Italian Handbag Trends

What defines a luxury handbag has changed in the past year — from exotic bags loaded with expensive hardware, charms, buckles and other ornaments to more timeless and elegant handbags that make a statement without making its owner look like a show-off.

 

On a recent trip to Italy, I was surprised to find the boutiques filled with more subdued designer handbags. While still remarkable in quality, the bags that lined the windows of Prada, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci lacked extensive ornamentation or the daring patterns these designers are known for. Instead they offered solid leather handbags in a variety of colors, including red and yellow. Styles ranged from hobo bags to structured handbags in all sizes—oversized to clutch. On past trips to Italy, I’ve noticed that not many Italian women carry clutches but I saw a few stores carrying them on this last visit—mostly long, flat and oversized.

 

Weaved satchel, totes and bucket bags are hot this season—with black and brown leather purses and handbags being the choicest options. Women in Italy get a lot of use of their handbags; they take them from day to evening for all types of activities, so the bags they choose are of the highest quality.

 

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An Introduction to Handbag Manufacturing

Where Do Handbags Come From?

 

Have you ever wondered where your designer handbag came from and what went in to making it? And how does a handbag go from an idea to a finished product and why do they cost so much?

 

Bringing a handbag or purse design to life is an involved process—and the higher the quality of the bag, the more thought goes into its creation. The process usually begins with a sketch; however before any drawings can move into production, the designer needs to consider the latest handbag trends to ensure that the finished product will fit into current styles, meet consumer demands and offer enough differentiation to make the bag unique from others on the market.

 

A skilled pattern maker will use the drawings to create a paper model or prototype of the bag and an official pattern that will be used to create the entire luxury handbag collection. But before the bags can be made, the materials and colors must be selected. For example, one handbag could come in several colors or types of leather, from soft, calfskin leather to ostrich. The silhouette plays an important role in selecting the type of leather; a structured shoulder bag should use a more durable and stiff leather while a hobo or slouchy handbag would use softer, more pliable leather.

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After the materials are selected, a leather cutter will cut the leather for each handbag and prepare it for stitching. This is a delicate process that requires a skilled leather worker, which contributes to the cost of an authentic handbag. Each piece must be cut perfectly to correspond to the handbag pattern—only an experienced leather cutter will know how to best work with specific types of leather to ensure that the end result is perfect.

 

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Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Fashion Goes Tribal

Animal prints have held steady for the past few seasons but with this new crop of wild things hitting the market, you can really express yourself in tribal fashion.



Muxo by Camila Alves Totisse Cross Body Bag


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What’s your Sex & the City Purse-onality?

Handbags from Sex & the City

The Sex & the City movie is what everyone is talking about. Every woman has a character she most identifies with—is it Carrie and her fashion dare devilism? Or Charlotte and her Upper East side sophistication? The fabulous SATC foursome has fondness for handbag designers like Chloe, Chanel, Prada and Robert Cavalli. In the Sex & the City movie, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are toting some of their favs, with some new additions like Nancy Gonzalez and a $2,750 Swarovski crystal-encrusted Eiffel Tower purse.

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Handbag Trend: Color Blocking

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Some trends never make it off the runway — and with good reason. But colorblocking is making a big splash from Prada to Chloe in a variety of fashion categories including apparel, jewelry and handbags.

Colorblocking is a visual technique that posits brilliant blocks of color all over in one stretch of hue or contrasting colors. The result can be bold or subtle. I love this exotic clutch by Julie K.


Natalie Sleek Clutch in Brown Exotic

Fall Handbag Trends

We’ve grown accustomed to putting some handbags away at the turn of the seasons as styles change from whimLilysical in summer to more romantic and sophisticated in the fall. But for Fall 2008, pretty much anything goes. While toting a big straw bag is probably not the best way to accessorize for a brisk fall day, a small rattan clutch with serious hardware is still au currant. Of course trends like jeweled clutches are more appropriate as the mercury drops but fun wristlets and slouchy hobo bags and oversized satchels like the Lily Satchel by D&G will transition seamlessly.

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2008 Summer Handbag Trends

I'm always excited to check out the latest seasonal trends to find out what colors, textures, fabrics and shapes are the most popular. While we can always look forward to an of-the-moment trend, each season ushers in many return trends -- and for summer this means oversized canvas totes and wicker bags, fun colors and a more casual look.

Classics like satchel handbags and shoulder bags will always have a place in the lineup. You should always have a tried-and-true handbag in your closet no matter what. With that said, let's take a look at this seasons hottest handbag trends.

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Fashion Myths De-Bunked

Why does it seem like the fashion powers-that-be are always contradicting themselves? If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck ...

So one minute you have to match your handbag to your shoes and the next you absolutely should not perfectly match your accessories. It's a crazy world out there and who can keep all the fashion rules straight? They're always changing any way! Here are some fashion "DON'Ts" that are really fashions DOs!

111507_bosworth_200x400 Wear more than one pattern at a time

Obviously, you have to use some discretion here. You don't want to wear a leopard print dress with a zebra scarf. Choose a main pattern and let other patterns compliment it. Scarves, when worn correctly, are a great way to accent a great pattern on a dress or skirt. Actress like Kate Bosworth knows how to mix and match patterns.






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The Ultimate Handbag Guide: Part III


What does your handbag say about you?

Like the clothes you wear, your handbag sends a message. Whatever style handbag you carry, make sure that you take good care of it and keep it well organized. If you take your bag with you to meetings and you’re always riffling around looking for pens through a scuffed up handbag, you won’t send a good message.

In general you can gauge pretty accurately a women's level of "flashiness" by her handbag. If she's carrying a zebra print bag, she wants to get noticed. Chances are she's single and likes to take chances. A woman with a humongous tote that's virtually empty, spare the essentials, enjoys being pampered and knows what she wants. On the other hand, a girl whose handbag is filled to the brim is on the go and doesn't like to be left unprepared. She could have kids, too, so having a mobile drugstore comes in handy.

So you've got your dream bag ... what does it say about you? Keep reading and find out!

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How to wear a scarf

What's the most versatile accessory? Nope, it's not a handbag or a pair of shoes. Silk scarves can instantly create multiple looks from the same outfit, tie back your hair, double as a halter top, swimsuit coverup or keep your shoulders warm on a breezy evening. They travel well (you can tuck them into your handbag, carry-on or suitcase) and they never go out of style.

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