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The fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbag trends were all over the map, with both serious and ridiculous options rampant on the runway, to suit every kind of woman. There were a lot of plain leather bags in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there were also some extreme elements. Below, discover the top handbag trends for fall 2017 that will likely land on your new wishlists!
Why have just one handbag, when you can carry two or even three? Okay, fine, I can think of multiple reasons why multiple bags might not be so convenient. But nevertheless, designers loved the idea of layering purses in a variety of sizes and shapes for the fall/ winter 2017-2018 bag trends.
The most frequent way of layering was adding a tiny micro-purse to a larger bag, perhaps to act as a convenient coin holder, but that certainly was not the only way we saw this trend happening.
At Fendi, bags were combined in a few different ways. In a few cases, smaller bags for coins or lip-gloss were looped over the handle of a larger bag, providing a nice color and texture contrast. In another case, three small bags in descending sizes and of different leather colors and textures were looped on a large metal ring, almost looking like a large key chain set.
At Gucci, each bag was a statement, so double the bags meant double the statements. Or triple, rather, as three bags that were layered were hung each above the other, in one of the more organized ways of multi bagging.
At Maison Margiela, we saw the unique pairing of a small sized backpack (that could probably also be carried as a handbag), along with a larger shoulder bag made of a plaid fabric.
#2. Tiny Bags
So many collections had micro-purses that it had to go on this list of fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbag trends. Some were indeed paired with larger bags, but others just chilled on their own, just the right size for a smaller phone, a lipstick, and maybe a few dollar bills. Tiny bags for fall 2017 came in all kinds of shapes, colors, and styles.
On the Coach runway, micro bags were everywhere, both on their own, and as accents to bigger bags. They looked just like miniature versions of some of the normal sized bags for fall 2017 we saw on the runway: all classic leather, with some fun colors and attachments. They hung on long chains, working as beautiful accessories.
At Jason Wu, stylish box micro bags were a perfect addition. Hanging on long, metallic chains, these tiny square bags were oh so stylish, fitted with a gleaming circular decoration on top, and made of luxurious leather and crocodile skin.
From tiny handbags to double micro purses on a long chain, Lanvin’s collection this season was all about small bags, with adorable beard and feather decorations.
There were also lots of tiny coin purses at Valentino, beautifully decorated with gold and fur motifs. They were, for the most part, solid, and reminiscent of vintage cigarette holders.
As an eternal teenager, I absolutely adore the fact that backpacks are part of the fall 2017 handbag trends. They are much more comfortable and ergonomic, so it makes me so happy to see so many chic versions of them. Sure, a backpack might never be an appropriate choice for more formal wear, but high fashion certainly has a place in daily life!
The fall 2017 bags in the Jeremy Scott collection were all irreverently whimsical, channeling the kind of rude humor and silly characters that were ubiquitous in ‘90s teen fashion. A brightly colored backpack with such a design on it is a natural creation, but it’s certainly the kind of item that would only work in the most casual situations.
There were also some adorable and unique leather backpacks at Coach, Ralph Lauren, and Maison Margiela.
#4. Lunch Bags
We saw straight up lunch boxes, as well as some handbags that simply reminded us of a square shaped lunch bag with a squat handle on the runways this season as one of the most eccentric fall 2017 handbag trends.
Much like the backpacks at Jeremy Scott, the lunch boxes were perfectly irreverent and funny, covered with cheeky sayings and graphic pictures and designs. Much like the rest of the bags in the collection, they had a late ‘80s/early ‘90s vibe.
At Louis Vuitton, high fashion lunch box style handbags stayed true to the brand’s reputation for being a symbol of luxury, but with a working class design twist. Made of leather, these fall 2017 bags looked a little bit like a cross between a tool box and a lunch box, with a square base and rounded top, and the familiar LV letters were placed on the bags to look a little bit like tape markings.
A clutch is a symbol of sophistication, and a testament that one is willing to sacrifice convenience for class. Almost every runway this season featured a clutch or two, but a few really stood out for their cleverness or uniqueness.
A slightly more casual take on clutches at Marc Jacobs was an interesting choice. We saw a lot of plain leather clutches for fall 2017, in shades of white, light brown, and warm brown, which are normally more appropriate for daytime.
More than half the fall 2017 bags in the Miu Miu collection were clutches that were anything but clutches. There were many elements incorporated into these clutches (sometimes all of them in one bag), including snakeskin, fur, leather, belts buckles, and jewels.
We also saw clutches at Dries Van Noten, Coach, Yves Saint Laurent, and many others runway shows.
