Kylie Jenner was recently spotted making a mad dash out of LAX with a charming Balenciaga Classic Mini Bowling Bag. This bag is a petite, domed version of the Balenciaga Motorcycle Bags that we all know and love. It can currently be obtained in Kylie’s preferred hue for $1,345 at Barneys. The Kardashian-Jenners seem to particularly favor Balenciaga when it comes to their handbag selections – here’s Kim K. fighting her own airport paparazzi battle with one of the numerous Balenciaga City Bags she owns.

Everyone has their “feeling un-photogenic” days, but I feel for baby Kylie here. She’s only 16, has a big sis who is poised to make a comfortable living as a model, and is a member of the ridiculously camera-happy Kardashian clan, but none of that means she has to love being assaulted by flash photography as soon as she steps out of the airport. I don’t envy any adolescent who’s thrust into the public eye, especially in an awful “reality tv”-type setting. Being 16 is hard enough.

The Balenciaga Le Dix Bag brought out some strong opinions from our commenters when it was first revealed, and now that the bag is available for immediate purchase, we thought it would be worth the time to revisit the design now that we have bigger, more detailed photos to examine. It is, after all, Alexander Wang’s first foundational bag as creative director at Balenciaga, one of the most heavily scrutinized designer-brand pairings ever. (Wang is faring notably better in his reviews than his contemporary Hedi Slimane, though.)

Back when we first revealed this bag, readers’ main complaint was that it looked like other bags they’ve seen before. While it’s true that there’s certainly nothing revolutionary here, nor any of the unique details that are necessary to make a bag catch on as an It Bag, it’s an attractive, expensive-looking, respectable way to establish an accessories personality for a designer that’s new to a brand whose accessories attract a lot of attention. For the first bag out of the gate, going back to basics and making something simple has its merits as a strategy. A cleansing of the palate, if you will.

Does your palate feel cleansed? Are you a Wang-at-Balenciaga convert, or still skeptical? If you count yourself among Wang’s fans, you can now buy this bag in two colors via Neiman Marcus.


Balenciaga Le Dix Cartable Bag
$2,250 via Neiman Marcus

Balenciaga Le Dix Bag Brown

Balenciaga Le Dix Cartable Bag
$2,250 via Neiman Marcus

Balenciaga Le Dix Bag Black

Kim Kardashian is back in the public eye, as of this week. She crawled out of her top secret baby-rearing compound for Paris Fashion Week, and now she’s back in Los Angeles. Here she is arriving at LAX after her Paris trip, carrying a beige Balenciaga City Bag. This bag is a particular fave of hers, and by far one of her least-flashy bags. You can get your own soft, buttery lambskin beige Balenciaga for $1,545 at Neiman Marcus.

Kim has several Balenciaga City Bags in her collection – here she is with the black suede Baby Daim version earlier in the year, pre-baby. Kim’s really embraced classic neutrals (and her newfound blondness) since she stepped back into the spotlight, oh so many days ago. Though it hasn’t been a completely new Kim reinvention – some of her PFW ensembles were unsurprisingly boobalicious. This is Kim Kardashian we’re talking about, after all.

I think most of us, me included, thought that there was a decent chance Alexander Wang might fall flat on his face at the helm of Balenciaga. Maybe not probable, but not exactly impossible, either. Thankfully, Wang’s results in two seasons as Balenciaga’s creative director have yielded the exact opposite – two focused, luxurious, modern collections that are built solidly atop Balenciaga’s historic foundation. That extends to the collections’ handbags and shoes, including the cleverly closured bags from Balenciaga Spring 2014.

Over his tenure at his won brand, Alexander Wang has developed a pattern with his bags – he only shows a couple during runway shows, and they’re all from a very slim portion of the brand’s eventual offerings. That’s true to some extent for all brands, but Wang does it in extreme, both at his eponymous label and at Balenciaga. We only got one type of bag during the brand’s show, and it was a hand-held oversized clutch (and eventual shoulder bag, no doubt) that bore a faint structural resemblance to the similarly scaled clutches in Wang’s spring show several weeks ago. This version is several orders of magnitude more refined, though, even if the the framed closure is straight-up jacked from a Dunkin Donuts Munchkin takeout box.

In addition to black, the bag made appearances in white, soft grey and pale pink, all of which have been recurrent colors throughout the Spring 2014 accessories collections. There were also two crocodile versions, indicative of the important place that exotics have earned in the business, particularly when it comes to enticing the most lucrative customers at the top end of the market. Check out the bags that made an appearance during the show below.

