Yea or Nay: Cynthia Rowley Fall 2011 Handbags

Posted on August 03, 2011

We seem to be in “if there’s one thing we’ve learned as fashion bloggers” mode today because we’re about to unveil another one, which means we’re talking out our asses because obviously there’s not just one thing we’ve learned as fashion bloggers. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned as fashion bloggers it’s that you only need to say “Ladies? Let’s talk accessories,” and we’re off to the races. We were looking at Cynthia Rowley’s fall line of handbags and our eyes immediately went to the ones with the heavy “lock and key” style closures:

Morgan Stripe Small Flap

Tamar Box Flap

Tamar Frame

Helena Clutch

We are totally digging them. True, some of them look like drawer pulls on antique dressers, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We wonder if the heavy closures throw the weight off with the clutches, though. You could always put a brick inside to counterbalance it. We never said being fabulous was easy, darlings.

Your thoughts?

 

Cynthia Rowley’s Hardware Handbags: YEA or NAY?

 

Please advise. Thanks in advance.

[Photo Credit: cynthiarowley.com]

    • Anonymous

      The 2nd and 3rd I like…I guess I prefer the hardware to be more focused around the clasp than having a big chain for a strap.  Those 2 also look very steampunk.

      • http://phantomminuet.blogspot.com/ MinAgain

        I agree.  It’s a very steampunk look, but I don’t really like the heavy hardwear on the clutches.

        • http://twitter.com/kmc1138 Kathleen Coyle

          Steampunk was my first thought, too – but a very “safe” steampunk.  I really like them, even the heavy ones, but I have a weird “no gold-tone hardware” thing when it comes to purses/bags. 

          • Anonymous

            Agreed!

      • Anonymous

        Ooh yes! I love the idea of Steampunk handbags. It’s a bit mainstream, yes, but I do like. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MNMVM2GPVUEIOJXBOSLCXKAW4U judy brown

        Generally, I need a large shoulder bag to lug stuff around, and anything to make it heavier, I don’t need.

        So okay design-wise, but I’d rather not wear a groove in my shoulder.

    • Vaniljekjeks

      YEA!!!  I love them!  I want one.  

    • http://twitter.com/MplsGarden Ellen

      The Tamar Box Top is okay – the rest do nothing for me.

    • Anonymous

      YEA!

      I love the hardware!!!!  That chartreuse, however, just made me barf my breakfast.

    • jaibee

      The Tamar box is gorgeous, but I’m not so sure about the others…

    • Lies L.

      I really like them, especially the 2nd one. I do think it works better on a regular bag than on a clutch, but then I’m not crazy about clutches anyway.

    • Anonymous

      I like the Tamar Frame – the proportions are better than the others.

      They all look heavy. 

    • Anonymous

      NAY. Don’t like her, don’t like her designs, and the giant brass locks are tacky as hell.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6PUVFQ7YCZZFZRIER6BEJ4HVYE Amye

      I think they’re butt ugly.  Sorry, wouldn’t use any of them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Foluso-Ogundepo/690230236 Foluso Ogundepo

      I’m loving the clutches, especially the yellow one. I like the black bag, and the first brown one is starting to grow on me, but the second brown makes me think of my aunty’s favorite purse…that she’s had for 6 years and only got rid of because the strap finally fell off

    • Anonymous

      NAY.  Not digging them.

    • http://twitter.com/naijaogryfindor Foluso Ogundepo

      I’m loving the clutches, especially the yellow one. I like the black bag, and the first brown one is starting to grow on me, but the second brown makes me think of my aunty’s favorite purse…that she’s had for 6 years and only got rid of because the strap finally fell off

    • Sheila Luther

      LOVE the 2nd and 3rd bags.  Fab!

    • Toni Mitt

      YESSsssss!  Love the interesting hardware and great colors.  May have to run right out and pick up one of thos yellow clutches. 

    • Anonymous

      Nay.  The only one whose shape I like is the Tamar Frame, but I don’t like the Tamar coloration at all.  It looks like someone was in the middle of varnishing something, got distracted, and forgot to finish.

    • http://twitter.com/RocknLox Khadijah James

      Three words: Medieval Door knockers. 

