Spring/ Summer 2016 Handbag Trends
It may only be the winter now and the days might be getting colder, shorter and more miserable by the day, but it is the fashion styles of the spring season that keep us going, the anticipation of wearing them out and holding onto those hilariously awesome bags or those chic clutches, the sophisticated pieces and the more animated designs. We were watching the Fashion Week runway shows with quite a bit of enchantment, our eyes trained on those handbags that came in different colors, materials and sizes. It certainly was a sight to behold. They are probably the most anticipated items to become a part of our daily ensembles from New York and Paris, Milan and London, where each major fashion city brought in a very different set of awesome creativity. For now though, all we can really do is wait until the time comes to be rocking these loveliest of spring/ summer 2016 handbag trends.
Update: discover the new trend report here: Fall/ Winter 2016-2017 Handbag Trends
Which styles were the ones that really set the trends for the upcoming spring and summer seasons though?
#1: Animal Buddy Bags
The most fun a woman can have without actually carrying around a pet is probably by carrying around a pet-shaped handbag this coming season. Designers have decided that animal shaped handbags are a hoot and a must-have on the runway, a rather hilarious piece that they expect many women to begin carrying about. Want to carry about a dog but do not have one? No problem! A woven Dalmatian can be seen at Kate Spade and we do not think we can go without; nor can we sit back and not enjoy those hilarious bumblebees and their intriguing hives! Thom Browne brings in the fish, though lacking in color and infinitely more wearable than the dog or bee, while we see pandas appear on Ground Zero fanny packs.
#2: Food Shaped Bags
We saw the animals, but what about the food? Honestly, it appears that cartoon characters have been the handbag design inspirations for we see everything from cherry topped strawberry frosting and sprinkled blueberry cupcake bag at Degan, to the strawberry cream and sprinkle topped cake that the ladies on stage mistake for edible sustenance at Betsey Johnson. Kate Spade has a thing for peanuts though as we see on the runway show featuring a movie sized bag.
#3: Item Shaped Handbags
There have been animals like dogs and bumblebees, and there have been food shaped bags like cupcakes and pizzas. And then there are those inanimate object shaped bags that are totally wacky sometimes, such as the Jeremy Scott old timer television set with missing antennas. Of course, flowers are a lot more doable as seen at Jeremey Scott as well, though Betsey Johnson has us wondering what is cooking with her oven shaped piece, a cherry pie left a-baking inside.
Have you seen the rose bucket bag though? Kate Spade really outdid itself with this one and made it the perfect It Girl statement accessory, something to turn heads, as it is super lovely. Want some dice? Moschino has you covered there, while Dolce & Gabbana makes sure you never leave home without a camera again, even if it is bereft of the actual technology.
#4: Human Faced Handbags
We have officially seen it all! From animals to food to even inanimate objects, we thought that there could not be another buddy style handbag, but apparently human faces are just as interesting, though slightly creepier if you ask us. Cute cartoonish faces appear on Dennis Basso clutches, and they only gain more details at Erin Fetherston with the long eyelashes and pretty little pouting lips. They all seem to be clutches in this category as well as we see yet another appear at Alice + Olivia, this time with big black sunglasses to complement those rather red lips.
#5: Fancy Fringed and Tasseled Bags
We have been seeing fringe for a while now. We have seen it throughout 2015 and it also appeared on the shoes and clothing for 2016, meaning that it was expected to be on the spring/ summer 2016 handbags as well. We see it with amusing colors though and some rather more retro meet futuristic designs, the quirky and cool twists brought about with bright colors, metallic and some rather unexpected placements.
Fringe looks gorgeous in the spring rainbow colors or the metallic versions at DVF, while it takes on a distinctively 1970s style at Tory Burch. We love the scattered fringe on suede at Christian Siriano, while it turns to futuristic clutches with metallic tassels at Badgley Mischka. Fancy flower fringes make their appearance with Monique Lhuillier, while we are full-fledged rodeo with the BCBG saddle bags.
Altuzarra makes the fringe and tassels look amazing, while it takes on a more decorative look with the chained drawstring bags at Alice + Olivia. Woven fringe looked especially good at Altuzarra though, making it a timeless classic in the ultimate shoulder bag design. Altuzarra is one of the most prominent tassel users for the spring season though, while Roberto Cavalli’s fringes are awesome!
#6: Fun Fanny Packs
A rather useful handbag design for the upcoming season really emphasizes the need for travel, as fanny packs that have been mightily revamped from the old days are spotted throughout, coming in furs and fringes, graphics or simple minimalism, the latter seen beautifully at Sandy Liang. Pandas on round packs? Ground Zero has us covered! Furry looks come into play at Georgine, while a rather hip addition of white fringe to a tan and back small pack at Baja East adds the right amount of rebellious youth.
