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Bag of tricks

ELLE's Fashion Director decodes the season - this month is all about arm candy

By Malini Banerji  April 8th, 2014

By Malini Banerji

A classic is timeless, and when it’s given a contemporary touch, the result is thrilling – even if the change is as small as a serendipitous alteration in size, colour or embellishment. The bags of Spring/Summer 2014 are an eclectic collection: some are reincarnations of old favourites (Hermès’ Constance, Vuitton’s Noé, Saint Laurent’s Monogramme), some are decorated with tassels, and with a bag of chips being transformed into a luxury clutch, some are just outrageous.

Leather mini bag Rs.66000 Tods
Leather mini bag, Rs 66,000, Tod’s 


With our gadgets (and most things we carry) getting smaller, who needs extra room? Designers went the nano route and resized everything to tiny. Models at Saint Laurent showed off miniature versions of the signature Monogramme, the star at Hermès was the mini Constance shoulder bag and Tod’s micro D Cube just proves that good things do, after all, come in small packages.

Anya Hindmarch
Anya Hindmarch


Fashion is meant to be fun, and no one understands that better than Anya Hindmarch. Her Crisp Packet might sound like a regular bag of chips, but nothing about it is ordinary. Each bag takes seven hours to make, and since regular machines couldn’t give it the high-shine metallic finish she wanted, a factory that specialises in jewellery was employed to craft every inch of it and, as it’s handmade, each piece is unique. 



If you like your bags roomy, try Céline’s eyelet pochettes  – they’re the most stylish we’ve seen of the envelope shape. Want to make a statement? Carry around Lanvin’s trash bag – the purses resemble, yes, garbage bags and come with chains that wrap around the wrist. Sounds weird? Perhaps. Looks good? Certainly.



Dior’s insatiable affair with colour continues and this season, the bucket bag surrenders to every shade of primary. Meanwhile at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs reinterpreted Noé – the noir versions in the collection, black as night with feathers and sequins, enchant and intimidate – so unless you have the spunk to pull it off, opt for subtle shades and styles. 



Gucci’s 1940s flap shoulder bag got a hippy-chic makeover in bright suede, but that’s just part of the reason it’s on this list. What’s really making waves this season is the fringe (found on said Gucci bag) in all shapes, sizes and colours. The tassels lend a fluid movement to the totes made of luxurious, rich leather. And while Valentino paired the fringe with gold details, Proenza Schouler flaunted fine, silken bangs.