Chalk this up as another bag that needs to be seen in person to be appreciated. The Holiday 2011 sueded metallic finishes that Balenciaga has been parading around of late piqued my interest, but only the dark silver (Balenciaga calls it black, but whatever, it’s dark silver), because that just sort of how I roll. I was a little nervous because the Balenciaga 10th anniversary sueded bags weren’t my favorite by any stretch of the imagination, but upon closer inspection, the brand has definitely learned from that misstep.

Dark silver is perhaps the most versatile neutral on the face of the planet, and the variation and depth in the color that graces the Balenciaga Papier A3 Tote is unparalleled. I found myself touching the bag over and over, not only because it was soft but also because I halfway expected the finish to come off on my hands. It didn’t, of course, but the delicate, gritty-glittery look has a sense of non-permanence to it that I found irresistible.

It’s hard to tell even from a large picture, but the notes in this finish vary from light silver to true black and everywhere in between. The shine isn’t overwhelming and it’s certainly not cheap-looking, and keeping metallics on the right side of the luxe line can be a difficult task. I’m not sure how this bag will fair in long-term durability because of the material and finish, but for the moment, there are few things out there that I want more. Buy through Matches for $1387.

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