We have the fanny packs appear on the back as well, held up by rope-like straps at Maison Margiela and looking pretty awesome, though we would have to wonder at the security of such a piece worn during travel. Kenzo has a combination of small bags actually pulled around the waist in the guise of fanny packs, together almost making up a constructor’s toolkit pouch.
#7: Structured Square Bags
One of the most common spring/ summer 2016 handbag trends seen on the runway is the structured bag, the one that is very clearly defined on all sides. Structured designs come in the guide of alligator skin rectangular pieces at Zimmermann, while we see House of Holland, Hill & Friends, Sophia Webster and Mary Katrantzou all have some rather spectacularly structured bags on display for the spring and summer seasons.
The boxier the bag, the more appealing it seems to be, especially if it is nice and small and a clutch to boot. Add some mosaics as is the case with Lela Rose and you find some astonishing attraction to the tiny thing. Sophia Webster has a whole array of interesting boxy clutches as well, with pearly closures and interesting designs often matching the headwear. Dolce & Gabbana’s boxy bags are some of our favorites though!
#8: Half Moon Bags
Who does not love the half-moon trend out there? Victoria Beckham certainly is enamoured, so much so that her spring 2016 bags imitate the design with ease and gorgeous flow. This is expected to become the coming season’s new It bag that all the girls will be clamouring for, with the spacious feel and the very 1970s appeal.
#9: Metallic Handbags
Silver is big this year. Shimmering silver with a futuristic appeal has been the main look that everything from clothing to shoes has taken on. So it makes sense that we will see them on the spring/ summer 2016 handbags as well, albeit a little more toned down. We see a whole lot of the metallic articulation at DVF, while tassels come in hard at Badgley Mischka instead. We have to wonder if you can fit anything even in a chain mail metallic tiny bag that looks about fit to only carry a single tube of lipstick. The crinkled metallic silver of the 3.1 Phillip Lim fold over bag is simply too delicious to let go of.
#10: Bags With Chain Straps
Chain straps appeared as a trend during the 2015 seasons as well, so we were hoping it would carry on with a little bit of something new. That is exactly what happened as we combine the featured favorite chains with fringe for example at DVF, or with oven shaped designs as seen at Betsey Johnson. Even the Jeremy Scott flowers have chains to hold on to.
Pretty fringes added create colorful flowers at Monique Lhuillier, while we see a whole lot of chains appearing at Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney, Marni, Burberry Prorsum, and Balenciaga. Louis Vuitton is more typical, while the Calvin Klein Collection features a loop handled bag in black with golden chains that leaves us coveting more.
Denim colored suede? Chloe’s got you covered there with the gorgeous golden chain straps, though J. W. Anderson gives handbag art a whole new meaning.
#11: Lots of Clutches
Another common structure to the spring 2016 handbags is the clutch, wherein there are no straps to hold onto or pull over the shoulder and you must keep your bag in hand at all times. Everything from the cupcakes to the face designed pieces come in clutch looks, while metallic comes into play at Badgley Mischka.
Clutches appear with fold over designs in fur as per Sally LaPointe, in silky material as seen at 3.1 Phillip Lim, or in pink snakeskin as with Lela Rose’s pearly lined designs. We even have contrast stitching on quilted clutches at Kate Spade. We have a few slip-on clutches as well, including that from Narciso Rodriguez, burnt orange at Christian Siriano, and looking incredible in metallic meets matte grey at Maiyet.
#12: Tote Bags
Structured bags aside, we see a few totes here and there as well and that certainly makes us happy because those are perfect for stuffing all our needs in while they still look chic and sophisticated. Christian Siriano adds suede and fringe to the mix, making the designs even more appealing to those still stuck on the 2015 fashion trends.
Gorgeous, rounded top hands appear at Opening Ceremony as well as tote bags come in sizes that are perfect for the average college student to carry about laptops, tablets and books. High contrast, impeccable art and the desire to sail the oceans is what we see when gazing upon the Ralph Lauren totes. Tasseled totes also appear on the Altuzarra runway, looking pretty awesome in black and white.
#13: Saddle Bags
Since it is the 1970s trends that keep going, albeit in muted fashion throughout the runways, it was expected that we would be seeing some really Western designs in the spring/ summer 2016 handbag trends as well, from the fringes to the tassels to the saddle bags. We see all of these at Altuzarra in brown or deep diver teal leather and BCBG in gorgeous tan suede. Snakeskin looks even more interesting on a Jason Wu saddle bag as well, while Philosophy takes the saddle bag to the next level using straw instead of leather. Kate Spade loves saddle bags as much as the next person, bringing in the white and the tassels all in one. Coach loves the ‘70s style amidst the prairie flowers though, matching the handbag with the prairie dress.
