Totes

Page 5

I love it when something great to write about just appears in my email right when I’m looking for ideas. That’s exactly what happened yesterday when ProenzaSchouler.com sent out an email about the Proenza Schouler Fish Print Shopping Tote – I was in the process of looking for something lovely to post, et voilà! They gave me the perfect thing. Good lookin’ out, Jack and Lazaro.

The only problem is that now I have to decide if I want to buy the tote (and it’s matching wallet). When you zoom in really close on the brand’s website, it’s clear that the jacquered fabric is gorgeous – detailed, textured, full of color. I wear a lot of black and grey, so this might be the perfect thing to compliment my wardrobe. Plus, for a brand that normally charges quite a bit for their bags, this one is downright affordable. (more…)

If you’re like me, you have only one thought when you hear the word “Alaïa” – Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz, trying to explain to a mugger why she can’t lay down on the ground in the greatest movie of all time, Clueless.

“You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa.”
“An A-what-a?”
“It’s, like, a totally important designer!

If you grew up in the 90s, movie quotes scarcely get more classic than that.

And that’s why, when I look at the Alaïa Perforated Leather Bag, all I can think is that it’s totally the opposite of a full-on Monet. (more…)

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I’m no great fan of paying high prices for non-leather bags, but after seeing the Yves Saint Laurent Large Shopping Tote, I’m unsure how long I’ll be able to continue my resistance to the concept.

When you’re a fan of designer handbags, it’s best to come up with some personal price boundaries to avoid getting carried away. It’s easy to become desensitized when the most highly sought-after bag in the world costs in the high four figures, but not every bag is worth what the manufacturer might want us to pay. The Yves Saint Laurent Large Shopping Tote has positioned itself in an interesting spot, however – the price just might be low enough to pique my interest for such an attractive bag, even though it’s not made entirely of leather. (more…)

Ok, so, that’s probably a false promise. But these are five beach bags that we really like for five different budgets and personal styles. (more…)

Now that we’ve seen one example today of metallic gone egregiously wrong, I though it might be nice to give some props to a brand that has managed to get it oh so right – Lanvin.

I don’t love all of the brand’s handbags, but given an opportunity to see them in person, the quality of materials and attention to detail really shine. I haven’t seen the Lanvin Amalia Cabas Metallic Tote yet, but I have seen the matte leather version, and the subtle glimmer effect of this leather only makes me love it more. (more…)

I’ve been trying to figure out for some time now exactly what it is that makes me love Valentino bags oh so much, particularly since Shannon called me out on it last week. It’s not like no other designer has ever done ribbon and flower motifs – that, in and of itself, is not what sets the brand apart. And it’s not the shapes or colors they use, either – the vast majority of their bags are traditional shapes like hobos and totes, decorated intricately but in usually neutral shades.

I’ve been trying to pinpoint why I like them so much for a while, and as best I can tell, it’s because they feel like clothing to me. Instead of creating something that’s tough and somewhat exterior to an ensemble, Valentino’s accessory designers seem to put as much thought and detail into things like the Valentino Tulle Rosette Bag as they would into an evening gown destined for the red carpet. In a marketplace full of mass-produced bags, a lot of the bags that Valentino turns out still manage to feel and look special. (more…)

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…)

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