Exotics

Page 9

We’ll be doing the requisite rundown of all of Fall 2011’s accessories trends over the next few weeks, but when I saw the Jimmy Choo Saba Python Hobo Bag, I just couldn’t help myself. Mixing textures and python are both very important for this year’s looks, and this bag combines both of them in a very wearable, functional tote.

I’ve felt more positive about Jimmy Choo’s designs for Spring 2011 than I have about the company’s handbags in what seems like quite a while, and this bag in particular is an example of what Choo tends to do right. It has a note of bohemia without being outright hippie-dippy, and the metallic finish on the python adds an extremely luxurious touch. The deep suede trim provides just enough contrast to keep the gunmetal python from looking over-the-top. Balance: It’s a beautiful thing. (more…)

In order to be a consumer of luxury goods, or even to be seriously interested in them, one has to be a tad permissive on pricing. We tell ourselves a lot of little fibs about why a particular bag is worth a particular amount of money when, in reality, accessories are a realm in which prices often have little to do with the cost of a bag’s manufacturing and materials. To a certain extent, that’s a bargain that we’ve all accepted, but most people have some sort of arbitrary, self-imposed price threshold where a piece goes from “prohibitively expensive” to “offensive.”

For me, the Valextra Crocodile Credit Card Holder crosses that threshold. While Valextra is a brand whose craftsmanship and exquisite materials often do warrant higher prices than its competitors, over $3,000 for something which cannot even be accurately called a wallet is beyond the pale, and I feel comfortable saying that there’s almost no chance that the time, effort and crocodile skin that went into this piece could be worth anywhere near what Valextra is charging, no matter how beautiful it might be. (And it is quite beautiful.) What say you? Take our poll, but first take a look at the larger photo after the jump. You want to be accurately informed when you vote, after all.

[poll id=”74″] (more…)

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The Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch is one of those bags that I’m admittedly surprised to still like. The shape is so normal and Bottega has made so many different versions that I probably should have tired of it long ago, but for some reason, I still love almost every version that the brand creates. BV’s bag designers have a knack for the knot, to say the least.

With this utterly lovely matte black python version, though, I think that Bottega has really outdone itself. I have an overwhelming affection for almost anything matte black as it is, and when you apply that color and texture to an utterly luxurious exotic clutch, you have a match made in heaven. Or rather, a match made in Italy. Same difference. (more…)

Pauric Sweeney is well known for his beautiful and continued use of python in the bag line that bears his name, and his are consistently some of the most interesting and useful snakeskin bags on the market. He dabbled mostly in neutrals for spring although he does do brilliant brights from time to time, and the bag that caught my attention immediately was the Pauric Sweeney Shiny Python Crossbody.

Naturally, my first attraction was to the expertly finished python skin, which Sweeny consistently manages to make shine in a way that few other designers do. But after the initial “OOOH SHINY OBJECT” reaction wore off, I started to wonder: is this the type of bag I would actually use? (more…)

Thakoon is a designer whose handbags and shoes I’ve been greedily anticipating for quite a while, and now that they’re here, I couldn’t be happier. The designs reflect the unique sensibility of the company, but with pieces like the Thakoon Joplin Python Clutch, even women who are unfamiliar with the company can likely find something that they like.

I have a few question’s about this bag’s structure, but I’m betting that most of them come from photographing an empty bag instead of any actual design deficiencies. But I like the shape enough as it is to not be bothered, particularly in the face of such beautifully finished python for a better price than I suspected. (more…)

Five years ago, if you had told me that Posh Spice would be at the helm of a clothing and accessories line that people take seriously, I would have told you that you should probably consider laying off the drugs. It seems so utterly far-fetched that a 90s pop star would morph from a chaps-wearing WAG to a serious fashion person in the space of only a few years, and yet, Victoria Beckham has done just that. Not only are her collections shown at New York Fashion Week, but they are generally quite well-received and often worn by other stars on red carpets of all kinds.

I don’t know exactly how much designing Vicky B. does, although she’s said to be quite involved in the process, but at least she had the presence of mind to hire people who don’t suck to create her line, which is a move from which other celebs with clothing lines would do well to learn. And now that she’s doing accessories, the Victoria Beckham Matte Crocodile Shoulder Bag would seem to indicate that she took great care in hiring whoever’s designing her bags as well. (more…)

Megs and I have an odd ability: We talk about things, and they happen. It’s inexplicable, and there have been too many instances to completely enumerate here (Example: we joked that I would end up on the plane with a rapper on my last flight from Atlanta to New York, and I then found myself seated next to a guy from Public Enemy), but trust me, it happens. We’re magic, but we don’t know how to control it.

Recently, we found ourselves discussing a $16,000 partially sueded-croc Celine Luggage Tote that Megs had seen in the brand’s Bal Harbour boutique, and we both agreed that Celine was missing an opportunity by not offering a Luggage Tote made entirely out of regular crocodile. Lo and behold, photos of Celine Pre-Fall 2011 gave us a look at exactly the bag we were hoping to see. And if a partially croc Luggage Tote costs 16 grand, I don’t even want to speculate how much this one will be. Larger photo, after the jump.

UPDATE: We’ve heard this bag may be stamped instead of real croc, and if that’s the case, one of these beauties may indeed be in my future. (more…)

It makes me so happy to see a young designer stay true to his or her aesthetic when launching handbags. Too often, accessories neophytes can get caught up not only in the potential dollar signs of successful bags, but also in the design challenges that they present, which different from those of ready-to-wear. An accessories designer gets brought in who isn’t a great fit for the brand, and more mediocre bags flood our stores. Zac Posen, I’m looking at you.

Thankfully, it seems as though Jason Wu isn’t going to fall into that trap. The Jason Wu Python Shoulder Bag, from the just-show Pre-Fall 2011 collection, is not only perfectly on-trend but also beautiful in its own right. (more…)

The work week: it’s hard. That’s why we need to be occasionally rewarded with images like this one, of the utterly perfect VBH Crocodile Keyhole Satchel. Since this is a Spring 2011 piece and the closest match we can find at an online retailer is the same bag in ostrich, we’re going to estimate this bag’s price to be in the low five figures. Or, if you prefer, the current-season ostrich version will set you back a cool seven grand. Either way, sit back and enjoy the view, which is free. It’s almost Friday!

Photo via Style.com.

Over four season of careful study of the fashion on Gossip Girl, a few things become apparent: Lily loves Hermes. Rufus loves plaid. Nate loves his manbangs. What may not be quite so obvious, though, is Serena’s appreciation of Carlos Falchi.

Falchi’s bags often don’t stand out as obviously his because they don’t feature any sort of obvious logos, markings or hardware, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of people were noticing the Carlos Falchi Shiny Moroccan Croc Bag being toted around the Upper East Side set very soon. It just has “Serena Van Der Woodsen’ written all over it. (more…)

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