Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli in Spotted Calf Hair

Price: $995 via Neiman Marcus

Why it’s the Bag of the Week: 3.1 Phillip Lim continues to make waves in the handbag world and the Pashli has quickly turned into a fan favorite. Black and white always makes an eye-catching combo and the spotted calf hair creates even more impact for your spring wardrobe.

Sometimes fashion speaks to its customers on a metaphorical level, but for 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2014, the handbags literally have something to say. The handheld, paper bag-like purses are debossed with fashion-fave phrases like “totes” and “amaze,” as well as clutches that boast of the “cash” therein. (And let’s face it, “cash” is a favorite phrase among the luxury crowd as well, if maybe not a colloquialism.)

If you like your handbags a little less wordy, the collection also featured many a chain-handled, highly structured shoulder bag, very much in the vein of the Chanel Boy Bag, but slightly more minimal.

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to feature for Man Bag Monday. Occasionally, I venture out to find an interesting bag and find nothing but tan leather weekenders and black messenger bags staring back at me, and what’s there left to say about any of those bags, unless they have a great (or astronomical) price point? Today was not one such day, because I found the 3.1 Phillip Lim Men’s Fanny Pack staring at me.

Designers like Fendi, The Row and Tom Ford all put great emphasis on fur during their Fall 2013 collections, both in ready-to-wear or accessories. For me, though, it was this 3.1 Phillip Lim Fur Front Leather Racer Bag that was not only a standout piece on the runway, but more importantly, redefined fur from the way I remember my great-grandmother’s mink fur coat.

Fashion Week is fun and all, but it’s a different kind of fun to check out collections once they hit their first pre-orders at Moda Operandi, usually mere days or weeks after first debuting on the runway. It allows us to find out design names and prices of our favorite bags, like these from 3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2014, a lot sooner than we normally would, plus it gives consumers a peek at the non-runway accessories that we can expect from the brands once full collections hit stores.

One of my favorite things to do with men’s bags is to examine how they differ from women’s bags by the same designer. Very often, a brand will base new men’s and women’s bags on the same idea, and even more often, a successful women’s bag will be translated for the male market after it has already reached prominence. In the case of these 3.1 Phillip Lim Backpacks, it looks like a case of the former.

When I say that a collection swings a little bit Prada, that’s generally a compliment, both in general (Prada is great by post estimations) and in particular when it comes from me (I am an unrepentant Miuccia fangirl). Phillip Lim is likely a fan himself, or at least his accessories designers are – 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring 2014 Handbags at times felt like an homage to the Italian powerhouse.

We love a good high-low collab, and 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target is the best one to come along in eons. The Target-Phillip Lim lovefest officially commenced this week with a snazzy NYFW launch party. Here’s Jessica Alba, ready to party hard with a sharp-looking 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Satchel – her sweater is from the line as well.

Generally speaking, high-low designer collaborations have seen better days. They were all the rage for a while – Lanvin x H&M, anyone? – but at some point, they jumped the shark. I’m not sure whether that moment was the Missoni x Target online ordering fiasco or the Neiman Marcus x Target x Every Designer In America three-way flop, but it happened, and ever since then, our expectations have been low, if not nonexistent.

In our minds, 3.1 Phillip Lim has been on an accessories roll lately. He won the CFDA’s 2013 Accessories Designer of the Year honor last month, sure, but it might be even more impressive that he’s managed to make me want to buy a camouflage handbag. (Okay, maybe that’s only more impressive to me.) Now, another Lim bag has shot to the top of our collective shopping list, and this time it’s the 3.1 Phillip Lim Ryder Bag.

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