Ipa-Nima Cannes Taffeta Feather BagHanoi-based Ipa-Nima is Vietnam’s premier designer label of handmade bags and fashion accessories. Care to know the most sizzzzzzling hot handbags on the market, as toted by Hollywood starletts like Toni Braxton, Sarah Michelle-Gellar and Cate Blanchett? Founded in 1997 by a lawyer, Hong Kong-born Christina Yu, the Vietnamese capitol’s Ipa-Nima boutique has grand ambitions from the outset, exporting colorful, individually patterned handbags to stores around the world.

I took along a small Ipa-Nima bag to go travelling in Laos and met an American journalist, who had packed two for her foray into the same unlikely region. The beginning of a cult cannot be far off.

Some of the prestigious retailers include Barney’s of Manhattan and Nordstrom in the USA, or Harvey Nichols and Harrod’s in London. Within a few years, Ipa-Nima has single-handedly developed a strong national export market that has both celebrated Vietnamese workmanship and created opportunities for all Vietnamese craftsmen and manufacturers. The circle of their loyal supporters welcomed “Friends” stylist Debra McGuire, who liked to sprinkle a good dose of Ipa-Nima into the cast’s wardrobe whilst the show aired on TV.

While the list of Ipa-Nima-wearing stars and big names in the public eye grows by the minute, and the success of the boutique continues to flourish, there are no plans to quit Vietnam for the bright lights of the world’s fashion capitols.

Moschino Ribbon Bow Bag

The Moschino Ribbon Bow Bag from this year’s Resort Collection is guaranteed to turn heads. Its unique bowtie shape is truely adorable and super chic, whether it’s really cheap though, is a whole different story.

The grosgrain bow bag carries a polka dot print on yellowish cotton canvas. Your hand finds a good grip on the filigree leather handle and its insides are shut by a brass kiss lock. The clutch goes for $440 at Saks Fifth Ave. Just don’t do the mistake and don’t hang it around your neck. It does not belong there.

Prada Robot CharmEarlier last week we commented on the Prada Charms we encountered in Paris. While there were tons, and I mean tons of different ones, from hearts to animals, this funny little Prada Robot Charm was the one was just standing out. I am not sure where Prada is going with the whole robot theme. Who cares, it’s a cute accessory to augment your existing hangbag nonetheless.

The bot’s made of saffiano leather and has a key attachment ring. For $138 at Saks 5th.

The Bag Lady has a nice roundup on some very chic laptop bags for the ladies. Although it’s a UK-based site, it’s nice to see what’s out there – and most of the stores do ship to the US as well.

St Tropez Fug BagSpring 2005 Fug is in full bloom. Oh yes, we’ve all been waiting patiently. St Tropez Essentials has decided to grace us with extreme fug and totally un-cool and un-funny and un-anything semi trendy phrases. Saint-Tropez is a breathtakinly beautiful place in southern France (one of my favorite beaches), not to mention a favorite vacation spot for celebs and this brand is doing the town absolutely no justice. These bags emanate a nauseous feeling of stomach churningly fugliness. I don’t find a single thing about this brand or these bags essential, not a thing.

Here’s the low down on the fug. These are PVC totes that have sayings written big and fugfully on the side such as Happy, Stuff, Lucky, Sexy, Rich, Bitchy, Shopping, and Love. A person who buys the bag that says Happy is an oxymoron because not a soul could be happy with a bag like that under their arm, a person who buys the bag that says Stuff is just plain stupid and doesn’t understand that the bag doesn’t make sense, a person who buys the bag that says Lucky is just plain lying to themselves and will never get lucky, a person who buys the bag who says Sexy must not have been to the eye doctor lately, a person who buys the bag that says Rich is living in a dream world and people will point and laugh, a person who buys the bag that says Bitchy is actually being just that for spending money on such fug, a person who buys the bag that says Shopping better not ever take that public, and for the person who actually buys the bag that says Love, please realize that not a soul on earth will love the bag or you while you carry it. To top it all off, the site actually has a footnote : “Happy is backordered and will be delivered March 30“. Oh lord, that alone lets me know some fashion victims out there are actually buying this handfug and that makes me oh so un-happy.

