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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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:
eLuxuy.com

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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Handbags for all Mankind (or womankind anyway)

1709_thumbWhile I admittedly am over the 7 for All Mankind denim pocket design (let’s1670_thumb change it up people!), I am a fan of their new collection of sturdy oversized handbags like the Mixed Media Top Zip Satchel. I like the fun print and eye-catching details.

I also really like the 7 for All Mankind Pleated Straps Tote. For $895, you get a luxurious soft leather bag with pleats on the front and back. It’s a breath of fresh air not to have their company insignia monogrammed all over the bag too.


Photos: 7 for All Mankind

::A.Covington for The Divas Dreams

Stella McCartney designs for LeSportsac

I bought my first LeSportsac six years ago and it’s is still my favorite lightweight tote (my DVF being my favorite heavyduty travel bag). It’s classic, practical and stylish. It gives hope that we can live without leather … okay, maybe not. It comes as no surprise that environmentally responsible designer Stella McCartney has designed a collection of bags for LeSportsac, which will debut on LeSportsac.com in February (right around the corner ladies!).

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Feminine laptop bags: women's laptop bags that are functional and stylish

Img_rotate1 Functionally chic women’s laptop bags are hard to come by. One of my biggest complaints, and I’ve heard this from my friends too, is finding a women’s laptop bag that’s both feminine and functional. Most business women don’t want to carry around a pink briefcase with flowers on it, or lug around a bag meant for a 6ft tall man. And why does it seem that most women’s laptop cases don’t have shoulder support? Men have so many cool options; they can go, techy or sophisticated, casual or urban. All they have to do is walk into a store and find a plethora of laptop bags to choose from.

I have gone on a search and found some pretty good options. My favorite is the bag by Hayden Harnett. It’s not stiff like a lot of the laptop bags for women that I’ve seen, and it has a long adjustable shoulder strap.


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Are you ready for Swimsuit Season?

You know you've been thinking about it for the past six months. You knew swimsuit season was right around the corner. So why does it feel like it just crept up and caught you off-guard? It's okay. We're right there with you. Swimsuit styles are varied and flattering this season, with tons of 60s inspired bikinis and one pieces (Yes! One pieces are sexy and cool again!).

Here's a quick-hit list of some of my favorite suits with all the essential beach/pool gear for a red hot summer.

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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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