It’s an interesting time to be in the ultra-luxury business because no one really knows where the top of the market is. In a climate when a pre-owned Birkin can break records by selling at …
Images via Moda Operandi
Some days, talking about trends and design and the fashion industry just seems a little strenuous, particularly first thing in the morning. Today was starting to feel like one of those …
At this point, it might be entirely useless to try to review Nancy Gonzalez’s Spring 2011 handbags, or any set of handbags from the Colombian accessories maven. She does one thing (exotics), and does it extremely well. You’ll find no trend-chasing or gimmicks within this line, just piece after piece of luxurious exotic leather formed into handbags of every size, shape and color imaginable.
Spring 2011’s pieces run the gamut from staid, perfect neutrals to bold brights to glam metallics and everything in between, including latice work and weaving on some of the collection’s more casual pieces. All of this stuff is vintage Nancy Gonzalez, and although her collections may not change a great deal from season to season, there’s something almost comforting about her consistency. And if you’ve never inspected one of Gonzalez’s bags in person, I highly recommend it; they’re among the best-planned designs on the market, which is just another reason to love what she does. (more…)
In fashion, sometimes the worst thing you can say about a design is that it’s…fine. At least when a bag is cosmically awful, the designers tried a little bit of something. A chance was taken, a personality was exposed, and even if those kinds of adventures don’t always work out, it’s always encouraging to see a design who’s willing to gamble.
The Gucci Madison Ostrich Tote isn’t a bad bag by any stretch of imagination. I wouldn’t hesitate to carry it and I’d be proud to own it if it somehow came to be mine without any money changing hands, but I couldn’t imagine swiping a card to make this particular purse mine. The design doesn’t have enough visual interest to be eye-catching and the lines aren’t sharp enough to call it minimalist. It’s just…fine. And “fine” isn’t worth four grand. (more…)
Allow me to make one of my personal biases clear: I look forward to seeing the bags on the Gucci runway more than almost any other bag-including show at fashion week. The brand’s notorious sense for modern glamor and sexuality often comes through best in their runway bags, and seeing them is almost always a pleasure.
I wasn’t as excited by this season’s offerings as I was for last season’s technology-influenced collection, but they were still as luxurious and detailed as you could reasonably ask. Much of the collection, which was heavy on ostrich, was also sporting a slightly modified interlocking G logo that I’ve never seen before – could it be a vintage revival, as is popular with the brand, or something completely new? I’m not sure which, but whatever it is, I think its slightly curvier lines work well for the direction that the brand is going. (more…)
Folks, I am really liking this clutch right now. While the color might need to grow on you, I think you might be surprised how nice it would look – especially with some of those dark fall outfits. The Jalda Ostrich Stamped Leather Brief Clutch is a gorgeous, simple and functional clutch that would look great in just about anyone’s hand. Jalda handbags are known for their functionality and there is nothing wrong with this. (more…)
The first thing that struck me about this clutch was that it claims to be ostrich leather. And Bird Handbags are known for their use of ostrich in particular, so that wasn’t so surprising as the fact that the Bird Handbags Mrs. Ostrich Clutch looks like no other handbag made of that material that I’ve ever seen before in my life.
And I’m all about innovation, so let’s take a closer look, shall we? (more…)
I keep talking about my move, but it seems worth sharing. I know almost all of you out there have moved at least once. So, there is a good chance you can see where I am coming from. Last night as I was unpacking some boxes I stumbled across part of my handbag collection. It was as if I was opening up a present all over again. And one of my favorites had to be my Jalda clutch. I honestly fall in love with it every time I see it. So much so that I found myself wanting another Jalda clutch.
It was as if my desires had been answered when I came across the Jalda Pink Ostrich Leather Brief Clutch today. Now this is a feminine clutch I need to get my hands on. While I am not much for the over-the-top girlie handbags, this one would receive a very warm welcome. The pink grained ostrich leather is not only to-die-for but it is also flawless. Just from the picture you will notice the balancing act between exotic and feminine. Sometimes exotic handbags can have a bit of a tough look to them, but not this one. In fact, this clutch properly captures my favorites f’s: flirty, feminine and fun. Buy through Bluefly for $197.
We’re all pretty familiar with Lauren Merkin’s little pleated clutches. They’re adorable. But this one, this Lauren Merkin Ostrich Lotte Clutch– it really takes the cake, in my opinion. It’s the epitome of cutesy sophistication, of dainty tea party style combined with a sly innocence. It would look at home held a white-gloved hand, or by one with nails painted a slick black.
I think it’s the ostrich that takes the cream color to another level. By itself, a cream clutch might be a bit; ordinary. But the ostrich, it makes it so versatile. At once, I can imagine it with a Rihanna-esque rocker ensemble (and I do think this would look amazing), a 50’s wasp-waisted dress with a tiny hat, and of course, with the timeless LBD. This clutch is really all about the texture: the soft bumps of the ostrich skin mesh seamlessly with the pleats and the rounded shape. And that, I believe, is what can take this clutch right from rocker to the Ritz. Buy through Shopbop for $250.
It always confuses me when a designer takes an exotic skin, which is already a work of art in and of itself, and tries to do something intricate with it (usually something that involves cutting it into tiny pieces, either for weaving or for a laser-cut design). It seems like…well, it seems like a bit of a waste of a beautiful skin. I’ve got similar concerns with the Bottega Veneta Settantasei Ostrich Bag, which uses ostrich hide instead of traditional leather to make the signature Bottega Veneta intrecciato weave.
BV does better here than most do, though, because the copper finish combined with the ultra-textured feel of the bag give it a simultaneous glimmer and roughness that might not be achievable with regular, smooth leather. The finish is honestly quite cool, but I can’t help shake the feeling that exotic skins come with an inherent design to them and some of their charm is lost when they’re too heavily deconstructed. Plus, if I’m going to pay a premium for an exotic, I want that skin to be as intact as possible for maximum exotic effect. When you combine the high price of this bag with the way the skin was used, I’m not sure it’s worth it. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $7350.