      • Anonymous

        And your problem with that is …..  ;-)

    • Anonymous

      NAY. Purses with flaps just aren’t my thing, I prefer zip closures.

    • Renee Ormsbee

      Yay!  Love them all pretty much but especially the Tamar Frame bag. Yummy.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Waddell/10401341 Heather Waddell

      The problem with the clutches is the colors. With the blacks and browns the hardware looks natural, but with the bright colors it’s incongruous.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N3GA2TTX752OYSKBWWXQVFM2HI katie

      gorgeous- love those clutches!

    • Jennifer Hofstetter

      J’adore.

    • Anonymous

      I love the look of the closures, but I feel they have not been well-incorporated into the overall design. In all cases except the last two (admittedly the smallest bags), the rest of the bag looks flimsy compared to the heavy-duty hardware. A mighty swing, missed by a hair.

    • aussiegal77

      I love the closures but they do tend to look heavy and almost dragging the leather a bit.  I’d probably be more into the small flap bags than the clutches.  YEA.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll be the first, because I’m irritated..and because my sister drove me to it.  I hate them…all of them.  But, I hate carrying purses altogether, I’ll say upfront.  I don’t want to be weighed down if I HAVE to carry something.  What I more so hate (which is why I had to bring my sister into this) is that the purses out now have these chains on them…like heavy chains.  As in, when I retrieve a purse from her closet (still in ITS OWN precious purse to protect from poo happy pigeons nesting in her closet, cause that’s where they live, right?) I injure myself because I don’t expect an empty purse to weigh greater than a few ounces.  But these things…THESE things!  with their chains and heavy metal clasps really aren’t purses..they are torture devices.  They are sold weighing the size of a small newborn, and then you add the cell phone, the billfold (or wallet to some) the sunglasses, the lotion, the gum, the kleenex, and what other frivolous stuff is carried and before you know it you that newborn has morphed into a toddler with medieval chains dangling all over the place.  I know I’ll be in the minority on this, but I’d rather struggle in heels or sleep upright to protect the ‘do before I willfully sling a medieval toddler over my shoulder.  Big Friggin’ NAY!

      • Anonymous

        That’s hilarious that your sister stores purses inside of a larger protective purse.  The very idea of pigeons nesting in a closet makes me giggle.

      • Anonymous

        kckris, you’ve got me giggling like a toddler being tickled. So damn funny!

      • MilaXX

        My word! What bags/purses are you carrying? Even my largest bags aren’t quite that bad.

      • Rand Ortega

        OMG, that was hilarious! You 2 sound like you could do the Summer Stock of “Grey Gardens”, but I have to say, you certainly are 1 of a kind. Ever thought about writing a book?

    • http://profiles.google.com/hawley.maddie Maddie Hawley

      like the design/concept but i’m not exactly a fan of how it was executed.

    • Anonymous

      Love the Tamar bags.  The others, eh.

    • Anonymous

      I like them.  Interesting finish on the Tamra bags.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1406371763 Laura Sevigny

      I love the tamar frame bag. it is beautiful and I want it. I could live with out the others. As soon as I read drawer pulls, that is all I can see on the smaller-framed bags and clutches.

    • Anonymous

      I like the handbags very much. The hardware looks gorgeous on them. It seems a little out of proportion on the clutches and looks like it would make them hard to carry.  I’m generally not a fan of Ms. Rowley, but in this instance, a big YEA! 

    • Anonymous

      Yea, all the way! Love ‘em! CR is one of my favorite accessory and handbag designers. I desperately need the Tamar Box Flap and the Tamar Frame. Perfect for fall.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DO54ICWQLRD2STHRSELEATLSKY Cindy

      Like them all, but my favorite is the first one.    The first one has a bit of vintage look to it.  The clutches are cute, but not sure about yellow.

    • http://knittedfuin.tumblr.com/ Eruwenfuin

      Only liked the last two. The first few made me gag, especially the one in the middle. It looks like something saggy.

    • Anonymous

      I love the clutch and the Morgan except that they both have those yucky chains. I like the brass as a focal point on them.

    • Sigrid Harris

      Love, love, love, but I adore heavy chains and antique-style finishings. Completely yea for me.

