The beauty of a classic woven bag is that it really is a versatile wardrobe staple that you can carry any time of the year, whether you’re attending a cocktail event in Hong Kong city or sipping margaritas on the exotic beaches of Maldives. It brings beautiful texture to any look; whether you’re pairing it with a sleek trench coat or even with a jeans-and-boyfriend-shirt combination.

A woven bag in all its artisanal glory is the sort of accessory that can transform the overarching aesthetic of an outfit. The trend is a game-changer especially with many fashion labels embracing this generational technique that has been practised by people from different culture and heritage all over the world. In recent years, woven arm candies have geared up to be a must-have in the latest seasonal collections with the likes of Bottega Veneta, Prada and Dior in the fray.

Woven bags also show how its artisanal charm can be adapted into a day-to-day style that transcends both day and night looks. In the latest spring/summer 2019 collections, we are seeing them in larger sizes – perfectly functional for long weekends – as well as structured ones for a more fashionable statement.

In Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest Dior Cruise 2020 collection presented in Marrakesh, the creative director employs a high distinction of craftsmanship stemming from the history of Moroccan textile-making. This has established a mutual understanding and appreciation towards the romantic art of weaving and the start to many more fashion collections that are in dire need of the human touch.

The handcrafted quality of a woven bag is unquestionable. Each piece elicits an artistic touch that is interwoven with a deep appreciation to craftsmanship – something that is highly favoured in the world of mass-production. The materials – ranging from wicker to raffia, leather to canvas — are sturdier and when entwined with impeccable techniques, they create a reinforced bond for a more elastic, supported and stronger byproduct.

It is obvious that the world of fashion continues to surprise us in enigmatic ways. But we know that the artisanal touch of a woven bag will continue to surpass and inspire the impending seasons. From Dolce & Gabbana to Gucci’s most iconic Sylvie, here are eight woven bags to covet this season – all for the good reasons.

1
Miu Miu’s leather-trimmed wicker bag

This brown woven wicker bag featured in Miu Miu’s Resort 2019 runway elicits a sun-drenched tone. Crafted in Italy, the arm candy has a pink trim echoing the detachable strap and the pink leather interior lining. The boxy structure makes the bag perfect as a clutch – so you can use this as the perfect accessory for your evening look.

2
Lady Dior

The iconic Lady Dior was revisited in a crafty embroidered raffia version for the Dior Cruise 2020 Collection. The bag felt perfectly at home in the show’s setting in El Badi Palace in Marrakesh, with the creative director’s special embroidered strap that weaved cultures together. The bag has equal parts of elegance and a rustic charm that is put together through hours of intricate weaving technique.

3
Loewe's Pochette Raffia Bag Natural

Crafted in a relaxed silhouette, Loewe’s woven bag is made of raffia and calfskin. The herringbone canvas lining strengthens the structure of the bag, with the signature Loewe’s knot perfecting the strap. This medium-sized bag matches any day look — a long floral dress or jeans and sweater combination. Its natural shade makes it easy to pair with every colour in the palette.

4
Dolce & Gabbana’s wicker shoulder bag

D&G’s wicker basket bag is a key silhouette this season for obvious reasons. The woven style comes in a boxy, structured style that references vintage trunks. Smooth black calf leather trim punctuated by a golden DG logo at the front creates the iconic look. The leopard print interior adds on an element of surprise to the overall bag.

5
Tod’s Double T Shopping Bag Large

Crafted in elegant raffia with leather detailing, Tod’s Double T shopping bag is a fashion statement on its own. Its structure is enhanced with metal feet, leather trimming and a fabric interior to keep things water- and dust-proof. The loop details on the exterior resemble similar techniques in rug-making while the woven edge gives extra hold to the large bag – making it perfect for beach holidays and family vacations. (Credit: Marcus Tondo)

6
Gucci's Sylvie

Gucci’s iconic women’s bags are restyled with a more relaxed and summery look that embraces the spirit of playfulness. While all bags feature distinctive Gucci hardware and decoration, the blend of materials interpreted through interesting weaving methods is showcased in each individual collection. The Sylvie features an elegant vibe that combines its straw matte wicker body with a leather or croco flap.

7
Gucci's GG Marmont 2.0

The GG Marmont 2.0 line, on the other hand, has a relaxed look in crochet raffia with a floral pattern, alongside signature trims and gold hardware to match the brand’s aesthetics.

8
Prada’s wicker and leather shoulder bag

Prada embraces spring/summer with a range of straw and wicker bags that embodies the finest handmade craftsmanship. The leather trim and metal studs of this wicker shoulder bag add a decisive touch with feminine lines. The leather top hides the contrasting lining while creating a seamless body to the bag. It is the perfect companion for an afternoon tea or as a crossbody bag for summer holidays.

9
Dior's Saddle Bag

Surprise, surprise — Dior’s iconic Saddle Bag has undergone a new treatment with a woven finish in a bright shade of red. The iconic shape of the bag has been reinterpreted over the years but this is by far the most radical it has ever gone. The use of leather in this aged technique gives a subtle charm to this stylish arm candy — an absolute standout in any parties and functions.

Martin Teo
Editor
Martin has a bent for history and food culture, especially of the Peranakan heritage. Since the pandemic, he finds joy in plant parenting and continues to expand his collection of Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Syngoniums. He's now on a lookout for the elusive Philodendron Florida Beauty to add to his urban garden.