Alexander McQueen Cathedral Skull Box Clutch, $2960 via Net-a-Porter

Longtime PurseBlog readers already know how I feel about Alexander McQueen‘s skull clutches. They’re easily my favorite line of evening bags ever, and the legacy of McQueen as a brand always manages to shine through in their design, even though a box clutch is an exceptionally tiny canvas. If I had unlimited income, I’d collect these bags, and I can’t say that about any other brand on the market right now.

Without question, the Alexander McQueen Cathedral Skull Box Clutch would be the crown jewel of that collection. If I were to carry it, the bag would serve as a tiny gilded cage for my belongings, but let’s face it – this is the kind of bag that I’d want to display instead of use. (more…)

Charlotte Olympia Pandora Feather Clutch, $995 via Moda Operandi

In general, I’ve always been a fan of little lucite (or perspex, if you’re British) clutches. Making the things you carry part of a handbag’s visual design is an interesting move, and a box clutch is small enough that you’re unlikely to be carrying anything particularly messy or embarrassing. Choose your phone cover and card case wisely, but other than that, there’s little over which to fret.

For those who are made slightly more nervous by the prospect of a see-through bag, the Charlotte Olympia Pandora Feather Clutch would be a beautiful way to dip your toes in the water. This new version of the Pandora for Spring 2012 features a little bit of privacy through inlaid feathers, but your bag’s contents will still be on display. (more…)

I don’t mention it much in these parts, but I’m a big, enormous vintage fan. At a certain point, I think I hit a wall with regular shopping – I felt like I had seen everything before it hit stores, so once it was there, I was often underwhelmed and ready for something different. The curse of working in the fashion industry, eh? Which is why so many fashion girls are unrepentant vintage hounds; it’s the final frontier of clothing consumerism, where only those with the best eye will survive.

Vintage handbags still don’t have much of a draw for me because utilitarian leather items tend to degrade a great deal over time, which is where items with a heavy retro influence like the Valentino Laser Cut Patent Evening Bag come in. It’s the kind of thing I’d find in a second-hand shop and dearly love, except his one is brand new and totally pristine. (more…)

Images via Vogue.com

While we wait for the Milan shows to start in earnest, now seems as good a time as any to post the small but very beautiful collection of bags that graced the runway for Marchesa Spring 2012. I know that bags are an afterthought for the gown-heavy line, but they’re always so beautiful and special that I really wish Marchesa would do more. Like, lots more. One for every dress? Is that too much to ask?

It probably is, so we’ll have to deal with the four that the show gave us for the time being. For me, the clear winner is the lunar-beaded blue-grey option at top, which is so pretty that I’d like to sit it on my desk and gaze at it longingly while I blog. Maybe I’ll print out the picture, tape it to my wall and do the same thing. Check out the rest of the bags after the jump. (more…)

Judith Leiber is one of those brands that you don’t often see at a big discount. Leiber’s tiny, sparkly evening bags are a favorite of collectors and hold a special place in the heart of so many bag owners that seasonal discounts are often unnecessary; one of her bags is like dessert after a steady diet of functional, durable leather bags.

That’s why the Judith Leiber sale at Gilt Groupe is all the more exciting – these are some seriously good prices on some incredibly special bags. My favorite is at top right, the one with the large, lovely, emerald-cut multichrome crystals. Check out the entire selection via Gilt Groupe, but don’t delay – the sale ends tomorrow.

Lanvin Lizard Box Clutch, $2127 via Matches

Yesterday, I got to talking about my love for Lanvin in general and Alber Elbaz in particular over at TalkShoes, and now I’m prepared to do to do the same here. Bags like the Lanvin Lizard Box Clutch just inspire that in me. I could look at this little bag all day, mostly because it shirks the traditional conventions of evening bags in order to pursue a look that’s a bit more unexpected; you won’t find any gleaming hardware or intricate beading here. (more…)

Matthew Williamson Embellished Satin Clutch, $1610 via Net-a-Porter

Judith Leiber bags are undeniably beautiful, but it’s also hard to deny that they skew to a certain customer – older, well-established women with a penchant for straight-up glitz. Leiber’s done extremely well with that demographic and they wouldn’t dream of going elsewhere for a small, sparkly evening bag, but what of the women who want something that’s as modern as it is tiny and detailed?

That’s where the Matthew Williamson Embellished Satin Clutch comes in. This bag has all of the intricacy of a Leiber minaudiere with none of the bold shine, opting instead for a matte look that will likely appeal to women who want a slightly younger feel. (more…)

We’ve heavily covered Christian Louboutin‘s hit-and-miss record when it comes to handbags in general, but when it comes to the footwear master’s clutches, I rarely have a negative review to report. Something about the small size and structure of an evening bag lends itself well to Louboutin’s design sensibility, probably because the scale and rigidity make clutches more similar to designing a shoe than other types of bags. And we all know that Louboutin has his shoe game on lock, now don’t we? Here are four of our current favorite CL clutches for your consideration; we think you’ll agree that Louboutin has something of a flare for these particular bags. (more…)

Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity Glittered Shoulder Bags, $795 and $995 via Neiman Marcus.

We’re longstanding fans of the Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity Bags, which come in virtually every size, color and texture that you could think of, and the advent of the Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity Glittered Bags only makes our affection for the line grow. The structured shape and signature metal bow mean that the design is a perfect candidate for an evening out, and these two miniature sizes make that dream a reality. (more…)

To say that the Marchesa aesthetic is distinctive would be a massive understatement; season after season, the brand creates over-the-top, elaborately feminine evening wear and cocktail dresses that are as architecturally impressive as they are glitteringly ornate. Ruching, draping, beading, laser-cutting – not only might it all appear in one collection, but it might all appear in one dress. Marchesa’s handbags have a lot of visual splendor to live up to.

And mostly, they do a fine job of it. Marchesa’s Fall 2011 Handbags are exactly what you’d expect them to be, but with a few new shapes thrown in to expand on the brand’s first handbag outing. The exotics are of particular interest; I’d love to see Marchesa make day bags, and it looks as the the designers’ feel for crocodile may be pointing in that direction. Or maybe I’m just hoping that if I say it out loud, it’ll eventually come true. (more…)

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