I’m not sure if Jimmy Choo purposely set out to become the Juicy Couture of the “premier designer” set or not (although I’m guessing not), but sometimes they seem to be headed in that direction anyway. I absolutely love half of what they do, but the other half is looking dangerously over-designer and overworked these days. It seems as though for every brilliant bag they make, they also make one that makes me cock my head to the side and wrinkle my nose in confusion.

The Jimmy Choo Tita Snakeskin and Suede-Fringe Clutch would be a bag of the latter variety. I love the natural coloring of the material and the size of the bag, but my admiration ends there. For some reason, not only did they use a zigzag patchwork pattern that totally interrupts the natural grain of the snakeskin, but they also thought weaving it with suede would be a good idea…but only on one corner. I’m not even sure I can talk about the fringe.

I like this clutch a little better when it’s carried with the optional chain shoulder strap, but I just can’t forgive Jimmy Choo for what it did to that beautiful piece of snakeskin. It’s all chopped up and weird now, instead of being the beautiful, naturally patterned piece of material that it should be. The best exotic bags are the ones that use the skin’s texture so well that they make you catch your breath and think, “Holy crap, that’s beautiful, I want to touch it,” but this one just doesn’t have that appeal for me.

And then, of course, the fringe. It’s long enough to be seriously annoying when you’re trying to carry the bag by hand, but not long enough to make any kind of dramatic or artistic statement. As it is, it’s in some sort of weird fringe purgatory, and the drab color doesn’t add much to the mood of the bag. With a few tweaks, this clutch could have been great, but right now it just looks like it’s trying too hard. At least the price is somewhat reasonable (for snake). Buy through Net-a-Porter for $995.

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