When was the last time you looked at a Marc Jacobs bag and thought, “Whoa, that’s a great bag?” Sometime around the entré of the Stam, right? Well that’s exactly what I said, out loud, by myself, to my computer in sudden fit of excitement when I saw the colorblocked satchel at top left from Marc Jacobs Resort 2012. I mean, that’s a good bag, right? My level of enthusiasm for that design has left me confused and excited.

I mean, let’s be real here; most handbag addicts can spot a Marc Jacobs bag from a mile away, and whether or not that’s a good thing depends on how much you like the designs that Jacobs puts out every year. They often don’t vary much from what we’ve seen before except for a runway bag or two, and there are certainly some repeats in this group, but the new stuff looks fresher and more exciting than it has in more than a few seasons. Let’s hope that this is but a small preview of the accessories to come in the brand’s Spring 2012 presentation. More photos after the jump. (more…)

Marc Jacobs Snake Clutch, $1095 via NAP

Without looking at the name of this clutch or a close-up image, you might miss that a snake design is separating the raspberry suede and orange leather colorblocking. What makes the snake design stand out even more is the fact that it has a face and is created with actual python, which keeps the design legit while also making me feel a wee bit slimy.

However I must admit that Marc Jacobs is pulling together trends quite nicely here. The only thing I wish for is an optional chain shoulder strap so I could easily throw this bad boy over my shoulder and slither around for a night on the town. Buy via NAP for $1095

Fill in the blank: The Marc Jacobs Snake Clutch is ________________.

There’s surely plenty to be said about the women’s handbags that graced the runway at Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 (hello, dear-printed shoulder bags), but the more I look over the collection, the more I find myself wanting to talk about the men’s bags. Marc by Marc Jacobs has been a unisex presentation for some time now, and this year more than any in the past, I’m feeling a little envious of what the male models got to carry.

With the exception of a few beautiful garnet bags and one orange suede clutch, the women’s offerings felt like a fairly straightforward rehash of 70s shapes and ideas. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, naturally, but I was hoping for something a bit more. The men’s begs, on the other hand, felt almost uniformly luxurious, interesting and functional. I bet I could wear the snake-embossed crossbody satchel every day and no one would think twice about the gender for which it was originally intended. Come fall, I might do just that. (more…)

There are a lot of reasons that Marc Jacobs’ shows are fun – the front-row celebrities, the unexpected set designs, the crazy tales that emerge from the after-parties – but from a style point of view, they’re fascinating because we never know where Marc will turn next, but wherever he goes, the majority of the fashion world will go with him in a few months’ time. Particularly for accessories enthusiasts, Jacobs’ handbag vision will play out far and wide across the industry, culminating in his Louis Vuitton show in Paris and starting last night with Marc Jacobs Fall 2011.

Not only did the tailored, constricted feel of the clothes represent a full 180 from the loose, flowing colors of Jacobs’ Spring 2011 presentation, but the two types of bags within the collection were almost diametrically opposed to each other. On one end, we had fluffy, shapeless, polka-dotted bags that looked like they had been made out of someone’s bathrobe, and on the other, uber-structured, ladylike handbags that felt both current and wearable. For such a strong, severe collection, the bathrobe bags seemed like something of a joke. Let’s hope that they were and we’ll only see the others in stores come fall. (more…)

When you’re a major bag fan, you start to pic up on the subtle idiosyncrasies of major designers – the way that they attach handles, the types and colors of hardware that they tend to use, the shape of their corners and finish of their leathers. All of those things form subtle trademarks for a brand over time, and the more bags you look at, the more you instinctually search for those markers in every design.

And that’s what strikes me as strange about the Marc Jacobs Luisa Shoulder Bag. When I saw it without any name attached, I thought that perhaps it was Oscar de la Renta or maybe even one of Lanvin’s more streamlined pieces, but it’s not. Instead, the bag is from Marc Jacobs, the reality of which still surprises me. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (more…)

One of the biggest developments in handbag trends over the past few seasons has been the return of the reasonably sized handbag, called the “lady-scale” bag by some, in reference to the refined women who once carries purses of a similar size. Marc Jacobs was a major producer of giant, shoulder-aching handbags back when they were having their moment in the sun, but now that the entire spectrum of possible sizes is available retail, he’s downsized a bit with the Marc Jacobs Baroque Ingrid and the slightly more petite Marc Jacobs Baroque Faye. The big question, of course, is do you like them? (more…)

In general, I think that phrase “too much is never enough” is useful when trying to explain certain sectors of fashion, particularly to those who aren’t interested in the industry or in understanding the genius of fabulous fashion eccentrics like Anna Dello Russo or Daphne Guinness. Rococo is always alive and well somewhere within the style world, even during harsh economic times, and its exuberant resilience is to the industry’s credit.

Sometimes rococo runs headlong into a wall, though, as with the Marc Jacobs Large Sequined Stam. I like the Stam bags (I even have one from way back in the second season that they were around), I like sequins, I like the blush-nude color that we have going on here. But unfortunately, the end result is less than the sum of its parts. (more…)

By now, most of you have probably seen some version of the Marc Jacobs Coated Leather MJ Satchel in person, and if you have, you know exactly what I mean when I say that it doesn’t remind me of any designer back I’ve seen in the last few years, and maybe ever. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I always appreciate innovation.

The most striking thing about this bag when you see it in person is how perfectly smooth the leather is; in fact, I didn’t really believe it was leather when I first picked up one of these. But it is, just super slick and without any sign of grain or natural imperfection. Whether or not you’ll like that depends on your personal style, I suppose. Personally, I find this bag and the materials used to make it absolutely fascinating; I merely wish it came in a black and grey version. (more…)

When I first saw Marc Jacobs named a bag after my ultimate favorite mall, Bal Harbour shops, I was instantly excited. But then I looked at the bag, and it fell short of my expectations. Where is the glitz and glam and tinge of gaudy that Miami is known for?

The Marc Jacobs Bal Harbor Julie is reluctant in its design which appears to be safe and subdued. Bal Harbour may hold exquisite shops in its highly gorgeous and jungle-like atmosphere, but the people in Miami love to infuse color and spunk into their outfits. (more…)

I can hardly even bring myself to give you a proper review of this bag. I mean, look at the name: the Marc by Marc Jacobs Jacobs He’s Not Dead, He’s Just Breakdancing Winnie Bag. That is the full name, what a mouthful! Who at MbMJ even thought of this ridiculously long name? Maybe the thought came because the design is a bit lackluster and the absurdly gold/neon chain is distracting.

Then again, maybe the obscenely long name makes perfect sense for the confusion this bag brings. (more…)

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