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. The summertime woven isn’t necessarily what you think of when you picture a super-expensive handbag, but naturally, Dolce & Gabbana have used its signature heavily detailed aesthetic to make these bags into something special.

The raffia Dolce & Gabbana Miss Dolce Bags range from being merely trimmed in the material to being made out of it entirely, and the results are an incredibly summer-y group of bags that are fit for people who need bag options for their next afternoon on a yacht in Saint-Tropez. Or maybe, if you’re Dolce’s ideal customer, a party on the edge of Lake Como. Bring your own George Clooney.

Dolce & Gabbana Miss Dolce Canvas and Raffia Bag
$1,775 via Net-a-Porter

Dolce & Gabbana Miss Dolce Canvas and Raffia Bag

Dolce & Gabbana Miss Dolce Raffia Woven Bag
$2,845 via Net-a-Porter

Dolce & Gabbana Miss Dolce Raffia Woven Bag

Dolce & Gabbana Miss Dolce Raffia Flower Bag
$3,195 via Net-a-Porter

Dolce & Gabbana Miss Dolce Raffia Flower Bag

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. As soon as I saw her bag, I was immediately drawn to its edgy, cool, downtown look. As surreptitiously as I could, I looked for any clue of a designer logo or a brand name. This, my friends, is how I came to discover Alexander Wang.

Needless to say, I have been a huge admirer of his designs ever since, and I cannot get enough of this burgundy satchel. Satchels are actually one of my favorite handbags styles because of their functionality and versatility. It is a handbag that holds everything you want to carry and you can wear it anywhere from work to the weekend. What draws me into this design in particular is the unique domed shape at the top. The satchel is constructed with a double-zipper closure and the silver metal corners and double handles are all used to encompass the Wang style: slouchiness meets sophistication.

Even Alan from The Hangover knew the wisdom of sporting a satchel. The fact that it wasn’t an Alexander Wang satchel…well I suppose we can forgive him for his minor fashion lapse. You can buy your first or your next Alexander Wang satchel through ShopBop for $925.

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? Since I started this internship, it’s become clear that the world of handbags is nearly endless, and sometimes deciding on a bag to write about is fairly time-consuming (but definitely worth the time). I hope this Michael Kors Blake Satchel Bag will make up for me not covering an amazing designer sooner. (more…)

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. Looking at my own collection, it’s easy to see how the transition has happened, and maybe it’s even expected as I get older. In that light, my adoration for Loewe also makes sense.

The Loewe Amazona Bag is the most famous of the group and it is the bag I have my eyes set on. With so many combinations when it comes to this bag, from solid colors to colorblocking to a multitude of skins, there is something for everyone. (more…)

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. A few months ago its fluoro bags were all the rage in shocking vibrant colors, and right now I am going gaga for its new pastels collection.

Including subtle shades of limited edition pastels including lemon, lilac, rose pink, and duck-egg blue, the new line from The Cambridge Satchel Company is perfect for summer whites and spring florals. (more…)

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. Today, that palate (palette?) cleanser comes courtesy of Rochas. (more…)

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. Luckily, bags like the Nina Ricci Liane Satchel pass with flying colors. (more…)

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.

That, of course, is the story behind bags like The Row Leather and Suede Doctor Bag. With a price tag of nearly five grand and no exotic leather in sight, the line has generated as much negative chatter as positive among handbag lovers. When you put the price out of your mind, though, this bag is actually a downright lovely accessory. (more…)

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.

Today, that means I noticed both the Dolce & Gabbana Miss Romantique Dome Satchel and Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily Tiger Sequins Satchel are, well, both made my Dolce & Gabbana. In the same season. Most brands certainly have a range of bags that goes from safe to flamboyant in order to satisfy a range of customers and purposes (some bags need to do the heavy lifting at retail, some need to garner editorial attention from magazines, still others need to get noticed by blogs like this one), but these two designs constitute about as wide of a range as I’ve ever seen from a single collection. (more…)

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. (more…)

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