Gwyneth Paltrow carries Hedi Slimane’s first bag for Yves Saint Laurent

UPDATE: WE HAVE CLOSE-UPS OF THE BAG! CHECK AFTER THE JUMP FOR MORE.

At the tail end of Friday, when I was too zoned out thinking about the upcoming holiday weekend and the impending arrival of New York Fashion Week to think real thoughts or accomplish real things, an interesting link came across Twitter. According to a story by Katherine Ormerod at UK fashion magazine Grazia Daily, Hedi Slimane’s first piece of accessory design as creative director at Yves Saint Laurent (Saint Laurent Paris? I’m still unclear what I’m supposed to say when I refer to the brand as a whole) has made an unlikely debut: on the arm of Gwyneth Paltrow at the airport.

Ormerod reports that Slimane designed this bag especially for Paltrow, so it’s unclear whether or not it’ll become a regular production piece for Slimane’s first Yves Saint Laurent/Saint Laurent Paris accessories collection in Spring 2013. If this is truly a Slimane x YSL piece, though, it might gives us a few hints about what we can expect from the brand’s forthcoming purses.

First, it’s absent any external branding. That might be because it’s a one-off piece, but it seems more likely that Slimane will want to position the accessories line in a way similar to blockbuster handbag brands like Celine and Givenchy. That means dialing back the ubiquitous Ys in favor of the new minimalism that has taken over some sectors of the high-end handbag design world over the past few years, which makes a certain amount of sense when you consider Slimane’s designer history and his tendency to be on the leading edge of aesthetic ideas. More notable than anything, though, is the fact that the bag is beautiful. As Ormerod points out in her story, you can tell that the bag is made of fabulous leather even in these grainy photos, and it would make a wonderful staple piece in almost any woman’s closet. Slimane would do well to make this bag a foundational piece in his inaugural YSL accessories collection.

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