When I first laid eyes on the Charlotte Olympia Ted Silk Satin Bear Shoulder Bag, I thought designer Charlotte Dellal was kidding. Dellal never kids, though. Or maybe she always kids, depending on how much credit you’re willing to ascribe to her for the humor in her work. One has to admit: a $700 shoulder bag made out of what is essentially a stuffed animal’s head is pretty funny.

As the seasons have progressed, Dellal’s brand has only gotten more aggressively quirky, and now she’s treading on the territory of smaller designers like Mandy Coon and Giles Deacon, who also make stuffed animal-shaped bags. Sometimes Charlotte Olympia’s eccentricities swing in a more high-end direction, but these bags seem to purposefully resemble inexpensive children’s toys.

Suffice it to say, I’m not plunking down the MSRP (or any amount of money) for one of these bags anytime soon, but Olympia has an ardent fan base that’s into her particular brand of oddness. If that’s you, the bags are available for $706 apiece at Luisa Via Roma.

Would you ever consider buying one of these bags? Would you wear it, if it were given to you for free?

Charlotte Olympia Ted Silk Bear Clutch Pink Charlotte Olympia Ted Silk Clutch Brown

I’m currently having something of a love affair with champagne. Because I’m trying to watch my sugar intake, it’s often the beverage I end up ordering at brunch or picking up at parties because it doesn’t require a mixer to be delicious, and now I’m full-on obsessed. Although I’m hardly a wine connoisseur, I feel as though I’ve refined my champagne palate to a point where I can tell the difference between the good stuff and the cheap stuff. That means I’m ready for the Sarah’s Bag Chic Champagne Quilted Shoulder Bag. (more…)

Over the weekend, I went out to eat and shop with a friend. We decided to browse new shops and ventured outside of the usual SoHo area to explore. Next thing I knew, I found myself in a really interesting store named ØDD, and guess what, it was odd. But it was odd in that I wish I could wear this all the time kind of way. I didn’t need to buy anything new, but I ended up leaving with a pair of drop-crotch pants (what exactly is the technical term for those?), along with a funky white and black mesh tank top and a bag in the shape of an animal.

The thing is, I laughed when I realized that I was about to purchase all of those ridiculous items, but there was no part of me that was going to stop the transaction. As my friend and I waited for my goodies to be wrapped up so we could leave the store, I saw my Mandy Coon Bunny Bag being packed away.

The last person I know to be spotted carrying a bag in the shape of an animal is nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis. So what if I have 20 years on her? The child inside of me still exists, and there is something nostalgic about a cuddly bunny, not to mention something interesting about dressing it up in a punk finish. I must admit I’ve been making some interesting bag choices lately, but I think it’s because I now own so many classics – why not add more personality to my collection? The point of the story, ultimately, is I am a 29-year-old woman, I bought a bag in the shape of a bunny and I love it. Pick one up for $475 via ØDD.

By now, most of you are probably well familiar with the types of things we usually like around here. Hermes, Celine, Givenchy, Chanel – we like our handbags modern, expensive and made out of really nice leather. Sometimes, though, we like something a little bit silly, and for high-end silly, we have Charlotte Olympia. Sometimes, though, affordable silly is the only type that will do, and for that, we have the MOYNA Taxi Cab Pouch.

Personally, I hate taking cabs in New York. It always seems like a great idea until I get in one, at which point I remember that it’s generally slower than the subway (and sometimes smells worse) and often so stop-and-go that it feels like you’re riding inside of a shaky-cam movie. And for a slower, sometimes stinkier, far more nauseous-making ride, you pay more! A lot more. So that’s really exciting. Cabs are great. Sometimes they’re a fact of life, though, and perhaps leaving my emergency cab cash in this cute little pouch can make the experience less aggravating.

At about five inches wide, this bead-covered zipper bag is perfect for some folded-up cash and a debit card, if you’re the type of person who likes to have a little bit of money stowed away from his or her full wallet. This pouch probably won’t stand the true test of time (I mean, look at all those beads), but it’s a fun little thing that might bring you a smile once and a while when you encounter it inside your bag. Buy through ShopBop for $55.

I don’t think a single person who grew up in my hometown made it out without tennis lessons. In suburban Atlanta, tennis is a way of life; it stays warm enough to play for nine months out of the year (at least), and the sprawling, recently developed suburbs feature tennis courts in literally every neighborhood. I learned to play tennis at approximately the same age that I learned how to swim, and in my part of town, it was a skill seen as just as essential for survival. I know so many friends’ moms who would have died over the MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Tennis Racket Covers. (more…)

With anticipation for the film version of The Great Gatsby reaching a fever pitch, fashion people are talking about the movies even more than usual. Miuccia Prada personally oversaw the gorgeous 1920s-era wardrobing for the film, and based on the trailers, it’s indeed full of deco gorgeousness the likes of which hasn’t been seen since…well, since the Gatsby era. If it were up to us (and if we had received an invitation), we’d certainly be taking something sparkly and Leiber-esque to the premiere, but for a more casual film fete, we think the Charlotte Olympia Movie Night Shoulder Bag would make the perfect companion.

Olympia’s known for her sense of humor when it comes to purses and accessories, and her clutches in particular never fail to make us smile. We’re clearly not the only ones – often, her kitschiest designs are the ones that disappear from store shelves and online retailers most quickly. Fashion can be a very self-serious business, and having Charlotte Olympia around is a great reminder that for our clothing dollars, we should sometimes expect fun, in addition to luxury and quality.

