This is the case when one version of a design fails to impress, while another iteration is nothing short of genius. I've seen the satin fold-over flap version of the Lanvin Genereux on several websites and in person and had what can best be described as a lukewarm reaction to it. "Just another frilly, feminine and slightly impractical Lanvin bag", I thought to myself. Those were my feelings until I saw this sumptuous leather version of the design on net-a-porter.com.
Now this is what I call an improvement. An unremarkable silk finish was replaced with a rich brown grained leather exterior. The boring front flap is gone. In its stead - a metal framed rectangular silhouette with a stone embellished clasp closure and antique gold hardware. The bag is more vintage elegance than cutesy kitsch. They've added a slit pocket along the front of the bag for some added convenience. Not that 7 x 4 x 2 dimensions will afford one much in that area, but this design is meant to be more of a cocktail hour shoulder bag than a practical day bag. My absolute favorite part of the design is its hidden versatility. The chiffon-encased chain strap serves several purposes. Use it as intended or remove it. The latter option leaves you with a smart clutch as well as a necklace and stone-encrusted bracelet to boot. Transforming an outfit from daytime casual to evening chic has never been easier.
I'll be the first to concede the 'Genereux's' $1610 price tag is a bit much for such a small bag, but the detailing and multi-purpose shoulder strap on this bag certainly justify it. You're getting a bag and accessories in one dainty package, and that is a clever way to shop during a recession.