As a habitual planner, I'm always looking ahead and thinking about what's next. Although this has its setbacks, it does come in handy for my job as a fashion editor, where, yes, I need to live and be aware of the current goings on, but I also need to immerse myself in the future; that's where the bulk of my trend-sourcing lies. And what's on the horizon? Autumn/winter 2022, of course.
So far, we've analysed the runways by way of our bumper trend report, which, if you haven't already done so, I suggest reading to better understand the upcoming fashion mood. Today, however, I'm honing in on handbags; specifically, the autumn/winter 2022 handbag trends I think will be the season's most noteworthy. From my research, it's clear that the handbags we'll discuss fall into one of two camps.
On one side, there's been a distinct focus on timelessness, pieces that don't feel too tethered to a specific fashion moment. Be it the elevated tailoring at Jil Sander or the clean silhouettes at Maryam Nassir Zadeh. This appreciation of pared-back design has carried over to bags, too, where there's an emphasis on form and function, set against a versatile palette of ecru, brown, and khaki. The other side, however, is its antithesis. Bold, playful, and borderline brash designs that look as if they've been pulled straight from the Y2K playbook.
Whatever aesthetic you subscribe to, I guarantee there's a bag to suit you in the new-season line-up. Scroll on to see the seven biggest autumn/winter 2022 handbag trends, then shop my favourite picks for each.
1. Curve Appeal
Photo:COURTESY OF BOTTEGA VENETA, 3.1 PHILIP LIM, MIU MIU
Style Notes: Form was a recurring theme on the runway this season, and that transcends to handbags, too. Curved lines were, perhaps, the most predominant style in the new collections. Part of its appeal, however, is that it doesn’t feel too 2022—it could have come from any season, from any year. That’s how to you know it’ll remain timeless.
2. Biker Chicks
Photo:COURTESY OF COPERNI, ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, ZADIG & VOLTAIRE
Style Notes: Biker details kept popping up all over the runway, most commonly in leather jackets and chunky flat boots. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed a serious surge of black bags for 2022, each adorned with studs or statement zips (or, in some cases, both!).
Photo:COURTESY OF ISABEL MARANT, BRANDON MAXWELL, EUDON CHOI
Style Notes: This season, designers approach their bags with the same logic I apply to my pizza order—that bigger is most certainly better. Jumbo totes are in for autumn, with both structured and slouchy designs coming through.
4. Two for One
Photo:COURTESY OF JIL SANDER, FENDI
Style Notes: What’s better than one designer bag? Two designer bags, of course! Expect to see lots of handbag styles with accompanying pouches this season; a trend which Prada is currently paving the way for.
5. Warm and Fuzzy
Photo:COURTESY OF HELMUT LANG, OFF-WHITE, FENDI
Style Notes: You know the saying “what goes around comes around”? It might refer to karma, but it also applies to fashion, too. And right now, I’m experiencing a major dose of déjà vu looking at the fuzzy handbags that decorated the arms of models on the autumn/winter 2022 runways. Admittedly, however, Helmut Lang, Off-White and Fendi have made them significantly chicer than the cheap styles I carried circa 2001.
Photo:COURTESY OF CHLOÉ, BOTTEGA VENETA, JIL SANDER
Style Notes: Although clutches haven’t really gone out of style, suffice to say they’ve haven’t been quote as popular as they were pre-pandemic, for reasons I should think are fairly obvious. Now, though, they’re very much back on the radar of top designers, who showcased a slew of minimal styles for autumn/winter.
7. Crystal Clear
Photo:COURTESY OF ISABEL MARANT, GCDS, OFF-WHITE
Style Notes: Party season might be a few months off still, but that’s not to say you need to wait until December to wear some sparkle. Sure, there’s always glittering shoes at your disposal, but handbags present an even easier way to add some glitz to your everyday looks. Choose a bright hue like the bags seen at Off-White, or stick to clear crystals like Isabel Marant—the choice is entirely yours.