Versace Baroque Printed Bag, $995 via Net-a-Porter

I’m as hard on Versace as anyone, but I like to think of it as a tough love situation. I talk smack because I want the brand to improve its handbags, not because I take any particular delight in its struggles. Although I have to admit, some of the company’s past bags have been almost delightfully bad, so there may have been a modicum of enjoyment on my part.

Versace may have turned the corner, though. The past couple seasons of ready-to-wear have been intriguing, and during the same period of time, I’ve noticed a conspicuous and considerable lack of Versace purses that make me want to throw a small fit. Not to mention that I actually like the Versace Baroque Printed Bag in all of its pattern-on-pattern glory.

This bag works for a few reasons. First, mixed patterns are having a moment in fashion right now, so the maximal look of brocade on leopard seems relevant in the context of current trends. Second, these two patterns in particular have a very “Versace” look to them, which results in a successful balance of brand identity and modern fashion ideas. Third, the bag isn’t very big. When an item is ornate and mixes several bold elements, a smaller scale tends to be kinder to the finished look. As is usual with Versace, I think the price is a tad steep for a simply structured felt bag with only leather trim, but for the first time in a long time, that’s the only trepidation I have. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $995.

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