3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Tote, $975 via Net-a-Porter

Before I start, one caveat: The 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Croc Effect Tote looks much better with its gussets zipped, and I’m not sure why Net-a-Porter didn’t photograph it both ways. I’ve included a zipped-gusset photo after the jump for comparison, but Net-a-Porter’s shot is so much larger and clearer that you get a better sense of the bag’s details from it, even if the zippers are open.

What happens when you shut the zippers is that you lose the inset of small stamped croc scales in favor of a solid patch of larger scales, which plays fewer tricks on the eyes and looks a little bit less…busy. Overall, though, I think that the variation of scale size and the stark grey-and-white palette go a long way toward making this bag as covetable as it is.

See? So much better.

Normally, stamped croc isn’t something that I go for – I’d rather have a nice, smooth leather bag than a leather bag that wishes it were an exotic. This crocodile pattern is different, though. Instead of trying to mimic the real thing, it offers a stylized take on the original, and the technique succeeds because it’s not trying to be something it’s not. It’s proudly croc-effect instead of trying to pass as genuine crocodile without anyone noticing that it’s faking, which is an honesty that I appreciate.

I’ve expressed my appreciation for the Pashli design before, but this version is easily my favorite ever. The tone of the grey is perfect against the white details, and the matte finish gives the entire bag a very modern look. It’s hard to believe that something with such a strong look is actually a neutral bag that can be carried year-round, but that’s exactly what we have here. This bag may be my next purchase. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $975.

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  • Kat

    Hmmmm. I don’t know. Something about the treatment makes it look cheap to me. It doesn’t even look like real leather from the photo.

    http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com

  • mochababe73

    This looks like a cheap, plastic bag. Maybe I need to see it in person because it looks ugly just from the pictures.

  • rose60610

    It looks too busy.

  • Ashleyg

    From the picture, it does kinda look like PVC. Though I admit I haven’t seen it in person- in real life it could be amazeballs…

  • Blaine

    It’s a work of art.

  • lintmag

    I think it might have been better just made like the shape it is zipped up, but without the zips. Those sort of cheapen it in some way as if trying too hard to be cool.

    • Musette

      that’s what I was going to say. Only you said it better!

      xo

  • marinaharbour

    Very chic!

  • Emily

    I have a bag from http://www.st8ment.co.uk for about 1/4 of the price which i think looks more expensive. It’s a nice bag in principle but i have seen better!

  • Perry P

    Thinking about my like or dislike about this bag is rather a confusing and difficult choice which only means that I’ll pass. Something about it just doesn’t work.

  • Sandra

    I like it. I would have to see it for myself as we do not have Phillip Lim where I am, I do not believe I have ever seen anyone in all my travels carry one, If it is amazing in person, it is a very good price.

  • Lori

    No, don’t like it at all. Looks cheap.

  • P

    Why is everyone doing their own interpretation of the Celine luggage????

  • J Umm

    wow, this is a must have!! I like this version better, really stands out
    STYLE DECORUM

  • Malona

     I bought a bag from http://www.jackieb.co.uk for much cheaper and it looks more expensive…

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