It is said that the way you hold your handbag speaks much about your personality, temperament and the mood of the moment. Whether you carry your cross-body bag in front of the body thus spitting out your feeling shy or wear your tote in the crook of elbow thus declaring status and position being your priorities, the fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbags have their powerful say in this sphere to maybe demolish your habitual handbag scheme and the way of holding them.
Update: Check out the new Spring/ Summer 2017 Handbag Trends!
The fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbag trends rounded up under our close scrutiny are in a quest to offer up a plethora of designer bag designs and to bring in new ways of carrying them.
Starting from Dior’s as-if-accidentally-left-open shoulder bags to Celine’s leather handbags held sidewise ignoring the top handles, body language specialists still have volumes of work to do in terms of giving out new personality categories. But until then, flip through our list of the best fall 2016 handbag trends hooked from the recent fall runway shows and pulled together for your pleasure and leisure.
1. Cross-Body Bags
Given that the recent fall/winter collections were all about adventures and relaxation, sprezzatura looks and careless catwalking, what other handbag style could better accomplish the whole craze than perennial cross-body bags? Just let your bag cross your body and hotfoot it out of town, with the most necessary items in and with feelings of extreme protection. More importantly, you can do it in so many ways, in so many sizes and shades.
Start from Prada’s vagabond girls going bananas over worn-tightly-across-the-body waist-level leather bags with some knick-knacks hanging down and end at ballet-inspired Valentino show filled with blackest black super short cross-body bags nigh reaching the armpits.
But dare not miss those reptile skin cross-body bags for fall 2016 with top handles as spotted at Givenchy, those color-blocked ones at Burberry, fold-over spacious stunners at Barbara Bui and a coquettish bubblegum pink charmer we have been so enthused to spot at Gucci. Or else go further and let the cross-body bag touch your back, an engrossing variant seen at Chanel and Chloe recently.
2. Drawstring Reticule Styles
Bringing back the Regency era? Got a long-awaited invitation to Jane Austen festival in Australia? Whatever it is, the modern renditions of reticule pouches by the leading fashion designers certify their being so versatile and multifunctional.
Your liability is just to narrow down your essentials into the most necessary – a juicy lipstick, who-is-the-fairest-in-land mirror and your iPhone to stay in touch. The fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbag trends are churning out these drawstring stunners in all materials, with any embellishments and most importantly, within any lifestyle.
We see them in delicate velvet, with floral embroidery and a metallic chain around the wrist in Alberta Ferretti’s boudoir collection and in different fabrics with loop handles at Giorgio Armani’s elegant runway show.
Then it is all about a matter of taste whether to opt for Alexander Wang’s suede versions with metallic polka dots or a not-so-sacred leather one covered with marijuana leaves. Check out Lanvin as well, for more ravishing versions, Elie Saab and DSquared2 to be poured with tassels or Nina Ricci for pretty ruffled reticules, suggestive of aromatic flowers.
3. De Rigueur Boxy Handbags
Much as geometry ignites seriousness and gravity, boxy handbags in square or rectangular shapes alike channel some practical twist around. Apart from several books stocked one over another, these fall 2016 handbags are quite capacious to stash your quotidian items especially as you borrow those spacious two-floored suitcase-style boxy handbags from Dolce & Gabbana’s fall 2016 ready-to-wear collection or those leather ones with front flaps from Balenciaga’s show.
Boxy handbags, so de rigueur at this juncture, are really shaping up one of the grandest fall 2016 handbag trends to circulate around the city streets come the cold seasons. But those tiny ones instantly dissolving seriousness and spreading coquettish ease around stand head and shoulders above.
Nothing can ever be excavated to be more fragile and delicate than those compact Dolce & Gabbana charmers with lock closures in reptile skin or velvet, bejeweled or showing pretty floral panoply, crystalline or pop-art inspirations. And catching some boxy handbags at Louis Vuitton in leopard prints come as no surprise at this animal-skin-obsessed period.
4. One Bag Is Not Enough
One of the coolest ways of carrying a handbag as per the fall/ winter 2016 handbag trends is carrying multiple bags at a time. Bumping into this inspiring handbag trend, we just try to guess the designers’ intentions and motives.
Are more essentials needed to carry come the fall? Do two bags at a time add extra sprezzatura to the outfit or is it just another way to build cool colorblocks? All these hypotheses mentioned and more might come out as facts.
