Saturday, August 11, 2007

Croc and Gator at Saks 90210

I haven't blogged in a while because I just got back from six days in L.A. (for work not play) and I've been trying to catch up on everything (work, picking up the house, ironing, Sex and the City reruns...)

Unfortunately most of my shopping opportunities came in the form of walking past Macy's and the Gap on the way to the food court at the mall across from my hotel. However the day I got there I did get a chance to spend a couple hours in the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. And wow. On my shopping budget I could barely afford to pay for parking.

After eating a delish omelet at SnAKs (the moderately clever name for Saks' restaurant) my friend and I browsed the designer duds. She knew a lot about many of the designers and their lines. I have read about many of them in magazines, but had not actually seem their offerings in person. I saw some beautiful expensive things and some ugly expensive things. (What's with all the equestrian-themed lines?)

My favorite part of this browse-a-thon was our time spent in Designer Handbags. We stood at one display caressing the most gorgeous clutch I've ever held in my hands. The color was beautiful, the design was exquisite. It opened and closed with the quiet precision of luxury car door. And it had a $1400 price tag to match. (Sorry I can't remember the designer's name. I should have taken notes).

As we stood petting the bag, Chuck, a Sales Consultant in Designer Handbags, approached us. Chuck was new-ish. Chuck was young, cute and well-dressed. Chuck was enthusiastic about handbags. Chuck said the clutch was made of crocodile, the second most durable skin from which a bag can be created. "What's the most durable?" I asked. "Alligator," Chuck replied. "Would you like to see one?" Then Chuck gave us an enthusiastic tour of the exotic leather bags.

So what's the difference between alligator and croc? Alligator has a sheen--it makes for a more shiny handbag. I prefer the crocodile bags. Without the shine you can see more of the reptilian qualities--although I certainly wouldn't want a leather bag that reminded me of the qualities of a cow. The ostrich bags were a little icky in that you could see where the features used to live.

Our tour of exotics at Saks ended in the Chanel room. Chuck unlocked a well-lit museum-like glass display case housing two smallish boxy bags, one red, one black. $24,000 each for these Chanel alligator handbags. I asked permission to touch them. They were beautiful. They were the price of a car.

A crocodile clutch (top) and an alligator clutch (bottom).

My friend Kate trying out the croc clutch. It looked great with her brown shirt dress and red hair. (The photo's a tad dark, unlike the perfectly lit Saks Designer Handbags department.)

A vintage Chanel alligator bag currently offered on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $1,100.

And this little Chanel alligator diamond encrusted number at left (which (is treated to have a matte finish and thus to look more like crocodile)--upwards of $260,000! For those who wipe their butts with thousand dollar bills, I suppose. This bag costs more than my house. This bag cost more than my house and my car put together. It's fairly obscene. But I'd really like to give it a little caress and see how it looks on my shoulder.

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