#14: Folded Over Bags
While most bags have zippers or the like, one of the spring 2016 handbag trends we see on the runway shows is the fold-over effect. Instead of fumbling with buckles or zippers, this might be an infinitely more convenient way to get your handbags shut. We see clutches and saddle bags in similar folds with Banana Republic, furry designs at Sally LaPointe, and simply irresistible sophistication as per 3.1 Phillip Lim. Chic and pretty in snakeskin pink you say? Lela Rose has you covered. Folded over with a zipped ending is the quilted black and white clutch at Kate Spade with the contrast stitching.
#15: Furry Mischief Bags
We love seeing the furry pieces on the runways and now we get to enjoy it as a trend that we will most definitely be investing in once they become available to the general public. This includes the Georgine fanny pack in black and teal, as well as the large fold over clutch at Sally LaPointe, while Jason Wu’s furry fringing on the tweed bags looks rather lovely to behold. Pretty and fabulously furry, Topshop Unique walks in with a rather lovely combination of colors and textures. Tiny and furry is what we see at Saint Laurent as well as the more cowhide version of Nina Ricci’s clutches.
#16: Alligator and Snakeskin Patterning Bags
While not seen as much as we had hoped, the snakeskin looks are also a part of the spring/ summer 2016 handbag trends, coming in different designs, such as in all pink as seen on the Lela Rose runway, or in the guise of a rodeo saddlebag come Jason Wu. Alligators, on the other hand, appear with top handles at Zimmerman and Zac Posen, while the Gucci bags have some bolder colors to define the lady wearing it.
Top handles and brown with white stripes can be found in alligator skin texturing on the Prada runway, something we fully love. Gorgeous snakeskin appears on lovely golden buckled folder small bags in white at Marc Jacobs, but then come rather oversized and carrying baby bags along in cowboy tan at Barbara Bui, tassels and fringes and all.
Snakeskin handles mix with statement straps at Fendi, while one of the two bags stuck together at Christopher Kane features more yellowish skin of the slithering creatures. Among all the designer brands catering to the snakeskin trend though, Miu Miu probably has the best selection out there, coming in multiple sizes, colors and with different looks to the lovely handles. We can easily say that snakeskin and alligator skin textured looks on the handbags are one of the biggest trends for the spring and summer seasons of 2016.
#17: Bags With Top Handles
The Kate Bosworth handbag style of having top handles only is sweeping the fashion industry and we are loving it. It is a huge trend, possibly the biggest in terms of SS 2016 handbags and comes in a myriad of designs, from the structured alligator skin Zimmermann and Zac Posen looks to the metallic DVF styling. Tory Burch gives those things a 3D effect, while shimmering silver is what we get to see at Christian Siriano.
Large totes anyone? Opening Ceremony has some awesome styles for your own opening ceremony. As for Kate Spade, we will not be forgetting those contrast stitched quilted handbags anytime soon. Others with the top handles include Desigual, Thom Browne, Monique Lhuillier and many others. The top handles are the most common seen handled handbags for the spring season, and it would be cumbersome to name every single designer with the trend rolling on the red carpet.
#18: Bags With Loop Straps
Loop-like straps normally appeared on clutches but we have some lovely larger pieces hanging from the rope handles for the spring and they look quite lovely: in 3D as seen at Tory Burch, as well as with fluttering feathers and hanging fringe, looking gorgeous and simple at Brooks Brothers. Even Diesel totes have some looped straps, the gorgeous aqua blue of the Creatures of Comfort drawstring designs certainly appealing to our better senses. And then, of course, there is the chained and punkish Alexander Wang.
#19: Pretty Tiny Bags
Pretty trends are everywhere and having your handbags appear in small designs seems to be a norm these days, particularly for the spring and summer 2016 seasons. This includes happy faces as per Betsey Johnson, or simpler, more interesting designs as seen on the Maiyet runway, futuristic and all. Gorgeous retro bags with chained straps appear at Erin Fetherston as well, while there are pandas on circle handbags on Ground Zero fanny packs.
Kenzo has tiny little round bags added as fanny packs around the waist with the boxier versions, though we much prefer the circular versions that appear alongside it in reds and alligator skin textures. Kenzo probably has the best variants for this trend, but we simply love the colors at Chanel and the cylinder design at Salvatore Ferragamo.
