Last Monday I received a little package from Arvisha Accessories with a great replikate of the Duchess of Cambridge's navy suede 'Muse' clutch by Stuart Weitzman (US$ 430), one of her favourite bags.
Arvisha's 'Celesta' clutch is handmade of good quality suede and costs only US$ 87. It has a cotton lining in a matching colour, closes with a magnet button and comes with a detachable metal chain shoulder strap. The measurements of the bag are 10.5" x 4.5" x 2" (26 cm x 11.5 cm x 5 cm), which means it is big enough to hold everything you might need comfortably, but still small enough to carry it around easily.
Arvisha Accessories ships worldwide, and if you order you don't have to worry the bag might damage during shipping. When I received mine, it was so well wrapped it took me at least five minutes to get the bag out :-P
Arvisha is an online shop run by Diana from Bali, Indonesia, which offers handmade leather and suede bags and shoes at a very reasonable price. Apart from the 'Celesta' clutch (which she also offers in the same chocolate brown colour the Duchess also carries) she also has great replikates for Kate's Emmy 'Natasha' clutch and her purple L.K. Bennett clutch. Arvisha can also custom make bags on request, so if you would like a smaller or bigger bag, or in a different colour, don't hesitate to contact her via her Etsy shop of via email.
THE VERDICT: The only thing I miss a bit in the bag is a small 'pocket' for creditcards, IDs etc. That would be very practical, since I don't really want my entire wallet with me when I carry a clutch. But nonetheless, Arvisha's 'Celeste' clutch is very well made and the suede is of good quality. The magnet closure is very strong and the colour of the bag is a very beautiful deep warm navy. I usually wear my clutches without a shoulder strap, but if I do, I think I would have liked a matching suede shoulder strap more. However, the detachable shoulder chain is of good quality, not at all flimsy. I would definitely recommend this bag and Arvisha Accessories as a shop! My own personal favourite at the moment is their Medialuna bag, which I think is absolutely gorgeous!
Note: Tatiana's Delights received this bag as a gift by Arvisha, however my opinion is, as always, my own.
The dress Kate wore when she visited the Blue Mountains during last April's Royal Tour was one of my all time favourites on Kate as soon as I saw it. It is perfect for both formal and informal occasions, making you look appropriately dressed both for the office and for a family barbecue, depending on what accessories you combine it with.
Kate's original dress was quickly IDd as the 'Patrice' dress from Diane von Furstenberg (US$ 450), which features 3/4-length sleeves, a cross-over wrap front with self-fastening waist tie, a hidden side zipper and two pockets. The 'Patrice' is made of 100% no-stretch cotton and is unlined.
Several weeks ago a few Kate blogs posted about this replikate on Ebay, that looked almost identical to the original one, but for a fraction of the price: US$ 59. That sounded almost too good to be true (replikates made in China tend to be too short for me, to not even talk about the abysmal quality), but I gave it a shot anyway and ordered it.
The package arrived very fast! After payment it only took about 10 days to arrive in the Netherlands. It came however, in a very tiny package, so I was afraid the dress would be very thin, and also: very wrinkled. Luckily though, both were not the case.
Just a few facts about this replikate, to compare it to the original dress: it is made of 80% polyester and 20% silk and is lined with a white fabric made of 90% viscose and 10% silk. To be honest, I mostly notice the polyester and viscose, and not really any silk :-P The replikate is a faux-wrap dress, with a separate sash, a hidden zipper on the left side, and no pockets. But although there are a few design differences with the original 'Patrice' dress, I must say the Ebay dress is a really good replikate (I only noticed the differences when I researched the original dress for this post).
I am 5'9" and usually a US 8, sometimes 10, and the XL I ordered fits me great, leaving a bit of room for me in case I gain a few pounds, so I'd say the XL is a solid US 10 (UK 14), which matches the size guide in the Ebay listing.
I won't lie, so I'll tell you you won't fool anyone who knows a bit about fashion into thinking this is a real DvF dress. The craftsmanship and fabric are both alright, but definitely not DvF quality. But is it a good replikate worth your US$ 59? Absolutely!
You can buy the replikate here.
Two weeks ago I posted on the TD Facebook page about a great new pair of replikates of Kate's Beaut 'Ava-Eva' earrings, that are now for sale for only $ 50 at The Looking Glass Shop on Etsy. I had been saving for the real deal, but the replikates looked so similar that I decided to buy these instead and let you know my findings.
So, first a short comparison.
We have seen Kate wearing her Beaut 'Ava-Eva' earrings on two occasions. First on 10 November 2011 during a fundraising reception and dinner at St. James' Palace in support of the National Memorial Arboretum Appeal, when she wore that gorgeous grey/silver one shouldered Jenny Packham gown (picture at the top of the post). The second time she wore the earrings was on 8 May 2012, when she and William attended an exclusive dinner of the Thirty Club at Claridge’s hotel in Mayfair. During that event she wore that gorgeous cream 'Lombard' gown by Roland Mouret.
Apparently, Beaut has supplied jewellery for the Jenny Packham wedding designs for several years and that's why the 'Ava-Eva' earrings came into Kate's possession through Jenny Packham, who selected it as a choice to compliment the silver gown. The design is Mid-European circa 1930 and part of Beaut's Vintage Collection. I very much hope Kate will wear them again soon, because they are one of my favourites. I LOVE art deco jewellery!
