Proenza Schouler hosted limited press previews of Proenza Schouler Pre-Fall 2013 last week, which presents a few problems. Namely, we want to see the bags, but Proenza only releases a limited number of collection images to the public, and they’re all full looks; you can see half a bag in some of them, if you look really closely. What’s a bag lover to do? Take it to the people, of course.

As it turns out, Instagram isn’t just for putting hazy filters over photos of your lunch. If you know where to look, it’s also a decent source of behind-the-scenes info in a slew of industries, including fashion. Naturally, some editors and buyers took some pictures of the Proenza Pre-Fall 2013 bags to show to their followers, and we’ve found a few to tide you over until the collection’s in-store dates get a little closer. Our favorites? The painterly, color-shifting PS11′s above, from London-based buyer Tiffany Hsu.

Colorful bags from David Thielebeule of WSJ. Magazine:

Candy-button bags from buyer Tiffany Hsu:

A clearer look at the candy-button clutch from fashion writer Izaballin:

First, I will admit that my thoughts on the Proenza Schouler Large Leather-Lined PS1 are probably more complex than they should be, and definitely more complex than would indicate optimal mental stability. I’ve been carrying a Large PS1 as my everyday bag for a year, though, and in that time, I’ve formed a couple of opinions. (Who, me? Opinions? I know you’re all shocked.)

If you’ve owned a PS1, or even spent any time examining one in a store, you probably understand why the brand initially chose a jacquard textile instead of leather or suede as its default lining. The PS1 has pockets. Pockets on pockets on pockets: a main compartment with a large zipper pocket inside, a front section under the flap with a magnetic snap closure, a huge zipper compartment between the front pouch and the main compartment, and another huge zipper pocket at the back. Pockets mean extra layers of material, and that many pockets means that things can get bulky and heavy quite quickly without a judicious use of textiles. For the original construction, a lightweight woven was the only way to go from a functional standpoint, and it surely helped keep the price for the large at $1,995. Even when the medium PS1 received a $100 price increase (from $1,595 to $1,695) earlier this year, the large didn’t budge.

As you can see above, the introduction of a leather interior means the loss of the two largest zipper pockets, at the front and back exterior of the main compartment. The leather also turns the interior zipper pocket into a smaller, semi-detached pouch. The chartreuse interior is beautiful, of course, as are the ways that the color was carried throughout the design – the underside of the shoulder strap, for example – but I’m not sure it’s worth the functional sacrifice, particularly for the elevated price point of $2,515.

There’s also the question of how the leather affects the bag’s appearance. One of my favorite things about my PS1 has been the bag’s easy slouch; not only does it add to the bag’s downtown-cool look, but it makes the bag comfortable to carry because of its ability to mold to your body. This all-leather PS1, on the other hand, looks like it’s a bag for someone with a more refined, traditional sense of style. That’s neither criticism nor praise; it’s just a different bag for a slightly different consumer. There’s some indication that Proenza intends to spin off new versions of the PS1 in the near future – this redesigned bag, plus a pared-down Proenza Schouler Courier, based on the PS1, which will debut with Pre-Fall 2013. There’s no indication that the old bags are going anywhere, but your PS1 options are about to get a whole lot more diverse. This one’s available now for $2,515 via Net-a-Porter.

When photos first started to leak out of the Proenza Schouler Resort 2013 press previews, I saw a bag that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since: the Proenza Schouler Holographic PS11. Over those months, every time I spotted another bag that I wanted to buy, I’d stop myself and think, “Wait, you don’t like this as much as you like the holo PS11. Wait for what you really want.” As it turns out, that was good advice – I’ve forgotten about all those other bags, but I’ve still searched every week to find out if the object of my affection had made its way to retail yet.

Today is the day – the holo PS11 can be a reality for anyone who desires it! Both Luisa Via Roma and have the bag in stock, and Proenza also has the smaller PS11 clutch version in the same finish. The bags look a lot different on the two sites, but that’s likely a result of different lighting and photography techniques; after all, the main draw of a holographic finish is that it looks different in different lighting and at different angles. So far, this bag is beautiful and eye-catching in every photo I’ve seen.

If you’re in the US, ordering from Proenza is probably the best bet – the brand has the Mini PS11 listed for $1875, though it’s currently listed as sold out, while the clutch version is $1,375. At Luisa Via Roma, the bag is available for pre-order for $2115, with delivery by February 15. This thing is almost within my grasp, I can feel it.

When the reviews for the Proenza Schouler Resort 2013 collection started rolling in this past summer, I became agitated. Not because of what I saw, but because of what I didn’t – the reviews mentioned a bag known as the Proenza Schouler PS13 that had been shown at the brand’s press previews, but not a single outlet published a picture of it. That was intentional, of course; Proenza Schouler had restricted photos of the bag to keep it away from the eyes of potential counterfeiters and fast-fashion copycats like Zara and Forever 21.

Even in this age of Twitter and Instagram, Proenza was successful; the brand somehow managed to completely shut down any efforts to distribute photos of the much-anticipated design. I googled and googled and tried to ferret my way into the corners of the Internet that might contain any kind of visual on the PS13, and I was rebuffed. Our Forum members tried to do the same thing, a quest at which they are generally successful, and they faced similar failure. Until now.

While I was on vacation last week, a friend tweeted me the image above, from Net-a-Porter’s Cruise 2013 lookbook. Finally, the elusive PS13! What Proenza has done with this bag is clear – it’s a sequal to the ever-popular PS1, so much so that I’m surprised the company isn’t calling it the PS2. It’s a bag meant to be carried everyday and everywhere, with the option of a solid shoulder strap (not long enough for crossbody wear, it would seem) or double top handles that appear to be sturdier than the single handle of the PS1. The design also seems ripe for spinoff shapes – most notably, a clutch in the shape of the bag’s front pouch is on its way. The possibilities for colors, materials and shapes are many.

