Over on TalkShoes, I’ve mentioned several times that the paint-splattered natural python seen on several of Christian Louboutin‘s Spring 2012 shoes is my favorite exotic finish that the footwear master has ever done and one of my favorite python finishes ever, from anyone. The little splashes of color add just the right amount of signature Louboutin wit to the skin without obscuring its natural beauty, and I’ve been in love with it ever since I saw Blake Lively wearing a pair of the shoes at the Louboutin 20th anniversary party at Barneys a few months ago. Thankfully, Louboutin has seen fit to bring the material to handabgs with the Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity Python Shoulder Bag. Still, though, something’s a little off.

We’ve spoken at length about some of the speed bumps that Louboutin has found in handbag design; he’s the undisputed king of shoes, but being good at one type of accessory doesn’t always lead to success when it comes to designing others. I still love the python finish that makes up most of this bag, and the Sweet Charity has long been my favorite of Louboutin’s handbag shapes, but I seriously question the trim that steals a large portion of the bag’s visual interest away from the python.

The thing that I loved about the shoes in this paint-speckled snakeskin was that they were simple; the visual texture was allowed to speak for itself without other voices trying to drown it out. With thick turquoise and red leather also vying for attention, it feels like Louboutin should have gone one of two ways: Either totally amped up the design by using the added texture of suede instead of boring regular leather, or toned the whole thing down to just snakeskin. As it is, the design is missing a little bit of something that’s hard to describe. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $2495.

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