CLUTCH & CARRY
IGiorgio Armani Autumn/Winter ’13
Fashion gives you something
to hold on to.
f you’re the kind of woman who carries your life in your handbag, you may need to pare down. The most covetable new handbags are ladylike structured top-handle bags and soft, sleek clutches. Clutches used to mean “I’m going out at night” or “I have a driver, so I can get away with the tiniest bag possible” but the style has established itself as an everyday must. On the runways were beautiful colour-blocked envelopes at Narciso Rodriguez, midsize Lunch Bag styles at Proenza Schouler (one in white ostrich, proof of the white bag microtrend), and large squishy ones at Céline (so sought after, they’ll take some strategising to secure). While streamlined clutches have sophistication written all over them, the soft, roomier ones have a carefree, less buttonedup spirit that’s extremely appealing. For those who still feel a clutch is not practical, there are two options. The first: If you work in an office, stick a clutch in your tote and take it out on appointments. The second is to be practical and carefully choose what goes in it. Be ruthless in your edit: Cash, credit cards, keys, lipstick, and phone. The process can be immensely liberating. I promise.
At the other end of the spectrum is the top-handle bag. I remember the last time I invested in one. It was a rounded caramelbrown Prada with a gold push lock. I bought it more than a decade ago, and as evidence that fashion is cyclical, Miu Miu introduced a near identical bag this Spring. But it wasn’t until I saw the elegant black-and-white top-handle bag at The Row that I seriously considered carrying one again. Balenciaga had stunning versions with soon-to-beiconic silver hardware. (My favourite was cut from distressed white croc.) Giorgio Armani sent multiple iterations down the runway.
For ladies who refuse to give up lugging their stuff, Victoria Beckham’s Victoria Tote Mini – in gorgeous saturated shades of cobalt, orange, and chocolate – will let you do it graciously. And don’t forget the classics: My ultimate top-handle bag is a soft leather Hermès Kelly Mou. Because the one thing a top-handle bag does, no matter what you’re wearing, is give you an aura of polish. Girls don’t carry them; women do. But which bag to choose? It may sound counterintuitive, but try unmatching your bag to your outfit. In other words, with dresses and skirts for day, try a cuddly, less formal clutch. With more casual clothes (jeans and blazers), opt for a more dressed-up top-handle bag. Make your bag the yin to your outfit’s yang. And remember, a little bag goes a long way.
Bottega Veneta Autumn/Winter ’13
Mulberry Autumn/ Winter ’13 Chanel Autumn/ Winter ’13