One of my favorite current trend in handbags is the perforated leather finish. It's a great way to spruce up an otherwise boring bag. My heart still lusts after the YSL perforated leather tote I featured back in October. In fact, every time I see it sitting on a shelf at Saks, I must take it out for a spin (the poor SA that sees me do this must ask herself why I just don't buy the stupid thing!). Trust me, if my handbag budget would allow it, that bag would have been on my arm a very long time ago. What drew me to the safe black tote was the perforated exterior. But even my unwavering affection for the YSL design cannot keep me from agreeing with others that the bag is a bit slim to fit the copious amounts of stuff I drag around on a daily basis. That's why I began a search for a roomier perforated leather bag, and I actually found one that is, dare I say it, better than the YSL bag I've been longing for.
The lambskin leather Jerome Dreyfuss Max Bag in cognac caught my eye a few weeks back, but that was when I was completely unaware a perforated leather version existed. Snap!!! Now they're speaking my language. The über-functional but rather pedestrian design gets a much needed kick in the you-know-what with an all white perforated leather exterior. Now the light-hued suede strap that sort of bugged me on the cognac iteration compliments the white leather beautifully. Now the overly-thick leather I questioned on the cognac bag appears chic and refined on the "perf" one. The difference between one bag and the other is quite remarkable. The "perf" bag not only possesses the same functional elements as the lambskin leather version, but it also has what was missing from the cognac bag - an understated modern elegance with a touch of pizazz.
I should mention all the "functional elements" I alluded to earlier. Dual top handles and a hobo-like strap offer two carrying options, and the multi-carrying option is a major trend in handbags. It's like getting two for the price of one. The bag has two large front zippered pockets, and zippered sides that allow the bag to expand to a whopping 7". That trumps the YSL by a country mile (sorry YSL). The Max Bag measures 17 x 13 x 7 (when fully expanded) and the top handles have a 5" drop while the shoulder strap offers a more comfortable 10" clearance.
If you're skittish about incorporating the perforated leather trend into your bag collection because you're scared the trend won't last, forget about it. The out-of-season rules simply don't apply when you're dealing with a bag like this. Think of the perforations as a print, not embellishments. Sequins and studs may become passé in a couple of seasons, but this particular trend can and will stand the test of time as long as the design it's used on is classic enough to pull it off. With the exception of trendy exotic finishes which will NEVER go out of style, the "perf" trend is your next best bet to be trendy without looking like a fashion victim in the near future. You can purchase either version discussed here via lagarconne.com, but, remember ladies, be adventurous and opt for the "perf" bag ($1120).