When I spoke to Net-a-Porter fashion director Holli Rodgers a few weeks ago regarding Pre-Fall and Fall 2013′s big accessories trends, she expressed a bit of a reticence toward animal prints, and leopard in particular. In fact, Rodgers reported that she had tried to make it through the whole buying season without adding any leopard-print bags to the Net-a-Porter fall roster, although that didn’t quite come to pass. She may not be the only person who’s experiencing a bit of animal print fatigue; pre-fall and fall collections still feature plenty of animal bags, but many of them have a less aggressive feel than in seasons past.

With the notable exception of Gucci Fall 2013, animal prints, including leopard, zebra, giraffe and snake, feel more subtle in a variety of ways. On some bags, the materials are now implemented as trim instead of as the main attraction; on others, the contrast had been dialed down to make the print look paler than it might have been in past seasons. The most extreme example, of course, is tonal leopard, where only a difference in texture makes the print apparent. Check out the best examples of the trend below, and let us know – do you still love animal prints or are you ready for something new?

[Editor's Note: We've teamed up with Rachel Zoe's team at The ZOE Report to bring you their take on the season's most covetable handbags and accessories. Below, they'll get you summer-ready with raffia!]

Forever obsessed with beachy-cool accessories, a chic raffia handbag is at the top of our shopping list for the summer season. Here are six styles that made the cut for their fresh, statement-making use of the material. (more…)

Some trends announce themselves early and often; fur, for instance, is not only difficult to miss in even its most sedate incarnations, but fur bags have been paraded up and down so many international runways that you’d have to be actively avoiding the information not to know that every designer is going to try to sell you something fuzzy come fall. Other trends sneak up more quietly; you don’t hear them mentioned and retail stores don’t put any emphasis on them, and then suddenly there are navy handbags everywhere and no one is talking about it.

In most instances, navy isn’t all that strange a sight, but navy leather goods have never been as popular or as widely available as their black or brown counterparts. Done poorly, the bags and shoes (but especially the shoes) can look dated, but this crop of navy bags looks fresh and modern. The best part, of course, is that navy is a neutral – it’ll be super easy to work into your wardrobe, and personally, I’m particularly partial to navy and black together. To get the look, check out the bags below.

Like we mentioned recently, the whole PurseBlog team is awaiting the arrival of The Great Gatsby with baited breath. As it turns out, our friends at Harrod’s are equally excited from all the way across the pond. So much so, in fact, that the legendary department store has launched Summer of Now, a special boutique of Gatsby-inspired art deco deliciousness this week, which lets you dress, accessorize, smell and drink like an emotionally unmoored socialite from the Roaring 20s.

If that sounds like fun to you (and it does to us, especially the drinking part), then below, we’ve got your primer on what to look for in Harrod’s well-edited selection, including a magnum of champagne that comes with its own housewares. If you’re going to go full-on Rocky Horror and show up to the theater opening night in costume, then this is most certainly an exceedingly luxurious way to do it. Gatsby would approve. Shop our picks below or shop the full selection via Harrod’s.


Lanvin Mirrored Minaudiere Bag
£1,340 via Harrod’s

Lanvin Mirrored Minaudiere Bag

Astley Clarke Connie Earrings
£4,950 via Harrod’s

Astley Clarke Connie Earrings

Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoche Magnum and Anemone Vase
£2,400 via Harrod’s

Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoche Magnum and Anemone Vase

Celine Oval Sunglasses
£195 via Harrod’s

Celine Oval Sunglasses

Mawi Crystal and Pearl Necklace
£489 via Harrod’s

Mawi Crystal and Pearl Necklace

St. John Tiered Feather Cocktail Dress
£1,350 via Harrod’s

St. John Tiered Feather Cocktail Dress

Notte by Marchesa Pleated Metallic Gown
£625 via Harrod’s

Notte by Marchesa Pleated Metallic Gown

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2013 Costume Institute Gala, which will take place next week in the very un-punk location of New York City’s Upper East Side, is set to celebrate punk fashion, where it came from and how the aesthetic influences designers of all types to this day. On the one hand, punk and high fashion are somewhat unlikely bedfellows; punk, by its very nature, is rough-hewn, grimy and hard-edged. A low-end look, if ever there were one. To be a punk is to form yourself into a person who purposefully rejects the greater order of things, and what is the fashion industry, if not a group of people who have set out to dictate the greater order of aesthetic things? Except it’s not quite that simple, of course. (more…)

