget. Where does all our interest go? Is it really that fleeting? Or are we so overloaded with things we Like that the next time we visit our accounts, we hastily move on to the next interesting thing?
Call me a virtual hoarder, but I compile my Likes. I visit my activity log on Facebook, view posts I’ve liked on Instagram, scroll through my favorites on Twitter, and look through my likes on Pinterest. And in a much less robotic and more engaged manner, I extract the information I actually like and bookmark it in a folder called Cravings. Here are some of the most recent things I crave:
Longing for… sandal season? Add an open-toed clog to your spring and summer shoe collection. Bryr clogs are designed and handmade in San Francisco using traditional European wood bases and American leather.
Hungry for… innovative eats? Download Tastemade to watch food adventures, cooking shows, and local quicktakes. Find the perfect recipe for your next dinner party or the tastiest restaurant for your next date night or girl’s night out.
Yearning for… European style? Check out the Italian clothing and accessories brand Lazzari. Thanks to their collaboration with amazing North Carolina based artist Jordan Grace Owens, I discovered this unique European label.
THE NEW POTATO
Itching for… an innovative online magazine? Add The New Potato to your reading list. It started with sisters Danielle & Laura Kosann and the basic concept, “everyone has to eat.” From there, they blur the lines between food, fashion, design, and media in every article.
Pining for… a new leather bag? Look no further than By Elke. These one-of-a-kind and small-run leather and vintage canvas bags are handmade in Boulder, Colorado using repurposed, antique, and vintage materials.