I was vaguely thinking that I was due to update my wardrobe with a new handbag. I haven't bought a new bag in probably 4 years (evening clutch bags excepted). This is for a few reasons. One is that, as I've previously explained, I'm not really a bag person (more a shoe person), and the other reason is that none of the bag offerings of recent years has really prompted me out of my ambivalence toward buying a new bag.

So in my tentative web explorations of the latest designer handbag offerings I found the following:

Firstly, that there aren't any bags that really knock me out. Secondly, that a lot of bags are being inspired by somewhat interesting consumer products this season.

Take, for example, this Alexander Wang bag.

via Alexander Wang

I'm not hugely fond of those "get the look for less"  columns in magazines and blogs, but frankly, if you'd like to get the look for less, try going to the supermarket for this one. You will be able to buy a pack of 10 of them for around $5. True, they'll not be made out of supple black leather (rather stretchy plastic), but you'll save yourself thousands!

Then I noticed this charming The Row bag.


via MatchesFashion

Mothers the world over will be looking at anyone carrying this and thinking the other woman's got a baby stashed in there, rather than her wallet and keys. I lugged (they were heavy) two of my babies around in something to this and frankly am happy (due to back issues) that I'll never have to use something like this again. Weirdly, in the style notes they say that it was inspired by a baby papoose (are Mary-Kate or Ashley pining for a baby?). So in my "look for less" series you can buy a baby sling for just under $100, and save yourself $2,900 on the cost of this bag.

Free the baby!!


Moschino have a whole range of "Sponge Bob Square Pants" bags out this season.

via MatchesFashion

Words fail me. What adult wants to carry this around? I'm pretty sure you could pick up something similar in PVC for around $500 less too.

Anya Hindmarch has just released her new Autumn/ Winter 14 range. She was inspired by common household products this Season, such as boxes of Coco Pops that have been turned into a clutch.


via Anya Hindmarch 


And Frosty Fruits logos on the side of her otherwise classic bags


So in a get the look for less, buy one of those mini boxes of Coco Pops, eat the contents (or bin them, even better) and then turn it into a clutch for your next night out. I promise you'll turn heads.

So I'm left feeling a little uninspired by the current new season offerings. Have any readers found any new bags that are tasteful, and don't appear to be a designer having some sort of in-joke at the expense of their customers? I'm thinking I may just hold off on any new bag purchases for another season at this rate...

32 comments:

  1. The fashion bags have been getting quirkier by the season. I saw that hind march ad with the frosted flakes bag with bake sale goods and school lottery tickets and thought oh this is the "I'm every woman" bag... Not. I just go got boring classics bc I can't keep up really...although I did like the paper lunch bag in leather I think by jil sander a few years ago but didn't bite! X

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    1. It's sort of like they're trying to out do each other, if that's their niche. Your boring classics are quite nice though Naomi!! I'm not sure shelling out the sort of money these bags cost, when they're so niche (I mean, how many times can you go out with a coco pops clutch before you feel it's been seen by everyone?) is ever going to be a good idea.
      BTW, I was flicking through Tamara Ecclestones insta feed, and saw that her "beach bag" for the baby is a pink croc Birkin!!

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    2. She also has a special humidor bag closet for her bags!!!

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  2. Heavens to Betsy those are hideous bags! I was lusting after a new Louis Vuitton this spring, I'd love the pale blush pink one with top handles and no logo. In the end I didn't go for it, too spenso but I still like it.
    Haven't seen much else I like, generally I find there's a LOT of ugly stuff out there just now.

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    1. Aren't they just! I've had a thing for pale pink lately as well - just shows how susceptible to trends I really am, as that colour is deathly on me. Just doesn't suit my colouring at all. You're right too Dani, there's a lot of really ugly stuff out there. It's left me feeling quite uninspired about it all. x

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  3. A handbag featuring a children's breakfast cereal character sells for $2,300? That would turn my head into Exorcist spins if a woman of my close acquaintance ever completed that transaction.

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    1. Agreed!! What a horrendous waste of money. Bet it sells out though. There's a fashion victim somewhere thinking how 'fun' this is...

