Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer Savings

Good news: Labor day is approaching, which means a nice three-day weekend. Better news: To celebrate, Portero is holding an End-of-Summer promotion that will give you 10% off all items* now through September 2. All you have to do is enter promo AUGTEN at checkout, and you've automatically saved money. 

The dedicated shopper in me always wants to invest in something big when I get a percentage off. Then, you're actually getting a bigger deal. Hence why I posted the picture of the gorgeous Hermes Vibrato Rouge Kelly bag (above). This is the kind of bag that will make you the envy of your friends, and the unique color and fabric will wow even casual acquaintances. Plus, this beautifully constructed piece is just perfect for the upcoming season. 

*Offer applies to all auctions and "Buy Now" purchases closed and paid for by Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 11:59 PM ET. Cannot be combined with any other offer. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Working Girl

The end of summer is sad for so many reasons: No more ducking out early on Fridays, no more random jaunts to the beach, and not quite as much reason to have a frozen cocktail. At least there's one big plus to Autumn, and that's the clothing and accessories. This is the season that fashion magazines have been waiting for all year long, and it's where your wardrobe can really shine. 

The first things I buy every fall are usually a beautiful pair of boots, a coat and a handbag dressed in fabrics or leathers perfect for a chill in the air. This means darker colors (think jewel tones instead of vivid hues) and thicker fabrics (like tweeds, plaids and heavy-duty animal skins). 

Luckily, we are spotlighting our selection of gorgeous Fall must-have handbags this week. Although it's just as hard to get up for work in the morning, it's at least fun to carry a new bag to the office. We've separated our stock into easy-to-search categories so you can find exactly what you're looking for. 

Need more help? Try Vogue's Fall 2008 Trend Reports to learn all about what is sure to be hot this season. They are pointing their readers to six main trends: Belle Curves, Country Life, The Long View, Minimalist Tendency, Superhero Worship and Winter Garden. To learn exactly what those categories entail, click right here

Once you have your game plan figured out, search Portero for your perfect handbag. Click on the categories below to go straight to our stock. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pop-up Purses

I'm starting to notice a bit of a trend when it comes to the latest, greatest 'it' bags. While exotic skins and colors are still coveted, totes are becoming more and more textured by the day. Designers are playing with appliques, fabrics, and embellishments that give purses a punch in both sight and touch. Cameron Diaz, above, constantly wears her Gerard Darel crochet bag that boasts pop-up tufts of yarn. 

Reese Witherspoon, above, doesn't seem to leave home without her Jamin Puech Sheriffa tote that features metallic leather and metal piercings fashioned into a repeating diamond pattern. I like the play of metal on metal and the one-of-a-kind look this addition creates. 

Finally, we have Ashlee Simpson carrying her Thomas Wylde Pharaoh bag that is accented with metal studs. This detail feels just rock-and-roll enough for the wife of a rock star, but not too outlandish for a pop princess. The balance is just right. 

If you'd like to add a bag with some 3-dimensionality to your fall wardrobe, check out the options below:

Valentino natural leather, pearl and beaded chain pochette. The smattering of beaded accents feels very upscale arts-and-crafts. 

Marni black fabric applique tote. The black and tortoise shell plexi discs will go with anything. 

Isabella Fiore black leather grommet flap bag. The bold gold detailing will work well in Uptown or Downtown settings. 

Images via

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fall Fashion: Jeweled Necklaces

In Style has a great story on Fall trends, and they are focusing on bold jeweled necklaces for the upcoming season. Whether these accessories are made from semi-precious colored gems, less expensive simulated stones or even real diamonds, the focus is more on the design itself than how expensive the materials are. I'm really loving the knotted necklace above by Philip Crangi. Although made of rhinestones, it still has that old Hollywood glamour look that is so in right now. 
Next, In Style focused on a stunning piece by Nina Ricci. I love the different crystal shapes cut into bold facets, and I also love the smokey grays, blues and purples chosen for the necklace. Set in galvanized metal, it kind of reminds me of stained glass, and it could look great dressed up or down. 
I also like this detailed necklace by Thea Grant. The flower motif feels very mid-century to me, and the effect of hanging some of the accents makes it feel like an updated charm necklace. 

If you're looking for a few bold jeweled necklaces for fall, here two great suggestions:

Willis 14-karat gold necklace with rose quartz, aquamarine and purple quartz. Chunky without being overdone, this piece utilizes the natural inclusions in the stones and lets the imperfections shine. 

Judith Leiber Gold-Plated 3-Row Crystal collar. Baguettes and oval-cut crystals allow this showy piece to come in at a great price. 

