way to update your fashion wardrobe is to splash out on the latest 'it' handbag. In the past season, several 'it
have emerged rather than an 'it bag brand' of note.
Last year, the luxury super-soft treated skins used for the Zagliani bags got a great deal of press coverage
for their innovative fashionable bags.
In 2007 these bags were shown mostly with a hefty £1500 price
tag. The Zagliani story was such a success, that matchesfashion.com
now sell Zagliani handbags from £550 for a small trendy clutch to £6785
for a large puffy croc bag.
This year, no one material or construction such Bottega Veneta's intrecciato
woven leather technique has so far stood out enough, to be a must-have
bag. Already high end mass producers are using a similar
technique. However, both croc and ostrich textures have proved
popular for the fashion designs coming from the high end retailers. Could this green ostrich bag from Gucci and shown left,
be this year's 'it' bag next trend. At £5710 you may seek
high street alternatives that are more affordable. Yet if you have stealth wealth - go ahead!
This lovely trio of bags by Osprey is their Ava style. Ava
made from polished croc embossed leather, with silver lock and
Ava bag size is perfect - not too big and not too small.
Never mind the fashion trends, like
all 'good' quality bags, it has a studded base. These bags also
pay attention to our need for pockets.
There is one
convenient outside pocket,
which would be perfect for keys, small change or a mobile phone
as well as two inside pockets. But for me, the most appealing 'it factor' is the adjustable underarm shoulder strap, so that the
bag can be tailored to sit well on the individual shoulder.
This lovely leather bag left, by Balenciaga is from Browns and
costs £1200. The two tone bag has short plaited handles
Polished Croc Osprey Ava Bags shown in White and Rose -
Code: 0850-50 and £435 each.
In spring 2008 it's
not just metallics, crocodile, lizard, snake skin or other
animal style materials that are available. Bags are made
from a wide range
of abstract and floral prints, tribal dyed textiles, wood,
raffia and bead encrustation. Shiny patent leather is also
a look that glistens.
For 2008 bags, there is a definite trend to play with colour,
novel texture and fabric. Coarse woven linen looks,
crochet materials, gem or pearl studding, busy printed
fabrics and tie dye effects all feature on bags. You can also see the exact same effects on the
must-have platform sole or wedge shoe.
Both bags and shoes show a trend to set one texture against another. For example, rich suede with both matte leather and shiny
patent in one solid colour and with even more contrast from
textured gold chunky chains or tortoiseshell handles.
Patchwork effects are a growing fad in bags and footwear.
and faux gems, or pearls in particular feature both on
Left - Dune Envelope Clutch Bag - Milla, £55/€80. Dune Court
Shoe - Killa, £85 or €120.
Above Right - Dune Spring/Summer 2008 - Ladies & Accessories -
Sandal- Lilly, £85/€120. Clutch Bag - Milly, £45/€65.
Right - Pearl Clutch Bag £30/€51 from Accessorize Springs/Summer
Invest now in the clutch bag. This is the most fashionable 'new' bag trend for Spring and Summer 2008. Although an oft revived
style, its now showing many innovative quirks that make it look
like a fresh trend. You may see loads of larger tote like bags in the stores, but I
feel that although we all need a big bag in many situations, big
bags are now at mass saturation point.
A smaller bag, especially
if it is an investment purchase like this Osprey clutch, is a bag
trend on the up.
Right - Clutch Polished Croc leather clutch bag from Osprey
- Code: 0873-50-BLK 34 cm long - Price: £265. Russell
and Bromley were also stocking a clutch bag of similar style
recently in black suede.
Right - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd Accessories
Spring 2008 - Blue Clutch Bag £21.99.
There have not been so many different coloured bags to
be bought since the fashion
trends of the 1980s era. Just a decade or so ago
in the nineties, bag colours had become limited to neutrals of black, brown,
tan, beige and
navy. But now along with bold colour, there is also
pattern and contrast piping. Some colour is stylish, some simply garish, but there is
choice; you are no longer limited to black, navy, tan or
Right - Frivolous, red soft washed leather DIOR gipsy ruffles bag with
zip closure at £895. Available at Dior online.
