Here’s gorgeous Glee star Naya Rivera, headed into a photo shoot for 5th season promos, carrying a Prada Saffiano Lux Tote. I respect this NYC level of dedication to black on a sunny summer day in LA – towering black wedges, black jumpsuit, black shades and a classic Prada tote – it’s a sleek, if slightly gothic, look, given the ocean and palm tree backdrop.

Miuccia just gets me, man. I should just sign my entire wardrobe budget over to her, between Prada and Miu Miu. I just bought a pair of Prada shoes earlier this week (after initially going shopping to scout out a pair of Miu Mius), and now I’m scheming to making one of these Prada Mini Bags my next big purchase. There’s something about the simple, traditional lines of these bags, miniaturized for more casual carry, that makes me see stars.

With the furious din of bold trends that have swept through fashion in the past few seasons – brights! neons! pastels! exotics! colorblocking! fur! embellishments of all kinds! – it feels positively refreshing to see the clean-lined neutrals that are coming forth for Pre-Fall and Fall 2013. I’m not sure about any of you, but I need a palate cleanser something fierce, and a black-and-white bag seems like just the way to get it.

Here’s Dorothy Hamill (yes, the 1976 Olympic champ), heading into a Dancing with the Stars after-party in LA with her Prada Saffiano Lux Tote. She withdrew herself from the competition early on in the season because of an injury, but apparently self-elimination doesn’t keep you off the after-party guest list. You can buy the Saffiano in a wide range of colors for $1730 at Neiman Marcus.

My feelings about any Prada collection are complicated. I know that I’ll love what Miuccia Prada sends down the runway, with few exceptions, but I also know that the bags are almost sure to underwhelm me. (Again, with few exceptions.) That was exactly the case with Prada Fall 2013 – both the clothes and the feel of the show were exceptional; a bravura performance from one of the generation’s great masters, doing what she does best.

Here’s How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan headed to a party with her fam in Venice Beach. Alyson’s carrying the Prada Madras Woven Leather Top Handle Satchel, available at Neiman Marcus for $2,895. Even though this particular satchel is from Prada’s Fall 2011 collection, I still find it has a definite resort/beach bag vibe. Is it just me?

Anyone who collects anything knows what it feels like to let a particularly wonderful piece slip through his or her fingers and regret it for years afterward; no matter if the objects of your affection are coins or stamps or handbags, the thoughts of what could have been are, to put it bluntly, a major bummer. Whether you consider yourself a handbag collector or just a handbag lover, you’ve likely experienced similar pangs of regret over losing something you never really had in the first place.

Prada’s new collections are always among the first to arrive at online retailers for pre-order. The schedule has become so consistent that to me, the sight of saffiano leather and lean, structured totes feels similar to seeing that first red-breasted robin of spring, only more expensive. The non-runway bags from Prada Spring 2013 arrived at Neiman Marcus for presale yesterday, and I think the temperature outside automatically ticked up a few degrees.

Amanda Seyfried was in London last week for the world premiere of her upcoming flick, the long-awaited movie adaptation of Les Mis. Here she is dashing out to a waiting car outside the uber-posh Claridge’s Hotel, carrying a Prada Spazzolato Top Handle Bag. Tragically, this exact bag appears to be sold out, but if you’re in love with that diamond pattern, you can pick up this similar Prada Diamond Pattern Turn Lock Tote Bag at Bluefly for $1325.

Prada is one of my absolute favorite labels for a lot of different reasons: Miuccia lets her intellectual side shine through her clothes, the brand always feels ahead of the curve, the shoes are to-die-for good. Mostly, though, I appreciate how well the brand mines both ends of the aesthetic spectrum, from simple to ornate, and still keeps its handbag line looking unmistakably Prada.

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