While there are loads of lovely accessories trends this fall¬--pointy pumps, chunky-knit scarves, heather-gray polish¬--if you're going to buy one accent piece, make it a leopard bag. It is, quite literally, the purr-fect piece for all of the season's best clothes, as it looks amazing paired with everything from ladylike silhouettes to grungier ensembles. Plus, we've already spotted some feline-influenced bags on stylesetters like Alexa Chung, so we know this print is primed to pounce!
Of all the best designer references out there, we highly suggest you look at Mulberry's F/W 10 show for incredibly illustrative examples of how to wear these bags in a chic way. The beloved British brand's Creative Director¬--the charming Emma Hill¬--embraced her sign (yes, she's a Leo) and sent out an assortment of big-cat bags styled with gorgeous, slightly sixties ensembles. The iconic Bayswater Bag ($2650) hit the runway in both Camel Leopard and Natural Giant Leopard prints, while the darling new Alexa Bag ($1250) turned up in Dark Purple Loopy Leopard Suede and Plum Loopy Leopard Quilted Denim. Meanwhile, the duo at Dolce & Gabbana offered up animal-print bags as companions to bombshell dresses made from sheer polka dot chiffon. We love the way the designers put the print on denim for their Miss Sicily Leopard Print Satchel ($1275), though the dressier Miss New Sicily Handbag ($2150) is excellent as well.
Apart from the runways, we've also noticed three top trendsetters are already leopard-print lovers¬--when it comes to their bags, at least! The reliably cool Alexa Chung has been toting around this key accessory for ages now, always wearing it in her effortlessly attractive way. Snapped at the PlayStation 3 backstage karaoke party at Glastonbury in late June, Chung wore a Barbor jacket, Tabio stockings, and Vivienne Westwood strappy shoes with her Russell and Bromley chain strap leopard bag. Apparently leopard is the choice for the musically inclined; Zoe Kravitz also picked an animal-print bag for a show, specifically the Spin 25th anniversary celebration concert with Smashing Pumpkins. Kravitz sported her Alexander Wang Diego Bucket Bag¬--sadly sold-out in this exact print¬--with a decidedly downtown vintage ensemble. Of course, the leopard handbag is an excellent choice for a sleek outfit too, as Kate Bosworth demonstrated at a Mulberry party in Los Angeles last month. The blonde fashion plate mixed Mulberry's Lily with Leopard Bag ($1595) in Natural Giant Leopard with a Fashion's Night Out t-shirt, Burberry's Bexton Stone Wash Jeans ($295), and a black patent pair of Stella McCartney Pumps ($675) for a sharply chic look.
If you're ready to wear these wonderful bags but looking for some additional options, your search is over, dear readers, as we've got animal-print pieces galore! Per last month's WWW: Hearts, 3.1 Phillip Lim has a pack of perfect styles available this fall. In addition to the Bowery Camera Bag ($650) we spotlighted, also check out Edie Bow Bag ($695) in Gray and the very simple Knap Sack Quilted Tote ($595). For those of you who are craving something with a shape similar to the Alexander Wang bag Kravitz is carrying, do check out Wendy Nichol's Leopard Bullet Bag ($600) for that bucket silhouette. You also might like Nichol's Leopard Satchel Bag ($595), which has a long strap and a cute flap shape. Last, but definitely not least, don't miss Topshop's Leopard Leather Shoulder Bag ($80)¬--affordable and adorable¬--or Coach's many iterations, like the Madison Ocelot Print Maggie Bag ($298) and the Hamptons Ocelot Crossbody ($328), all terribly cute options!