Images via Vogue.com

In two ways, I always dread the Burberry show at London Fashion Week. First, because I know that Christopher Bailey’s beautiful ready-to-wear, and his outerwear in particular (THOSE COATS.), will threaten to drain my bank account all over again with one swift poke the the pleasure center in my brain, which apparently really likes wool. Second, because I know I’m probably going to have to write something unkind about the handbags. Both fortunately and unfortunately, Burberry Prorsum Fall 2012 did not break from that pattern.

The collection was yet another that made plenty of references to the Downton Abbey era, which is particularly appropriate for a brand that’s so utterly steeped in British heritage, both by its own marketing and by actual history. You would think, then, that we’d be in for an accessories feast of lovely whiskey-colored leather satchels and smart, ladylike handbags with lots of structure. Instead, we got big striped and quilted totes with limited personality and clutches with animal-head door-knockers on them. The few satchels in play were the highlight of the handbags, but even they seemed a little bit unwieldy in proportion to be carried. You’ll notice in the photos, though, that many of the models are carrying their bags while wearing stunning gloves made of colorful python or studded black leather. Why didn’t we see any of those ideas carried into the bags? It would have made for a much stronger collection.

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