Proenza Schouler PS1 Linen and Leather Clutch via Net-a-Porter for $735.

This may sound crazy, but I swear that when I first laid eyes on the Proenza Schouler PS1 Linen and Leather Clutch, the room immediately felt a few degrees cooler.

When I think of summer and straw clutches, greige is not exactly the first color to spring to mind. Although it’s my favorite neutral (besides leopard print, which is a neutral too, I swear), there comes a time when winter has lasted far too long and the last thing you want to see is another sullen, pallid handbag.



Clutches are always a big hit on the runway because they’re easy to add to an outfit without obscuring the clothes being presented, but for Fall 2011, handheld bags took an even more prominent spot in the season’s shows than is usually expected.

I know I’ve said this plenty of times before, but I still find it absolutely confounding that a former Spice Girl now designs a range of totally luxurious, well-crafted handbags that are sold by some of the finest retailers in the world.

If you spend as much time on the Internet as we do (for your sanity’s sake, we hope you don’t), you’ve surely heard that a poisonous cobra has escaped from the Bronx Zoo and is now amusing and terrifying much of New York City.

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am that Charlotte Olympia designer Charlotte Dellal has decided to grace the handbag world with her presence. I’ve been singing that praises of Dellal’s sharp, modern, sexy footwear over at TalkShoes for some time now, and her witty sensibility is a welcome addition to the accessories marketplace.

We all know that Christian Louboutin has the footwear world on lock, but the stiletto master’s results in the handbag world sometimes don’t have the aesthetic consistency of his shoes. Translating success in one design realm to success in another can be difficult, so creating a clutch that appeals directly to the hearts of those who already love Louboutin’s shoes is a great way to turn footwear customers into potential handbag customers.

One complaint I’ve long had with Balmain’s handbags and shoes is that they never seem to embody the luxe-punk aesthetic of the brand in quite the way that the clothes so convincingly do. As the old saying goes, it looks like I should have been careful what I wished for.

This may seem like bold talk, but casual clutches are a totally under-appreciated and under-carried type of handbag. Please allow me to use the brand new Mulberry Alexa All In One Clutch to explain why.

On the surface, clutches may have a rather singular purpose: to look cute and unobtrusive with a nighttime outfit.

We found the perfect holiday clutch for every party on your list, the Oscar de la Renta Grafton!