#6. Bags with Colorful Straps
The strap on a bag can be an excellent way of showing creativity, but all too often it just blends into the background by being the same color and material as the bag. For the fall/ winter 2017-2018 bag trends, quite a few bags were made with colorful straps that contrasted against the body of the bag.
At Mulberry, for example, large straps made of beautiful braided ribbons gave a boho-chic vibe to the bags made of typical brown leather.
The bags in the Anya Hindmarch collection had straps reminiscent of the kind of paper chain decorations you may have made back in grade school, but instead of paper, they were made of rings of shiny leather, in different bright colors.
#7. Handbags with Chain Handles
While the overwhelming choice for the winter 2017-2018 handbag trends was leather straps, chain straps still gleamed here and there on the runway. Unique chain handles with a Victorian vibe warmed our hearts on the Bottega Veneta runway. The bags were all made of warm shades of leather and crocodile skin, and their handles were made of thicker chains made of a brassy metal.
The fall 2017 handbags at Alexander Wang could best be described as punk rock bling. All black bags, with shiny metallic elements straddled glamour and edge perfectly, with shiny chain straps in a variety of different designs.
We also saw chain handles at Christopher Kane, Jacquemus, and more.
#8. Bags with Circular Handles
Circular handles were everywhere on the fall 2017 bag trends. It was a repeating trend from the spring/ summer season, but this time with a wintery flare and more muted colors. It’s a great purse option for anyone who likes a shorter purse handle, because it is extra memorable and quirky.
At Fendi, the circular handle was made of metal, and was attached to a tiny purse (another trend this season) by a clasp. At Milly, we saw a few different takes on the circular, metal handle design, especially on smaller leather handbags.
Why have just one circular handle, when you can have two? At Roksanda, two delicate circular handles added a shiny touch to simple leather bags. The two handles were connected by a larger strap, so the purse could be easily hung across the shoulder.
Bottega Veneta was one of the chief brands bringing briefcases back into vogue. The briefcases at Bottega Veneta had a distinctly old-timey, vintage feel. They were made of leather and leather/ crocodile skin blends, in darker shades.
#10. Bags Going Their Own Way/ Long Bags
One odd element that quite a few designers opted for was having either bags that looked like they were sideway (of even upside down, like in the case of Jacquemus), or just having oddly long, rectangular bags. At Marni, for example, there were multiple long, oval shaped leather handbags showcased.
#11. Circular Purses
The pros of a circular purse: it’ll always stand out, it softens an outfit, and it is beautiful enough to fit any occasion. Cons: it might fall over if you try to put it on a table. The circular bags we saw as part of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbag trends were chic, gorgeous, and surprisingly not too impractical.
At Chloe, we saw small, leather bags in a perfect circular shape, with metal handles, and a few convenient zippers. At Marchesa, circular bags had a vintage charm. They were made of a solid material, with a pillbox style clasp, and they swung on long, delicate chains.
At Delpozo, we saw a more eccentric take on circular bags, in a variety of sizes. The bags and the handles put together made a perfect circle that was somewhat flat. While some bags were of simple, solid fabric, most were covered in a confetti-like material, which would add cheer to any outfit. We also saw circular bags on the Mulberry runway.
#12. Bags Heavy on the Print
Most of the designs for the fall/ winter 2017-2018 bag trends were, for lack of a better word, sellable. This means they were mostly made of one shade of leather, with maybe a few embellishments here and there or a unique shape.
Having a pattern or print that covers the whole bag is a risky choice, because unless expertly with the appropriate outfit, it can look very clumsy. Despite that, a few designers took the plunge into loud prints.
Not one for subtlety, Anna Sui’s collection featured bags in simple shapes made of loud, patterned prints in colors matching the clothes on the runway. These bags were all accented with golden clasps or handles.
At Tory Burch, the bag designs were made specifically to match items in the rest of the collection, using the exact same print on the bag as on one of the clothing items the models were wearing. This means we saw large floral prints, as well as different plaid and square patterns.
To counteract a collection with many beige and tan bags, some of the fall 2017 bags dotted through the Moschino collection were made wholly of a loud and colorful collage print.
#13. Solid Box Bags
Embrace a vintage flare with a solid box bag. We saw them in the winter 2017-2018 handbag trends both in the form of clutches, and attached to long straps. They exude an old-timey chicness, and are a perfect little addition to a fancy evening engagement.
At Christian Dior, a house that will forever represent the utmost elegance, the jewel encrusted box clutches were delicate and lovely. The jewels gave a lovely contrast to the darker material from which the clutches were made.
The box bags at Dolce & Gabbana veered in a more toyish direction, with a pink purse on a long, metallic chain, as well as some small box clutches. We also saw solid box clutches at Thom Browne.
