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If I’m being honest, the bags from New York Fashion Week were a little…mediocre. We still have several collections to show you that I liked, but I didn’t find much that made me feel all fluttery in the handbag part of my brain. That’s not necessarily uncommon; the fluttery feelings mostly happen at foreign fashion weeks, because let’s face it, the Europeans really know how to do luxury leather goods. Usually, though, I get a little bit more excited than I did last week.

Easily the brightest spot so far, at least when we’re talking about bags I’d actually like to buy and carry for myself, is Derek Lam’s Spring 2012 handbag collection. Lam isn’t known for his leather goods any more than for his clothes or shoes, but this group of bags really stood out to be as modern, interesting and different than the rest of what we’ve seen from American designers this week. Kudos to Mr. Lam, because these designs have been a welcome palate cleanser.

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