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…)

Valentino’s handbags are notorious for their use of literal flora – flowers and leaves of every variety have dotted the brand’s bags for several years running, to the near-exclusion of any other aesthetic ideas. The motif works for Valentino, and the brand has carved itself a significant, ladylike niche in a very competitive handbag market.

What Valentino has never used on a bag before, at least to my knowledge, is literal fauna, which is what we have with the Valentino Bird Clutch. A rather run-of-the-mill silk evening bag is topped by perching crystal birds; if this is the direction of Valentino’s evening accessories, then the brand might just end up giving Judith Leiber a run for its bird-bag money. (more…)

When I first saw the Valentino Primavera Water-Resistant Tote, I was really surprised. Not that the bag existed or was being marketed for rainy days – no, that made perfect sense – but that we don’t see a lot more of the exact same thing.

Chanel in particular has released a number of flap bags that come with their own rain coats in recent years, but other than a nylon tote here or there, most brands don’t take on the challenge of designing for bad weather. I live in a city that gets more inches of rain per year than Seattle, and I, for one, appreciate Valentino’s effort on behalf of those of us who experience real weather from time to time. (more…)

I have been in the midst of moving mayhem, where looking pretty is near impossible. But I took a break to shop online (what else is new), and found the most ladylike feminine handbag Valentino has yet to release. This bag combines elegant structure that is always welcomed along with a twist of fun with the leopard print.

My brain is frazzled with all sorts of moving on my mind but I want to buy the Valentino Aphrodite Leopard Bag. Never mind the fact that this is the price of a nice leather couch, I want to sit on the ground in our new apartment and keep this bag next to me. Then I would tell everyone how lovely she is. Because really, she is gorgeous! (more…)

Fall is all about fur and one of the other fall trends is lace. Of course Valentino released countless lace items, from shoes to clothing to bags. Seeing as how Valentino has perfected the art of feminine designs, it is only fitting for Valentino to tackle lace. As far as this bag goes however, it just isn’t quite cutting it for me.

The Valentino Day Lace Medium Duffle features a familiar shape (Louis Vuitton Speedy anyone?) with a black floral vine lace over. (more…)

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. You have to give them points for just calling this bag what it is, even if the name gives me the mental image of a zebra dressed up as a drag queen (which is not an altogether unpleasant image, admittedly). (more…)

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. (more…)

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.

Fall runways saw a nearly universal embrace of 60s style, including shoes and accessories like the Valentino Jolie Framed Patent Bag. This prim, streamlined handbag would be right at home on Betty Draper’s gloved arm. (more…)

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. And this is where Valentino comes into play. Valentino is known for their feminine and romantic accessories, and this pair of shoes and clutch do not fall short. (more…)

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