If you think about haute couture (high fashion), you’re likely to think of Paris, France. Paris has always been at the forefront of world fashion. Clothing designed in France makes it all around the world in a matter of weeks, with similar designs soon showing up from London to Hong Kong. French accessories aren’t any different. Accessories designed in Paris are big business and often affect accessories fashion for the rest of the world. In 2009, the must-have French accessories are handbags, or purses, as the Americans call them. French handbags are known all over the world. From Louis Vuitton and Chanel to Etienne Aigner and Yves Saint Laurent, to lower priced but still beautiful bags from the likes of Jerome Gruet.
Started in 1893, Chanel is one of the most loved handbag designers in the world. This year’s Chanel handbags are gorgeous, many of them with the typical Chanel chain handle, and all of them with the very familiar Chanel logo. En vogue colors are gray, red and black with some beiges and pinks thrown in for a little splash of color.
Louis Vuitton designs luxury leather luggage and purses. The Stephen Sprouse collection is popular this year, with bags having either the traditional brown and cream Louis Vuitton design base then overlaid with enormous red and pink flowers or with brightly colored graffiti on the same Louis Vuitton background.
Yves Saint Laurent , another of the high-end bag designers, has some sweet clutch purses for 2009 that are designed to look like the front of an envelope, complete with stamp and postmark. Adorable. They come in black or ivory patent leather. In tote bags, Yves Saint Laurent has a similar design that they call the Y-Mail Patent Tote Bag. Priced at around $500, it’s actually not a bad price for something so unique and so exquisitely made.
Jerome Gruet has a little shop in Paris that specializes in beautiful quality canvas bags with contrasting trims. Jerome Gruet bags are great for a woman who likes a larger bag, because she carries everything with her including the kitchen sink.
Finally, check out Catherine Zarzecki who specializes in small handbags and clutches. What makes Catherine Zarzecki stand out is all of the accents on her bags are made with semi-precious stones. In 2009, she’s gone with red, black, blues and greens with some very special limited edition silver clutch bags.
Whatever your bag style though, you’ll find anything you’re looking for in Paris.