Over the past few seasons, my opinion on Valentino’s handbag line has varied widely. At the beginning of the Rockstud era, I was dubious. Fashion had just finished up a period where nearly everything you could imagine was covered with studs, and rehashing that seemed like the last thing anyone wanted to see. Valentino held on to the motif, though, and now it seems not only fresher than it ever has, but it’s become a brand signature; something uniquely Valentino in its rough-feminine hybrid to which no other brand can lay claim.

Even if you’re not looking to pre-order full price handbags six months before they come out, Moda Operandi is a great resource, particularly when both resort and pre-fall collections are starting to debut for editors. Those collections tend to keep the majority of their handbags from public view, but because MO often carries accessories pre-orders soon after a collection is shown to editors and buyers, it allows everyone a glimpse at what’s to come, even if you’re not interested in purchasing immediately.

I have said it plenty of times before, but right now I am on a self-imposed shopping ban. It is easy to get wrapped up in the world of shopping, especially when running a website like mine, but I need to go through my closet, evaluate everything I have and edit before I continue to constantly add. But you know what?

Every now and then, Megs and I will both get totally obsessed with the same designer or piece at the same time, but without really telling the other about it. At some point, we then realize that we’ve both been spontaneously lusting after the same stuff, and we spend several minutes gushing about how much we want something, quickly followed by much whining about how much it costs for us to make those dreams a reality.

As handbag lovers, we’ve been very lucky recently. Luxury brands are notoriously secretive about their behind-the-scenes processes, particularly their manufacturing, and anyone who knows anything about the counterfeit trade knows exactly why that is. Letting people behind the curtain not only risks trade secrets, but it also chances taking some off the luxurious mystique off of the final product. Don’t be fooled, that mystique factors heavily into the prices that these brands are able to charge for their goods.

My affection for Valentino Fall 2012, a collection from a brand whose runway bags I often don’t love, seems like part of a wider trend for the season. Specifically, if you’re a bag lover, Fall 2012 is going to be chock full of beautiful things for you to lust after and a few that you may actually end up buying and carrying, either for the season for for years afterward.

It’s officially March (where has the year gone?), which means that we’re inching closer and closer to wedding season and there’s lots of wedding planning in full swing. Naturally, we’re most interesting in what kinds of wedding bags people are choosing, and if you’re gettin’ hitched and have yet to decide on yours, we’ve got some good news. One of our favorite nuptial-appropriate clutches in recent memory, the Valentino Floral Applique Satin Clutch, is on sale on The Outnet for a full 70% OFF.

I’ve already got Fashion Week on my mind and one of my favorite things about Fashion Week is bag stalking. Come February, editors, buyers, and miscellaneous cool people alike will be hitting Lincoln Center both wearing and carrying their finest.

I have plenty of handbags in my arsenal, but sometimes an oddly different bag stands out and grabs my attention. This is precisely what this Valentino bag has done to me, lured me in and left me wanting more.

Valentino Bow Flap Bag, $1695 via Neiman Marcus. RED Valentino Bow Shoulder Bag, $495 via Saks.

The similar aesthetics of the Valentino and RED Valentino handbag lines have always surprised me. Sure, a main line and its little sister should have some things in common, but sharing signatures – like Valentino’s bows, for example – always runs one of two risks.

I don’t mention it much in these parts, but I’m a big, enormous vintage fan. At a certain point, I think I hit a wall with regular shopping – I felt like I had seen everything before it hit stores, so once it was there, I was often underwhelmed and ready for something different. The curse of working in the fashion industry, eh?

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