I say a lot more negative things about Prada bags than I say positive, but I promise that I don’t have anything particular against the brand. In fact, my first “designer” bag was a Prada crossbody, and I still have fond memories of it.

They’ve been doing more wrong than right in most of their high-profile bags lately, but they still make some great stuff that doesn’t grab as many headlines. I got a chance to examine a bunch of their bags up close this weekend, and I was particularly taken with the classic lines and superb construction of the Prada Saffiano Soft Frame Clutch.

Actually, “particularly taken” would be an understatement of my feelings. I’m in love with it – deep, inconvenient, all-encompassing love that I didn’t expect to find for a Prada bag. In my heart, that kind of love is usually reserved for Balenciaga or Valentino.

Please believe me when I say that the pictures don’t do this bag any sort of justice. I saw it in smooth black leather, which was ridiculously rich and perfect for this sort of oversized, take-anywhere, day-to-night clutch. It struck me as the sort of bag you’d look at and be able to tell that it was expensive, even if it had no logo. I’ll admit that it looks a bit boring in photos, but in your hand, it’s a great bag.

When I opened it up, I was even more pleased. The slightly retro, structured closure stands open to reveal a leather-lined interior (the black version has red, which is much more exciting than the taupe inside of the cream-colored version) with several pockets and enough space to hold more or less everything that you could put in a medium-sized shoulder bag. You probably wouldn’t want to fill it that full, but a little extra space in a clutch is never a bad thing.

Overall, I think I may have found the perfect clutch for me, and it was in one of the most unexpected places. Perhaps it was a cosmic reminder that in fashion, you should never count anyone out completely. Buy through Saks for $1350.

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