Have you guys noticed the facelift that our sister site TalkShoes got right before the holiday? If not, head over and check it out – there are lots of exciting footwear-related things in our future, and if you love shoes anywhere near as much as you love bags, we’d love it if you joined us over there from time to time to, well, talk shoes with us.

Right now, though, we want to talk about shoes AND bags, and most importantly, how they go together. Normally, I’m not a proponent of perfectly matching accessories, but the Charlotte Olympia Tweetie Parrot Pouch and Cage Clutch Set and the Charlotte Olympia Birds of Paradise Cage Heels Sandals just have to be worn together. Always. Preferably while the wearer is drinking some sort of exotic drink within visual distance of a sandy beach.

In my mind, Charlotte Olympia is the only mass-market designer working right now who can get away with this kind of irreverence and literalness. If this shoe were a Louboutin, for instance, I’m not sure I would be convinced – Christian has built himself a reputation for aggressive sexuality in his shoes, even when there’s also some fun to be had, but I expect girlish shenanigans from Charlotte. In fact, I want them from her.

I like the shoe better than its clutch counterpart, to be honest, but there are things about the clutch that I like. First, that perhaps the handle is big enough to be worn as a bracelet, so you’ll always have your bag with you, even after one too many caipirinhas. Second, the clutch is actually two clutches – the parrot inside the cage is fully removable, and both pieces can be worn separately or together. That’s three potential crazy handbag options! Which, depending on your own personal style, might be three more than you need or want. Personally, I always like to err on the side of fun.

We’ve been writing about Charlotte Olympia quite a lot lately over at TalkShoes – if you dig these heels, check out some of her others!

Charlotte Olympia Birds of Paradise Cage Heel Sandals
$1595 via Neiman Marcus

Charlotte Olympia Tweetie Bird Parrot and Cage Clutch Set
$925 via Neiman Marcus

A lock and key on a bag isn’t anything new – Chloe Paddington, anyone? On the other hand, a door latch used as a clasp? That’s more unexpected, a little bit fabulous, and, dare I say, genius.

As my track record on this site would indicate, I tend to gravitate towards conversation pieces, and the Viktor and Rolf Lock Chain Clutch is definitely one of them. Where lock-and-key decorations are often a very common add-on piece but, in most instances, they are only a decoration. Viktor and Rolf, on the other hand, have taken the latch decoration and incorporated it into uniquely designed clasp, giving an ordinary black clutch aesthetic pleasure.

While opinions will surely vary, this design feels like it has the potential to become a timeless piece. The calfskin leather will hold true to its value, and the simple and bold featres of this clutch will never be out of style. How often will you see a door latch used to fasten your belongings? I love that it will literally lock my belongings while still being immediately eye catching. Now is as good time as any to buy this bag through ShopBop for $995, and with the upcoming holidays right around the corner you can bet this will be on my wish list this year!

Every week, I obsessively check Net-A-Porter new arrivals to see if they receive any additional Olympia Le-Tan Book Clutches. These book clutches are entirely realistic but also so artistically created that they will add an entire new dimension to your outfit. I have an obsession and it isn’t slight, my only problem is deciding which one I want and how exactly I can track it down.

The brand’s signature book-clutch was born from Olympia Le Tan’s love of embroidery, which is a talent she inherited from her grandmother, and her love of literature, a passion stemming from her father. Her book clutches are extremely limited edition, and everyone who knows of them desperately tries to track the version down they want to own.

The famous Olympia Le-Tan book clutches are alluring in a subtle manner, giving nods to some of the most famous works of literature throughout time with sometimes quirky books as well. If I had it my way, I would start a library filled with Olympia Le-Tan book clutches. If my dreams came true, I would be able to find one of my favorite books, like Great Gatsby to add to my clutch collection. Prices range from about $1,100 to over $1,900. Shop Olympia Le-Tan via Net-A-Porter and FarFetch.