#20: Larger than Expected
The bigger the better the bags seem to be saying for this coming spring and we cannot help but fall head over heels in love with the fact that we will certainly be able to carry as much as we want in those awesome accessories. Half circles go large at Victoria Beckham, while we see huge hobo bags appear at Badgley Mischka and Alice + Olivia, pretty totes appearing with Rag & Bone and Altuzarra.
Drawstrings and top hands combine at Tommy Hilfiger, perfect for the beach, while it is rope handles and moss green suede seen at Frame Denim. Very large drawstring bags appear at Louis Vuitton and look positively marvelous. Huge bags your thing? Tommy Hilfiger’s beach bags with the strips of graphic prints really do look amazing, while Adam Selman simply loves the child drawn flower prints on the oversized white bags. Extra-large bags are a very common trend and nearly every brand out there has at least a single piece on its Fashion Week runway show in any of the major 4 cities we have looked at.
#21: Graphic Handbags
We see some very graphic colors, stripes and designs appearing on the spring 2016 bags, versus the more muted we might like to carry on a daily basis. It is all about being sassy and fashion-savvy now, bold and beautiful and quite confident in your own style. We see some black white and yellow stripes appear on looped handle bags with chain straps at Stella McCartney, graphic chain looks against pale pink at Louis Vuitton, red and green against navy at Gucci, and blue and red coloring to match the clothing found at Marc Jacobs.
We see stars grace the Lanvin pieces hanging off the shoulders and lovely oriental designs with a Middle Eastern flair coming down the runway at Bottega Veneta. Of course, what can beat a sexy brown and white top handled Prada piece with alligator skin texturing or even come close to expressing a love for perfectly aligned holes as seen on the Fendi show, along with where snakeskin is matched with interesting colors and floral appliques.
Gorgeous floral prints with high contrast come out at The Row as well, while Miu Miu enjoys adding white edges for an even more pronounced effect on the messenger bag. Black and white graphics never looked so good as they do at Giambattista Valli though! Vivid colors and abstract art make for some awesome Ralph Lauren totes though!
#22: Bags Carrying Bags
As if a single bag was not enough, some of the latest designs included in the spring/ summer 2016 handbag trends actually include double the trouble and a lot more space and compartments to organize your cards laptops and other needs. Baby bags are no longer being carried on their own, instead being added to oversize designs and thus solving the great dilemma of which bag to take out today.
Matching bags and clothing is another trend that we see with the bags carrying bags trend at Barbara Bui, the snakeskin looking really good with the tassels and fringe. Celine has gorgeous white ones to add, matching with ivory dresses and golden accessories on the wrists, something it also does with contrast stitched black designs.
A whole lot of textured looks combine to pull together the Dolce & Gabbana look as well, what with the tassels, embroidery, and golden chains all around. The bags are certainly carrying some sexy bags. What if we saw two similar sized bags stuck together though? That is what Christopher Kane has given us. Dolce & Gabbana, on the other hand has multiple smaller with larger combinations in different colors, textures and designs.
#23: Matching Bags to Clothing
This is probably the most interesting style of all seen throughout the Fashion Week runway shows from London to Paris, New York to Milan. Barbara Bui matches brown snakeskin bags carrying bags with a matching dress, added fringes and all. Dolce & Gabbana loves the red and white stripes so much that the midi dress is matches with the messenger bag, folded over and top handle and all.
Stella McCartney matches stripes with gingham in the same ocean green and white colors, while Diane von Furstenberg brings in tweed and fringe in lovely spring coloring. If you want to go more on the plain side though, Lacoste has you covered with a deep blue combination.
Tory Burch matches hand woven blue and white Greek colors in a lovely top handled bag and fringed skirts. Jasper Conran makes totes match beautifully with the ensembles, the prints and the colors doing wonders together. Versace’s army colors are simply to die for as well.
#24: A Whole Lot of White Bags
We shall call it bags en blanc because of the stark whiteness seen to the spring 2016 handbags as they appear on the runway. White has been huge for 2016 and the bags are only one part of the ensemble that come in the stark hue. Miu Miu loves the medium sized version with the folder effect and top handle, while Louis Vuitton carries a rather unconventional drawstring bag that is quite oversized.
Marc Jacobs goes for the small and sophisticated in snakeskin, Marni for the pretty two-tone tote in leather and Altuzarra brings on some oversized tassels on the straps that finish in chain. Ralph Lauren has gorgeous structured bags with a keyhole addition to bring some fun to the stark white piece, while Nina Ricci gives fold-overs a very good name, Tod’s adding some black detailing and a gorgeous bow on the handle for a chicer effect.
