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Kotur for Rachel Roy Collection — Snakeskin, Feathers, Tortoise Shell, and Tweed, Oh My!

When I covered the Rachel Roy Fall 2012 presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February, I noticed more than the color-blocked cardigans, leather culottes, faux fur vests, tailored trousers, chunky sweater vests, and evening dresses with draped hemlines and petal-like accents. I also drank in the accessories — from the Annie Hall-esque hats to the wrist-length suede gloves in chestnut, mustard, mahogany, and hunter green; the dark brown and forest green tights; and the sleek clutches and minaudieres. One bag in particular caught my eye: an envelope-shaped clutch with faux dark cherry wood panels, a golden brass plate, and a rounded top flap. When I read that the clutch was part of the Kotur for Rachel Roy collection, then in its development stages, I made a mental note, “Find clutch as soon as it hits stores.”

That fateful day has finally arrived. The alliance between designer Fiona Kotur, the mastermind behind the red carpet-ready handbag brand Kotur, and fashion dynamo Rachel Roy makes logical sense given that both designers have a solid understanding of traditional craftsmanship techniques while also sharing a distinctly modern aesthetic. Similarly, the new Kotur for Rachel Roy handbag collection boasts enough of each brand’s aesthetic to feel like a true collaboration — exotic animal skins and feathers, clean and sleek silhouettes, and the angular, faceted, diamond-shaped, almost talon-like top clasp that’s become a Kotur signature speak to said brand’s DNA, while graphic prints with a multi-cultural edge, flamboyant feather trims, and unexpected textural juxtapositions nod to Roy’s sharp, culture-blending, melting pot design style.

The Kotur for Rachel Roy collection consists of five styles. Pictured above, you’ll fin the Kotur for Rachel Roy Morley Clutch ($425 at RachelRoy.com), a  hard minaudiere-style clutch with a boxy shape and rounded edges. The clutch is covered in a tweed fabric featuring a graphic print with a grid-like pattern, with three rows of rectangular “boxes,” each embellished by overlapping stripes of pistachio green, garnet, amethyst purple, and burnt orange thread. A tassel accent in an auburn shade dangles from the side of the minaudiere, adding an I Dream of Jeannie coquettishness to the design.

Second from top, you’ll find the Kotur for Rachel Roy Joret Clutch ($495 at RachelRoy.com), which resembles the standard Kotur Joret clutch style with its slim silhouette, flattened panels, embellished insets, and polished metal accents. This particular  iteration features overlapping, spotted, striped, and ring-necked pheasant feathers in shades of sooty gray, black, cream, caramel brown, and reddish brown.  Third from top, you’ll find another clutch with a similar silhouette: the Kotur for Rachel Roy Rene Clutch ($595 at RachelRoy.com). Like the Joret piece, the Rene clutch also features a slim design (albeit more rectangular) but, rather than feathers adorning its front and back panels, it relies on a checkered pattern, with each smile tile containing a strip of snakeskin in either charcoal, ivory, or deep cherry wood, with a golden metal “frame” containing each square tile. And again, here, the distinctive angular Kotur clasp adorns the top of the clutch.

As for the clutch I saw at the Fall 2012 presentation, it was modified slightly so that the wooden details were removed, the rounded top flap was made more pronounced and fabricated out of a black acrylic-like material, and tortoise shell accents were used to rim the top and bottom surfaces of the envelope-shaped piece. The result, then is the Kotur for Rachel Roy Roy Clutch ($450 at RachelRoy.com), shown fourth above, which features black and tortoise shell lucite and a brass plate that together conjure up a ’60s feel.

Last but not least, there’s the  Kotur for Rachel Roy Watson Clutch ($495 at RachelRoy.com), the one “soft” piece in the collection. Made of garnet-colored snakeskin, the Watson clutch features a top flap with angular sides to create a structure geometric effect, compounded by the angular stitching used to assemble together each diagonal strip of snakeskin. The lower part of the Watson clutch, meanwhile, is adorned with layers of flirtatious ruffles in deep burgundy, iridescent forest and emerald green, and a punchy winter rose shade.

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