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. Yep, you read that correctly.

That means that on your big day, you can carry a $2500 clutch for a little less than $800. Put the savings toward having an open bar; your guests will thank you. Buy through The Outnet for $748!

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.

However, I realize not everyone loves the urban jungle feel of this panther-print calf hair tote with serious stud embellishments. Help us out and tell us what you think! Buy via Net-A-Porter for $2,995.

Fill in the Blank: The Valentino Rockstud Panther Print Calf Hair Tote is _______.

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. First, the less-expensive bags are too similar to the originals, which could mean that the “affordable” line cannibalizes some of the main line’s sales. Second, the comparison of the two might make the diffusion bags look incredibly cheap or childish, which could hurt sales and undermine the purpose of a diffusion line (to capitalize on the cache of the originals to provide an influx of easy cash.)

In the case of the Valentin Bow Flap Bag and the less expensive RED Valentino Leather Bow Shoulder Bag, we’re dealing with the latter issue. Sit them next to each other, and suddenly one has to wonder why anyone would pay $500 for the less expensive option. (more…)

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? Which is why so many fashion girls are unrepentant vintage hounds; it’s the final frontier of clothing consumerism, where only those with the best eye will survive.

Vintage handbags still don’t have much of a draw for me because utilitarian leather items tend to degrade a great deal over time, which is where items with a heavy retro influence like the Valentino Laser Cut Patent Evening Bag come in. It’s the kind of thing I’d find in a second-hand shop and dearly love, except his one is brand new and totally pristine. (more…)

Images via Vogue.com

Now that shows have officially closed for the season and all the bags have been seen (by us, anyway – we’ve still got some more posts for you guys!), I feel comfortable saying that Spring 2012 is probably going to be a bit of a boring season for accessories, at least compared to what we’ve grown used to recently. That being said, a few major designers who have been struggling to find their voices have stepped it up this season, at least when handbags are concerned.

Valentino Spring 2012 is one such collection; I did a lot of complaining about the brand’s Fall 2011 runway bags, but this group is altogether more refined and well-conceived than previous lines have felt. Some of last season’s elements, including studded hand straps, can be found in these designs, but they’re used in ways that feel more natural and functional. This is the collection that Valentino should have showed last season, but I’m glad they decided to show it at all. (more…)

Valentino One-of-a-Kind Satchel, $2895 and $1995 via Neiman Marcus

Much has been made by me (not to mention the fashion press at large) over Valentino trying to find its path after the retirement of its namesake and longtime leader. The design team put in place since the transition has made some wonderful pieces, but is also responsible for its share of missteps, many of which we’ve discussed in this space.

But Valentino’s recent couture show, one space where the new designers have struggled mightily, received roundly positive reviews and there are some indications that the brand has righted itself and regained what seemed to have been a lost plot. The Valentino One-of-a-Kind Satchel is one of the best bags I’ve seen from the brand in several seasons. (more…)

I’ve heaped a good bit of criticism onto Valentino and its design duo of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli in the past, and I’m not the only person in the industry who has some questions about the direction of the brand and the aesthetic merit of the pieces it’s turning out. Particularly when you consider that the duo are accessories designers by trade, the bags have been a bit disappointing.

But every now and then, the brand still shows that it knows how to get things done. The Valentino Aphrodite Python Bag is all that it should be – ladylike, luxurious, on-trend and extremely elegant. (more…)

The Valentino Va Va Voom Crocodile Shoulder Bag, $11,275 via Net-a-Porter

If fashion seasons were like the Olympics, you could call Fall 2011 the Exotic Games – everywhere you look, brands are coming out with crocodile and snakeskin bags, seemingly each a little more drool-worthy than the last. Because trends are rarely penned in to a single cycle, though, plenty of reptilian delights have turned up in spring’s collections as well, including from brands that aren’t necessarily known for their work with exotics. That would be the case with the Valentino Va Va Voom Crocodile Shoulder Bag; Valentino produces exotic bags here and there but hasn’t made it a brand trademark, although that hasn’t stopped the company’s designers from getting in on the fun. (more…)

Valentino plies its floral, verdant trade year-round, but its spring bags are always the most fun, not to mention the most season-appropriate. Really, the only month out of the year where I’m so excited for warm weather that I’d consider carrying a bag that’s literally covered in flowers is April, which makes today the Valentino Fany Woven Flower Tote‘s lucky day.

The urge to break out the linen pants and tank tops is very strong at the moment, which makes this tote look all the more appropriate. By the time that the truly hot and sticky weather of summer rolls around, I’m sure I’ll be sick of flowers and girlishness in their entireties and just want someone to turn on the air conditioner and leave me alone. For now, though, I’d love to take a stroll through a park with this tote on my arm. (more…)

If brevity is the soul of wit, what’s the soul of fashion? I like maximalism as much as anyone (in fact, probably far more than most people), but the grandiosity of it can feel exhausting from time to time. The trends toward layering textures, colors and prints are some of my favorite fads in years, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look at the Valentino Satin Bow Box Clutch and think that it seems positively refreshing by comparison.

Valentino often goes maximal with its accessories, so the subtle charms of this little clutch are even more welcome. From the perfect shade of blush to the expertly obscured slot for hand-carry, this is an evening bag that doesn’t try to overshadow whatever beautiful dress with which you’ve surely paired it. (more…)

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