Accent in White

by Leandra Medine
October 25, 2012
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In case I’ve not yet exhausted it.

Patiently waiting with 0% phone battery for a friend to meet me outside the most agreeably unassuming Thai restaurant in Nolita last night, I had fifteen unedited minutes to study the bevy of people walking up and down the restaurant’s street. I noticed more high heels than I thought I would on a Wednesday night, a lot of misplaced faux-fur, peg leg jeans (later referred to as “fat knee pants” by the tardy friend in question,) exposed striped socks and a decent haul of stark white handbags.

Floating among dark overcoats and even darker pants, they were the single bright redeeming quality in what looked like a large black abyss of camouflage-into-the-night. It was elegant. Very young had I learned though, that white purse toting is not a feasible option for those who possess the uncanny ability to conjure stains in the most unlikely of scenarios. See: the time I found ketchup on my white pants, reasoned I’d not been anywhere near ketchup in the last 24 hours, thought I had my period, learned it was in fact a french fry mishap for which I have still no viable explanation.

Tamu McPherson and Hanneli Mustaparta, Alexander Wang clutch.

When my friend arrived, I reported the discovery of my most recent fixation–noting the plague of perennial filth I’d come to envelop. In a bright red corduroy blouse from American Apparel and light wash skinny jeans, she prompted I look down. White Jil Sander pumps infiltrated by little charming scuffs.

She called them power accents, I really liked that and though I’d have a hard time committing to a white shoe again, (the suede studded Isabel Marant boots I’d jovially acquired just a month earlier were now a distinct hue of tire stain grey and there was little charm about it,) maybe I could throw preconceived rules about my binding power to dirty out the window and consider a purse. Worse came to it, DIY paint splatter a la Margiela seemed a decent deviation from once-white.

And if that wouldn’t work? To quote a Bronx Beat laden Betty: So what? Who cares?

So I made a collage of prospective white spoils. They credit as follows from left: Proenza Schouler PS11, Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini, H&M envelope clutch, Claire Vivier zipper pouch, Jil Sander diamond wristlet (real leather, not paper, and just $200 more than its biodegradable counterpart,) Lanvin Clutch and for the sake of celebrating yesterday’s Shopping Cart Syndrome, there’s one white vintage Chanel tassel purse that is begging for the nurturing of your digital cart, even if just for 30 minutes.

Photos via Tommy Ton. See also: On Giving White Shoes a Chance, White-Out Sunniestory.

Or don’t, it’s your life.

REPLIES
  • Elisa

    I have a 1962 white chanel handbag, and it’s just the best thing ever. It just looks unexpected, which is a great thing. But white shoes…I don’t know. It seems like it’s just begging for trouble.

    Elisa – Wandering Minds
    http://www.ourwanderingminds.com

  • lavieenliz

    love the white!

    check out my giveaway!

    http://lavieenliz.com

  • zesiku

    OH I SO AGREE…WHITE JEANS ARE USUALLY A DISASTER AND NEED WASHING AFTER AN HOUR, BUT AT LEAST THOSE CAN BE WASHED.. I HAVE YET TO BUY MY FIRST WHITE HEELS AND A BAG…WE WILL SEE HOW THAT FEELS

    PERSONAL STYLE | STYLING TIPS | SHOPPING | FASHION NEWS | DIY | RUSSIAN AND HUNGARIAN FASHION SCENE :

    http://www.diamondsandspikes.com/
    http://facebook.com/diamondsandspikes

  • Reptilia

    Love the bag from the first photo!!

    http://www.justreptilia.com

    xx

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni
  • Felicity

    Ooh, Chanel bag, you beauty. I like the Jil Sander wristlet. I wear white only on t-shirts, and that’s disastrous enough as it is as I seem to attract spillages even when there’s nothing in the vicinity to spill. I desperately wanted (and still do) the unbelievably fit Louise Goldin for Topshop cream suede, gold studded shoes, but didn’t ever buy them because I knew that the inevitable ruin of them would upset me more than the not owning them! Oh, to be neat and tidy. x

    that-bird.blogspot.co.uk

  • AmelliaLara

    I am waiting for a waterproof, stain proof white bag to come out before I invest in another. A semester studying in Paris wreaked havoc on my LV damier azur speedy. Lesson learned, don’t trust a corked bottle of red wine in your handbag.

    http://quoideneuf-amellia.blogspot.com/

  • Maria Onorio

    LOVE THE LANVIN CLUTCH !!

