Thursday, October 25, 2012

Longchamp: Thoughts

 Longchamp- probably most known for its Le Pliage line of foldable nylon bags, certainly has more to it than just these colourful totes. I was never quite a fan of the Le Pliage bags as I found them almost too casual and common. I've seen girls at university carry them and they were seen as more of an "it" school bag more than anything. What's worse is that there were fakes being sold everywhere and people were buying these and from a distance, this was almost indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Nothing wrong with it being common but its just irksome that some people may associate the Longchamp name solely with these bags. 

That aside, the Le Pliage bags are definitely suitable for travel because of its roominess and overall shape and material of the bag. But certainly that much money for a nylon tote could be better spent elsewhere? Yes and no, depending on how brand conscious you are. What I don't like about it is the nylon material because it shows creases too easily and over time, will show signs of wear and tear. Pros about the material is of course it being waterproof. Some ladies have even sworn by this bag as the bag to keep their more expensive purses in during bad and unpredictable weather outdoors. Now that makes sense but to actually consider this a handbag in all of its entirety, that to me seems like the opposite of what the Le Pliage line was intended for. 

So thankfully, there exists the Plan├Ętes (pronounced pla-nett) line that serves to solve some of the qualms I have with the Le Pliage bags. These bags are made of nylon but are of thicker and more  durable material that doesn't show creases as easily as the Pliage bags. Oh, and no more brown leather handles but instead the leather will always match the overall colour of the bag- how much cooler is that? These bags are not foldable though as they are thicker and more rigid. I find these bags more suitable as casual arm candy as opposed to the Pliage bags. 

Gunmetal, A/W2012

Black, Standard Collection
Burgundy, A/W2012
Camel, A/W2012

Now comes the leather. Longchamp has numerous other lines featuring bags made of leather and these usually stand in the higher price ranges. A particular line Le Pliage Cuir (cuir pronounced kwie-yur) has been gaining popularity and it's easy to understand why! When I first saw pictures of it in the Summer 2012 colours Cyclamen and Mandarin (hot pink-fuschia & orange), I went head over heels for this bag. For one, it being foldable and leather was already a winner in my books. I have yet to feel the leather but from what I've read online, it is a mixed-race leather and is really soft and supple. I can only imagine the adorable slouchiness to this bag- without being overdone of course.

The Pliage Cuir seems ideal as both a travel tote as well as a handbag all thanks to the  addition of a leather body and on-trend colours to match the seasons. To make it more fun, seasonal colours will of course keep changing while the basics like black, brown and perhaps red will be always available. Fall 2012 colours include the Gunmetal colour above, Burgundy, Fir, Duck Blue and Camel. I think having one in Black would be a good starting point...but I'm deciding on the Gunmetal one also. Hmm, decisions, decisions. 

The Cuir in these gorgeous colours that I unfortunately missed!

Scarves. I must admit I didn't think much about Longchamp and its scarves but they have some pretty well-made scarves for a fraction of the price of other designer scarves. When I decide on a Cuir, I'd probably have to get a scarf to accompany it because scarves just add an extra something to a plain bag. Would look beautiful on a Plan├Ętes too! 

Final thoughts. I think what Longchamp offers is something designer, at a more affordable level yet maintaining style. By no means does this spell cheap but really catering to the masses instead, giving customers something fun, fresh and something that you don't necessarily have to save up a billion years for. Nevertheless, there are the redeeming lines other than the Le Pliage that offer one sophistication and a slice of the luxury pie that most of us have a soft spot for. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Haul & Review: YSL Arty Ovale ring in Aqua

Guess what came in the mail?

Ok well the title gives it away...Yes, it is my very first YSL Arty ring and purchased for the first time on Net-A-Porter.

On Net-A-Porter (NAP), I bought mine for £174.16/ USD280 (plus £22/ USD35 shipping). This was actually a gift from my boyfriend, in the form of a gift voucher for me to use on the site. NAP ships from two locations: USA and UK, where international orders are catered for on the UK site (hence pricing in british pounds). Prior to ordering from NAP, I called the YSL boutique at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur and found out that these rings were retailing here for MYR995 (£201.8, USD325).

What about duties and taxes? Amazingly, NAP includes these in the final price of the item as part of their Delivery Duty Paid feature. Other online retailers I've checked out do not offer DDP on purchases and duties and taxes are paid by the customer when the item reaches customs. This is why I think shopping for my first Arty on NAP was such a pleasure. The ring was shipped via DHL Express and took only 3 days to reach me (from UK to Kuala Lumpur, MY). NAP also includes free returns and exchanges in every order, making it even more hassle free to shop with them.

On index finger

Loving the aqua colour. Under normal lighting it shows as more of a light jade green but when taken with flash, the blue hues of the glass stone show up clearly. The glass bauble looks exceptionally beautiful in day light. 

On middle finger (my usual finger to wear it on)

With flash

Due to the recent name change for the house of YSL to Saint Laurent Paris, a major brand overhaul is underway. Because of Mr. Slimane's drastic approach to revamping the brand, all Arty rings will be discontinued. They are still available for sale on popular online retailers like Net-A-Porter though. But by the time NAP has its year-end sale and a free shipping promo, these rings are gonna fly off the site so I'd best be prepared. I am eyeing a final Arty in Lapis or Cream to make a pair. If I was loaded though, I'd buy everything, heh. Cue meme: YSL Arty rings? Shut up and TAKE MY MONEY!