For the spring and summer of 2008, both the designers and the high street stores have provided
superb choice, and as a result you can choose from a huge range of smaller hand bags and clutch bags. The shops are also stocked with lots of larger tote bags. All these
oversized bags we have become so used to carrying happily sit beside the
newer smaller bags. Ahhhh - choice - wonderful.
bag accessory of course comes in any size, and thus is a great way to
work toward downsizing your bags. You easily remove the small clutch (much like a
money purse wallet) from a larger tote
bag, and this is great way to ease yourself into using smaller handbags.
Or try a crafted bag like this novel Eire design from
jamescyn.com. It has a
vintage expanding circular metal closure and bracelet handle.
It's simply magical for a special occasion. Above Left -
Jamescyn Eire bag in green velvet, lined in golden silk and with
a secret pocket. Exquisite - I love it.
But for some the Eire
bag may be too small. Many will find it hard
to forego all the
excess personal trappings they are used to toting around. Yes shops have hundreds of oversized bags in stock, but they are
not the hot fashion of a few seasons ago. Use your
oversized bags more as small luggage bags, or as overnight vanity cases. If you need a larger handbag, especially for work and travel,
consider if your existing tote bag has the 'it factors' of the moment.
Three looks stand out - dome, puffy and doctor bags.
If you are not yet ready to abandon your larger bag then try
to select a frame bag which is neat and shapely, rather than
loose and undisciplined. Left - J by Jasper Conran
Clutch Frame Bag - Debenhams Spring/Summer 2008 - Women's
For summer 2008 add a neat, pyramid dome style bag to
your collection. The small bag left is the newest take on
the pyramid silhouette. Note the mixed textures of the
chain handle. On the right the pyramid bag in soft pink
has the popular shoulder strap and short handles option. River
Island Clothing Co. Ltd Womenswear
Accessories SS08 - Pink Bag £29.99/ €50.50
bags below are much larger scale wise, but note the similarity
of bag silhouette.
The pyramid dome bag follows the style of the YSL muse bag and
is similar to these high street bags. You
may recall I looked at
the rise of this 'it bag' shape back in 2006.
Left - Grey croc embossed handbag by Vivienne Westwood for House
of Fraser - £585.
Right - Coccinelle green dome handbag at £175 and also from House of
Note also that the majority of these tote bags are true
handbags rather than underarm bags. Of course there are
still plenty of underarm bags on offer.
This silver bag left has many fashionable elements, and can be found in the
Novak by Alexander McQueen. This silver bag is from
Debenhams Spring/Summer 2008 Women's Accessories range of Red
Herring bags and is inexpensive. Debenhams Mika Bag £25/€39.
When shopping in a crowded city, an underarm bag firmly
closed and tucked between arm and body, seems more under
personal control than a loose long handle shoulder bag, that
floats about more freely.
These are all attractive, well-shaped bags for this season.
Puffy bags follow a similar line to these dome
bags above and the similarity in proportion is important.
Immediate Right - Tan Rocked bag by Dune in dark tan,
Billy Bag - Molly style burnished old gold tone handbag in balloon
puffy framed style - £140 from the Cruise Collection, Winter 07/08.
Far Right - Billy Bag - Blue Molly puffy handbag at £120 from
the Billy Bag Spring 2008 collection
These totes all have related elements.
There is also a trend for inset loop grab handles in
leather or metal tubing. Immediate right - Wallis Spring summer 2008
black oversized lizard tote shopper £30, €47. The silver tote far
right is from New Look.
Capacious bags for summer holidays set the mood
for sunny days ahead. A reverse dome bag makes a great basket style for
carefree summer days. These 2 baskets from the high street both
look good and one even has a Gucci touch. You could easily add a
scarf in a colour of your own choice.
Right - Gold contrast edge basket by Dune Spring Summer 2008
Near Right - Basket with thread through fabric by New Look.
This tan bag from Plumo with western style
trims and two outer pockets and is generously proportioned
inside with a zipped, large inner pouch. It has chunky
pocket features to access must-have items quickly making it
perfect for travelling.
Left - Prairie Bag by Plumo - £129.00.
For Spring Summer 2008 - All these bag trends
are in the shops now.
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