Images via Vogue.com

Whether you like it or not, Alexander Wang is bound and determined to make backpacks happen. And if he has his way, golf bags, too. Or, at the very least, leather backpacks so long that they look like they might hold a set of junior-size clubs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Alexander Wang Spring 2012 Handbags is a collection full of backpacks both great and small.

Those are the kind of bags that I always think surely will never hit retail but always somehow end up in stores anyway. I’m not certain why buyers think anyone but the most hardcore Wang fans want a backpack that goes down to the backs of their knees, but those who do can call the designer’s store to get it. As for the regular-sized backpacks, sign me up immediately. (more…)

Alexander Wang Raphael Crossbody, $680 via Neiman Marcus

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself eating lunch in Soho with a friend while the Alexander Wang sample sale was in full swing. When we walked by and saw that there was no line, we could help but go in and poke around. I found a pair of amazing black brocade leggings from Resort 2011 that I can’t wait to wear once the weather is cold enough, but the thing that caught my eye the most was the Alexander Wang Raphael Crossbody Bag.

Sadly, since this is a Fall 2011 piece, it wasn’t for sale. Instead, it was being carried by some of the girls working the sale, presumably to hold the tasers they surely need in order to keep an unruly sample sale crowd under control. It took all the self control I had not to snatch one off of an employee and sprint as quickly as I could for the Spring Street subway station. (I never would have made it. I would have been taken out by running into a tourist group standing absentmindedly in the middle of the sidewalk. It’s Soho, after all.) (more…)

We all know Alexander Wang as The Boy King of Downtown Cool, which means that his clothes and accessories are often black, grey and sullen. And while some of us (read: me) like that look, it doesn’t really fit in with the idea of a resort collection or what most people want to wear when weather first starts to turn warm. And apparently Wang has figured that out, because Alexander Wang Resort 2012 has a lot more color to it than we’ve come to expect from the young designer.

Bright blue is the star of the show here, accented by sharp silver hardware that Wang’s fans will remember from his previous two collections. There are one or two new shapes in this series of bags, but there are also some fun takes on old favorites like a pale yellow Diego Bucket Bag and Wang’s new small leather goods in a variety of colors and textures. And yes, there’s some black and grey. Of course there is. More photos after the jump. (more…)

If you look at pictures of the Alexander Wang Fall 2011 show or read our recap of the accessories, you may have noticed something: There weren’t any handbags. Instead, Wang debuted his first collection of small leather goods on his fall catwalk. Starting this Friday at 6 a.m. New York time, that collection is going to be available to the public for one day only, exclusively through a very special partner – eBay. (more…)

We’d like to send our warmest PurseBlog congratulations out to Alexander Wang, who was named Accessory Designer of the Year at Monday night’s Council of Fashion Designers of America annual awards gala, which honors achievement in American design. We think that the CFDA made a great choice; few designers have captured the rapt attention of the accessories world in as convincing manner as Wang.

If it were up to you, which American designer would you pick? (more…)

When I think of the Alexander Wang aesthetic up to this point, I always have a piece made of matte, slouchy black leather in mind. Not only has Wang made his accessories name with handbags that fit that description, but his clothing line can often be described with exactly the same words. For Alexander Wang’s Fall 2011 Handbags, though, the designer is mining the opposite end of the spectrum – the best designs from this collection are almost defiantly glossy and structured.

And those pieces are easily the best of the lot. I find myself growing a bit tired of the stud-bottomed Rocco and all of the auxiliary designs it spawned, even if fall’s calfhair and leather version is the best I’ve ever seen the design look, and the severe, mirror-patent bags provide a perfect antidote to that fatigue. The color palette and smart little metal-capped corners, first seen for Spring 2011, maintain continuity with Wang’s current work, but the results are a much-needed aesthetic refresher. (more…)

Alexander Wang Trudy Lambskin Tote, $875 via Bergdorf Goodman

Somehow, the two photos above are of the same bag, the Alexander Wang Trudy Lambskin Tote. They’re also from the same website, BergdorfGoodman.com. And yet, they’re completely different. One is an insightful peek at what a bag might look and feel like in person, and the other can best be described as an impediment to making those decisions. Unfortunately, the latter is what most websites provide when we’re trying to decide if we want to spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on a handbag. So what gives? Why can’t stock photos be better? (more…)

We started the week with a discussion of an Alexander Wang bag that literally did not work at all, so it’s only fitting that we end the week with one of Wang’s bags the works on almost every level – the Alexander Wang Marion Mini Flap Bag. I got a chance to play with this bag during the same trip to Barneys as the ill-fated Jade clutch, and the results were much more satisfying.

If this bag looks familiar, it’s because Bergdorf’s Twitter girl Cannon featured hers in last week’s What’s in Her Bag post, but this little shoulder bag is cool enough to merit its own, separate review. And this time, I couldn’t find a single problem. (more…)

Alexander Wang Jade Stingray and Suede Clutch, $795 via Net-a-Porter

If you’re a regular visitor to these parts, you might remember that back when I did my Alexander Wang Spring 2011 preview, I more or less drooled all over the Alexander Wang Jade Stingray and Suede Clutch. The stingray version of this design comes in both ivory with rose gold and black with matte black hardware, and I would have gleefully forked over the required cash for both options. A roomy wristlet clutch with exceptionally cool hardware and panels of exotic leather? That’s like asking me whether or not I’d like to have pizza for dinner: The answer is always “yes.” But unfortunately, reality isn’t quite as good as my dreams, and the clutch has one very important design flaw. (more…)

I’m always a big proponent of the daytime clutch, mostly because I think a lot of women assume that they’re really hard to carry when that’s often not the case. I wouldn’t necessarily take one to the grocery store or on another errand that I know will require me to carry lots of bags or packages, but for a lunch with girlfriends or something similar, a clutch can be a great way to set off an outfit. After a few minutes with one under my arm, I tend to forget that it’s even there.

And that’s not to mention all the wonderful evening uses for a clutch. But what about a bag like the Alexander Wang Ryan Handle Clutch? This is the type of bag that requires the carrier to occupy one of her hands with its presence; the north-south shape and bulky top handle create an interesting look, but they also probably mean that it would be uncomfortable to hold under the arm as one might with more prototypical handleless options. (more…)

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