A newly blond Selma Blair was recently spotted carrying a Saint Laurent Classic Duffle in yellow while taking her son Arthur to a playdate in LA. Selma is a favorite of Marc Jacobs, and it would seem that perhaps Hedi Slimane has taken a shine to her as well. This duffle is available for $1,990 at Nordstrom. If yellow isn’t the most flattering hue on you, it also comes in grey, black, red, and brown.

You might remember the recent kerfuffle between Selma and her Anger Management costar Charlie Sheen, which unfortunately resulted in Charlie having Selma canned from the show. (Stay classy, Charlie.) No word on what Selma’s next project will be, but I have a feeling she’ll come out ahead. A new dye job is always a great way to rejuvenate after life’s major disappointments, if nothing else.

Selma Blair carries a yellow Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Bag (1) Selma Blair carries a yellow Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Bag (2) Selma Blair carries a yellow Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Bag (3) Selma Blair carries a yellow Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Bag (4)

Here’s Fergie toting her trusty Saint Laurent Ligne Y Tote around Santa Monica. As you can see, she is still heavily pregnant. Thankfully, she’s staying out of her signature platform pumps and trekking around town in a pair of comfy Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro sneakers. (There’s further evidence that old school high-tops are making a comeback over on TalkShoes.) You can pick up Fergie’s Saint Laurent bag at Nordstrom for $2,695. Her sweet vintage-style kicks are available for $115 at Nike.

We saw Fergie with this bag a few months ago, before we even knew what to call it. As you can see, it bears a striking resemblance to the insanely popular Yves Saint Laurent Cabas ChYc Tote. (Amanda outlined the differences between the two bags in this post from January.) Popular sentiment still leans towards the Yves Saint Laurent version, but that may change if and when the Saint Laurent brand eclipses its historied Yves Saint Laurent legacy.

Fergie carries a black Saint Laurent Ligne Y Tote (2) Fergie carries a black Saint Laurent Ligne Y Tote (3) Fergie carries a black Saint Laurent Ligne Y Tote (4) Fergie carries a black Saint Laurent Ligne Y Tote (5)

Considering the beloved menswear collections that Hedi Slimane created as the head of Dior Homme, it’s perhaps no surprise that his men’s clothes at Saint Laurent feel like they’ve found their groove more quickly than his womenswear. That’s where his experience lies, after all, and Slimane’s rock star aesthetic lends itself well to dressing cooler-than-thou dudes with narrow hips, who make up much of the premiere designer menswear audience in the first place. Even those dudes have to schlep things around occasionally, the necessity of which brings us the Saint Laurent Roc Sack Backpack.

Beyond the cute play on “rucksack,” the bag is approximately what one might expect. Black leather, silver hardware, traditional shape – Slimane’s never shown an inclination to reinvent the wheel, and he’s certainly not doing that here. The leather does look rather thick and sumptuous, though, and it’s without doubt that any number of Slimane acolytes, male and female alike, will be seen slinging this bag over their already leather-clad shoulders come fall. If there’s anything I can appreciate from the aesthetic changes that he’s brought to Saint Laurent, it’s the tendency to use a lot of black leather.

For a men’s bag, the price of this backpack – $2,995 via Barneys – is a bit high, but in a way, I appreciate that a brand is pricing its bags marketed toward men the same way that it prices the bags intended for female consumers. Usually, we get the raw end of the deal.

As some of you noted last week, I’ve been as critical of Hedi Slimane and his short creative tenure at Saint Laurent as pretty much anybody. I don’t care for how the designer behaves himself, which is a problem before you even start talking about the efficacy of his creative vision. Slimane’s first foray into women’s bags (literally, he had never had a hand in the design of a women’s bag before starting at Saint Laurent) has been largely hit-or-miss, with the reliable, functional (if a tad bit boring) Saint Laurent Classic Duffel failing to achieve the It Bag status that some had predicted. This brand new, much smaller version of the Duffel, though? This, I like. (more…)

When I first saw the Maiyet Sophie Shoulder Bag, I spent a couple hours turning it over in the back of my mind, trying to remember what exactly it reminded me of. There was something about the hardware, but I couldn’t exactly place why it seemed familiar. Finally, it hit me – it was like a curvier, more detailed version of the clean, modern Saint Laurent Lulu Shoulder Bag.

