Here’s Lady Gaga, leaving her “Jazz at Lincoln Center” performance with the legendary Tony Bennett, dressed like a Jazz Age vamp and carrying a Balenciaga Cable Strap Fur Shopping Tote. These bags debuted on Balenciaga’s Fall 2014 runway, and you can currently find a black calfskin leather version for $2,055 at Neiman Marcus.

Her ladyship has an eclectic collection of designer handbags that includes a vast arsenal of “customized” Hermes Birkins, some of which will undoubtedly end up in a museum somewhere, someday. You can easily suss out which designers are her favorites by browsing “The Many Bags of Lady Gaga.”

One of the best things about the PurseForum is the vast amounts of information users share with one another. Whether it’s a reveal of a new bag or coveted news from sales associates, the PurseForum is like no other place online. When I was browsing the forums this week, I stumbled upon Balenciaga’s Fall 2014 Colors. (more…)

Here’s Lauren Conrad, eating at Lemonade in West Hollywood with friends, carrying the same muted pink Balenciaga Papier A4 Tote we saw her with in West Hollywood a few months ago. (I do like to see celebs getting more than one or two uses out of their handbags before sending them to celebrity handbag purgatory. Respect.) You can find a similar calfskin leather tote from Balenciaga’s Pre-Spring collection for $1,735 at Barneys.

Lauren Conrad’s designer handbag collection is just as classic and calculated as you might expect – there’s a lot of Chanel, a lot of oversized totes, and a lot of wear-with-anything neutral hues and natural leathers. There’s nothing too trendy (aside from the occasional “IT” bag of yesteryear) or too risky – each of LC’s acquisitions are solid investment pieces. You can form your own opinion, of course, by taking a lengthy gander at “The Many Bags of Lauren Conrad.”

It’s hard to successfully sue anyone for ripping off a clothing design in a US court, but Balenciaga is prepared to give it a shot. The French company alleges that American mass apparel brand Steve Madden has purposefully ripped off the most recognized portion of its super-successful Motorcycle Bag with the intent of confusing consumers, and it’s prepared to prove so in court, according to The Fashion Law.

Kering, which owns Balenciaga, is suing under “trade dress” laws, which are a subtype of trademark protection that doesn’t require a piece of design to contain a logo or clear branding in order to be protected. Instead, when a design itself is distinct enough to signal a brand identity to consumers, its creators are then eligible for protection from knockoffs. Balenciaga filed for trade dress protection for the front pocket portion of its Motorcycle Bags in 2007, and now the brand intends to use it.

As The Fashion Law points out, this isn’t the first time that Balenciaga has filed against Steve Madden; in 2009, Madden ripped off a pair of Balenciaga runway shoes and eventually paid an undisclosed sum to settle the lawsuit after two years of litigation. Madden later dismissed the lawsuit as “stupid,” but we have a feeling he might feel differently about this one – because of the long-filed registration and the ubiquity of Balenciaga’s Motorcycle design, it seems like the brand has a strong case.

We weren’t able to find any examples of the bags with which Balenciaga took specific issue, but it isn’t hard to imagine them. Lots of brands have bitten Balenciaga’s signature bag in the decade-plus that it’s been around, and changes in the brand’s management style over the last 18 months may mean that they’re looking to make an example of Madden for all others who might think that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Our daily celeb features have quickly turned into a parade of Kardashians and Jenners heading to the Kimye wedding via LAX this week. (Everyone else is in Cannes.) Here’s Kendall Jenner, on her way to catch a flight to Paris with a white Balenciaga City Bag. Balenciagas are often Kendall’s go-to designer handbags, and the City Bag has been a long-time family favorite. Here’s Kim carrying a beige City Bag back when she was a blonde, and here she is carrying a black suede version while she was still pregnant with baby North. Even Kendall has more than one. You can still find this classic “It” bag in white wrinkled lambskin for $1,835 at Barneys.

To recap, yesterday we saw Kourtney Kardashian en route to the big to-do with a black Hermes Birkin, and last week, we saw the bride-to-be on her way to be wed with a So Black Hermes Birkin. I’m betting tomorrow we’ll see Khloe or Kris Jenner traipsing through LAX, and my money would be on a Hermes Birkin or Celine bag. One would think they could all just jet off for Paris together, but why miss out on all the extra publicity that obviously comes with daily staggered individual departures?!

