Bag the attitude

Bag the attitude

Haute handbags

Bag the attitude

I have always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit’ — said Michael Kors. True though that exclamation can either be one of delight or of distress as the add-ons to our outfit have the potential to mess up a carefully-planned look or give a facelift to a generally dull ensemble. In this field of apparel complements, handbags rule the roost and are getting the spotlight they so rightfully deserve.

Says Mamtaa Gupta, founder of ‘Buzzaria Dukaan’, “A handbag is a very significant part of your look and can either make or break your style statement. Handbags make a huge impact and their importance has come to stay. It is of equal, if not more, importance than jewellery as a fashion accessory.​”

They say you can never have too many bags. Maybe the market can never have too many designers of these bags too. We have seen an explosion of names and brands in the handbag segment and each one brings a unique twist to the table. While classic styles like clutches and satchels are evergreen favourites, shoulder bags and totes have made their presence felt in the last couple of years. Duffles and backpacks are also a hit among the youngsters.

In terms of looks, both extremes of the spectrum have their own fan following. Leather, suede or synthetic handbags in monochromatic colours with small or no designs are the perfect accessories for professionals. But totes and college bags have upped their game in the last few years with brands giving quirky and Indianised offerings. Names like ‘Chumbak’ and ‘Postbox’ are leading the bastion and the in-store products of famous retail chains have also turned their focus to Indian prints and vibrant colours. Even the materials used have moved into unconventional terrain.

Says Mamtaa, “​We are constantly innovating and use a lot of everyday stuff for designs — like bikes, trucks, jootis, Indian monuments, truck art, turbaned guys or Rajasthani women.We blend two different materials like jute fabric and suede or canvas and some traditional Indian fabric or brocade.​ And there are so many new trends right now.

For me it is the printed bags and all kinds of prints. Basically, the Indian prints with a twist, add some metal or some neon colours to it. Eventually, it is a print and if it is a print it is in trend,but don't forget the twist.​”Priyanshi Mehta, founder and creative director, Rossoyuki, says “Sustainable handbags that use vegan or biodegradable pineapple leather are trending right now. Since fashion in general recycles styles every year, we take inspirations and trends from the past. In terms of designs, we are seeing a lot more sci-fi futuristic styles.”

Coming to embellishments, tassels and stones have been around for decades now. Stick-on designs are a recent trend where one can accessorise their bag according to their own wishes. And even pottery has made an entrance into this segment now. Says Akash Sinha, co-founder at ‘October Jaipur’, “Bags are an extension of self expression. We have something called as a ‘potters duffle bag’, in which we have taken the blue pottery of Jaipur and woven it into a leather bag.” Maybe what someone once said is true — ‘you can’t buy happiness but you can buy bags and that’s kind of the same thing.’

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