What’s better than a party to celebrate the launch of a new handbag collection from Altuzarra? Two parties! To celebrate “Ghianda,” the new collection of hobos and saddlebags from the brand known for its sophisticated yet subversive take on women’s ready to wear, this week we hosted both a New York cocktail reception and a Beverly Hill luncheon with designer Joseph Altuzarra.

At our Madison Avenue flagship Monday night, actress Michelle Monaghan played hostess to a group of attendees that included models Lindsay Ellingson and Shu Pei Chin, Lauren Remington Platt, and Barneys’ own Simon Doonan, Mark Lee, Daniella Vitale, Jennifer Sunwoo, and Tomoko Ogura. Altuzarra then hopped on a transcontinental flight for Thursday’s Beverly Hills fete, where he was joined by hosts Zoe Saldana and stylist Petra Flannery, as well as guests like January Jones, Ashlee Margolis, Zoe de Givenchy, and Nia Vardalos.

To keep guests on their toes while talking bags, we asked them a few questions that went, well, Off Topic. Scroll on for a closer look at the festivities, then head over to Barneys to find out why these are bags worth celebrating!

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In New York, designer Joseph Altuzarra chats with host Michelle Monaghan and Mark Lee.

The Window: Have you had a favorite moment with these handbags since they’ve come out?
Joseph Altuzarra: My favorite moment was seeing one of the bags on the street for the first time. I was in a restaurant and out of the corner of my eye I saw a little fringe, so I turned and had a moment of, “Ooh, that’s our bag, out in the wild!” It made me so happy.

With fall officially beginning this week, what’s the most quintessentially autumnal activity you’re looking forward to doing this season?
Joseph Altuzarra: I love to go to City Bakery and get a hot chocolate on an easy Sunday—it’s my absolute favorite.

Left: Logan Horne / Right: Barneys’ own Rebecca Jobo and Sarah Blair

The name of the new collection is “Ghianda.” If you had to guess, what do you think that name means?
Logan Horne: I could definitely see it being somebody’s grandmother’s name.

Speaking of handbags, what’s the most unexpected thing we’d find in yours?
Logan Horne: Probably lip gloss. I forgot it tonight, but there’s a limp plumper I love. To some people, that might be unexpected of me, but not to others.

 

What’s the most unexpected thing we’d find in your handbag?
Sarah Blair: I have a little crystal Ganesh that I carry for good luck and protection.

What’s the most quintessentially autumnal activity you’re looking forward to this fall?
Sarah Blair: Going up to Storm King and walking through the beautiful sculpture park.

Simon Doonan and Joseph Altuzarra snap a selfie in New York.

What do you think the name “Ghianda means?
Simon Doonan: My guess would be that it’s a type of horse that gauchos ride in Argentina—very romantic and equestrian.

What’s the most unexpected thing we’d find in your bag?
Simon Doonan: Probably a soccer magazine. I’m a big soccer fan—people would never think that of me—but I thought I might pull it out to read on the subway.

What’s the most quintessentially autumnal activity you’re looking forward to this fall?
Simon Doonan: I bought a new Saint Laurent turtleneck and I can’t wait to wear it. Since fall clothes start delivering in July, one has already purchased certain things that one is dying to wear, so I can’t wait to shove my head through that turtleneck!

Left: Model Shu Pei Chin / Right: Jennifer Sunwoo, Michal Kurtis, and Altuzarra Chairman—and Joseph’s mother—Karen Altuzarra

What autumnal activity are you looking forward to doing this season?
Karen Altuzarra: To me, the best part of fall is when it’s crisp out and you can put on lots of layers of clothes, and just be so cozy.

Model Lindsay Ellingson, Joseph Altuzarra, and hostess for the evening, actress Michelle Monaghan in New York.

What’s the most unusual thing we’d find in your handbag?
Lindsay Ellingson: A dog treat. I have a cockapoo named Carly—she has a hashtag, #CarlytheCockapoo—and we usually give her the Bocce’s Bakery treats. She loves the parmesan and truffle treats, so she eats better than I do!

What autumnal activity are you looking forward to doing this season?
Lindsay Ellingson: Apple picking! Crazily, it’s something I’ve never done since being in New York Last year, I tried to go, but the orchard I was at actually ran out of apples. Instead, we just bought pies, but I’m determined to get my apples this year!

 

The name of the new collection is “Ghianda.” If you had to guess, what do you think that word/name means?
Michelle Monaghan: I have no idea what it means—let’s say fringe!

Speaking of handbags, what’s the most unexpected thing we’d find in yours?
Michelle Monaghan: A collection of dum-dum lollipops. The place I go to get a manicure has these little dum-dums, so I usually grab one for my daughter and end up forgetting to give them to her so they’re floating around.

Lauren Remington Platt

Since we’re speaking of handbags, what’s the most unexpected thing we’d find in yours?
Lauren Remington Platt: On an off day, you might find a pair of flats.

Right: In Beverly Hills, Joseph chats with hosts stylist Petra Flannery and actress Zoe Saldana. / Left: Petra Flannery and Zoe de Givenchy

What’s the most quintessentially autumnal activity you’ll be doing this season?
Petra Flannery: It’s really hard living in Los Angeles because it takes another month for it to really feel like fall, but I would say being able to build a fire.

Pictured: Right, Melinda Maria; Left, Nia Vardalos, both in Beverly Hills.

In Beverly Hills, host Zoe Saldana and Ashlee Margolis.

Pictured: Right, Fruzsina Kehhn and Deborah Lin; Left, Andrea Lieberman, all in Beverly Hills.

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