Thursday, September 19

Kate Spade Saturday: The Best Lil' Brand You Never Expected To Adore (Again)

I'll never forget the first girl in my grade to get a Kate Spade box purse. She swung it around her wrist at a temple bar mitzvah like a Top Prize ribbon from the fair, marking the very first in a line of girls who would soon purchase nearly identical solid-colored handbags that year. This exodus to the carpeted, higher-end accessories area of the mall's department stores was not known only to my community — it was a pattern which was spreading like a forest fire across 12-year-old Jewish female social circles throughout the country.

Seventh grade, of course, was when most not-yet-women experienced three things: endless rabbi-attended Friday evening parties, an extreme onslaught of first kisses and if lucky, the gift of a pristine microfiber bag courtesy of Kate Spade New York and a handful of highly generous relatives pooling funds.

The selection process of which purse to get was as simple as identifying which type of budding young woman you were. You'd get a box purse if you were a to-be party girl (ordering shirley temps at all the best judaic celebrations); a shoulder-strapped satchel if you erred on the side of carrying multiple Bonnie Bell lip glosses. Prefer accessories lending themselves to arms-free dancing? A mini-backpack was just the choice. And, of course, opting for any of the three in metallic purple meant an early trendsetting shopaholic bug had already instilled itself within you.

After a few years, the handbags were inevitably upgraded to shiny Kate Spade messenger and diaper bags (for textbook hoarders such as myself), seen covering the tushes of most everybody trudging through our high school's hallways. And while I've since moved on to a beloved vintage leather backpack with a cigarette smell that took years to air out, that small black and white name tag sewn front and center on various microfiber geometric shapes will always bring back a flood of dated pre-teen memories.

I'll hashtag never forget my early days with Kate Spade — mostly due to life-long chiropractor bills from said overstuffed one-strap worn through college — but I always assumed that, save for their token seasonal quirky offering, I'd be done with the saccharinely preppy line for the rest of my days. An elephant raffia bag here, maybe, a Great Gatsby book clutch there, sure, but regular shipments from their online warehouse of kitten heels and shift dresses? Never, never ever.

And then...something happened. Kate Spade Saturday was birthed into this world, covered in geometric florals and cutesy cubic shapes in lieu of the usual mucus fluid mix, and I realized nothing else but how fucking wrong I was.

In case you're new to the brand or still think of the color yellow as not being privately owned, Kate Spade Saturday is the shit. Since I've been introduced to their ways, I've spend unexaggerated hours on their site and in their store, dreaming of things to buy and finding reasons to trek to the Meatpacking District just to be surrounded by their everyday life souvenirs.

The offerings are simply bonkers good. Pants that look like an 8-bit forest straight out of Duck Hunt? Anally organized travel accessories for those of us who inevitably consider "repacking" to be the thing you do at the ticket counter when your bag creeps past the weighted cutoff? Candlesticks, teacups and pitchers that feel like they could combine together to form one animatronic hand, ready to give pats on the back for perfectly executed dinner parties?

It's the land of dreams, as well as the palace of nipped-at-the-waist dresses that enable me to both go braless (whee!) without granting the girls Amber Alert-levels of could-be-anywhere freedom. I don't know how they created such solid patterns or landed that vanity URL (! That must have cost a thousand college tuitions), but it's a small slice of closet heaven that I couldn't be happier with discovering.

Forking over nearly $200 for a diffusion line dress pains me, yes — dos hundos seems to be a price range worthy of birthday-only purchases at Barneys, don't it? — but it's all so endlessly lovely and refined that I simply can't help myself. Six tears shed come AmEx payment time or not, I'm not ashamed to admit that I have bought much, much more than what's pictured here, and you'd never guess it's from the same company I bowed down to before becoming a woman in the eyes of the synagogue. It's endlessly cheerful, and I suggest you take a dip that way as well.

But, in case you need a loving shove, here are my favorite items of the week:

1. Crisscross Corded Dress in Busy Floral: AKA the only thing I'll be wearing in LA next week
2. Half Circle Satchel in Ocean Blue: I'll be a lady if I own this, says the voice inside my head
3. Fantastic Elastic Passport Holder in Cubic: Nifty as fuck, not to mention the only way I could ever be looking forward to going through customs
4. Sexy Back Dress in Quilted Scribble Floral: Pictured above, and on my body very often from here on out. (I'll be buying a second when it goes on sale for when I inevitably stain it.)
5. Stacked Candlestick: 'Cuz when paired with this vase, it has such a Playskool-meets-adulthood vibe I'm itchin' to master.

I already own most of these, but feel free to make my hanukkah dreams come true with #2, #5 or anything else on the site.

(Though, now that the forest printed skirt hits the site, I can no longer be held accountable for any credit card debts.)

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