Pieces that probably should be in the fall wardrobe
BY VANESSA DENHA GARMO
It’s not about how many accessories you have in your closet as much as it is about what kind you have in your repertoire.
When it comes to fashion in the fall and all year around, those accent pieces can enhance a look or completely change it all together.
“Don’t over accessorize,” said Monica George, co-owner of Zieben-Mare in Franklin. “Take the last thing you put on off, chimed in her business partner Mary Ann Liut. The general rule is that the last thing you put on, may be too much.”
Monica and Mary Ann help clients choose the right pieces for particular outfits. “Layering jewelry can be really pretty but you have to know how to layer pieces,” said George. “You can do that well with the little black dress,” said Liut.
That proverbial cocktail dress is not the only item every woman should own. “Scarves can really bring an outfit together,” said George. “Don’t discount a good pair of jeans and high heels” said Liut.
They stock a variety of items including stylish jeans, comfy cashmere sweaters, leather jackets that nicely accent a dress or shirt, boots for the fall, slip dresses and hair pieces. You don’t have to color coordinate purses with shoes. ““It is absolutely not necessary,” said Liut. “You can wear blue with black or brown.”
Zieben-Mare opened about 15 years ago and the two owners are world travelers as they personally hand-pick items they display inside their store nestled in the quaint Oakland County Village.
An accessory can change a dress from appropriate business attire to a cocktail party ensemble by just adding a piece of jewelry. “A sweater jacket is something a woman should have in her closet,” said George. “Parajumpers, Herno Coats are also important and so are Baker Boots, and Heather B. Moore pieces.”
“Start with a simple white top and a pair of jeans and go from there,” said Liut. “And, add a Jompesh purse from France.”
A new handbag line made in Italy and designed in Detroit are the walker+olson bags. “Every woman has the right to have access to high-end designer bags at a reasonable price,” said Kevin Walker, founder. “The majority of the high-end luxury handbags costs anywhere from $1,800 – $5,000 plus and are often only affordable by the wealthy,” he said. “This is a large divide and many women want high-end bags but can’t afford the high-end prices”.”
While working for one of the licensees at Calvin Klein, Kevin learned a lot about the design process and the many steps and layers that went into this iconic brand. “The final key ingredient was to find the right manufacturer and not go to China or other countries that don’t pay attention to quality,” he said. “The only thing that made sense was to go to Italy and find the right manufacturer that understands what goes into making a Prada, Gucci, Valentino or Chloe bag, and the list goes on. It was critical we find a manufacturer that saw and understood our vision of the new business model and what we are trying to accomplish; to make high quality Italian leather handbags available to every woman at a fair price.”
His bags are available online.
“Our handbags let women make a statement with any outfit for any occasion,” said Walker. “A beautiful well-crafted handbag is an extension of a woman’s personality.”
Still in her 20s, Bridget Sagmani relied on her own fashion-statement when she opened Lola B Couture. Tucked inside a strip of buildings in Birmingham, Sagmani has made accessorizing her personal art-form. “Must have accessories include a fabulous handbag, belt, shoes and sunglasses,” said Sagmani. “These key pieces can turn a boring white t-shirt and jeans into a chic, glamorous effortless look.”
Like Zieben-Mare, clients at Lola B are advised not to over accessorize. “It really is the biggest mistake women tend to make,” said Sagmani. “If you think it’s too much, it probably is. Always remember less is more!”
Sagmani is also on the look-out for latest trends and the hot items for every season. This fall a must have is “some sort of studded handbag, a fabulous over the knee boot which can be paired with anything and everything,” she said. “A statement piece of jewelry to give you that pop of life and glamour. A velvet shoe to keep on the velvet trend and something furry like a fabulous bootie or heel. And my absolute number one MUST have is a leather biker jacket. This isn’t so much an accessory but definitely a must in every fashion forward women’s closet. This jacket can be worn with jeans and a t-shirt, a cute little dress, or even a cocktail dress.”
Her clothing retail journey started in 2004. She owned several stores including a children’s boutique, a resale shop, and of course a women’s clothing and accessories store. “Women’s fashion is definitely my passion,” noted Sagmani. “Our clientele at Lola B are busy women of all ages seeking something unexpected and fabulous.”
Owners of both shops emphasize that the most important accessory can’t be bought. “Many people often forget is their attitude and confidence,” said Sagmani. “If you’re wearing something that’s two sizes too small and are unhappy in it, it will show. You have to feel good to look good.”
“Most importantly, have fun with anything you do and be confident,” said George. “Don’t wear everything everyone else is wearing,” said Liut.