  • mariposa fashion blog

    I love the choice of the bags!
    xoxo from germany
    http://mariposa-world.blogspot.com

  • monkeyshines

    fabulous picks!

    Bises,
    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

  • Allison

    Love the Bronx Beat reference! So what, who cares?

  • sara

    love the white and the bags, i would be soo scared to get it dirty though
    xo
    http://www.styleluna.blogspot.com

  • Rebeca

    Are white roller disco-esque boots acceptable as an accent?

    • Leandra Medine

      Yes.

  • http://twitter.com/indecisemarise Maryse

    j’adore le blanc !! les sacs sont superbes

  • http://sophisticatstyle.blogspot.co.uk/ Sophie Danks

    It’s brave to wear white but nothing compares to bright, clean whites! Love this post.

    http://sophisticatstyle.blogspot.co.uk/

    xx

  • AshleyOlivia

    I love the idea. But I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. Try as I might, I don’t have the ability to view flaws as “power stains;” I just see them as dirt. The Duchess of Cambridge frequently wears white and I know that winter whites were big on the runway this year, but I think I’ll have to pass on this trend and settle with nudes. Nudes are close to white, and they feel trendy to me, but they don’t stain near as easily.

  • B.

    I noticed the ” winter white” thing already aswell. The problem is that white bags look cheap very easily, so it’s quite hard to get a stylish one that is still affordable

    http://www.tripsandtreasures.net
    new outfit post

  • MONEASYWARDROBE.COM

    dayumm… i still gotta fall in love with this trend, i find it tacky most of the time

    http://www.moneasywardrobe.com

  • Diana Pereira

    Same as white shoes (like the Celine one I gave the chance); bags are very hard to maintain clean. My white chanel boy bag is beige by now. Any tips in keeping it clean?

  • Eva

    Oh wow, that Chanel purse <3!! Love white during winter!

    http://www.creativityandchocolate.blogspot.com

  • http://www.suspironews.blogspot.com/ Betsy

    HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini, please be mine.

    http://www.suspironews.blogspot.com

  • Cait-y-did-not

    I could die happy, if that Lanvin clutch were in my grasp.

  • Jennifer

    I love winter whites!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • Romina C

    I find white a very difficult color to wear for bags and shoes. It needs to be polished and clean frequently. But if bag/shoes are worn perfectly and in a good shape, white can be the very detail. Mmh… x Romi
    http://www.blaastyle.com

  • AnnaSafronova

    White Proenza Shouler is a dream bag

  • http://twitter.com/elenavasilieva Elena Vasilieva

    love all these white goodies. PS mini is just best

    http://www.vasilievablog.com

  • s

    i always find myself excessively washing white items! gahh the agony

    xx

    http://spoonfulofdiamonds.blogspot.com

  • http://cirquedelatelier.blogspot.com/ Cirque de l’Atelier

    Love the white pumps with the track stirrup pants, very effortless chic! White can be tricky in cities cause of dirt, but knowing when to wear it on weather appropriate days is a sign of style
    http://cirquedelatelier.blogspot.com

  • Mouthful of Style

    LOVE the white bag. Many people assume can only use on vacation to a tropical place but I pull mine out especially during winter months. Winter white people, duh! :)

    Check out my blog merging style insights with luxury business learnings.

    http://mouthfulofstyle.blogspot.co.uk

  • Dip It Black

    Love it!
    Especially combined with yellow!
    Great pictures!
    X
    http://dipitblack.com

