Object of Desire: RED Valentino Bow Bag

For the most part, I am very feminine. There are exceptions—I operate the power drill in my household, and I don't cook—but I could never be mistaken for a tomboy. So when it comes to clothing, I try not to dress too girly, because I feel like it would just be too overwhelming. Which is not to say that I don't like pink and ruffles lace—I do—but like all good things, I think they should be used sparingly in one's wardrobe. Valentino is a designer who disagrees with that notion, and I had always written him off because of it. However, two things made me start to rethink the label: One, the brilliant documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor, which made me bawl at the end due to its utter, sheer beauty. Two, the current designers, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, have given the label a more modern, more wearable aesthetic over the last few years. Yes, there are bows and ruffles, but they are balanced by the toughness of the excellent rockstud accessory line; there is a more wearable element throughout. In other words, the Valentino client probably has a job now. And while my job doesn't pay me quite well enough to afford, say, this $2,200 rockstud tote, there are many affordable options in Valentino's contemporary line, RED Valentino. I am particularly taken with the RED Valentino bow tote, still not a bargain per se, but comparatively a worthy investment at $595. The pink might be overkill, but the black version pictured here is just tough enough. Not to mention a practical size—like I said, today's Valentino girl is a working girl (not that kind of working girl!). I might not be ready for bows on my clothes, but when they add a chic flourish to an everyday tote such as this, I am totally ready to go girly with my accessories.

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