The Latest Bag Trend? Anything But a Bag

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While trends come and go, and styles drift in and out of favor, the handbag arguably evolves very little. Every era has an It bag—the bucket, the baguette, the saddle—yet sooner rather than later, fashion’s tastemakers storm their vintage stores and a resurgence is born. It takes a lot of work to accessorize the upper echelons with a completely new silhouette, but if this season’s runways are any indication, a revolution is underway. Beside many of New York Fashion Week’s most memorable looks were equally memorable bags, although at first glance they might not look like bags at all. From folding chairs to gardening cans, NYFW happily ditched the classic crossbody this season in lieu of more eccentric—or sustainable—alternatives.

While Area’s ethereal aesthetic and highly anticipated runway is no stranger to experimentation—think crystallized eyebrows or necklace-wrapped suits, to name a few—this season’s folding chair crossbody might just be its most Instagram-friendly antic to date. Designers Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk collaborated with the brand Myreality to concoct the cheeky wink at fashion’s micro-bag obsession. What the chain-linked crossbodies lack in practicality, they more than make up for in conversation.

What better to accompany Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s parade of party-ready Oscar de la Renta ensembles than bite-sized, shimmering stars? The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trio of crossbodies accompanied some of the collection’s relatively subdued looks, adding a secret detail to a theatrical high-neck gown or simple black trousers. While the itty-bitty stars might open and hold a debit card or two, they ensure Oscar de la Renta’s trademark fusion of playfulness and undeniable chic.

Collina Strada is known for championing sustainability with her fun-loving fashion week slot, and this season her ethos trickled down through the garden-themed collection’s accessories. Topping many of the free-flowing floral looks were crystallized water bottles—like the one Maggie Rogers toted to the Billboard Women in Music red carpet—and gardening cans. While Strada’s not-bags were equally head-turning alongside her impeccably tailored frocks, they carried a practicality and call-to-action that few other designers could replicate.

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