Get your affairs in order, now.
Words by Shelby Ying Hyde
If you’ve kept an eye on the latest runway collections, then you know that glitzy jewelry and party-ready clothing is the status quo for the new season. But when it comes to handbags, practicality is king (perhaps it’s the lingering effects of the pandemic). We’re seeing tiny going-out bags that are still as relevant as ever rub elbows with more functional styles now, like extra-large totes and chic, low-slung messenger bags (looking at you, Peter Do), and we’re not mad at it.
Of course, practical doesn’t mean basic with this new batch of power bags. Proenza Schouler proves that point with its compact, front-flap bag that’s perfectly suited for the everyday but has the power to dress up every look in your wardrobe. Risk-takers will appreciate the runways’ maximalist approach to layering, which sees its models sport not one, but two or even three bags on their person.
If handbags aren’t really your thing, well, there’s a spring trend for that too. Enter: the rise of the bag-less purse. Designers have cracked the code on how to go hands free in style with more discreet options including a pocketbook necklace and a kitschy coin purse that hitches a ride on your belt. The bottom line: There’s something here for everyone. So to get ahead of the masses, keep scrolling for the most notable handbag trends from the catwalk that are bound to be everywhere next spring.
Running On All Cylinders
The cylinder bag — a silhouette closely related to the “pencil case” — was everywhere this season. It’s compact, yet surprisingly spacious design offers minimalists a new shape to have fun with this season, while also falling in line with the industry’s penchant for nostalgia — as its reminiscent of the baguette-style purses from your teenage years. Its early 2000s roots gave way to the backpack, crossbody, and clutch options on the runway today.
Seen at: Hermes, Isabel Marant, Jil Sander
A Tisket, A Tasket…
Everyone this season is making baskets. Whether it’s the traditional straw tote that you’ve come to expect from designers during their spring presentations or a completely new take that feels relevant to the times, it’s clear that woven styles are on designers’ minds. Givenchy created a more artful iteration — with a gold, basketball at the center. While Giambattista Valli churned out small basket totes with elevated embellishments around the top handles.
Seen at: Givenchy, Chloe, Johanna Ortiz, Giambattista Valli,
Return of the Bowler
With the early aughts back in full effect, it was only a matter of time before the derby-style, bowler bag made a resurgence. The sporty silhouettes is best identified by its nostalgic racing stripes and dual top handles, allowing it to be carried in hand — regardless of size. Brands like Christian Dior put their own mark on the trend (quite literally) with its logo across the front. Louis Vuitton and Courreges offer a more discreet, leather approach that will transcend seasons and trends with ease.
Seen at: Dior, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant, Courreges
Taking the kitsch of the early aughts to new heights, heart-shaped bags are about to be all the rage. At Lanvin they appeared in sparkly, red and blue iterations that will act as the perfect outfit accompaniments for a night out. But when it comes to the versions shown at Chanel and Balmain, expect something a bit more polished — like its signature quilted leather and exaggerated chain detail.
Seen at: Lanvin, Chanel, Balmain
Stay the Night
Proving that practicality is still king on the runways, powerhouse and smaller brands, alike, have been creating their own take on the XL tote that’s perfectly suited for overnighters. Slouchy by design, these carry-all bags showed up in plush, shearling iterations as well as, 2D designs from Marni that looked like they came straight from a comic book. Of course, if you’re looking for something more timeless, Max Mara’s lineup of massive candy-colored leather hobo totes have your bases covered.
Seen at: Max Mara, Marni, Giorgio Armani, Versace,
The camera bag has gotten a few face-lifts for the spring season and they’re super chic. Setting the classic structured shape apart from the rest, it’s reimagined in a plethora of fabrics and designs that will make you forget everything you know about the everyday silhouette. Sportmax introduced an oblong-shaped purse that doubles as a fanny pack, while Tod’s and Bally opted for a more traditional take in XL and teeny tiny sizes to make it feel especially relevant for present day.
