Sunday, August 25, 2013

Best Hermes Sale Ever

I'm not a big spender at Hermes anymore, so it wasn't until I got a text on Wednesday night from my friend T in NYC that I found out about the supposedly "really good" sale at the Beverly Hills boutique.  It turned out that that was the day of the private sale for their VIP customers.  The public sale began on Thursday.  I headed there right after work (tempted to leave early, but I would've hated abandoning my patients).  Almost immediately after I got in line (the first time I'd ever seen a line at Hermes!), I spotted my friend M, about 10 people ahead of me.  We chatted and caught up, so it seemed that the half-hour we waited in line just flew by.
There must've been at least a couple hundred people in the store, the most crowded section being handbags, of course.  I'd never seen Trims or Evelynes on the sale rack before, but there they were.  I even saw a couple of Medor clutches!  Wow!  I grabbed one immediately, but then saw that it was totally scratched up.  Then I saw the others, and they were just as scratched up, some with dents.  A Medor clutch for $2600 is a deal, but $2600 is still $2600, and to pay $2600 for something that's in bad shape is not a deal at all.  Sighing, I put all the Medors back on the shelf.  Was I destined to walk out the door empty-handed?


I walked up the stairs to the 2nd floor, where the sale RTW and shoes were.  I found some espadrilles in beige and red.  I nearly picked up a pair, but then spotted these Celeste wedges:
OMG!  I wanted these when they were selling at full retail price in the boutiques 2 years ago!  At the time, I was saving for a very big goal, but time and time again, I was tempted to abandon my goal to purchase these shoes.  I'm so glad I didn't cuz I found them at this sale for 50% off!  And if you want to talk further about things "meant to be", this was the only pair on the shelf, period...and it happened to be my size!  I knew they were my size, but I tried them on anyway, and of course, they fit perfectly.
M ended up leaving earlier than I did because she had to pick up her son.  I looked around some more after she left, but didn't find anything else after the shoes...or so it seemed.  I was on my way to the checkout line (yes, literally...just like you find in Costco-another 1st for me to see at Hermes) when I spotted this on the shelf.  Someone must've put it back because I spent quite a long time at the bag shelf and didn't see this there until that moment, and it was the only one, a zip-top Garden Party:
I didn't know these bags even existed!  You see, I've always liked the Garden Party, but I hated the magnet closure.  I must have bags that close, so this is the perfect solution...and it was 50% off!  I contemplated putting it back on the shelf, due to my recent Balenciaga spree and my plan to possibly purchase a Celine phantom tote for my birthday in October, but I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy this bag.  I gave it the once-over (twice) and saw that it was in excellent condition (it didn't even have the "S" stamp anywhere), so I decided that it was definitely coming home with me. 
As I promised T, I returned yesterday, the last day of the sale, to search for items on his wishlist.  Unfortunately, one of them was a Medor clutch, and there were absolutely none, in any condition.  However, I found him these:
I'm hoping he likes them.  If not, the zip pouch would make a nice clutch for me lol
And I passed on this on Thursday, but decided I'd regret not buying it, so I did.  "This" is the pocket square commemorating the Year of the Dragon.  It's not my favorite colorway, but I did not already own a pocket square in it, and the zodiac sign pocket squares are special, IMO (plus it was $87.50!, even cheaper than the price of the 1st pocket square I bought in 2007):
I don't know how to rotate the picture on blogger, so I apologize.  At times like this, I'm so glad I live in LA!
Best Hermes sale ever!  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Balenciaga Spree

So for 5 years I've been training in for a specialty certification.  What was required for this certification was hundreds of hours of clinical practice, an essay, an affidavit from someone already certified, a weekend-long workshop, and thousands of dollars.  I sent in my application to the state board and waited 15 weeks, not knowing whether all my hard work and hard-earned dollars would go to waste.  Not only did I have to endure the training and application process, but my crazy-bitch former boss lied to the state board and other managers in our company to prevent me from getting the certification.

You see, back in April, immediately before I sent in the application, I went to the Balenciaga boutique in South Coast Plaza with my friend D.  I saw a few bags I wanted and nearly bought a red Day.  D bought a City and was urging me to get the Day to lessen the blow on her.  I wanted to walk away with the bag, especially since the sales associate, Andres, was so nice.  I resisted temptation and told myself that I'd come back for the Day if I got my certification.  Besides, I really wanted a purple bag.