Images via In Style

Friday, August 22, 2008

Look of the Day: Katherine McPhee

Here we have American Idol runner-up Katherine McPhee embarking on her new career: film actress. She's at the premiere of her new movie, The House Bunny, starring Anna Farris, and I think she looks just lovely. I love how she embraces her curves with a tight-fitting dress that is glamorous but still toned down enough for a daytime premiere. 

I also adore her choice of jewelry: her three stacked rose-cut diamond bracelets from Amrapali and one large cocktail ring on the other hand is all she needs to make a statement. By steering clear of bold earrings or a showy necklace, the whole ensemble feels chic, young, and not too fussy. 

(I will admit, I do not love her shoes. But I'm willing to overlook it because the rest of the package is so pretty. A simple pair of black satin peep-toe heels would have done the trick perfectly.)

Mismatched stacking bangles are a great way to add a little oomph to your next night out. Here's a mix of black, white and diamond that will go with nearly anything:

Gem Platinum diamond bangle bracelet. Totally classic, this is the piece to pair with bolder bangles to give your ensemble extra sparkle. 

SOHO black enamel and diamond bangle bracelet. Graphic and bold, this will add some edge. 

Mauboussin 18-karat white gold and Mother-of-Pearl hinged bangle. The pearl inlay in a checkerboard pattern is sophisticated and eye-catching. 

Image via D'Orazio & Associates

Creative Storage

If you're anything like me, you have a rather large collection of jewelry and a tough time finding somewhere to put it all. My current solution is the entire top drawer of my dresser, plus two hand sculptures that sit on top and "wear" some of my rings and necklaces. If you need a new solution, I came across these beautiful jewelry stands from Polli. Laser-cut from acrylic, these pieces are not only decorative but functional. Above is the coral version and below is a black Gum tree. 

Click right here to see Polli's entire selection of jewelry stands and ordering information. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Go for the Gold!

You know it's almost Fall when the phone book-thick September fashion magazines are on the newsstands. Believe me, I hate giving up my flip flops and simple summer dresses, but it's always exciting to start thinking about a crispness in the air and beautiful coats. It's also the right time to look back at the Fall 2008 runway shows that debuted in the spring and see where designers' collections are leading us. One of the big trends: gold jewelry. 

Designers are heavy into separates for the season, and structured clothing that feels more 'Mad Men' than new millennium. Looking above at the image from Badgley Mischka's ready to wear show, you can see that long gold chains are the perfect accent for a skirt suit. Phillip Lim (for his 3.1 label) also used long gold necklaces in a look (below) that was accented with oversized color block accents. 

Gold metallics were not even just in jewelry. At Oscar de la Renta, below, a model owned the runway in a gorgeous gold embossed coat. This continuing trend of metallics in clothing means that gold jewelry will be a perfect compliment come Fall. Luckily, this week's home page theme is focusing on our huge selection of gold jewelry, from 24-karat to white gold. 

Click right here to see our selection of yellow gold jewelry.
Click right here to see our selection of white gold jewelry. 

Images via

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blinged-Out Buying

Isn't it funny how quickly a trend can turn into a fad and then retreat? Even more amazing is how quickly these trends can once again become fashionable. Enter auction house Phillips de Pury, who has decided that 'bling' is back. On October 1, they'll auction off a selection of 50 pieces of contemporary jewelry at "Hip Hop's Crown Jewels". 

Not just any diamond-encrusted baubles, these were owned and worn by hip hop and rap's most prominent stars. From Missy Elliott to P. Diddy, and Slick Rick to Tupac Shakur, these are custom-made pieces that define an era of excess and ostentation. Who wouldn't need a cassette tape pendant (above) covered in diamonds?  

The ring above was owned by Tupac Shakur, and is one of the most important pieces up for auction. The ruby, diamond and gold crown ring is engraved "Pac & Dada 1996", a private message that refers to Shakur's relationship with Kidada Jones, daughter of Quincy Jones. 
Although the auction is novel on its own, even better is that a portion of sales will go to Russell Simmons' nonprofit organizations, one of which is the Diamond Empowerment Fund

If you want to check out the bling for yourself, the public preview will be at in New York at Phillips de Pury from September 22 to September 30, 2008. 

If you're looking for your own form of flash, check out these bold jewels that feature stunning diamonds (but won't ever go out of style):

JewelMak EGL Certified 4 carat diamond and emerald engagement ring. If you're looking for a little color with your marriage proposal, look no further than this opulent stunner. 

