Anya Hindmarch Capability Raffia-Embroidered Woven Straw Tote: Right On the Hindmarch

Anya Hindmarch Capability Tote

I already love the Anya Hindmarch Capability bag. I have it in canvas and nylon, and true to its name, it’s a fight not to use it constantly. The oversized pockets are great for holding everything, yet it looks streamlined. Not like a bulky photographer’s camera bag with bulging pockets everywhere.

But a new version in raffia with amazing embroidery is clearly the standout beauty. This is what summer’s all about, or at least what it should be: light to the touch, airy to the eye, and breezy to behold. Overtly raw edges give the relaxed feel a tote with this spirit requires, but true to Anya’s always immaculate aesthetic, the bag is crisp and exact. There’s no souvenir-straw bag sloppiness. The embroidery is pristine, and the handles come in raw, tan leather to top off the clean feel. The ultimate summer tote: easy and laid back for beach while polished enough for every day in the city. On Net-a-Porter for $795.

Pair with: A rockstud sandal by Valentino is always a no-brainer, but their latest gladiator is a must. Clear PVC straps topped with nude vitello leather: it doesn’t get more refreshing than this for your feet. At Neiman Marcus for $1,095.

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10 Gorgeous Clutches Worthy of the Oscars Red Carpet

10 Gorgeous Clutches Worthy of the Oscars Red Carpet

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from covering the evenings bags that stars carried at the Golden Globes, Grammys and SAG Awards this season, it’s that relatively few celebs are willing to take a chance with an interesting clutch for a stroll down the red carpet. Perhaps their stylists just don’t think about it amidst all the dress drama, or maybe they’re afraid that anything that distracts from the dress is a unwanted opportunity to pull focus away from getting the star onto the Best Dressed List. Either way, the result leaves much to be desired.

We have some ideas (as we are wont to have) on how stars can do better in the future. Like, say, for this weekend’s 2013 Academy Awards. We’ve picked the 10 best, most interesting evening bags available on the Internet right now, and we’ll get back to you on Tuesday with news of whether or not any stars followed our (extremely sage) advice. In the meantime, scope out the clutches in the slideshow below.

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Let’s Get Weird: Oddball Bags for the Eccentric in You

Let’s Get Weird: Oddball Bags for the Eccentric in You

One of the toughest victories in fashion is wearing a genuinely odd piece without looking like it’s wearing you. Such a feat requires great attention to detail and a sharp sense of styling; if the elements don’t fit together properly, the entire look topples over. It also requires, of course, the taste and willingness necessary to pick the perfect eccentric piece. When all of those things come together, you’ll never see a better outfit.

If you’ve had your fill of the basics and have your bag bases covered when it comes to both neutrals and brights, maybe it’s time to indulge your inner oddball. We’ve got a few bag-centric suggestions, of course, but this is one of those times when you have to listen to your instincts and only your instincts, because your brain will put the kibosh on most of this stuff before your creativity can even kick in to full gear. Check out our picks below or let us know what ill-advised bag you’re currently lusting after in the comments.

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The Best Bag Deals for the Weekend of January 25

The Best Bag Deals for the Weekend of January 25

I feel like I know you guys at this point, so I’m going to be straight with you: I’m feeling a little bit under the weather today. (Wash your hands and take your vitamins, kids, it’s really going around this winter.) With that in mind, I’d like to get directly to the heart of the matter: it’s Friday, and that means we have some bags that you might want to buy on the (relatively) cheap.

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The Many Bags of Olivia Palermo

The Many Bags of Olivia Palermo

When I write one of our Many Bags of… features, I always find myself feeling one of two ways by the time I’m done: Either I walk away with a newfound respect for the personal style choices of the featured celebrity, or I’m barely containing an urge to punch her in the face for being tedious/pretentious/boring/what have you. Assembling these photos takes a lot of time, after all, and it can make you feel like you’ve gotten to know a celeb pretty well by the end.

When I started dissecting the handbag collection of Olivia Palermo, I assumed my reaction was going to be of the latter variety; for no particular reason, I’ve never been much of a fan. To my delight, my feelings are now the exact opposite – Palermo has a great bag collection, particularly when it comes to Dior, and her personal style is well-honed to the pinnacle urban femininity. That her super hot boyfriend Johannes Huebl is in many of the photos also doesn’t hurt. Check out Olivia’s awesome bag collection below.

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The Many Bags of Olivia Palermo

The Many Bags of Olivia Palermo

When I write one of our Many Bags of… features, I always find myself feeling one of two ways by the time I’m done: Either I walk away with a newfound respect for the personal style choices of the featured celebrity, or I’m barely containing an urge to punch her in the face for being tedious/pretentious/boring/what have you. Assembling these photos takes a lot of time, after all, and it can make you feel like you’ve gotten to know a celeb pretty well by the end.

When I started dissecting the handbag collection of Olivia Palermo, I assumed my reaction was going to be of the latter variety; for no particular reason, I’ve never been much of a fan. To my delight, my feelings are now the exact opposite – Palermo has a great bag collection, particularly when it comes to Dior, and her personal style is well-honed to the pinnacle urban femininity. That her super hot boyfriend Johannes Huebl is in many of the photos also doesn’t hurt. Check out Olivia’s awesome bag collection below.

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Top 5 Small Essentials: All the Small Things

Marc by Marc Jacobs Wristlet, Maison Martin Margiela Wallet, Balenciaga Pouch, Ms. and Mrs. Mini Emergency Kit, Anya Hindmarch Travel Pouch

They say you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, and that’s particularly easy when you’ve come prepared. A roomy bag is only as good as the stuff you’ve got in it…Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, but the quality of your life is greatly improved when all the little things are in place. Here, five super-functional essentials, scaled-down for your convenience:

1. Marc by Marc Jacobs Chalky Liz Phone Box WristletCute and handy, this itty-bitty wristlet mimics the shape of your iPhone but keeps it encased in a chic, snake-embossed clutch. On Shopbop for $228.

