Christies Handbag and Accessories Auction September 2014

There are few things I enjoy more than poring over the lots in a new auction. When you’re already well-acquainted with what’s available in stores, a well-curated group of rare bags and accessories, culled from the world’s best-stocked closets, is the best way to get the thrill of the new.

Marc Jacobs Surplus Plus Alligator Bags

Runway shows are only half the story; you don’t get the full picture of what a designer has planned for a season until the lookbooks and price lists come out, and thanks to Moda Operandi, a lot more of that information is now made public in a timely manner than ever before.

Hermes 30cm Matte Himalayan Nilo Crocodile Birkin with Diamond Hardware

Heritage Auctions already holds the record for selling the most expensive handbag of all time, a diamond-encrusted Birkin that sold for more than $200,000 in 2011. With the house’s upcoming Luxury Accessories Signature Auction, it may well break its own record with an ultra-rare, incredibly covetable Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin, finished with diamond-encrusted hardware.

Louis Vuitton Crocodile Lady Bag

Just when we thought we’d found all the mind-bending price information we could handle for the upcoming season, Louis Vuitton has gone and reminded us that one of the many internal changes it’s making is adding more high-priced exotic bags to its selection.

Fendi Peekaboo Crocodile Mini Bag

Now that it’s August, practically all the bags available for purchase online are from pre-fall or fall. With stores flush with new products and designers churning out more and more exotic bags every season, we wondered how how the highest of high-end bags compared to last season’s crop.

Ralph Lauren Soft Ricky Alligator Blue

Fashion is a complicated topic, for sure. It sits at the intersection of art and commerce, of high and low culture, of aesthetic and functional design. Sometimes, though, when something is beautiful enough, fashion feels incredibly simple; it’s just about owning something beautiful.

Dolce & Gabbana Exotic Sicily Bags

The whole trick of the luxury industry is to make consumers feel like they’re buying something rare when, in actuality, whatever we’re buying is almost certainly made in enormous quantities. As the industry expands, putting your hands on something unique gets harder and harder, which is why I took note of these Dolce & Gabbana Sicily Small Patchwork Exotic Bags at LUISAVIAROMA – they’re all one-of-a-kind.

Christie's Handbag Auction

Even for VIP clients, rare bags from in-demand brands can be difficult to locate. We have entire sections dedicated to simplifying those most rarified shopping pursuits on our PurseForum, but today, we’ve got an even easier way to streamline the process.

Givenchy Crocodile Antigona Bag

It seems like all of our favorite bags are getting major upgrades for fall. First the Fendi 2Jours went alligator, and now the Givenchy Antigona Bag has debuted in an ultra-expensive crocodile version, beating the price of the 2Jours by nearly $8,000.

Tom Ford Natalia Alligator Doctor Bag

For the highest tier of luxury brands, there’s nowhere to go but up. The world’s super rich just keep getting richer, and because the Internet has opened up access to the world’s finest clothing and accessories to a wider range of consumers, the stakes of one-upmanship among the yacht set are forever rising.