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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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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The Ultimate Handbag Guide: Part II

Handbag Styles

A handbag is a handbag right? Wrong! There are many different styles out there. Here's a quick look at the most popular styles right now.

The Shoulder Bag

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Photo: Zac Posen Daisy Bag:
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With the exception of clutches and handheld bags (bags with handles too small or short to be worn over the shoulder), most handbags fit into this category. Every woman should have at least one shoulder bag in her wardrobe. They’re practical (but that doesn’t mean that can’t be stylish!) and come in handy on shopping trips, out running errands or for the office. They free up your hands to carry other items.

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Golden Globe Winners and the Best Dressed Celebrities

So the Golden Globes was an hour long "press conference" ...  we can still critique what celebrities wear right? Of course! Here is my list of the best-dressed actresses:

Katie Holmes

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Nicole Kidman

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Reese Witherspoon

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Lucy Liu

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Jessica Alba

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Rachel Bilson

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Hot Handbag: Metallic Clutch

Evening or Day clutch

Granted there are a lot of cute clutches out there but how often does that adorable evening clutch pull double duty as a day handbag? That’s one of the reasons I love the No Strings Clutch (novel name right?) by Rebecca Minkoff, and apparently so does Hayden Panettiere.

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BCBG Satin Clutch: Belisi Spotlight

Metallic clutches are just as hot this season as the last. This satin and mesh BCBG clutch is so of the moment it’s perfect for special events or after work cocktails.

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Summer Trends: What to Wear

This summer is all about bright, playful colors and patterns. For women, everything is casual—even work clothes are lighter and brighter. The generational influences run the gamut of 50s glam to 70s bohemian to 80s rocker.

Tunics and free flowing tops rank high on the wish list for summer, like this fluid empire top from Nordstrom .


For tops, dresses and skirts it’s all about thick stripes, modern geometric patterns and nautical themes. For a re-interpretation of the bold stripes look, I like this Ella Moss dress.

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Look like an Oscar starlet

There’s no shame in zoning out on a Sunday afternoon watching the pre-Oscar special on E! Unfortunately, all those martinis the night before caused you to doze in and out of a splendid nap. In between dreams of Leonardo DiCaprio you caught snippets of seemingly useful fashion and beauty advice (imagine that, information you can actually use from a celebrity gossip station).

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