Awards season always puts clutches on our mind, and when it comes to selecting a little evening bag, we always have the same problem: wedging a phone into a box clutch in a way that also accommodates our keys, wallet and lipstick. Getting my phone in there at all is difficult, especially when it has a case on it (naked iPhones make me nervous), but accessing it throughout the evening without upsetting the delicate balance of my bag’s contents is well nigh impossible. The Kotur #Getsmartbag Elaphe Minaudiere has come up with at least one way to solve that problem: clip the phone to the outside of the bag. Ok then.

At first I was nervous that this placement would encourage screen-scratching, but let’s face it: my phone is out all the time, colliding with tabletops and bars and the edges of dinner plates and all kinds of other things, not to mention the contents of my bag that it has to contend with on the regular. Especially when flipped around, this doesn’t seem any riskier, and checking Twitter or answering a text would be pretty easy. For photos, the case part of the bag flips away from the body (it’s generally secured with a magnet), allowing you to expose the lens. I’ve thought through it a couple of times, and I haven’t been able to ascertain any obvious design flaws, which is fairly impressive when you consider that the designers were trying to find a way to solve a persistent handbag functionality problem that few others have tackled.

The most noticeable limitation, of course, is that the bag will only fit an iPhone 5, 5C or 5S, but if you’re in the market for an expensive clutch, then you’re probably more likely than average to have the most updated version of the world’s most fashionable phone. Android users are out of luck, but y’all are probably used to that feeling, right? (I say that in commiseration as a former Android user. Back in my day, we didn’t even have Instagram.) Buy through Net-a-Porter for $400.

Kotur Getsmartphone Clutch Rear Kotur Getsmartphone Clutch Front

Even for the most fashion-obsessed consumers, holiday treats tend to include at least a couple of tech gifts. The latest iPhone is as much of a luxury accessory as the latest handbag, and fashion companies are here to help you accessories your iPads, iPhone and laptops in style. So helpful, those fashion companies.

Brands have had a few years to get this whole thing down, and products generally break down into three categories: cases, audio equipment and charging accessories. Throw in a little rose gold from Nike and a set of gloves that’ll keep your hands toasty while you text, and you’re all set.

Finding a new designer is always exciting, especially when you consider the tight hold some big brands have on the handbag market. Earlier this month, I was introduced to Dillon Des Pres. When I saw his line, I felt a freshness that I always yearn for; the designs are simple and natural, with a beautifully finished aesthetic. It looks like Dillon Des Pres has an exciting career ahead of him – shortly after his launch, Moda Operandi commissioned this exclusive iPad case/clutch from him.

Crafted from vegetable-tanned leather, the Dillon Des Pres iPad Case has an envelope-style construction with a cutaway front flap, brass rivet embellishments and a contrast bridle leather belt-style strap that reminds me of Restoration Hardware. The fact that this reminds me of the famous housewares is not just a good thing, but an amazing thing – half my apartment is furnished from Restoration Hardware, and I love the brand’s feel. This case can be easily used for a woman or a man and looks both strong and feminine at the same time. There will be much more to come from Dillon Des Pres, but for now you can buy this iPad case for $215 via Moda Operandi.

Even though my last days on campus at the University of Georgia were as recent as 2008, a lot has changed, technologically speaking, in those intervening five years. My little flip phone, which was by far the preferred cell technology of college students at the time, had a battery life that my current iPhone can only dream of and so much exterior plastic that a case would have been redundant. Most of my classmates, who received their laptops at the beginning of their college careers in 2003 or 2004, couldn’t bear to lug those eight-pound behemoths around campus and settled for pen and paper, thus we required no laptop cases. An iPad wasn’t even a thing yet, not by a long shot. Going to college or grad school now requires a whole host of tech accessories, though, so we’ve stepped up to help 2013′s new and returning students with a guide to the season’s best tech accessories. (more…)

I have a confession to make: I have an old iPhone. A year and a half old, to be exact, which means that I have a 4S instead of a 5, despite the fact that the 5 has been around seemingly forever. It’s that fact that keeps me from upgrading, actually – why get a 5 now when she 6 could appear at literally any time? Now that I’ve seen the Rafé Shell iPhone Cases, though, which are only for iPhone 5, I might be rethinking my strategy.

I’ve long been a fan of the color-shifting properties of mother-of-pearl and certain other kinds of shells, but (and I know this will shock you), despite my incredible popularity, I don’t really go to enough warm-weather formal events to justify the purchase of a minaudiere made out of one of these materials. You know what I do do enough of, though? Waste time on my phone. I can justify purchases that enhance that activity all the livelong day, which is why I’ve spent so much money on extra Candy Crush lives. In order to enjoy one of these cases, though, I’d also have to pay a $200 upgrade fee, but I kinda need to get a phone with more than my current 16G of storage anyway, right? That’s a totally reasonable justification for a new iPhone, whereas a new case might not be. A new case would be a great biproduct of that, though.

