A Christmas Clutch

The perfect holiday purse sure to add pizazz to any kind of party outfit and more importantly, you won’t have to sell a kidney to buy one.

I’ll never forget the first time I wrapped my stubby little fingers around a Judith Leiber handbag; I was absolutely mesmerized. The sparkles, detailing and quality — I was stunned. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever seen anything like it. I asked the woman behind the purse counter at Bergdorf Goodman: “How much?” She barked out a price so astronomical, I almost passed out. After a deep sigh…

I carefully placed the bedazzled clutch back into her already outstretched hand and fled the swanky department store like a fashion criminal. As I pushed through the heavy revolving doors, the brutal NYC winter wasn’t the only thing that slapped me in the face. My mother’s voice did, too..

Even though she lived in New Mexico, I could hear her like she was standing right next to me on 5th Avenue: “You know, Shireen, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” My mom used to do that a lot when I was young, give me what she called “tidbits of wisdom,” which were usually met with a dramatic eye-roll or better yet, an impressive lip sync. When I became a teenager, I’d memorized all the tricks in her bag, so when she droned on, I could silently mouth her advice verbatim.

After that humiliating Bergdorf Goodman moment…

I found myself in the same situation; albeit, a few years later. This time, a dazzling clutch called to me from the window of a chi-chi hair salon on the Upper East Side. It was so awe-inspiring, I stopped dead in my tracks, swung open the salon door and asked if I could see the pretty purse up-close. I was determined to buy this one.

“Is it a Leiber?” I asked quietly.

As the receptionist unearthed it from its glass case, she blurted out: “No, but it may as well be for the price!” Sweat beaded on my upper lip as she passed the purse off to me like a sloppy football play. “Isn’t it gorgeous?,” she purred in her thick Long Island accent. “How much?” I asked, like someone who was about to get hit. “For you? Two-thousand.”

I stared at her briefly, handed it back and finally realized my mother was on to something…

That day, I decided to bury my whimsically wonderful dream of owning a fashionable, high-quality, exquisitely beaded bag. Instead, I settled for clutches that were more like: “it’ll get by in the dark if no one inspects it.” I don’t wanna be a total naysayer; I mean, over the years I’ve had some pretty good ones (a few I’ve even worn in the light of day,) but that Leiber? Man, that thing haunts me like a “Ghost of Christmas Past”…

That is, until a few weeks ago.

Let me back up a little to tell you exactly how “A Christmas Clutch” came into my life. When I get blog submissions, I divide them into five categories: YEZZZZZ, yes, maybe, no and NEVER EVER (even if I lived on the left side of Mars.) If the topic falls somewhere in-between “yes & maybe,” I usually ask the person/designer to send me a sample of the product/ fashion, not as a gift, as a way for me to make a solid judgement..

Come on, we all know how it goes these days: a decent camera, a few filters and a beauty app later and anything or anyone can look like a million bucks, but that’s not the TRUTH and telling the truth is imperative if you’re a journalist, even an entertainment one. (Full disclosure: I do like a good beauty app.)

Unfortunately, I’ve learned the “buyer beware” lesson the hard way. Don’t get me started on the products and fashions that have missed the mark. It’s an on-line epidemic fed by social media and solidified by “product exchange” by social media “influencers.”(Fake followers, etc.) Sometimes it works, but a lot of the times, it just doesn’t. QUALITY IS KEY and buyers remorse sucks for all of us.

It was a rainy morning when I first opened the medium-sized box from “The LimeLight Collection.” I was skeptical, but curious. I had seen a few photos of their purses and they looked pretty legit, but the aforementioned paragraph kept me from becoming a true believer and there was that whole Bergdorf thing, too.

Then, it happened…

“A Christmas Clutch” — lit up my life like the noon day sun. First, though, I took it out of its sleek black container that gave way to a soft, velvety pouch and carefully slid out the most glamorous, eye-popping purse (move over, Judith Leiber, there’s a new fashion sheriff in town.) It felt good, it looked great and I was INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED.

Note to self: call the brainchild behind “The LimeLight Collection” ASAP.

I’ve never met Ebony Daniels Sanon in person, but when we talked over the phone the following day, she was warm, direct and affable.

Ebony described “The LimeLight Collection” as “daring, classy and unique.” What’s more, she told me they had more than just holiday flair. She insisted: “You can wear them anytime, anywhere and with anything.”

Then came the question I was dreading, but HAD to ask: “How much?” Without hesitation, Ebony happily shared: “Around two hundred dollars.” She didn’t know it, but on the other end of the line, I was smiling wide like a Cheshire Cat.

Ebony knows what women want and it’s not just an amazing clutch, it’s about the experience of it and how a trend can hold its maturity; eventually becoming a classic. When that happens, “A Christmas Clutch” can easily find a permanent place in your closet.

Handmade, inspected to perfection and one-of-a-kind, “The LimeLight Collection” definitely made one of my most elusive fashion dreams come true and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Happy Thanksgiving!

For more fashion photos visit www.ShireenSandoval.com

Shop the collection here: www.thelimelightcollection.net

Be Social:
FB: @TheLimeLightCollection
IG: @thelimelightcollection
Twitter: @LimeLightColl

“Move like you move
Oh, dance for the night
Everyone’s turned to watch you
Hold the spotlight.” —Alex Parks

James Woodley Photography
All holiday clutches by “The LimeLight Collection”
Peach Dress @Vchicstore – Purple Velvet Dress @bcbgsouthbeach & Green Peacock Dress @laundrybyshelli
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Captain Clutch” Auerbach

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