Intellectually, I’m aware that all designer handbags are overpriced, but I have the hardest time grappling with the prices of small, sparkly bags. At least with a big leather or exotic tote, you can see your money in the physical size and materials of the thing. With a shiny little clutch, the workmanship and expensive materials are a little harder to discern; I can tell cheap from expensive leather, but I couldn’t tell you how to decipher the differences between a glass crystal and a plastic one.
With the furious din of bold trends that have swept through fashion in the past few seasons – brights! neons! pastels! exotics! colorblocking! fur! embellishments of all kinds! – it feels positively refreshing to see the clean-lined neutrals that are coming forth for Pre-Fall and Fall 2013. I’m not sure about any of you, but I need a palate cleanser something fierce, and a black-and-white bag seems like just the way to get it.
It was only a matter of time. At first, the Celine Trio Bag flew under the radar – with its small proportion and ultra-minimal look, the bag wasn’t the kind of blockbuster that the Luggage Tote and Trapeze were, but it also wasn’t meant to be. Instead, the Trio is a little bag for in-the-know fashion hounds to signal to each other that they are, in fact, in-the-know.
Admittedly, the fact that that The Row Classic Leather Shoulder Bag and this version of the Vince Camuto Julia Shoulder Bag aren’t even remotely similar colors weakens my case here a little bit. If you can look past that, though, I think you’ll find these two bags are a pretty convincing look for less. Use your imaginations. It’s supposed to good for our brains as we age.
With the ting accessories of the Golden Globes fresh in my mind, I couldn’t help spending a little bit of extra time in the evening bag sections of my favorite shopping websites last week. Here’s one thing I learned (and trust me, it’s groundbreaking): clutches cost a lot. It often seems as though the less they’ll hold, the more they cost, and still I want all of them.
Sometimes when we feature a Look for Less, the less expensive bag was clearly designed in the image of the more expensive bag. That’s one of the duties of mid-priced brands, after all; taking a look that’s out of reach for most consumers, reinterpreting it in the brand’s aesthetic and making it more accessible. That’s not what happened with the Coach Willis Bag and Louis Vuitton Eden Colorblock Crossbody, though – the Willis is a style that was first introduced years ago, and re-introduced several seasons back.
I have a hard time finding really good look-for-less handbag matches lately. I guess that goes for all of fashion, really; so many times, it seems like the “look for less” is really just an awful copy of something that was done much better by someone else. But in this case, I’ve found two beautiful clutches that carry a distinctly similar aesthetic while still being great pieces on their own.
The line between inspiration and imitation is wafer thin in the fashion industry. Any time we post something about a bag that looks like another bag, no matter whether the post is positive or negative, a whole host of people chime in to both agree and disagree in seemingly equal measures (and with plenty of enthusiasm for their points of view).
I can’t call this bag a “look for less,” even though I guess some would easily deem it as that. I get a weird uncomfortable feeling when a bag as well-known as the Hermes Kelly is clearly styled after in a very cheap manner. I typically love Free People, in fact I buy their clothing often but I’ve never checked out their bag selection much.
If you had asked me to name the brands from which Marc by Marc Jacobs was likely to take handbag inspiration, Valentino wouldn’t have even been on my list. I like both brands’ work, in general, but their aesthetics are so utterly divergent that one borrowing from the other would seem to ignore both’s target customers. The team at MbMJ clearly disagrees with me, though, because the Marc by Marc Jacobs Katie Crossbody Bag owes an obvious design debt to its more expensive predecessor, the Valentino VaVa Voom Flap Bag.