At times, it feels like the handbag and jewelry markets are slowly converging into one. Customers who like one type of high-dollar designer accessory are likely to be interested in others, and costume jewelry designers like Dannijo, Mawi and Shourouk have taken that opportunity to expand their reach into the handbag market with lines of metal-and-rhinestone-accented clutches and bags that combine the best decorative aspects of their jewels, with generally well-received results.

The jewelry-designing sisters behind Anndra Neen dipped its toes in the clutch waters not long ago, and the results were more than well-received; the little cage clutch that was the crowning achievement of the small bag line sold out so quickly when it became available at retailers that I felt like I was chasing it around the Internet in order to write a post about it. As Style.com reports, CR Fashion Book editor Carine Roitfeld was so smitten with the clutch that she had the designers make it in 18-karat gold for the LoveGold amfAR gala at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

The clutch stayed with the sisters after the gala, and now they’ve turned it over to Sotheby’s for auction during the house’s Important Jewels auction on September 23 in New York. Right now, the estimated final price of the clutch, which required 20 hours of painstaking hand work, is in excess of $20,000. That’s less than plenty of Birkins, which is not bad when you consider that it’s a one-of-a-kind, handmade piece rendered in solid gold at a fashion legend’s request.

[Photos via Anndra Neen]

If you’ve ever seen the Sex and the City movie, which opens on Carrie’s and Big’s rehearsal dinner, then you’re already familiar with our most recent destination for PurseBlog Eats: Buddakan. With 275 seats for dining, a huge 34-person banquet table located in the middle of the restaurant and 50 more seats for drinking, it’s hard to imagine this nightclub looking hot-spot was once a Nabisco factory in the heart of Chelsea.

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While massive restaurants have a tendency to have a bad rap among many New York locals, Buddakan’s food certainly doesn’t disappoint. The menu of modern Asian cuisine is stacked with dim sum, noodles, fried rice, and an array of entrees which was nearly impossible to pick from because every single one sounded better than the next.

Apart from Buddakan’s delicious food, you can expect to find yourself rubbing elbows with celebrities, socialites and some of New York’s most well-known faces. Take a look below for a detailed overview of our dining experience at Buddakan.

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Reservations: Accepted via OpenTable for parties smaller than 15.

Price Point: Appetizers, noodle and rice dishes, $9 to $14. Entrees $17 to $47. Desserts $10.

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Where: 75 Ninth Avenue (16th Street) – Chelsea

Ambiance: Swanky crowds and a dramatic, multi-level dining room, with giant candlelabras, oversized artwork and plush furniture.

Great for: Big groups, private events and impressing out-of-towners.

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What We Ordered: General Tso’s Dumplings, Pork Belly Buns, Beef Lettuce Cups, Scallion Pancakes, Vegetable Fried Rice, Cauliflower Stir-Fry, Black Pepper Beef, Sizzling Short Rib, Filet of Beef, Salt & Pepper Black Sea Bass, Crying Chocolate and Spiced Carrot Cake.

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The Must Try: General Tso’s Dumplings, Pork Belly Pork Buns, Black Pepper Beef and the Cauliflower

Bonus: The cocktails are absolutely delicious.

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Even several years after opening, Buddakan continues to be an impressive dining experience for locals and out-of-towners alike.

Be sure to follow us via Instagram to see more of what we’re eating!

Buddakan Website
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The luxury accessories market is crowded with both heritage brands and upstarts vying for a piece of the pie, but in the past few seasons, a definitely trend has emerged: the best way to get into the game is one of the smallest. Greek designer Urania Gazelli is the latest in a string of women to make her debut with distinctive clutches, available for pre-order via Moda Operandi.

Gazelli has taken a page from the books of both Edie Parker’s Brett Heyman and Charlotte Olympia’s Charlotte Dellal with this line of handmade plexiglass clutches, a craft which she learned from her father in her native Greece, where all of her clutches are now made. This line features both astrological signs and playing cards, themes that have proved popular with creative, eccentric fashion people in the past. To grow, though, Gazelli will have to find a theme she can make her own.

Through August 5, you can order one of theses clutches for $1,175 to $1,565 via Moda Operandi.

