Burberry Padlock Dome Satchel

Like many of you, I was heavily skeptical about Burberry’s Fall 2014 runway bags. Many of them looked like hastily conceived art projects, painted in the brand’s studio by people who were clearly not painters by employment. At the time, the standouts were a few velvet-on-leather bags that looked much more purposeful and high-end than their painted counterparts, but does the Burberry Padlock Dome Satchel work outside of that context?

Burberry Fall 2014 Runway Bags 33

There is something of a fine line between “art” and “art project,” and during the Burberry Fall 2014 runway show, the brand’s hand-painted handbags didn’t often stay on the right side of it. In a post-show interview with Vogue, brand head Christopher Bailey spoke of having studio staffers paint the bags, and the results generally looked like the product of hands whose primary job is not, in fact, painting things.

Kate Bosworth carries a heart-print Burberry bag in NYC (5)

Kate Bosworth just launched her second capsule collection for TopShop in NYC last week, and here she is on her way to the big Soho TopShop shindig with brand new husband, director Michael Polish, and the ever-adorable Burberry Heart Leather and Haircalf Satchel.

Burberry Spring 2014 Handbags (6)

I always dread Burberry runway shows a little bit. When they come around, I always love everything about them – the clothes, the outerwear, even the music that the brand picks every season as a soundtrack to the Burberry Experience. Except the bags.

Abigail Breslin carries a Burberry Canterbury Shoulder Bag in NYC (5)

Little Abigail Breslin is almost a lady now at 17 years old, and I think it’s safe to say she’s quickly developing her own ideas about fashion. Here she’s paired a classic tartan Burberry Canterbury Shoulder Bag with a flowing white full-length dress, a fitted black blazer, and what we believe to be Jeffrey Campbell studded wedges.

Burberry Prorsum Silk-Sateen and Leather Tote

Even after a few years working in the almost-anything-goes fashion industry, there are a couple of old-fashioned color and texture rules that are so ingrained in my consciousness that I have a genuinely difficult time breaking them, even though I know they’re silly.

Michelle Dockery carries Burberry (1)

Here’s Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery, about to thrust herself into a waiting crowd of British paparazzos after exiting the Burberry Fall 2013 runway show. On her arm is a Burberry Prorsum Handbag from Pre-Fall 2013, and as is perhaps to be expected, her trench and pumps both look suspiciously Burberry.

Burberry Blaze Bags

No one puts together a runway livestream like the Europeans, and Burberry has set an extremely high bar this season. I kicked off my work week by watching the show yesterday morning, and from the setting to the attendees to the apparel, the entire presentation, from start to finish, gave the fashion world something to talk about.

During New York Fashion Week, I found myself chatting with the designer of a burgeoning men’s accessories collection about the landscape of men’s business worldwide. He had a lot of interesting things to say, most notably that men in America prefer satchels, men in Japan prefer totes and men in Europe are somewhere in between, but that Americans are becoming slowly more open to other shapes and structures.

Images via Vogue.com

In two ways, I always dread the Burberry show at London Fashion Week. First, because I know that Christopher Bailey’s beautiful ready-to-wear, and his outerwear in particular (THOSE COATS.), will threaten to drain my bank account all over again with one swift poke the the pleasure center in my brain, which apparently really likes wool.