Savvy

One of the best ways for a bag designer to add visual interest without subtracting functionality from a handbag is to manipulate the bag’s material to create texture within the existing structure of the design. It looks as though the fine folks at Junior Drake got the memo.

The Junior Drake Mini Skinny Gail Satchel (which, incidentally, doesn’t appear to be particularly mini or skinny) is almost overtaken by parellel pleating down the front and back of the bag – the optimal word in that sentence being “almost.” The pleats create some drama without overwhelming the bag’s shape or practicality, which is just about as much as you can ask from a design with this much texture. (more…)

This is another one of those bags that’s really not up my alley, but I suspect that it might be up someone’s. Obviously there are a lot of people that enjoy the whipstitched, embroidered, neo-Native American trend that’s going on right now, or designers wouldn’t bother continuing to make the stuff.

And for those people, and particularly for people that are thinking about dipping their toe in the trend pool but are not yet convinced, the Junior Drake Mini Embroidered Crossbody might be the perfect minibag. (more…)

Junior Drake Pleated Mini Bag

I have yet to decide on my perfect mini bag for fall, and I’m still actively taking applications. I know that I have to have one (and really, they’re perfectly functional for me – all I ever carry is my keys and my Blackberry), and I think I may have found a strong candidate in the Junior Drake Pleated Mini Bag. (more…)

Junior Drake Ruffle Regina HoboTo me, the bags that only have one thing wrong with them are always more disappointing than the bags that are completely and totally terrible in every way imaginable. To see a designer get so very close to making a great bag and then not make it is tragic (at least as much as a handbag design can be tragic, anyway). If a brand gets it completely wrong, well, there was probably no hope to begin with.

The Junior Drake Ruffle Regina Hobo is one of those bags that comes so close but is, sadly, so far away from something I would want to carry. The shape isn’t the problem – the shape is functional and classic, and I don’t even mind the addition of the ruffles because they’re not so enormous or gathered that they’re ridiculous. I also don’t mind the color; in fact, turquoise works great as a bright used as a neutral, and summer is the perfect time for it. What ruins it for me is the almost denim-like wash that they’ve put on the leather. It makes the material look cheap and uneven, and there are so many ways that they could have distressed it without getting this much fading. If they had used a different treatment on the leather, this one could have been a real winner. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $398.

Junior Drake is a brand that we’ve only touched on twice in the past on PurseBlog Savvy, but from what I’ve been seeing lately, that may have been a big oversight on our part. I’m a big fan of brands that use the texture of leather that they appear to prefer (it looks similar to what Kooba uses on their softer purses).

Junior Drake Kora Tote

One of the best examples I’ve seen of the great leather that they use is the Junior Drake Kora Tote. The color of this one in particular is somewhere in No Man’s Land between dark purple and navy blue, but it’s beautiful and versatile enough to be worn in any season. Combined with the not-too-showy tassels and braided details, the bag is young, fun, and certainly a great option for a very reasonable price. I look forward to see more from this brand in the future if this is any indication of the kinds of things they make. Buy through Bluefly for $299.

I roundly dismiss brown as a color for handbags on most occasions, but there actually is a shade of brown that I almost always like. It’s a medium color, slightly distressed, with a tiny bit of an orange undertone to it and a little variation in the leather itself. It’s lighter than chocolate and darker than tan – it’s widely known as ‘whiskey,’ I believe, and far be it from me to turn down anything named after booze.

Junior Drake isabella Wristlet

The Junior Drake Isabelle Wristlet is a perfect example of the kind of brown that has a little home in my heart. It has a slightly boho feel without treading in “hippie” territory and the pintucked quilting detail is spot-on and so chic. It would be perfect for a slightly more casual night out when an austere, dressy black clutch won’t do. I can’t even imagine a shade of denim with which this wouldn’t look perfect. Buy through Bluefly for $139.

There is something about slouchy handbags that always draws my eye. As much as I love a structured clutch or a trendy handbag, I really love the casual, carefree look. Some people ask Megs and I about all the designer garb we have. Yes, between the two of us we have some really nice pieces, but day to day, we are really jeans and t-shirt girls. I have a weakness for a great fitting pair of jeans and a fabulous yet comfy t-shirt paired with a casual handbag. The Junior Drake Phoebe Soft Top Zip Hobo would more than go with my day-to day look. This slouchy Indigo leather bag is accented with a tassel zip pull and braided details on the handles. I recently the Linea Pelle Samantha Bag to my collection and hands down, my favorite feature is the two-way zip closure. This bag has the same thing! I love that I can just unzip part of the bag and still find my keys, cell phone or lip gloss. Trust me, if you don’t have a handbag with this feature, invest in one, you’ll love it. As I admired this bag, it got me wondering, what kind of bag are *you* carrying around day to day? If you are looking for a new one and share my similar style, buy this bag through Nordstrom for $378.