Bags Valentino Spring 2012 collection

Can we talk about Valentino's accessories? I realize that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli started at the brand designing the gorgeous bags and shoes, and have since become the creative directors. And the clothes for Spring 2012 are heavenly; inspired by Mexico, the dresses are stunning creations of lace and sheer fabrics. Seeing them in person does leave you a bit breathless.

But it's the accessories that really get me. For as ladylike as the Valentino frocks are, the bags and shoes are tough, sexy, and a little bit rock and roll. Just the way I like them. Pyramid studs adorn buttery leather bags; a series of fantastic clutches have a studded strap that emulates a knuckle-piece. Attention future dates: This is the key to my heart right here.

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Banana Republic unveiled its Spring 2012 collection the way one should: With a party! The wine flowed, the hors d'oeuvres were eaten, and a chill band played while editors caught the sunset. Our jobs are so hard, aren't they?

But the clothes! The themes were modern safari and Rio romance. Think tailored pieces with a floral kick, and chic khaki pieces (yes, khaki can be stylish). It was all very sexy—body skimming enough to remind you of Mad Men—but still very classic. These are pieces to wear to work but also pack for your vacation.

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Coach Spring 2012

Coach opened up its archives to editors for its Spring 2012 preview. We didn't get to pull from them or parade about in vintage bags (sigh). But we did get to ogle the pieces that, frankly, have withstood the test of time. All while enjoying the newest collection.

So what's new for spring? Well, hi-tops for one. Yes, there's a Coach sneaker and it's adorable. I'm not a sneaker wearer myself (unless my gym shoes count) but these will be a hit with fans no doubt. Coach does an excellent job of making affordable bags look expensive. They're well-made and rather subtle (unless you go for the logo-mania styles).

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