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. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that the Carlos Falchi Caiman and Python Oversized Shoulder Bag is pretty much the definition of “glorious.” (more…)

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.

I know that this isn’t a handbag that everyone will love, but that’s why I like it so much – it’s a distinctive statement of style and personality. The best bags are those that some people don’t quite understand, and this blue-and-white-on-chartreuse painted floral pattern certainly puts this satchel in a different realm. (more…)

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. How could it not? The charms of this particular purse are so many and varied that I barely know where to start. (more…)

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.

Take the Carlos Falchi Gathered Python Pouf Satchel, for instance. Not only do Falchi’s signature gathers make the bag look touchable and luxurious, but the finishing of the python and the way that it’s used accents the natural beauty of the material in a really great way. We all know I think that there is no greater bag sin that disguising an exotic’s natural beauty, but Falchi passes that test with flying colors here. (more…)

Hello Nancy Gonzalez, we have missed you in our lives. It is not for a lack of designs, I simply have not been drawn to you in a while. And I think I know why. One of the biggest upsides is also the biggest downside for designer Nancy Gonzalez, her designs are very seamless and very expected. There is no hardware being used and the designs are very ‘Nancy Gonzalez’, if you know what I mean. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes a design needs to catch my eye a bit more.

The Nancy Gonzalez Shiny Frame Crocodile Clutch does grab my attention with its brightly colored pink Caiman fuscus crocodile skin and simple yet sleek design. (more…)

Be still, my heart.

Although versions of that famous phrase appear in the works of both Homer and Shakespeare, I think that it is most usefully and accurately employed to describe my salivating, almost quivering reaction upon seeing the Salvatore Ferragamo Python Soft Sofia Shoulder Bag. To put it in more vernacular terms: holy crap, y’all. If a bag can be sexy, this bag is sexy. I want to settle down and buy a house with it – too bad its price would be a good start to a downpayment. (more…)

We’ve featured several non-leather clutches in the past few days that have had price tags north of two grand, and commenters seem displeased at such prices for bags that aren’t made out of some kind of animal-derived material. Well! We certainly don’t want anyone to be displeased, so I present for your consideration the Pauric Sweeney Tullio Lizard Clutch.

It’s made almost entirely of exotic lizard skin, it has clean, architectural lines, and the combination of neutral colors would go with a variety of nighttime looks. At only slightly more than $1000 for all of that, the price sounds positively fair when looked at in comparison with the clutches we’ve written about recently. (more…)

As I mentioned over on PurseBlog Savvy recently, I’ve been struck by a vintage-shopping craze as of late. Midcentury design flourishes are the Next Big Thing in high fashion, and taking the time to search for the real items from the era always seems like a clever response to the revival of older trends in high fashion.

Sometimes, however, it’s impossible to find exactly what you want in the condition and quality that luxury customers expect. In those situations, items like the Nancy Gonzalez Soft Croc Quilted Satchel are perfect – the bag has all the charm of a great vintage find, but you don’t have to spend hours slogging through dusty bins of old handbags in hopes of finding something like it. (more…)

Let’s not mince words about the handbags that went down the Bottega Veneta runway last week in Milan: I cannot recall ever seeing a runway collection that included so many different kinds of bags, all of them utterly beautiful. I’m not even that enormous of a Bottega fan and I was still awed by the details that went into all of them, from oversized crocodile hobos to the tiniest embellished knot clutches. It was without question a pleasure to watch every look that came down the catwalk, and the bags were the icing on the drool-worthy cake.

I mentioned this tangentially in my post about this season’s Gucci bags, but the purses that grace the runways provide a level of luxury that can’t be matched. They’re usually the creme de la creme, made from the best materials and with the most attention to detail that a brand has to offer. Bottega’s outstanding collection, which was carried by nearly half of the models in the show, is perhaps among the best examples of a true runway bag collection that I’ve ever seen. The bags were expertly dyed candy-colored crocodile and snakeskin, mixed with browns and graphites and complemented by a few examples of the brand’s famed intrecciato weave in the best leathers available. They were so engaging, in fact, that I found myself distracted from the show’s gorgeous dresses – no small feat. (more…)

I was certain we covered the Derek Lam Nadia before. I checked PurseBlog and PurseBlog Savvy, no go. Instead, I must have been certain we covered it because I kept looking at this bag on ShopBop and other sites and thinking, “I should really write about this bag”. I need to teach myself that internal conversation blog posts are not being seen by our readers. Apologies.

But we have a treat for you. Sure, this bag comes in leather, which is what I saw on ShopBop, but we are bringing you a closer look at the spiced up version of the Derek Lam Nadia Hobo in dyed buffed python. We will be bringing you more on the next spring trend that continues surfacing, tye-dye effects, and Derek Lam perfects this with the exotic skin and sleek design. (more…)

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