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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Gucci New Bamboo Crocodile Shoulder Bag, $14,200 via Net-a-Porter

It’s easy to become price-blind when you spend your days hunting down and discussing designer accessories, but sometimes life has a way of reminding you just how much a dollar is actually worth.

Bottega Veneta Crocodile Box Clutch, $3450 via Matches UK.

I’ve never been the type to swoon, but if ever I needed a fainting couch, now is the time.

The affinity that Megs and I have for Bottega Veneta exotics is well-documented, and finding this Bottega Veneta Crocodile Knot Box Clutch in a perfect shade of pinky-orangey coral just took me to the next level.

Jerome Dreyfuss Lucien Python Shoulder Bag via Net-a-Porter for $1280

Parisian designer Jerome Dreyfuss has seen his profile rise quite a bit over the past few seasons. Net-a-Porter has picked up his luxury-contemporary bags for Spring 2011, and the Jerome Dreyfuss Lucien Python Shoulder Bag is a great place to start if you want to understand his aesthetic.

As we’ve discussed, python is a bonafide trend for Fall 2011. The recent runways were overwhelmed with every sort of snakeskin you can imagine in every color combination that you could ever want, but sadly, a lot of them were pretty mediocre.