[Images via Vogue.com]

While I’ve always has a soft spot in my heart for the downtown chic Balenciaga City Bag, I’m also a fan of creative director Alexander Wang’s brand new Balenciaga Le Dix Bag. His designs are sleek, simple, and very ladylike. However, after looking this Balenciaga Tube Round M Tote Bag, I couldn’t help but be more appreciative Wang predecessor Nicolas Ghesquière.

In Wang’s first handbag designs for the brand, we see an occasional nod to the aesthetics of his predecessor, like the modernity and simplicity of the Le Dix compared to a bag like this one. To be honest, that’s was one of the main reasons why I was instantly attracted to this bag. This handbag has simple hardware, like the vertical closure, and the shape of this handbag is structured and strong, but not too bulky. Of course, a Balenciaga bag wouldn’t be complete without the signature touch of the leather0bound travel mirror – an added detail that all of us ladies understand the true importance of.

Buy your Balenciaga Tube Round Tote at Barneys for $1,795.

Here’s Sophia Bush, playing the part of “quintessential LA actress” – drinking a grande green tea and heading to the gym with her pricey designer handbag in tow. In this case, her gym bag of choice is the ever-popular, buttery lambskin Balenciaga City Bag. You’ll notice she has the much-coveted apple green version! If you share Sophia’s passion for fruity hues, you can get a City Bag in “Rouge Cardinal” for $1,545 at Neiman Marcus.

You know Sophia, of course, from the epic WB/CW sudser One Tree Hill, which was finally canceled in 2012 after an illustrious 9 season run. Sophia immediately jumped to a new CBS sitcom called Partners, but that was unfortunately canned after just half a season last fall. There’s no word on her next project just yet, but I’m betting if she continues to keep it tight, the cards will fall in her favor.

In general, it doesn’t bother me that so many designers have been “inspired” by Celine to adjust the gusset structure on some of their new bags. When a silhouette becomes so widely adored and connects so strongly with high-end customers, other brands would be silly not to explore whether it would be worth implementing in their own designs. At a certain point, designers aren’t copying an idea but designing for a widespread trend. It can also pay dividends to let a trend pass you by, though, and I wish that Balenciaga had done just that. (more…)

We’ve been awaiting this moment more or less since the day that Alexander Wang was announced as the new creative director at Balenciaga: we now know what Wang’s first flagship bag for the brand, the Balenciaga Le Dix Bag, will look like. If the name sounds familiar to you, it should. (more…)

Here’s Alanis Morissette, leaving brunch with her husband in LA. We’re fairly sure the bag she’s carrying is a Balenciaga Courier Bag, perhaps an older version with a different strap than the current Couriers. There’s a chance, however, that it could be another Balenciaga bag altogether. The generational differences between Balenciaga bag designs are so minute, it’s occasionally hard to distinguish one design from one another. As always, we want to know your thoughts, Balenciaga lovers! You can get a very similar Balenciaga bag for $1,038 at farfetch.

Believe it or not, Alanis Morisette is a total bag hound, and she was featured in the very first celeb bag roundup we ever did. Strange but true! Her personal style is so relaxed and laid back, you’ll never catch her in any shoes other than sneaks or ballet flats. And yet Alanis seems to spare no expense when it comes to the best, most covetable designer bags from the likes of Saint Laurent, Gucci, Chanel, and Givenchy. You can check out her surprisingly impressive bag collection here.

Until I saw the Balenciaga Serpent Arena Classic Work Bag, it had never occurred to me that I hadn’t ever seen a snakeskin Bal Motorcycle bag. After all, the design has been around in one incarnation or another for over a decade, and we’ve seen it in everything from straw to crocodile – surely there had been at least a python version, right? Well, according to my research, only the Papier bags have come in snakeskin, none of the classic Motorcycle styles. In light of that, it seems like it’s about time that Balenciaga got a little serpentine.

Snakeskin isn’t as thick or rigid as exotics like crocodile and alligator tend to be, so it automatically lends itself well to the slouchy, soft structure of the Motorcycle bags. Instead of python, this design uses narrow panels of elaphe snakeskin, which isn’t considered as luxurious as python but does offer rows of small, neat, uniform scales that have charms unto themselves. The bag is trimmed in standard Moto black leather, and the black-on-grey combination seems particularly appropriate from new creative director Alexander Wang. This collection wasn’t designed under his oversight, of course, but Balenciaga fans can likely expect to see more bags like this one in the future, if Wang’s past work for his own brand is any indication. Buy through Barneys for $3,350.

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