Vogue magazine seems to agree, which is important for any designer hoping to score a hit, particularly in the US. The influential publication gave the bag, in the black-and-white snakeskin, its coveted back page in the November issue, on newsstands now. One of our Forum members was kind enough to scan Eric Boman’s photo of the bag, below. Vanessa Traina also carried the bag around Paris Fashion Week, but at the time, no one knew what it was. You can also find an action shot of her with the bag below. (If you know who took this photo, please let us know so we can credit appropriately!)

As for pricing? The python version is $6550, according to our Forum members, with the regular leather version listed at $2495 in NAP’s lookbook, which seems a bit high. I would have guessted $1995, based on the photo and Proenza Schouler’s other bag prices, but perhaps the brand is trying to creep its way into a high accessories price bracket. Shop now via Proenza Schouler.

Hello, early risers! We have a treat for you. A little later this morning, Moda Operandi is launching a presale of the entire Proenza Schouler Spring 2013 runway accessories and shoe collections, the first full collection presale that the brand has ever done. That means that we also get an up-close look at the incredibly detailed, post-modern accessories that Proenza sent down the runway, all for your viewing pleasure.

The sale launches at 9 a.m. on the East Coast, but in the meantime, our friends at Moda were kind enough to send over the images of the bags and shoes that are up for grabs. That includes over a half dozen iterations of the Proenza Schouler Record Bag, and what’s even more exciting, several of the hyper-intricate runway bags made out of patchwork photography and metal. In these shots, they’re even more compelling than they were on the runway. Oh, and the shoes? They’re pretty great too. Check out the full photo gallery after the jump and drop by Moda Operandi to shop the collection later this morning. (more…)

Last week I was sitting a few seats back from the gorgeous Olivia Wilde at the Ralph Lauren Spring 2013 show. I always arrive at shows early (it’s my type-A personality), and as I patiently waited for the show to begin, I enjoyed watching the celebrities arrive and be inundated by camera flashes. Olivia is one of those beautiful women that when you look at her, you can’t decide what exactly makes her so striking, but she simply is. She dresses impeccably well for red carpets and industry events, but as you can see in these photos she also enjoys dressing down and enjoying her day.

Olivia used to be married to a the son of a prince, but since her divorce last year, she’s been dating comedian Jason Sudeikis. In these photos, the pair was seen holding hands and strolling through the West Village on a dreary, humid, windy NYC day. Just as casual and functional as her outfit, Olivia choose to carry a saddle Proenza Schouler PS1 crossbody. Shop her handbag style via Proenza Schouler for $1,995. (more…)

As we mentioned last week, Proenza Schouler tends to put its most directional accessories on the runway instead of the bags and leather goods that actually fly off of store shelves. That’s the case for most designers, but Proenza is particularly notable because there’s such a wide gulf between the runway bags and the rest of the line; you needn’t look further than Proenza Schouler Spring 2013 for proof.

In addition to the new Proenza Schouler Record Bag, the collection’s runway accessories included several very interesting patchwork purses with futuristic pieced hardware. In fact, “patchwork” hardly seems appropriate for a look that was a lot less hippie-dippy and a lot more postmodern than the term usually implies. Will those bags be a retail success? Likely not, but the Record Bags might do well, and you can expect to see notes of all these looks on PS1s and PS11s (and PS13s, if we ever get to see them) to come. Check out the full collection after the jump. (more…)

Without question, the New York Fashion Week show I look forward to the most is Proenza Schouler’s. The brand’s collections always feel fresh and directional, and even though they only show a couple of bags on the runway per season, those pieces are usually a good indication of what’s to come from Proenza’s full accessories line, as far as prints, textures and colors go. We’ll have a more comprehensive look at the bags from Proenza Schouler Spring 2013 soon, but for now, we’d like to talk about the Proenza Schouler Record Shoulder Bag. (more…)

Some people just don’t dig a recognizable bag, and that’s fine; most brands produce lots of bags that don’t make a big enough splash to draw huge amounts of attention from passers by, so flying under the radar and still maintaining a high standard for your bag collection is always totally possible. It’s been hard lately if you’re a Proenza Schouler fan, though. All of the brand’s PS1 styles, plus its PS11 shoulder bags and clutches, are hugely recognizable, despite the lack of actual logos or monograms. What are the It Bag-averse to do?

Proenza would like to answer that question with the Proenza Schouler Book Bag. Available only in the brand’s online shop, the bag features…a buckle! A buckle that looks like all the buckles you’ve seen before, against a background of neutral leather. It’s a Proenza bag for people who don’t want 99% of people to know that they’re carrying Proenza. (more…)

I’m going to level with you guys: it’s a slow news day. We’ve reached that mid point of July, which means that it feels as though we’re as far into summer as humanly possible, but still with no light at the end of the heat-and-humidity tunnel. As much as I love the season, my sandals and maxi dresses are starting to feel a bit boring. Fall collections are starting to trickle in to stores, but as far as new things on the horizon, the September start of New York Fashion Week seems years away. It’ll get here before we know it, of course, but until then…I’m not sure what. The fashion Internet is a vast wasteland.

During these periods, what do I go looking for? Eye candy, specifically of the exotic, wildly expensive variety. Proenza Schouler isn’t the first brand that I think of when looking for those kinds of things, but I noticed recently that the brand has stepped up its exotic game something fierce in the past year. Proenza also opened its Madison Avenue boutique on Friday, the brand’s first stand-alone store, so an exploration of the brand’s most distinctive bags seems appropriate, right? Check out our favorites after the jump or shop the brand’s full selection via (more…)

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