bergeren belmontWhat’s more fun than hot pink? Bounce houses? Too childish. Clowns? Way scary. Following the train wreck that is Britney Spears? Just tragic. So yes, hot pink wins. I recently discovered Begeren’s wonderful handbags thanks to the Purse Forum, and now I can’t get enough! The leather is super soft and smooshy, and the prices are very reasonable. The designer, Linda Ly, is also a very sweet woman who takes customer service seriously. I love the new season handbags, and especially like the punchy Begeren Belmont shopper in this pretty color, “orchid.” It’s a perfect bag for school or shopping, practical but with whimsical details and an adorable girly shape. Lots of pockets for your extras, and the interior will hold your books and magazines. I love how cheerful it is, and I’m pretty tempted to buy one! At $485, it isn’t dirt cheap, but for quality leather and sweet design, it’s a great buy. Look at styles and shop online at Begeren’s website.

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I’ve been underwhelmed by most of Chloe’s recent handbag creations, both the new ones like the Bay and the countless uglified reincarnations of Phoebe’s designs. For a Chloe enthusiast like me, such a series of disappointments was rather disheartening. Thankfully, I saw this Chloe Alice chain evening clutch sitting demurely on display at Nordstrom the other day, and my enthusiasm was revived. I would actually use this bag as a cute little shoulder bag as opposed to a clutch, as it is fairly medium-sized, and as I really love that chain. There’s something a little funky about it, but it’s sweetened by the little very Chloe-like bows at the frame. The frame bag shape and what looks like a kiss-lock closure are wonderfully quaint and feminine. The pink burgundy color is perfect the whole year round. And the leather – I have felt this bag, and the leather is highly, highly soft and molestable. I cannot recommend it enough! From what I remember, the price was a little ridiculous, possibly nearing or over the $2,000 mark, but it is an adorable bag. Have not seen it retailing online yet, but check your local luxury department store, and go to Chloe’s website to see the rest of Chloe’s summer accessories.

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From the new season of Chanel, I present you the Chanel Madison Patent Leather Flap. It comes in an array of colors, including this gorgeous liquid gold. What’s not to love? The quilted flap over the smooth leather of the rest of the bag is an interesting touch, as are the subtle metal chain links gracing the center of the bag. The patent is right on for this season, and the color is droolworthy. But…doesn’t that central chain-bordered flap remind you of something? Do you find yourself giggling at the sight of this picture and not understanding why? That’s right. The friendly folks on the Purse Forum have aptly named this bag “the Weenus.” Why? Because there’s a fat schlong drooping right down the middle of it. I won’t even go into how the adjacent quilted portions now evoke wrinkled…anyway, I said I wouldn’t. So buyer beware! I know this bag has its charms, and I can’t quite call it fugly, but should you be sporting this patent piece on your shoulder and you hear some immature snickering…well, that’s probably coming from the mouth of a corrupted soul like me who can see your bag in all its phallic glory. If you insist, and better, if this post has further whetted your interest, get ready to cough up $1,995 and call your local Chanel boutique or luxury department store, and see more pretty pictures at chanel.com.

treesje.jpgI love cute bags from lesser-known designers. There’s an exquisite feeling of elitism that comes with carrying an obscure designer, and it usually comes at a lower price than carrying something ostentatious. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for cute bags from new designers. Treesje is an emerging L.A. design duo and they make bags with sweet little embellishments attached to very classic shapes. This Treesje Garden Grande handbag is a perfect example. Ruffles play strongly into Treesje’s handbags, and they’re adorably feminine and unique. I’m usually against irresponsible use of ruffles, but somehow this bag does not abuse ruffles, even while it employs a zillion of them. I love the blue jean color – perfect for summer – and the no-fuss shape and minimal hardware. The ruffles on the handles are an excellent touch, and the front flap – sans ruffles – adds interest and practicality to the handbag. I’d love to see this bag in person so as to do a proper evaluation of the leather, but it looks pleasantly pebbled, distressed, and smooshy. To see more styles, check out treesje.com, and get this bag for $540 at the online store.

izzy.jpgI’ve decided recently that I need a Derek Lam purse in my collection. That’s right, NEED. I’ve been dreaming of the Hildegard hobo for over a month now, and may soon take the dive, but now the Izzy has come along and ruined everything. I’m stunned. The beautiful blues and the wonderfully executed two-tone quality are making me swoon. Granted, the whole look is a little reminiscent of Balenciaga, but who cares? The bag is beautiful. The chain handle is really interesting – a little bit of the whimsical with what seems to be an homage to macaroni – but I like it. It adds some fun, and hopefully the macaronis won’t cut into the shoulder. The clasp is sleek and understated, while still being central to the bag’s composition. And the shape! I love that fun square shape! It’s very classy but at the same time a little bit amusing with the piercing blue and the chain. The whole bag, in fact, is a classic that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that really tickles me. To see the rest of Derek’s dreamy bags, check out his website, and buy the bag for $1,300 at your local Barneys or Neiman Marcus, or look for your closest Derek Lam retail location here.

