I’m so happy the weather has been cooling down and the seasons are changing. This is my absolute favorite time of year, right before it gets too cold. I love the transitional clothing that comes with the autumn. New York City has been pretty good to us recently with the weather, and this weekend the temps will be in the 60 and 70s and a bit overcast.

I’ve been desperately wanting to own every single version of the Valentino Rockstud bags, and the version I’m honing in on right now comes in Army green, which is one of my go-to colors for fall. I put an outfit together that I’d like to live in this weekend from head-to-toe, and it all surrounds this lovely handbag. (more…)

Isn’t it wonderful how the Valentino has evolved since the brand changed hands from Valentino himself to current creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli in 2008? The brand had always been flawlessly feminine under Monsieur Valentino, of course, but after a few post-transition hiccups on the way to greatness, Chiuri and Piccioli have turned it into something altogether lighter, more youthful. The bags, too, have achieved a beautiful simplicity that only comes with confidence and focus during the design process.

Naturally, you’ll find a lot of Rockstud in Valentino Spring 2013, but with a line that continues to sell so well and seems to be only gaining in popularity, it’d be unwise for Valentino to go in a different direction just yet. For those of you who don’t dig the Rockstud (all four of you), the collection also contained many elegant clutches and evenings bags with no studs. (Still, though. The Rockstuds are where it’s at.) Congratulations, Valentino. This is easily one of the best accessories collections of the season. (more…)

There are few things I love more than the color black. I wear it all summer, I’ve been known to dye my hair jet black, and when I was a little kid going to kindergarten orientation, I told my school counselor that my favorite color was black, much to the embarrassment of my mother. (Apparently, I didn’t get the memo that little girls are supposed to love pink.) If you’re a regular PurseBlog reader, you also know that Megs and I are huge fans of the entire Valentino Rockstud line. When you put those two things together, you get Valentino Noir, which is a little bit of manna from handbag heaven.

Up until now, Valentino’s Rockstud bags, shoes and accessories have always featured light silver studs, which work well with a wide variety of leather colors, including black. For this line, though, Valentino has taken dark silver studs (some of them covered in gorgeous pavé crystals) and paired them with black bags made of everything from regular leather to calf hair to crocodile. The collection also includes shoes and jewelry, but you know where our allegiances lie. Check out the handbags, which range from $795 for a small leather shoulder bag to $If You Have To Ask, You Can’t Afford It for a crocodile and pavé shoulder bag, after the jump. Check out the full line of Noir pieces via Valentino. (more…)

You know, there’s something thrilling about coming across bags that fall into the pre-order category. Now don’t get me wrong, anything that is pre-order can also make my eye twitch while simultaneously making me want to pull out my hair. Regardless of the emotional roller coaster, I always spend time looking at pre-order items. And friends, that is exactly what I did yesterday. I found myself going from bag to bag on the Nordstrom site. While there were a few I was sure I wanted, there others I absolutely couldn’t waste my pre-order excitement on.

Then there was this gem. I had quite the internal struggle, folks. I liked it, then I hated it, then I liked it again. The Valentino Girello Flap Shoulder Bag successfully short-circuited my ability to form a definitive opinion. (more…)

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.

For fall, though, Valentino’s collection shines with another kind of embellishment: tiny crystals and beads galore, adding up to winding patterns of foliage and serious glamour, both brand signatures in their own right. That’s why bags like the Valentino Crystal Embellished Glam Lock Shoulder Bag, above, are our latest obsession. Buy it through Bergdorf Goodman for $3095 or check out more of the brand’s current hits after the jump. (more…)

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. Think of it as shopping as research.

This week’s “research” involves the colorful, girlish bags from Valentino Resort 2013, which are on pre-order via MO through July 4. Fans of the brand’s beloved Rockstud line will find plenty of options to fill out their collections, and for the first time, some of the studs aren’t metallic. Valentino used tonal laquer to give a healthy portion of the Rockstud line a fresh feel, and from what I’ve seen of the rest of the collection, there’s a lot more where this came from. Check out what Moda and Valentino have to offer after the jump, or shop the sale via Moda Operandi. (more…)

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? Shopping bans are made to be broken, and this bag gives me a major fashion itch.

Valentino continues to wow me with their Rockstud collection. I keep wanting a Rockstud, but for some reason, I can’t commit. I want so badly to commit to this version, the Valentino Crocodile Rockstud Envelope Clutch, which is like the Hermes Kelly Longue taken to the next level. (more…)

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.

The other day, that happened with the Valentino Rockstud Collection. And not even one bag in particular…the entire thing. Shoes, bags, whatever. Valentino came into the studs trend at the tail end, and since then, the brand has made the look into its own signature mix of edgy and ladylike. I didn’t love these bags at first, but given enough time, they’ve grown on me in a huge way. My personal pick is the tote at top, which rings in at $2595 via Net-a-Porter, but we’ve got a whole selection for you to drool over after the jump. (more…)

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.

Last week, though, Chanel threw open its doors and let a bit of sun shine on the work that goes into a Chanel Classic Flap. This week, our interest goes to Valentino, which has released images to document the making of the lovely Valentino Rockstud Net Bag. You can check out all of the up-close-and-personal images after the jump or shop the design via Neiman Marcus for $3345. (more…)

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. In the three years that I’ve been covering accessories for this site, I can’t remember another season where I saw so many lovely handbag options on the runway.

Valentino, like countless other designers so far, made its handbag statement in black, first and foremost. Red and pale pink also popped up here and there, but most of the bags were shrouded in different textures of darkness, from intricate beading to soft pony hair. All of the usual Valentino suspects were there – big, roomy Rockstud Totes, little flap bags with the studs encrusted in tiny crystals – but somehow, the black made it all feel new again. (more…)

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