I have the sweetest sweet tooth out there – it rivals that of almost anyone I meet. Pair that with my love of accessories, and it seems that Judith Leiber is speaking to me directly with the bags above. As soon as I found the Judith Leiber Hot Fudge Ice Cream Sundae Minaudiere, it was as though I was one of Pavlov’s dogs.

Without any context, who would have thought that carrying around a crystalized zoo animal would be so posh? Somehow, year after year, Judith Leiber makes its eccentric, idiosyncratic style work. The brand’s crystal-studded minaudière bags are Leiber’s most iconic pieces by a mile, and even though there are imitations, nothing beats owning the real deal. From the first teardrop-shaped minaudière, which debuted decades ago, Leiber’s designs have become steadily more unique and more daring.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that I have a major sweet tooth. I have dessert or some sort of sweet treat at least once a day and I truly don’t discriminate. I love chocolate, ice cream, tarts, fruits, cheeses, and any type of dessert put in front of me. I discovered macarons after moving to NYC; they’re quite the dessert favorite in these parts, and they have been added to my sweet tooth repertoire.

Judith Leiber is one of those brands that you don’t often see at a big discount. Leiber’s tiny, sparkly evening bags are a favorite of collectors and hold a special place in the heart of so many bag owners that seasonal discounts are often unnecessary; one of her bags is like dessert after a steady diet of functional, durable leather bags.

Image via Moda Operandi

Perusing the Judith Leiber Resort 2012 offerings now available for advanced order on Moda Operandi is almost soothing. In the giant, endless parade of new ideas that is the fashion industry, Leiber’s commitment season after season to the company’s whimsical crystal-encrusted evening bags are a shelter in the storm. You know what you’ll find, even if you’re not sure exactly how it will take shape.

Judith Leiber Houston Semiprecious Beaded Clutch, $4995 via Bergdorf Goodman

Even if most women don’t have many occasions on which they might use a Judith Leiber clutch, looking at the tiny, sparkly, intricately beaded evening bags is a pastime in which we can all participate. Bergdorf Goodman has recently added a six-bag Judith Leiber Fall 2011 preview to its website, which not only gives us a closer look at what Leiber is doing for the season, but also lets you pre-order from the selection for delivery at the end of July, if you’re so inclined.

I know that we’re all supposed to put on a happy face, sing holiday songs and pretend like we just love dealing with our various and assorted sociopathic family members this time of year, but let’s face it – Christmas is often as stressful as it is exciting. I’m blessed with a small extended family, almost all of whom I get along with swimmingly, but not everyone is so lucky.

Some designers try to go in eight directions at once, but generally, Judith Leiber only has one goal, and that’s to create the sparkliest, shiniest collection of evening bags known to man. The company once again took on that task for Spring 2011, but it also tried its hand at the occasional exotic skin and day bag, standard Leiber flourishes of which not everyone is aware.

There are plenty of designers whose entrance to the wedding-bag market might seem counterintuitive: Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, Commes des Garcon. (Although I’d personally love to see what all of those companies would do with the genre.) Judith Leiber? That company definitely not among them. In fact, the question shouldn’t be, “Why is Leiber entering the wedding market now?” but, “Why didn’t it make this totally obvious decision decades ago?”

Exceptionally few people can rationalize the purchase of one of Leiber’s tiny, crystal-encrusted minaudieres.

After featuring a crystal-encrusted Valentino bag so prominently yesterday, it’s only fair to recognize the brand that made sparkly animal clutches into a worldwide business. Judith Leiber can bedazzle anything and make it into a great work of inventiveness, but my favorites from the brand are often among its more restrained offerings.

It’s difficult to imagine a context in which the Judith Leiber Crystal Chain Strap Clutch could be considered “restrained,” and yet that’s exactly what this evening bag is, when compared to a Swarovski-studded Dachsund.

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