Many Splendored Things

Architectural bags; Byzantine baubles.


Fans of Monica Rich Kosann’s vintage-inspired line of keepsake items—jewelry, tabletop items and minaudières, most with attached picture frames—will have a one-stop shop for their various nostalgia needs this fall when Bergdorf Goodman opens an in-store boutique for the designer. Exclusives to the shop will include most notably a bespoke engraving service—in the customer’s own handwriting, no less. And true to Kosann’s retro sensibility, the store’s interior will reflect a bygone Hollywood vibe. “I love the feel of those old sitting rooms,” the designer says. “Like in The Women or Sunset Boulevard.”


She considers herself a small-scale architect, yet Katherine Fleming prefers to work with calfskin and python rather than brick and mortar. “The secrets and treasures women carry deserve a secure and stylish home,” says Fleming, a handbag designer whose first collection debuts at New York’s Opening Ceremony and Barneys New York this fall. Inspired by her parents’ Miami Beach home and their contemporary art collection, Fleming’s designs pop with color; a bright blue bag, for instance, calls to mind Warhol’s saturated prints. Although she previously spent three years designing accessories for Tory Burch, don’t expect a ready-to-wear empire from the Parsons the New School for Design graduate any time soon: “I am really focused and interested in accessories only,” she says.


The penny loafer is receiving a luxe upgrade this fall, courtesy of the folks at Cole Haan. To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the company has teamed up with designer Anna Sheffield on a limited-edition collection of tony tokens meant to be placed in the shoe’s penny slot. Not a loafer fan? Sheffield has also created a line of charm bracelets and necklaces bedecked with the chic tokens as well as a fine jewelry line, a Cole Haan first. The birthday fun continues this fall when the house provides a fleet of cabs to supply free rides during New York Fashion Week. The tagline? “Lucky you.”


The name of the new National Jewelry Institute exhibition pretty much says it all: “Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects From the Cradle of Civilization.” The show, which runs from September 26 to December 31 at the Forbes Galleries in New York, offers an intimate look at finery from the early Mesopotamian culture through the beginnings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam—with pieces ranging from sixth-century Byzantine medallions to elaborate 12th-century wire earrings from what is now Iran. Underscoring the collection, however, is a far less obvious agenda. “The whole idea was to get pieces that told stories,” says Judith Price, president of the NJI. “People don’t just want objects; they want stories.”