If you followed along with your Spring 2014 runway roundups, you already know what I’m about to say. Pale bags, ranging from ivory to blush, are the biggest trend going for spring by far. After what feels like season upon season of prints, neons, rococo embellishments and exotics, a simple swath of dove grey leather actually does feel pretty fresh, if perhaps a little tricky to keep clean under non-ideal circumstances. (Put away your denim, lest you turn the back side of your new bag entirely blue.)

Because fashion is slowly kicking and screaming its way into the instant-gratification machine we all wish it were, the bags that rode the runway aren’t going to be available for months, but we’ve found plenty of current options to keep you looking ladylike through the winter months. Speaking of which, the more traditional among you might feel like this isn’t a cold-weather trend, but au contraire – shades like ivory and blush are all over this season’s most covetable outwear, and as long as the tone of the color and the material are sufficiently autumnal, you should feel free to wear colors like pink and white year-round. White linen? No. White leather? Pile it on.

When I first sat down to write this post, I figured I’d find five or six good examples of drawstring bags to include in it, under the assumption that the trend was rising but had yet to crest. Well, I was wrong – within five minutes or so, I had dozens of browser windows open, all with worthy candidates for inclusion at price points from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Drawstring bags, in all their versions, are a bona fide, capital-T Thing. All of a sudden!

I first got to thinking about this subject yesterday when I noticed that the Mansur Gavriel drawstring bag we featured in a post had already sold out on Net-a-Porter. After Instagramming a picture of that same bag, which the brand had sent to me and which I received yesterday morning, people started asking me where it could be found – they were in search of that particular design, the collection’s clear favorite. The simple shape and minimal finishing has clearly struck a chord with consumers, and I must admit, there’s something satisfying about gathering up the top of the bag and tying the leather cord in a slick bow.

Drawstring bucket bags first gained popularity with the iconic Louis Vuitton Noe Bag and then again had a moment several years ago, which spawned perennial favorites like the Alexander Wang Diego Bucket Bag, back in as many versions as ever for fall. As best as I can tell, the shape came around again with The Row’s highly influential (and highly expensive) backpack, and now it’s everywhere, with relatively little fanfare. Below, check out some of the trend’s best representations across the board, including a refreshed version of the original Vuitton.

Some trends make sense. Navy! Chain Details! Fur and calf hair! All of those things, with their relatively heavy feel, sound right at home on a fall handbag. Or, you know, on a handbag in general. Somehow, though, handbags with eyes seem to be just as popular for the impending season. If you understand what all those words mean, but not necessarily in that order, read on below.

I’m not talking about the bags that have abstract “faces” made out of design elements like conveniently placed zippers or hardware bales. I’m talking about actual eyes, sometimes with lashes, that are intended to be the focal point of an entire handbag. If you feel something look at you this fall and just can’t place it, look down – it might be a fellow party-goer’s clutch.

Eyes are most commonly found in fashion through modern interpretations of the various global talismans, like the Egyptian Eye of Horus or charms meant to ward off the malevolent powers of the evil eye. Most famous are the hamsa charms of the Arab world, which feature an eye in the palm of a hand, but there’s nothing historical about these handbags. I’m getting a vaguely Illuminati-referencing vibe from Kenzo’s interpretation in particular, but beyond that, I have no idea how any of this happened, let alone how all these various designers, who generally have wildly varying collections, ended up on the eye motif all at the same time. Still, with this many eyes popping up on bags, it’s a bona fide trend.

While we take this week to enjoy the last gasps of the summer, we’re also looking toward fall, and we bet that you are as well. To that end, we did some thinking about what handbag everyone really needs to have in her closet for Fall 2013, and there’s really only one answer: a crazy one. If it’s outside of your comfort zone, that’s the bag you should buy. (more…)

The sale season is beginning to die down, and as the summer clothing leaves the shelves, our favorite e-tailers are restocking with the first taste of fall goodies. I try to add at least one new bag to my collection each season that can be added to my accessories repertoire immediately, and today I’ve found five fall bags that will transition from fall to winter in a beautiful way. From delicious creams, to spunky black, to the perfect rouge, here are five bags to buy now and wear for fall and winter.

