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.