December 10 2012
Lucia van der Post
The right accessories – whether handbags, scarves or jewellery – make for brilliant presents for the women in our lives as there’s no need to worry about size or fit. A new website, Monnier Frères, delivers up a beautifully streamlined selection, and if the purchase is not exactly right it can be returned at no extra charge within 30 days. Founded by Monnier brothers Guillaume (ex-Dior) and Jean (who ran retail group Auchan’s e-commerce business), the site’s careful editing means that it doesn’t take hours to plumb its charms. It has a regular “What’s New” page that is worth keeping an eye on, as some of the special pieces come in very small runs and so sell out quickly. It has, for instance, got hold of a delightful black-and-white handbag designed by Katie Holmes and Hollywood stylist Jeanne Yang in collaboration with Valextra (£1,035). There are designs from classic, glamorous names such as Marc Jacobs (Large Single Flap Bag, £479) and Vivienne Westwood, but also lots of Isabel Marant and Vanessa Bruno. There are belts by Viktor & Rolf and hats by Inverni, as well as colourful jewellery by Shourouk and Ela Stone, nice squishy bags by cult designer Jérôme Dreyfuss and smaller ones by Mysuelly. Most things arrive within 24 hours of being ordered.
If you’re looking for something for the man in your life, it’s worth checking out the online designer marketplace Farfetch. Tucked away on its website is a wonderful section called Vintage & Archive, where there is, as I write, a fantastic grey tweed Comme des Garçons jacket for £508, which is surprisingly wearable. There are also vintage Christian Dior sunglasses (£127) and ties (£67), and lots more besides. You can search by brand for conventional labels, including Aquascutum (a very smart raincoat for £127), but also by product. I like the fact that you can also trawl by aesthetic – choose from contemporary, lab (experimental) or luxe.