    • Anonymous

      I like these, and I am an old fart who generally thinks a lot of hardware makes even expensive bags look cheap and tacky.  And these are neither. :-)

    • Anonymous

      WANT. Especially the Tamar Box Flap. That’s my favorite of the whole collection.

    • Amanda in Austin

      I love the chunky closures. Do NOT love the chain on the clutches. Tamar Box Flap is my favorite.

    • Anonymous

      LOVE that box!

    • Anonymous

      LOVE that box!

    • Anonymous

      These aren’t my kind of bags, but I love the metal so totes YEA!

    • Anonymous

      I like them but not the very heavy ones. The first and the last two are great.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

      Not just yeah but FUCK YEA. I’m not a big handbag person, but these are really fun and distinctive.

    • lilibetp

      I like the clasp on the top.  I HATE flaps on purses!!!!!!!!!!!!!…

    • Anonymous

      I say fuck yea!  Love these!!!

    • Anonymous

      Love ‘em.  No way I can afford them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1027947445 Jennifer Von B

      LOVE

    • sweetlilvoice

      Yeah. I’ve already seen that type of closure at local stores so it must be a fall trend.

    • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

      Nay.

    • Anonymous

      The Tamar Frame one isn’t bad.  But I don’t care for them.  I’m going with Nea.

    • Anonymous

      Yea to the first two, Nay to the last three.  The large closures do throw off the proportions on the clutches, and that frame bag is just too bulky looking, especially with that enormous closure.  I don’t know if it is the angle of the photo, but the whole thing looks like it is about to tip over.  Yet, somehow the same closure works on the smaller bag.  Hmm..

    • Anonymous

      a NAY for me.

    • Anonymous

      NAY. Ugly.

    • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

      i like the second one. it’s the only one where she got the proportions right.

    • Anonymous

      I like the red clutch, but that’s it for me. And you’re right on track with the of-balance though. I recently got a bag that has a heavy buckle on the strap and it’s actually annoying. It falls oddly and does throw the bag off balance.

      –GothamTomato

    • Sharon Weissburg

      I love the concept of these bags (dainty purses with big heavy hardward) but the proportions of the bags all seem a little off. They remind me of bags that very young girls (as in, toddlers through age 12) carry. Very expensive children’s bags. 

    • Joyce VG

      Hmmm…..yea.  

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.parker Sara Parker

      YAY to all of them! I especially love the second one.  I love it when bags are a little bit different, but it’s so easy for them to swerve off into gimmicky or cutesy.  These are perfect.

    • Anonymous

      Big no.  Too clunky.  Not clean.  Looks like old-fashioned (and not in a good way) light switches.  Won’t be buying.

    • Anonymous

      Son of a gun, I’ve got about 2 dozen antique drawer pulls sitting around I can’t bear to toss, I’d better get crackin’ on my leather bag creating skills…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurie-S-Neilsen/775114982 Laurie S. Neilsen

      I’m a punk with no good eye or care for fashion (though I still read nearly every article on your blog, weirdly enough), so I adore heavy hardware. If I had money and wanted to look fancy for something, I would totally buy one of these.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurie-S-Neilsen/775114982 Laurie S. Neilsen

      I’m a punk with no good eye or care for fashion (though I still read nearly every article on your blog, weirdly enough), so I adore heavy hardware. If I had money and wanted to look fancy for something, I would totally buy one of these.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506473106 Mori Clark

      gorgeous. the last 2 are my favourite- the punch of colour with the heavy metal is awesome.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506473106 Mori Clark

      gorgeous. the last 2 are my favourite- the punch of colour with the heavy metal is awesome.

    • Jessica Rowe

      I think there is magic inside those bags.

    • Jessica Rowe

      I think there is magic inside those bags.

    • Mariah J

      Maybe if the rest of the clutch had the same theme as the closures but they look just tacked on there. Ugly as hell. NAY!

    • http://profiles.google.com/mercbubble42 Jessica O’Connell

      I’d say definite YEA

    • http://profiles.google.com/mercbubble42 Jessica O’Connell

      I’d say definite YEA

    • Anonymous

      Love.

    • Anonymous

      Love.

    • http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/ Karen K.

