Handbag Heaven

Kentucky is so beautiful in October. The weather is perfect, the leaves are changing and Keeneland is open, what more could a girl want? I will not be able to make it to the bluegrass until the third weekend of October and I am feeling a little UK blue about it so I am easing my pain with some handbag shopping! Fall 2013 has some heavy hitting handbag trends and I just can't decide as I am loving all of them!


Quilted bags have always been a southern staple but they are out to remind you how much you adore them this season. The simple studs give your old stand by an elegant update! This bag is from Mango and is $49.99.  

Color Blocking

Color blocking is a great trend but the bags in this category are sometimes too flashy for words. Kate Spade has achieved color blocking bliss with this little tweed number. It is on sale for $124!

Over Sized Portfolio

Over sized portfolio clutches are so in this season. I love how the hardware on this clutch adds a little something extra and I just adore a removable strap. This bag is by Jessica Simpson and retails for $45.56. 

Top Handle

This top handle bag by MICHAEL Michael Kors may be a little pricey at $168, but it will be wearable for years to come. The color is gorgeous and top handles are so classic. It will also transition from day to night seamlessly.  If you only buy one bag this season, it should be this one. 


I have said it before and I will say it again, Cobalt is in this season! This Lord & Taylor bag retails for $127.50 and I love it for so many reasons; it is just about the perfect shade of UK blue, it is quilted and has elegant gold accents. It is also a cross body bag which will leave your hands free to cheer on the CATS!

Animal Print

Speaking of CATS, animal print accessories are the top trend this season. Everyone knows I love a little animal print in my life, but I know that it can easily look cheesy. This bag tackles animal print like one of UK's linebackers! It is from Nine West and retails for $79.   

Elizabeth Elfen Designs

Elizabeth Elfen Designs brings a little Kentucky charm to the Big Apple. Transylvania alumna Elizabeth Elfen Johnston's eponymous handbag line is as glamorous and charming as its namesake. Elizabeth currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with her well-dressed foot and ankle surgeon husband, whom she's nicknamed Dr. Hotpants!

Elizabeth was kind enough to answer a few questions about her designs, her personal style, and her Old Kentucky Home. She's also offering a custom bag for one lucky HerKentucky reader!-- HCW

Tell us a little about yourself.
At Woodford Reserve
I was born in New Orleans, LA and moved around to Virginia Beach, VA and St. Louis, MO before landing in Paducah, KY for my first year of high school. There, I fell in love with Kentucky’s elegance and southern charm and continued on to Transylvania University where I started, with the best intentions, as a premed/biology major. Whilst at Transy, my love of creating art grew and I graduated with a B. A. in Studio Art. After graduation, I moved to Florence, Italy to study 
Footwear and Accessory Design at Polimoda and reveled
 in the glamorous Italian lifestyle. Upon graduation, I moved to NYC and
 worked with my favorite fashion houses HOLLYWOULD, Lorelei NYC 
and Amanda Pearl.

To build upon my love of handbags, I went to work at an exclusive
 contemporary handbag manufacturer and immersed myself in all things
 pertaining to handbags! After a yearlong stint in the factory, I set out 
to make my own feminine contemporary clutches that add a touch of
 approachable glamour to one’s everyday life and night!

How did your company come about?
During my time at the factory, I noticed a void within the contempory handbag world. Everything just seemed so masculine, functional and lacked glamour. Because of this, I formed my company, Elizabeth Elfen, in 2011 to add a more feminine and glamorous 
touch to today’s contemporary handbags. I am inspired by old Hollywood glamour 
and a love of practicality and I strive to make clutches that go from 
brunch with the girls to après dinner drinks later that evening,
 all with the quick adjustment of your strap.

Bourbon or Beer?
With an actual pair of Dorothy's Ruby Slippers!
Maker’s Mark Manhattan straight up and extra frosty!

Coffee or Tea?
Is champagne an acceptable answer? [ed. note: Always! -- HCW]

Favorite spots in Lexington?
Cheapside Bar and Grill, Keeneland, Gratz Park Inn and Ramsey’s

Favorite things to do in NY?
Turning non-Kentuckians on to the culinary masterpiece that is the Kentucky Hot Brown. Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain has a great one.

Favorite Fashion Advice?
Fit is everything for everyone. When my husband and I started dating, he was wearing things that weren’t right for him, i.e., unfitted jeans, cargo shorts, ill-fitting hooded sweatshirts…. I could go on and on. I knew that he was a keeper, so I put in the time to outfit him in things that fit him properly. We put him in some better fitting jeans and got him some shorts that showcased his rocking calves and now he receives compliment after compliment!

Elizabeth has graciously offered one HerKentucky reader a custom handbag! Working from her classic 10" by 5" and 1.25" shape, she'll collaborate with you to design the perfect bag for you. It'll even be named for you! Just enter the Rafflecopter drawing before midnight on Christmas Eve!

a Rafflecopter giveaway