Thanks to Amanda for holding down the virtual PurseBlog fort while Vlad and I spent Christmas in Germany and the Czech Republic. I planned to do some work while abroad, but we spent every minute of every day exploring new cities and taking in the culture (and cuisine). For this reason, I took a straight eight days off work and it was glorious.

I used to associate black and blue with bruises, but going forward I will always think of this stunning Bottega Veneta Knot clutch instead. Leave it to Bottega to know exactly what I adore and design it in a way that has me going gaga. We have discussed their Knot clutch ad nauseum and my two favorite renditions have been their crocodile version and their intrecciato metal version.

Dare I say it, but has anyone else found Bottega Veneta a little boring as of late? There is nothing wrong with the company’s designs, in fact they are gorgeous, but I really want something that can lure me in and I simply can not say that is what BV has done for me recently. I have always loved the brand, and I want so badly to love what they put out that this pouch has my heart doing an itty-bitty happy dance.

Images via Vogue.com

Bottega Veneta never disappoints. I realize that’s something of a strong statement, but I honestly can’t remember a time when I’ve looked through the handbag images from a Bottega show and thought, “Eh, these are ok.” The bags are always utterly luxurious and usually quite functional on top of it. Tomas Maier knows where his brand’s strengths lie, and as a result, the bag lovers in his customer base always get something utterly lustworthy for their patronage.

Bottega Veneta Leather Leaf Clutch, $3380 via Net-A-Porter

We all know that Bottega Veneta masters the art of intricate leatherwork. However, there may be a time when the beauty that is created is simply not necessary and the Bottega Veneta Leather Leaf Clutch may be one of those times.

Don’t get me wrong, this bag is eye-catching with its interesting leather leaf detail over the entire outside of the hard box clutch.

Bottega Veneta Metal Lace Karung Knot Clutch, $3980 via Bottega Veneta

One of my favorite parts of fashion is the gift of imitation. I remember being blown away by the pleats printed on the flat skirt of a Prada dress when I was younger, and the ability to trick the eye and make something expected out of something totally unexpected is one of the best visual treats you’ll find.

Bottega Veneta Large Hobo Bag, $3250 via Saks

Even though rust is an objectively negative thing outside of the fashion world, there’s no color that reminds me of cool evenings and changing leaves like that slightly dirty burnt orange that shows up when iron starts to oxidize. Bottega Veneta knows exactly what I’m talking about.

The Bottega Veneta Large Hobo Bag (why won’t Bottega give us better names?) has exactly the functional structure and traditional intrecciato leather that we’ve come to expect from the Italian accessories powerhouse, but that color.

Bottega Veneta Crocodile Wallet, $1150 via Mr. Porter

In the spirit of honesty, I would like to admit the following: My understanding of the men’s accessory industry is only a fraction of what I know about women’s bags and leather goods. There are a few reasons for that: First, I’m female, which means that my practical, first-hand experience with women’s leather goods is obviously going to be larger.

I suppose it could be argued that more subtle or more luxurious brands exist on the high-end mass market, but few brands garner such a large following as Bottega Veneta while still holding the attention of such a large audience. If you’re wondering about the source of that success, look no further than the Bottega Veneta Roma Accordion Tote.

At first glance, this design might seem unremarkable, but I can’t help but be impressed by the restraint Bottega shows in bags like these, season after season.

Sunday night brought us the 2011 installment of the MTV Movie Awards, which is always a treat to watch. I always wait and hope for something crazy to happen, but the high point this year was merely hearing Robert Pattinson blurt out the F word and slip past the censors. Otherwise, I was back focusing on the fashion, per usual.

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