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The Well-Clad iPad

Like most people, we've become enamored of our iPad, with its slick design and friendly user-interface that even our grandmother can love. It feels fantastic when trotting around the city to be able to check into our various networks sociale, or read the latest trash novel that we picked out from the dregs on some book site somewhere; we're unsure how we ever lived without it. Like most people who are fashion conscious, though, one of our first thoughts on seeing the iPad was something along the lines of: "Ack! It's naked! Where are its stylish clothes?" Luckily, like-minded folk with more substantial work ethic than ours have set out to clad our iPad in some very chic outerwear, protecting the dear thing from swandives off of the table at the coffeehouse, and sparing it from the ravages wrought by apartment keys at the bottom of our voluminous handbag.

It's nearly impossible to get anywhere without Dolce and Gabbana trying to slip something of theirs on you, mostly because they're so impossibly good at what they do. D&G debuted their first iPad case in 2010, and have expanded the line from the initial, svelte black silhouette, through the inevitable leopard-print phase, to the chunky and substantial luggage-like cover that seems to want us to take it on a flight somewhere, if only to be able to saunter casually through the international terminal like a spy on the way to an electronic rendezvous.

D&G has lots of good company when it comes to their zeal for covering the iPad, as designers like Gucci, Ferragamo Vuitton and even Kate Spade have taken their talents forward into the technological unknown. Classic details, elegant lines, even a few touches of hot-pink attitude... these designers have translated their look into cases fit for even Steve Jobs' personal 'Pad, or, possibly, under the cover of dark, Bill Gates'. At any rate, the options presented from fashion powerhouses last year were numerous, and we can only imagine that 2011 will see an even broader explosion of gadget garmenting, at least as far as the inimitable iPad is concerned.

Of course, not every iPad needs a first-fashion pedigree in order to be protected from the inevitable little mishaps in life that seem to seek out and destroy our favorite gadgets like so many G3-seeking missiles. Fans of the low-key, hand-made ethos are swooning over iPad cases made by San Francisco outfit DODOcase, which takes the skilled-craft cred of bookbinding and merges it with the world of the modern e-reader. Their book-like, handmade iPad cases have all of the cachet of a starving-artist's sketch journal, at mere college art-student prices. The case, of course, is made with faux leather (so California!) and comes in a slew of colors to please any connected crowd.

Whichever style suits you best, your iPad no longer has to reside, unadorned, in the folds of a newspaper or in the finest of your kitchen towels in order to stay safe. Indeed, style has come once again to the rescue, proving that even in the face of such marvelous technology, the "old ways" of fashion are still germane.