  • ohkate

    I like a nice white accent, but I’m such a clutz, so I avoid it because I know I will spill something on it, someway, somehow. But a like the items you selected…so maybe it’s worth a shot.

    http://grey-buzz.blogspot.com
    @ohhmytash

  • Kate

    I’ve been wanting a white bag for ages now, I just can’t decide between the proenza scholar ps ones, a chloe marcie, a phillip lim or classic chanel:)
    xx Kate

    http://style-department.blogspot.com

  • http://twitter.com/TalentednHumble Talented and Humble

    love white accents all year round… even pants post labor day, shmabor day…

    see cool white gems and an awesome white and gold watch at http://www.talentedandhumble.com

  • Sketch42

    I have a white lanvin from last year. Its pretty classic envelope/briefcase look. And yes, I just discovered some kind of gunk on it. I also love white jeans, bough that white Alex Wang coated tweed white jacket… so yea, Im all over it.

    Oh and Re: Margiela, well, you know.

  • http://lavie-amonavis.blogspot.com Melissa Bennett

    the white ps1 bag is gorgeous, I’m just so afraid of white though, it only looks good when it’s pristine.

    Enter my H&M necklace giveaway

  • Blitzpop

    white is more beautiful with character. that comes only from marks, shadows, texture. i just bought my first pair of Converse (actually, they’re Tretorn) and can’t wait for them to look like this guys': http://m.pinterest.com/pin/180144053814915729/. also, i’ve been hungering for this white leather Marc Jacobs baggie: http://m.pinterest.com/pin/180144053816235419/.

  • Blitzpop

    for spills, use Shout wipes, they saved me last week!

  • Hannah

    I can completely relate to your affinity for unexplained spills and stains…but oh, that Jil Sander Wristlet…If I wasn’t in highschool, and had somewhere to actually use that it would be mine.

    -Hannah

    servinupstyle.blogspot.com

  • Kesly

    I’ve always loved white things, so I guess this is an awesome “trend” to try! I need that PS 1 mini bag!! So adorable!!!
    http://fashionxfreedom.blogspot.com

  • Thorunn

    I loooooove white!

    http://www.double-pizzazz.com

  • sophie

    i would love a little white leather clutch. but i am cursed with being tall and gangly, spills and stains are unavoidable. i’ll stick to black on black. sleek and stain-hiding. http://archiveseven.blogspot.com

  • rhodawong

    in love with all the bags you’ve shown!

    http://www.styleandshades.blogspot.com

  • The Urban Promeneur

    Apart from the Proenza I must honestly admit that I really like the purity of the H&M envelope. Besides I prefer the ‘rapidly bought’ more rather than spending time to save money and finally … you know. Trends change. But it’s white. So what?

    http://www.theurbanpromeneur.blogspot.mx

  • Vivian

    i adore the pureness of a white clothes and accessories but unlike you, i’m definitely too ocd to deal with any smudges and dirt on them. i’m always so jealous those who dare to wear white and manage to keep it clean..

    myblissisthisway.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/EmmaLouiseeexo Emma Louise Westbrook

    Love the white pumps with the track pants!
    http://www.feathersandfringing.blogspot.com

  • MARÍA

    If there is sth I think I would never wear, that’s a pair of white shoes or a white bag… :SS

    pardolas.blogsport.com

  • mckenzie.collins
  • Lubna

    I think white is such a beautiful color – it instantly adds sophistication to any outfit and is so underrated! Love the bags you chose x

    Lubna | http://www.ellevox.blogspot.com

  • Rocio Otero

    la primer foto me encanta!

    New post on my blog “ZARA WISHLIST”
    http://sweet-perdition.blogspot.com.es/

  • AlexsFashion

    If your shoes / handbag is leather you can always try impregnating them-this (theoriticall) stops liquid from getting in and thus lessens the risk of stains! :D
    xoxo ALex

  • Opposite Lipstick
  • when we wander

    I’ve always been nervous to purchase white accessories! I love white purses but hate when they get dirty (and that happens so quickly). I guess I will have to learn to love the dirst smudges.

