Monday, July 28, 2008

Its in The Bag

Over the weekend I had a conversation with a friend and we were talking shop....bags, clutch bags to be precise.

I have a long standing love affair with clutch bags. They're what I started with for Tiger Tem, I own too many to count and I love a good clutch bag.

So when my friend said she didn't own one or particularly like them...I had to slowly pick my jaw off the floor. Don't like clutch bags? That's like saying don't like heels? Non?

She went on to explain after losing every clutch bag she'd owned as they either go stolen when she put them down or she kept forgetting them in clubs/bars/restaurants, she discovered the clutch bag underdog, the shoulder bag.

Never been a fan of the shoulder bag, I'm a day bag by day and a clutch bag by night kinda girl, but I felt inspired to do some major research into relatively unchartered territory. AND I haven't done a big fat bag post for ages.

So ladies, here's my selection of the best evening shoulder bags around, I've separated them into three price categories to make the looking, lusting, and choosing a little easier. As always half the fun of shopping is the aspiration and uberstylish ideas to emulate.

(I've done a straight swap with currencies which is what most retailers do i.e. $500 = £500 so if you're earning pounds, take advantage of the weak currency and promote yourself to a higher spending category by ordering online from the US!)


Big Pimpin $500/£500 and above
I'll start with the biggest pimpin of all shoulder bags. The Chanel 2.55. Gotta love it. And this is the original chainlink strap, made even more popular by Marc Jacobs but if you're looking for a cheaper option choose carefully. Nothing like crappy hardware to kill a bag.

In second position to the Big Pimpin throne is the Fendi Baguette. One of the things I love about Fendi bags is they take their time honing one fabulous shape then offer it in a multitude of colours, prints, fabrics which keeps it all quite interesting and all the more covetable.

I'm in all types of love with the Jimmy Choo troy. Its a rather sizeable evening shoulder bag and in gold its a little more blingtastic than I'd like but its just so damn fabulous. £

I like this Jimmy Choo Discorama, partly because of the name but partly because its so unusual looking. Again no love lost for me with gold leather, but I'm loving that arabic style hardware detail at the bottom. A little tip, great hardware makes a bag look superexpensive and its always the little details like these that set the Big Pimpers apart from the Not Quite Pimpin Yet.

Hmm. I love the combination of chocolate and jade green and the peacock print on this,the double strap. I LOVE this bag. And you know it would look fabulous for all occasions, a black tie event to a night out rocking your baddest jeans. Valentino £

Mr McQueen had me at hello with the fabulous Novak bag but I think I actually prefer the mini Novak. See that hardware in the middle? And the detail on the straps....that the good stuff. The very good stuff. £770

The Chloe 'Gina' is a more understated choice. The supersoft buttery nappa leather is not for kids or to be used near kids as its the stuff that gets grubby really easily. All the more reason why a superclean one looks divinely luxurious. £597.

I'm a little undecided about the new Prada Campaign bag. Its called the Champagne and Caviar...great name. But I think all those ruffles would really irritate me. Anyway, its looks fabulous in this picture! $

I love me some GoldenBleu and this Audra fuses the classic Chanel quilting and chain strap with very modern red patent and I just love that double clasp thing, so useful!

For someone that doesn't like gold bags that much I seem to have a lot on this page. (they photograph well, that's my excuse). This python skin bag from Pauric Sweeney is a little tougher and less pretty pretty thanks to the chocolate brown braided strap. Me likey.

Medium Pimpin $150/£150- $500/£500

Corto Moltedo is a relatively new name in the bag business...and you know being son of the Bottega Veneta founders must have been one serious leg up...but I'm not sipping from the cup of hatorade...I'm just stating the facts! I love this bag, the colour, the fact that it folds over, the braid detail, the gold studs (see? good hardware again). £

I'm loving the Gryson Elissa bag. Its tiny so supercute but the muted colours and the braid strap, chunky zip and clipped up sides give it a more rock edge. Me likey. $

I love Hollywould! Their designs are always fabulous feminine and fun and flirty. Love this wicker clutch with the delicate marine life detail. (very very good hardware). $ (p.s. check out their site, they got a ker-razy summer sale going on)

Love the strap detail on this Armani bag. Sign up for fabulous sample sales at for more of the same. $195 down from $450.

Some fabulousity from one of the biggest names in the business Anya Hindmarch. Love the pleats and that strap. £410

Botkier is a force to be reckoned with and their edgy, tough looking bags are a new favourite on my radar. Who knew one so small could look so tough? The Cairo was $407 now $285.

