The handbag, an item we carry every day, has reached something of a frenzied status with waiting lists for new designs, the inauguration of iconic bags and a thriving knockoff industry.
It is the designer handbag which communicates this message most strongly, no longer defined by its use or quality but by its symbolism of wealth, status and access. The humble handbag, an item you select carefully and guard fiercely, as von Furstenberg breezily explained, is the most overt sign of your identity and personal space during daylight hours. The uncomfortable paradox is that while luxury handbags are increasingly able to communicate seasons, trends and spending habits, those responsible for designing them are often silenced.
While the image of a pained artist seeking creative inspiration is seductive, the problems associated with handbag design are largely financial and bureaucratic. Consider the expertly crafted prototypes needed for each handbag collection combined with the often expensive materials required to make them. Here we reach the most disappointing aspect in which the pitfalls of handbag design are most heavily burdened on independent designers rather than those working in-house. The sheer number of start-up costs for those wishing to build a brand around their designs is overwhelming.
Hey, Girls ! Look at these gorgeous handbags. Aim to own it, life is so short.
Consider it the next evolution of the bucket bag from Altuzarra, Alexander Wang and more—and cinch it.
MAKE IT A LARGE
On the other side of that curious Alice equation are extra large handbags—from Moroccan poufs at Balenciaga to giant totes at Celine and lady bags gone large at Marc Jacobs—you can never have too much of a good thing.
Handbags appear straight out of the Frieze Art Fair, with graphic prints at Versace, pop art phrasing at Loewe and Gucci and painterly details at Prada.
The mantra for Spring is how small can you go? Designers are going Alice in Wonderland on some of our favorite shapes to charming results.
HANDLES WITH CARE
The message this season is clear—hold on tight. From gilded, circular hardware to studded versions at Miu Miu and Vuitton’s rope, never take handles for granted again .