Long a favorite of The Fashion Informer for her inherently intelligent, ingeniously tailored, just-this-side-of-avant clothing, New York designer Shelly Steffee hosted a party at her loft-like Meatpacking District earlier this month to celebrate the launch of her new limited-edition handbag collection, which will be sold in her boutique and online at Refinery29 Shops.
A slew of fashion insiders, including the Refinery29 folks (natch) and editors from Vogue, braved the cold, blustery conditions to attend the champagne-fueled fete. Guests were greeted at the door with festive pomegranate cocktails – and a trio of chicly adorned, ornament-topped mannequins - while DJ Jason spun tunes and Steffee and her staff worked their charms on the invitees.
“For the last few seasons, I’ve been trying to find fabrics I can have in the collection every season that I can become proficient at,” said Steffee of the bag’s genesis. “So one fabric is a liquid twill, the other is a cotton poplin called blaze poplin, and another is liquid jersey. I like the idea of continuing to work in the same fabric and treating it differently each season to get better at it, the way Vionnet worked with silk and georgette until she discovered bias and Madame Grés discovered her Grecian theme.”
“I wanted to make a bag that looked like it evolved from a garment,” she added. “So this bag was inspired by the fall ’07 collection - and the pleated back dress and pleated coverup in particular. It was about taking that element from the garments, using the same pattern and turning it into a bag with the accent of metallic mesh. And the whole collection was quilted so we put lamb’s wool and batting in it to give it some volume and make it go year-round and have that fabric manipulation feeling instead of being a hard leather bag.”
For spring 2008, Steffee presented a typically accomplished collection, full of easy-to-wear rolled cuff trousers, slouchy tops and sexy leather-trimmed jackets, which artfully pair flowing feminine fabrics with masculine tailoring techniques. Until those duds hit stores in February, her besotted fashion fans can content themselves with this stylish, go-with-everything satchel.
For more information or to purchase a Shelly Steffee handbag ($270), visit Shelly Steffee or Refinery29.
Photos © The Fashion Informer