While the staff at Loewe has been working tirelessly to perfect its grocery bag handbags, designers at Valentino have been plying their trade at the opposite end of the spectrum. The Valentino aesthetic has always been feminine, detailed and utterly glamourous, and the brand has chosen to take those ideas to their absurd extreme with the Valentino Glam Zebra Tote.

I’ve never had much of a problem forming an opinion, but for some reason I have yet to make up my mind about the Valentino Aphrodite Satchel. Is it great, or is it ever-so-slightly off? Do all of the elements work together, or does it look like two disparate bags joined into one?

After the jump, I’ve listed the design’s pros and cons and also provided a convenient poll for your voting pleasure.

Confession: I don’t watch Mad Men. I know that I should. I know that I’d love it and become utterly and completely obsessed with Joan. I believe all of the people that tell me how great the show is. I have no excuse.

Thankfully, it appears as though Valentino’s accessory designers aren’t as behind the times as I am. Mad Men‘s midcentury style has influenced designers far and wide since the show’s advent in 2007, and with the fourth season set to debut on AMC this Sunday, the show’s fashion caché is unlikely to subside anytime soon.

Lace tends to be synonymous with romance, and rightfully so. There is something entirely alluring about seeing beautiful lace work. But lace is very situational-occasion oriented. When most people think of lace they think of weddings. I fall into the category of most people. My wedding dress was made with a beautiful lace overlay, one that resembled a vintage design.

Just because I do not embrace wearing lace for day-to-day wear, does not mean I can not add some accent pieces into my wardrobe.

Drawstrings are totally the thing right now. It seems like every designer is trying to incorporate into their bags in some way, but let’s be clear: just because drawstrings are trendy doesn’t mean every bag needs one. Sometimes adding in a drawstring for no reason seriously screws up a bag’s lines and structure, which looks to be the problem with the Valentino Sequined Satchel.

You know why I love finding handbag looks for less? Sometimes it is the less expensive bag that catches my attention and that is a double wow. I can’t say that with today’s Look for Less though. Valentino is a handbag favorite on the PurseBlog team. If you see their bags in person, it is easy to see why. The designs are feminine, sexy, and luxurious.

First, thing first: Amanda’s going to kill me for writing about this bag before she does. Ok, now that I’ve stated what you PurseBlog readers might already know, I can move on.

As soon as I saw this Valentino Raised-Rose Tote I knew I had to write about it. I mean, look at it! It is such a statement piece. Typically I consider evening bags to be more “statement piece-y” than larger bags.

I’ve been trying to figure out for some time now exactly what it is that makes me love Valentino bags oh so much, particularly since Shannon called me out on it last week. It’s not like no other designer has ever done ribbon and flower motifs – that, in and of itself, is not what sets the brand apart. And it’s not the shapes or colors they use, either – the vast majority of their bags are traditional shapes like hobos and totes, decorated intricately but in usually neutral shades.

Alright, I am in the mood to be honest today. So, Amanda, when you read this, don’t hate me too much. I don’t always like Valentino bags. I guess, for me, some bags are just too feminine. In fact, I almost end up laughing a bit to myself when I read one of Amanda’s glowing Valentino reviews because everything she is saying is spot on, yet, I still can’t get myself to see the light.

Is there ever such a thing as too many sequins? That’s probably a fashion question for the ages, and it’s not one to which I can give you a definitive answer right now. Sequins are like chocolate – in some contexts, a little goes a long way; in others, too much is never enough. Now we just have to decide into which of those categories the Valentino Shiny Petale Tote falls.

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