Sunday’s 2013 Emmy Awards were weird, but don’t let that discourage you from diving deep into the attendees’ particularly fabulous handbags from the pre-show red carpet. Often, awards shows are a tough place for bags – traditionally, many stars choose to do photos without their bags in tow, which puts a damper on our fun almost as much as floor-length gowns bum out shoe-lovers. For some reason, though, not only was the Emmy red carpet full of clutches, but many of them were unexpected choices from young, independent luxury brands. There was not a Leiber or Vivier bag-bauble among them.

Two newcomer brands carried the day, handbag-wise – Edie Parker and Rauwolf, both based in New York. We’ve profiled both brands’ early collections in the past, and they’re front-runners in what has been a slow, steady shaking-up of evening bag conventions over the past few seasons. Edie Parker makes slick acrylic clutches in fun finishes like glitter and pearl as well as a plethora of interesting inlaid patterns. Rauwolf’s evening bags, on the other hand, take an aggressive, architectural approach to clutches in gleaming glasslike finishes. Both brands got their clutches into the hands of some of the night’s brightest stars, from Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Christina Hendricks, and it was a welcome respite from the somewhat tired (though beautiful) Boite de Nuit clutches we see every time awards season rolls around. Check out our roundup of the evening’s handbag highlights below.

For reasons I cannot entirely explain, I find British celebrities sort of fascinating. I’m not an anglophile by any stretch of the imagination, but British pop culture seems so slavishly dedicated to such a particular group of people that it’s like there’s this parallel universe of fame out there, people who are just people in New York or LA but who attract paparazzi hordes in London. Notoriety is, of course, dependent on the cooperation of those around you. That strange sense of otherness is part of why I got a little obsessed with looking at paparazzi photos from London Fashion Week events. (more…)

One of the unsung particularities of New York Fashion Week is the vast spectrum of celebrities in brings out over its eight-day run. There aren’t a lot of parties that could draw both Paris Hilton and Barbara Walters, but at Fashion Week, there’s literally a spot for any celeb who’s interested in cashing a check and sitting upright in the front row for a few minutes. In the interest of journalism (or, you know, something similar!), we felt it our duty to catalog the handbags that these celebs toted into and out of the tents over the past week.

For reasons that I cannot totally explain, there was a ton of Chanel and less Hermes than one might expect. Also popular: a bag from whatever designer’s show you’re attending (or, in the case of models, that you just walked in). Below, the bags of everyone from the fashion-famous to the famous-famous, plus a bunch of people somewhere in between.

You may know Olivia Munn from her role as a journalist on The Newsroom or her stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show, but I’ll always remember her for something very specific. Olivia sat front row at a Michael Kors show that I attended a couple of seasons ago, and when I saw her in person, I was struck by how absolutely gorgeous she was. Living in New York, you encounter celebrities fairly often relative to the rest of the world (I once saw Cindy Crawford eating breakfast in a totally nondescript diner a block from my apartment), and most of them pass pretty easily for regular people. Olivia, on the other hand, was prettier in person than she is in pictures.

That doesn’t have much to do with her handbag collection, of course, but it does mean that we probably aren’t even close to reaching the end of this relatively new star’s rise. With that will come even more handbags, but because The Newsroom just got renewed for a third season, we thought it appropriate to take a look at what Ms. Munn’s amassed so far, handbag-wise.

Oh, Lady Gaga. She’s just irrepressible, isn’t she? I used to be a major Gaga fangirl back in her early days (I went to see her for the first time long before she was playing arenas, I swear), but now she’s just kind of…tiring. And I like Katy Perry’s new single better. (Yeah, I said it.) Still, Gaga’s consistently one of the most interesting real-life fashion installations we have to gawk at, and gawk we shall, now that Gaga’s recovered from a hip injury and back to shepherd her Little Monsters into the last half of 2013.

By now, I’m betting most of you have heard the new Katy Perry song. It’s called “Roar” and it came out on Monday, the same day that Lady Gaga’s new single hit the Internet, and it is unquestionably better than Gaga’s. (As much as it pains me to say that, being something of a Gaga fangirl at the beginning of her career.) With Katy doing so much press over the past few days in support of the new single, it occurred to me that we’ve yet to profile her handbag collection. Today, we fix that.

Katy’s style is something we’re probably all well familiar with at this point – boisterous, bright, the opposite of serious and conservative. Her bag choices are far more mainstream, for the most part, which just goes to show you that hardly anyone can resist a little Celine or Chanel here and there.

Last week, one of you asked when we were going to do a “Many Bags” post on Jennifer Garner. Well, ask and ye shall receive! (As long as our photo service yields enough results and I don’t already have some sort of grand plan, anyway.) Jennifer Garner’s personal style hews closely to what many non-famous moms of three young kids wear on a daily basis, but one thing that’s always interesting (and always changing) is her ever-present handbag. Garner uses designer bags the way a lot of regular women do – to add a high-end note to an outfit that she pulled out of her closet to take a couple of rascally little kids to school.

In fact, while digging up pictures of Jennifer’s bags, I had one “celebs – they’re just like us!” moment after another. She seems to be the rare Hollywood mom who takes on child-rearing like a regular human being, and her kids are present in almost every photo that’s snapped of her. She seems to relish the role, because if she didn’t, she could certainly hire someone to handle details like dropping them off at school every day. Her coiffure may suffer for it occasionally, but I think most women will see a lot of themselves in these photos. I did, and I don’t even have a kid. (We should all be thankful I don’t have a kid.)

As you can imagine, it takes several hours of work to put together one of our “The Many Bags of…” features. We have to look through thousands of paparazzi photos, squinting at grainy thumbnails that may or may not include bags we haven’t even thought of in four years, trying to remember what they’re called and who made them. When that’s done, we have to organize all the information we’ve gleaned into a logical whole for your viewing pleasure. It can get a little tedious at times, but with the right celeb, it’s actually pretty fun. Lucky for me, Sharon Osbourne is definitely one of those “right” celebs. (more…)

If you like celebrities who do their own stylistic thing, no matter what the trends might be, then you probably already like Kate Hudson. Even if you don’t dig her rich-hippie look (and it’s certainly not my thing), it’s always refreshing to see a celeb who has such a clear vision of what she likes to wear and how she wants to look. Stars: sometimes they’re also real people!

The process of identifying some of the bags in Kate’s collection was tricky – she doesn’t stick only to premiere designers and recognizable bags, which is to her credit, but it’s also to our never-ending consternation. We’ve done our best to pick out as many notable finds as we can, and we’ve also included a few for you guys to help us figure out. (You guys are so good at that.) Start Kate’s hippie handbag journey (with a dose of Chanel for good measure) below.

Before we move forward, you should all know that I have become an irrational Rihanna fangirl. Not of her music, necessarily – I don’t own any of her albums – but of Rihanna as a character in the media. I love that she wears (and generally pulls off) outrageous things, I love how well she mixes high fashion and hip hop style, I love that she’s not afraid to wear things that will surely bring her plenty of criticism. In a pop culture landscape full of “managed” personalities, I love that Rihanna’s not bland. Or at least she doesn’t look bland, which is what we’re primarily concerned with here.

We first profiled Rihanna’s handbag collection a little more than a year ago, and in that time, she’s been caught carrying nearly 20 additional bags that are worthy of note. Because of her current world tour, these bags have done more traveling than most people can even imagine, but somehow, Rihanna manages to pull out purse after purse, with a new bag popping up in photos seemingly every few days. Her handbag freight fees alone must be astronomical.

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