As another virtual fashion month comes to an end, as always, we here at PurseBop are engaging in some contemplative handbag thought. A slew of compelling bag trends graced the Fall/Winter 2021 runways. There has been a shift towards more practical, wearable designs but with all the glitz and flamboyance that your post-pandemic wardrobe will require.
We see big bags return in a sizeable magnitude in the form of ultra practical totes. Y2K-inspired designs Paris Hilton would approve of are prevalent in equal measure. And no need to invest in a new winter coat since the plethora of fluffy and fuzzy bags on show are sure to keep you toasty all fall and winter long. Here are the bag trends you need to know about.
The Resurgence of Y2K Bags Is Not Over Yet!
Y2K fashion is unlike any other period of style in history. Referring to fashion from the early ’00s, the era is instantly recognizable from the garish colors, excessive animal prints and the ostentatious embellishments. And it looks like the resurgence of Y2K style is not over yet. The two biggest early aughts trends on the runways this season are logomania and curved shoulder bags shaped like croissants (oh là là).
Monogram Once More
Logomania and particularly flashy monogram prints are synonymous with early aughts style. And while the fashion crowd has been obsessing over monogram for a few years now, it appears in abundance on the runways for fall.
At Versace, there’s a new monogram. The new La Greca monogram resembles a 3D drawn version of the brand’s signature Greek Key pattern. Featured on some of Versace’s most popular and classic designs, the fresh motif aims to improve the house’s accessory game. That, as we know, means big business. Even the show’s runway set was constructed of the new monogram blown up into a huge wooden structure. The mostly virtual audience watched models navigate the pattern, leaving no doubt the significance of this new monogram.
However, many are arguing that the La Greca monogram looks too similar to Goyard’s Chevron monogram. The Instagram account @diet_prada, known as fashion’s watchdog, was among those drawing a strong comparison between the two. The House’s decision to send models down the runway carrying monogrammed bags comparable to Goyard’s Artois tote likely fuelled the comparison. Do you think the prints are too alike?
Monogram also features on the Balmain runway, although perhaps not to quite the same intensity. At the end of last year Olivier Rousteing brought back the iconic PB Monogram which the house’s founder Pierre Balmain designed in 1970. Rousteing uses the now vintage print in his new collection for a series of bags, including monogram embossed leather styles.
Balmain isn’t the only house to incorporate a vintage monogram pattern in its fall offering. Fendi’s collection features Karl Lagerfeld’s FF Karligraphy monogram which he designed in 1981 for the house.
Bags Shaped Like Croissants
The half moon-shaped shoulder bag style showcased by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior at the start of the millennium has been reimagined for the Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collections.
At Versace the curved design appears in the house’s new La Greca monogram in a brown hue. The bag features a chestnut colored leather trim, strap and tab closure, embossed with the house’s name in gold-tone lettering. The design’s slouchy, hobo silhouette is perfect for all the carefree days of post-pandemic living ahead of us.
The bag appears in a smaller version in a shiny red variation of the La Greca monogram with blue and black shades mixed in. The small size will make it a cute and quirky party accessory.
Oversized versions of the hobo style half moon-shaped shoulder bag also appear at Miu Miu and Chloé. Miuccia Prada presents the style in fluffy leopard print for Miu Miu, amplifying the Y2K aesthetic. And at her namesake brand comes the new Prada Cleo, presenting a sleek and structured take on the hobo style’s silhouette. The Cleo, released at the end of 2020, is a hot contender for covetable ‘It’ bag status. We also spy an extra large version in black.
But Balmain has perhaps the most unique take on the croissant shaped style. How to wear the curved shoulder bag? As a neck-pillow! Using the bag as a sleepy travel accessory fits with the collection’s aviation theme and certainly gets us excited for the lifting of post-pandemic travel restrictions. Models wore the design around their necks with the body of the bag behind them and the shoulder strap hanging loosely around the neck. The strap is made from a thick material with a gold-tone chain blended in, giving it the look of a statement chunky necklace on the models.
The bag’s slouchy early ‘00s silhouette combined with the chain element of the shoulder strap makes for an interesting take on the slouchy pouch and chunky chain combo. This trend first came about in the form of Bottega Veneta’s The Chain Pouch, then the Louis Vuitton Coussin (that bag which every influencer is toting on Instagram right now), and more recently on Fendi’s Fall 2021 ready-to-wear runway.
Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, presents the new bag in a profusion of flashy colors ought to make any Y2K starlet fall head over heels in love. Standout shades include bright red, baby pink and fuchsia. The latter hue is imprinted with Balmain’s vintage P.B. monogram. The bag even features in micro form as earrings – which we are currently obsessing over!
Make Those Pockets Pop
When it comes to handbags, minimalism can go a long way. However, decorative finishes appeal to even the most practical of bag lovers. And when a bag is adorned with useful embellishments, like an abundance of pockets, it’s hard to resist. Pockets that pop are here for fall.
Versace’s collection includes several boxy open totes with pockets popping out on the front in a series of color combinations. The square and circle shaped pockets, along with the tote and thick crossbody strap all feature the house’s new monogram print in alternating red, brown, olive and blue shades. Boxy totes with pop out pockets also feature on the Balmain runway. One dark olive colored bag with a cut-out top handle sports a gold front pocket.
For Chloé, Gabriela Hearst constructs a pop out pocket made from a thick knitted material on the front of one bag. Pop out pockets also feature in Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2021 collection. The look is somewhat a progression from the covetable multi bag trend. We have seen it in the form of mini bags used as charms and add-ons to bigger styles for a few seasons now.
These practical additions to bags are yet another hark back to the Y2K aesthetic. Bags featuring front pocket details such as LV’s Manhattan and Multicolore Speedy were widely popular at the time.
The Miu Miu show takes place atop a mountain in Italy. Models tote fuzzy, yeti-style bags while wearing knitted snoods and face coverings. Far from being just balls of fluff, these designs have high fashion appeal. Many of Miu Miu’s fluffy bags incorporate the curved croissant bag style. One model carries what looks like a suede and shearling trimmed bag. This material combination has long been a favorite of designers and seems to be appearing on bags everywhere right now.
Prada’s fuzzy bags for fall come in varying shades and feature the house’s unmistakable triangular logo and sleek leather top handles.
Big And Boxy
Big bags are back for fall and designers are opting for boxy, rectangular shapes. The complete antithesis of the teeny tiny bags we’ve seen toted on the runway for the past few seasons, these spacious designs are a welcome change for fall 2021. Large, structured rectangular bags with cut-out top handles feature in the Balmain and Fendi collections. Balmain’s monogrammed fuchsia version is one of our favorites.
Prada opts for a more unstructured take on the trend with models clutching sizable rectangular designs but in what looks like soft, supple leather. Similar to Balmain, the bags come in lucid shades, including indigo and turquoise.
Which bag trends are you most excited to sport this fall/winter? Let us know.
Updated: March 27th, 2021