Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lazy Girl Blog, Episode 15, Season 1, A Net Chick Original

Bag It!
Yesterday we were off to zee Hamptons to visit a virtually undiscovered, little-known gem of a place called the Leiber Collection. I read about it in the Hampton rag, "Dan's Papers," and with some trepidation, because it involved me driving outside my North Fork comfort zone, we ferried across the Peconic to Sag Harbor and drove southeastward to East Hampton.

The Leiber Collection is a museum and garden dedicated to the handbags of Judith Leiber who you will know as the designer of fabulous, jewel-encrusted, fancifully shaped evening bags called minaudieres which you have probably seen in Bergdorf's affixed with astronomical price tags. A Leiber handbag is simply de rigueur if you are attending a Met gala or if you happen to be a first lady of the United States hosting a state dinner.

A Chinese Foo Dog with
Multicolored Crystal Rhinestones &
Budda-shaped Minaudieres.
A Watermelon-Shaped Minaudiere
with Crystal Rhinestones & Onyx Details
"Minaudiere" is a fashion term
that should be in everyone's vocabulary.

After lunch at Sam's Italian Restaurant, which we had chosen for its pizza (and the pizza oven was not working) so we had lobster, poor us, I drove onward to find the 446 Old Stone Highway, home of the
Leiber Collection.

The museum was built on the Leiber property in East Hampton. It's an elegant building, a kind of handbag mausoleum, as my sister, Jeanne, aptly put it, in a garden setting. Judith Leiber and her artist husband, Gerson Leiber, have made the Hamptons their summer home for many years.
Besides the minaudiere bags, Judith Leiber also designed bags in leather and silk. I especially love the artist-inspired bags, like the Sonia Delaunay-like "envelopes" above and below.

Art-deco designs and a bag inspired
by a Mondrian painting.
The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding
of Judith Leiber handbags.
Judith Leiber is from Budapest, Hungary. As a young woman, she was accepted at Kings College in London and was slated to study chemistry so that she might work in the family's cosmetic company. However World War II intervened.
 Instead she remained in Hungary and
 apprenticed to a handbag maker.
She became a master craftsman and
learned to construct a bag from top to bottom and
and from inside to out.

When the war was over, Judith met a young American soldier
 who was stationed in Hungary. His name was Gerson Leiber.
 They married in 1946.
They moved to New York City where Judith worked for several handbag manufacturers. In 1963, they formed their own company with headquarters in a loft at 33rd and Madison. Gerson said,
"You've spent enough time working for schnooks. Now your name and only your name will be on the handbags that you design." Judith Leiber's Artful Handbags by Jeffrey Sussman.
 The pleated bag with a semi-precious brooch is a favorite motif.

 The bags are beautifully displayed.

The above-two patchwork bags supply me
with inspiration for my hats. Sequins, anyone?
 Art Deco is an influence in the Semi-Precious stone lock.

 Judith Leiber belts on display.
 The second-floor gallery in the museum.

These catalogs qre free at the exhibit. They contain several excellent
essays about Judith Leiber: her life, her art, her influences.

The show continues through September. 
But be sure to call or check here
before you go.

Alas, our days in Orient are
almost over.
We will be returning to NYC on Saturday.
It's bittersweet to leave here,
mes amis.
But I have exciting plans for the
fall, bien sûr!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lazy Girl Blog, Episode 14, Season 1, A Net Chick Original

Yard Saling
Out here on the North Fork, going to tag sales in a yard is called Yard Saling. Yard sales are held on Saturday mornings and usually start at 8 AM with strict prohibitions against "Early Birds." People pull up on the side of the road, park willy nilly, leap from their cars and run to the yard sale. You may harbor equally useless junk in your own house, but the the siren's call of someone else's useless junk is irresistible

Jeanne and I attended a multiple-person Yard Sale last
Saturday morning in Orient.
Styling your yard sale is very important.

Like labeling your couch "Funky."

I picked up this dress at the sale for $5.00
The woman had worn it once to a wedding.
Here I am with Fern, who clearly wished she had found the dress first.
I'd say that's a pretty successful
yard sale purchase.

À Bientôt!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lazy Girl Blog, Episode 13, Season 1, A NetChick Original

Le Sac Orange et La Maison Blanche
When we were kids spending summers at our cottage in Southold, trips to nearby Greenport were frequent and fun. A Greenport fixture since 1880, was Wm. J. Mills & Co. sailmakers on the corner of Front and Main Streets. My sister, Susan, purchased a Mills tote bag way back then, and she still has it. In the olden days, in was not considered a chic accessory, but simply a strong, canvas tote for hauling things, usually to and from your boat. Today, Wm. J. Mills & Co. has been discovered by the likes of editors from Vogue and is more likely to hold a bikini and sunscreen and be hauled to and from the jitney.

We made a stop at the new Mills' showroom on Route 25, and I purchased a small, orange tote. Now it is my go-to bag on the North Fork and Manhattan. Love that it's got the big white logo advertising the brand. Shop Hound knows where to go. Bow Wow!
My new sac orange from
 Wm. J. Mills & Co. of Greenport

La Maison Blanche
La vie est belle dans la fourchette de Nord. Friday night Richard, Jeanne and I took the ferry to Shelter Island to dine at La Maison Blanche, a hotel and restaurant.
 Richard and me at La Maison Blanche.
Jeanne in her Suno blouse and
Jane Birkin-style market bag.
An outdoor table near the Hydrangeas.
 The house rosé wine.
 We dined in the gazebo.
La Maison Blanche is the perfect venue to present a gift from France. Jeanne was recently in Bordeaux, France to attend the birthday party of a friend. She is a thoughtful sister who brings lovely gifts back from her travels. This was one she brought for me. There is a little plastic chapeau adorning the wrapping. Can you guess what is inside?
Un cadeau from the Mercerie Ambulante.
A mercerie sells ribbons and sewing notions.
The Ambulante part means that it travels to a
different market each day of the week.
The delightful contents of the Mercerie bag.
Fastened by a vendeuse in France.
 The green package held Espadrilles! Je l'adore.
Merci, Jeanne.

 The pétanque courts at La Maison Blanche.
The three of us in a photo by
a kind tourist from California.
 The ferry home.

À Bientôt!