We’ve showered a bit of love on another of Matthew Williamson’s clutches in the recent past, but now that I’ve seen the Matthew Williamson Bead-Embellished Suede Clutch, I feel the need to do it again. The last clutch was a hippie-chic take on opulent brocade, but this design approaches from the opposite direction: it’s a modernist take on the classic hippie look. Not only is it a testament to Williamson’s under-credited versatility, but it’s a credit to his eye; he’s the only designer who can ever be credited as “hippie-anything” whose work I still enjoy with great regularity. (more…)

Without any context, who would have thought that carrying around a crystalized zoo animal would be so posh? Somehow, year after year, Judith Leiber makes its eccentric, idiosyncratic style work. The brand’s crystal-studded minaudière bags are Leiber’s most iconic pieces by a mile, and even though there are imitations, nothing beats owning the real deal. From the first teardrop-shaped minaudière, which debuted decades ago, Leiber’s designs have become steadily more unique and more daring.

While Leiber’s clutches are by no means practicable or accessible, when you are carrying a Judith Leiber crystallized minaudière, none of that matters. You’re carrying a work of art, a statement piece, something that you can choose to uniquely represent your personality or interests. Animals from fantastical to fierce have always been one of Leiber’s signature themes, and over time, the company has designed itself a veritable menagerie. Visit all of the animals in the Judith Leiber Zoo after the jump. (more…)

We’ve been rounding up the best bag deals of the week for you every Friday, but sometimes, a great bag pops up before Friday and we must share. That’s exactly what happened when I was browsing Saks to find the best items to buy in their Friends & Family Sale yesterday; I clicked upon a great clutch from Clare Vivier, and not only is it incredibly beautiful, but it’s also incredibly affordable – even more so with 20% off.

It’s hard not to set your eyes on the Clare Vivier Fold-Over Clutch and not see its beauty. The bag is entirely simple and also a wardrobe must; the oversized leather clutch trend is still going strong. And like I said, the best part is the price, and to see that, you are going to have to follow me after the jump. (more…)

Believe it or not, writing about luxury handbags has one itty bitty downside. It’s hard to believe there’s a downside at all, right? I mean, I get to look the latest handbags in the industry and analyze them and report back to you with the pros, cons and aesthetic pleasures (for the most part) of such bags. Again, what’s not to love?

I’ll tell ya what’s not to love: the unhappy realization that I, as a student and intern, simply cannot afford any of the bags I have written about. But today, all that changes. Lately I have been eyeing the AllSaints website, where I came across a clutch I really admired and can actually afford, woot, woot! This AllSaints Elissa Evening Clutch is priced reasonably, even for something that you can’t use every day. (more…)

This clutch is just another example of my ever-growing love for all things Louboutin. Christian Louboutin has a knack for taking ordinary accessories and loading them with details and embellishments to make them unlike others on the market. What I personally love about Louboutin is you never know what concoction he will create. His aesthetic is one that never disappoints me – I like things a little bit on the wild side. With that in mind, the Christian Louboutin Marquise Spiked Leather Clutch is just another bag I am adding to my wish for when I save up enough money, or win the lottery, whichever comes first. (more…)

Year after year, collection after collection, I fall in love with the designs of Kate Spade again and again. I tend to gravitate towards Spade’s handbags because the brand knows how to tastefully mix modern chic with vintage glam. In that vein, the Kate Spade Wordsmith Dictionary Leather-bound Book clutch does not disappoint.

The first Kate Spade piece I ever owned was a royal blue cosmetic case that my mom bought me for my birthday when I turned thirteen. I LOVE that cosmetic case, and I still use it today when I travel. My love for Spade started because we had similar names. My Aunt MaryAnn always calls me Kate, and at the age of thirteen, who wouldn’t love a make-up case that has her name on it? Now I love Spade’s designs because of the style that emanantes from them: playfulness meets youthfulness meets sophistication. (more…)

British designer Matthew Williamson is best known for his richly patterned dresses, but Williamson also knows that with every great evening gown, you need a great handbag. His bags exude the same type of ultra-luxe-hippie sensibility as his ready-to-wear, and they often also feature his bold, intricate prints and embellishments.

In a normal season, that can make Williamson’s bags a bit intimidating to customers, but patterned and embellished accessories are such a strong fall trend that the brand’s clutches have never felt more relevant. The Matthew Williamson Brocade and Suede Clutch is my personal favorite of the season – the orange colorway is particularly gorgeous because the orange stones pick up the warm undertones in the upper part of the clutch. The whole thing could combust at any moment. (more…)

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