It seems like we’ve been talking about black-and-white bags forever, but based on the current slate of neutral, bicolor bags that have now arrived in stores for spring, the trend has only just begun. We gave you a rundown of nine styles to get you started on the right path back in January, but now we’ve got another dozen that you should consider now that spring has arrived. If you’re looking for an office-appropriate bag for warmer weather or just want your weekend looks to be a little more sophisticated than neon or raffia allows, we’ve got some suggestions.

The charms of black-and-white bags are many and varied: a wide swath of black leather makes the bags’ white elements seem less precious and fragile, the combination of the two colors manages to be simultaneously professional and trendy, combining dark and light neutrals generally creates a seasonless bag that you can carry for a long time to come. What’s nice about the particular combination of black and white, though, is that it lends a note of modernism that’s very fashionable right now without making anyone commit to a minimalist look; it can fit in with almost any aesthetic. Below, we’ve selected some of the best on the market right now.


Maiyet Sophie Leather Shoulder Bag
$1,250 via Net-a-Porter

Maiyet Sophie Leather Shoulder Bag

Diane von Furstenberg 440 Tote
$645 via Net-a-Porter

Diane von Furstenberg 440 Tote

Reed Krakoff Track Tote
$1,390 via Net-a-Porter

Reed Krakoff Track Tote

McQ Alexander McQueen Printed Shopper
$460 via Net-a-Porter

McQ Alexander McQueen Printed Shopper

Saint Laurent Lulu Shoulder Bag
$2,150 via Net-a-Porter

Saint Laurent Lulu Shoulder Bag

Alexander McQueen Heroine Laser-cut Bag
$3,450 via Neiman Marcus

Alexander McQueen Heroine Laser-Cut Bag

Proenza Schouler Triangle Print Shopping Tote
$2,400 via Neiman Marcus

Proenza Schouler Triange Print Shopping Tote Bag

Reed Krakoff Atlantique Micro Bag
$990 via Neiman Marcus

Reed Krakoff Atlantique Micro Bag

Clare Vivier Simple Tote
$407 via ShopBop

Clare Vivier Simple Tote

Botkier Valentina Mini Luxe Bag
$245 via ShopBop

Botkier Mini Valentina Luxe Bag

Marc by Marc Jacobs Werdie Weavy Isabelle Bag
$188 via ShopBop

Marc by Marc Jacobs Werdie Weavy Isabelle Bag

Club Monaco Daria Crossbody Bag
$169.50 via ShopBop

Club Monaco Daria Crossbody Bag

In summer, a lot of things get smaller. Clothes shrink to help their wearers deal with the rising temperatures, women cut their hair, men shave their beards. The feeling of lightness is paramount mean the weather itself often feels oppressive. We’ve long talked about the functional advantages of paring down your essentials and picking up a smaller bag when spring and summer come along, and it seems as though designers have been listening – an unprecedented number of brands have turned out miniature versions of your favorite bags for Spring 2013.

Like a lot of current trends, this one can be traced back to Celine, at least in part. Designers have long been converting successful styles into different structures in order to reach a wider variety of potential customers – taking a tote’s details and translating them to a hobo, for example – but Celine’s conversion of the ultra-successful Luggage Tote into a mini crossbody launched a thousand minibags. We can’t complain about the new trend; having the same amount of style in a lighter, more compact package is a summertime win for everyone.


