J.Crew Edie Purse in Alligator

If you’ve been paying attention over the past few years, then you already know that J.Crew has ambitions beyond its mid-priced mall-brand origins. CEO Mickey Drexler and Creative Director Jenna Lyons have helped exponentially elevate the brand’s fashion status, and while J.Crew remains a good source for accessibly priced sweaters and cute statement jewelry, the store would also like to sell you handbags that cost four figures.

Kara Ross Priscilla Clutch

Christmas parties are tricky, almost universally. Except for one or two per year where you get to see your actual friends who don’t really care what you wear because they remember that time you thought adult knee socks were a good idea, the opportunity for judgment is rife.

Heritage-Auctions

Our friends from Heritage Auctions are at it again. Have a Holy Grail Handbag in your mind? An exotic? Some Hermes? Exotic Hermes, maybe? Or exotic…anything? Those are the bags that dreams are made of, naturally, and Heritage Auctions is in the business of making those dreams come true.

VBH Spring 2013 Handbags (10)

I had a close encounter of the VBH kind over the weekend. I was shopping with some friends at the Woodbury Common outlets north of New York City (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, by the way), and at the Last Call Neiman Marcus store, I found the little corner of the handbag section where they were hiding the stuff you’d actually want to buy: Jason Wu, Marni, and most excitingly of all, VBH.

Victoria Beckham Soft Victoria Satchel

I’ve been anticipating the arrival of the Victoria Beckham Soft Victoria Leather and Watersnake Tote for almost five full months now. The bag first caught my eye when Beckham released the Fall 2012 lookbook way back in the spring, and it struck me then that perhaps the brand had found its handbag stride.

Reed Krakoff Alligator Uniform XL Satchel

And in order to own the above alligator version, I’d probably have to do that literally – rent payments would have to go toward a bag mortgage of some kind. (Feel free to make up your own joke about how New York City apartments are tiny anyway and insert it here.) The Reed Krakoff Alligator Uniform XL Satchel might be worth it, though, particularly if I can get an air conditioner installed in there.

Valextra Alligator Isis Clutch

Full disclosure folks, this bag is not cheap, like, at all. I’ll get into the specifics on the price later, but now that I’ve been up front, I feel as though I can talk about this beautiful bag without the guilt.

Salvatore Ferragamo Exotic Beauty Case

Summer is the season of travel and it looks like luxury house Salvatore Ferragamo knows how to design for its elite clientele. Ferragamo Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti designed a variety of exotic cases for Pre-Fall 2012 with the fashionable jet setter in mind.

Nancy Gonzalez Resort 2013 (11)

Even though, in any particular season, Nancy Gonzalez’s bags range from clean and simple to incredibly intricate, one binding theme always remains: exotic skins, most notably crocodile, produced by the brand’s farms in Gonzalez’s native Colombia. The bags are also produced in Colombia, and the centralization of the brand’s operations allows Gonzalez to price her bags more reasonably than other brands tend to price similar materials.

Proenza Schouler Large Python PS1

I’m going to level with you guys: it’s a slow news day. We’ve reached that mid point of July, which means that it feels as though we’re as far into summer as humanly possible, but still with no light at the end of the heat-and-humidity tunnel.