Within the accessories industry, runway bags have a very special spot. They’re the most directional of a season’s accessories; they tell us where our beloved handbags are headed in the months and years to come and set size, color and texture trends that often endure for seasons at a time. Most brands produce many more bags in their full retail line than they include in their shows, but the runway bags are always the most fashion-forward and experimental of any given group.

Most runway coverage focuses on full looks, though, and even though we cover as many bag collections as we can, looking through all of those posts can be daunting if your goal is simply to get an idea of what’s to come and where you’ll be spending your money in six months. That’s why we’ve distilled all of that coverage down to a list of bags that not only represent the very best of what’s going on in accessories for fall, but give you some inspiration to start filling your savings account. Fall pre-orders will be here before you know it.

Mustard yellow is my favorite fall bright, and this suede Miu Miu bag gets both shade and shape just right. The collection had a few misses, but this design was not among them.

Everyone loves the Mulberry Alexa as it is, and with black bags shaping up to be one of fall’s biggest trends, this black-on-black(-on-black) version was one of the standouts of the brand’s excellent accessories collection.

Not only do I love this functional-but-luxurious Fendi tote, but I love its potential – it could be remade in zillions of color and leather combinations, and the clean shape and hardware will keep it looking fresh for seasons to come. Agree with me? The rest of the collection might pique your interest as well.

I feel comfortable saying that Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2012 collection likely contained more handbags than any other show in modern fashion history, but the travel options with glittering monograms were the standout among some furry options of questionable taste.

Lots of you zeroed in on this red Chloe clutch as a standout, and you were right – particularly if it comes with an optional strap, this bag will be at the top of my fall must-buy list.

I’ve always liked Chanel, but I’ve never seen one of their bags that I felt like I just had to have – until the brand’s Fall 2012 show, that is. A Boy Chanel flap bag in deep purple velvet? Yes please.

Valentino’s show was full of perfectly on-trend black day bags, but after seeing a full season of dark accessories, this little beaded number seemed like a welcome respite.

My positive review of the Balenciaga show was perhaps the most controversial thing I wrote all season, but I stand by my love for these bags! They’re the best of what Ghesquiere does with proportions and they look thoroughly Balenciaga, even if they’re not Motorcycle bags. If you don’t like them, fret not – there will still be plenty of Cities and Firsts to go around.

Chloe’s show was so stellar that it’s the only brand that gets two entries on this list of must-haves. What a difference two seasons and one brand new creative director can make, eh? This satchel harkens back to the days when the only bags that he brand made were It Bags.

All images via Vogue.com

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