Totes

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Anya Hindmarch Big Ben or Corgi Headline Totes, $295 each via Net-a-Porter

Oh, the Brits! They’re a funny lot, aren’t they? They brought us Monty Python and Benny Hill and Eddie Izzard, and for that, the rest of the world is eternally grateful. British humor is renowned the world over for its special brand of biting dryness, and it only makes sense that a London designer would be pursuing the art of handbag humor.

Anya Hindmarch is often witty, but the Anya Hindmarch Headline Printed Canvas Shoppers take things to a new level. Using iconic bits of Britannia like Big Ben and the Queen’s beloved corgis, Hindmarch gives you a funny way to haul your daily necessities. Plus, they have a little surprise on the inside. (more…)

Images via Racked.com

Remember the Thursday Friday Together Totes emblazoned with images of the iconic Hermes Birkin? The bag generated a ton of conversation when we first wrote about it back in January, and although most of you found them distasteful, lots of women didn’t; I think I see at least one a day being schlepped through the streets of New York.

Unfortunately for Thursday Friday, Hermes also found the idea distasteful and decided to sue their pants off. Fresh off a private settlement with the French luxury giant, Racked reports that Thursday Friday is ready to take on another iconic bag with its Together Tote: The Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag. Lawyers, start your engines. (more…)

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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. I’ve been planning additions to my fall wardrobe for a while, and one of the staples we should all have in our accessories closet is a ladylike frame bag.

Donna Karan is aware of seasonal staples and appears to have designed the Liaison bag with feminine, chic, and efficient ladies in mind. Donna Karan bags follow closely to the brands overall feel, composing of luxe materials in a sculpted and subdued fashion. (more…)

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. The PurseBlog team is going to take most of today to relax and enjoy the advent of season vacation season, but if you’re stuck indoors and want some bags to consider, take a look at these three reasonably priced, sun-ready straw totes: The Mar Y Sol Panama Striped Tote, Club Monaco Tall Straw Tote and Elliot Man 24/7 Tote. (Ok, that last one is macrame and not straw. Just go with it.) (more…)

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. And in the case of the Yves Saint Laurent Lucky Chyc Colorblock Tote, they’ve all showed up in one design. (more…)

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. Tahari’s bag line is only a couple of seasons old, but every time I see one of his bags at a store, I find myself nothing less than impressed by the designs and materials, particularly when you consider the price point. I saw the Elie Tahari Rebecca Tote at Neiman Marcus lately, and let’s just say that my affection for the brand continues apace. (more…)

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.

Fall might be a long time coming, but for a bag as good as the Jason Wu Miss Wu Tote in a seasonless shade of garnet, I’d suggest you start planning now. In a lot of ways, this bag reminds me of the Prada Limited Edition Runway to Green Tote that the brand produced for Net-a-Porter, except with just a bit more polish. The leather is shiny and smooth instead of matte and grained, and the enamel-laden hardware provides a subtle reminder of just who it was that designed the bag. I can’t help but love the whimsy of Wu’s little owl logo. (more…)

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. Does anyone but me feel like this bag is wearing a nun’s habit?

That’s probably just me, but the white wings coming off the sides of this bag have me confused. I love a crisp, neutral bag with contrasting trim, as we all know, but the implementation of the trim in this particular design makes me want to grab on and give it a tug. Or maybe try and push it back into the bag, like it’s stuffing that has come undone. Either way, it looks like all the white stuff is sticking out where it’s not quite supposed to be. (more…)

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. And with such a glutted handbag market, doing that while simultaneously standing out in the crowd is difficult. There are plenty of mediocre bags out there to prove it.

The Reed Krakoff 510 Leather Tote, however, is one of the pieces that succeeds. That it pulls off a very Valextra look while maintaining a three-digit price tag is even more impressive; I can’t help but think this would be at least a $1300 from almost any other brand. (more…)

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. Much of the East Coast has been unseasonably cold for the past few days, and the reality of the weather just doesn’t match with the bright, optimistic colors contained in the packages of spring clothing that have been arriving at my doorstep for the past week. Surely this cold snap will pass, and when it does, I want to be ready with a bag like the Felix Rey Sardinia Basket Tote.

I’ve mentioned my personal rule that prevents me from buying a straw bag that costs more than $200 before, but this bag comes so close to the cutoff line that I think I’ll give it a pass. Unless, of course, you guys want to be so kind as to help me hunt down a less expensive version with the same kind of tight, nubby weaving. (more…)

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