#14. Bucket Bags
I love bucket bags, especially when they are smaller, because they remind me of renaissance fairs. I can just imagine being an old timey bard, carrying my coins in this kind of bag with a drawstring top. Now, of course, this is not what designers had in mind when putting together all of the incredibly chic, unique, and fashionable bucket bags that made it into the fall/ winter 2017-2018 bag trends.
At Versace, there were multi-color bags, including a bucket bag of a medium size, with panels in bright shades of orange, red, and blue leather.
#15. Crocodile Bags
While I’m generally not a fan of animal skin, it is unfortunately unavoidable in high fashion bags. With regular leather at least it’s really easy to forget that it was once part of an animal, while with crocodile or snakeskin it’s much harder. Despite my reservations, it is undeniable that the way croc skin was used for the fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbags was unique, and made full use of the unique texture of this type of leather.
At Mulberry, for example, a red dyed crocodile bag was adorned with a leafy symmetrical design made of white gems, in a really unique combination. We also saw some red and black crocodile bags on the Altuzarra runway.
We saw different pairings of crocodile skin and metal in a few collections, including Fendi, Gucci, and Jason Wu, in a way that really highlighted the luxury of this leather.
There were lots of crocodile skin purses and clutches at Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Gabriela Hearst, while a hint of both crocodile and snakeskin was incorporated into the bags at Marni.
#16. Formless Bags
Deciding on the perfect bag shape can be tough, but sewing a few pieces of fabric together and seeing how they’ll end up settling? That’s a dangerous game. Quite a few designers added formless bags for fall 2017 to their collections, which, depending on what’s inside them and how they are held, can take on different shapes.
At Proenza Schouler, the fall 2017 bags, for the most part, had a minimalist, classy design, primarily made of a shiny material, in black, orange, or silver. This made them all the more fascinating, because of their formless, fluid shape. Perhaps holding such a bag is not the height of comfort, but the effect is certainly memorable. Many were handheld and foldable, while others hung off of thick straps.
The black and grey bags at Michael Kors had a carelessly stylish vibe. Many of them were quite formless, with handles that gave the bags a squashed, slouchy look. Many of the models just held the bags around the center, or folded, in an equally careless manner.
#17. Furry Bags
While warmth is mostly a physical feeling, it also has a visual component. In the wintertime, we want all of our accessories to exude a warm feeling and distract us from the weather.
Additionally, we want them to look great with all of our heavy winter clothes! That is probably why fur bags were such a hot item among the fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbag trends – their appearance exudes warmth, and they go wonderfully well with all of the fuzzy coats and furs of the season.
At Tod’s, almost all of the bags featured a blend of leather in one color, and fur in a different one. In the Dries Van Noten collection, a tasteful blend of fur and leather made for very wearable bags for fall 2017, in different styles including clutches and tote bags. The fur was in earthy and red shades, matching well with the winter coats in the collection.
The easiest way to describe the furry bags at Prada is yeti chic. We saw thick, slightly matted fur engulfed bags in all kinds of different designs, in shades of red, beige, yellow, and warm pink. Fur was simply an added decoration to some of the bag straps at both Giorgio Armani and Miu Miu.
One of my favorite fur bags for fall 2017 was at Chanel – a larger, gray fur bag hung from the neck by a long silver chain. This fuzzy bag, which hung at around waist level, had two side pockets, to act as both bag and a fur muff.
We also saw various furry bags on the runways of Elie Saab, Fendi, Altuzarra, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara, and Simonetta Ravizza.
#18. Bling Bags
Can you really have glamour without a jewel encrusted… well… everything? The answer is a definite no (at least if you ask a 6 year old, and many of the designers this fall/ winter). The winter 2017-2018 handbag trends were filled with bejeweled and bedazzled bags, in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some were all about a delicate jewel touch, while others were totally covered.
At Oscar de la Renta, for example, both delicate and fuzzy handbags featured a large, central floral decoration that was absolutely encrusted in white jewels.
#19. Bags in Bright Colors
Depending on where you live, fall and winter may be wonderful seasons, with an abundance of fire colored leaves or pillowy white snow. For those of us who are less fortunate, and perhaps live in a city that turns totally gray during the colder seasons, the bright and neon fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbag trends might be a blessing! A way to brighten the season with a touch of color!
The bags at Emilio Pucci stood out in neon shades that can interject loud brightness into any outfit. These leather bags ranged in size from reasonable handbags to massive holdalls.
At Christopher Kane, bright yellows and pinks made for bags that could really brighten a dim autumn day. At Jacquemus, neon greens and bright pinks were paired with zig-zag shapes for the bag edges and straps, or with wide, circular handles, for super fun architectural bags for fall 2017.
