Judith Leiber Blue Bows Crystal Minaudiere, $6995 via Judith Leiber

Do you know what day it is? Of course you do, it’s Royal Wedding day! The ceremony started at 6 a.m. but your mimosa hangover will surely last into the afternoon, so while you contemplate why you got up before dawn to watch two strangers get married in another country (Go ahead, guess who among us doesn’t have Royal Wedding fever! But that’s ok, Megs has enough for both of us.), we thought you might also like to contemplate some pretty, sparkly, too-small-to-be-functional wedding handbags.

Wedding bags don’t have the rarified spot in bridal lore that wedding shoes enjoy (and for a rundown of those, check out yesterday’s feature from TalkShoes), but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less important for those of us who love purses above all other things in fashion. Plus, bags have the special distinction of being able to be worn by the bride or the guests, so long as those attending don’t choose all-white ensembles to go with their special little clutches. Our picks for the best, after the jump. (more…)

Judith Leiber Houston Semiprecious Beaded Clutch, $4995 via Bergdorf Goodman

Even if most women don’t have many occasions on which they might use a Judith Leiber clutch, looking at the tiny, sparkly, intricately beaded evening bags is a pastime in which we can all participate. Bergdorf Goodman has recently added a six-bag Judith Leiber Fall 2011 preview to its website, which not only gives us a closer look at what Leiber is doing for the season, but also lets you pre-order from the selection for delivery at the end of July, if you’re so inclined. Pictures and prices, after the jump. (more…)

The Alexander McQueen Iris Skull Clutch is one of those bags that needs to be seen in the largest photo possible at all times; at a distance, you might mistake the detailed embroidery for printed fabric, and that would be a tragedy indeed. A bag like this can look like a hippie craft project without a very careful hand, but Alexander McQueen Spring 2011 took flowers and butterflies and someone manages to make them look beautifully transgressive. The juxtaposition of a skull with delicate flowers is something that only McQueen can pull off in a high-end way. (more…)

If brevity is the soul of wit, what’s the soul of fashion? I like maximalism as much as anyone (in fact, probably far more than most people), but the grandiosity of it can feel exhausting from time to time. The trends toward layering textures, colors and prints are some of my favorite fads in years, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look at the Valentino Satin Bow Box Clutch and think that it seems positively refreshing by comparison.

Valentino often goes maximal with its accessories, so the subtle charms of this little clutch are even more welcome. From the perfect shade of blush to the expertly obscured slot for hand-carry, this is an evening bag that doesn’t try to overshadow whatever beautiful dress with which you’ve surely paired it. (more…)

I know that we’re all supposed to put on a happy face, sing holiday songs and pretend like we just love dealing with our various and assorted sociopathic family members this time of year, but let’s face it – Christmas is often as stressful as it is exciting. I’m blessed with a small extended family, almost all of whom I get along with swimmingly, but not everyone is so lucky. If you’re one of the people who will have to drink for your entire trip home so that you don’t stab your sister-in-law with a fork, then perhaps a little present to yourself is in order. Might I suggest something sparkly, fun and entirely anti-utilitarian like the Judith Leiber Crystal and Bead Embellished Clutch? (more…)

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US and the ceremonious eating of the turkey has become an unofficial start to the Christmas season (no matter what stores wanted us to believe by putting up their decorations weeks ago, I’m still going with Thanksgiving), now’s a great time to discuss holiday wardrobe. Red, green and metallics of almost any variety are usually what people tend to wear to holiday parties, and although it’s great to be festive, incorporating those colors too heavily makes you look like just another Christmas decoration. Do you want to look like someone mistakenly draped you in tinsel? No, you don’t.

My advice would be to dress how you would to a normal cocktail occasion but incorporate one accessory in a season-appropriate color, and if I had an unlimited budget, the Lanvin Jeweled Nyota Shoulder Bag would be my red bag of choice for this year’s party rounds and beyond. (more…)

There are plenty of designers whose entrance to the wedding-bag market might seem counterintuitive: Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, Commes des Garcon. (Although I’d personally love to see what all of those companies would do with the genre.) Judith Leiber? That company definitely not among them. In fact, the question shouldn’t be, “Why is Leiber entering the wedding market now?” but, “Why didn’t it make this totally obvious decision decades ago?”

Exceptionally few people can rationalize the purchase of one of Leiber’s tiny, crystal-encrusted minaudieres. Even some women who could potentially afford them don’t go to the kind of events that would allow one to carry, say, a miniature, glittering dachshund. But a wedding, the most formal (and some would say most important) day in a woman’s life, just might provide the perfect opportunity to purchase a very special little handbag. (more…)

It’s not every day that I wake up and find photos of bags like the Lulu Guinness Fan Clutches waiting to greet me in my inbox, but every now and then, I get lucky and beautiful bags just appear. Yesterday was one of those days, and to make the whole thing even better, these clutches are here for a good cause.

Lulu Guinness partnered with British visual artist Rob Ryan to create the one-off collaboration that you see above. The clutch, which is signed by both Guinness and Ryan, is currently being auctioned off via eBay to benefit African AIDS charity ASAP. If it’s not your style, Guinness has also released two other handmade fan clutches in very limited editions, inspired by former model Sophie Dahl and singer Paloma Faith. Pictures of those are after the jump. (more…)

Looking at the Bottega Veneta Snakeskin and Papier Elongated Knot Clutch makes it exceptionally clear to me why I’m a writer instead of a designer. Not only would I have never thought to combine purple-navy snakeskin and metallic green foil on a single clutch, but if someone had suggested it to me, I probably would have told them to think harder and come up with a better idea. As it turns out, the combination already looks pretty great. (more…)

Sure, alligator or crocodile versions of the highly collectable Bottega Veneta Knot Clutches might be enough to satisfty the luxury lust for some people, but for those who want something a bit more unique, the Bottega Veneta Sterling Silver Knot Clutch is just the ticket. (more…)

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