While there are many fashionable items constantly vying for my attention, I’m able to resist the allure of many of the pieces I come across. My weakness, however, is handbags. Shoes I like, but there’s still the uncertainly of whether they’ll fit or fully integrate themselves into how I live my life. Bags, on the other hand? There’s very little guesswork involved—what you get is what you see—and I find, in the world of shopping, they're a safer bet. Once I decide I like a bag, rarely can I be swayed, and that's exactly how I feel about autumn 2023's handbag trends.
Debuting on the runways back in February, there were plenty of new bag styles and silhouettes that caught my eye. Still, of the literal hundreds featured in the latest collections, there were seven that really stood out. So, what were these miraculous bags; the ones this editor thinks are the best of the best? Instead of focusing on specific styles, I've honed overarching trends. This has allowed me to bring to the fore a selection of suitable handbags that tap into the trends, but at various price points. From textures to silhouettes to colours, scroll on to discover what autumn 2023's hottest handbag trends are, as dictated by the runway.
1. DREAM WEAVERS
Photo:Courtesy of Bottega Veneta
Style Notes: Woven bags might be synonymous with summer, but they're back in the spotlight for autumn by way of leather iterations. Bottega Veneta has been serving up such bags for a while now, all of which remain high in demand. As a consequence, there are lots of suitable homages cropping up across the marketplace, too.
Photo:Courtesy of Loewe
Style Notes: Tiny bags might look cute in an Instagram post but, in reality, they're not all that practical. The same, however, could be said for the gargantuan totes showcased at Loewe. Instead, take the idea and run with it with an oversized but still within the realms of cartable tote bag.
Photo:Courtesy of Miu Miu
Style Notes: Going against what I said above, not all bags need to be practical; some can serve purpose just being fabulous, and autumn's crop of clutches certainly fall into that category. We saw them in many shapes and guises, everywhere from Jil Sander to Miu Miu, but the style I'm most interested in is of the puffy, slouchy sort.
4. RED HOT
Photo:Tory Burch/Launchmetrics Spotlight
Style Notes: If 2023 were a colour, it would absolutely be red. Not only was it the most predominant colour for spring/summer, but it proved even more impactful on the autumn/winter runway. While we saw everything from full-blown red looks to dramatic scarlet gowns, I think one of the most noteworthy and timeless ways to add it to your wardrobe is in handbag form.
5. GEOMETRY CLASS
Style Notes: You can always count on some sort of geometric shape to make the rounds come Fashion Month, and according to Prada and a whole lot more, it's the trapezoid that equates to being on-trend this season. I flunked maths, but this is geometry I can get behind.
Photo:Loro Piana/Launchmetrics Spotlight
Style Notes: Brace yourself because you'll be seeing a lot of furry and fluffy bags this season.Soft, cloud-like bags popped up everywhere from Loro Piana to Coach, giving the runway a cuddly quality usually reserved for faux-fur coats.
7. BUCKLE UP
Photo:Courtesy of Gucci
Style Notes: No, you're not seeing things: Another Y2K trend has risen from the fashion ashes, as buckles have begun embellishing bags once more. I remember sobbing the day the strap broke on my buckle-laden Jane Norman shoulder bag. Rest assured, 2023's selection is more long-lasting in terms of aesthetic and quality.