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Strapped in the Sixties
Sometimes an accessory can change your life. The day Astrid Hanenkamp met Frannie Marchese, she happened to be carrying a shoulder bag she had made herself. "I immediately noticed it," says Marchese, the owner of Lower East Side newcomer Loisaida, "and asked her to make them for my store." Inspired by swirly designs of the sixties, Hanenkamp makes the bags from scrap pieces of suede and leather, so while they are all similar, no two are exactly alike (shoulder bags, $98; totes, $120).
153 Rivington Street/212-529-6238
The fashion house that previously brought us beach balls, beach towels, even goggles and flippers has just introduced Gucci Surf, a "collection" of two surfboards, in red (seven feet six inches long) or blue (six feet three inches long), designed by Gucci and made in Italy. Both have GUCCI SURF emblazoned in the center and come with Gucci surf bags. While the boards are undeniably gorgeous, we predict they'll make more waves on the Riviera than in the Rockaways ($1,950 and $2,200).
685 Fifth Avenue, at 54th Street/212-826-2600
Hands to Mouth
Fornasetti fans will hyperventilate at the sight of these plates. They should relax. "Fornasetti never did hand plates," says Robert Homma, who designed these porcelain pieces with partner Rise Dimson. Their collection of 25 plates, all featuring hands (in various poses and with a variety of objects), was inspired by nineteenth-century advertising art. Each plate also features the letters DH hidden somewhere in the artwork ($60).
20 East 67th Street/212-439-7950
The Writer Stuff
Some people wear their heroes on T-shirts. Jewelry designer Jeanine Payer creates jewelry around the writings of hers. The San Francisco-based designer engraves lines from poets and writers on pieces of gold and sterling silver that become earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces. The delicate bracelets shown here feature the words of Dante, Brontë, and Wilde, hand-engraved (in tiny script) on silver and strung on velvet ($162).
235 Elizabeth Street/212-965-0686
276 Columbus Avenue/212-496-5050
This week, the exhibit "Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers" opens at the Brooklyn Museum. The accompanying book features more than 200 images from 94 African-American contemporary photographers, spanning 50 years. Included are pictures of musicians, poets, sports figures, and others, both famous (Billie Holiday, Sugar Ray Leonard, Martin Luther King Jr., John Coltrane) and unknown ($39.95).
31 West 57th Street/212-759-2424
454 West Broadway/212-674-1616
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