Another season has come and gone, and before we dive into what the Europeans have to offer in the coming weeks, it's time to look back at what we learned about Fall 2013 during New York Fashion Week. First and foremost, things aren't going be be quite as busy and boisterous going forward as they have been over the past few seasons. Most brands showed lots of neutrals (black and white, in combination, in particular) and subdued colors, which is great for people like us. It gives accessories an opportunity to sing.
And sing they did. The bags out of New York this season are exotic, furry, haircalf'd and embellished with textiles and jewels. As fussy as that sounds, though, there's a sophistication to the best of the group that takes down the volume by an order of magnitude and manages to make those elements look wearable and elegant. Below, the 20 strongest American contenders for your handbag dollars from Fall 2013. Fill us in on your favorite of the bunch in the comments.
[Images via Vogue]
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In my mind, no color looks fresher with stark neutrals right now than cobalt blue. Victoria Beckham captures the look perfectly.
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J. Mendel's furs and evening gowns are likely familiar to you by now, but the brand's handbags might not be. With options like this leather and haircalf bicolor tote, it won't be long until they're everywhere.
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The longer I look at this tweed-and-sequin Marc Jacobs shoulder bag, the more mesmerized I become by attempting to locate where the sequins end and the tweed begins.
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Marchesa does a heavily detailed, totally glamourous evening bag like no other.
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Jason Wu has emerged as a contender in the evening bag market, and red and black is a color scheme I can always get behind.
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The Ralph Lauren Ricky Bag redone in rich tapestry with black leather trim is the final word on the haute bohemian trend.
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Michael Kors' collection was graphic and athletic, and the bags matched those strict, sporty lines.
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The Rag + Bone Pilot Bag will come in a lot of great colors and materials for fall, but this rich tan version is the winner of the group.
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Reed Krakoff never fails to make me drool. It scarcely gets better than a simple satchel in delectable grey crocodile.
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The Proenza Schouler PS13 Clutch is easily the best of any of the PS13 styles, and this minty ostrich version is the epitome of forward-thinking luxury.
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I don't know who would realistically carry this small, white Reed Krakoff hand-held bag except for a Vogue editor, but who says you need anyone other than them?
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Narciso Rodriguez' penchant for modern, athletic, at times minimal lines serves him well when it comes to handbag design.
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The 3.1 Phillip Lim Ryder Bag was perhaps my favorite accessories development of New York Fashion Week, and it doesn't get much more covetable than this olive calf hair version.
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Belstaff is a newcomer to the handbag market, but with strong multi-material efforts like this one, the brand should stick around for a while.
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There are few things I love more than a small, printed, tightly designed crossbody, like this one from Derek Lam.
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Tory Burch's Art Nouveau-inspired collection is full of incredible details, from old-world florals, to iridescent beading, to tons of gold accents, and the handbags benefit mightily from these lush accents.
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If you've been looking for a chic, reasonably priced, wearable fur bag, this simple, close-cropped Marc by Marc Jacobs option is your best bet. Bonus points that it's faux!
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What did we tell you about those gorgeous Tory Burch details?
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This easy, bright Diane von Furstenberg clutch is a seasonless burst of color.
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Victoria Beckham proved long ago that she knows what she's doing with her eponymous line, and this luxe, understated bicolor satchel should remove any doubt you might have.