The Handbag Trends We’re Carrying Into Winter

From Valentino Garavani studded signatures to the Coperni moon bag and reimagined ’90s styles, we share our picks of the best designer handbags for Autumn/Winter.

It’s no secret that we’re experiencing a new era for fashion trends – no longer twice a year, trends have shifted from seasonal cycles to a smorgasbord of contrasting offerings all at once. Designer bags have long been equalisers in the luxury sector (I am reminded of the famous Marc Jacobs quote that “any woman” can wear his handbags), and in a summer packed with extravagant show spectacles, shoppers are returning to the runway for guidance through the sea of aesthetics on offer.

Perhaps the autumnal offerings from Valentino Garavani best personifies this, with vivid Pink PP briefcases fit for Elle Woods – a nod to the enduring y2k trend, while also injecting a lightheartedness into the ephemerally serious sartorial piece, and proving there’s no limit to the surprising pairings that are taking centre stage this women’s designer purses collection.

Taking notes from Autumn/Winter ’22 runways, designers have proven there’s nothing that can’t be a bag. In need of a pigeon clutch? Look no further than JW Anderson. A leather holdall in the shape of a rat? Speak to Thom Browne. Or do you need to up your vegetable intake? Collina Strada’s encrusted broccoli evening bag has got you covered.

Moreover, at Bottega Veneta, Altuzarra and Proenza Schouler, bags on bags was the look du jour. The double-stacked styling trick has become an essential one for busy individuals, and makes good use of the micro bags we all purchased during the trend’s prominence the last few seasons. Remember that old Chanel quote about taking one thing off before leaving the house? That rule is out, and shoulder pain is most definitely in.

So whatever your practical needs or trend-core obsessions require, from supersized totes to micro clutches, these are the shapes and styles of women’s designer bags that we’re crushing on for this Autumn/Winter and beyond.

Tell Me About It, Stud

When it comes to studded designs, you don’t have to look further than Valentino Garavani. Through Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli’s pink-tinted lens, the Valentino Garavani signature rocker styles are reimagined for Autumn in Pink PP – the brand’s own unique shade, thanks to a collaboration with Pantone Colour Institute. Piccioli explained that for the all Pink PP runway show, the monochrome styling highlights the beauty in the details, embellishments and fabrications of the intricate designs, and we couldn’t agree more.  

Update any outfit with the super versatile Valentino Garavani Roman Stud shoulder bag, or pack a punch with the Valentino Garavani One Stud Nappa handbag, as – thanks to Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig’s hotly-anticipated flick – Barbiecore is set to reach new highs in 2023, so we anticipate seeing plenty more of the brand’s eye-catching hue. For those looking to add just a touch of hardware, the reissued Valentino Garavani Stud Sign embellished leather shoulder bag offers timeless appeal.

Studs and beads were scattered across a number of collections, including slouchy shoulder bags at Marine Serre and heavy moto-style studs at Gucci, adding toughness to their classic styles.

Fly Me To The Moon

Much like the name suggests, the ‘moon bag’ style is defined by its curvaceous body. The shape can be traced back through brands like Coperni, who for Autumn/Winter ’22 partnered with glass artists Home in Heven to produce spherical glass iterations of the style, complete with two devil horns. The item quickly became a highlight of the show season, and was subsequently worn by Doja Cat to The Grammys.

With many returning to hybrid work and flexible working days, there’s nothing quite like an accessory that offers both functionality and style. More slouchy, curved bags started to appear on runways last year, an indication of our return to office life, travel plans and busy schedules via the ‘hold everything’ holdall. Back in the summer, the style appeared at oversized scales, but for Autumn/Winter ’22 the styles have shrunken to modest, medium-sized moons, perfect for holding essentials hassle-free.

On the runway, JW Anderson emblazoned illustrations from ’80s Korean cartoon series Run Hany onto its Bumper bags, Loewe offered slouched iterations of its Puzzle bags, and Louis Vuitton added a croissant-shaped shoulder bag to its accessories line-up. The shape was also a street-style staple across September fashion weeks from the likes of Prada, Chanel, and Coperni, showing that versatility will always be en vogue.

Welcome: The Classic 2.0

While it’s true any bag has the potential to reach it-item status, since the ’90s boom of celebrity-centred trends, few have lasted the longevity needed to earn this prestigious title. For Autumn/Winter ’22, designers have added contemporary touches to their classic bag shapes. 

At Givenchy, Matthew M Williams’ modern twist on the hobo style quickly gained attention from fashion editors, while praise was also given to Matthieu Blazy’s fresh take on Bottega’s signature intrecciato fabrications. There were more style updates at Balenciaga, whose City bag is a new take on its infamous Motorcycle bag, while at Prada, models carried Re-Edition 1995 this September, and it’s already on its way to becoming the new shape of the season. Maison Valentino reissued Valentino Garavani Stud Sign also exudes a timeless appeal, sure to be a future classic.

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