Reese’s Pieces

Designers find an “It” bag muse in an Oscar winner
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Reese’s got a brand-new bag. Well, she may not own it, but Reese Witherspoon has inspired designer MARY NORTON to name a leather clutch with a jeweled clasp after her (right; $995-$1,095 at Mary Norton, L.A., 866-666-7661). “It has a clean, classic look,” says Norton of the fall 2007 bag. “It made me think of Reese, who is a down-to-earth mom and an elegant woman.” This “Reese” will have to fight with others for the attention of shoppers enamored with the actress. ANNA STREET STUDIO makes a pink-and-black-polka-dot “Reese” tote that would suit Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde sorority character Elle Woods ($85 at annastreet.com), and the tweed “Reese” laptop carrier—think Elle after Harvard Law—from TALENE REILLY is one of the company’s best-sellers ($268 at Leona Edmiston, Santa Monica, 310-587-1100). The “Reese” from MIA BOSSI is a diaper bag in waxed canvas, which aims to appeal to women who wouldn’t mind juggling two kids with a supersonic career ($370-$430 at miabossi.com). How did the Oscar winner become this decade’s Audrey Hepburn, a style icon thought of as both sporty and sophisticated? Perhaps it’s that she’s not a fashionista; her look has integrity because it doesn’t change every season. She may be the first purse muse to come to mind for a handbag designer these days, but she’s not the first. Ever since Hermès named a purse the “Kelly” (after Grace) in the ’50s, accessories companies have sexed up merchandise by bestowing it with star monikers. ANYA HINDMARCH does a “Thandie” ($795 at Anya Hindmarch, L.A., 310-271-9707), while MARC JACOBS updates his 2005 “Stam,” named after model Jessica Stam, with new colors each season ($1,200-$1,500 at Marc Jacobs, L.A., 323-866-8255). Not all handbags with women’s names bear A-list provenance: The British designer PAUL SMITH named his “Tara,” “Libby,” and “Cecelia” bags after employees ($475-$835 at Paul Smith, L.A., 323-951-4800). “I don’t follow celebrities,” says Smith, “but naming a bag after a person gives you a nicer way to refer to it in a shop than saying, ‘Have you got a 247?’ ”

 

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Charm School for Scandal

Trinket-laden necklaces are lassoing fashion lately (and the necks of Sienna Miller and Beyoncé), but summer’s must-have accessory, from the jewelry line i.o.d., is more creepy than charming. Rather than putting sentimental hearts and animals together, designer Steven Trussell mixes a miniature guillotine with crowns for his “Marie Antoinette” style, and a broken camera, a martini glass, and handcuffs for “Paris” (left)—a reference not to the heiress but to the city of Princess Diana’s final paparazzi chase. Customers can create their own goldplated and sterling silver narratives by choosing from 93 charms, such as a grenade, a syringe, and a hammer, as one grayhaired woman did. (Trussell thought it was a gift for her son, but the woman fastened the chain around her neck and said, “You don’t want to know.”) » “Badtime Stories” charm necklaces, $88-$176 per charm (includes chain) at Naked, 181 N. Martel Ave., L.A., 323-964-0222.

Illustration by Marc Alary. Photograph by Maryellen Baker