There’s perhaps nothing so tragic in fashion as looking at a bag that you know for a fact to be real and thinking that it looks fake. Sadly, that was exactly the reaction I had to the Valentino Sequin-Embellished Rosette Tote. Perhaps this motif has reached its logical end for the brand – it may be time for Valentino to start mining a different theme, considering how successful it was with birds last week.

I’ve reviewed flower-dotted Valentino totes so many times that going back and searching through them probably isn’t worth it, and I’ve had something positive to say in almost every instance. In fact, Valentino has been one of my favorites accessories designers for several seasons – the brand’s attention to detail and insistance of the best materials is almost unparalleled on the luxury bag market. This bag, though? This bag is not cute.

The material looks like cheaply-cut brown cardboard, and although it certainly feels softer in person, the effect is not high-end or luxurious. The indifferently sprinkled sparkles don’t do anything to help – they’re not clustered tightly enough to look convincingly like the center of the flower or loosely enough to pretend like that’s not what they were intended to be.

Valentino’s layered flowers always look like the very definition of abundance, and this bag looks low-budget in comparison. It’s missing the visual, textural pleasure and bursting intricacy, and that ruins the entire effect for which Valentino is so universally known. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $2500.

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