Put away the reptile-skin totes, fur-trimmed clutches and those serious, structured bags. That's because spring handbags are all about floral appliqués, fresh pastel shades and whimsical sensibilities. And in a nod to the golden age of the 1970s, some of these new bags for the season are bedecked with lush leather fringe.
On recent fashion runways, Kate Spade showed a wicker purse shaped like a small Dalmatian, while Moschino sent out a model toting an orange bag with a chain-link strap resembling an inverted traffic cone.
Then there's Gucci, which opted to celebrate the birds and the bees — literally — with embroidered motifs from nature stitched onto the brand's classic monogrammed bags. Similarly, a smattering of multicolored floral leather appliqués adorn the fronts of leather Fendi bags, giving them a crafty and decidedly unserious tone.
It's not only the purveyors of the bags with luxe price tags that get to play and have all of the sartorial fun. This new levity in handbags of the moment is equally being featured with bags at lesser price points including the Pisticci bag from the Patricia Nash label, inspired by the leather belt loop chain-link bags of the '70s; and Rebecca Minkoff's saddle bag, which embodies a breezy, bohemian charm.
What the season's handbag styles teach us is that even the most practical and functional of bags should convey a laidback, almost capricious sensibility. Look for that, and almost any one of them could be your new it-bag. However, with anything related to fashion, it's all about striking a healthy balance. So an eclectic bag is a great choice. An overly wacky one? Not so much.
The Wave bag by Tod's, $4,575, (855) 303-3253, tods.com
Dionysus GG Supreme shoulder bag by Gucci, $3,800, (877) 482-2430, gucci.com
Flowerland Dotcom bag by Fendi, $3,300, (646) 952-8399, www.fendi.com/us
The Pisticci bag by Patricia Nash, $399, (865) 524-2626, patricianashdesigns.com
Vanity shoulder bag by Rebecca Minkoff, $395, (888) 282-6060, nordstrom.com
The Runthrough cross body bag in blush by Joanna Maxham, $450, (855) 295-6266, joannamaxham.com
The Fets Fringe shoulder bag by Hammitt, $675, (310) 292-5200, hammitt.com
The Adele tote bag by Tess, $220, (201) 616-0163, tesshandbags.com
The Sarangi tote bag by Jinammi, $799, (310) 598-1575, jinammi.com