My feelings (and most of yours) about Saint Laurent’s venture into handbag design under new creative director Hedi Slimane have been mixed, but the Lulu is probably my favorite of the nascent range. It feels modern, it has a bit of signature hardware that matches that overall feeling, and the combined effect features just the right amount of restraint. It’s not too minimal, and it’s not too obviously inspired by something else. Even though these bags are quite similar, the curvy hardware and braided texture of the Maiyet option lends itself to a more bohemian aesthetic, while the Saint Laurent bag feels more fashion-forward. Because of that, the Saint Laurent bag wins my heart, but we want to know which bag you prefer in the comments.


Saint Laurent Lulu Shoulder Bag
$2,150 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Lulu Shoulder Bag

Maiyet Sophie Shoulder Bag
$1,895 via Net-a-Porter

Maiyet Sophie Shoulder Bag

To me, the Saint Laurent Cassandre Small Tassel Crossbody Bag felt pretty aggressive at first – considering all the branding kerfuffle that the company has gone through since the advent of Hedi Slimane, emblazoning the company’s old (but still used, sometimes, in particular instances, especially for cosmetics) logo in bright gold metal on the front of a rather small bag seems like a direct call-out to critics of the switch. And then I remember that it’s Slimane calling the shots now, so of course this bag as aggressive. Hanging a big tassel from the thing that best symbolizes the history people say you’re throwing away is about as big of a middle finger as a handbag can be.

For once, though, I feel like Hedi Slimane’s sense of humor, if he actually has one, can be felt in this bag. His critics, including me, have been hounding him since his first collection walked, and he seems more resolved than ever to do exactly as he pleases. I can respect that clarity of intent, even if I don’t respect most of the clothes and accessories he’s put out so far or the way he’s handled the pressure he’s been under. I also don’t particularly like this bag, for what it’s worth – the proportion of the logo, the bag and the tassel don’t work – but it did make me smirk, and at this point, that feels like it might be worth something. Also, it’s a pretty neat trick to get big department stores to sell your attempt to tell your critics to go shove it.

Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1,590 in three colors.

In scouring the Internet for our article on the Internet’s most expensive luxury handbags, one thing became clear: even if a brand doesn’t do much to actively promote its most expensive pieces, almost all of them have those bags waiting in the wings for the right client. Under previous creative director Stefano Pilati, Yves Saint Laurent was one of the brands that mostly dealt in regular leather, with an occasional snakeskin or ostrich bag here and there. Under Hedi Slimane, that (along with so many other things) appears to have changed with the Saint Laurent Alligator Cabas.

First, a general note: It’s not entirely clear what Slimane intends for this redesigned version of the Cabas ChYc to be called. SSENSE, which carries this alligator version (the most expensive Cabas ever, by our calculations), calls it the Chyc Tote. Net-a-Porter calls the leather version the Cabas Classique. Neiman Marcus has it as the Y Ligne bag. The Saint Laurent web store pretends the bag doesn’t exist entirely, along with any other design that isn’t a complete Slimane original. For a brand as concerned with a stark rebranding effort as Saint Laurent, you’d think this would have already been settled. At least one thing is certain, though: Slimane intends to take the brand’s accessories in an even more expensive direction than before.

