More than any other major handbag designer, Dolce & Gabbana goes out of its way to experiment with making bags in non-traditional luxury materials. We’re not just talking a bag here or there; Dolce has done entire lines made out of textiles like crocheted wool and tapestry, and for Spring 2013, the Italian brand has gone all-in on raffia bags.

I will never forget the first time I saw a Alexander Wang Printed Lizard Emile Satchel. I first saw someone toting around this satchel on the subway in Soho, and I will admit I was not familiar with any of Alexander Wang’s designs at the time. I was waiting for the R train on my way to class when a chic young woman in her 20s stood next to me on the platform, carrying a black leather satchel.

I’m rather disappointed in myself that it took me this long to write about one of my all-time favorite designers, Michael Kors. In my defense, I did write about a pair of fabulous Michael Kors Bromley Boots on our TalkShoes site not long ago. Admittedly, I got so sidetracked with other fabulous bags that I forgot to talk about one of my favorites, but how could you blame me?

My love for Loewe is nothing new; in fact I’ve shared it with you all recently. In the intervening months, that adoration has only grown inside of my handbag-loving heart. I’m always looking for the next bag to add to my collection, and over the years I’ve noticed my style has changed slightly. I now lean toward simpler, more timeless designs instead of young, hip alternatives.

I have yet to figure out why I haven’t purchased a Cambridge Satchel Company bag yet. I believe it goes back to the fact that there are so many amazing color options that I start to feel completely overwhelmed with options. This company has an amazing back story and products that speak for themselves. The fashion crowd loves Cambridge Satchel Company, as do I.

Even for someone like me who loves all manner of embellishment when it comes to accessories, the endless parade of brights and neons and rhinestones and patterns and fur and feathers and god knows what else can get a little…tiring. It’s like I have fancy fatigue. Amid the cacophonous roar of Spring 2012′s many trends, it’s nice to occasionally get a little bit of a palate cleanser before heading back to maximalism.

Nina Ricci Liane Satchels in Python and Pleated Leather, $3750 and $1950, respectively, via Neiman Marcus

It always takes me a moment to warm up to a new combatant in the It Bag Wars. Nina Ricci is an extremely well-established fashion house, but its never been known for its handbags, and any brand charging well into the four figures out of the gate deserves a close inspection.

The Row Leather and Suede Doctor Bag, $4750 via Net-a-Porter

Ambition is a laudable characteristic in American culture, but when it crosses over into hubris, people’s reactions start to change from positive to negative. Although the buying public might approve of a young designer trying new things that necessitate a somewhat steep price tag, the attitude changes when the young designers in question are filthy rich former child stars and the prices are reminiscent of Hermes and other venerable, historical houses that have earned their reputations and price tags over the span of generations.

We all know that this time of the summer is basically nonexistent in the fashion world. Megs and Vladi are on vacation, emails slow down to a trickle, it’s impossible to get ahold in anyone who works in an office after noon on Fridays. And here I am, plugging away, trying to conjure a blog out of thin air. But sometimes, the absolute stillness of the industry allows you to notice some things you might otherwise brush off.

VBH Brera Croc-Quilted Handbag, $3650 via Neiman Marcus

It’s been a hard day of economic realities and art criticism around here, so why not ease into the afternoon with something obviously beautiful like the VBH Brera Croc Quilted Handbag? You know you want to.

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