Today, Elizabeth Bernstein, our all-knowing handbag authenticator, shows us how to tie a turban headband with a Hermès scarf. ”Great for spring – riding bikes, at the beach – and a quick bad hair day fix! ” she said. She suggests pairing it with a braid, fishtail or just with your hair down naturally. Read on for step-by-step details.
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As a Portero shopper, you might wonder how we guarantee the pre-owned and vintage handbags listed are authentic. The key – we have experts on staff. When it comes to handbags, Elizabeth Bernstein knows everything. And for a good reason, she loves and treasures them. Case in point: She’s pictured here with a vintage bright pink ostrich Hermès envelope clutch.
We’ve been featuring Elizabeth’s favorite picks, so here’s the scoop about her personal approach to handbags and collecting.
Q What is your handbag right now?
A For everyday right now, I am in love with a large Fendi peekaboo that is the perfect size for my MacBook, and has the perfect strap for carrying on my shoulder. Often when you think about having to put a computer into a bag, they can look sloppy. This seems to be my current answer to a heavy yet chic load. Same goes for my brown suede Celine phantom tote. For evening I prefer a 28cm or 32cm Kelly or something crocodile in a good color. Oh, and cross-body bags on weekend days, no matter what.
Q How did you become an authenticator?
A Over the years I have always been an extremely passionate handbag collector and a lover of vintage pieces. If you like vintage as much as I do, you better learn a thing or two about authentication because department stores do not sell these kinds of treasures. I am an investigative person by nature, and I became fascinated with the construction of bags, furs, clothing and accessories at a very young age. I have been gathering tidbits of knowledge through many years of working, traveling, studying, meeting artisans, visiting factories and finding great mentors. It is truly a labor of love to continue acquiring more knowledge about luxury craftsmanship . The “learning” process of authenticating is never over, as long as our beloved luxury brands continue to provide innovation and creations that we all adore – there is always more to be learned!
Q Why handbags?
A A handbag says so much about a person. I can often tell where they might be from, age, interests, if they have children, if they are a romantic or conservative, type of clothing they might buy, where they vacation, etc. Yes, it sounds crazy, but very true. It is a type of language in fashion that is one of my favorites to speak.
I have always been in love with luxury craftsmanship, leathers, exotic skins, details, handwork, etc. A great bag and accessories can make make outfit sublime, rather than just a little bit better. Especially over the last 20 years, women have taken so much pride in their bag collections – they really say a lot about who they are. I often meet people who have little interest in the traditional adornment of jewelry, yet have bag collections could that bring a tear to your eye.
I myself have always been a busy person on the go with a lot to carry. It has always been important to me to look very chic whilst toting my essentials all over the city and the world!
What was classic then, is classic now, and will be classic forever? A vintage gift!
We asked our expert handbag authenticator Elizabeth Bernstein for her tips and favorite picks for this year.
Yes, Elizabeth loves to give her friends vintage — here’s the scoop:
Q Why give vintage?
A You can guarantee it will be one of the most original gifts that person will receive. Vintage and antiques are very personal items that are considered rare, special, have had some type of sentimental value to someone, artistic, unusual, items no longer made with such great quality.
Q Can you give a few examples of vintage gifts you’ve given or received?
A Antique gold and emerald ornate broach, vintage Rolex, vintage gold jade and pearl necklace — to die for, vintage exotic skin bags, vintage costume jewelry, vintage hermes scarves, vintage LV bags and luggage, anything and everything vintage Chanel, vintage briefcases and luggage for every day use or for home decor, antique diamond and ruby cocktail ring, vintage chaise lounge, vintage fur stole, antique paintings and drawings, vintage couture dresses, suits, leather pants and skirts etc. let’s be serious — my life is at least 60 percent vintage. I love a good rare find and at this stage almost everyone I am close with knows it is always a safe bet to buy me vintage.
Q Who would like to be given vintage?
A Wives (I have to list my category first, of course), girlfriends, best friends, people who do not have time to decorate or shop for clothing and accessories because pieces of flare and conversation are always great for these people i.e.. bankers, doctors, lawyers (people with less time), quirky people, husbands, neighbors, boyfriends, I don’t know if there is really a limit to who you can give vintage. They are such special pieces that I think they make anyone feel like you really took them into consideration when you found that special rare treasure.
Q Any favorite vintage items to give this year?
A Vintage Rolexes are always a must have, looking to spend a bit less and get some insane fine or costume jewelry is always a good way to go, vintage Hermes, Chanel & LV bags are an amazing deal and always receive handfuls of compliments when worn, something nice for the home.
Q Any vintage on your gift list?
A Dare I tell? Hopefully the right people are reading this… I do have an affinity vintage/antique engagement and cocktail rings and well-made costume statement jewelry. They are so romantic and unusual with incredible detail. I always have my eye on a vintage Hermes crocodile Kelly bag, and I collect vintage Rolexes and share them with my husband, so it is basically a gift for both of us. Two-for-one is always the best!
Elizabeth’s Vintage Gift Picks
See more of Elizabeth’s favorite picks after the jump
We love this fresh way to wear charms courtesy of Erica Courtney. Her dainty charms such as this horseshoe hang solo on narrow bangles and can be layered with similar styles with any other bracelets or watches.
If you’ve been collecting charms your whole life, you’re in luck with the recent resurgence of the jingling styles. It’s easy to hang a new trinket on your bracelet such as this vintage carnelian urn or tree of life. Or try on this amazing Hermes shooting star — it looks great on the Kelly bracelet or on your own chain.
Best of all, you’ll have an instant conversation-starter on your wrist.
Shop more charms here.
Such elegance and grace – it seems like they teach Parisian women how to mastered the art of tying them in school.
They make it look effortless, but there are plenty of ways for those us of not born into the culture to learn. In fact, Hermès, has an entire website devoted to inspiring ways to wear their scarves. There’s a chance we have these cheat sheets on how to tie them on our bulletin board. Once you master the basics, you can tie them (almost effortlessly) on your neck or even into a bag. (Note: Not onto a bag, but INTO a bag).
Our favorite of the day — the Grand Noeud Papillon. It turns a simple tee or tank into a dramatic statement. Bonjour Paris!
A few of our favorite Hermès scarves after the jump.