Seen at: Sportmax, Tod’s, Bally, MSGM
Charmed, I’m Sure
On par with the comeback of kitschy jewelry are the charm-detailed chain straps for your handbag. Made popular in the 2000s, the trend is on the rise for spring 2022 thanks to the throwback feel of brands like Blumarine. Versace took a more practical approach, showing its runway bags with coin purse-inspired charms for a little extra edge. Even better if the chain can be removed and double as a belt, worn through the loop of your pants video vixen style.
Seen at: Blumarine, Versace, Sunnei
Harness Your Power
Keep your essentials close this season with a harness-style bag, as seen on the runway. Though it may feel eerily similar to the fanny pack wave making its rounds in the industry, what sets this trend from London Fashion Week apart are the supportive body straps that enhance the saddle design. Some are slung round the waist, satchel style, while others can be strapped around your thigh in a scuba-like fashion. In both instances, the silhouette is discreet enough to be worn with second-skin clothing—per the catwalk—but also petite enough to be cinched around baggier options.
Seen at: Yuhan Wang, David Koma
“Bigger is better” seems to be the ongoing motto of Fashion Month, and we’re here for it. Designers of all sizes are blowing up your favorite silhouettes from past seasons (think, compact baguettes and woven market totes) into extra-large proportions that are actually quite chic. Whether you prefer something simple like an oversized, fold-over leather clutch or an over-the-top fringed raffia carryall, the runway has plenty to offer for spring.
Seen at: Mark Fast, Eudon Choi, Rejina Pyo, Molly Goddard
Sealed with a Kiss Lock
The shows overseas gave way to a handful of handbags worth keeping on your radar—including kiss-lock coin purses that recall something you’d find in your grandmother’s closet. The ladylike bag was presented with modern updates and romantic details, like floral embellishments and pastel plaid prints. It may be time to consider swapping out your going-out clutch with this new (old) silhouette for evenings out on the town.
Seen at: Simone Rocha, Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, Louis Vuitton
The Phantom Bag
It seems that more and more brands are encouraging their customers to go sans handbag by offering unique, fully functional alternatives instead. This season, there was an undeniable influx of “bag-less purses” that allow the girl on the go to keep her small essentials safe, without the trouble of carrying an actual handbag. Whether its slipped around your neck, lariat style, or looped through your belt, hand-free options are the thing now.
Seen at: Brandon Maxwell, Altuzarra, Staud, Ulla Johnson
What’s better than one bag? Two or three bags, according to the latest and greatest from NYFW. Giving the phrase bag lady a new, chicer meaning, designers are equipping the masses, quite literally, with the storage space they need to reemerge in society as their most fabulous selves.
Seen at: Altuzarra and Ulla Johnson
With the impending return to the office top of mind for most, brands are churning out accessories that are as chic as they are practical and will in turn work hard in your back-to-work wardrobe. From manila-thin totes and billfold clutches to everyday bags reminiscent of your lawyer’s briefcase, these timeless styles are the perfect way to polish up even the most laid-back looks, with little to no effort.
Seen at: Proenza Schouler, Peter Do, Coach
Now Serving Dumplings
Every so often there’s a bag shape that steals the hearts of the style set, and right now it’s all about the dumpling. A cheeky name for the fold-up design sweeping the runways and the streets, the trending silhouette showed up in an assortment of sizes, colorways, and designs throughout the week, further cementing its status as a major must-have.
Seen at: Tory Burch, Altuzarra, Gabriela Hearst, Peter Do
Don’t write the crafty trend from past seasons off too soon, as the runways in New York proved that the artisan-inspired designs are here to stay. Amping up the offering with elevated takes on open-weave handbags, brands of all sizes presented their fair share of massive totes and netted leather buckets alongside the crochet-knit pieces of our dreams.
Seen at: Gabriela Hearst, Jonathan Simkhai, Ulla Johnson
– – – – –
This article originally appeared on harpersbazaar.com