Now the only question is, where to take this silly little bag? I’d choose the new Star Trek movie – I hate sci-fi, but my love for Chris Pine transcends all that.

Buy through Net-a-Porter for $495.

I’m a bit too young to have been dating back in the days when, “So, what’s your sign?” was a hot pickup line (thankfully), but I’ve seen enough movies to know that there are probably still awkward bachelors out there, plugging away with that same old cliche at a bar near you. Without a doubt, when the Charlotte Olympia Cosmic Collection asks the same question, it’s a much more interesting proposition.

Designer Charlotte Dellal has festooned a group of her popular Charlotte Olympia Pandora Box Clutches and matching loafers with zodiac symbols to match up with her customers’ astrological signs, and Net-a-Porter sold out of most of the six clutch options almost immediately. The other six signs have yet to arrive, but when they do, it’ll surely be to quick sales. I can tell you from experience that the fashion industry as a whole has an often enthusiastic relationship with astrology, with AstrologyZone’s Susan Miller influencing many of fashion’s Queen Bees as much as anyone does. With Charlotte Olympia’s plum spot as the current obsession of many in the style set, pulling in some zodiac fun to her designs is a very savvy move. Would you buy a bag or pair of shoes celebrating your astrological sign?

Net-a-Porter only has the Gemini clutch in stock currently, but all of the bags retail for $995. All six loafers from the first set of signs are still available, and they retail for $695. You can shop them all via Net-a-Porter.

Charlotte Olympia Gemini Clutch Charlotte Olympia Taurus Clutch Charlotte Olympia Leo Clutch Charlotte Olympia Libra Clutch Charlotte Olympia Virgo Clutch

One of the toughest victories in fashion is wearing a genuinely odd piece without looking like it’s wearing you. Such a feat requires great attention to detail and a sharp sense of styling; if the elements don’t fit together properly, the entire look topples over. It also requires, of course, the taste and willingness necessary to pick the perfect eccentric piece. When all of those things come together, you’ll never see a better outfit.

If you’ve had your fill of the basics and have your bag bases covered when it comes to both neutrals and brights, maybe it’s time to indulge your inner oddball. We’ve got a few bag-centric suggestions, of course, but this is one of those times when you have to listen to your instincts and only your instincts, because your brain will put the kibosh on most of this stuff before your creativity can even kick in to full gear. Check out our picks below or let us know what ill-advised bag you’re currently lusting after in the comments.

We already took you on a crazy tour of Chanel’s incredible Scotland-inspired Pre-Fall 2013 collection, but there’s one bag in the line that we wanted to call out in particular. The Chanel Sporran Flask Bag will sound familiar to those with Scottish heritage – a sporran is a small bag that’s a big part of traditional Scottish Highland dress and is generally worn with a kilt. Not all of them have a flask, though, but then again, not all of them are Chanel.

The bag, which comes in two sizes, consists of a metal flask emblazoned with Chanel’s signature interlocking Cs, which is then encased inside a leather cover with a crossbody strap. Chanel isn’t the first luxury designer to go after the lush in all of us – Louis Vuitton and Hermes both debuted their own flasks a couple of seasons ago – but it’s the first major designer that I can remember to style its flask like a real minibag. If only there were an iPhone pocket and a card slot on the back, we’d be in business for real. As it is, these are great (if pricey) collectors’ pieces. The larger one will retail for $4,775, while the smaller version will set you back $3,625. You can expect to see these items in store this summer.

Have you guys noticed the facelift that our sister site TalkShoes got right before the holiday? If not, head over and check it out – there are lots of exciting footwear-related things in our future, and if you love shoes anywhere near as much as you love bags, we’d love it if you joined us over there from time to time to, well, talk shoes with us.

Right now, though, we want to talk about shoes AND bags, and most importantly, how they go together. Normally, I’m not a proponent of perfectly matching accessories, but the Charlotte Olympia Tweetie Parrot Pouch and Cage Clutch Set and the Charlotte Olympia Birds of Paradise Cage Heels Sandals just have to be worn together. Always. Preferably while the wearer is drinking some sort of exotic drink within visual distance of a sandy beach.

In my mind, Charlotte Olympia is the only mass-market designer working right now who can get away with this kind of irreverence and literalness. If this shoe were a Louboutin, for instance, I’m not sure I would be convinced – Christian has built himself a reputation for aggressive sexuality in his shoes, even when there’s also some fun to be had, but I expect girlish shenanigans from Charlotte. In fact, I want them from her.

I like the shoe better than its clutch counterpart, to be honest, but there are things about the clutch that I like. First, that perhaps the handle is big enough to be worn as a bracelet, so you’ll always have your bag with you, even after one too many caipirinhas. Second, the clutch is actually two clutches – the parrot inside the cage is fully removable, and both pieces can be worn separately or together. That’s three potential crazy handbag options! Which, depending on your own personal style, might be three more than you need or want. Personally, I always like to err on the side of fun.

We’ve been writing about Charlotte Olympia quite a lot lately over at TalkShoes – if you dig these heels, check out some of her others!

Charlotte Olympia Birds of Paradise Cage Heel Sandals
$1595 via Neiman Marcus

Charlotte Olympia Tweetie Bird Parrot and Cage Clutch Set
$925 via Neiman Marcus

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