Usually fur bags and accessories are released for fall and winter and then go into hiding until the next cold weather season approaches. But much to my surprise I saw a newer designer, Shrimps, release a couple of faux fur clutches just in time for spring and summer.

These bags are colorful and different, but still took me off guard. There’s a green and yellow version along with an orange and black. Price is $310 via Net-A-Porter. I want to know what you think about it too.

Fill in the blank: The Shrimps Faux Fur Clutch is _______________. (more…)

Christian Louboutin continues to work his way into the handbag market, though the famed designer is still most well-known for his red-soled shoes. Sometimes one of his bags really makes an impression, while others don’t translate the designer’s quirky-sexy footwear aesthetic quite as well. For example, Louboutin creates some of the most enticing studded pumps around, but bringing those studs to his handbag line has been a bit more challenging.

We saw these attempts first with a studded backpack, and now the Christian Louboutin Mina Studded Box Clutch caught my eye. The hard leather box clutch is adorned with all-over pastel studs, which create quite the conversation piece. I’m turning to you – what do you think about this clutch? Buy through Net-A-Porter for $1,895.

Fill in the blank: The Christian Louboutin Mina Studded Box Clutch is ______.

It’s been de rigueur for young, edgy, look-at-me designers to make handbags out of stuffed animals for several years now. Some veer toward the cute (Mandy Coon and her bunny rabbit), some veer toward the strange (Giles Deacon and his triceratops), and now the Christopher Raeburn Quilted Water Rat Shoulder Bag takes a turn for the decidedly, purposefully grotesque.

As revolting as the thought of a rat is to most people (especially New Yorkers), the sight of a pink rat (shaved? skinned? who knows.) strikes me as particularly nauseating. On this bag, the Xed eyes give the distinct impression that this little critter, although made of nylon, is intended to invoke a dead rat, and a dead swimming rat at that. The mere idea of a water rat is enough to keep me out of lakes and ponds for the duration, even though I’m not 100% certain that’s their natural habitat. I’d rather not find out, and these days I’m afraid to Google anything that might bring up less-than-pleasant photos, lest I find myself bombarded with this bag’s real-life inspiration.

A bag this odd requires reader input, as far as I’m concerned, so kindly pick an adjective and place it in the comments. If you’re looking for an expensive way to freak out your nieces and impress your nephews, pick up this bag for $328 via Matches.

Sometimes I hear people say that bags have faces, that on certain designs, the zippers and pockets and other miscellaneous pieces of hardware line up to an unintentional visage to for an unintentional visage in luxury leather. I rarely ever notice these bag faces myself, but I can see them when others point it out to me – my mom, for instance, sees smiling handbags everywhere she goes and used to claim that my Marc Jacobs Stam Bag looked angry. On the other hand, there’s nothing unintentional about the face staring back at us from the Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily Queen Regina Satchel. (more…)

I’ve been a fan of Tom Ford handbags since they first debuted online. Ford’s sense of design stands out in an interesting way, and I already love everything else Tom Ford does, so I consider myself a fan. But even designers that are known for their beautiful designs make mistakes from time to time, and this Tom Ford bag is an example of that.

Dyed mink fur and gold hardware aren’t even the focal point of the Tom Ford Mink Fur Bracelet Bag compared to the detailed resin cuff/handle on this bracelet bag. It’s a design that confuses me, and when I find myself having a hard time putting my thoughts into words, I know I can turn to you to help me fill in the blank. Oh yeah, and an important little tidbit: the price is a whopping $3,480 via Neiman Marcus.

I love it when jewelry brands get into the handbag business. They bring with them a sense of embellishment and attention to detail (especially hardware) that often makes it immediately apparent that the brand started out in a more blinged-out section of the fashion business, and that’s definitely true of the Shourouk Crystal-Embellished PVC Clutch. To a certain extent, anyway.

If you’re not familiar with Shourouk, you can get a pretty good idea of the company’s jewelry aesthetic based on this clutch alone. They deal in sparkly, crystal-encrusted jewels that are partially or totally painted in bright colors and neons. That gives the pieces, which might otherwise look like estate jewelry, a modern, young feeling; this clutch has the makings of a pretty cute bracelet spread across its front flap.

The thing that’s holding me back from expressing full enthusiasm for this clutch is the use of clear PVC, although it’s also a design choice that I understand. The color matches the painted stones perfectly, and using the futuristic material prevents the jewel embellishment from skewing the look too old-fashioned. The only problem, of course, is that PVC is kind of a cheap (and cheap-looking) material, and without any leather trim, the body of the bag looks quite inexpensive, particularly around the stitching.

