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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

With New York City having been so recently overtaken by the glitz and glamour of New York Fashion Week, it seemed appropriate to spotlight a clutch that embodies the same kind of allure. My choice for this week’s show-stopping purse (drum roll please) is the Gucci Garcon Gold and Crocodile Clutch.

This clutch has everything you have ever dreamed: gold accents, a crocodile pouch and green Swarovski crystal decoration on the tassel and clasp.

I have to say, when it comes to handbags, the PurseBlog team tends to influence one another pretty frequently. Well, it’s happened again. A few days ago, Amanda covered Kelly Osbourne carrying a neon Chanel Flap over on BagThatStyle. It goes without saying that Chanel bags are classic, but there was something about the neon version of this bag that I really liked.

Back when I first started writing for PurseBlog (in the Dark Ages, basically), I used to see beautiful, incredibly intricate clutches, often made from shell or filigree, pop up here and there from a small brand called Celestina. Designed by Filipino former model Maristela Ocampo, the evening bags all had a clearly oceanic influence and wonderful details. It’s been a couple years since I’ve encountered one of the brand’s handbag’s online even though I’ve often wondered if Ocampo was still designing, so you can imagine how pleased I was to find Celestina Resort 2013 available for pre-order through Moda Operandi yesterday morning.

We say this here a lot, but that’s because it’s true: Clutches and evening bags are a fantastic venue for intense, intricate, sometimes crazy embellishment. Their small size means that they can be dunked in glitter, covered in sequins, studded with rhinestones and any number of other embellishments without overwhelming the rest of an ensemble. That’s part of why I’m such a big fan of Kotur – the brand takes full advantage of the opportunity to experiment, and that’s never been more apparent than with Kotur Resort 2013, currently available for pre-order via Moda Operandi through August 29.

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