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  4. I am coveting a PS1, but settled for a Cambridge Satchel recently in a jacaranda blue. I'm not sure if its tasteful, but I am loving it and the reactions I get when I carry it. It's a great trip down memory lane for anyone old enough to remember their brown satchel school bag. If I bought one in every colour I would still be ahead of the PS1 in $$ !!

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    1. Oh I love the sound of that blue - so pretty! I think that's tasteful.. it's certainly classic in a way that a bag designed to look like a garbage bag simply isn't! And as you can see, the inspiration is often from something a lot cheaper, so the luxe version can be quite a waste of money - very clever of you! x

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  5. Those bags are hilarious. Seriously, spending that kind of cash for something that looks like it came from Toys Are Us screams "fashion victim" to me.

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    1. It certainly does. I could have posted more too Susan, which is equally horrifying. There's a whole range that are hand embroidered and cost over $4000 by Olympia Le Tan!

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  6. All of these bags are ridiculous, especially the Moschino one! I am also not into bags. I got a Bag'N'Noun mini tool bag to use as my everyday shoulder bag a couple years ago and I still use it constantly. When I need to dress up a bit more, I have a Roger Vivier bag and a older YSL bag (before they dropped the Y!!), and I think I will use those for many years to come. Both are at least a few years old. It seems like there are not many decent bags out right now. It might be worth checking out a consignment shop for older designs that are less over the top than what's currently available.

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    1. The Moschino is just horrendous. I know Moschino does a lot of kitsch, but really, this takes the cake! The Roger and YSL bag sound like classics. Agree with you about nice bags, they're so fashion led at the moment - it seems like they all are trying to produce the next 'it' bag, and as a result all the ranges are suffering from it. x

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  7. Dear Heidi.
    Hideous hideous each and every one of them! Perhaps they are a tongue in cheek response by the designers to the ubiquitous Birkin/Chanel/Celine that just about every instagrammer from 16 to 80 seems to want to 'share'.
    Thanks to poor and aching knees my shoe passion has been stopped in its tracks and for the last few years bags have been my 'thing'. I probably am over coveting any of the aforementioned bags and really just want a handbag that looks good and does the job. I love love Smythson totes but Tory Burch does some similar ones that are a lot cheaper and are really lovely. I bought one for my daughter on our recent holiday and its holding up well!
    Kate Bx

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    1. That is SO SAD about your shoe situation Kate!! I dread the day when I am relegated to flats only, even though I already hate the really high heels, and avoid wearing them now. I should have a look at the Tory bags, I've always skipped over that in favour of her clothes, but she does put out a big range so there may well be something there… xx

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  8. I may be incorrect on this but I presume that these designers are chasing the young Japanese consumer who is cashed up and clamouring for kitsch?

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    1. Could be KL, especially the sponge Bob (maybe it was popular over there, not sure?) but the breakfast cereal ones couldn't be - they don't eat cereal for breakfast in most Asian countries. Think they're aiming for cashed up fashion victims instead. Especially the bin liner bag…! x

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  9. The Gucci Swing is on my short list. Fairly classic shape, nice colours, reasonably discreet logo and only about $1k. Plus the large is big enough for kids detritus without looking baby bag-ish!

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    1. I'll have to have a look at the Gucci site, thanks for the tip! And also good to have a bag that doesn't look like a nappy bag, but carries all the bits and bobs in it. x

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  10. I'm a bag lover but was terribly put-off the big labels after a recent trip to Rome.. Fake Prada, Chanel and Louis Vuitton for sale on every corner. Now I notice people everywhere carrying Louis Vuitton and assume most are fake. I also find the dominant print a bit too gaudy..