Oscar Heyman 10.54 carat emerald-cut diamond studs. These are a staple in the hip hop world, but look good in any setting. 

Andy Gotz diamond and yellow gold chain bracelet. Featuring 17.50 carats of diamonds, this bracelet says edgy and sophisticated at the same time. 

Images via Phillips de Pury

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Precise Timing

I have been on Olympic lockdown mode this week. It's really hard to pull yourself away, especially when there are so many great events to watch (swimming and gymnastics get all the glory, but I've become a fan of badminton and synchronized diving too). Of course, the biggest story of the Games continues to be Michael Phelps   and his reign of glory (or terror, if you're the competition). Last night he won his fourth and fifth golds, and he's on track to smash nearly every record out there. 

In swimming, especially, the clock is really the most important piece of the equation. It's amazing to see if the swimmers are on world record pace as they make turns, and it's thrilling to see them touch the wall and how many milliseconds separate the winners and losers. It's entirely fitting, then, that Portero is highlighting our fabulous selection of watches this week. And we even have options in Gold, Silver (Stainless Steel) and Bronze (Rose gold). 

To make the process even easier, we're putting all of the watches into categories by price.
Click right here to go to the homepage and select by price. Whatever your budget, we've got you covered with a wide range of timepieces that suit all styles. From sport to dress, metal bracelets to leather straps, just search by price and you'll come up with a selection that you can afford. 

And, in the Olympic spirit, here are my picks for a Gold, Silver (Stainless Steel) and Bronze (Rose Gold) that will make you look and feel like winner. 

Gold: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Lady 18-karat yellow gold and diamond quartz watch. You'll have this one forever, and be able to pass it down to the next generation.

Silver: Blancpain Leman Ultra-Slim stainless steel automatic watch. I love the classic round face and the thin profile. 

Bronze: Patek Philippe Vintage Top Hat 18-karat rose gold manual watch. Made in the 1950s, this watch is stunning in its simplicity. 

Image via Associated Press, by Mark J. Terrill

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sweet Tooth

What you're looking at above is NOT a tower of handbags, but is actually a tower of sugar. I just couldn't pass up showing you this edible creation by Gregory Paul Soriano, made to look just like a bunch of Louis Vuitton handbags. With my wedding coming up next year, I have to admit that it would be fun to have something like this as a "bride's cake", although then I'd have to submit to the whims of my fiancee for a separate groom's cake. The cost of the cake is probably as much as a handbag anyway, so I'd probably invest in something more wearable and less edible. 

What it actually reminds me of is the Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork bag that came out last year and retailed for an absurd $45,000 (see above). While I personally find it hideous, it of course sold out entirely. When I think about how many separate handbags nearly 50 grand could buy...

Gregory Paul Soriano is known for his custom couture cakes like the one above. You can personalize them in any way, and I find them totally fabulous. Click right here to check out the Flickr stream for Soriano's cakes, and get ready to indulge both your sweet tooth and your imagination. 

To see Portero's selection of Louis Vuitton handbags, click right here

Images courtesy Gregory Paul Soriano and Louis Vuitton

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beach-Worthy Bags

Talk about practical: The current Portero Specials are all about chic totes that are perfect for the summer months. From durable, classic beauties like the Michael Kors woven corn husk and leather tote (above) to this great canvas striped Antigua Louis Vuitton number (below), there are a lot of bags to choose from that will never go out of style. 

Best of all, many of the bags are all sitting at bids at under $500. The Kors, above, is currently at $350 and the Vuitton is at $445. Certainly a great deal for brands with staying power. 
If you love the look of a white bag but are worried about the upkeep, consider going for Patent Leather. Although it can scratch, it can easily be wiped off in case of a spill. I personally love this Yves Saint Laurent Capri sac. The slouchy shape gives it a bohemian edge, but the patent dresses it up for day or night. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thumbs up from Vogue!

Portero made the list of Men's Vogue must-click websites (see below), and we're currently sitting pretty as the first on the list. Click right here to check out the full slideshow, and read why they think Portero is perfect for their readers. 

Images via Men's Vogue

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Best of Vintage

This week's homepage theme is definitely one that is near and dear to my heart: Vintage. I honestly love pieces with a bit of history, and it's amazing when you realize just how cyclical fashion really is. My favorite pieces of vintage fashion are actually inherited from family: I have a round gold monogrammed brooch from my Grandmother on my Mom's side, and a beautiful long black wool coat with a fur collar from my Grandmother on my Father's side. 