  • Styleclouds

    I love white bags!! xo, Christina

    http://www.styleclouds.de

  • Lace and Chiffon

    Now i have to get some white bag :)

    http://laceandchiffonblog.blogspot.co.il/

  • http://twitter.com/stylecurrent Ashley

    I have the same conundrum with white handbags. Love the look, but I can’t keep one clean for longer than a month. Sigh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anniemarkantonatou Annie Markantonatou

    not a fan of white bags but i like the Jil Sander diamond wristlet.

    http://anmarkdesign.blogspot.gr

  • Théa Unknown

    Love white!

    Théa Unknown
    http://theaisunknown.blogspot.fr/

  • http://www.style-abuse.blogspot.com/ Marcia

    Being accident prone does not mix well with anything white. That Jil Sander wristlet is the death of me, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1033981551 Adeola Naomi Aderemi

    Love love white and I love the first picture!

  • Camille

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I do appreciate your musings and observations, but what always kept me coming back was YOUR personal style and the incredible and unique way in which you dress yourself! I wish you would put up outfit posts more often!

    http://www.fashun1991.blogspot.com

  • The Style Engineer

    I never thought too much about this….but thank you for bringing it to my attention- white is so fresh and clean, I must start accessorizing with it more!

    http://lestyleengineer.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Eve

    Howdy !!

    I must say that Man Repeller is my latest addiction!! I have been following YOU for sometime now and wanted to give you a warmcozy hello.

    One day, I dream to have my blog as successful as BLOG NAME. BLOG NAME inspired me to create my own blog—All The Queen’’z Men.

    Happy Saturday!

    Eve Noir
    http://www.allthequeenzmen.com

  • Eve

    Howdy!!

    I must say that Man Repeller is my latest addiction!! I have been following YOU for sometime now and wanted to give you a warm
    cozy hello.

    One day, I dream to have my blog as successful as Man Repeller. Man Repeller inspired me to create my own blog—All The Queen’z Men.

    Happy Saturday!

    Eve
    http://www.allthequeenzmen.com

  • http://Mysmallwardrobe.com/ Carelia

    I love white accents and I am accident prone person. As a matter of fact…las nite when I cameback home from a wild halloween party, I noticed a giant stain of wine all over my crispy Gap shirt…grrrrrr. I knew it was all that (accidental) dancing while holding my glass of wine (muy mal idea) Thanks to Oxyclean the darn stain is history and my shirt will see daylight once again.

    mysmallwardrobe.com

  • http://twitter.com/Highlandista Highland Fashionista

    Hmmm….don’t know if I can go there. Worked for a cruise line for a lot of my twenties, and the white pump was a daily uniform staple. Pass. I’ll stick with bright yellow.

  • Tales on Trends

    I’m not sure Yet about the white accesories… too bad?

    Tales on
    Trends

  • vittoria gallacci

    LOVE the white Proenza Schouler PS1!!

    Vittoria

    http://vittoriafiveinthemorning.blogspot.it/

  • http://twitter.com/MoiContreLaVie Caity

    These are great pictures, thank you for the inspiration! I included this post in my Links You’ll Love round up this week – Keep up the good work!
    http://moicontrelavie.com/2012/10/25/links-youll-love-49/

  • Shadowlime

    Great details! Gives me inspiration for my own blog!!

    http://shadow-lime.blogspot.nl/

  • lapetitemortxo

    I definitely like white more than black an an accent to colors. Black kind of brings them down, which white brightens them and makes them pop.

  • http://curiousfashion.com/ Curious Fashion

    i have to say that white and orange work so well together

  • Queenie

    Cute and chic. Love it!
    http://zumebycashmerefashion.wordpress.com/

  • Carla

    Those white handbags are LUSH but be very wary of wearing one of those handbags if you have denim jeans. The dye will transfer. I am talking from experience :(
    http://www.luxurybagsonsale.co.uk