Fashion Blog >

Handbag Review

July 22, 2010

Double Duty

Rose Gold Envelope Clutch


Miu Miu Matelasse Shoulder Bag 

One thing I've noticed more and more in fashion these days are two-in-one designs.

Who doesn't like getting more bang for their buck? I saw this on net-a-porter and thought it was genius.

We've seen the detachable shoulder strap on bags before, but I haven't seen one that offers a strap that converts to a sparkly necklace. The size of the bag seems perfect, not too small and not too big to hold as a clutch. Looks like the perfect little gem for the girl-about-town.


The Shape of Things
July 15, 2010 | Handbag Review

If there's one handbag shape I've wanted to try lately, it's the slouchy hobo. If you're all about cool, casual, thrown-together style then this might be the bag for you too.

Rose Gold Envelope Clutch

Alexander Wang Darcy Hobo

Alexander Wang can do no wrong when it comes to accessories in my opinion! This is just the kind of bag that looks luxurious without ostentation.

I'm not carrying a whole lot these days - wallet, sunglasses, tiny makeup bag and phone - so this bag might be even slouchier on me. I can get behind that. It's likely the studs add significantly to the weight so it's probably better not to carry everything but the kitchen sink. 

Coming Up Roses
July 7 | Handbag Review

I should stop getting email from Barneys because when I get one like this, I get a little weak in the knees.

Rose Gold Envelope Clutch

Balenciaga Rose Gold Envelope Clutch

I know I've given plenty of blog space to Balenciaga bags, but I think the new rose gold studs and fall colors deserve a special mention. I can't wait to see the color Seigle in person. It looks like the perfect neutral to take you from season to season. Castagna is a color from last season and it's just as rich and yummy for fall. I've already written about Bois de Rose in the City bag so seeing it with the rose gold hardware on the envelope clutch is just as lovely. I want! 

Strap Happy
June 4, 2010 | Handbag Review

I have been going back and forth about the Alexander Wang Rocco bag. On the one hand, the simple design, gorgeous leather, and studded bottom makes it the perfect go-to bag with an edge. On the other hand, I've read that the bag is heavy (no surprise given aforementioned studs) and the short handles are limiting for those of us who would rather be hands free and don't like carrying bags on the crooks of our arms. Someone in Bag Land made gave handsome Rocco the perfect makeover.

Alexander Wang Rocco Mini Duffle from the 2010 Prefall Collection

Hooray for straps! I wish all handbag designers would offer an optional strap when it makes sense. The texture of this Rocco bag gives it another dimension of interest and I love this smoke color with the silver studs. Bravo!

Hiking Hipster
May 11, 2010 | Bag Review

Hipsters rejoice - the Rachel Comey hiking-inspired accessories collection is here.  While I love here quirky cool women's clothes and shoes, I'm not sure what to think about the bags. 

City Rose by Balenciaga
Rachel Comey Backpack from Ten Over Six

The backpacks and clutches have a retro vibe (and complements her fabulous spring collection perfectly).  The attention to detail is exactly what you'd expect if you are already a member of the Rachel Comey fan club.  I guess my question is, does something as utilitarian as a backpack need a hipster makeover? 

Maybe I am overthinking this.  I like to separate my fashionable side with my sporty side.  When I go to REI or Patagonia for practical outdoor gear, I want things that serve their purpose.  If they happen to look good, then hooray for me. Hey,  if Chanel can make calfskin covered handweights, then an indie darling designer can surely create "hiking gear."     

Pretty In Pink
May 5, 2010 | Bag Review

I get a little embarrassed to admit this, but I do love me some pink!  I don’t wear it much anymore, although it featured prominently in my junior high school wardrobe.  And it has made a comeback from time to time.  I thank Molly Ringwald for making pink a color not just for babies or cheerleader types.  Pink can be for cool girls too.

So with that, I’m going to have to say this Balenciaga bag is definitely in the cool category.

