| Posted in Celeb Style & Fashion

Character Study: Get the Handbag Look of Empire’s Cookie Lyon


Cookie Lyon is not a woman trying to fly under the radar. Not only is Empire‘s heroine a rags-to-riches story, but she spent 17 years in prison in the process, and that kind of forced sacrifice did not inspire in her the desire to go unnoticed. Instead, Taraji P. Henson‘s funny, scrappy, incredibly quotable character goes for full-on, in-your-face glamor, and she often does it with a great bag in her hand. A bag that she might hit you with.

When you combine Cookie’s nouveau riche backstory and irrepressible personality with the opulence of the music industry, you get all of the fun parts of fashion that most women try to incorporate in spare, “tasteful” ways, filtered through the lens of Empire‘s meticulous wardrobe and art direction. The palette is tightly edited, with lots of black mixed with metallics and leopard, finished in rich textures and embellishments and with an occasional pop of bright color. (There was a purple fur last season that I still think about.) Cookie Lyon is always looking you in the face and daring you to call her tacky, and maybe we could all use a little bit more of that in our personal styles.

Below, we’ve selected 15 bags that have a little bit of that Cookie magic; on their own, they can all be incorporated into even a sedate wardrobe. For the full Cookie Effect, pair them with a perfectly matched body-con dress and sky high heels. The second season of Empire debuts tonight on FOX.


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