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It was chic to be a bag lady last Thursday night at the Center for Women's popular It's In the Bag purse auction. Hobos, baguettes, clutches, and more—practically every style of arm candy was up for grabs at this ninth annual extravaganza, where bidders battled over one-of-a-kind designs and designer handbags.

More than 65 local artists and personalities contributed a creation to the auction, and the dazzling collection adorned the walls of the City Waterfront Gallery. Bags ran the gamut. Photographer Leigh Webber's sleek black leather clutch emblazoned with great photo depicting a tuk tuk (taken during her extensive travels) was my personal favorite. In fact, it was interesting to note parallels between the artists' personalities and their bags. Kaminer Haislip's copper creation (with doves in flight stamped out of the fold-over) was another standout, as was Nandini McCauley's brown satin and skin clutch dotted with flowers wrought from pink wire. The styles were so diverse and engaging, there really was something to suit every taste. Some were beautiful, some were functional, and some made a statement (Karen Siegel's Tea Bag springs to mind). The table of confections cleared quickly (who can resist a two-bite red velvet cupcake?), and the auction wound down by sunset.

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