Celine, Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, and Dior have those white lovelies in common with certainty. And if you like a whole lot of fringe, Balenciaga has you covered as you sneak out of the house in a sexy nightgown and lacy slippers.
#25: Going Clear
We saw the clear looks in shoes and hats and we certainly see the transparent plastic appearing in the spring/ summer 2016 handbag trends section. Loewe loves the top handle with shoulder strap, but we fear that this is a trampling of privacy really as the world can see your wallet, your phone, your personal hygiene pieces, cosmetics, papers and all. Christopher Kane, on the other hand, brings in a slightly more translucent look with a smaller bag with snakeskin detailing on the straps. Even Tory Burch has an interesting clear looking handbag that is a bit on the large side and looks to be almost like a tent.
#26: Top Handles and Shoulder Straps Combined
Sometimes a single handle is not enough and shoulder straps must be added to make a handbag as versatile as possible. In the case of transparent bags with similar additions, Loewe certainly comes in first with a piece that allows the world to see exactly what you keep inside. Fendi combined oversized messenger bags with statement handles and snakeskin in flowers looks, while Marques’ Almeida makes multiple bags in saddle format look really good. Chloe uses shoulder straps in combination with metallic handles for the tiny bags that can carry only the most necessary belongings.
#27: Statement Bag Handles
While most of the bag handles are your typical styles, some in chains and others just plain looking, we also have the gorgeous pieces where creativity hit the part you hold up as well. These we can more or less expect to be dominating the street styles come February but for now we can sit back and enjoy the shows where they appear on. Bold embellishments, customized straps and intriguing handles all account for a lovely new trend, as we see snakeskin combine with flower appliques at Fendi, chain and leather twist together in a futuristic fashion on the Miu Miu show, and ribbons fly all around with Christopher Kane.
#28: Statement Backpacks
One of our favorite looks in terms of the newer spring 2016 handbags is the sharply pleated drawstring backpack as seen on the Louis Vuitton runway, splashes with the brand’s traditional monogram logo. Even the Michael Kors Collection features a snakeskin alternative that can be held in hand as a clutch almost, that is how innovative the design is.
Tommy Hilfiger has some similar looks with top handles added for ease of carrying your gear across the beach, made to match the sweaters and swimwear that are walked down the runway. Alexander Wang has his own version of this, with zippers and studs and rather dark gothic designs, the chains on the black leather prominent in silver. Burberry Prorsum actually has full out stylish backpacks, the top handle and shoulder straps on both sides, something we can certainly use for our college days. Statement backpacks also appeared on the Emporio Armani and Hunter Original runways.
#29: Straw Handbags
It may be a strange appeal but we do see some crocheted and straw handbags appearing on the runways, including one with Ralph emblazoned on it from the Ralph Lauren show. Philosophy has a lovely woven straw cross-body bag that appears more to be a statement than something we can rely on to carry our belongings. Dolce & Gabbana has adorable little woven pieces with lots of pompoms added on top for a colorful family design.
#30: Two-Tone Handbags
Monochromatic silks and leathers with nice texture might be fun and dandy, but we are in love with the two-tone pieces that simply cannot be glossed over, that is how alluring they are. For example, an aquamarine and buttercup yellow mix as we see at Delpozo is spectacular, while Altuzarra sports some black and white tote bags with pretty tassels in leather.
Fendi, Gucci and many others follow through with two or three-toned pieces, getting creative with the appliques at the former and the designs on the latter. Prada brings in the white and green over the alligator skin, along with the red alligator over white snakeskin seen on the runway.
#31: Bags of Tweed
Remember when you thought tweed was a clothing thing only and that Chanel was the master of the tweed designs? Well, Chanel is definitely master in tweed suits but that does not mean that designers can’t bring the material to handbags as well, something that has been done in spring colors by Diane von Furstenberg, particularly with matching dresses to the fringed tweed handbag seen on the runway. Emilio Pucci adds some tweed to the fringes and gives us the bags we’ve been dying for.
#32: Suede Bags
With the 1970s still being channeled, it is only normal to see a whole lot of suede appearing on the runways as well when it comes to the spring/ summer 2016 handbag trends, looking soft to the touch and chic to the fashionable eye. From the Burberry Prorsum forest greens to the tan leather and suede combinations at Chloe, we have it all looking pretty amazing. Balmain’s suedes are lovely in black, blown and teal, while the darker tasseled pieces at Isabel Marant add a touch of sophistication in retro style that is all the rage for 2016.
Photos courtesy of Vogue