City Rose by Balenciaga
Balenciaga Neiman Marcus Exclusive City Bag in Bois De Rose

I would love to get my hands on this bag just to see the finish on the suede.  I’m not much into suede bags but I think the metallic is quite pretty and takes away from the preciousness of a pink bag.  It would be great with a dark outfit to make the metallic really stand out.  I love the classic City.  My only complaint is that the strap should be a smidge longer.  In fact, I would love to see Balenciaga just sell straps in different lengths.  I won’t get too critical though.  The City is practically perfect!

To Market, To Market
April 14, 2010 | Bag Review

You know spring has really arrived in Portland when everyone lets their limbs out of hiding in shorts and t-shirts. After a long winter, soaking up vitamin D is a serious pursuit here.

One of my favorite spring activities is hitting the farmer’s market.  Sometimes I could use an extra bag when I find way too many tempting things.  This being Portland, pretty much everyone has reusable bags to tote their stuff.  Even at the grocery store, most people seem to bring their own bags.  I always feel a little guilty if I forget to bring mine, but if I had this bag, I don’t think I’d leave it at home.

Marant Vest


Sac-a-Baguette Market Tote

Reusable bags are nothing new, but this innovative design definitely made me take notice.  You can wear it on your shoulder or like a backpack.  The neutral canvas is streamlined and totally stylish.  It’s made of heavy duty canvas that can take the wear and tear of heavy use and the elements.  I love the bright, water-resistant lining with the handy zipper pockets.  The pièce de résistance (no, seriously!) is the quiver in the back to carry an actual baguette.  Don’t laugh… with so many awesome bakeries in Portland, how can I resist buying an actual baguette to put in a baguette bag?  But you can also use it for an umbrella or flowers.  Or just leave that part at home.
I am a serious bag junkie and it’s rare that I get truly excited about a new bag, but I think this one has tons of potential.  The Sac-a-Baguette bags are priced from $299 to $329 so it is a bit of an investment.  I think it’s worth it because it could work as an everyday carry-all or a handy mommy tote.  Right now most of us can only buy directly from the website, but they are expanding their retail locations soon.

Viva la Baguette!

Feeling Blue
March 2 | Bag Review

I have been in need of a dark colored bag for a long time.  I don’t actually own a black one right now, strange as that sounds.  I’ve kind of been into the idea of having the color of my bag as an accent for all my dark clothes.  Lately I’ve been wanting a dark colored bag, but not necessarily in black.  Then I saw this and thought, perfect!

City Handbag Balenciaga
Balenciaga City Handbag in Canard

It’s a beautiful dark blue bag that isn’t a stodgy navy, but isn’t the candy colored blue bags that are everywhere for spring.  Canard seems like a color that you wouldn’t get tired of after a season or two.  I am definitely feeling blue!

A Girl’s Gotta Have Options
February 8 | Bag Review

How many handbags can one person own?  If the answer was up to me, I’d say you can’t have too many.  Handbags function with many different purposes, not the least of which is fashionably hauling your stuff.  So after mulling over Donna Karan’s Eldridge bag, I wonder why more designers have not jumped on board this idea?

Eldridge Bag Eldridge Bag
Eldridge Bag

Eldridge Bag

Donna Karan Eldridge 4 in 1 Convertible Bag

The printed leather version looks fun for spring, while the black version is a year-round keeper.  Normally I’m not into pleated anything, but on the Eldridge, it doesn’t bother me.  It starts off as a classic tote, but you can use the snaps on the bottom and adjustable straps for four different looks, including a shoulder bag or casual cross-body look.  I’ve never paid much attention to Donna Karan handbags, but now I’m on notice.  The details of the Eldridge are done just right and I’m curious to see what else this line has to offer.

Double Bag It
January 26 | Bag Review

“It” bags are supposed to be a thing of the past, but I think this one is definitely going to be on the radar of many fashion conscious gals.