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    1. Used to see the designer fakes all over in France too but this year the French police finally seem to have put a stop to it. Hooray! Now the guys who used to sell the bags only seem to sell sunglasses - and usually without designer logos. Someone told me never to buy these glasses even if you go out without your sunnies one day as they offer no sun protection and are very bad for the eyes.
      Agree all the bags you've shown are completely ghastly. My wish list (which will never come true) is for a real Kelly or two, preferably in croco, black or red or both, and another in Hermes orange lizard!
      This hol I bought a Longchamp bag in platine, quite ordinary really but I liked it - plus a Vanessa Bruno tote with the odd sequin. Need nice bags and scarves to distract away from my awful support shoes. Also like Jamin Puech bags, but don't think they would be your cup of tea, AV. And the Mulberry Alexa satchel is a very practical cross body in a range of colours - but again don't think it would be your thing. With fabulous shoes like yours you really don't need a distractor bag! Can still picture those fabulous leopards! Not to mention the shoes of shame! Pammie xx

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    2. JP- I've always assumed most LV monogram is fake as it was at one stage far easier to get a fake in Australia than the real, so I suppose it was a bit similar to your experience in Rome. It really did take the polish off the designer bag to see such poor quality fakes on the arms of the average person on the street… I also prefer a bag that doesn't scream where it's from too, the subtler bag is more my thing… which means I most certainly won't be getting a Moschino bag this season!

      Pammie - I like the Longchamp bags, they're very classic. The Vanessa Bruno one with sequins sounds very you too! I also like the Jamin Puech bags, but probably couldn't justify the cost vs amount of use I'd get from them. You're right about the non compete with the shoes too Pammie - don't want to distract too much from them! xx

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    3. My Jamin Puech bags have all been bought in sales. First saw them at a shop at Main Beach on the Gold Coast and fell in love - luckily they were at the tail end of a sale. Since then have bought some in Paris during the June sales over the years. Much more affordable - at least a third off. There's a Jamin Puech shop opposite Chanel in rue Cambon and another in the Marais in rue du Vieille du Temple. But they would take attention away from your shoes which are far more fabulous than the bags! Pammie xx

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  11. think my last comment got eaten
    I am all for a balenciaga city bag. But I don't want to pay $2K for a bag. I just look at them wistfully when i see them.

    there are grades of fake handbags, I've heard.

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    1. Must've Cilla, certainly didn't come through?!
      I still gulp at the cost of Designer Bags, which is probably why my one and only was bought by Mr AV, rather than me. Shoes I don't have such a problem with as they're cheaper, relatively speaking!
      There are grades of fake handbags - some are pretty much the seconds from the factory, and others have things like "Genuine Leather" stamped on the PVC. x

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  12. My new Favourite is the Gucci Swing Leather Tote. A good price too at $990. The only problem is - which colour?

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    1. You're the second to tip off the Gucci swing Kris, I'm definitely going to have to check it out, and I do love a coloured bag - so much more versatile than most people thing. I use my yellow bag all the time. Hope your reno is going well! x

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  13. Im still carting around a Trent Nathan (believe it or not ) I bought about four years ago. I dont know I dont really feel like buying anything ..had to buy some more shoes as the situation had become ridiculous.

    My pet hate is that smooth leather that looks fake. I suppose I still would take a vintage brown croc Kelly if it fell into my lap

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    1. That's nice you don't feel a need to buy anything. I've had that for a few months with clothes. Quite a nice feeling to just not even be distracted by the whole fashion thing to some extent.
      I'd take a vintage brown croc Kelly too if it fell in my lap. Don't suspect I'll ever have anyone buy one for me (or justify buying one for myself either) x

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  14. This made me laugh. Can just imagine my 4 year old begging me for one of those Coco Pops or Tony Frosty Fruits bags! Have visions of the bag lined up at child care next to Kmart Spiderman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Dora bags....

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  15. Not sure about some of those bags Heidi - especially the brekkie cereal ones! I bought an orange leather tote bag by Michael Kors whilst I was in Singapore last month - it is the first non-black bag I have owned for a really long time. I thought it would be a good spring/summer bag. Love the Gucci Swing bag too. I have tried to comment on your last few posts but my comments seem to get eaten!! Love the playroom, Hermes and farm piccies from your previous posts Your garden is really starting to take shape from what I can see outside the playroom windows. Any news on the pool front? It is my oldest son's 21st birthday today - its making me feel old! Have a great week - keep warm. Jo xx

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  16. I'm a bag person (shoes too!) but I haven't really been drawn to anything new this season. I prefer classic bags which will last, Mulberry and Longchamp being particular favourites. I imagine the breakfast cereal inspired bags are successful in that they get the brand noticed.

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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