That being said, the clutch is still quite festive, and in some ways, it’s perfect for an evening event in the summer. Where would you wear it? If you’ve already got a plan set, pick it up for $735 via Net-a-Porter.

I know that the Versus Gold Pin Shoulder Bag isn’t quite Versace, but all I can think when I look at it is how much it owes to that famous Versace dress that Elizabeth Hurley wore to the Four Weddings and a Funeral premiere way back in 1994. (Can you believe that’s nearly 20 years ago?) Is there any other immediate association that a fashion lover can have with bold black accented with enormous gold safety pins? I think not. I also can’t think of any who I’d rather see carrying this bag than Liz herself.

Or maybe you’re a little younger than I am, and you remember that particular dress more for Lady Gaga’s turn in the gown than Liz Hurley’s – Gaga would certainly be an appropriate bag mama for this piece. There are others who could pull it off, though – Rihanna, Rita Ora. Mostly singers, now that I think of it – why can singers pull things off that actresses can’t? That’s a debate for another time, though – tell us in the comments who you’d like to see wear this bag.

If you are the person you’d like to see with this purse, pick it up for $715 via SSENSE.

With anticipation for the film version of The Great Gatsby reaching a fever pitch, fashion people are talking about the movies even more than usual. Miuccia Prada personally oversaw the gorgeous 1920s-era wardrobing for the film, and based on the trailers, it’s indeed full of deco gorgeousness the likes of which hasn’t been seen since…well, since the Gatsby era. If it were up to us (and if we had received an invitation), we’d certainly be taking something sparkly and Leiber-esque to the premiere, but for a more casual film fete, we think the Charlotte Olympia Movie Night Shoulder Bag would make the perfect companion.

Olympia’s known for her sense of humor when it comes to purses and accessories, and her clutches in particular never fail to make us smile. We’re clearly not the only ones – often, her kitschiest designs are the ones that disappear from store shelves and online retailers most quickly. Fashion can be a very self-serious business, and having Charlotte Olympia around is a great reminder that for our clothing dollars, we should sometimes expect fun, in addition to luxury and quality.

Now the only question is, where to take this silly little bag? I’d choose the new Star Trek movie – I hate sci-fi, but my love for Chris Pine transcends all that.

Buy through Net-a-Porter for $495.

Well, the Loewe Poppy Sheep Amazona Bag looks cuddly, for lack of a better word.

For some reason, my first thought upon seeing this bag (which is part of Loewe’s Fall 2013 collection, on pre-order via Moda Operandi through March 28) was that if I were to ever be stranded at an airport, it would be the bag I’d want to have with me. Stuff your extra sweater inside and it’s an impromptu pillow! How convenient. Questionably stylish, sure, but convenient.

This bag, as well as versions in blue and ivory, graced the brand’s runway earlier this month in Paris. Naturally, designers tend to put their most eye-catching and forward-thinking pieces on the runway, so if they’re going to have a fuzzy Amazona, I suppose it’s only natural that it was featured; even if it’s not destined to be a hot seller, people will certainly talk about it.

As many of you already know, my feelings about fur bags tend to be harsh, with occasional exceptions made for particularly well-conceived designs. I wouldn’t put this Amazona on that short list, but its cartoonish quality did make me smile instead of cringe. A bag for an animated Cruella DeVille, perhaps. Pick up this piece for $2,400 or shop the full pre-sale via Moda Operandi. Got a different way to finish our sentence in the post title? Give it to us in the comments.

In general, I’m a big fan of the Givenchy Antigona Bag. Not only is it a celeb favorite, but it looks super slick in basic black, which is always a hallmark of a strong design. It’s also come in some great non-solid versions over the seasons, including a scarlet-accented black calf hair version that I tried to track down for months after it had obviously already sold out. I was hoping that an equally lust-worthy version of the bag would surface for Spring 2013, but now I’m not so sure.

The Givenchy Antigona Architect Bag isn’t it. To me, it looks vaguely like it was made out of the upholstery of a particularly twee diner booth. I love all of Givenchy’s darkness and oddness, and I’ve been on board with the Rottweiler bags and all kinds of experimental stuff. What I don’t want from Givenchy, though, is light pink, particularly not in this version. If Riccardo Tisci can think of a way to do a goth take on light pink, though, I’d be cool with that. (And if anyone can do it, it’s him.)

This bag, though, just doesn’t do it for me. Is it doing anything for you, and does it remind you of anything in particular? Play our Fill in the Blank game in the comments, or pick up one for yourself via Luisa Via Roma for $2,500.

Follow Closely