Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pumps & Pleats: Tote around your exotic desires...

The country is in a recession but you’d never know that when walking into Jane’s Exotic in Sheepshead Bay.

Open just a few weeks, the bright airy space features walls of hundred- and thousand-dollar Italian handbags and gemstone jewelry.

While my modest reporter’s salary – and better judgment – would prevent me from dropping my rent money on a few inches of leather, it’s still fun to look at decadent accessories I’ll probably never carry in real life.

In fact, I found “my own personal brand of heroin” in the imported handbag collection.

Amid the rows of Italian-made bags lining the store’s far right wall (prices range from $200 to $400), sat a sparkling hot pink purse.

The glitter transfixed my inner 13-year-old in love with all things bubblegum. But the 20-something that I truly am knows better than to carry around a cotton candy contraption. (But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy a $20 knockoff at Tar-jay.)

Surrounding the pretty pink lady were black and chocolate and grape satchels all designed in the same style – big and bold.

Although I’ve never had the pleasure of doing so, I can sorta understand spending $200 for an “investment” handbag. But I’m not sure that “investment” would come in the form of cowhide.

Jane’s Exotic was definitely full of screaming bags mixing trend over trend over trend but there were still a few subdued pieces for the classically chic set.

If you’re willing to spend a whopping $800 to $2,000 for a purse that could last a lifetime (for that price it better last a lifetime!), Jane’s Exotic has an assorted collection of alligator and snakeskin handbags.

A beautiful royal blue structured tote caught my eye but it was a cherry red satchel with full-on alligator tail that was truly eye-popping.

Much like the shop’s handbag collection, the jewelry case featured a stunning array of big, bold, trendy and luxurious items.

I was drawn to a simple pair of dangly matte gold earrings that could easily blend with sit-at-my-desk-all-day wear or party-all-night wear. But my inner adolescent caught sight of something Bubblicious and ruined the moment.

It was an elaborate, intricately detailed necklace featuring three cascading and rather large butterflies decked out in pearls and sapphires. At $2,000, it’s the most expensive piece of jewelry at Jane’s Exotic.

My little heart soared as I soaked in the red and pink and purple enamel, syrupy sweet details, large lustrous pearls –

Hey! Message to 13-year-old: Shut up!

Jane’s Exotic is located at 1401 Sheepshead Bay Road. Contact the store at 646-458-1827.

--Michèle De Meglio
Published in the 5.21.09 issue of 24/Seven


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