CLUTCH & CARRY

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Style -

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

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