Valentino One-of-a-Kind Satchel, $2895 and $1995 via Neiman Marcus

Much has been made by me (not to mention the fashion press at large) over Valentino trying to find its path after the retirement of its namesake and longtime leader. The design team put in place since the transition has made some wonderful pieces, but is also responsible for its share of missteps, many of which we’ve discussed in this space.

But Valentino’s recent couture show, one space where the new designers have struggled mightily, received roundly positive reviews and there are some indications that the brand has righted itself and regained what seemed to have been a lost plot. The Valentino One-of-a-Kind Satchel is one of the best bags I’ve seen from the brand in several seasons.

This design has the precision and maturity that you’d expect from a brand with a venerable history like Valentino, which is significant because many of the brand’s less successful moments have come out of the its recent attempts to appeal to a younger audience. Valentino is never going to be “hip” in the way that The Row is hip, and it would be best for everyone involve if it stopped trying and went back to doing what it does best: Making dramatic, glamourous garments and accessories for women with impeccable taste and considerable budgets. These bags work because that’s exactly what they are, with no shred of doubt or self-consciousness as far as the eye can see.

Valentino One-of-a-Kind Snakeskin Satchel, $2895 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino One-of-a-Kind Leather Satchel, $1995 via Neiman Marcus

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