Antik Batik Stud Banana HandbagMaking things that are reminscent of 1960s and 70s counter-culture can get a tad problematic. The line between referencing a past look and completely aping it is a thin one indeed, and not all designers are good at walking it. Sadly, I think the Antik Batik Stud Banana Handbag has crossed the line from “hippie chic” to “hippie dippy.”

My first problem is the material. I don’t like black suede. I never will. It makes me thing of the “suede” bomber jackets they sell at Wal-Mart when the weather is cold and Wal-Mart, in turn, makes me think of rednecks. And then there’s the studding, which I actually don’t completely despise, but it’s a bit much. But all of that pales in comparison to what happens when you look at the side view – the front appears to be just one massive swath of bedazzled suede attached at the top to a boringly shaped messenger/hobo. I bet it would flop around, and I bet that would annoy the crap out of me. Verdict: fail. Buy through ShopBop for $548.

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