Everyone's doing it. Carrying a Mary Norton clutch, that is. From Carrie Underwood to Isla Fisher (cannot WAIT until Confessions of a Shopaholic comes out in a couple of weeks - squeal!), they're so hot right now. Chances are if you're drooling over someone's handbag at an event, it's quite possibly by Mary Norton.
What I love about Mary (besides the fact she's a fellow southerner!) is her philosophy - you CAN be beautiful, feminine and chic and be a wife, a mother, a friend and a boss at the same time!
Her bags (and shoes - she sells those too!) are gorgeous, whimsical and the perfect extra pop for a standout ensemble. Of course, they come at a pretty price too (think: investment), so if you can't afford the full price, go for the sale items (love a good sale-especially 70-percent off!). While I'm gabbing about Mary's beautiful one-of-a-kind creations, let me mention I had a chance to catch up with her this week. Here's what she had to say (even she's finding new ways to reinvent her closet during the recession!).
IHH: What are your current fashion obsessions at the moment?
MN: Shoes and bags that I can take to make my classics look new. In this economic crunch, I will not be buying new outfits this season. I will be wearing things that are classic such as my black pencil skirts, classic blouses, good jeans, basic black dresses and so on. Therefore, my answer to recession-proofing my wardrobe is to find amazing shoes and bags that will draw the attention away from my outfits and to my awesome shoes and bags!!
IHH: When is it appropriate to carry a clutch and when is it not?
MN: Clutches are always appropriate and chic. A great thing to look for in purchasing a clutch is to make sure that it has a shoulder strap for when you would like to wear it as a shoulder bag. Shoulder straps can give your clutch a lot more wearability.
IHH: Who are your favorite celebrity style mavens?
MN: Of course I’m partial to my clients such as Carrie Underwood, Queen Latifah, Cameron Diaz, Taraji Henson, Vanessa Hudgens and Charlize Theron. What I love the most is that these gals know how to mix up our shoes and bags and not just wear them with gowns, but with jeans and cocktail dresses as well.
IHH: What is a typical day like for you?
MN: Although I’ m a designer, I'm a proud mommy first and foremost. So, everyday begins with getting my two daughters, Micah (13) and Reilly (11) off to school. I then am ALWAYS late to the office. I come in and check with our team in Italy as to status on designs in sampling and production. The rest of the day is spent putting out fires between our LA and Charleston boutiques, our NY wholesale department, as well as working with our public relations firms in LA and NY. I do try to slip a bit of designing in on the fly before I rush off to get the kids to basketball games, swimming practice, drama practice, guitar lessons, cotillion, make dinner, do homework and get them to bed! I have an awesome, full, blessed life. (Oh, by the way, I have an amazing husband who does way more than his share of the above, but it is a mighty task for us both.)
IHH: So, what is it - heels or flats?
MN: Both! One can never have enough shoes!
[Photos Courtesy Mary Norton]