2. Maison Martin Margiela Clip Clutch Wallet: Usually impractical, Margiela goes brilliantly effectual with this wallet. It boasts a foldover coin pouch that doesn’t bulge and interfere with the closing when you actually put coins in it, like so many other leather wallets. On Farfetch for $749.11.

3. Balenciaga Pocket Zip PouchYou know I’m all about doubling the storage power of clutches and pouches. Balenciaga does it the best way possible: by making it look almost too good to be true. Graphic and strong, this is a minimalist classic. At Barneys New York for $345.

4. Ms. & Mrs. Miniemergency Kit For Her: This little lifesaver has everything you can think of – and some items that you haven’t. A tiny marvel that fits in the palm of your hand, you’ll be shocked so much can fit in this cute little pouch. So perfect as a stocking stuffer! At Sephora for $13.

5. Anya Hindmarch In-Flight Patent Leather-Trimmed Travel CaseBright and compact, there’s something irresistible about Anya’s cosmetic pouches. Whether for travel or just always in your bag, this is an essential you really can’t function without. On Net-a-Porter for $250.

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Top 5 Uncommon Totes: Totes Amazing!

Marni, Proenza Schouler, Anya Hindmarch, Zagliani, Dsquared2 Totes

They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but when it comes to totes, the go-to for busy days and even busier girls, it’s what’s on a bag that counts. Up the eccentricity, get in touch with your silly side, or increase the loluxe factor by leaps and bounds with these rare new additions:

1. Marni Printed Vinyl and Leather ToteParrots, leafs, bandana inspiration, and graphic stripes come together in chic, celebratory fashion for brightened-up weekend days.
On Net-a-Porter for $350.

2. Proenza Schouler PS1 Small Hot Pink Suede Shopper Tote: Proenza always provides a boost, and there’s simply no competition for this color, which reeks of upbeat femininity.
On Ssense for $822 (from $1,175).

3. Anya Hindmarch Nevis Lady Printed Canvas and Leather ShopperThis oil painting is a real steal! The Duchess of Beaufort makes for a sly and quirky feature on this otherwise sleek tote.
On Net-a-Porter for $395.

4. Dsquared2 Large Alberta Doll Printed PVC Tote: Ideal for loading up on books, magazines, and gadgets, a playful print never hurts when it comes to a casual toss-around tote.
On Luisa via Roma for $395.

5. Zagliani Python ToteA black tote sounds like a ticket to Dullsville, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: python changes everything!
At Barneys New York for $3,800.

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Top 5 Holiday Kitsch Bags: Deck the Halls…And Your Hands

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When it comes to the holidays, there is no such thing as too cheesy. As it goes with the kooky sweater, another December classic, this is the time of year to embrace the tackiness and let your inner cheeseball out. Have fun at holiday parties, get into the spirit (and perhaps the eggnog), and never be the party pooper. From ribbons and bows to sparkle and pop, “gay apparel” is mandatory!

1. Anya Hindmarch Scrooge Metallic Clutch: They say the best gifts come in small packages, don’t they? The name might be Scrooge, but this is all-the-way uplifting. On My Theresaicon for $494.

2. Overture Judith Leiber Kayla Mini-Clutch: If now isn’t the time to break out the Leiber clutches, then never is. Her little-sis brand brings modern holographic leather to the mix. On BagSnob for $295.

3. Valentino Bow-Detailed Satin Clutch: It simply doesn’t get more festive than a great, floppy red satin bow. All you need is some mistletoe, and you’re good to go. On Net-a-Porter for $447.50 (from $895).

4. Christian Louboutin Elisa Bow-Embellished Suede Clutch: Or take your bow with some functionality. I love the way this decorative detail doubles as a super-chic handle, so you can clutch to your heart’s content. On Net-a-Porter for $1,095.

5. Prada Jeweled Clutch Bag: Emerald enchantment doesn’t just come by way of a lit-up Christmas tree. Prada’s unapologetic way with jewels will trump any star in the room. At Neiman Marcusicon for $2,110.

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Cruising the Cruise Collections: Season’s Greetings

Alexander McQueen, Maiyet, Marni, Proenza Schouler, Anya Hindmarch Cruise Bags

When it comes to the desire for an investment with longevity, Cruise is your best bet. I learned this lesson years ago, when Mr. de la Renta educated me on the importance of Cruise. It is the one collection that stays in the stores the longest (without hitting sale racks) and thus, the most important from a retail standpoint. Perhaps that’s why Cruise-collection bags tend to float seamlessly from month to month…to month. I love it because you can buy now and wear on a regular basis until next fall. December through September: what other season can you say that about?

Here’s what I’m craving for Cruise, from the garden-variety to the hole-hearted.

1. Alexander McQueen: The iconic knuckle-duster clutch gets some chinoiserie flavor. Hummingbirds are much prettier to look at than skulls, don’t you agree?

2. Anya Hindmarch: Anya has been creating bags for decades (since she was a grade-schooler, fashioning bags out of paper sacks!), and it shows. Defying trends, her latest bags are timeless (not to mention well-priced).

3. Proenza Schouler PS Clutch: P.S. I love you! No, I will never tire of my PS11, and now I need this cobalt PS clutch to join my arsenal of Proenza bags.

4. Maiyet: I’m not known to be one for folksy-flavored bags, but Maiyet’s version is polished and sophisticated, not hippie-dippie.

5. Marni: Continuing to play with perforations, Marni’s mod graphics are youthful – and somehow feel even fresher than they did the first go-round.

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