Versace Baroque Printed Bag, $995 via Net-a-Porter

I’m as hard on Versace as anyone, but I like to think of it as a tough love situation. I talk smack because I want the brand to improve its handbags, not because I take any particular delight in its struggles. Although I have to admit, some of the company’s past bags have been almost delightfully bad, so there may have been a modicum of enjoyment on my part.

Versace may have turned the corner, though. The past couple seasons of ready-to-wear have been intriguing, and during the same period of time, I’ve noticed a conspicuous and considerable lack of Versace purses that make me want to throw a small fit. Not to mention that I actually like the Versace Baroque Printed Bag in all of its pattern-on-pattern glory. (more…)

We all know that I tend to be a little tough on Versace, but it comes from a place of love. (Usually.) The brand has a great and utterly glamourous history, and with the right people in place, it could be a source of lovely bags and shoes that would make us all sublimely happy. The company has struggled in recent years, but lately I’ve noticed a significant uptick in the look of its accessories. For example, the Versace Patent Flap Shoulder Bag is a functional piece that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The squiggly red lines reminded me of the work of 80s pop artist and social activist Keith Haring on first glance, and although I don’t know for a fact that Haring’s work has anything to do with this particular bag, it would be particularly fitting if there were some connection. Haring’s 80s heyday was marked by an artistic output featuring bold shapes and bright colors, and much the same could be said for Versace as a brand. (more…)

I’m as surprised by this as you are, but the handbags from Versace Fall 2011 are more than a little great. The big, soft hobos in various textures and color combinations aren’t on-trend or directional or any of those other fashion buzzwords, but they do look like they’d be functional and wearable and all of those other buzzwords that matter to people who actually need to use their handbags.

My favorites were the quilted and re-quilted versions with plenty of decorative stitching, but it would be difficult not to also enjoy the burgundy crocodile and blue python iterations. And what of the bedazzled Medusa-head evening bag? I even loved it, if only for its unabashed, enthusiastic commitment to being as Versace as humanly possible. (more…)

The only problem with the Celine-influenced trend toward classic, clean-lined box bags is that not everyone has a classic, clean-lined personal style. Some people prefer a little bit of razzle-dazzle, and those people would be well served to take a look at the Versace Leather Shoulder Bag. Gird your loins, ladies and gentlemen, for I am about to say something nice about a Versace bag. (more…)

Fans of Mad Men and Versace accessories alike should be excited by this news: Betty Draper herself, January Jones, has been photographed by famed camera-wielder Mario Testino as the new face of Versace’s accessories.

And if you’re a red-carpet watcher, you’re probably not surprised. January has been wearing some of the brand’s more esoteric creations to any and all events for as long as I can remember, including several dresses given to the actress by Donatella herself. Since she also fits the brand’s requirements of being blonde and sexy, it was only a matter of time before we saw January in print. And I’m not complaining; Mrs. Draper was a model before she was an actress, and these photos are nothing if not beautiful. Larger shots, after the jump. (more…)

Despite any fun that I might have had at Versace’s expense in the past, I really, really want the brand to get through its growing pains and come out the other side making beautiful accessories. Few labels have the kind of global name recognition that Versace enjoys, and it would make the accessories market as a whole much richer for Versace to find its voice and become a real player in the handbag game. If it keeps making bags like the Versace Hilary Satchel, there’s hope for the brand yet.

Instead of the over-the-top, mismatched styling that we’ve seen from the brand in the past, this bag’s design has been edited down to just the parts necessary to keep some of the Versace attitude. Most of that comes by way of the round hardware motif that dots the front of the bag, but it doesn’t distract at all from the beautifully textured and glazed purple leather underneath. Instead of having multiple colors, patterns and types of hardware compete with each other, this bag’s elements all work work together. (more…)

As we all know, I’m the first one to criticize Versace when they screw up a handbag, so I feel like it’s only fair that I recognize them early and often when they get something right. And this time, I feel like they have: the Versace Python Frame Satchel is sleek and restrained, but it still has the signature sexiness of a Versace design.

It actually strikes me as a bit more of a briefcase than a handbag, which I mean in the best way possible. This is the sort of bag to carry your work files if you work in the most stylish of offices (and receive the highest of salaries). (more…)

I’ll go ahead and answer my own question: that’s definitely a disembodied head. Is the rest of the body inside the bag? Is this sort of like the medieval stocks, where you’ve got a head poking out on one side and the rest of the body is attached on the other? There are so many questions. I’m so confused. Someone hold me. I think it’s looking at me.

I’m particularly disappointed in the Versace Sculpture Satchel because I’ve actually liked some of Versace‘s bags recently, which is pretty rare for me. They’ve done a pretty decent job stripping away some of the pretense from their designs and some of the prices have been more reasonable, but…a disembodied head? That’s just creepy, no matter whether the Medusa is a Versace signature or not. (more…)

Every handbag lover out there has a different taste. While this means so many of us can be on complete opposite ends of the interest spectrum, it means that designers are pushed to create a plethora of designs for us. So, no matter what you like, we all win!

And as someone who spends more hours than most staring and evaluating handbags, I can appreciate the quality of a bag even if I would never be caught dead carrying it myself. However, there are times, when for the life of me, I cannot decide if I like a bag or not. This Versace bag fits that category perfectly. (more…)

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve done it! I’ve found a Versace bag that doesn’t make my eyes roll or my stomach turn or my brain hurt just from looking at it. It’s simple! And functional! And kind of attractive! I could wear this bag and not be embarrassed about what it says about my taste level and also, my level of common sense.

But none of those things are what’s best about the Versace Giselle Lock Hobo. No, in fact, the best thing is the price. Shocking, right? Versace will normally charge at least two grand for any old thing, so color me shocked that the price tag for this attractive, reasonably functional bag falls so far below that number. Could it be that their accessories designers are finally realizing just how lucrative the handbag market can be if they give us products that are beautiful and fairly priced? (more…)

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