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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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • bisbee

    Love it – and I’m not usually a fan of metallics.

  • Stacy

    indeed, it’s quite nice. like the price too!

  • edoardo

    Good price but I don’t like this bag. ok it’s Balenciaga but it is a bit boring and it looks os cheap…!!

  • Kat

    I saw this bag in the store in a different color, and the first thought that came into my head was “those straps are tiny!”. I love totes but I’m worried about this one. Since the bag is so big (versus, say, a Goyard St. Louis) so you’d be inclined to stuff it with a lot of things and I’m not sure those little straps would hold up. I’m not talking about putting in a ham inside, but things like a book, iPad, camera, etc. Things that add up to a lot of weight if you add it to the basics: wallet, keys, makeup kit, etc. And if you can’t fill up a tote, then what would be a point of it?

    • I have the same reservation about the Papier totes, but since Balenciaga has stepped up their place in the line, apparently people have responded positively. I’d love to hear from someone who has one.

  • Fera

    Lovely black,i love it

  • Mochababe73

    I love the color, but the bag itself is not even pretty. For me, it looks like any other tote. But, I am not a big fan of Balenciaga. Not one that I put on my dream bag list.

  • Kristine

    OMG, I love the bag! I want it….

  • Smith


  • Lola

    Balenciaga is usually spot on with their bags, and this is no different! (ipad)

  • felicia

    i love the color, but not the style…(ipad)

  • Jigsaw

    Don’t like their new collection :( I prefer the old ones (ipad)

  • ninjaninja

    I absolutely love simple stuff like this! Would love to get it if it wasn’t for the price. (ipad)

  • cl

    if i was rolling in money, this would be my next school handbag (ipad)

  • CHRI

    love the color of this handbag! (ipad)

  • Annie

    Help! I have a Balenciaga bag 07/FW crush
    Is it worth $1350?

  • nini

    I love the color too (ipad)


    love this color (ipad)


    sort of a pewter color (ipad)

  • Cristina H

    I wonder what the lighter silver is like? (ipad)

  • marianne shaw

    I have to disagree with the writer i think the bag does look cheap looking.[ipad]

  • Mousse

    I’m not a fan of bal bags, but I do like this color. (ipad)

  • Trae

    I like this color but I don’t love it. (ipad)

  • Isabel

    classy (ipad)

  • Tiffany

    Amazing! I usually don’t like metallic bags (ipad)

  • Jelita78

    suede you say?
    it does look soft, apart from the rockin’ metallic shade.. (ipad)

  • Jelita78

    but i have to agree with Kat’s comment –> kinda doubting the thin strap.. hope it doesn’t dig the flesh as i tend to carry but the kitchen sink! (ipad)

  • Jen

    Ohhh gorgeous!! (ipad)

  • XXAL

    Bal did a good job with the color choice.. I remember seeing light colored Bals getting dirty and the marks look like this.. however, Bal embraced the flaw and made it official & in an innovative way! Also, thank god for a change from all the cities! no more cities please..! (ipad)

  • Julia

    gorgeous. but those straps seem pretty wimpy considering what you could fit into that bag… (ipad)

  • Elizabeth

    gorgeous! (ipad)

  • helen

    Like the design – sleek. (ipad)

  • Emma G

    I DIE (ipad)

  • Jessica

    I am an avid Balenciaga fan – and tend to stick to a very neutral color pallet – I tend to stay away from metallics from experience they do rub off – love this color! ipad

  • Ajazarcon

    I purchased this bag a week ago and I liked it. Though it’s a little too large I find it a statement bag. The leather is soft but I dont think its durable enough to carry on with heavy stuffs, the handle I see is thin.