Streets Ahead Handbags at Maiden Lane

The finest Italian hides, completely crafted by hand—that’s the story behind Streets Ahead, a southern California company that specializes in leather accessories. “Streets ahead” is a South African saying that means “ahead of the pack,” which precisely defines the handbag styles created by this company. The line is featured at speciality boutiques across the country and around the world, and the savvy buyers at Maiden Lane in Nevada City, California are among the trendsetters.

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Each component of the pattern is hand-stamped. The leather is refined and lightweight, making it a pleasant alternative to structured bags that already have some heft to them before you even put a cell phone inside. With Streets Ahead, you can toss in all of your essentials and not feel as if you’re carrying a suitcase on your shoulder. As someone whose handbag is always filled with everything I might possibly need under any set of circumstances, this is a very good thing.

To get your Streets Ahead handbags, visit Maiden Lane at 307 Broad Street in Nevada City or call 530.265.9520.

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And they come in red!

In March, I posted about the Lisette L Pant-Alon—a great-fitting skinny that’s a fave of Oprah. With the fit of a legging but the look of a pant, they’re a great way for skinny-jeans fans to take the style up a notch for dressier days. I immediately bought them in black (surprise, surprise), and they’ve been my go-to choice ever since.

Fast forward to earlier this week, when I got a phone call from Bo Wolfson, owner of Maiden Lane in Nevada City, CA, telling me that the Lisette pant is now available in red. Be still, my heart.

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While black and grey have long been my choice for bottoms, red is the only other color I’ll wear. Go figure. Red, in all its iterations, is hardly subtle, but this shade is a deep, rich cherry that doesn’t scream to draw attention. It teams beautifully with black, so I can wear these pants and stay in my comfort zone.

Available at Maiden Lane, 307 Broad Street, Nevada City, CA. Phone orders welcome: 530.265.9520.

Stripes that Flatter — for Real

My husband recently pointed out an article in The Wall Street Journal on the popularity of patterned pencil skirts for spring. Although I think the look is great, I tend to avoid patterns—particularly when they’re wrapped around my bottom half.

“Nice,” I said. “But not for me.”

And then I found this at Maiden Lane in Nevada City, CA.

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Made by Tribal, it’s one of the most figure-flattering skirts I’ve ever worn. It’s the absolute exception to the avoid-horizontal-stripes-at-all-costs rule, because the varied directions of the stripes on the front detract from any illusion of width. (And for some bizarre reason that I have yet to figure out, even the horizontal stripes on the back defy that rule.) It’s fully lined and made of a substantial jersey-type fabric with a hint of spandex, so it follows your body’s contours without clinging to hips or thighs.

I wear a lot of black, which always presents a problem in warm weather. No matter how lightweight the fabric, black looks hot. But the bright white stripes in this skirt visually lighten it so it looks a bit more spring/summery than solid black.

To me, this skirt is an optical illusion on a lot of levels. I may not be able to explain any of it, but I love it all.

Available at Maiden Lane, 307 Broad Street, Nevada City, CA — 530.265.9520.

The Perfect Pant. No Kidding.

A dedicated fan of skinny jeans, I’ve been in the market for a pair of dressier pants that have the same basic shape and fit. The Lisette L Pant-Alon is all that and more.

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There are no zippers. No buttons. No lumpy fabric anywhere. They’re pull-on pants with a flat front, a wide waistband, and an amazingly slimming fit. I hesitate to use the term “pull-on,” because it brings to mind the horribly frumpy, elastic-waist, polyester atrocities favored by women who dress strictly for comfort.

These. Are. Not. Those. Pants.

Available in a variety of styles—straight, slim cut, boot cut, flared, ankle, and capri—they work for a diversity of body types. They can be dressed up with a tailored shirt, blazer, and pumps, or dressed down with a T-shirt or tunic and flats or sandals. The fit follows the shape of your body (think of leggings with breathing room), so there’s no bagging anywhere. According to the Lisette L website, the Pant-Alon “flattens and flatters, slims the abs, contours the hips, and shapes the behind.”

Huh. And to think I’ve been going to the gym five days a week for all that.

While I don’t recommend giving up your workouts because of what these pants can do, I do recommend them to show off your accomplishments. And if you’re not a gym rat, they may help you look more like one that you’ve ever imagined.

The Lisette L Pant-Alon is available at Maiden Lane in Nevada City, CA. Phone orders are accepted, so call 530.265.9520.

London’s Calling

My Flat in London is sponsoring a travel giveaway that offers the lucky winners a unique opportunity to experience the sophistication and whimsy of London.

Intrigued?

All you have to do is visit Maiden Lane in Nevada City, CA before December 30, 2012 to preview the My Flat in London line, then fill out an entry form to be entered in the London’s Calling giveaway. There’s no need to make a purchase…although just try to resist this spectacular collection of handbags, jewelry, and accessories.

The seven-day/six-night trip for two includes airfare, accommodations in a plush London hotel, and $500 in spending money.

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Maybe you should start packing now…just in case.

All That Glitters…

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G’head. Elevate that little black dress to the glitziest, flashiest, blingiest fashion statement of the holiday season.

Not for the faint of heart, this handbag by My Flat in London takes even the simplest frock to the zenith of style. It’s covered in sequins that change the look of the bag every time you touch it. Rub the sequins upward, they’re black. Rub them downward, they’re silver. Swirl them around, and who knows where they’ll land on the color wheel.

Gotta have one? You’ll find it here.

Maiden Lane

My Flat in London

If you can’t be a British aristocrat, the next best thing is to accessorize like one.

My Flat in London, a division of the ever-popular Brighton, is a collection of handbags, jewelry, and accessories by American designer Jan Haedrich. Blending old-world charm with a contemporary joie de vivre, each piece is infused with a sense of luxury, playfulness, and exclusivity.

States Haedrick, “My Flat in London is the perfect combination of lady-like charm and ultimate modern luxury”—and I couldn’t agree more. There’s just enough bling to make a definitive statement, yet it doesn’t take itself too seriously. From tiny sequined evening bags to bold leather carry-ons…from stunning hinged bangles to dramatic chandelier necklaces…there’s something for every occasion and every personality.

And hey—the holidays are upon us! It’s the time of year for giving and receiving, and there are treasures to be found in this collection. To secure something extraordinarily special for yourself or a loved one, call or visit:

Maiden Lane
307 Broad Street
Nevada City, CA
530.265.9520

Phone orders are welcome, and there’s a special offer in store for callers who mention the Elle Ink blog.

Please check back for more photos over the coming weeks—plus details on registering to win a seven-day, six-night trip to London. You’ll be tempted…I promise!