Occasionally, very rarely, I see a handbag for the first time and it breaks my brain. That’s what happened with my blanket-patterned Proenza Schouler PS1 – as soon as I laid eyes on it, I knew that I would eventually have it in my possession. Knowing it existed meant that an eventual purchase was a foregone conclusion, even if it took six months and the Net-a-Porter sale for me to pull the trigger. Those are the bags that I never regret buying, that I never ever part with, and they don’t come along all that often. Looking at handbags as much as I do means that you get good at identifying the ones that you really love after a while. I just never expected a bag like the 3.1 Phillip Lim PVC Pashli Tote to be in that group.
I moan about the evils of PVC designer bags all the time on this blog, and yet, I’m seriously considering ponying up $650 for this one (or perhaps $450 for its mini crossbody sister at ShopBop). I’m a big 3.1 Phillip Lim fan in general, and the Pashli has always struck me as a great bag that will stand the test of time; this version outdoes itself, even if it is PVC. You guys have no idea how much it pains me to admit that.
In fact, this bag wouldn’t be nearly as cool in leather, because the varying levels of transparency wouldn’t be achievable. It’s that variation, which highlights the bag’s various structural panels, that makes this version of the Pashli feel so special and modern. Lim is at his best when his penchant for slick, modern minimalism takes over, and you can see a lot of those tendencies in this bag, even if it’s not particularly minimal in its final execution. Pashli, you will be mine. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $650.