On August 2, my application was approved and I triumphed!  I immediately thought of my Balenciaga bag, but I didn't have any time to drive to SCP.  So I headed for the West Hollywood boutique and found a dark violet Town.  Soooo gorgeous!  The most perfect shade of purple, but I couldn't buy it without D there.  However, their Spring ready-to-wear was scheduled to clear out, and I wanted a piece of Nicolas Ghesquiere, so after trying on several dresses, I decided on this understatedly sexy one (I "jacked it up" with my Hermes collier de chien):
The next day, I went back with D, who approved my choice, so I was all set to go.  But...while I waited for the sales associate (a very cute and sweet girl named Gigi) to take my bag to the store repair person for a touch of nourishing cream (it was a 2012 bag, so it dried a little--a common thing in LA desert weather, I learned), I spotted this sweater: a basic, but a goody:
So now...the grand finale...the bag, a 2012 dark violet Town:
Here's the bag in natural sunlight (in front of my persimmon tree--which will be ready for picking in a couple of months!):
These bags sure are addictive...but I've gotta be good for at least a little while...but then again, my birthday's coming up soon ;)

Monday, August 5, 2013

The DQ Luxury Boutique Service Awards

We're in the dog days of summer here in the City of Angels.  It was 97 degrees in my hometown today!  It's August, so it's to be expected.  During most years, these days begin in late May and go well into October.  The hottest days reach 110...or more!  Since Memorial Day weekend, we've not had as many of those upper-limit temps this year, so I'm grateful for that.  But boy when they do wonder no major events happen during the summer (except for the World Cup and Summer Olympics...and only one of them happens every other year...and neither is happening this year)...

So I'm creating my own tiny little event.  Of course, it'll do with what I love fashion.  By no means am I any kind of expert, but what I do have is a lot of research and personal experience.  Since it's been about 10 years since I've been consuming luxury goods, it's about time I shortened my shopping experiences into these 2 lists (and yes, I'm a little biased toward Los Angeles and certain designers--remember, this is about my experiences ;) )

  1. Christian Louboutin, West Hollywood
  2. Balenciaga, West Hollywood
  3. Christian Louboutin, Horatio Street
  4. Christian Louboutin, Madrid
  5. Balenciaga, South Coast Plaza
  6. Christian Louboutin, South Coast Plaza
  7. Natalie Schuterman, Stockholm
  8. Shoe Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York
  9. Chanel, Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue
  10. Hermes, Wall Street

  1. Christian Louboutin, Dallas*
  2. Christian Louboutin, Madison Avenue**
  3. Hermes, Las Vegas Bellagio
  4. Madison, Beverly Hills
*The experiences were so bad here I had to explain my reason for ranking this #1 on the worst list.    I've never actually visited the store.  I was nearly stuck with buying a pair from them a couple of years ago.  I had pre-ordered a pair but called a week later to cancel my order.  I had the good sense to randomly check my credit card balance online to find I'd been charged by Dallas for the canceled order.  I nearly argued with the sales associate to get her to void the transaction.  Fast forward 2 years later, to June 2013.  My shoes were ordered through a salesperson at another Christian Louboutin store, unbeknownst to me.  They charged me full price for a pair that had a very visible stain on them!  Long story short, they insisted on doing nothing wrong, and my credit card company didn't bother fighting them on it, so I'm stuck with a $1200 credit at Christian Louboutin.  I guess it's not all bad; my next pair will be free or nearly paid-for, and the credit for the sale will go to a worthy sales associate at Robertson, South Coast, or Horatio.  I will never shop at Dallas again, and I recommend no one ever to do so.   By the way, I'm not the only customer who's had this experience with them.  I know of one tpfer who specifically instructed her Dallas sales associate to NOT send her the display pair (she wears a size 35, which is frequently used as the display shoe), but the sales associate sent her the display pair.  This was a strass pair--over $4000!

**I missed out on a lunch with a really good-looking guy while being stuck in this store one summer.  I was supposed to make a quick purchase, then head downtown to meet him, but the service was too slow (I was scheduled to fly home the next day, so I had no other time).  The sales associates were ignoring all but 2 customers and fought with each other in front of me. 

Feel free to comment on your personal lists!  I'd love to read them.