Haute Alpine Couture: It’s all in the bag
Although our OpenSnow.com crush, Joel Gratz, predicts many more powder days, the later sunsets are beginning to tease us with a hint of spring. The sun delivers more than just vitamin D during these long winter months – it liberates daisy-fresh fashions and accessories, and our local retail hubs have your spring-a-licious goods. Spring 2013 catwalk creations showcased many jaw-dropping accessories. From the hula hoop bag by Chanel to Charlotte Olympia’s minaudire ‘Toucan’ clutch (probably not the most realistic alpine couture accessories – seriously, where would you put your ice scraper?), the lemon-kissed palette of the season is bright, happy and carefree and will wash away any remnants of winter woes.With a spring in your step, a luxury satchel and a punch of color is perfect for tooling around Vail Village or for grabbing a quick Third Street Chai with friends at the Bookworm. Add an animal motif and you will be leading the mountain-chic crowd. Made in the good ‘ol US of A (we love that!), Rebecca Ray Designs’ spring collection is just what the sun goddess ordered. This season, The Julie line features totes in bright yellow, red and navy with a dog head, horse head or bird on a branch silhouette on the front ($275; Vail Boot & Shoe) and indestructible luggage-weight ballistic nylon that will take you from city-girl to mountain-lass. The “purse feet” are a saving grace when meeting up at Gore Range Brewery, as the feature is consistent with fashionista philosophy of never placing your handbag directly onto the floor. Each tote is styled with an industrial-weight nickel zipper closure that is finished with a contrasting leather pull strap. Whoever said, “a handbag is not just a purse, it’s an investment” wasn’t kidding. Although many of Gorsuch’s handbags have a Fifth Avenue price tag, once your couture antenna spots the spring debuts from Brunello Cucinelli and Bottega Veneta, you’ll be forking over the big bucks to have one too. New York City-based stylist Hillary Cooper, known for her expert fashion opinion in Shape magazine, says fringe and beachy sunset hues were spring runway show-stoppers. Both trends will light up your weighted winter wardrobe, especially at aprs ski cocktails. The Brunello Cucinelli Giustina Fringe ($1,290; Gorsuch) is the perfect size for a compact, Laura Mercier Lip Shine ($22; Cosbar) in Tempting Coral and, of course, your phone for any hot date snap chatting with your BFFs. The Bottega Veneta Veneta Classic Medium Bag ($1,780; Gorsuch) in Burned Sun is the epitome of a spring day and a non-intimidating color for commitment phobes. This satchel is excellent for jaunts to Aspen or Denver and can even pose as an overnight bag should OpenSnow.com predict a blizzard. For a subtler take on yellow, the Liz Soto Mustard Tote ($225; Bella Italia) sprinkles just enough “spring” onto your style without labeling you as “colorful.” An added bonus is that this tote comes with a super-cute matching wallet.For a memorable pop of color, pair the LouenHide Suzie bag ($134; Bella Italia) in yellow or the Poppet Plait bag, also from LouenHide ($99; Bella Italia), in red with the covet-worthy, navy Snia Bogner Caroline Blazer ($1,120; Gorsuch) – let’s face it, Alpine Couturists, with Bella Italia’s fab prices, you can splurge on the Bogner blazer.Sights set on something a little flashier to show off in your fashionista circles? Bella Bag (www.shopbellabag.com) will become your closet away from your closet. This site is not for the feint of heart as you will fulfill your couture fantasies while perusing the latest spring inventory. As the premier authentic-only, pre-loved, vintage, rare, and limited-edition designer handbags and accessories e-store, Bella Bag’s new crop of handbags are beyond to-die-for. Our favorites to drool over include the YSL Yves Saint Laurent Large White Leather Muse Bag (Retail: $1,695, Bella Bag: $799), Louis Vuitton Limited Edition Stephen Sprouse Roses Speedy 30 Bag (Retail: $3,200, Bella Bag: $2,200) and the stunning Chanel Glazed Pink Calf Leather Jumbo Flap Bijoux Chain Bag (Retail: $5,200, Bella Bag: $4,499). Sometimes, it’s enough to just go window-shopping.Haute Alpine Couture quenches your thirst with a cocktail of cravings and lan that turns an “insider’s favorite” into your monthly buzz. With an eye for uncovering the most sought-after trends, Jennifer Geisman is a self-professed product junky. Geisman fuses her expertise in PR and the beauty and fashion worlds to deliver quintessentially modern hot spots, styles and trends.