These are the thought processes I battle all day, you guys.


Rafé Shell iPhone 5 Case
$98 via Neiman Marcus

Rafe Shell iPhone 5 Case

Rafé Mother-of-Pearl iPhone 5 Case
$98 via Neiman Marcus

Rafe Mother of Pearl iPhone 5 Case

Rafé Rainbow Tab Shell iPhone 5 Case
$98 via Neiman Marcus

Rafe Rainbow Tab Shell iPhone 5 Case

I have a very hard time paying more for a gadget case than for the gadget itself. As luxury customers, we deal with crazy prices all the time, but juxtaposing the price of an inanimate leather case with that of an incredibly powerful computer or phone only serves to bring the price insanity into stark relief. Despite the fact that the Alexander McQueen Camouflage Python Laptop Case costs as much as my computer did, though, I’m still intrigued.

It must be said: those in the market for a python laptop case in a trendy print like camouflage probably don’t experience much price shock in their lives, least of which for something in the low four figures. For that matter, those people likely don’t even know how much their laptop cost. They probably sent someone at a lower pay grade to pick it up for them, and they don’t look at their own credit card statements. It must be fun to be that person. Unfortunately, I am not that person. You probably aren’t either, unless you’re currently having someone read this blog post to you aloud.

Anyway, back to the point: when you’re hauling around a computer that costs less than two grand, which almost all laptops now do, encasing it in something that expensive might seem a little ridiculous. The more I think about it, though, the contents of my handbag rarely add up to more in value than the bag itself (an eight-year-old Marc Jacobs card case, a pair of Ray-Bans and an iPhone with a cartoon Frankenstein case don’t add up to that much), and this is a pretty good-looking case for those of you who have to haul a laptop. Camouflage: it’s officially a thing. Buy through SSENSE for $1,995.

Once upon a time, people who loved technology and gadgets were considered geeks. It’s weird to think about just how recently that era was, particularly since the general public now sits in rapt attention whenever Apple unveils a new product in California. Now everyone’s a gadget person, and meeting someone who’s not is a jarring experience. I can think of one person I’ve met in the last five years who didn’t have a cell phone, and he was profoundly strange.

With so many of us leading gadget-centric lives (I have an iPhone, an iPad, a MacBook Pro and an iMac. All in my tiny apartment. For no reason. They’re like a little family that I live with.), technology is a natural source of great holiday gifts. After all, if you want to buy something that a friend or family member will really use, odds are that choosing something to make their phone or tablet experience more enjoyable is a great way to go. Below, we’ve selected some of the most stylish tech gifts of the season to get you started.

During New York Fashion Week, I spontaneously became a very late-arriving member of the iPhone club. (Don’t make fun of me. I know it’s been out for like six years or something at this point.) I went in to the Verizon store to buy a new charger, I walked out 20 minutes later with a brand new, extremely fragile phone. I’ve had a placeholder case on it ever since in an effort not to damage my new toy, but I’m still on the hunt for my perfect case of the moment.

That hunt got significantly more interesting yesterday, when Net-a-Porter added a bunch of Weston Stone-Print iPhone Cases to its offerings. Agate, Labradorite, Jasper, Marble…it’s all there, up-close and in its naturally colorful glory. How timely that these cases should surface now, a mere week after Chanel’s gem-obsessed Fall 2012 runway show. I want them all, and I’ve got up-close pictures of my three favorites after the jump. (more…)

Even as someone who doesn’t have an iPhone (Android, grumble grumble), I know full well that the market for cases, sleeves and protectors for the tech toys seems to be a tad, uh, saturated. Not only are there plenty of companies dedicated to making only accessories for Apple gear, but it seems as though every brand that has every manufactured any kind of apparel or tech goods would also like to sell you something to cover your phone. Everyone I know with an iPhone has a veritable wardrobe for it.

I can understand if iPhone owners feel like they have enough cases already, but even those with full tech closets should take a look at Net-a-Porter’s fresh crop of Swash iPhone 4 Cases. They’re a tad spendy at $70, but the feminine, slightly bohemian look of the cases is different than any I’ve seen in the past. (more…)

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced holiday gift that you’re sure the recipient has a use for, it’s hard to go wrong with something tech-y. No matter how girly the girl, we all have iPhones and laptops and iPads (some of us) that are parts of our everyday lives, and making them a little more chic while maintaining functionality is a near-constant pursuit for young women.

That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the finest high-fashion tech accessories as the latest installment of our Holiday Gift Guide 2011; from headphones to laptop cases to a bag to carry it all, we can outfit you for the next year and then some. (more…)

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