Remember when we were stuck at home during circuit breaker with nothing to do but craft stuff?
It was around this time that fashion brands were working on their Spring/Summer 2021 collections, and they did so with a similar appreciation for artisanal techniques and handcrafted creations.
This revealed itself especially in the bags that made the runway: Fendi introduced its perforated Sunny tote in leather, Valentino made quite a statement with its macramé leather hobo bag, and Burberry’s oceanic collection included a fishnet bag with crystals.
So, yes, if you’re wondering, straw totes, knit bags and other accessories with a DIY appeal are very much in right now. They’re fun, easy and relaxed enough to pack for your many upcoming staycations. These homespun styles are also pretty handy to take with you for all other summer activities — glamping, picnics, beach strolls and however else you choose to bask in the sunny outdoors.
You also have plenty of options to choose from, from the elevated basket bags offered by designer brands, to the more affordable styles from trendy labels as well as sustainable ones for the eco-conscious shopper. We’ve listed the best ones below.
Header image courtesy of Loewe
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You’ll be turning heads with this large Yuzefi basket tote, featuring a handmade woven façade and elaborate fringe details. What we appreciate the most is that it’s made entirely of vegan leather, which gives it an green edge over the countless basket bags that are available to shop.
Yes, Fendi now has its own line of plastic basket bags, the kind that you would have seen everywhere in the ’90s. The difference is that Fendi’s are made with recycled PVC, sourced from the Italian brand’s factory. The excess plastic, leftover from the manufacturing of sneakers and shoes, has been given new life as this handy bag style that comes in bright pops of colour.
This season, Bottega Veneta has transformed its Classic shoulder bag with an intricate hand-crocheted weave in cotton-blend jersey. This is one to add to your collection if you’re already a fan of the brand’s trendy, textural accessories.
Fans of Nanushka’s sustainable leather accessories can get in on the SS21 trend with the Budapest brand’s new Naiya bag. Featuring a macramé netting and top handles woven with strands of vegan leather, it’s easy to see why the bag is already racking up hits on fashion search engine Lyst.
“Eco-conscious chic” sums up Anna Sui’s line of striped crochet bags, which are knitted from recycled cotton T-shirts. This mini bag is perfect for stashing your wallet, phone and sunglasses while you head out to a picnic.
Staud’s Moreau bucket bag remains a best-seller for a reason. The sturdy (and removable) bucket bag is spacious enough to store all your everyda essentials, and its knotted macramé exterior is guaranteed to stand out. This season, the Moreau comes in a beige variation that will go nicely with your summer frocks.
Stella McCartney’s Falabella tote bag was recently spotted on the Gossip Girl reboot, guaranteeing its must-have status once the series airs. Still, you can already get your hands on this crochet knit version that, true to the brand, is ethically and sustainably crafted.
Prada’s mesh bags have been pretty popular for a while now, but its latest iteration of the Fishnet is its most summery yet. The nylon gabardine drawstring bag is now wrapped with a hornbeam wood mesh that’s both a feat of craftsmanship and reminiscent of vacation in, say, Bali. The bag is finished with a braided leather handle so you can show it off everywhere you go.
If you share a love of pearls as Simone Rocha does, you should get your hands on her lavish take on the net bag. Besides pearls, the handbag is embellished with sparkling crystals, all of which makes for a very glamorous piece of arm candy that will work both in the day and night.
Nothing announces the arrival of summertime quite like a new Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza collection. The capsule offers plenty of tropical-inspired straw and knit accessories, but the standout of this season is the new Anagram Basket bag. It’s made entirely out of natural materials: Loewe’s signature logo is stitched on fibres from Iraca palm, and the rest of the bag is dyed with walnut tree leaves in Colombia. The Anagram Basket bags are also hand-woven by the craftswomen of Oficio y Arte, a Spanish artisanal collective that allows women to be financially independent and educates their children. The style will be available in all Loewe stores from 15 April.