Over the past few days, New York’s hot summer nights felt a bit of a cool down and there was a slight tinge of fall in the air. As a lover of autumn, my excitement level for the coming season multiplied exponentially.

From left: Mary Y Sol Panama Striped Tote, $100. Club Monaco Tall Straw Tote, $49.50. Elliot Mann 24/7 Tote, $242. All via ShopBop.

In the US, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and all the beachside fun that comes with the season.

Yves Saint Laurent Lucky Chyc Colorblock Tote, $1350 via Net-a-Porter

By now, we all know what spring’s big trend are: Colorblocking, mixed brights, pink and orange, brights contrasted with neutrals. We’ve all been saying this since the collections made their fashion week debuts six months ago, and those looks have made their way to retail with a vengeance.

The Elie Tahari Rebecca Tote, $598 via Bergdorf Goodman.

Yesterday, we talked about how hard it is to find a good upstart contemporary bag line and cited Diane von Furstenberg as a prime example of a brand who has found its handbag stride without much problem, and I’d like to offer Elie Tahari as another clothing brand done good.

New handbag lines launch all the time, but it’s relatively rare that one comes about that’s truly worth a look, let alone worth the money. After watching his accessories collection evolve for several seasons now, I can confidently say that Jason Wu’s bags are the real deal in every sense.

At first glance, I didn’t even see the little white wings on the Bally Rachele Two-Tone Leather Tote – against a white background, they all but disappear into the scenery. Turned sideways, though, their effect is unmissable and perhaps a little awkward.

As I say often (and in fact, as I said yesterday), basic bags are a design challenge that we often ignore, but we shouldn’t. The problem is that even women who want a more traditional bag don’t want to think of their choices as “basic,” so taking a simple shape and elevating it to the next level becomes something that almost any designer has to be able to do in order to satisfy his or her customers.

Is it really almost April? You could have fooled me. There was a time earlier this month when it felt like spring was a foregone conclusion and the last gasp of winter chill had passed, but that feeling was wrong.

When I first spotted the Stella McCartney Fruit-Print Falabella Tote, my mind went to my childhood backyard and I was happy.

The Stella McCartney Falabella Tote first gained favor over a year ago when celebrities as varied as Rihanna and Kate Hudson began sporting the simple, biker-chic faux leather bag with every kind of outfit you could imagine. Many variations on the Falabella theme have followed, and now that we’re on (by my count) the third season rotation of these chain-trimmed purses, one has to wonder when McCartney will run out of ideas.

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