Reed Krakoff Alligator Hobo, $30,000 via Net-a-Porter

A $30,000 price tag always sticks out to me, probably because when I was growing up, that’s how much I thought a car cost. Naturally, I’ve since learned that sometimes cars cost less, and even more bizarrely, sometimes handbags cost more. The Reed Krakoff Alligator Hobo, however, comes in at 30 grand on the nose.

Black alligator seems to be the preferred method of delivery for that many thousands of dollars worth of handbag, if this design and The Row’s backpack (which has now been identified as alligator instead of our original guess of crocodile) is any indication. For my money, I’d want something a little more adventurous, but I suppose that versatility is of the essence when one is actually considering spending that much money on a single bag. (more…)

L’Wren Scott Lulu Python Satchel, $4307 via Matches

Admittedly, it’s two bags for the price of one still-quite-expensive handbag, but just look at ‘em! It’s kind of hard to find fault with structured dark grey snakeskin, in my very humble (ok, not-so-humble) opinion. The L’Wren Scott Large Lulu Python Tote echoes the design of L’Wren’s famous dresses – strong, modern and tailored to great effect. (more…)

Oh, fashion. This industry is so mercurial. One day you can fully consumed by one piece or trend or idea, and then mere hours later, something else pops up and all your energy makes a shift so sharp and sudden that you’re surprised it doesn’t hurt its metaphorical knees. (Yes, my energy has knees. It’s a fully formed, if imaginary, person.) That’s exactly what happened to me at the sight of these Sang A python bags – two days ago, I was obsessed with Rag & Bone. Now, it’s all Sang A. If you’re going to do the whole Fall 2011 python thing, these bags are the way to do it. (more…)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Python is huge for fall. I haven’t been an overwhelming proponent of many of the season’s python looks, but it’s hard for me to turn down a good, natural, neutral python bag. For me, the beauty of python is in the skin’s inherent texture and pattern, and depending on the bag, straying too far from that can spoil the fun. That’s why for our latest Save, Spend, Splurge, we’ve picked three python (or python-embossed) bags at three different price points to show off the material’s natural beauty. (more…)

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Alligator Weekender, $24,000 via Mr. Porter

Usually, our Man Bag Monday feature happens on…well…Monday. But considering the specifications of the Ralph Lauren Purple Label Alligator Weekend Bag, we think you’ll understand why we’re a day late; we spent most of yesterday picking our chins up off the floor.

When you consider that The Row’s Crocodile Backpack rings up at an astonishing $39,000, the $24,000 price tag on this versatile carryall seems downright reasonable. Ok, maybe “reasonable” isn’t the word, but if you got this sharp travel bag instead of the backpack, you’d still have enough money left over for an Hermes Birkin and a rather nice wallet to go with it. (more…)

Photo via Marie Claire

Ok, so here’s the deal. The Row launched its first-ever line of handbags at Barneys last night, and as I was dutifully checking Twitter while finishing up my posts for the day, a strange thing came across my computer screen. Fashionista.com, staffers of which were in attendance at last night’s launch festivities, tweeted a picture of what appeared to be the bag above and a price point: A cool $39,000. I promptly fell off my chair. (more…)

Gucci Python Stirrup Top Handle, $4700 via Saks. Gucci 1973 Python Small Top Handle, $2400 via Saks.

With so many choices in life, it’s somewhat amazing that we don’t all become hermits in the throws of deep existential crises. Skim or 2%? Decaf or regular? Heels or flats? To UGG or not to UGG? Even thinking about it makes me a bit dizzy. And if you’re a fan of python and Gucci python in particular, you’ve got another choice to make for fall – big or small?

The Gucci Python Stirrup Top Handle and Gucci 1973 Python Small Top Handle may be made out of the same yellow-green dyed python, but they sit at opposite ends of the size spectrum. One is a bag big enough for your everyday life, the other is so petite that I’d only advise that you use it for a night out. Which way would you go? (more…)

I tend to fawn over VBH as often as possible, and VBH Fall 2011 Handbags proves why – it’s a line for real handbag lovers, not just women who buy bags because they’re necessary to complete an ensemble. These pieces are functional, extremely well-made, and most importantly, utterly gorgeous.

VBH has an eye for exotics and textures and how they’re best used, and bags like the fan-favorite Brera satchel give those materials an opportunity to take center stage and impress upon customers how nice they really are. Whether it’s regular leather, stingray, snakeskin or crocodile, the color and texture of the finish have been carefully selected to enhance the skin’s natural beauty. And don’t forget fur, calfhair, ostrich leg, suede and embossed leather – VBH has a little something for every taste, so long as your taste is good. (more…)

As we’ve discussed in these parts in the past, almost every major handbag brand showed some kind of python or snakeskin bags on its Fall 2011 runway, no matter whether exotics are a collection staple for a particular line or not. Predictably, that lead to some mixed results; while I saw some exotic bags I’d love to have for fall, I saw far more whose designers could have used a remedial course in how to work with python. Carlos Falchi should be the person teaching that course.

Snakeskin has been a staple of Falchi’s line for years, and the Carlos Falchi Single Strap Hobo Bag demonstrates exactly what I wish more designers would acknowledge: Python is a design unto itself. It doesn’t need much help to be beautiful, just stand back and let the leather shine. After all, that’s why customers are willing to pay a premium. (more…)

The Valentino Va Va Voom Crocodile Shoulder Bag, $11,275 via Net-a-Porter

If fashion seasons were like the Olympics, you could call Fall 2011 the Exotic Games – everywhere you look, brands are coming out with crocodile and snakeskin bags, seemingly each a little more drool-worthy than the last. Because trends are rarely penned in to a single cycle, though, plenty of reptilian delights have turned up in spring’s collections as well, including from brands that aren’t necessarily known for their work with exotics. That would be the case with the Valentino Va Va Voom Crocodile Shoulder Bag; Valentino produces exotic bags here and there but hasn’t made it a brand trademark, although that hasn’t stopped the company’s designers from getting in on the fun. (more…)

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