Snob Essentials

Top 5 Brights Gone Bad: Neon Fright


The bright color conundrum: I’m all for adding brightness to the fall palette – sometimes brights look better in the colder months because they’re unexpected – but not at the expense of my retinas burning off. Just like with colorblocked bags, there is a fine line between spunky-fun and freaky-scary. Solid brights on clean matte leathers or shiny patent glosses work because they look bold and unfussy. When too much texture is involved with unsettling colors, the result is tough on the eyes. Everyone knows that. Maybe these five frightening bags are not aiming to be easy eye candy. Or maybe they got lost in translation. Either way, Halloween comes early with these neon no-nos!

1) 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Painted Croc-Print Leather Mini Satchel: An overly blown-up crocodile print is bad enough – this is more Land of the Lost than luxe exotic. Put it in garish pea-green? Now my stomach is starting to erupt. At Saks Fifth Avenueicon for $750.

2) Burberry Raffia and Leather Satchel: The mustard calfskin is not so bad on its own. But cram it into panels with gratuitous straps and gunmetal raffia, and you’ve got a satchel that’s dense, suffocating, and altogether claustrophobic. At Saks Fifth Avenueicon for $1,395.

3) Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Printed Backpack: Pretty? Not quite. Marc by Marc has made the same mistake as Phillip Lim: getting greedy with their need to shock. The high-contrast black-and-white snake print is shocking enough without acid-green trim, even on a playful backpack style. At Saks Fifth Avenueicon for $188.

4) Miu Miu Pelouche Faux-Fur and Leather Shoulder Bag: Which muppet is this Miu Miu modeled after? Or maybe this fuzzy-wuzzy shoulder bag is from Fraggle Rock. Either way, this is one kooky critter – and not one I’d want to carry. The orange has been dyed so arbitrarily on the fur, it looks like Kool-Aid stains. On Net-a-Porter for $1,250.

5) Wayuu Taya Mochilla Knitted Cotton Cross-Body Bag: Royal-purple and lime-green is a combo for color-crazy kids. I wouldn’t expect more – or I should say less – from Wayuu Taya’s festive, hand-woven bags (although a handful are neutral!), but I needed this hippie-gone-wild pouch to complete my point. =) On Net-a-Porter for $200.



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  1. I think that Marc Jacobs bag may be going for a different generation: the 19 yo thinks that bag is the ish and all festival hopping fashionistas probably think the same. However, whether the audience salivating over that bag can afford it is a different matter.