Whether you’re looking for a box clutch or a timeless tote, this season’s best bags come in structured silhouettes, tactile textures and bold hues, says Penny Fray
Are you one of those people who have a dozen or so bags in their closet, none of which are quite right? Oh good, I’m not the only one then.
Despite my eternal search for that perfect day to night number, fashion’s frivolities always manage to distract me. That’s why when I open my closet an avalanche of not so lovingly maintained ‘it’ bags come tumbling out – from the Mulberry Bayswater to the Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas. The only one that I encase in glass, like some exhibition piece from The Louvre, is the Hermès Birkin – partly because it cost a small fortune and partly because it’s a design classic. I can imagine wearing it on my wrinkled wrist as I collect my pension in 30 years time.
Of course, while every designer handbag should have its DNA in utility, it’s that bit of bling that makes a piece worth its weight in desirability. I guess that’s why Fendi’s new fluffy baguette has made all the glossy magazines’ most wanted list this autumn. Fuzzy and fun, this soft shearling bag in bright orange helps carry off this month’s witty play on texture – oh, and they’re good to cuddle when lap dogs aren’t feasible.
An alternative way to incorporate texture into your accessories at the moment is the faux pony skin. It looks great in exotic animal print like leopard or zebra.
The more serious minded should consider the classic tote though. This season it takes more of a tough luxe stance with sharp, sculptural shapes and discrete logos. Alexander McQueen’s plaque-adorned Heroine carryall is one of autumn’s boldest highlights. It isn’t cheap but thankfully similar versions can be found on the high street. Zara is my personal number one stop for traditional bags with a twist. But for bold, colourful shoppers, head for either Gap or Accessorize.
Meanwhile, Gucci’s Frida Giannini addresses business and pleasure with her structured push-lock clutch, a ladylike turn on the traditional briefcase. Carry it from boardroom to bar with a trouser suit for A-game glamour.
For the evening, it has to be the minaudiere. Granted, you can’t pack a lot into it but who needs practicality when you have a beautiful box clutch at your fingertips – the sparklier the better, although pearls are also tres trendy at the moment.
All things bright and beautiful, all bags great and small…get an amazing array of fashion forward clutches from Next. These body bags are so cute and cost effective, you can afford to buy one in every design. From RO13
Fendi’s shearling shoulder bag is crafted in Italy and fully lined in black suede. This compact design has three leather card slots and a logo-detailed push clasp fastening. Contrast the bright orange hue with a navy cocktail dress. RO615 from Net-A-Porter
CARRIED AWAY: Penny’s top tips to bag buying
1 Think about the necessities and make sure that your choice is roomy enough to accommodate them. If it doesn’t fit the bare essentials, then there’s no point having a bag.
2 Although you can get some great deals without breaking the bank, be sure that the quality is still there. It might be worth spending an extra few rials to ensure the longevity
of your purchase. I always justify an expensive bag with a “cost per wear” calculation which can be determined by dividing the price of an item by the number of times you think you’ll use it. 3 On that note, choose clean, classic designs over trendy ones. They’ll last longer.