In general, it doesn’t bother me that so many designers have been “inspired” by Celine to adjust the gusset structure on some of their new bags. When a silhouette becomes so widely adored and connects so strongly with high-end customers, other brands would be silly not to explore whether it would be worth implementing in their own designs. At a certain point, designers aren’t copying an idea but designing for a widespread trend. It can also pay dividends to let a trend pass you by, though, and I wish that Balenciaga had done just that. (more…)

It’s taken me longer than many to come around to the idea of camouflage as a viable accessories trend. Like I mentioned when we took a closer look at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s camo bags (which I, admittedly, kind of liked), it’s a print that I’ve prided myself on hating for years on end, and I didn’t see that changing anytime soon. Then a pretty little greyscaled Prada tote came along, and that was all it took to flip me. Now camo is definitely on my fall shopping list, and it should be on yours too.

I’m not going to sit here and extoll the virtues of camo in general, mostly because you guys already know that my feelings are mixed. When it’s done properly, though, and when it’s done on a piece that really pokes at that soft spot in your skull, you’ll know it. This season offers your best chance to find that piece, whether it’s a bag, a scarf or a pair of shoes – heavyweight designers like Valentino and Manolo Blahnik have added the iconic print to their fall repertoire. Below, we’ve rounded up a bunch of pieces at different price points for your shopping pleasure.

Normally the phrase “black and blue” doesn’t bring about positive thoughts, but when it comes to handbags, “black and blue” is both entirely lovely and a big color trend for fall. If you like the modern, slick look of all the black-and-white bicolor bags out there right now but need a bit more color in your life (or if you’re scared to carry a bag that has significant white portions), then black-and-blue is perhaps your best bet when it comes to a transitional piece. Lucky for you, plenty of designers got the memo on this versatile combination.

Black with blue has long been one of my favorite combinations. Something about black just makes certain shades of blue look so much richer, and from baby to navy, you can’t really go wrong with black accents. Below, we’ve scoured the Internets latest fall clutches and carryalls to bring you the best bicolor options available. Because most of these bags feature bright blue along with black, they make a perfect option for moving your summer wardrobe in a fall direction.

There comes a point in a trend at which resistance is futile. At that point, even if you don’t like or understand the trend and don’t intend to spend any of your own personal dollars following it, you’re at least going to have to put up with encountering it regularly for the foreseeable future. Ladies, we’re at that point with designer backpacks. It’s time to expend your righteous aesthetic anger elsewhere, because it won’t do you any good here.

Admittedly, I like backpacks in many instances. I said as much back when we first predicted the trend in February, and now that more and more designers (especially more premier-level designers) are introducing their version of the classic shape, there’s even more to love. We’ve assembled 10 that might appeal even to ardent backpack skeptics, but my favorite is Phillip Lim’s iteration – perfectly minimal, perfectly luxurious and less than a third of the price of The Row’s already-famous backpack.

A quick tip: this is not the bag you want to be carrying in the dead of summer because it’ll stick whatever you’re wearing to your back sweat, and that is not a good look. For a summer-fall transition, though, backpacks are a fine choice.

Black and white bags (and indeed, entirely black and white ensembles) have been a certifiably huge trend for a little while now, but lately, something even more specific has emerged: black and white check bags, clothes and shoes. Most of us are probably familiar with the look on a classic pair of Vans slide-on sneakers, but the checkerboard and its variants have hit the big time with brands like Givenchy and Proenza Schouler.

The checks vary from traditional squares to diamonds, triangles and classic houndstooth, but the look generally ends up being the same – graphic and modern, even if the shape of the piece is a bit of a throwback. If you’re new to wearing such a bold print, you might want to start small, but we’ve also included some extra eye-catching picks for the adventurous among us in our list of all things checked, below.

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