So, the verdict: First of all, shipment from the US to the Netherlands was incredibly fast! I ordered them two weeks ago and received them within one week! The earrings came in a small sheer bag, together with a business card, well packed in a small padded envelope. Considering the earrings are quite glamorous I would have loved it if they came in a more matching glamorous packing, like a small velvet box or something, but I can imagine that would increase the price with 2 or 3 dollars. I wouldn't mind that, but I know I am a sucker for cute packaging :-P
Then the earrings themselves. Obviously there is a difference in quality: sterling silver vs. rhodium plated brass. Both have fake gemstones though. And of course there are some minor differences in design:
All in all, the earrings from both shops look almost identical. The price of the Beaut earrings was a bit too high for me. One I was willing to pay, but reluctantly, considering the fact that these earrings are quite striking in design, and therefore not something I would wear everyday.
If you have some money to spare, a splurge on the real deal is of course great (maybe I still will some day), but I'd say you have a very good buy with the ones from the Looking Glass Shop as well!
P.S. While I was taking pictures for this blog post, Taiyo was desperately trying to get my attention, so here he is :-P
Cat Lovers Unite!
The sweater is made of 100% cotton and available in sizes S, M and L. Because it is a unisex piece and the size chart on their website is about as limited as it gets, I wasn't quite sure about which size I needed. Luckily Petty from The Ballet Cats gave me some helpful advise and I decided to order a Medium (I'm a US 8/10). It fits well, but in hindsight the Small would have also been great.
Although I love the clutches Kate uses (Stuart Weitzman's Muse clutch, the L.K. Bennett Natalie clutch etc.), they are not very practical for everyday life. But there is one bag of Kate that is VERY practical and I have been in love with that one ever since I saw it: her grey leather D-bag from Tod's. Unfortunately, it turned out to be very hard to find a decent and affordable replikate (since I can in no way pay for the original). Luckily, after months of searching, one savvy Tatiana's Delights Facebook follower pointed me to a great one on Ebay:
The bag sells for $31.62 plus shipping (which was, in my case to Europe, another $32), and is made of real leather. The size of the bag is 39 x 16 cm 25 cm and it comes with a detachable long shoulder strap.
The verdict: not the same medium grey colour as Kate's Tod's D-bag, but a great alternative nonetheless, especially considering the low price (and that for a real leather bag!).
When Kate attended the State Dinner in Malaysia during the South Pacific Royal Tour she wowed us with that breathtakingly beautiful white and gold gown by Alexander McQueen. But she also surprised us with a new set of jewellery: gold leaf earrings and a matching bracelet by UK designer Catherine Zoraida. Both the earrings and the bracelet were 18k gold plated silver. Both the earrings (£140) and the bracelet (£420) are still for sale at her online shop.
Below you can see several close-ups of Kate wearing the Double Leaf earrings.
Both the earrings and the bracelet were very much my style, but alas, at £140 and £420 they were not within my budget.
Luckily, last month Elise from DesignsbyNoa on Etsy posted on her Facebook page that she was working on replikate pairs of the earrings, so obviously I jumped at the chance, and pre-ordered a pair. And last week I received them in a small silver coloured box with a personal note enclosed! Very good and quick service Elise! Thank you very much!
Like the originals, the earrings Elise sells are also 18k gold plated silver and the leaves are the same size as well (3 cm). And that for only a fraction of the price of the originals: $50. My pair only has a different hook, but I noticed she now sells them with a similar hook in her Etsy store. They are also available in sterling silver. Below you can see a picture and two close-ups of me wearing the earrings made by Elise.
Elise now also has the matching bracelet for sale for $220, so I am now saving for that one :-P
Replikate review conclusion: I would have loved it if my pair had the same hook as the originals as well, especially now that the newer pairs do, but the quality of the earrings are great nonetheless! For a pair of earrings in the same material and in the same size as the originals you can't really go wrong.
On 14 September 2012, during the Royal tour in the South Pacific, Kate attended a tea party at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Kuala Lumpur, to which she wore a icy blue and white lace dress by Temperley fit for a fairy princess! But apart from that gorgeous dress, she also surprised us with a new pair of earrings in a dangle teardrop design, most likely in white gold, diamond and blue topaz. Unfortunately we still don't know where she got them. But that doesn't make them any less beautiful of course.
Below are three close-ups of the earrings.
Since I am a huge sucker for small dangle earrings I began searching for a similar pair for less than $100, but although the design doesn't look very difficult, no replikates were in sight (it is the Darwin Dilemma all over again...).
Luckily, Anna from the facebook page My Small Obsessions shared a replikate pair she bought on Novica.com. They are by far the best pair of replikates of these earrings I have seen so far, so a few weeks ago I ordered a pair for myself. Here they are:
'Arctic tear' blue topaz, CZ and sterling silver earrings, Bhavesh on Novica.com, $54.99
Novica was founded in 1999 by a group of people to help artisans in rural communities all over the world make their business a success by creating a free global platform from which they can operate a sustainable creative business. At Novica the artisans have all the control. They are free to raise or lower their own prices, can withdraw their products at any time, and can put their items on sale. Also, on every product page you can find a picture and biography of the person who made the product. That way you get to know the story behind your product. All in all, I think Kate would approve you buying at Novica ;-)
The replikate earrings are called 'Arctic tear', and are made of tear shaped blue topaz stones in a setting of .925 sterling silver and clear cubic zirconias. They are approximately 1" x 0.4" (2.5 x 1 cm) and handcrafted by an artisan named Bhavesh, who lives in Jaipur, India. And although the earrings are send directly from India, the package arrived within a week! (It was send via FedEx).
Looking at the close-ups of Kate I believe the earrings from Novica are slightly bigger, and maybe a bit darker blue, but as I said, they are still the best pair of replikates I've seen so far. After wearing them for a few times I think they are of good quality and definitely worth the $54.99.
- ABOUT TATIANA -
Hi there! I am a fashion and travel enthusiast living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tatiana's Delights is your online resource for preppy and minimalist fashion, travel tips, affordable home decor and adorable cat photos. You can find out more about Tatiana's Delights here.
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