Vanessa Bruno Jacket

Mulberry Alexa Bag

I am actually a bit ambivalent about Mulberry because a few years back, I bought a Bayswater bag and the lock literally fell apart just three months after I bought it.  That was really disappointing.  So I haven’t really been keen on brand ever since, but the Alexa Bag drawing me back a little.  It definitely reminds me of the Proenza Schouler PS1 bag.

Vanessa Bruno Jacket

PS1 Medium Satchel 

Um, who am I kidding?  These look remarkably similar… almost too similar.   But I really like that you can carry a bit of sunshine with the cheerful yellow colored Alexa bag.  The cross-body strap is nice too.  And the Mulberry bag is about four hundred dollars less than the PS1.  For either amount though, these bags should be made with durability in mind.  You aren’t shelling out peanuts for these babies. 

Cuckoo for Coco/Rocco?
November 18, 2009 | Bag Review

Yes, I am jumping on this bandwagon a bit late, but I have been going back and forth about the Alexander Wang studded duffle bag for months.

Kiki James Travel
Alexander Wang Rocco Nickel Studded Duffle Bag

On the one hand, it has all the cool cred you can think of: hot young designer, fashion muse early-adopter Mary-Kate Olsen, fall’s big stud trend.  But I have a few issues with Coco/Rocco.  It looks a bit saggy as these duffle bags tend to do.  Maybe it’s the added weight of the studs.  Maybe it’s the inherent design of the bag.  Who knows?  Without seeing it in real life, I can’t say for sure.  Also the handles bother me a bit.  I know it’s a true handbag in that it’s meant to be carried but with the saggy profile, it begs for the option to be worn on the shoulder.  I’ve seen pictures of women who can do that but it may not always be an option when worn with outerwear or if you just have a bigger arm circumference.

There’s also a lot of confusion over the name… Coco, Rocco, Rococo?  You can always rely on the ladies at the Purse Forum to get to the bottom of things (silver studs = Rocco, gold studs = Coco) but it seems merchants are still confused.  Oh well, it is still selling like hotcakes.

What annoys me is I keep going back to it.  I love the color of gorgeous grey leather and I want to get my hands on the black pebbled leather.  Maybe I would like it if I saw it.  I’m not into heavy studs, but it is very of the moment.  Anyway, at $850 it’s not as expensive as other designer handbags, but it certainly isn’t a bargain either.   I’m definitely not ready to pull the trigger on this baby quite yet.  But if you’re reading this and want to get in on the action, you’d better act quickly because these bags seem to sell out faster than you can click a mouse.

A New Classic
October 30 | Bag Review

Balenciaga could unveil a handbag made out of twist ties and plastic baggies and I’d still think it was genius.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but I love me some Balenciaga.

Printed Neoclassic
Small Printed Neoclassic Bag

This little number has definitely caught my eye.  I love the chevron print – it almost looks like ikat and gives it a graphic, yet soft look.  Balenciaga motorcycle bags are a true classic but it might be time to mix it up a bit. 


On the Fringe
September 29, 2009 | Favorite Things

Fringe bags seem to have found new life this season.  I keep seeing different versions of this look.  Normally, I’m not into fringe – boho isn’t my cup of tea – but this bag works for me.

Tory Burch
Tory Burch Flapper Clutch

Tory Burch came up with a fringe look that looks just right.  Maybe it’s the rather conservative shape that helps make this bag sophisticated despite the fringe.  A nice balance for sure and something that looks wearable day or night.   I like the detachable strap too.  My one concern is whether the fringe ends up looking a bit mangled if you wear your bag a lot.   Someone will have to clue me in on that.


Favorite Things


Bag Review
Mirror, Mirror
Best in Beauty
Product Reviews
Mane Event
Skin Deep

Shoes, Glorious Shoes
Pump fetish
Get the boot
Sweet sandals
Ballet flats
Fashion Vice favorites

Searching for...
Trend watch
Outer wear
Jean scene
Dress for success
In the bedroom
Cheap perfection

Shop Portland
Collections Agent

  ©2014 Fashion Vice