One celebrity who really understands the value of Vintage is Mary-Kate Olsen, seen in these three recent pictures doing press for her new movie "The Wackness". Here is a young woman with tons of money to spend on brand new clothes, yet she goes for time-worn treasures over and over again. Above, Olsen chose a vintage Halston for her appearance on Late Night with David Letterman–she wisely pairs the oversized sleeve with a short skirt. 

Now at the movie's premiere, above, she dons vintage Lanvin in a kimono-style. I often think that Mary-Kate chooses pieces that are a little overwhelming for her petite figure, but at least she knows what she likes and goes for it with gusto. 

Lastly, at the movie's after party, she pairs a vintage Pucci with the same bold bracelet as above. If I had to take a guess, I would assume that it's from the new line of jewelry she and her sister are doing with Robert Lee Morris (for their Elizabeth and James fashion line). 

I honestly think that vintage is a state of mind. It's the knowledge that you're wearing something that has a history and a story. Isn't it amazing to think who might have worn your watch, jewelry, or carried your bag; and where they went?  

Images via JustJared

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

D-Flawless Design

As the writer of a book called "A Girl's Guide to Buying Diamonds" I'm always on the lookout for fun home accessories that reflect my industry. Obviously, I couldn't help but point you to these new items from decor retailer Chiasso. Above, we have mini glass diamonds placed into a vase for a dramatic flower arrangement. The website also suggests scattering them around the table at your next dinner party.

Above, Chiasso's glass "diamond sculptures", that would be perfect as a paperweight or just as a decorative accessory. Made of faceted glass, measuring 4.75" and only $28, this would be a great hostess gift. 

If you'd rather wear your diamonds, how about a pair of simple drops that will never go out of style? Here are my shopping suggestions:

Ron Hami Diamond X Drop Earrings. The matchstick shape and contemporary lines are classic. 

Pave Diamond Teardrop Earrings. Simple and understated, but with just the right amount of sparkle. 

Charles Krypell Baguette Diamond Loop Earrings. I love the retro feel of these beauties–they signal a time when women really got dressed up to go out. 

Images via Chiasso

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Selby

Lest you think I have forgotten that Portero sells an amazing selection of home goods, I want to point you towards a site that may give you some added inspiration for your personal decor. While our Fine Housewares section does include a lot of dish and glassware, there are also objects ranging from sculptures to vases to decorative pottery. 

If you are looking for inspiration, head directly to The Selby, my favorite new place to go for images of one-of-a-kind homes. Masterminded by Todd Selby, the simple site leads to a variety of subjects, ranging from designers like Brooklyn-based Ryan Korban, above, to Los Angeles- and New York-based models and artists. Clicking on the links will lead you to beautiful glimpses inside each person's abode. 

Korban, above, shows us how to deftly combine a traditional blue and white vase with a modern horse figurine and a lamp that says Hollywood Regency. Here are some great Fine Housewares that might look great in your own space:

Steuben Ovoid Crystal Candlestick holders. I love the squat, round shape of these--they would fit in well with so many decors. 

Herend Baby Chick Porcelain figurine. This would look perfect perched on a mantle or on a high shelf in a child's room. 

Venini Onde Glass plate. A chic as a catchall for your keys in the entryway. 

Image by Todd Selby

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Eye Candy: Autore

There's nothing better than a Friday, and as a bonus, I'm offering up some gorgeous Friday Eye Candy. I absolutely love these new pieces from Autore--the modern combination of multi-colored baroque pearls and beautiful blue and green gemstones makes pearls seem totally au courant.

Here's a little information about Autore: Founded in 1991, the company uses South Sea pearls from Western Australia and the coast of Indonesia. Autore is very fashion forward and often dresses celebrities, and has worked with designers ranging from Alexander McQueen to Colette Dinnigan to Richard Tyler.

Portero has a huge selection of pearl and mother-of-pearl jewelry. Click right here to see everything from bracelets to earrings to watches. I'm definitely fond of the colored gemstone and pearl combination. Here are a few I suggest taking a closer look at:

JewelMak Green Quartz, Rose Amethyst and Pearl Diamond Bracelet. Although this bracelet shares the green and purple color palette with Autore's above, the clean lines make this a minimalist's dream.

Gurhan Blue Topaz, Green Sapphire, Labradorite, and Keshi Pearl Confetti Earrings. Sweet and feminine, the movement on these drops will have good sparkle.

Mauboussin Diamond, Lemon Quartz and Tahitian Pearl Earrings. So regal even without being overly bold in scale.

Images courtesy Autore