Texture might be the most underrated way to make a handbag special and interesting. Regular leather can only be dyed so many colors and sewn into so many shapes – after a certain point, a plain leather bag, no matter how nice the leather, can feel boring and repetitive.

Jimmy Choo has been trying for the past season or two to find ways to add texture in just the right way, and the results have been (to be blunt) mixed. Some of it has been great, some of it has been pretty terrible, but I appreciate that they’re trying to find a way to make their offerings really unique. Which brings us to the Jimmy Choo Cristina Pleated Leather Bag – are you feeling it, or is this another unfortunate sacrifice in the battle for good design? We’ve got an up-close shot of the bag’s texture after the jump.

For what it’s worth, I think it’s kind of fab. I hated it on initial inspection, but the pleated, somewhat rigid ruffles of textured leather are growing on me. The mix of multicolor, brights and neutrals in a variety of embossed textures might feel like overkill to some people, but I tend to wear a lot of black, and this kind of handbag looks totally fab against a dark color.

I’m also fond of the design because the folks at Choo didn’t allow fashion to get in the way of function. The texture only adds to the look – the bag is not any harder to use because of the design elements, and that’s an area in which a lot of designers tend to get in their own way. Jimmy Choo hasn’t created a bag that will appeal to everyone, but the best fashion statements rarely will. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $2995.

Sweet Summertime

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