Collection Guide: Accessories Blackbook Spring 2011

This season, generally speaking and as far as accessories go, there was a much-wished-for return to sanity, with designers thinking big but staying realistic about what women can—and should—wear. The silhouettes were tamed, although no less impactful; bold colors replaced heavy hardware as a means of getting attention; and the heels were artful and elegant but lower to the ground. All in all, it was a wearable season full of innovation and desirably down-to-earth.

Woven

The texture that comes from incorporating techniques like braiding, knitting, and weaving into the accessories we saw this season makes a big statement; it is attention-getting, yes, but in a very wearable way. Bag: Yves Saint Laurent, Shoes: Prada

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From The Boys

Forget borrowing from your boyfriend—get your own! These pieces take their cues, quite literally, from menswear—including tailored trousers, wingtips, and attachés. Bag: Celine, Shoes: Prada

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Green Market Luxury

In an interesting turn, the high-end houses (think Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta) have decided to appropriate the low-end with down-to-earth flats, strappy sandals in natural hues, and sturdy totes that look built, albeit beautifully, for running errands at the flower market. Bag: Balenciaga, Shoes: Proenza Schouler

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Stripes

A little preppy, a little menswear, but with the feeling of being fresh and totally modern, the prevalence of bright stripes this season is another indication of the importance of adding a little color to your wardrobe. Bag: Proenza Schouler, Shoes: Tabitha Simmons

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Sporty

This was an all-American, athletic look complete with neon detailing, nylon fabric and netting, updated takes on the backpack, and several pairs of shoes giving a very fashionable nod to the sneaker—laces and all. Bag: Proenza Schouler, Shoes: Pierre Hardy

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Glamour Punk

Nicolas Ghesquière put this look back on the map with his spring runway show, and the accessories followed suit with a very sophisticated approach to punk. There were plenty of studded bags and heavy-on-the-hardware shoes—but they were all elegant enough to add to a grown-up wardrobe. Bag: Jimmy Choo, Shoes: Christian Louboutin

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Channeling Yves

From Marc Jacobs in New York to Louis Vuitton in Paris, the influence of this iconic designer was everywhere—and accessories were no exception, with YSL staples like gold, velvet, animal prints, and sleek satins being referenced on bags, shoes, and jewelry. Bag: Givenchy, Shoes: Christian Louboutin

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Python

Another season. Another skin. Now, it’s the luxe look of python that replaces last season’s leopard as the go-to exotic. And what makes it feel very new this time around is the use of rich colors like fuchsia, yellow, and electric blue. Bag: Yves Saint Laurent, Shoes: Marc Jacobs

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Saharan Sand

There was a little less structure overall this season with soft suede and leather accessories—like wedges and satchels—crafted in warm, natural hues, all reminiscent of the Sahara. Bag: Alexander Wang, Shoes: Bottega Veneta

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Graphic Color Blocking

Last season, it was all about staying neutral, but this time around accessories of all kinds will scream for your attention. How so? To begin with, what was evident in the clothes (a penchant toward bold, vibrant color-blocking) was equally present (and, perhaps, even more accessible) in bags and shoes comprised of graphic points of contrasting color. Shoes: Tabitha Simmons, Bag: Marc Jacobs

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