      They look pretty, but they look sort of off-balance and uncomfortable to carry around.  So I say Yea for looks but I’d never buy one (even if I could afford them).

    • http://twitter.com/DresswithAplomb Aplomb Pomilio

      fabulous, but don’t love the clutches.

    • http://profiles.google.com/melantha.chimera Eileen Duffy

      Yum.  Yes, please. :)

    • Anonymous

      Qualified YEA. I like the catches a lot. Like the clutches, with some reservation about the chains, really don’t care for the dark, distressed-looking purses.

    • MilaXX

      Yea, the only one I dislike is the first one. The chain link strap seems a bit much with the lock and key style closure.

    • Anonymous

      Eh. Indifferent.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/sorana.tarmu Sorana Tarmu

      Big loud YAY! I just don’t see how these could be nay. No can do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1303837450 Lauren Dorsee Dillon

      YEA! I particularly like the Tamara Box Flap. I just hope it doesn’t cost $39,000.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YMEB3XKJCE4WL62SKN473LWBXQ Frank

      yeah! love them!

    • Anonymous

      I like the clutches best but her handbags are not the best quality so I don’t have faith that they can hold all of that hardware.

    • Anonymous

      love the locks, love the look of the entire Tamar frame

    • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

      YEA

    • Anonymous

      Well, I love the bags, but has anyone followed the link to her site?

      Terrible web design; it’s enough to induce a migraine.

    • Rand Ortega

      The drawer pulls are part of the charm. The Tamar’s remind me of my Grandma’s Chinese Jewelry Box pulls. Sweet & Modern @ the same time. Love. I’ll take the yellow Helena clutch & the Tamar Box Flap.

    • Anonymous

      I like these! Which probably means they’re objectively horrible. For some reason, while my tastes are fairly mainstream on clothes, a lot of bags that people swoon over just look blah to me. I just don’t GET handbag fashion. :

    • http://twitter.com/MandySCG MandyJane

      I like them, but not so much for the locks as for the size. I have never been into the giant purses that are so popular.

    • Anonymous

      yea – love them, they are interesting without being over the top.

    • Lauen newman

      I love them as a fashion statement. The practicality is low, but I think they are a statement.

    • Anonymous

      LOVE the clutches, YEA!

    • Anonymous

      I dig them – who needs a bracelet when you’ve got one of these?

    • http://twitter.com/thelilerin erin l.

      Nay. I love the idea of all of these accents to a handbag, but for some reason they’re not getting my panties in a twist.

    • Anonymous

      YEA! I’ll take the Tamar Box Flap and the clutches in all available colors, please. Those I like an awful lot. The other two don’t do it for me.  

    • http://twitter.com/a_liking Ali King

      YEA, at least to the Tamar Box Flap. The other three don’t work as well for me but are generally inoffensive.

    • Anonymous

      YEA. I’ll take the second one down. Medieval, yet functional.

    • Anonymous

      YEA. I’ll take the second one down. Medieval, yet functional.

    • Anonymous

      Yea! Want any of them….

    • narita_rayna

      gimme!

    • Anonymous

      I normally think handbags are ridiculous and/or ugly, but I’d own one of these. 

    • Anonymous

      I normally think handbags are ridiculous and/or ugly, but I’d own one of these. 

    • Carrie L. Boram

      Oh hells yah!

    • Patricia Biswanger

      Heck yea!

    • Anonymous

      Not crazy about the Tamar styles, but I like the others. YEA

    • Anonymous

      Yea. Not digging that first one too much, but the rest are fabulous. That bronze is so gorgeous I could cry.

    • http://twitter.com/LianaBrooks Liana Brooks

      YEA – I like the square gold one. I like the steampunk/treasure chest feel.

    • Sarah Asarnow

      Love ‘em, particularly that box purse with the gigantic one.

    • Sarah Asarnow

      Love ‘em, particularly that box purse with the gigantic one.

    • http://twitter.com/Littlegrr Mary Nau

      Love them all, but I’ll take that clutch in red, oh, and the box flap.

    • http://twitter.com/applecocola Stacy

      YES. I’m a sucker for antique looking things, and I want one. Steampunk all the way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/suzie.vazquez Suzie Vazquez

      nay

    • Anonymous

      Nay

    • foodycat

      I don’t really like the big clasps on the bright coloured ones. It’s like she had a few left over so she bunged them on an 80s inspired range.

