Last night, on a very special episode of Gossip Girl, things got real. Messy, sloppy feelings were had about a messy, sloppy overdose that everyone thought was a suicide attempt, an impending divorce and the continued saga of Chuck, Blair and our perpetual need to be the third party in their complicated, tortured, beautiful relationship. Why can’t we just step back and give them some space, huh?!

Ahem. I’m sorry. I’m not used to Gossip Girl making me feel any feelings other than rage at Jenny’s weave issues or confusion over reed-thin plots, but some genuinely sad, serious stuff happened last night and it has me all verklempt and maybe a little nervous. Gossip Girl totally harshed my mellow last night, ladies. (more…)

The last time we wrote about the Marc by Marc Jacobs Save the Birds Lenny Day Bag, the Saks pre-order sold out so quickly that many people didn’t get a chance to reserve theirs. Now that it’s back, we thought we’d let you know in case you’re one of the people whose pre-order attempts weren’t successful the first time around.

And if this is your first time hearing of this bag, please allow us to register a hearty recommendation in its favor; the materials are beautiful, the design is interesting but functional, and the price is far more palatable than we’d expect for a purse that looks this good. For those who prefer darker colors, the bag also comes in chocolate brown. Buy through Saks for $528.

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Beyond the aesthetic issues I have with so-called “ethnic” or “tribal” fashion, I also have ethical problems with the trend. Fashion tends to take visual cues from a whole spectrum of influences without always stopping to think what kind of attitudes or problems it may be tacitly endorsing by glorifying a particular look, and ripping off indigenously sourced materials and patterns without providing any kind of benefit to the people who created them or the culture from which they come is among the least attractive practices in modern fashion.

Fetishizing and caricaturizing cultures that have been blighted by Western influences is offensive; instead, indigenous societies deserve respect and understanding. Luckily, people like the Wayuu Taya Foundation are working to bring the trends and the cultures that produced them together in order to sate fashionable desires as well as enrich the groups whose lives have inspired the trends. (more…)

The Stella McCartney Falabella Tote first gained favor over a year ago when celebrities as varied as Rihanna and Kate Hudson began sporting the simple, biker-chic faux leather bag with every kind of outfit you could imagine. Many variations on the Falabella theme have followed, and now that we’re on (by my count) the third season rotation of these chain-trimmed purses, one has to wonder when McCartney will run out of ideas.

I can’t tell the future, but unfortunately, inspiration didn’t run out before someone suggested making a crochet version of the bag, which you can see at left. Or, come to think of it, maybe it did, because this iteration isn’t exactly inspired. (more…)

I give any of you who braved the crowds on Black Friday mad props. It simply is not for me. I am not one who loves crowds and I tend to be a horrible deal finder. Put me in a store with every item half off, I will find the one item that is full priced. That is precisely why I am a huge fan of Cyber Monday. Some shops are giving us free shipping while others are offering major deals (think ShopBop and Net-A-Porter).

Thus far I completed much of my holiday shopping and grabbed some of the most amazing deals yet. What retailers are you visiting for Cyber Monday and what kind of deals have you nabbed?

Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta was a difficult one, in many different ways. Not only did we see the dissolution of a marriage, but we were forced (forced!) by Kandi to consider the sexual proclivities of our group of Atlanta broad, and then we had to watch a male stripper wag his peen in their faces. In fact, there was so much peen-wagging and relationship-ending last night that the episode ran an extra 15 minutes, which nearly puts it into feature film territory.

Most of what happened was stuff that we already saw coming, but that’s part of the charm of our Atlanta ladies in particular – watching them discuss old news is a thousand times more entertaining than watching almost any other group of housewives do things that we haven’t yet heard about. They have a strange magic, these people. (more…)

I may have skipped the Black Friday hordes because of past retail experience, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t buy anything during the year’s busiest retail weekend. I ordered a cute printed dress from Saks and will probably place at least one ShopBop order before today is done in order to take advantage of my favorite e-tailer’s massive sale. Having skipped the crowds entirely, I’m feeling quite accomplished as an online shopper.

But since we’re a blog that celebrates shopping in all of its various and sundry forms, we want to hear from you, our lovely readers: Did you pick up anything special this weekend? What stores did you hit and who had the best sales? Links, pictures, stories or all of the above are welcomed in the comments. We hope that your shopping weekend was as successful as ours!

I would go as far as to suggest that getting your holiday shopping done early this year sounds like a mighty fine idea. The good folks at Net-A-Porter US make it easy to get a head start with up to 50% markdowns of your favorite bags, clothing, shoes and accessories. This just went live, the good stuff goes fast.

click here to shop the Net-A-Porter Sale

Depending on who you are, backpacks might be kind of a tough sell. They’re purposefully boyish and perhaps a bit infantilizing, but if you’ve got an edgy personal style and lots of confidence, they can look utilitarian-chic in all the right ways. Having a backpack option as luxe as the Kooba Griffin Drawstring Tote absolutely makes pulling off the look much easier.

Kooba seems to be try to avoid the “backpack” stigma by not using that word to describe this bag, but there’s no getting around exactly what we see in this photo. It’s a backpack, and there’s nothing wrong with that, particularly when you’re spending the day shopping or strolling and you don’t want to have to deal with a regular purse on your arm. (more…)

Some designers try to go in eight directions at once, but generally, Judith Leiber only has one goal, and that’s to create the sparkliest, shiniest collection of evening bags known to man. The company once again took on that task for Spring 2011, but it also tried its hand at the occasional exotic skin and day bag, standard Leiber flourishes of which not everyone is aware. And other than one exquisite white lizard clutch, I really wish Leiber had stuck with its signature crystals.

The python bags aren’t bad, per se, but they don’t have nearly the level of intricacy or perfection that one might normally expect from the company that made its name bedazzling everything from ducks to dachshunds. They’re simply average, whereas the rest of the collection features the kind of extraordinary detail work that we’ve come to expect from Judith Leiber. Although one nontraditional offering from Spring 2011 does impress: a tie-dyed leather bow clutch that might be the most effective use of the coloring technique that I’ve ever seen on a bag. (more…)

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