Here’s Lauren Conrad, shopping in West Hollywood, carrying a calfskin Balenciaga Papier A4 Tote in a shade of blush-beige that’s pretty perfect for her traditionally feminine style. (Also, it’s further proof that the pale bag trend continues to dominate this spring.) She’s quite skillfully accessorized her bag with color-matching sunnies and ballet flats. You can get Lauren’s exact bag for $1,445 at Barneys.

Lauren is quite a fan of Balenciaga; she owns quite a few of the brand’s bags, and many of them are featured in “The Many Bags of Lauren Conrad.” In case you haven’t been keeping up with all things LC lately, Lauren is currently in the midst of planning her wedding. She’s engaged to William Tell, the former guitarist for emo band Something Corporate, who’s currently attending law school at USC.

Kendall Jenner was recently seen leaving a salon in LA (wearing a baseball cap after a hair appointment?) carrying a Balenciaga Giant Covered City Bag. This bag is at least a couple years old and is no longer manufactured by the brand – it seems highly likely that Kendall borrowed it from a big sis. The closest thing currently made by Balenciaga is the Balenciaga Giant 12 Gold City Bag, sold for $1,895 at Balenciaga.

We haven’t given every Kardashian sister the “Many Bags” treatment yet, so the Jenner sisters are probably even further down the list. However, I’ve loved the bag choices Kylie and Kendall have been making in the last year. They’re both particularly fond of Givenchy and Balenciaga. While they haven’t moved very far beyond either of those brands just yet, Kendall is gaining a crazy amount of traction in her modeling career, and all that time spent behind the scenes at runway shows is probably not for nought.

Salma Hayek was recently spotted arriving at LAX with a black Balenciaga Tube Bag. As you may know, Salma’s husband François-Henri Pinault is the CEO of Kering, which is a luxury conglomerate that is also the parent company of Balenciaga and a myriad of other designer labels including Saint Laurent, Gucci and Alexander McQueen. I can only assume this results in a non-stop stream of designer freebies for Salma. You can get a white crossbody version of Salma’s bag for $1,075 at MATCHESFASHION.COM.

Salma and her fam have actually just relocated from Paris to London, as of this month. The couple claims they’re moving in order to take advantage of London’s superior schools (their daughter Valentina is six), but critics allege the couple has relocated in order to avoid the new French “super tax” imposed by President François Hollande on millionaires and billionaires.

Here’s a gal we don’t see on this blog nearly often enough: Anne Hathaway! Here’s Anne leaving the restaurant Cheebo in LA with a friend. Her petite yellow bag is Balenciaga Papier A4 Mini Tote. (Could you recognize the brand’s trademark “bag face” in this teensy size?) You can get Anne’s exact bag in “Citron Yellow” for $1,195 at Balenciaga. Anne’s entire outfit here is ridiculously charming, and makes me desperately wish it was a little more spring-like in my neck of the woods.

Anne has kept an exceptionally low profile since her Oscar win last year, and for good reason – the Anne Hathaway haterism had gotten a little out of control, and I think the entertainment media was largely to blame. (For shame!) I’m no stranger to snark, but I am loath to snark on someone for being a tad over enthusiastic at times, what when there are so many celebs making horrible wardrobe/life choices in the world!

During a runway show, you don’t expect to see models carrying shopping bags. Despite the fact that women who can afford the clothes that debut at shows like that of Balenciaga Fall 2014 often find themselves carrying shopping bags, most runways try to divorce themselves as much as possible from the drudgery of actually selling clothes, all the way from the performance-art settings to the impracticality of the garments therein. One thing that Balenciaga creative director Alexander Wang is exceptionally good at, though, is moving product, and his Fall 2014 bags are something of an ode to that.

From a distance, it’d be difficult to guess that these bags were anything more than vessels for carrying other very expensive things, but up close, the details come into stark relief, especially on the crocodile versions. The handles, instead of twisted paper or webbing, are fashioned out of super-industrial metal cord, the kind you’d expect to see in a lever-and-pulley situation. Structurally, the bags are faithful to their inspiration, right down to the concave gussets and folded bottoms. Whether or not a bag with such common inspiration can successfully fetch designer prices in large numbers is somewhat questionable, but these are definitely the most luxurious shopping bags I’ve ever seen. (Yes, they even beat out Chanel’s shopping bag purse.)

[Images via Vogue.com]

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