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In a season where several major American accessories designers have opted to go with straight-up whimsy and humor, 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2012 took a much more intellectual approach. Building on the widespread critical success of his 31 Hour, Minute and Second bags from Spring 2012, fall’s runway collection marked a continued exploration of handbag structure and the ways that modern women interact with their accessories. Most of the larger clutches revealed small cosmetic bags inside, and the portfolio bags sported smaller exterior attached pouches.

The runway didn’t yield many must-haves, but for a designer like Lim, it usually doesn’t. The accessories magic comes when these ideas are then married with the commercial wisdom that creates great handbags, and I have every faith in him that in a few months, we’ll see just that. After all, that’s how the 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 Hour Bag came about, and everyone’s in love with it. Check out the rest of the bags from the show after the jump.

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