Prada Leopard Calf Hair Bags

I’ve been having an animal print moment lately, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it started several months ago when I saw that gorgeous Stephen Sprouse for Louis Vuitton leopard print scarf, or maybe some innate part of me just wants to spruce up the sheer enormity of my collection of black clothes (last count of black day dresses: over a dozen). I recently bought a pair of leopard print flats from Nordstrom to replace a boring pair of black office shoes that had finally met their maker (seriously, they smelled like feet) and today I find myself strangely entranced by the Prada Leopard Calf Hair Large Bowler Bag. The shape is very simple, the trim and hardware are almost nonexistant, and it’s all done in print. It’s not leather, so normally I’d keep right on looking for something interesting to write about, but today, I think I could use a little calf-hair leopard in my life. Buy through Bluefly for $2,376.

Prada Soft Calf Tote

Left: Pearl Ivory; Right: Silver

Is this boring? Maybe, but in this economy you have to go with practical and classic. Besides, isn't that why we all fell in love with Prada in the first place? For the clean simplicity? I love the big pleat detail and the subtle buckles on the side. But it's the colors that I am really in love with. Pearlized ivory and silver are so lovely for the winter and I don't need to point out the obvious fact that it goes with absolutely everything. The slight shimmer is just what you need for a bit of flash while staying perfectly neutral. It is kind of like nude lip gloss - you can't go nude nude unless there is some shimmer. I have been off Prada for a long time but their shoes is what got me back in favor and oddly, it is spilling over to the bags. I don't like the metal letters logo, I wish they would go back to the embossed logo but I am ok with it, I have to be, I have no choice. But I definitely draw the line at the "Prada" on their shoes, who the heck wants stuff written on their shoes? Tote available at Neiman Marcus for $1695.

Valentino Shopping Couture Bags

valentinosoleil.jpg Valentino has a new spring handbag collection called Shopping Couture. Designed by (Accessories designers and the new RTW designers) Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, it is a series of 10 different handbags that are each unique and elaborate. They range from hand pleated leather with studs and grommets to a tote entirely covered with peacock feathers. These luxurious totes incorporate all the iconic Valentino Haute Couture details like the roses, embroideries, ribbons. The bags will be in stores beginning late November and a few will be released every couple of months through April. Prices range from $2995 to $5895.

We've gone back and forth on Valentino bags, some we love, some we don't. But whatever our opinions, the brand keeps us engaged and interested. The tote above is called the Soleil - one of the 10 Shopping Couture handbags - a graphic design draws the rays of a couture sun, the curling element is secured by noticeable hand-stitching; transforming an artisan process in a detail. I am intrigued by this tote, it reminds me of the Maison pintucked bag but is even more intricate in design. Maybe it's because I am an August baby and ruled by the Sun but I love it! $3,395 at Valentino boutiques and Neiman Marcus. What do you think?