It’s an interesting time to be in the fashion industry. Spheres of influence are shifting, new markets are opening up, it’s a whole new world out there for brands with the foresight to see opportunities emerging. If you’re a street style fan, you’ve probably noticed a growing number of Russian women who are gaining an increasingly large portion of the spotlight, and that’s no coincidence – newly wealthy Russians, stretching their legs after decades of political and economic isolation, are buying up everything from the priciest of Manhattan real estate to entire Chanel couture collections. The New York Times even wrote a trend piece about it last week.

As a result, you shouldn’t be surprised if you see Russian influences start to creep into collections, just like how the expansion of the Chinese market has brought with it more Asian flare to global fashion. If you need proof, look no further than the Charlotte Olympia Baboushka Leather Clutch and Charlotte Olympia Pandora Matryoshka Clutch. (more…)

It’s been a big year for the Brits. Everyone’s still obsessed with Kate and Wills more than a year after the royal wedding kept us all up into the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out who would design Kate’s dress. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne, got huge international media coverage and resulted in what appeared to be a weekend-long party for Londoners. Still to come are the 2012 Olympics, which will open in London in July and give the country its biggest international stage since…well, since the royal wedding. Like I said, life’s been pretty swell recently if you work for the country’s tourism board.

London is also home to a number of awesome accessories brands, and this summer, it seems like they’ve all agreed in unison to create Union Jack handbags that celebrate their country in its finest hour. All the way from Alexander McQueen, which has been festooning its box clutches with Union Jacks in a variety of colors and materials for years, to Mulberry, which chose to go for the most subtle pride statement, we’ve got the best of the uniquely British trend after the jump. (more…)

What better way to start your afternoon than with some weird Chanel items? Chanel Sport has been around for a few years now, and every now and then, the brand adds some items to it to confuse and delight. The items are always in stark black and white, they’re always festooned prominently with the Chanel logo, and they always get plenty of press attention, assuring that Chanel gets exactly what it wanted out of the whole proposition.

And here we are, giving it to them again! I just can’t help it. The idea of a Chanel ping pong set, complete with black ping pong ball, simply amuses me too much not to share it with the group. Presumably, you’ll have to provide the black ping pong table yourself, although if you’re enough of a VIP, I bet you could convince someone at Chanel to make one for you. For a price. There’s always a price! Check out of the rest of the Sport items, after the jump. (more…)

We already gave you our picks for which handbag you should be giving mom for Mother’s Day, but what do you get for the mom whose handbag closet is already stacked with every bag she could ever want? Or the mom who would feel guilty accepting a four-figure gift? Or the mom who thinks half the fun of handbags is hunting down the perfect one, stalking her prey and then going in for the kill/purchase herself? (Note: I will be that mother, should I ever spawn.)

If any of those women sounds like your mother, we have a few suggestions. The first, of course, is to order (RUSH order, at this point) some Celine Luggage Tote Cookies from Peapods Cookies, which is owned by an extremely talented PurseForum member. If your mom prefers chocolates or cake to cookies, fret not; it seems as though everything can be made in the shape of a handbag these days. (more…)

I’ve been staring at the Kate Spade Wicker Armadillo Shoulder Bag for over two days now, trying to figure out what to say about it. Words are my thing, always have been, and usually the problem is that I have too many. In this case, though, I’m having trouble coming up with anything that seems even vaguely appropriate. Except that whoever designed this bag has some, err, cojones. (more…)

As I mentioned earlier today, we’re proud to say that you can find some extraordinary things on our PurseForum if you dig around a little bit. The goodies don’t stop at what our members are able to find, though – sometimes what blows me away the most is what a diverse, interesting, talented group we have. From doctors to lawyers to small business-owners, our purse lovers run the gamut and we’re proud to call them all part of our community.

Today, though, we’d like to highlight one of our members in particular, who goes by the handle BalenciagaPlaneT. She’s a Manhattanite who owns her own cookie company, Peapods Cookies, and she recently shared a batch of 23 Celine Luggage Tote cookies that she hand-decorated for a bag-loving customer. How adorable are these? Almost too adorable (and true-to-life – check out the tricolor and leopard options) to eat, but I bet they’d taste as great as they look (with a tall glass of milk, of course). Check out two more shots of the Celine cookies after the jump, or you can order all kinds of beautifully decorated goodies via the Peapods Cookies Etsy Store. (more…)

Gals and guys, wedding season is upon us! Amanda and I broke down the best traditional wedding day bags along with the best non-traditional wedding day bags. But there are so many more attendees that need to find a bag for the big day, including the flower girl. The idea of a super extravagant piece for the flower girl took a major push forward after Charlotte’s daughter carried the Judith Leiber Cupcake Clutch in the Sex and the City movie.

Since then, I’ve decided a novelty bag with an extravagant price tag is both ridiculous and cute. If your wedding budget is exceptional or someone in your family wants to splurge on a crystal clutch for the flower girl, Judith Leiber is still the brand to turn to. (more…)

I frequently rant in this space about designers who overprice bags made from materials other than leather; it’s one of my personal pet peeves in the accessories world and a trap that consumers fall into too often. And yet, against my better judgment (for several reasons), I find my interest piqued by the Delvaux Brillant MM. It’s just so…red. And also, clear.

This bag first caught my attention at another brand’s preview, where it was being carried by one of the attendees. (I think it was Natalie Joos, but because the bag was separated from its owner at the time I noticed it, I can’t swear.) Something about the traditional, ladylike shape juxtaposed with the modern, kitschy material really intrigues me, as well as the fact that it’s such a huge aesthetic departure for the historic Belgian leather goods brand. (more…)

There is always a heavy dose of absurdity in the world of designer luxury goods. We are talking about materialistic accessories, and what $1,000 is to one person, $1,000,000 is to the next. If you are one of the few people in this world who finds $11,000,000 to be a suitable price tag for the perfect laptop sleeve, then I have quite the treat for you.

Made of 8,800 diamonds, the sales pitch for this Diamond Laptop Sleeve sounds as serious as they come. CoverBee, the creator of this item, talks about the person who has everything deciding to cover their laptop with the most luxurious case ever. (more…)

Karl Lagerfeld’s aptly named Karl “masstige” (that’s the portmanteau meant to denote almost-luxury items at a relatively-not-terrible price) line debuted at Net-a-Porter to much fanfare and hype on Wednesday, and I do have to admit that there were a few items I considered picked up: the faux leather pleated skirt, sequined collar, leather moto gloves, silver high-tops…okay, maybe there were more than a few. I like black, just like Kaiser Karl. But what of the handbags? And what of that slightly batty video of Karl interviewing himself, which we have provided for you after the jump? It’s Friday, after all. (more…)

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