Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2023 is here, meaning we will soon witness a parade of outfit inspo both on and off the runway. Much attention will be paid to the clothes and shoes, but we’re keeping an eye out for that other key element of any fashionable attendee’s outfit – the handbag. Here are 6 handbag trends we expect to see a lot of over the week ahead and how you can buy and style them with help from Strand.
The Top Bag Trends We Predict To See At Fashion Week
1. The Quiet Luxury Bag
Could this be *the* trend of the season? Otherwise known as “stealth wealth” or “old money chic”, the quiet luxury trend describes a preference for pared-back, logo-free items made with care from top-quality materials. Inspired by the cult minimalism of designer labels like The Row, the rich kids of HBO hit show Succession and even Gwyneth Paltrow’s outfits from her recent courtroom appearances, quiet luxury is well and truly in the zeitgeist – and will most likely show up at AAFW in the form of clean-line coats, luxurious knits, impeccably tailored pants and simple footwear. Made with soft, supple leather, the Evity Maya Mini Shopper Bag delivers this trend without the luxury markup.
2. The New Y2K Bag
Another huge trend we’d be remiss not to mention is the unstoppable force that is Y2K. Originally inspired by that memorable fashion era at the turn of the new millennium, the Y2K trend has broadened to include almost any look from the mid 90s to the late naughties – from loosely tailored pants and low rise jeans to cropped baby tees and bucket hats. This year at AAFW, key looks to expect include cargo pants of all varieties, low-rise denim maxi skirts, and in the accessory department, the classic baguette bag. Recreate these street style ensembles at home with bags from Marikai, including the Y2K Crossbody Bag with studs and eyelets, or the Baguette Shoulder Bag with statement chains.
3. The Oversized Bag
The generously roomy tote has hit runways for awhile now, but is enjoying a new burst of popularity thanks to the latest season of Succession (clearly a favourite show for fashion fans). When the character Tom Wambsgans calls a large Burberry bag in his line of sight “ludicrously capacious”, it left us feeling defensive of all those bigger bags that allow us to carry half our life around, while still looking stylish. In this spirit, we predict AAFW designers and guests will embrace the oversized bag, especially the tote. A structured but slouchy style like our Evity Alba Leather Unlined Tote Bag looks elegant handheld with a cropped knit jumper or maxi dress.
4. The Luxe Puffy Bag
Texture is another big trend in handbag land right now, with boho fabrics like rafia taking hold in the northern hemisphere in time for summer and fun, fluffy looks appearing on runways everywhere. One texture and shape we expect to see more of is the puffy bag. Often compared to a cloud or pillow, this bag is sometimes quilted, sometimes free of prints and embellishments – but always with that soft, smooth appearance. Wear this trend paired with other glossy items like satin shirts and skirts.
5. The Bright Hued Bag
It wouldn’t be fashion week without some dopamine-boosting bursts of colour. While the Sydney fashion pack tends to love their minimalist neutrals, they know this week in May is also the perfect time to stand out in a mini dress, pair of sneakers or makeup look in one (or several) bold brights. This year, a rainbow of hues including fiery red, cobalt blue and pastel purples are in vogue, either worn head to toe or as a pop of colour against a statement outfit. Emulate the AAFW look with a trendy set – our pick is double denim – and this Marikai Quilted Top Handle Bag in Pantone’s colour for 2023, magenta.
6. The Timeless Top Handle Bag
Finally, Australian Fashion Week 2023 is also sure to deliver several sightings of a perennial classic, the top handle bag. But while recent years have seen this bag take on whimsically mini proportions, this year we want our top handle styles more mid-sized, refined and wearable. With structured silhouettes and luxurious finishes like faux croc, it’s giving quiet luxury, with slightly more drama. Copy the look with the Laura Jones Croc Shopper Bag and your favourite elegant separates.
To enhance your AAFW-inspired outfit this season, shop the wide selection of trending women’s handbags and accessories online from STRAND now.