Thursday, October 23, 2008

DOONEY & BOURKE: The spring 2009 Collection – a return to classicism

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Richard Spiegel

Tuesday afternoon, October 22, 2008
West 26th Street, the Forbidden Zone, Manahattan

Maybe it’s Dooney & Bourke’s time. It may sound strange to make a statement like this in this dire an economy, but SOMEONE has to be a winner, whether it’s in the fashion world or in the accessories world.
It’s true that retailers have been quoted time and time again that “what will sell, is that unusual special item.”
REALITY CHECK – THE DECKS ARE STACKED, AND THEY’RE STACKED IN DOONEY’S FAVOR. Peter Dooney felt that the logos were over a year ago; we’re in agreement with him. We’re also in agreement with LOU IACOVELLI, of ATELIER PR, who stated, “People are really asking themselves the question, ‘What is the dollar value for my investment?’”

The odds of a retailer hitting on that “it” item are slim and it’s a risky climate so the gamble is bigger than ever.
It’s true that the long shot could come in, and another “it” bag could appear on the scene that has the staying power of the Vuitton Murakami. Times have changed though, and we believe that what’s going to play at this time are sensible, solid, well-crafted pieces such as those we saw at Dooney & Bourke’s press preview.

#1: DOONEY’S BAGS ARE AVAILABLE IN EVERY SHAPE & EVERY COLOR – There are seemingly endless choices, in both textures.
For instance, the ALTO collection has 23 styles available in 5 different colors that include the basic natural, black and brown as well as slate [blue], red, and white.

#2: CONSISTENCY: Dooney still sells their original PEBBLE LEATHER, but in updated bright colors such as lilac, sunflower and turquoise as well as some attractive muted “terra cota chip” shades.

Also still available, the DB cloth monogram style and of course, the ALTO bags. As before, these bags come in the usual structured style. The Alto is the right bag for those of you who like some structured in your leather bag, briefcase or wallet.

We liked the ALTO in saddle, slate, and cream, perfect for lunch with the girls and equally suitable as a professional looking bag for the office.

#3: ON TREND: Patent’s been big for a while, but it looked fresh in two very different color palettes.
For the more conservative woman – there’s the sophisticated BONE patent leather.
There were also bags that looked hand-painted, emulating the runway trend of the past few seasons. The pretty pink floral shopper makes a nice addition to your existing collection of oversize bags.

For you Steven Sprouse-loving women who long for a little bit of the eighties, the large bubble gum [pink] bucket bag scratches that itch.

#4: A RESPECT FOR TRADITION: the Boldrini Colleciton

An addition this season is the BOLDRINI COLLECTION.
The Boldrini was named after Peter Dooney’s leather smith from Florence. Mr. Dooney has been working with him since the beginning. These bags are made with Vaccetta leather, which is characterized for its softer, suppler feel, AND are scratch resistant.
We were amazed when the salesperson at the Westchester Mall store rubbed off what looked like a deep scratch on one of the bags on display.
Princing: $200 to $450.
Our pick: the large size LUCY, in saddle, for $395. It’s a classic and will never look dated.
For a comparable “IT” bag, add a zero to this figure and live with the knowledge that you’ll be consigning that bag next season. Remember the Fendi B bag??

When Peter left Coach, the first thing he designed for Dooney was a belt, which he used this season as the shoulder strap for the ever-popular DB fabric and leather bags.

-The small bone patent Chiara Bag
-The large bubblegum pink patent leather hobo bag
-Hayden Panetierre’s clutch with a gold Leo shape clasp – yes, Hayden’s a Leo.

To view more styles, visit the official website,