I can’t believe it’s already the end of Milan Fashion Week! Paris is underway as we speak, but before we fully commit to a new city, we’d like to take a look at some of the best pieces and trends that came out of Italy for Fall 2013. Both fur and exotics are still going strong, and you might want to look for pieces in bright red and cyan to hit stores six months from now.

If ever you doubted that the 90s are back, I give you: backpacks. Fancy ones, made by everyone from the likes of The Row and Jason Wu to contemporary stars like Alexander Wang and Tory Burch. Oh, and those Prada backpacks immortalized in 10 Things I Hate About You? Yeah, those are still around too, and they will still make you take your Sketchers for granted.

No matter your location, when you think of spring, you probably think of color. And for those of you (like us) who happen to live in a part of the world in the midst of a gray, cold winter, I think it’s fair to say we look forward to Spring just a bit more than the average person.

As you can imagine, I was more than thrilled to select some of my favorite brightly colored bags for this coming Spring.

When I look at my handbag collection, I always find that I am lacking when it comes to neutral colors. I’m usually drawn to bold shades, but having a great neutral bag is mighty important, and I am now on the hunt for one myself. The best part about neutral hues is you can carry the bag for every season and many years – the shades work with warm winter colors and bright spring pastels alike.

For the first time this winter, it is really, genuinely, bone-chillingly cold in New York City. Yesterday, I got my puffer coat out of the closet for the first time since last winter; I had been surviving since November on just a wool coat, but sub-20-degree temperatures made me a holdout no longer. Today isn’t any better.

To add insult to injury, all of the resort and spring arrivals look so bright and cheery that sometimes I forget the frigidity waiting for me outside my windows.

Now that Spring 2013 bags are starting to show up for pre-order all over the Internet, it’s time that we started talking about the season’s biggest trends so that we can all begin the delicate process of planning our seasonal handbag purchases. (I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t admit that at least half of the time, they’re a result of spontaneous lust instead of sound budgeting and a realistic appraisal of my existing wardrobe.)

If you’ve been studying your handbag textbook, you know that spring’s huge black and white trend has been a long time coming.

Most trends lack real staying power, especially in these times of fast fashion and even faster attention spans. Last week’s studs are this week’s fur and next week’s embroidery, and by the time one set of stuff is in stores, many people are already hungering for what’s up next. One thing that’s stayed noticeably consistent for the past few seasons, though, is bold colorblocking, like on this Valentino Glam Lock Colorblock Flap Bag.

After the last two springs and summers, I can imagine that a lot of you are really sick of seeing bright color blocking. A yellow top, purple skirt and red shoes looked fresh in 2010, but now, it just looks a lot like everything we’ve already seen. In light of that, all of the neutral color blocked bags that have emerged lately seem like a breath of fresh air – a new, subtle take on a trend that’s been anything but subtle.

We already told you that oxblood is the new black for fall, and everyone is continuing to talk about the color burgundy. I can’t stop obsessing – it’s just such a rich, lush color that goes with practically everything. Want to wear blacks with it? Great. How about if you love brown colors? Perfect. This is a color that gives life to your wardrobe and complements so many different ensembles, which is why we are giving it its second major feature – one wasn’t enough.

As consumers, finding the right wardrobe balance of classic pieces and trendy accents can be tough. So many trends will look obviously outdated after a season or two that even if you love them, it can be hard to justify spending the big bucks on something that will look old almost immediately. That’s why Fall 2012 is so major – so many of the big runway trends are things that a well-stocked wardrobe should have anyway, all the way from knee-high boots to a good black bag.

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