Totes

Just the other day, Megs and I were having kind of an odd discussion. I don’t know how we ultimately landed on the topic, but somehow, the subject of pig leather came about. We both figured that it existed, since the nickname of “pigskin” for old-fashioned footballs certainly came from their porcine origins (although they were made from a pig’s bladder, not its skin, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.) She and I spend exponentially more time than the average purse-lover studying the details of the world’s finest handbags, and neither of us could ever remember coming across a bag made primarily of pigskin.

Mere days later, and I come across the Rochas Pigskin Tote, from the first look at the brand’s Fall/Winter 2010 accessories collection. With a little research, I’ve found that Prada appears to have made a travel bag out of pigskin in 2007 and that there are many suppliers overseas offering the leather to manufacturers. Pigskin appears to be durable and at least reasonably attractive – why don’t we see it more often? (more…)

We all know how lovely the Bottega Veneta intrecciato woven bags are, but a lot of people feel like the brand’s simple good looks don’t fit their personal style. I can’t blame anyone for wanting something more, and while Bottega has been doing a fine job of mixing up their aesthetic recently, I’ve got a woven alternative for people that like something a little funkier.

The Vanessa Bruno Fringe Sack is full of bohemian texture and visual interest in a way that might be a little much for people that prefer Bottega’s more traditional bags, but it might be perfect for people that like to make a statement. I think that we all know, at this point, that a statement is what I prefer. (more…)

Is there ever such a thing as too many sequins? That’s probably a fashion question for the ages, and it’s not one to which I can give you a definitive answer right now. Sequins are like chocolate – in some contexts, a little goes a long way; in others, too much is never enough. Now we just have to decide into which of those categories the Valentino Shiny Petale Tote falls.

I’m still a little undecided. On the one hand, the slightly-darker-than-champagne color is neutral enough to keep a bag like this elegant. On the other hand, the layered petals might be just a bit too much when covered in such a shiny material. Texture on top of texture is hard to do, and although this bag makes a valiant effort, it seems to fall a bit short. (more…)

To quote the title of one of my all-time favorite episodes of Sex and the City, I love a charade. Well, a fashion charade, that is. It almost never fails to impress me when designers are able to take a material that has a certain set of expected characteristics and make it look like something completely different. Earlier this week, I was impressed by how much Maison Martin Margiela made bike reflectors look like sequins, and now I’m feeling similarly pleased with the Bottega Veneta Woven Leather Tote.

On first examination, it looks like a really nice straw tote. And of course, I would expect that any straw bag coming from the Bottega Veneta workshops to be really nice, just like all of their leather offerings. That’s the thing, however – this IS one of their leather offerings. Plus it has a little bit of croc trim, just for good measure. (more…)

I’ll be the first to admit that fashion bloggers are often working with a somewhat limited medium. The industry’s recently increased presence on the internet, both in retail and editorial sectors, has given people like me a great deal of material to work with when writing criticism and making sartorial recommendations, but there’s just nothing like the real thing.

We make our best educated guesses about what a bag will look and feel like in person based on what we know of the brand’s construction standards in the past and the pictures we see on the internet, which are often quite good, depending on the website that they come from. Sometimes, however, a bag just doesn’t make sense until you see it in person, for whatever reason. That’s exactly what happened yesterday when I saw the Prada Saffiano Printo Tote – I had seen pictures of the bag before and wasn’t terribly interested, but in person, it was love at first sight. (more…)

I am in love. Valentino continues to make me a happy handbag fan. Yes, in the past, I’ve snubbed Valentino and thought that some bags were less than impressive. Today is not that kind of day. I am highly impressed with this Valentino Glam Tote. In fact, if I had some cash saved up, I would have bought it on the spot. (more…)

If you love the Valentino aesthetic but can’t justify shelling out two grand (or far more) for one of their plush, ladylike bags full of bows, ruffles and flowers, I may have a viable alternative for you.

The Villador Carpetto Bow Bag has a couple of Valentino’s most obvious signatures – drool-worthy leather and an oversized bow placed proudly for all to see – without being a ripoff. It’ll also run you about half of what Valentino’s most basic bags usually cost, and who can’t get behind that? (more…)

I’M BA-ACK! I’m minus two tonsils, five post-surgery pounds, and a week of my life, but I have returned triumphant to do one of my absolute favorite things: make fun of a truly horrific Versace bag.

It’s almost as though the universe placed the galacticly awful Versace Scream Shopper on Nordstrom‘s website to welcome me back to the land of the living – It’s been quite a while since Donatella & Co. have provided us with a bag so thoroughly worthy of ridicule. When pitched such a softball, I can only hope to hit it out of the park. Won’t you join me? (more…)

For those of you who think that Alexander McQueen handbags might be a little too out there for your taste, I may have found a bag for you.

Looking at the name of the bag, I was wondering what was really meant by the word camouflage. Did it have to do with the colors, the design, some hidden meaning? It is not that McQueen camouflaged his genius or his innate ability to take design to the next level. Perhaps the word surrounds the idea that the bag is a bit more understated than most of us might be used to. (more…)

After viewing Prada’s Spring 2010 runway show, I couldn’t help but think to myself, maybe the handbags were a joke after all. Maybe they won’t produce them. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, they’ll ship the REAL bags to retail and we’ll all be left with the daffy memory of those silly-looking bags that Prada so irreverently sent down the Milan runway.

Well, my wishful thinking was all for naut – the plasticky, rhinestoned monstrosities have landed. The Prada Spazzolato Tote might be the best of the bunch, and to say that’s faint praise would be the understatement of the season. (more…)

I love when Prada sticks to what it is good at: clean lines, great leather and fabulous color. I have to say, I came across the Prada Saffiano Lux Tote today and let out a sigh of relief.

Actually, I’ve seen this bag before, but I forgot about it. So, when I came across it again, all I can say is BRAVO Prada, BRAVO! Unfortunately, I’ve come across too many Prada bags that have missed the mark lately. In fact, they’ve missed the mark so much that I virtually stopped looking at them. Today folks, today is a different day. (more…)

One thing that a lot of designers seem to have a very hard time doing is creating a bag that is both expensive-looking and covered in animal print. It’s not surprising since animal print is historically “tacky chic” at best, and at worst, just plain tacky. Getting past the initial “eww, is that zebra?” thought is a difficult sell for a lot of handbag customers in particular, since most people prefer their expensive bags to be neutral and timeless.

Somehow, though, the Roger Vivier Zebra Tote manages to look luxurious and chic in a traditional way, while still being boldly and obviously animal print. How did the designer pull it off? I have a theory, of course. (more…)

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