Some bags aren’t that hard to evaluate online – either they’re pretty straightforward, or the brand does things similarly enough from season to season that there are rarely surprises in construction or materials. For instance, I feel comfortable passing judgment on a Gucci bag without seeing it in person; I’ve seen enough of them in my life to be able to extrapolate information from those experiences.

I’m so in to texture right now. From pintucking, ruching and pleating all the way to leather flowers a la Valentino, I want designers to show me what they can do with the material we’re all so used to seeing.

Lest we all had forgetten after seeing one too many soft, wonderful Valentino bags, Dolce & Gabbana has a stark reminder for us: ruffles aren’t easy, man. Not when leather is involved.

The key to successful leather ruffles is to make them so light and airy that you forget that what you’re looking at is a thick, hardy material out of which they also make car interiors.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Whether you like their bags or not, Valentino does the best detail work in the business. There’s not a major designer that can touch them when it comes to taking regular (albeit extremely supple and wonderful) leather and turning it into something that is far more than the sum of its parts.

Ahh, the eternal handbag questions: how much should we, as consumers, be willing to pay for bags that aren’t made out of leather? How about one made out of canvas? How about a really SIMPLE bag made out of canvas?

A few months ago, we brought you news that friend-of-PurseBlog Carlos Falchi would be collaborating with his daughter on a new line of graffiti-inspired bags to debut in the coming months.

Well, the future is now: the bags are here!

I’ve never been an overwhelming fan of Tod’s. While I can see why some people would really like them, and I don’t doubt that they’re well-made, they’re usually missing a certain something that makes a bag work for me.

Ever see a bag and know immediately that it’s one that you would use constantly and incorporate into your wardrobe effortlessly? Like its existence is just a little bit of handbag kismet that the Powers That Be most surely intended just for you?

It’s rare that I find myself completely conflicted, but that’s where the Valentino Ricamo Macro Paillettes Tote has me. Sometimes I love it, other times I’m not impressed by it at all. Would it be fair to give it the benefit of the doubt just because it’s Valentino?

I’m normally something of a YSL fangirl, but despite the brand’s history of sleek, classic bags, even they make a misstep every once in a while. It’s a forgivable thing to do, for sure, but that has never stopped me from calling a spade a spade, so to speak.

Editor’s Picks