Offering Both Practicality and Whimsy, Top-Handle Bags Will Be a Perennial Classic
A/W 23 was full of fabulous bags from Clutches, evening minaudieres, shoulder bags, and oversized totes, but the one style that appears to be on everyone’s arm is the classic Top Handle. Designers came to the fore with many fabulous iterations of this not-so-humble classic. It’s popularity is attributed to the update in wearable fashion, where ladylike femininity and the new tailoring runs the gamut through collections. Typical classic pieces appeared at Tory Burch, Dior, and Gabriela Hurst, while several of these timeless pieces came in hybrid versions with detachable shoulder straps at Chanel, Givenchy, and Valentino. These timeless pieces came in miniature versions, big enough for a phone and lipstick. Coach applied double handles, while Chanel, Gucci, and Carolina Herrera represented versions with a single handle.
The creativity unleashed by designers will undoubtedly see an iteration of one of these classics become the new ‘It’ bag for the season. Luar’s top handle, ‘It’ bag Ana, is reimagined in smaller and larger designs, one with glamorous surface embellishment and the other in glistening snakeskin. Unexpected shapes and finishes emerged, adding dimension to surfaces and emphasizing new textures and shapes. Ferragamo’s classic came in brushed leather, reinterpreted with a chunky gold chain handle – timeless and covetable. Prada’s riff on last season’s triangular shape updated the sculptural design with lines of perfection and feminine embossed florals, drawing attention to the simplicity of the trapezoid shape in feminine hues of soft pink and white. And speaking of femininity, the Dior classic top handle was reimagined with 3-d embellished flowers – take note, a collector’s item for the future.
Double pouch bags in soft, supple leather could also be the next must-have item, from daywear to evening styles. Chloe adds a metal hardware ring as the handle and creates a duality of purpose by adding a shoulder chain, while knotted leather details lean into the contemporary appeal. Multi-bags were evident in several collections, including Bottega Veneta, whose minimalist plaited leather featured a novelty handle in the shape of a fish. And building on a theme, novelty top-handled bags are a perfect addition to a classic wardrobe. Thom Browne and Louis Vuitton’s creative delights will offer whimsy and joy.