#20. Handbags with Tassels
Tassels always add a little bohemian touch to an item, sometimes in a way that adds contrast, and other times as a natural extension of an already somewhat hippie design. Much like the previous season, tassels were also a part of the fall/ winter 2017-18 bag trends.
The bags at Elie Saab combined the glamour of gold with the bohemian aesthetic of tassels. Golden tassels, along with quite a bit of bling, decorated smaller black leather handbags.
At Coach, the tassels worked both to provide a contrasting color to add to the handbags’ color scheme, and to add texture when they were the same color as the leather bags.
#21. Another Knot on Your Bag
This fall 2017 bag trend was especially interesting. Instead of fairly expected takes on ties, like small pull-string ties to keep a bag closed, we saw big, chunky knots used primarily as stylistic accents.
The bags at the 3.1 Phillip Lim show were simple yet chic, made of one kind of leather in shades of black at green. The leather handles were attached to a clasp on the bag with a knot, that was large enough to be a definite decorative element.
The large knots were also a motif on the handles of the bags in the Acne Studios collection. Here the bags were one shade of leather, in understated tones like brown, pastel teal, black, and white, with the handle in a different color from the same scheme.
The leather piece making up the handle was tied in a flat, large knot, along the side of the bag. We saw this on both oversize bags and medium sized handbags for fall 2017. We also had bags featuring large knots to keep the bag closed, in place of a zipper or clasp, at Giorgio Armani.
#22. Embroidery On the Bags
The delicate touch of embroidery is one of the softer fall/ winter 2017-2018 bag trends, which was mostly paired with leather for a rustic feel. At Kate Spade, black leather bags were decorated with colorful, floral embroidery that nicely contrasted against the dark leather, and gave an old world, folk feel.
At Coach, light brown leather was given a boho chic vibe with the addition of tiny embroidered flowers that dotted the bag.
At Alexander McQueen, the embroidery was also a way to give the fall 2017 bags a fringe element. Loose strings hung from the large embroidered designs on the bags, providing an unfinished raw touch to the design. Since the models were holding the bags sideways under their arms, we might have to wait until the collection is officially released to see exactly what the embroidery looked like.
#23. Animal Elements On Bags
If you want me to buy something (and or just approve of a trend), slap an animal on it and bam, I’m totally won over. I absolutely adored all of the animal motifs and appliques that made it into the fall 2017 handbag trends. Some were more subtle and serious, while others were simply totally adorable, and I want them all!
Most of the Trussardi bags for fall 2017, which were otherwise made of respectable leather, sported a silver version of the Trussardi dog logo, in a circular shape over the bag’s clasp.
At Dolce & Gabbana, a tiger bag quickly won my heart. It was the kind of animal shaped backpacks many of us were big fans of when our ages were still in the single digits. There were a few other bags with fuzzy animal faces on them, as well as many bags with adorable cat and dog prints, boasting “I love my cat” or “I love my dog”.
A penguin shaped bag on the Thom Browne runway is a perfect accessory for a snowy day, and competes against D&G for the cutest bag of the season. We also saw animal elements on the fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbags at Gucci, Moschino, and Kate Spade.
#24. Undercover Bags
One of the fun and whimsical fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbag trends was carrying bags that looked like other things. Sometimes it really was all about having a bag that doesn’t look at all like a bag, while other times it was just a way to interject a bit of humor into a look.
At Chanel, we saw both of these types of bags: a bag shaped like a rocket ship is funny and cute, not to mention it’ll garner the attention of the kind of people who wouldn’t normally notice a fashion bag. Another small bag was small and circular, made of a shiny material, and looked like a fancy perfume bottle.
At Dolce & Gabbana, where whimsy is an integral part of the bag designs, a locked bag made of wood looked like a sewing chest, and even had wooden legs.
I think the winner in the undercover bag trend category is Moschino, with one bag shaped like a garbage can, and other one made of literally a sock with a coin purse type clasp on top.
#25. Fanny Packs
There is always someone that can be relied upon to try and make fanny packs happen, but they rarely succeed. I look forward to seeing if they’ll become a successful part of the fall/ winter 2017-2018 bag trends this time around.
Alexander Wang camouflaged the fanny pack he created this year, by having his models carry it as though it was a clutch. A bit of edge came to this creation from black leather, and a gunmetal colored chain belt.
Rather than a fanny pack, at Nina Ricci, we saw a modern take on the pockets/ purses of the Middle Ages that’d be hanging off of one’s belt. It was a peach shade of leather, and made of a more solid shape.
Which were your favorite fall/ winter 2017-2018 handbag trends? Are there any bag trends you are really not feeling this season? Let us know!
Photos via Vogue, Livingly