Oddly, it’s one of his decisions that makes the most sense. Consumer interest in handbags at the top price tier of the market continues to grow, especially in Asia, and Saint Laurent has the name recognition to make that buying decision seem less risky. I’m also of the (apparently minority) opinion that the new, sleeker Cabas ChYc is an aesthetic improvement on its predecessor, and this alligator version takes full advantage of its simplified lines. What we have here is definitely the most exciting bag to come out of the brand since Slimane’s arrival, although I’m not sure it’s such a compliment to say that when the bag in question is a simple, black alligator tote based on the work of his predecessor. Buy through SSENSE for $29,500.

Fergie Ferg was recently snapped exiting a recording studio in NYC, wearing what looks to be a minidress made out of a 1980s windbreaker (though I’m sure it’s designer – anyone care to ID?) and carrying the Saint Laurent The Cabas Tote. The Cabas Tote is Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane’s take on the Yves Saint Laurent Cabas ChYc, a bag that rose to fashion fame and populiarty during the tenure of his predecessor. Fergie’s exact bag is currently available for a cool $2,695 at Neiman Marcus.

We outlined the differences between the Cabas ChYc and The Cabas in this post, and readers by and large seemed to prefer the older Yves Saint Laurent version to the Slimane’s Saint Laurent revamp. Of course, that was two months ago – which do you prefer now?

Late last week, I received a text from a friend, asking if I had seen “the new Saint Laurent Birkin.” This friend and I share (negative) feelings about new Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane (and Cathy Horyn agrees with us, so I feel pretty good about it), so I knew whatever was waiting at the end of the link he included in the text would be worth at least a smug snicker, even if it weren’t as blatant a rip-off as he’d suggested. As it turns out, though, the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Tote is actually that blatant a rip-off.

It hasn’t been a particularly good week for Slimane. His latest collection, a grunge-y Hot Topic fever dream inspired by the baser sartorial instincts of noted crazy person Courtney Love, was roundly panned by virtually every fashion critic whose publication would allow him or her to say starkly negative things about it. It was bad; far worse than his previous collection, which received little critical excitement but still looked like something that might conceivably be manufactured by Saint Laurent. (Don’t include the Yves, lest you be struck down by YSL PR.) Even I thought it was bad, and I love grunge. I own multiple pairs of combat boots. Still, nothing to see there.

At this stage in the game, Slimane’s additions to the Saint Laurent handbag line have been a relative bright spot. The designs are generally snooze-worthy, but just by virtue of being a brand with a buzz-worthy name behind it, they were bound to sell until the buzz wore off. By then, I had hoped that Slimane would improve at the whole handbag thing. This bag, though, shows little promise.

It feels like belaboring the point even to bother explaining all the details ripped straight from the iconic Hermes Birkin; you can also see the belted closure, gusset style, clochette (holding the key for what lock, exactly?) and proportion for yourselves. What’s perhaps more important is what’s been divested from the classic design: any sense of luxury or style. It’s not a particular stretch to say the same of much of Slimane’s Saint Laurent ready-to-wear.

If I haven’t been able to dissuade you, feel free to pick up this bag for $2,950 via Luisa Via Roma.

The closer we get to spring (actual spring, not fashion spring – fashion spring has been here since September), the more interesting the whole Saint Laurent handbag situation gets. At this point, we all know how Hedi Slimane’s presence at the brand has impacted the uber-popular Cabas ChYc Bag, and now Net-a-Porter’s New Arrivals page gives us some more insight on the other kinds of bags that Slimane has planned for the brand. We’re definitely headed in a Celine direction, ladies and gents.

We’ve taken a close look at the Saint Laurent Medium Classic Duffel, which retails for $2,650, in the past, but the Saint Laurent Reversible Shopper Tote, $1,495, and Saint Laurent YSL Clutch are new. Of the three bags, I think the YSL logo clutch is the most interesting – it’s a definitely indication that Slimane intends to make good on his word and continue to use the iconic company logo to which so many luxury consumers are attached, but it also makes me feel like he has a leg in two different brands. So what do you think? Check out all of Net-a-Porter’s new arrivals this-a-way.

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