Words by Gaia Stasi
The times of one bag fits all are now an almost distant memory. Female handbags have outgrown their traditional role and purpose, and become luxury fashion statements – posing as decorative art, embracing modern shapes, and featuring all sorts of fabrics and appliqués.
From Rosantica’s crystal embellishments to Brandon Maxwell’s unconventional silhouettes, we embark on a journey to discover the quirkiest pieces of the latest fashion week’s Spring/Summer 2020 collections.
Rosantica, initially born in 2009 as Michela Panero’s first jewellery line, follows in their cherished tradition of exquisite craftsmanship and refined creativity with their SS20 handbags collection.
From the careful selection of rich fabrics and stunning crystals to their signature handmade packaging, and the unique mix of classic styles and modern shapes, Rosantica’s mini bags are simply a work of art.
Our top picks for next year’s warm summer nights, all pictured above, from left to right (can be bought online at modaoperandi.com).
The Fatalina Crystal Fringe Crossbody Bag, featuring a loose pouch silhouette adorned by a crystal fringe detailing, and drawstring brass fastening.
The Baby Garofano Crystal Mini Bag, displaying a sophisticated crystal cage exterior design, and brass top handle as well as chain cross-body strap.
The Ruby Holli Floral Crystal Top Handle Bag, featuring a sphere silhouette, kiss-lock brass fastening, and an intricate floral design embellished by colourful crystals.
Judith Leiber Couture
Ditch the traditional rabbit’s foot and four-leaved clover at the next casino night and bring a clutch for good luck!
Judith Leiber’s one of a kind miniaudierés are the craftsmanship masterpieces made for luxury addicts, art collectors and the ultimate handbag connoisseurs. The brand’s designs are displayed as part of their permanent collections in the world’s greatest museums – including the London’s V&A and the MET in New York – and count various Hollywood stars as well as nearly every First Lady among their most faithful and passionate supporters.
Pictured above (can be bought online at modaoperandi.com) is a selection of Judith Leiber’ SS20 collection, the perfect addition to your Las Vegas trip or girls’ poker night. Each miniaudieré is fully encrusted in colourful crystals and can just about fit your phone, credit card, and lipstick. From a jackpot slot machine featuring a line of lucky 7’s and a mechanical lever, to stacks of poker chips, a colourful lucky die, and playing cards, you’re set to win big. Talk about having an ace up your sleeve!
For the old school gal who wants to look fashionable and just as cultivated and refined, Olympia Le-Tan’s clutches combine a love for books and colourful vintage designs.
From first edition covers of Jane Austen’s most acclaimed novels to exotic destinations and Parisians motifs (a selection of which is pictured above), you’re bound to find a piece (or more!) you’ll fall in love with.
All miniaudierés feature brass or leather frames and wool felt embroideries, strictly hand-fashioned in OLT’s Parisian atelier. The clasp fastening on the right hand side reconstructs the vintage design of lockable secret journals, while the polished golden frame could easily pass for the page-edges of chunky old manuals riddled with gilt.
When holding Giambattista Valli’s new Petal Evening Clutch, you’ll have people wondering if you’re carrying a handbag or a small bouquet of exotic flowers.
Ranging from a subtle light pink to a bolder fuchsia (pictured above, from left to right, and can be bought online at modaoperandi.com), its textured feather-effect design skillfully mounted on a satin frame is guaranteed to turn heads.
The Balmain SS20 collection is a triumph of bold geometrical shapes and sinuous, flowing silhouettes, with rectangular and triangular cutouts stitched alongside half-moon and circular strips of monochrome fabric. From low cut blazers with heavy shoulder pads to waistcoats with spaghetti straps and see-through trapeze dresses, the Balmain woman embraces tradition with a hint of daring novelty.
Olivier Rousteing’s SS20 bag collection echoes his ‘ready-to-wear’ strong geometric patterns but looses its voluminous frames.
The new Balmain Buzz, as the brand explains in one of their Instagram posts, is “designed to fit easily into the lifestyle of the rebelles who form today’s powerful inclusive Balmain Army”.
Both the BBuzz Marbled Miniaudiere 17 and the BBuzz Circle 21 (pictured above, from left to right, and can be bought online at modaoperandi.com) feature a mini silhouette, gold-tone hardware and magnetic fastening at flap. While the former mirrors the sharp-cornered, geometric patterns of the brand’s womenswear collection, the latter comes in a smoother rounded shape, repeating the half-moon motive.
The BBuzz Circle 21 also features two extra roped top handles in calfskin leather, which give you the option to fasten the mini-bag around your waist and go hand-free.
Brandon Maxwell has put an end to the pre-night out I-don’t-know-what-to-wear madness (when it comes to handbags, at least).
With a Shake Shack truck parked at the entrance of his SS20 show and a cocktail party in full swing inside the venue, it doesn’t come as a surprise that some of his latest designs could feel right at home on a bar counter.
The Flask and the Champagne Acrylic Clutch bags (pictured above, from left to right, and can be bought online at modaoperandi.com ) are the perfect companions for a night in the town. Slight issue: both clutches feature a combination lock fastening that could prove rather challenging after their content has been emptied (if you know what we mean). But with each piece being sold for more than 3 thousand pounds, no matter how the sentence goes, in case of emergency do not break plexi-glass!