One of the hottest handbag trends right now is studded detailing. I know that this is nothing new to the fashion world, rather it is a trend that tends to go in and out of style often. The studs we are seeing as of late are a bit different, more refined and subdued, and often being used as shoulder strap accents. This is precisely the look for less I am bringing to you today: the accented shoulder strap bag.

While the Tory Burch Louisa Shoulder Bag does not technically have a studded accents on the shoulder strap, it does have a deco chain and leather strap. On the other hand, the Valentino Rock Stud Shoulder Bag is all about the studs on the shoulder strap. I know so many of you were sick of the over-studding, but both of these bags offer a touch of tough with a glam overall appearance. (more…)

In case you haven’t noticed (but I bet you have, we’re blessed with smart readers), python is sort of a thing for Fall 2011. It’s almost staggering how many accessories designers managed to have the exact same thought at the exact same time, and the powers that be at Valentino absolutely got the memo. Valentino Fall 2011 is chock full of exotics in traditional shapes, and if you don’t like that, the brand would also like to offer you the largest wristlets known to man.

While the boxy colorblocked crocodile options caught my attention immediately, as did the multicolored python satchel, I’m not feeling the rush of excitement that I usually get when I look at a collection that I know will give me endless joy over the next six months. These bags are an improvement over last season’s Valentino runway for sure, but they’re missing a bit of magic. Close, but no cigar. (more…)

While Valentino is known for their floral embellishments, their Spring 2011 is completely infused with floral accents galore. One of the versions that caught my attention is the Valentino Napa Straw-Flower Duffel which features sand napa leather with multicolor crystal-punctuated straw flower appliques. Buy via Neiman Marcus for $2,195.

Fill in the blank in the comments below: The Valentino Napa Straw-Flower Duffel is _______.

When Valentino first introduced us to its line of studded ladylike bags at the Spring 2011 shows back in September, I was…hesitant, to say the least. In the intervening months, I’ve remained hesitant, but the Valentino Rock Stud Top Handle has become the first of Valentino’s Spring 2011 bags to gain my approval.

The design belongs to a subgenre of bags diplomatically referred to as “Kelly alternatives,” and the limited studding around the trim calls to mind another Hermes classic – the Collier de Chien cuff. Of all the punk-traditional mashups that Valentino produced for the season, this one is the most subtle and the most successful. (more…)

I’ve never planned a wedding, but as I understand it, the process seems to turn many mild-mannered women into raging, clawing, howling Bridezillas. The ones who don’t morph, Hulk-like, into wedding monsters have nervous breakdowns. And as someone’s who’s rather detail-averse (as opposed to being detail-oriented, which is what it says on my resumé. Lies!), I can understand why; if I had to try and wrangle that many different facets of an event at once, I’d probably need to be carted off to the loony bin too.

For any of you in the throws of the process, I have at least one thing that you can mark off your list: a wedding bag. The Valentino Floral Appliqué Satin Clutch is perfect for a warm-weather ceremony and will look marvelous in the stylized accessory photos that everyone seems to be taking these days. If you’re going to have one of your handbags documented for posterity on one of the most important days of your life, make sure it’s a fabulous one. (more…)

With at least one notable exception, Valentino’s accessories aesthetic has looked just a wee bit gassed lately. In most ways, it seems as though the brand has mined the incredible intricacy of roses and ruffles to their logical ends, and it might be time to figure out what step should be taken next. And no, it’s not studs, in case the person at Valentino who conceived the brand’s Spring 2011 accessories might be reading this.

The Valentino Nymphe Garden Tote makes me think that at least one person at the brand might have the answer, though. In the face of notoriously tight-fisted construction and the apparent desire to pack as many details into one bag as humanly possible, it’s nice to see the designers go with an entirely different variation on the flower theme. Instead of tightly wound silk roses, this bag has a lightness and airiness to it that Valentino should consider incorporating into more of its accessories. (more…)

Usually, I’m a fan of a complicated clutch. The diminutive scale of an evening bag lends itself well to intricacy and detail because it merely provides a taste of a particular embellishment instead of the overwhelming dose that can come when lots of beading and embroidery are applied to a regular-sized tote or satchel.

Every design theory has its limits, though, and the Valentino Embroidered Pouchette pushes my feelings about complicated clutches to the very edge. This little bag has two colors of leather, two separate areas of beading, and one multicolor lace pattern juxtaposed with one monochromatic lace pattern. Oh, and studs. It also has studs, both on a bow and on the bag’s wrist strap. This list is getting kind of long, right? (more…)

If you are like me and have been a long time fan of Valentino but have not splurged on one of their bags, this may be the item for you. Sure, the Valentino Petale Chain Strap Leather Mini Bag is entirely small, but the design packs a punch.

I was never entirely sold on mini bags, but I have come to appreciate their functionality in recent months. If you do not always have to carry around every last item you typically stuff into your bag, having an easily accessible mini bag is the perfect option. Lately I only leave the house with a couple credit cards, cash, lip gloss, phone, and my keys. (more…)

At the time of this writing, our reader poll indicates that the majority of our readers are experiencing at least a bit of stud fatigue. It looks like no one told Valentino – almost all of the brand’s Spring 2011 handbags featured a stud of one sort or another.

As is Valentino’s predilection, the studs were mostly used in a small, decorative capacity as a part of larger, more ladylike designs. Perhaps surprisingly, the brand seemed to abandon entirely the intricate, abundant flowers and ruffles that have made it a star in the accessories world as of late. Surely this is only one part of the line that will eventually make its way to retail, but I hope that the brand has a few tricks up its sleeve that are more exciting than studded hand straps appear to serve no practical purpose off the runway. (more…)

There’s perhaps nothing so tragic in fashion as looking at a bag that you know for a fact to be real and thinking that it looks fake. Sadly, that was exactly the reaction I had to the Valentino Sequin-Embellished Rosette Tote. Perhaps this motif has reached its logical end for the brand – it may be time for Valentino to start mining a different theme, considering how successful it was with birds last week. (more…)

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