Before two weeks ago, I never had all that many thoughts about Katie Holmes. She's beautiful, of course, and she seems extremely devoted to little Suri, who looks more and more like her Mini Me every day. A couple of months ago, I got caught in a Katie/Suri paparazzi scrum on my walk home from the grocery store, and it seemed to me at the time that living that kind of life must be very isolating, perhaps even dreadfully lonely. I didn't fret about it for long, though; it's hard to feel too much sympathy for the young, beautiful and incredibly wealthy.
And then, about two weeks ago, Katie Holmes staged a divorce-filing sneak attack full of the sort ballsy genius of which I had never previously assumed her capable. She came out with her metaphorical guns blazing against a husband that's much more well-established and powerful than she is within their industry, and that's no small thing. Not only that, but whatever dirt she had on noted crazyperson Tom Cruise must be insane if the prospect if it coming to light panicked his legal team so much that less than two weeks after filing, Katie has her requests met, her divorce papers signed, and her daughter safe in her care in New York. We doff our hats to the take-no-prisoners way she's handled what could have been a mud-slinging mess while still getting her independence in a timely manner, and for that, we'd like to offer Ms. Holmes the greatest tribute we can provide in these parts: a look through her handbag collection, both past and present.
Let's start with the present. In the time since her divorce was announced, Katie has been spotted everywhere carrying a simple woven leather tote bag with few, if any, distinguishing marks. The frayed edges and woven pattern indicate that it's a Henry Beguelin Tote, but the pared-down look is something Katie's come to embrace in the last year or so. You can shop Henry Beguelin via Neiman Marcus.
Unlike certain celebs who take their Birkins to the gym (*cough* Kim Kardashian *cough*), Katie uses a FEED Canvas Tote Bag, which benefits the UN World Food Programme. You can pick one up for $50 via Saks.
Looking for a low-cost leather option instead? Katie's bright red Clare Vivier Messenger Bag is only $348 via ShopBop.
Even when Katie's feeling a little spend-y, she tends to keep her bags basic and neutral, like her beloved Valextra Babila Tote, which she has in black ($2490 via Barneys).
This white tote? Also Valextra, I believe. You can shop the entire Valextra assortment via Barneys.
Katie likes Valextra so much, in fact, that she had the brand create a few special bags for her clothing line, Holmes and Yang. The Valextra for Holmes & Yang Tote that she's carrying in this photo is no longer available, but Barneys is stocking the collaboration's luxe shoulder bag for $2460.
Even when she's carrying Pierre Hardy, a designer known for his bold and colorful bags, Katie keeps things simple with a blue and black dual-textured tote. A similar Pierre Hardy bag retails for $1350 via Barneys.
Even when Katie opts for Hermes, it's usually pretty subdued. The Hermes Picotin is just about the most streamlined bag the French company makes, and in the world of Hermes, orange is a neutral. It'll set you back $2375 via Hermes.
Earlier in her marriage to Tom Cruise, Katie had a bit more of a taste for glamour, but even her favorite Hermes Birkin is in a conservative color and used for function over fashion in many cases.
Thankfully, her Hermes Birkin looks a little less stuffed in this photo.
I bet we all remember the exception that proves the rule, though - Katie's enormous red Hermes Travel Birkin, back when she was still testing out what it meant to be Mrs. Tom Cruise. We never saw her carry this bag again, so it would seem that she decided against that particular type of famousness.
Katie still carries Hermes from time to time, though - most recently, this Hermes Medor Clutch with a matching Hermes Collier du Chien Cuff.
This Chanel Quilted Bowler seems much more Katie's everyday speed, though.
Katie also has a strong affinity for both Lanvin and Chloe bags, both of which fit with her typically dressed-down style. Here she is carrying the new Lanvin JL Bowler. You can pick one up for $2545 via Net-a-Porter.
And another, this time the Lanvin Happy Bag, which will set you back $2160 via Net-a-Porter.
Back when the Chloe Paraty made its big debut, Katie was the first celeb to carry it - she preferred the black python version. $3820 via Net-a-Porter.
The love for Chloe python is strong - here's Katie carrying a Chloe Marcie Python Hobo. You can shop the full Chloe collection via Net-a-Porter.
The other brand that we found evidence of multiples in Katie's closet? Balenciaga. Here she is with a brown Balenciaga Matelasse Satchel from several years ago. Shop Balenciaga via Neiman Marcus.
And here's Balenciaga again, this time the Balenciaga Giant Gold Day Bag in bright green. You can pick up a similar style via Neiman Marcus for $1145 via Neiman Marcus.