I’m a jewelry girl, but I’m not a jewelry girl. When it comes to accessories, I will always opt to splurge on handbags before shoes or jewelry. When it is time to buy some jewels, I love a trendy statement piece and I don’t seek out precious stones or solid gold. However, if I were to do so, I might turn to Hermes Exceptional Jewelry – when you have hundreds of thousands of imaginary dollars to spend on jewelry and you already love the Hermes brand, then why not?

So today, we have a gallery of some overly extravagant and overly priced Hermes goods, because that’s the sort of thing that we’re prone to spend our days looking at. If you had the money, would you buy any of these pieces?

We don’t delight in bad news around here, and a price increase is just about the worst news that you can ever expect to find on a handbag blog. (We’re lucky that way.) Unfortunately, that’s what this time of year brings for Hermes lovers, and NYC shopping blog Mizhattan reports that we can expect a noticeable uptick in price for everything from Birkins to Colliers de Chien to flasks. How much? That depends.

The price increase is rumored to be between seven and 10 percent, depending on product, which would raise the price of the brand’s marquee handbags by over a thousand dollars apiece for higher-end leathers and exotics. It seems as though the increase will phase in start any day now and running through the beginning of February, and as Mizhattan mentions, it seems logical that bags would be among the first pieces to see the hike because of their importance in the Hermes product lineup.

Hermes also increased its prices at the end of January last year, and it seems as though the brand will continue to do it until the market won’t bear it anymore. Birkins, Kellys and all of Hermes’ other bags still fly off the shelves as fast as they can be cranked out, it seems as though we have a ways to go before a slowdown. Does the price increase make you any less likely to buy something from Hermes, or are price increases just part of being a luxury consumer?

Birkin, ahoy! Here’s Kyle Richards of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, flaunting her black Hermes Birkin like there’s no tomorrow as she heads in to her KYLE Boutique in LA with a few new samples. In the following pics, you’ll notice that Kyle has what could be a quilted Chanel Tote on her other arm – but don’t quote us on that one. We’re can’t ID those crazy calfhair, gold-tipped ankle boots either, but if you can, you’ll be the recipient of 500 PurseBlog cool points. (Redeemable only in PB street cred.)

In the past two weeks, we’ve featured Ellen Barkin, Kim Kardashian, and Tamara Ecclestone with their Birkins. So Kyle brings our “celeb with Birkin” count to an even four…which compels me to announce our first ever bi-weekly BIRKIN-OFF. Sadly, Ellen Barkin’s basic purple Birkin and Kyle Richard’s everyday black Birkin just can’t compete, so Round 2 is quickly down to Tamara Ecclestone’s silver Crocodile Birkin and Kim Kardashian’s So Black Birkin. Whose Birkin will prevail?! You be the judge!

Here’s (slight) baby bump-rockin’ Kim Kardashian in NYC doing a little press with her sister Kourtney. You’ll notice Kim is carrying an uber rare, extremely covetable, limited edition Hermes So Black Birkin! If you’re unfamiliar with the So Black Birkin, you’ll notice the bag has black hardware on black leather. I’ve given the Birkin a little flack this week (the word “overexposed” might’ve been used), but the So Black Birkin reminds me what the fuss is all about.

These limited edition bags are highly sought-after, but we could only find two celebs in the PB archives that actually owned one, at last count – Kim and British heiress Tamara Ecclestone, who owns the Hermes So Black Croc Birkin. So if you’re thinking of adding one to your shopping list…good luck with that.

Most brands are simply happy to produce a luxurious, cohesive handbag collection each season, but as we all know, Hermes isn’t most brands. The legendary French house consistently takes leather to the next level, and this time, they’ve taken it to the jungle. With a little help from Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann (the two halves of French art studio Zim & Zou), that is.

According to FastCompany’s Co.Create site, Hermes first commissioned a single parrot made of Hermes leather scraps from the duo. After seeing the finished product, though, Hermes decided to populate its own rain forest with a lizard, a monkey and the toucan you see above. The animals are part of Hilton McConnico’s latest exhibit in Hong Kong, but to get a look at them without traveling halfway around the world, check out our slideshow below. [Photos via Co.Create]

Here’s a fur-wrapped Ellen Barkin carrying a deep purple Hermes Birkin while doing a little shopping in Manhattan. Have you caught Ellen on her new NBC show The New Normal yet? She stars alongside fellow PurseBlog regular and designer bag-enthusiast Nene Leakes. Sadly, her new primetime TV gig seems to leave her less time for hilarious and zany tweets on her infamous Twitter page.