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Tracy Reese, who has for many seasons brought us pretty pretty feminine frocks, is now making pretty pretty feminine handbags. I am particularly fond of this one – the Tracy Reese Castilla clutch. The shape is unusual for a clutch – very square and boxy, a neat departure from the usual elongated tube or trapezoid. It’s relatively flat, so you can still hold it like a clutch, but its interior is divided into two compartments for maximal storage space. The clutch just looks like a lovely treasure box with that ornate gold turnlock clasp and structured flap. The color is wonderfully ladylike to balance any childish overtones, but the bag is still sweet and whimsical. There is a short detachable chain strap which I prefer detached, but it is a nice practical option. The unostentatious cream leather makes this a great day clutch, but the princess qualities will carry over to evening. It’s almost cliche to point out, but you do get more for your money with a 24-hour bag. I’m very impressed by this clutch and everything else I’ve seen of her collection. To see the whole line, visit tracyreese.com, and buy the Castilla clutch at shopbop for $425.

zac posen handbagI’m really adoring this Zac Posen leather zip satchel. I don’t tend to buy white bags, and if you could see the floor of my dorm room, you’d understand why. The appeal of this bag is just what prevents me from pulling out the plastic for it – it’s beautifully, gorgeously clean! Eggshell white with little pure splashes of gold hardware, this bag is perfect for an enchanted spring and summer, where there is no dirt or evil. I’d love to see it worn with a lighter-than-air mint-green dress and white patent wedges. The shape is adorable, with little flounces at every edge, and Zac Posen’s signature hexagonal hardware is understated but perfectly in place. The strap is long enough to go over the shoulder for easy wear, and I’m falling in love with this bag the more I write about it! Must…stop…can’t…care…for…white…leather…! Sigh…if you’re tidier than me, by all means, pick up this beautiful satchel for $1,395 via Neiman Marcus, and please, be careful around ketchup and babies and inebriated friends.

R & Y Augousti clutch

I stumbled onto R & Y Augousti’s pleasant line of bags at Henri Bendel when I was in New York, and I went home with a mint-green python beauty. Since then, I’ve been tracking R & Y Augousti online with only moderate success. Thankfully, Barneys stocks a small selection of the French line’s clutches, including this R & Y Augousti green sunsnake clutch, along with their better known home goods. I won’t lie. A big part of the appeal of this line is the low price point – you can get this exotic clutch for $225 – but the bags are also very well made and absolutely hip. I love the shagreen buckle and the belt-like leather detail, as well as the fine texture of the snakeskin. The day clutch is the new bag trend, and this clutch is begging to be taken out for a cheerful lunch. The lack of logo is total class and will leave many a stranger wondering where you got your bag. Snag one here for a steal of a price, and keep your eye on this label. They make wonderful things.

fendi-leopard-bbag.jpgYet another incarnation of that Fendi B, this Fendi Leopard B bag looks a bit more leprous than leopard to me. The shape of the bag is kind of weird and evocative of a cyclops to begin with, but that doesn’t bother me as much as the hideous execution of leopard print. If this bag actually came from a leopard, it would’ve been a leopard that had spent its life rolling around in a combination of mud and its own ignoble feces. Honestly, why so dark and dirty with the leopard print? Leopard is supposed to be vibrant. Instead, the spots all over the bag look strangely, as I said, leprous and hideous. And then the worst part is that the buckle is also leopard but in a different color! Lighter as if to accentuate the strange diseased poopiness of the rest of the bag, like gleaming scar tissue! This bag is just all wrong in a way that kind of makes my skin crawl. If you want leopard, try a cheerier option, I beg you. If, for whatever reason you cannot resist this mess, the bag is available at net-a-porter for $1,040. Just be careful, as it might infect you.

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Hey guys, it’s Nerdphanie, aka the Shopping Nerd. I’ll be holding house until Megs is back from gallivanting about Europe, so be good to me! Anyway, feast your eyes on this Bottega Veneta Old Petra anaconda tote bag! I’ve actually seen this beauty with my own eyes, held it with my own hands, and let me tell you, it is a knock-out bag. The anaconda is perfectly soft and the bag is supple and delicious. The warm dark pink Old Petra is my favorite Bottega color this season. It reminds me of my favorite ice cream bar, a perfect little swirl of purple-brown red bean and milk. I love the clasp, too. According to the SA I talked to, Bottega only does these exquisite clasps for exotic bags, and this clasp really cinches the bag for me. The shape is also just perfect, with a little bit of slouch and a pinch of masculinity to balance the extravagance of anaconda. My only complaint would be that it doesn’t fit on the shoulder, but looking at the model carrying it, I would say it looks pretty cool handheld (if you’re stunning and six feet tall). I’ve also held it in front of a mirror and I’m a measly 5’5, so really, it works. The one thing I don’t like? The $4,540 price tag. If that doesn’t hinder you, get thee to your local Bottega and start asking away. To see more styles, check out Bottega Veneta’s website.

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