Louis Vuitton Alma BB Bag
$1,550 via Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Alma BB Bag

Reed Krakoff Mini Atlantique Tote
$990 via Net-a-Porter

Reed Krakoff Atlantique Tote

Balenciaga Mini Lune Bag
$1,345 via Neiman Marcus

Balenciaga Mini Lune Bag

Prada Saffiano Executive Tote
$1,520 via Neiman Marcus

Prada Saffiano Executive Tote

Loeffler Randall Mini Rider Bag
$395 via ShopBop

Loeffler Randall Mini Rider Bag

3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Pashli Floral Tote
$625 via Neiman Marcus

3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Pashli Floral Tote

Valentino Rockstud Mini Tote
$1,895 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino Rockstud Mini Tote

Alexander Wang Rockie Bag
$795 via Nordstrom

Alexander Wang Rockie Bag

Balenciaga Mini City Bag
$1,295 via Neiman Marcus

Balenciaga Mini City Bag

Every couple of seasons, bag shape trends shift. Remember when everyone carried hobo bags? That was a real thing that happened. Over the past couple of years, everything from ladylike top-handles to small crossbody bags have become the must-have look, and we talked earlier this week about the enduring popularity of the Celine-style flared tote. What’s next? The duffel.

The easy functionality of the classic duffel makes a lot of sense with the current trends toward streamlined accessories. The new duffel lacks fussy embellishments and is generally without external pockets, and although brands like Louis Vuitton and Alexander Wang have been ahead of the curve, more brands than ever are jumping on the bandwagon for the season to come. Below, check out some of our favorites at a variety of price points.

Gucci Vintage Web Boston Duffel
$1,095 via Net-a-Porter

Gucci Vintage Web Boston Duffel Bag

Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel
$850 via Net-a-Porter

Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel

Saint Laurent Classic Duffel
$2,150 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Classic Duffel

See by Chloe Harriet Duffel
$575 via ShopBop

See by Chloe Harriet Duffel Bag

Meredith Wendell Large Duffel
$445 via ShopBop

Meredith Wendell Large Duffel

Clare Vivier Escale Bag
$476 via ShopBop

Clare Vivier Escale Bag

Rebecca Minkoff Python Jayden Satchel
$450 via ShopBop

Rebecca Minkoff Python Jayden Satchel

Givenchy Lucrezia Satchel
$2,140 via Barneys

Givenchy Lucrezia Satchel

Ralph Laurent Stirrup Boston Bag
$1,750 via Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Stirrup Boston Bag

Louis Vuitton Sofia Coppola SC Satchel PM
$4,150 via Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Sofia Coppola SC Satchel PM

If this post seems like deja vu, you’re not entirely wrong. Over seven months ago, we wrote about how the flared gusset, made popular by Phoebe Philo at Celine and the brand’s now-inescapable Luggage Totes and Trapeze Bags, had turned into a full-fledged trend of its own. As spring bags flooded into stores, I couldn’t help but marvel at how many bags are still embracing the look, particularly now that Luggage Totes themselves are no longer as difficult to get as they once were. Over at Business of Fashion, they noticed the exact same phenomenon.

In the BOF piece, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo even goes so far as to favorably compare Celine to Hermes, and when a fashion retail heavyweight like Fargo uses those words, they’re not to be taken lightly. As Celine’s gussets get seemingly wider and wider, expect to see the brand’s influence in the realm of handbag design widen as well. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best new options on the market for spring that will get you on board with the trend without requiring that you fly to New York to visit the Celine Madison Avenue mothership.

Now that we’ve had some time to let the Fall 2013 runways marinate, a few key handbag trends have started to pop out. Fur and exotics will make a return once again this year, which is either fantastic or terrible, depending on your personal ethics and/or bank account. A new trend that we noticed, though, was the preponderance of chain embellishments on the season’s bags. While the word “chain” might bring about thoughts of bikers and bondage, the season’s chains, from straps to trim, are much more varied and often more subtle than you’d first guess.

Fall 2013 might seem like it’s a long way off, but it’s never too early to start planning future purchases, especially when you consider how much bags cost these days. Plus, with the weather the way it is in New York (it was a balmy 35 degrees yesterday), these bags feel a lot more appropriate than raffia totes and brightly colored crossbodies at the moment. To wit, we’ve collected the best demonstrations of the trend from the Fall 2013 global runways and assembled them into an easy guide from you below. They range from ladylike at Tory Burch and Oscar de la Renta to tough at Versace and Loewe, and it should come as no surprise that Chanel is a perennial front-runner when it comes to chain-accented handbags.

[All images via Vogue]

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