I know how much you guys love Birkins – and especially seeing them in the hands of practically every celeb who walks the Earth on a weekly basis – but I’m curious: is the Birkin a bag that you still aspire to own (if you don’t already)? Or do you feel that the Birkin is overexposed? I think we’ve said almost everything that can be said about the Hermes Birkin at one time or another, so how about some more Ellen Barkin trivia? Did you know she was married to somber Irish hottie Gabriel Byrne for 11 years? Neither did I!

This is the second time we’ve spotted Tamara Ecclestone with this well-dressed, well-bagged man friend – here they are arriving together at LAX. According to The Daily Mail, this is Scott Harvey-Nicholls, Tamara’s close personal chum and “brand manager”. (I’d let Mr. Harvey-Nicholls manage my brand any day.) You’ll notice the very tan Tamara is rather conspicuously flashing her silver Hermes Crocodile Birkin at the cameras. BFF Scott is toting the Goyard Boeing Duffel Bag – which, let’s be honest, shames all other duffel bags, save the Louis Vuitton Monogram Duffle. Sadly, none of these brands vend these particular bags online.

Tamara is looking noticeably more tan than she was the last time she was in LA, but if you’ve ever picked up a UK tabloid, you probably know that British tabloid stars and self-tanner go together like fish n’ chips.

If I had a nickel for every time we featured a celeb conspicuously leaving a hair salon dressed to the nines…I still wouldn’t be able to afford a Hermes Kelly, but I’d be closer than I am now. Here’s Eva Longoria exiting the Ken Paves Salon in West Hollywood after a low-key evening of primping and styling, with her Hermes Kelly Bag in tow. Eva’s quite an Hermes fan (who isn’t?) – she lays claim to a small collection of Birkins (one in tan, one in cobalt blue, and one in fuchsia croc, at last count) as well as a smattering of bags from practically every other must-have designer such as Celine, Balenciaga, and the like. (The list goes on interminably, of course, but I’m assuming you have other things to do today.)

The Hermes Kelly, tragically, like all the most coveted Hermes bags, is not available to the sprawling internet masses – nor will it ever be, we suspect. Ah, to live within a stone’s throw of an Hermes boutique…

When most people think of Hermes, they think of the coveted Birkin and Kelly, but the brand offers so many more bags. Sometimes when I want to go off to dream world, I dive into the Hermes website because it’s one of the best-designed and most fun and interactive sites any luxury retailer has put together. While playing on it today, I ran into an inviting look at the Hermes Berline Bag as a slew of them swayed from side to side while bells play in the background.

But enough about their website, let’s discuss the bag, shall we?

Some people might think the Berline Bag is brand new, but it first appeared for Fall 2011. The bag looks like a more casual and sporty version of the Hermes Jypsiere. The main difference from its sibling bag is the strap is shorter, so the bag can be worn as a shoulder bag with a smaller under-arm drop. Also, the front of the bag features an interesting and sporty quilted leather pattern. While every account I’ve read of people seeing this bag in person is positive, many say they had a hard time pulling the bag off. I would say majority of the reason is the short strap, because with a bag this shape it would be ideal to wear crossbody. The price is about $7,150 and the Berline comes in Swift leather (a smooth and durable leather).

Here’s Portia de Rossi, trying to sidestep the paparazzi while leaving a hair salon in LA. If you’re startled by her short new ‘do, Portia apparently chopped off her long, wavy blond locks sometime this summer, FYI. (Missed that newsbite completely.) Less shocking: You’ll notice Portia is carrying a black Hermes Birkin. Let us all take a moment to pay homage to the most popular celeb arm candy on the planet.

For those of you who have trouble distinguishing Portia de Rossi (the real human being) with Lindsay Bluth Funke (the fictional character from Arrested Development), allow me to provide an update. As you AD fans may already know, a fourth season of AD is currently in production, and a movie is reportedly in the works! (Though seriously, that’s been a rumor ever since the show went off the air). The fourth season will be released episode by episode on Netflix. And if that movie never pans out? Well, you know what they say: “There’s always money in the banana stand…”

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