There’s a Frankensteinian beauty to the Prada Signaux, what with its unexpected cushion-like finish and trio of flaps (their triangular shape references that of the brand’s logo). While it’s meant to be this season’s experimental interpretation of Prada’s iconic nylon backpack, this version pictured here sports – in place of woven straps down the back – a leather handle across the top, which allows it to be carried in hand or slung over one shoulder. In short: Those looking for a ladylike twist to the utilitarian, minimalist-cool original, here’s your answer.
CAN WE EVEN CALL THIS A BAG?
Categorised under costume jewellery, this mini lambskin and metal version of Chanel’s Timeless Classic sees the beloved handbag being shrunk down and adapted into a pendant for the first time. Inspired by chainmail bags from the ’30s, it turns up not only on necklaces but also cuffs and the brand’s “fancy belts”; its body assembled by hand and its quilted finish created via injection moulding. And, yes, it is functional – the flap can be lifted to store a couple of coins or AirPods sans case.
HOBO, TOP-HANDLE OR EVENING BAG?
It’s hard to place this compact debut style from Chloe. Poetically dubbed The Kiss, it’s anchored by a sculptural metal handle inspired by the Maison’s jewellery, which gives it a sophisticated, cocktail-appropriate air. While gently structured, it has a crescent-shaped base and leather belts hanging down both sides – a decorative element – that evoke the casual chic of a small hobo. One can attach the accompanying long shoulder strap so that it can be worn across the body, but it ultimately retains an enigmatic elegance (in part due to its clean, grained calfskin finish and hidden magnetic closure). One word: Love.
HOW'S THIS FOR A TOTE?
Matthew M Williams, newly minted creative director of Givenchy, has not wasted any time in shaking up the nearly 70-year old couture house with his Spring/Summer 2021 debut. While referential of the Maison’s heritage and his different predecessors, the collection is spiked with staples – new or existing – that have been overhauled with his subversively idiosyncratic eye. Case in point: This relaxed, hobo-like carrier dubbed Balle – French for ball – that’s officially referred to as a tote and was inspired by origami (said to be a childhood interest of Williams). What else makes it a conversation piece? It’s shaped from folding a flat piece of calf leather; its hand-twisted handle adding another artisanal touch.
A version of this article first appeared in the March 2021 No-Rules edition of FEMALE