    • http://twitter.com/alienspouse Jen Alien-Spouse

      LOVE. Especially the clutches.

      Have you seen Cynthia Rowley on “Celebrity Ghost Stories”? The episode she’s on was repeated at the weekend, and TiVo taped it for me so I simply had to watch it again. If you haven’t seen any of them, you are missing out! Debbie Gibson’s messages from Liberace from beyond the grave had a particularly satisfying re-inactment, and Joan Collins has a great haunted Venetian palazzo story.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OYWH5NAGE3TS2MWXRAVBSWBSZA Brittany

      Yea! Especially to the yellow.

    • Anonymous

      A handbag should be both gorg and practical. I have to carry the fucking thing. I love this bit of hardware because it is practical as well as ornamental–I hate bags that don’t really close. Hello world–here’s my wallet? I don’t think so.

      I love the bronze look in #2 and 3; perfect for that lock and they look easy to carry. The clutches look off to me.

    • http://profiles.google.com/thisiscelia Celia

      Ew, none for me, thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Love them

    • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

      I don’t like the first three, I think the fun of the heavy lock & key closures on the small clutches is that they DO dominate the entire bag, and that’s lost on the larger ones.  The red and yellow clutches are gorgeous, though.  So, 3/5 out, 2/5 in?  Oh hell, IN for the concept.

    • Maria Figueroa

      I like the idea, I hate the size of it. If the locks were a little smaller they’d look perfect, but as they are the proportions are all wrong. They look tacked on and like they weren’t very clearly thought out.

    • Anonymous

      I love these, especially the Tamar Frame.  Need now.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7NGUZXK7KI3C3FX2YWBWDK3XCU Trixie

      Love the clutches. I can see how steam-punk affectionados would love bags 2 & 3, and I think bag 1 is cute in an overly theatrical way, so Yea.

    • Anonymous

      Lovelovelovelovelove….and I don’t usually like purses that don’t fit at least a book and a bottle of whiskey.

    • Anonymous

      What modern woman uses a clutch, and under what circumstances? Every time I’ve had one, I’ve left it in the produce bin or on the bathroom floor. I need two hands (three would be preferable) most of the time, and having one just dedicated to holding my handbag cuts deeply into my ability to function. True, you can tuck it under your arm at times, but then your arm is permanently welded to your side for the duration.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583505025 Kelley Comfort

      I like the style of the body, but I just can’t get behind chain handles on bags. It doesn’t work for me with a Chanel 2.55 and it doesn’t work with these. It’s right up at the top of my list of quiver killers, along with quilting and woven/mesh details (most of Chanel and Bottega Venetta’s bags are a big turn off for me). Call me a fashion heathen if you will, but if the handles must stay, I give them a NAY!

      • sonictofu

        I don’t like chain handles either, but for a different (though related) reason – they say “Chanel rip-off” to me.  Nice closures, though.

        • Anonymous

          I like the closures too, but i wonder if they clank if not closed properly (not how i would want to annouce myself). The clutches are very cute but the bags look heavy – create a groove in the shoulder heavy; no thanks.

        • Anonymous

          I like the closures too, but i wonder if they clank if not closed properly (not how i would want to annouce myself). The clutches are very cute but the bags look heavy – create a groove in the shoulder heavy; no thanks.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C65IT4K6RYN4TWRMFJOI3VUDAI Olechka Milashka

      I love the clutches, but I am not sure I am a fan of the rest

      • akprincess72

        You took the words right out of my mouth!

    • Anonymous

      The leather parts are nice but I really do not like the hardware. Nay from me.

    • Anonymous

      I love them. It makes it seem like whatever you are carrying is old school worthwhile. 

    • Anne Robotti

      If anybody was going to get me something for Christmas, Tamar Box flap in the color shown would be lovely!

    • Anonymous

      very nice. and I say that as someone who only uses the world’s most boring and practical handbags. I’ve been throwing up over the handbag styles for the past five years. these are clever and good looking. 

    • Anonymous

      Oh, most definitely IN.  I would fill mine with lavender sachets and lingerie.