There are a lot of things that I love. I love Alexander McQueen. I love black and white patterns. I love challenging design. I love it when function and art collide and something interesting results.

But I don’t love the Alexander McQueen Houndstooth Tote.

Alexander McQueen Houndstooth Tote

I understand the intent behind this bag, and it’s brave of designers to try and play with pattern and proportion in avant garde ways. Just because it’s brave doesn’t mean it works, though, and this particular creation just doesn’t.

The houndstooth pattern appears in different sizes and runs in different directions in the uneven patchwork sections that make up the body of this bag, and the entire thing is capped and dotted with high-shine black leather at the edges and in flaps strewn about the bag’s body.

In the all-leather version, the continuity of the black material allows the asymmetry of the stitching and paneling to take center stage. When it’s combined with a graphic pattern that can be notoriously hard to work with, the charm of the bag is lost, unfortunately. I applaud the effort, but the finished product isn’t everything I had dreamed it would be. Buy through Saks for $1995.

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