Whether itâ€™s the tiny hand-held jewel that holds only a lipstick or the trendy Prada backpack, handbags are our most essential accessory. The ultimate status symbol, bags also speak volumes about our approach to style. This gorgeous book presents the best of contemporary design from the worldâ€™s leading firms. Ranging from the status bags of Gucci and HermĂ¨s to the exquisite beaded purses of Jamin Puech and Nathalie Hambro, and laden with color photos and sketches, Bags: A Lexicon of Style is a must for fashion lovers and those with a sense of bags as art. Valerie Steele is Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Among her books are The Corset: A Cultural History, Paris Fashion, Fetish, and Fifty Years of Fashion. Laird Borrelli, a fashion historian, also works at The Museum at F.I.T.