How much do I love the Marni Layered Leather Satchel, exactly? A lot. I love it a lot. There is nothing not to love about it. I was prepared to whine a little bit that there’s no optional crossbody strap, but lo and behold, there is one. Absent that, I can think of literally nothing to complain about when it comes to this bag.

If someone who works in fashion tells you that her job doesn’t have any perks, I personally give you permission to slap her, or at the very least, call her a liar (but also slap her, because how often do you get a chance to backhand someone in real life and then blame it on a fashion blogger?) Tonight, the perk wagon came around and dropped me off squarely at the Marni x H&M press preview.

A few days ago, PurseBlog friend BryanBoy tweeted that Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni would be the perfect replacement for Karl Lagerfeld once he’s ready to move on from Fendi, and I can’t help but completely agree. Marni’s signature retro-minimal approach gets better and more fully realized by the season, and Consuelo’s sense for accessories and embellishment keeps improving right along with it.

Images via Marni

My level of excitement for mass market designer collaborations always varies widely (and mostly wanes by the time that full lookbooks surface), but believe me when I say that Marni for H&M has been marked on my calendar since the day it was announced. Marni’s work is so modern and fun that I suspected that it would translate well to the fabrication of H&M – after all, materials like plastics and grosgrain ribbon are already a mainstay of the Italian brand’s aesthetic.

Marni Tote, $645 via Net-a-Porter

A couple of days ago, the fashion Internet exploded with news of H&M’s next collaborative partner – quirky Italian label Marni. Forget Versace – this is something I might actually consider standing in line for, particularly because a full menagerie of accessories will also be available, right along with the retro-modern prints and oddball color combinations for which Marni is known.

Images via Vogue.com

Perhaps improbably, Marni is always one of the handbag collections that I look forward to the most during Milan Fashion Week. The brand doesn’t have a reputation in the accessories world as a purse powerhouse, but I love Marni’s signature blend of girlishness and modernism. The end result is usually some great accessories that will withstand both the passage of the season’s trends and the passage of time, leaving you with a unique bag that people will ask about for years to come.

Marni Woven Leather Hobo, $2330 via Net-a-Porter.

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about the Marni Woven Leather Hobo Bag already, but somehow it seems to have gotten passed over in the spring shuffle. What I can’t figure out, though, is how that managed to happen – I absolutely love it. I loved it as soon as I saw it on the runway back in September, and my love for the slouchy-yet-stark design has only grown since seeing how soft and wearable the bag would be in real life.

Texture is one of the big fashion words on everyone’s lips this year, which means that finding a unique way to incorporate it into your wardrobe is going to be a big challenge in a few months. Most of you seemed a bit tepid toward the prevailing ideas about python and its many uses, and I can’t say I blame you – I saw enough snakeskin during the Fall 2011 shows that I’d be perfectly happy if I didn’t see it again until 2012.

Let me first preface this review by saying that I am an enormous fan of Marni’s quirky-cool aesthetic and an ardent believer that the brand is too often overlooked by handbag fanatics as a result of some of the brand’s more eccentric pieces. The Italian company is actually a great source for a variety of pieces in your accessories wardrobe, and the ladylike (but still quintessentially Marni) leather goods from Marni Fall 2011 are a perfect display of not only the brand’s versatility, but perhaps more importantly, its functionality.

Marni, what were you thinking with your Ribbon-Trimmed Square Leather Tote?

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