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Editor's Pick: Gucci Lilith Exotic for 2017

A close look at an exotic edition one of the most exciting new handbags in 2017.

Earlier this year, Alessandro Michele, fashion’s man of the moment who has been on an audacious solo mission to reinvent the luxury handbag (and is succeeding!), brought us two more game-changing top-handles. The Lilith and Nymphea both take their names from mythical women, ‘Nymphea’ from Greek mythology and ‘Lilith’ from the first wife of Adam, as in, before Eve (which explains the snake), and they are both serious contenders for best bag of 2017. I’m all about top-handles at the moment and even more about Gucci, but here’s why the Lilith is my pick of the bunch.

Gucci right now is buzzing with Michele’s eclectic melting pot of cultures and time periods. His handbags are classic cuts done to exceptional standards but energised by loud and clashing mixes of butterflies, snakes, flower prints, and statement buckles. But the centrepiece on this latest bag is my favourite feature yet, and it is, in spite of the exquisite alligator and the flamboyant ribbon and bejewelled snake, a bamboo handle, which is actually revived from the Gucci archives and dates back to 1947.

Gucci Lilith Exotic for 2017

It’s a feature so retro that you’d never expect to see it on a modern handbag, but that’s where Michele stands out and he makes it work because he modernises it with other bizarre add-ons like that snake, which appears across his recent collections, and looks particularly convincing here with its green crystal eyes against the alligator backdrop.

Fundamentally, the stitching and detail are immaculate, which is essential if you want to challenge the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and even Hermès, and for the first time in decades Gucci is arguably on top. That handle too has had some serious work put into it too. It’s hand-bent over a flame and then finished with multiple layers of varnish. Also, practically speaking, the bag is just as impressive—inside it’s tan leather with zip and smartphone pockets, very useful, and it comes with a detachable shoulder strap. The lock is a simple push lock that works better than many of the more complicated set-ups we see in high-end handbags.

Gucci Lilith Exotic for 2017

You’re going to see the Gucci Lilith everywhere over the next few months in its various shapes, themes and sizes, but in exotic it’s limited edition so it’s few and far between. There aren't many bags out there right now that come close to this in my opinion, but as it happens I have covered a couple of them recently. This is now the third top-handle exotic I’ve covered in a month! I also did the Gucci Sylvie top-handle exotic, which was my favourite new bag of 2016, and my previous editor’s pick was the Louis Vuitton Capucines in black alligator, which is Hermès-level luxury and the best example yet of Louis Vuitton’s latest new high-end style. So check them out!

Gucci Lilith Exotic for 2017

For those of you interested in top-handles at the non-exotic end of the luxury scale, I also recently compared the Louis Vuitton Dora and Lady Dior, which are two great classic options. For more pictures, style guides and buying guides, explore my other articles on Xupes magazine. Or, if you want to check out more handbags, prices and options, try our luxury handbag boutique.