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

If you’ve been a longtime PurseBlog reader, you might recall my obsession with clutches. I mean, I am certifiably obsessed with clutches. Everyone gravitates towards a certain style of handbags, even if it’s just slightly, over other styles. When Jimmy Choo pumps out a clutch like this one, I am reminded why I sway the clutch way.

The Jimmy Choo Sweetie Acrylic Clutch reminds us all that it’s ok not to take handbags too seriously. Like most things, there is a time and a place for this clutch. So, if you are on the hunt for the perfect evening bag to pair with that gown in your closet, this one isn’t for that occasion. However, if you are looking for something to add a hint of edge to your outfit, this clutch might quickly make your list. (more…)

First, a little bit of background: the PurseBlog team is obsessed with bulldogs. We love dogs in general, of course, but we have a collective fascination with English Bulldogs that leads to us exchanging adorable pictures and videos of the scrunchy-faced little nuggets throughout the work day. (Our favorites will be embeded after the jump, because it’s Monday and we could all use a puppy video, right?) When I first met Megs and Vladi in person after knowing them via the Internet for years, I brought them two bulldog cartoon prints to accompany the big bulldog already on the wall in their apartment. My parents have a bulldog named Lucy, and I went to the University of Georgia, which has a famous white bulldog named Uga for its mascot.

Suffice it to say that we’re a little bit obsessed, which means that the Dolce & Gabbana Bulldog Tapestry and Python Shoulder Bag should be right up our alley, right? Unfortunately, it reminds me a little bit too much of the kinds of things you can buy at a dog show. (more…)

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…)

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