This is from fabulous Italian site Love the colour combo and the dragon crest makes it look uberexpensive...that and the chainlink and leather strap. Yes its a total rip off the Valentino, but at $269 I won't tell if you won't tell.

Matthew Williamson seems a little quiet these days but I love this honeycomb inspired bag. The beaded patches over the white leather make this a perfect summery party bag. £305.

Nothing quite beats the sexiness of a slick red bag and I'm loving this one from Julie K. The bow detail is just the cuteness. $160.

Its the unusual shape of this Furla bag that caught my attention. And the unusual shade of blue works a treat too. £155.

Again the combination of unusual shape and colour is always going to catch my eye. And this is a perfect night out bag. Just enough room for your phone, cash, make up, keys and camera. The Jalda 'Doris' is $430 and available from

Not Quite Pimpin Yet $150/£150 and below

I wouldn't be Tiger if I didn't engage in some shameless plugging. This fabulous purple suede and gold croc bag with the antiqye gold strap (FYI antique gold straps look MUCH better than the 24k type). This is the fabulous little Sao Tome from Tiger Tem $150.

Absolutely fabulous winged detail on this handy edgy little bag from Blush B-lush. £175.

Melie Bianco hails from LA and is making a name for themselves with their affordable 'interpretations' of runway style. I love the bold green of this foldover bag, and the raw edges and at $58...what's not to love?

Baghaus is another californian company that's doing brisk trade with their 'catwalk inspired' creations. Love this red bag, careful with the hardware though, it would have to look really good up close to pass the test! $

Betsey Johnson is one of those smart designers who does a budget line. Hers is called Betseyville and I love this oversized vintage inspired bag. $110

How cute is this accordion shaped bag? $150 from Bliss Lau at

This adorable sunny yellow clutch is from a company better known for their gloves, Dents. Love the contrast of colour and the beaded strap. £28.

Forzieri are an Italian company that produce their own brand in fabulous little ancient manufacturers in Tuscany. If that hasn't sold this shimmery bronze leather bag to you, maybe the $94 price tag will.

Calfhair bags have been a long standing favourite of mine and this print on the calf hair makes this Kate Landry bag look infinitely more expensive than its $65 price tag.

And last but not least on what must be my longest blog post ever, this canvas Marc Jacobs printed hobo. At £125 you know its Marc by Marc Jacobs and not Marc Jacobs, but its all good, its supercute.


bunmi said...

LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE the tigertem clutch and i can't wait to visit your new boutique later this week! speaking of which, i'm a little stuck as to where the cool places to hang are in lagos. could you PLEASE do a post on this? i'm in lagos for 2 wks and would love to get in on the fun. cool places to shop (your favorite boutiques), eat, club, that type of stuff! oh, by the way, LOVED you in 'genevieve' :) HOT STUFF!

thank you in advance and sorry for the wahala.


Oyinkan said...

Yay! my favourite topic -- bags! It's a long post too :-) I love the Valentino peacock print bag and you are right about its versatility.

I also like the Pauric Sweeney python skin bag although I could have sworn it was YSL when I first saw it because of the shape and the design of the strap.

My next pick is the Matthew Williamson. I love the beaded patchwork and I agree about it being summery.

I love your bag too ofcourse for being the most unique in style and shape when compared to any bag out there. Good Job!

The Melie Bianco bag is the first foldover that made my heart skip a beat and its affordable too ( I wonder if they ship to the UK, would be cheaper that way too :-)

It feels like i just did a post instead of a comment but thats what you get when you let me talk about handbags.


d bag with d snake buckle scares me. But besides dat 1 the other bags look mwah! mwah!!!

Tiger Tem said...

@bunmi...thanks. Good idea, I did one for a friend a while ago so email me and I'll reply with the updated list.

@oyinkan...that makes it a top topic for both of us...that's what got me into the field I'm in. One day I will own that Valentino. Very true about the Pauric looking like a YSL. Google Melie Bianco and I'm sure you can find a site that will ship to the UK, try amazon.

@someone else's know snakes scare me too but I still love that bag!

naijafashionfreak said...

what a lovely selection...the tigertem one is just a darl...big fan of Mr Mcqueen any day, anytime and the novak bag got me all excited...and Mattew becoming one of my fav designers...

Tiger Tem said...

@naijafashionfreak...thanks...and I love me some McQueen too.