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Katherine Kwei Spring 2011 Handbag Collection — Forget-Me-Not Knots

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Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the press preview of the Katherine Kwei Spring/Summer 2011 handbag collection — and, chicas, I felt like tying the knot and jumping the broom with so many of these oh-so-cool knotted handbags.

For the Spring 2011 season, Kwei introduced new colorways and textures to classic styles like the Donna Sling Bag, the Donna Hobo, and the Donna Skinny Clutch, slightly reinventing these silhouettes to give them an on-trend kick. These water snakeskin and lambskin bags are now available in a golden cream shade with a light grey leopard print, as well as a silvery, beige-tinged gray brushed with a shimmering gold (check out the Donna Sling Bag style in these new colorways above, at top). The Donna Batik bags, which feature tie-dye inspired color contrasts for a Bohemian feel, are now available in either sky blue and white or blood orange and white (check out the Donna Batik Large Hobo and Small Hobo in Blue/White below, immediately after the jump).

The Clea collection of small leather goods (passport covers, zip wallets, cross-body bags, wristlets, keychains, and clutches), meanwhile, is now available in a turquoise lambskin material (pictured second from top), with yellow gold trim along each piece’s periphery, as well as intertwined within the bow-like knotted shapes on their front flaps of covers, or in a jungle-ready, green water snakeskin material with black trim (pictured below, fourth after the jump).

My favorite new piece is the Joyce Tote in Fern (pictured above, fifth from top), a light olive green calfskin hobo bag with slashed strips along the front, some worked into Kwei’s signature eternity knots along the bottom rim of the bag, others dangling loosely as fringe to give the bag a Bohemian easiness. The Joyce is also available in Aqua and Sunflower for spring.

Those of you who prefer more structured pieces with boxier silhouettes will love the embossed lizard lambskin Isabel Shoulder Bag in Teal (pictured above, fourth from top), which features rows of rosette-like knots along its front panel and a sturdy rounded shoulder strap.

And, for every day use, there are offerings like the Kate Boston in Burnt Orange (pictured below, second after the jump), which features two buckled straps made of slashed lambskin strips in burnt orange and basic black intertwined and then twisted into jumbo knots. Another great choice: the Lulu Large Tote in Tan (pictured above, third from top), which keeps the embellishments at a minimum, instead focusing on a slightly rugged calfskin with just a hint of weaving work along a single row on the bag’s front panel. The best part about this bag: the decorative detachable strap, which flaunts Kwei’s technical dexterity. It’s a brand new style, introduced for this season, and I already suspect it will become a bestseller.

Aside from her Chinese eternity knot details, which have been her trademark since the line’s launch in 2007, Kwei references her heritage by lining each bag in a red satin to symbolize good fortune. Kwei actually explained that, in many Asian cultures red envelopes filled with money are presented on the Chinese New Year to the unmarried by their married elders. Great detail, right?

So whether you want to go into calypso-ready tie-dye territory, or you prefer a prim, ladies-who-lunch silhouette, Kwei has something in store for you.

Make sure to check out more photos after the jump!


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