As we’ve discussed, python is a bonafide trend for Fall 2011. The recent runways were overwhelmed with every sort of snakeskin you can imagine in every color combination that you could ever want, but sadly, a lot of them were pretty mediocre. Brands seemed to be doing python for python’s sake without much regard for the situations in which the material looks its best, and that’s never more obvious than when you compare those pieces to something like the VBH Villager Python Tote.

VBH is a brand well known for restrained luxury, and every inch of this design typifies that look. The python looks lush and textured instead of the flat, glazed snakeskin that we saw frequently during the fall shows, and the neutral color allows the exotic beauty of the skin to take center stage instead of requiring it to compete with multiple colors and design ideas. But if you want a look this refined, you have to be willing to pay the price – literally.

This bag doesn’t cost as much as an Hermes Birkin, but it gets pretty close. Of course, that price would be for a regular leather bag and this one gives you gobs of gorgeous python, and VBH’s craftsmanship is some of the very best in the business. Is it as good as Hermes? That’s a comparison for someone with more money than me to decide; I’ll just say that this bag, particularly in this color, is a splendid alternative to a Birkin if you’re looking for something a little different and a little slouchier, but still manufactured under exacting quality standards. It also strikes me as unfortunate, if unavoidable, that bags in this price range are automatically compared to Hermes – this design is lovely in its own right. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $5250.

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