The fugness can be purchased for a ridiculous $68 at Shop Kitson – make sure you get the “Rich” version, when you’re high rollin’ like that.

Rafe Key West Reese Large ToteIt’s all about New York and their never-ending fashion trends and boutiques. I love it. You can go from street to street and see one posh store after another, carrying one-of-a-kind and totally trendy handbags. I have been fortunate enough to be a frequent weekend visitor to New York City for much of my life, and have always checked out the personable unique handbag shops. So I figured, why not feature a possibly less well-known name but a huge style. And that’s why I decided on Rafe New York, which has caught my eye for some years now.

What better way to feature his style than with the Key West Butterfly Signature Print collection, and yes I am partial to the name because, hey, I grew up in South Florida! The Key West Butterfly is the Rafe print for spring 2005. I love the print and I love the styles that are so cleverly named after hot celebs (I’m sure one will be named after me soon ;-) ) The pattern is shown on Italian cotton canvas, trimmed with shiny leather. Other features include outside pockets that use zippers or magnetic snap closures. The Reese Large Tote is available in white, yellow and blue and runs around $350. Best part is the bag is a good enough size to carry around ample goodies (15.75″ x 10″ x 5.5″).

Yves Saint Laurent Nadja Mini HoboWe never walked into the Paris YSL store, just because the sales people inside seemed more stuck up than a p*rn actress with a massive you-know-what in her you-know-where, and gave us unwelcoming looks like we just didn’t even belong there. Fine gents, whatever. We still spotted a rather pretty purple-pink handbag in the show case up front that went for a good amount of European cabbage. Not sure about the amount afterall, but it did rank in the mid-4 digit price range.

For the mortals, there is another sexy way to carry around French designer deliciousness with you. The YSL Nadja Mini Hobo not only sounds like a girlfriend you’d let sublease in your shack, but is also a gorgeous compact hobo by the frechmen that gives our eyeballs orgasmic twitches. The ruffled golden metallic leather floral appliqué looks like it’s blossoming on its front and the straps are held together by golden hardware. Yves Saint Laurent has done a wonderful job on this bag, and you can get your paws on one for $545 at Neiman Marcus.

Burberry Floral WristletThe spring finally knocked on our door and we certainly won’t let it stand outside in the cold for long! And what do we associate with spring time, beside lovy dovy butterflies in your tum tum and makin’ babies? That’s right, flowers.

Burberry proves to us that they are capable of more than just plaid canvas. Their very own Floral Wristlet sports a swank white base leather with a pretty emerald flower print. The flap holds the wristlet’s contents with the help of a shiny steel buckle. A matching emerald-colored wrist strap completes the package. For $395 at Burberry.

We’ve changed the permissions on comment posting! Now you can comment on your fave bags without having to register with us. Let’s just hope the naughty p*rn spammers won’t bomb us with their crap. ;-)

Tods Charlotte PiccolaIt is no secret that we love de luxe, we love the glam, we love the pomptuous, fancy and expensive here at our precious blog. Although many of the featured handbags are out of many people’s league and least of you loyal readers would actually really ever pay, not to mention being able to afford many of our listed bags, it is always a real pleasure to present just those bags to you. I like to draw the parallels to high-end sports cars. Why is it that popular mainstream media channels love to feature vehicles that only selected few souls will ever be able to drive? Because it attracts, it makes one dream about the seemingly unreachable, it may even motivate some to shoot for something extraordinary. If you consider yourself one of those just mentioned and you happen to love bags as much as we do, I got just the right bag to fuel your eager compassion.

Following up on my previous post on Tod’s Venghe Pochette, I wanted to take the time to point out another extraordinary bag that stuck out among the many on our trip to Paris. The Tod’s Charlotte Piccola was a shoulder bag that almost went unnoticed. Hidden in a corner near the store’s entrance, this treasure was hanging innocently, and nearly fell subject to our ignorance. However, fortunately we did spot out this futuristic piece of nobility.

