This is a tad embarrassing to admit, considering what I do for a living, but my luggage? It’s kind of busted.

I don’t travel all that frequently, maybe a couple of times a year at the most, and I generally prefer to use my money on things that I’ll enjoy on a regular basis – bags, shoes, clothes, gadgets. Every time I go on a trip, though, I swear that I’ll invest in some great luggage for the next one, but then the thought totally leaves my mind as I adjust back to my regular routine.

When we discussed Reed Krakoff’s Fall 2010 handbag line last week, many of you mentioned that your favorite was one we had omitted: the Reed Krakoff Alligator and Felt Boxer II Tote. The bag’s omission was intentional: I think it’s beautiful enough to deserve its own post.

When it first appeared on Net-a-Porter two weeks ago, it managed to sell out before I even woke up (which, admittedly, was later than a real adult should be waking up for work), but a second shipment has come in.

At this point, if you’ve been a bag lover for more than the past fifteen minutes, you’re used to a sizable markup for python. Some types of snakeskin, most notably watersnake, can be had at prices not far above those of regular leather, but python generally commands big bucks. For instance, the difference between a Chloé Paraty in leather and the same size in python is a solid $2000.

Any regular reader of this blog knows that I’m drooling over a whole lot of bags for winter – Celine, YSL, Mulberry, Alexander Wang…my list is long and expensive, just as it always is. We can go ahead and add the Carlos Falchi Gathered Crocodile Tote to it, although I’d need a bit of a windfall to make it a practical option.

After five years of running PurseBlog, it is rare that I run into a brand new designer that I feel absolutely amazed, excited, and captivated by. That is precisely what I feel when I look at Peter Nitz Zurich designs. His designs captured my attention from the very first glance and have yet to let me go. Peter’s dream was to own an atelier where he would shape and stitch the finest available skins entirely by hand and accent them with beautiful jewelry to create unique and precious handbags.

It’s so rare that Nancy Gonzalez makes a misstep. Her handbags may not be revolutionary, but it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with exotic materials, beautiful colors and simple shapes. It appears as though she has handbag design nearly down to a science.

The Nancy Gonzalez Hand-Held Croc Clutch is merely the most recent in a long line of sartorial successes from the brand, and as always, I’m drooling over it.

As for the rest of you, please go get a paper towel to mop up the drool before we go any further.

Ready? Great.

I have a little theory about exotics that I’ve postulated around these parts before, and it goes something like this: if I’m going to pay a premium for crocodile or python (or, in this case, both), then I want the skins to be featured in the most glorious way possible.

It’s rare that you find something that’s honestly unique in fashion – designers are equal amounts artists and collectors, and they borrow from each other with great regularity. Carlos Falchi has proven repeatedly that he doesn’t mind searching for inspiration a little further off the beaten path than some designers, and he’s struck a truly unique note with the Carlos Falchi Henna Tiger Snake Satchel.

Swoon.

You hear that? I’m swooning. Pretty hard. I’m a bit desensitized to beautiful handbags in the same way that I imagine fashion photographers are desensitized to beautiful women – when you look at them all day from a business perspective, it’s can be kind of hard to recapture the feeling of excitement that they once gave you. Well, folks, the Pauric Sweeney Metallic Python Shoulder Bag has me giddy like a schoolgirl all over again.

Say what you want, but there’s nothing as luxurious as exotic leather. The texture and detail are unparalleled, and stamping or embossing regular leather just doesn’t get the same effect. Exotics are pricy, of course, but if you can afford them, they’re worth it. I’m a particular fan of Carlos Falchi‘s python and croc looks – they’re less expensive than similar products from some other brands and the soft, slouchy approach that Falchi takes makes them look and feel much younger than the types of styles that traditionally feature exotic materials.

Follow Closely