Leave it to the French to cap off the Fall 2013 show season with a fashion week full of subtle, elegant, incredibly luxurious bags. Along with the clothes that graced the majority of the runways at Paris Fashion Week, the bags were largely casual and wearable; where a thousand rhinestone-encrusted clutches once stood, we instead found functional everyday bags in shades of ivory, burgundy and black.

How to translate Fashion Week publicity and excitement into quick sales has been a logistical problem plaguing the fashion industry for some time. By their very nature, fashion shows are showcases of clothing that has yet to be manufactured, but with almost every show imaginable streaming online and images up on Style.com within hours, they also provide a huge public window on new collections, and the public is not that good at waiting.

Last week, we spotlighted what celebrities and fashion people were carrying to attend the Chanel Fall 2013 show (shocker: lots of Chanel), but its far from the only show that attracts stars and their handbags at Paris Fashion Week. From Stella McCartney to Louis Vuitton, American, European and Asian celebs carried a ton of envy-inducing bags all over Paris in the past week.

There are few sure things in life (other than death and taxes, as the old trope goes), but a bevy of beautiful handbags at a Louis Vuitton show is absolutely on that short list. The company makes no bones about the importance of leather goods to its business, and creative director Marc Jacobs always makes sure to put the best of the best on display for editors, buyers and LV fans alike.

Under the guidance of Clare Waight Keller, Chloe has been pretty much impeccable when it comes to retro-modern femininity. Looking for something in peach, blush or ivory, but want it without the saccharine sweetness that often accompanies those shades? Go directly to Chloe, do not pass go, do not collect $200. For Fall 2013, though, Waight Keller had something slightly tougher in mind, but her vision was no less-spot on.

It’s so unfair that some of the very best accessories shows are at the end of fashion month. We’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for powerhouse handbag brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton to give us a peek at what’s up next, and finally, all has been revealed. In the case of Chanel Fall 2013, the collection turned out to be well worth the wait, particularly if you enjoyed Spring 2013′s Lego-inspired bags.

Dior built a solid foundation for its accessories with Raf Simons’ ready-to-wear debut in Spring 2013, and for Dior Fall 2013, that design success only grows. Casual observers might question the choice to adorn many of the bags with midcentury Andy Warhol drawings of shoes, but fashion and art tend to make less-than-strange bedfellows as of late. From a marketing perspective, it’s a smart, not to mention stylish, move.

By now, you like know what to expect from Chanel Spring 2013. It is, after all, the collection that spawned the Instagram-friendly Chanel Hula Hoop Bag, but even beyond that, it was a modern-but-fun set of colorful bags that still retained that signature Chanel look. Now those bags are available in Chanel boutiques worldwide, and we’ve got the lookbook to prove it.

When we discussed the possibilities of Alexander Wang’s handbags for Balenciaga back when the young American designer was named to replace Nicolas Ghesquiere as the head of the brand, most of you were not particularly optimistic about Wang would do, particularly compared to the genius of his predecessor. After all, precious few brands can boast a line that’s been as successful as the Balenciaga Motorcycle Bags, which were Ghesquiere’s brainchild.

I can’t believe it’s already the end of Milan Fashion Week! Paris is underway as we speak, but before we fully commit to a new city, we’d like to take a look at some of the best pieces and trends that came out of Italy for Fall 2013. Both fur and exotics are still going strong, and you might want to look for pieces in bright red and cyan to hit stores six months from now.

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