What a fine bag that is. Sumptuous textured leather exterior infused with an elegant saddle-style topstitching. 13″ x 7″ x 6″ inches of raging elegance and delicate sportiness. The hemispherical exterior zip pockets on each side add a very unique touch that insure that the hangbag will never turn into an antiquity on you. Available in either acqua alce or plain black alce for a hefty $925.00 at our beloved ELuxury online store.

Tods Venghe PochetteContinuing our report on Parisian fashion, we turn to one of our more elegant, less in-your-face designers, Tod’s. The Tod’s two story store was conviently located right across from Hermes’ plex and impressed with a clean, white store front. The two large windows immediately gave us a good idea on what there was to be expected inside the store: tons of chic bags.

Hung on a filigree brushed steel holder, Tod’s Venghe Pochette in silver seemed to stand out above all other handbags. The clutch’s fancy name already suggests a plethora of elegance, but its live appearance revealed some very nice features that rank it right up there among our favorites. The pochette screams of attitude and is the perfect companion for a dazzling night out. The Venghe Pochette is made from exotic karung reptile leather that shimmers like a disco ball when the spotlight hits it. It may have actually just been the sparkling from the fluorescent tubes in the store that drew us over to the bag, now that I think about it.

However, the clever feature about this clutch was revealed upon taking a peak inside: the fold-over top is enhanced with discreetly hidden magnets that smoothly snap the flaps in place. It was so nifty in fact, that I couldn’t stop playing with it. Its inside is made of fine satin-finished textile lining while a beveled bottom allows bag to sit upright at times it’s not in action. The silver bag went for EUR 780. In the US, it is available from ELuxury in gold for only $745. It’s all relative afterall.

For tonight we’ve saved up a delicate snack that is so high in calories you may want to cut back on the Tostitos and salsa for the next few days. Further reading may also cause high amounts of stress and as a result thereof, hightened blood pressure, sudden queasiness and uncontrolable sweating. In addition, you may start drooling like a Pavolian dog at ring bell and tears may roll down your cheeks for no apparent reason.

Actually the reason is very apparent, because the purse blog duo had worked its way into the lion’s den, the molten, glowing hot core of the Big Momma of all handbags – the Hermes Headquarters in Paris. Being nearly paralyzed of awe, we stood in front of the wide store front and stared for literally 20 minutes at the carefully selected exclusive goodies resting in the display cases. Jealous eyes scanned those that came out of the enormous store with one of those highly sought after orange shopping bags, being proof of obvious financial wealth or willingness to dive into debt. Eventually, reality settled in and we figured that it was still yet another store that was offering goods, and that there was nothing to really be afraid of. Another reality settled in rather quickly once the heavy black doors swung open, we stepped in and the aura of perfection slapped us in our faces like a soft velvet glove.

Yes, perfection. The layout of the store, the incredible variety of items, outstanding in both price and quality, the overall flair of the three story store all just added additional weight to the already lowered jaw, like Mr. Universe was fishhooking you personally. Absolutely breathtaking. Did we mention variety? From watches, card games, to towels, jewelry, perfumes, pen holders, from tables to evening sweaters, Hermes seemed to have it all. It was quite the task to even find a handful of items, no matter how seemingly insignificant, whose prices went under the 3-digit Euro mark. There is no use to talk about the upper boundary, since there really didn’t seem to be one. And then the bags… sigh.

Hermes BagStrategically placed right around its main entrance, a great selection of handbags, small clutches or large totes, were presented to us in a wonderful fashion. Our eyes ran across the glass vitrines, unknowing which bag to look at first, because they all seemed so pretty, so perfect. The green tote below was one of our favorites (if any of our readers know its name, please let us know), and fortunately it happened to be showcased to the outside world. We also took a snapshot of two barrel bags that just looked plain delicious, too. At a price of over EUR 4,600, the deliciousness wore off a notch though. We ended up spending almost a good hour in the store, leaving it behind with a really sad heart, and a motivation to work harder and earn more money to buy us some Hermes goodies. Because afterall, who does not want to be one of those people with the orange shopping bag for once too?