Which wins in this folded top clutch bag battle?

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When I first saw the Maiyet Sophie Shoulder Bag, I spent a couple hours turning it over in the back of my mind, trying to remember what exactly it reminded me of. There was something about the hardware, but I couldn’t exactly place why it seemed familiar. Finally, it hit me – it was like a curvier, more detailed version of the clean, modern Saint Laurent Lulu Shoulder Bag.

Over the past couple of years, colorblocked neutrals have become a season-change staple. Because black, tan and grey leather, along with neutral exotics, don’t require a certain temperature or sunlight level in order to look appropriate, it only makes sense that they’re used to make pieces that consumers love, especially during the times of year when it might be 40 degrees one day and 70 the next.

Odds are that you either loved or hated the handbags from Prada Fall 2012. It was a bold collection for sure, full of prints, appliquéd leather patterns and heavy jewel embellishments, and it takes a particular kind of personal style (not to mention lifestyle) to get optimal usage out of such a bold accessory. Perhaps unsurprisingly, being a gorgeous, young actress or model like Miranda Kerr or Jessica Alba makes carrying a Prada Floral Applique Tote look pretty simple.

Megs and I have had our eyes on the Mulberry Zigzag bag ever since it came down the runway in several sizes and colors back in February, and now that it’s available at retail, we have some deciding to do. Namely, which version is the best? Are they all best? Does the definition of the word “best” inherently preclude them from all being best?

Within the accessories industry, runway bags have a very special spot. They’re the most directional of a season’s accessories; they tell us where our beloved handbags are headed in the months and years to come and set size, color and texture trends that often endure for seasons at a time. Most brands produce many more bags in their full retail line than they include in their shows, but the runway bags are always the most fashion-forward and experimental of any given group.

If I had a nickel for every post I’ve written about mixing colors and textures over the past year…well, I guess I actually do have a nickel, since I get paid for this. The point is, I’d have a lot of nickels. Not enough to retire, but enough to pay my rent, even though they give me a really hard time when I try to pay it in nickels.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Snakes on a Frame Crossbody, $298. LeSportsac Divine Sunglasses Wristlet, $25. Both via ShopBop.

In my three years at PurseBlog, I’ve written a lot of posts that I never expected to write as part of my job here. For example, I never imagined myself Photoshopping a picture of a small, yappy dog next to a very expensive clutch for comparison’s sake.

Last week, exotic handbag designer extraordinaire Carlos Falchi had an event at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Naturally, I had to pop in to say hi and see the newest designs from the master. His area at Bergdorfs was filled with fans and shoppers picking out designs and having Carlos sign them. With the shopping mood in full force, I began to examine every Carlos Falchi bag I could get my hands on.

A bag standoff between two Celine giants. In the blue corner, the Celine Cobalt Blue Mini Luggage. Entering the red corner, the luscious Celine Triptyque.

So different, yet both equally lovable. Which one captures your heart?

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