Urani Gazelli Queen of Hearts Clutch Urania Gazelli Cyan Star Signs Clutch Urania Gazelli Leo Clutch

As an accessories brand, Tom Ford is still trying to get its sea legs. The line of bags and shoes is successful, but Ford has yet to have the kind of breakthrough, blockbuster hit that would send the business into the stratosphere. Handbag design is notoriously difficult to master for brands that have always been known, first and foremost, for other things (just ask Christian Louboutin), and now Ford appears to be looking for his signature, both literally and figuratively. (more…)

For the past six months, I have barely been able to go to any gathering of women in New York City without being asked for tips, tricks and hook-ups on how to get a Mansur Gavriel bag. I also regularly field these inquires via GChat, email, text message – you name it. So if you’re one of the people who has asked me how to get his or her hands on one of these bags, or you’re a person who would have asked me, had you access to my contact information, this is for you: Barneys now has online pre-orders for eight styles, including the popular black-and-red Bucket Bag, as well as the new Mini Buckets and Backpacks. (more…)

Mark Cross has an interesting thing going for it. The brand has a preppy, heritage feel, with its structured bags and traditional finishes, but the brand is also willing to use elements like studs and colorblocking to bring its bags a more modern feel. The updates are never overdone, though, and for Fall 2014, the results of those combinations are the bags that just landed for pre-order at Moda Operandi.

Two of Mark Cross’ most popular styles, the top-flap Scottie Satchel and mini-trunk Grace, have received bicolor updates that are exclusive to this presale. The vibrant, saturated shades are sometimes contrasted with each other and other times with white or tan, all of which feels consistent with the brand’s classic aesthetic. The pre-sale also includes a couple of solid bags in the same brights, which are not exclusive but still totally worth checking out.

Shop the pre-sale now through May 28 at Moda Operandi or check out our favorites from the collection below!

The fashion industry is weird in oh so many ways, but right now, it feels extra weird to be thinking about fall purchases when spring weather doesn’t even appear to be fully set in New York City. The fashion calendar rages on, though, and Bergdorf Goodman has officially opened up the first of its Pre-Fall and Fall 2014 handbag pre-orders. The selection will grow over the next months, but for right now, the selection is heavy on Fendi, Givenchy and Valentino bags, with a few notable picks from Chloe (a Baylee tote, which is arguably prettier than the original satchel version) and Alexander Wang (a gym sling made of deerskin), among others. Check out our favorites below or peruse the full selection via Bergdorf Goodman.

Although every American city has its own unique aesthetic and sense of style, New York City and Los Angeles are unquestionably the two style capitols of the USA. New York’s look is more polished and and a bit darker, while LA feels bright and bohemian, but without losing its luxurious edge. When the two meet, you’ve got the quintessential American look, which is what Bloomingdale’s has tried to capture in its new Sunset + Spring department. (more…)

For the second installment of PurseBlog Eats, we ventured down to the Lower East Side of Manhattan to pay a visit to The Fat Radish. Upon arrival, the restaurant provides an immediate sense of warmth and coziness – it’s the kind of soft-lit candle glow that feels completely effortless and genuine. The walls are decorated with hooks for customers’ coats and perfectly aligned filtered photographs. Plenty of bearded men can usually be found at the bar ordering fancy cocktails, while couples and groups sit at the dimly lit tables, sipping wine. It’s the kind of place you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave, but when you finally do, the owners’ similarly perfectly lit sister bar, The Leadbelly, is just across the street.

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Reservations: Accepted via OpenTable

Price Point: Appetizers and Snacks from $8 to $18, Bigger plates $19 to $30 and Sides $8 to $12. Cocktails range from $7 to $15.

Where: 17 Orchard Street, Lower East Side

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Ambiance: Very dim lighting with candlelit wooden tables, a fully stocked bar with quaint stools and rustic decorations.

Great for: Dates, groups and delicious cocktails.

What We Ordered: Scotch Egg, Beet Root and Swiss Chard Crumble, Roasted Dutch Morgan Chicken and the Special of the Day – Olive Oil Poached Striped Bass with Black Quinoa, Arugula and Coconut Broth

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The Must Try: The Scotch Egg, which comes with only one egg, but it’s big enough to share (unless you really like Scotch Eggs like Vlad). Beet Root and Swiss Chard Crumble, which is really rich, so it’s perfect to split between several people. The Fat Radish Plate, which is a giant board filled with fresh vegetables. If you’re into seafood, the Crab Gratin is can’t-miss.

Bonus: Rather than your standard bread basket, the restaurant offers fresh radishes. Plus, the sister bar right across the street, The Leadbelly, serves oysters, small snacks and tasty cocktails.

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If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting The Fat Radish yet, you’ll definitely want to add it to your bucket list. It’s just too good to leave off.

Be sure to follow us via Instagram to see more of what we’re eating!

Fat Radish Website
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On one hand, I can barely believe that we’re down to the last days of 2013. On the other hand, the screwy fashion calendar means that I’ve been writing “2014″ for nearly six months, and I’m really looking forward to that not being usually incorrect. To celebrate the year that’s passed, we’d like to take a look back at the PurseBlog posts you liked the best in 2013. (You guys really love celebrities, Celine and Chanel.) (more…)

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