Best Bet: Pale Pink Armani Calfskin Purse

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This season, it’s out with the wildly embellished clutch and in with the muted and demure handbag. But before you mistake Giorgio Armani’s palest-of-pink calfskin purse ($2,280 at 760 Madison Ave., nr. 65th St.; 212-988-9191) for just another ladies-who-lunch shopper, know this: Each tote is crafted from 120 separate pieces by seven Italian artisans in a three-day process that involves 75 stages of dyeing, welding, galvanizing, hand-stitching, and sanding. A rivet even a fraction of an inch out of place is grounds for scrapping the whole thing and starting over. As it turns out, minimalism is all in the details.