Cuff Love

Episode 10 and 11:'s Associate Editor ponders Chanel's old bracelets and Kelly Killoren Bensimon's pillows.

Hello fellow deal hunters! We gave you a little BOGO action this week, with two episodes for the price of one and not only did you get two episodes, you got two jam packed eps -- Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Alexa Ray Joel, and more!

Kelly Land
Having always been a firm member of Team Kelly (her brand of crazy is just my favorite), I was overjoyed to see the gals stopping by her closet to pick up some things for the Generosity Water auction. I personally would have asked Kelly to cosign her incredible horse and those Hermes pillows but that's just me. I'm nuts for things. I'd sit naked on that horse if I couldn't afford clothes, because I would be sitting astride on a giant horse. Why would I ever need to leave the house

Anyway. . . . I do have to give it up for Kelly's Russian doll handbags. The leather looked especially sumptuous and I love anything with secret compartments. I was waiting for one even smaller bag to come out, and then another, and then a tiny cell phone similar to the one in Will Ferrell's best SNL clip ever ("Pack your bags, we're going to Milan!"). Alas, no.

And the Bag Played On
While I lurved the story of the Eric De Kolb accordion handbag (you had me at surrealist painter Karina), I was so heartbroken to see how busted up the bag was. Sure, you can't blame its previous owners for loving that thing to death (it was hella fly), but I have to say it was looking a tad ratty, rat. However it was still an amazing find, and I know Lauren was incredible overjoyed to net $500 on the deal.


Cuff Love
Despite the street drinking, the STA staff stillmanaged to pull some sales together in their final episode, and so when a cuff comes in that could have been worn by the one and only Coco Chanel, the gals get excited.

Unfortunately, it turned out not to be the real deal (or at least, no one can prove that it was). But it's still a banging piece of jewelry, and STA accepts it with open arms. Then the gang is treated to a tour of the Elle accessories closet. Once upon a time I was an accessories intern at a fashion magazine, and I can tell you those closets are as splendid as this one appeared. Imagine all of the best jewelry, bags, shoes, and what nots crammed into the tiniest amount of square footage you can get, and that's about right. Be still my heart just thinking about it. Le sigh.

And that's our season. What did you think fashion lovers? What was your favorite part of the show -- the crazy clothes or the crazier sellers? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

What The Water Gave Me

Ambria discusses the team's work with Generosity Water and how proud she is of Tara's progress.

I loved going to Kelly Killoren Bensimon's closet. Aside from Keni Valenti and Eva Lorenzotti's closets, Kelly's was my definite favorite. Handbags, shoes, dresses, suits, an entire Missoni shelf. . .seriously? I aspire to have that closet. On top of the clothing, the bags, the ridiculous apartment and Kelly's down-to-earth friendliness was her charitable demeanor. She knows she has been fortunate, and she makes it a point to give back in her life, which is such an admirable quality. Generosity Water is her pet charity, and I see why. You see the direct results of the funds you send, which is not always the case with charities.

I have always wanted to get involved with charities but I've never been in a position to do so. Working at Second Time Around gives me opportunities to be around clientele who have plenty of clothing and plenty of money. Linking Generosity Water with our clients to build a well in Haiti was finally my opportunity to be a hands-on part of something extremely beneficial. I knew being the one to auction everything would be a challenge -- I've never done that before in my life! I figured because I knew a lot of the women, and we had those amazing items from Peter Som, Kelly Bensimon, Rachel Roy, and Alexa Ray Joel it would be a walk in the park. I was secretly hoping to raise enough money for two or three wells. I was totally wrong. These women did not come ready to give their money away. . It was a real fight to even get a paddle raised. Luckily Wilson came to my rescue with that deep, masculine voice that commanded those women a bit more than mine. Wilson has such positive energy and he definitely added a richer dimension to the party.

Persistence pays off, though, and after a few glasses of champagne the women began bidding. It wasn't the triumphant, over-the-top success I had wanted, but that one well does give water to a thousand people. So I guess I'll just give us four a congratulations for getting that far. Water is something that we take for granted; I can't imagine taking a sip of water and worrying that it's contaminated. This was by far the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time.

I was soooo hoping that Colin's bracelet actually belonged to Coco Chanel. Obviously Coco was one of the most influential women in fashion, so I got really excited. It was a let down to find out it wasn't. Visiting the Elle accessories closet was a nice little band-aid. You didn't even really get to see how much stuff was actually in there! I only wished Karina could have been there to fulfill her fantasy of accessories.

I am proud of Tara for sharing about her alcoholism. Everyone has different past experiences which leads them into certain circumstances they would rather not have to deal with it; I definitely have my own. It hasn't always been easy to watch her go through the motions at work. It's the type of situation that there is nothing you can do but be supportive. She has handled herself with dignity and grace, and I believe her sharing is quite inspirational for others who have similar demons.