Following Loewe’s two-spacious-bags-at-a-time advice, one worn over the shoulder, another held in hand, might end up with going outside armed to the teeth, while the baguette bag + frame purse combo thread at Christian Dior brings about some enlivening colorblocks apart from intense concentration on money segregation.
While these versions have been iterated many a time and oft during prior seasons, some designers went out-and-out innovational in this category this time around bringing forth family ties – Siamese twin purple and red bags at Bottega Veneta and a mother + daughter package spotted at DSquared2.
5. Furry Handbag Phase
It has become a somewhat pretty habit with leading fashion houses and designers to crank out furry handbags of different sizes and styles on and on when it is about the fall and winter seasons. This year is no different with a plethora of furry handbags shaping up oen of the ‘warmest’ fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbag trends. They are so fluffy, delicate; warming up frozen hands instantly, almost like your favorite pet held tightly right under the armpit or led by a strap.
We see many versions crafted entirely out of fur or with furry details here and there. We see some brown furry tidbits forming floral patterns at Michael Kors, brown and grey top-handled bags at Alexander Wang, leopard skin imitating pieces at Simone Rocha, an oversized Airy Blue handbag at Fendi, another roomy one at Blumarine.
This furry string could drag on and on with Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane, Loewe, Marchesa, Sonia Rykiel, Salvatore Ferragamo replenishing the roster among the others. It is at Versace that furry tails make pretty swinging decorative components to leather handbags, while at Calvin Klein Collection it is all about slip through furry straps.
6. Animal Skin Handbags On the Go!
The fall 2016 handbag trends have really elevated the position of animal skin in fashion arena starting from leopard and tiger prints to snake and crocodile skin patterns. This exotic trend best fitted to show bohemian luxury is touching on not only outerwear, footwear, pants or tops, but also handbags.
Blue and yellow reptile skin handbags make a great chapter of the Bottega Veneta fall 2016 collection, while brown crocodile skin cross-body bags are Givenchy’s thing this time around.
We happily embrace dower-chest-style reptile patterned handbags at Dolce & Gabbana, those boxy handbags covered with leopard spots at Louis Vuitton and money purse stunners with yellow or pink tiger stripes at Kenzo, while Dries Van Noten exposes a harmonious symbiosis of leopard spots and snake patterns.
For more embellished reptile skin handbags, make a beeline to Gucci. Need a smasher? Nothing can be a better pillar of strength than fierce predators.
7. Hands-Free Fanny Packs
Number one hands-free ultra-comfortable bag type among the fall 2016 handbags is surely the fanny pack outpacing even cross-bodies. Just call to mind all those activities you can carry out with fanny-packs perched around your waist – starting from hands-free hot coffee drinking to cold ice-cream licking when walking down the street, not to mention the facility and security of your iPhone and money.
This kangaroo-pouch-reminiscent bag style has surely attracted many a designer having all the potential to become the It bag of 2016. Meet them in droves from down-and-out versions to more chic and chichi options.
Saddle-bag-shaped fanny packs are making a perfect pair with military tomboyish garments at 3.1 Phillip Lim, while reticule-style ones are prettily decorating fit and flaring silhouettes at Celine. At Elie Saab fanny packs are black, crocheted and delicate, while at Off-White – gold-plated and shimmering.
Find a new way of carrying fanny packs with the chain strap twirled around the belt at Chanel and leap to a new category at Undercover to carry them on hips of your pants fastened by pins.
8. Backpacks to Hold in Hands
We are falling back on backpacks come the fall/winter days, but not in their traditional carrying-on-back versions. Many a designer is encouraging now to carry them in hand from top handles absolutely ignoring those back straps, a blueprint surely to beef up backpack position in fashion ground.
We listen attentively to commands by Lanvin and stare saucer-eyed at those Persian green and silver metallic backpacks, then smoothly passing to Versace black, optical illusion or sequined numbers.
The homestretch is at Louis Vuitton with leopard printed and monogrammed options. But those soft ghostly backpacks spotted at Anya Hindmarch represent truly a whole new ball game.
9. Exquisite Minaudières Galore
Exquisite minaudières having their roots stuck deep into ‘30s are spreading their branches high into the fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbag trends. No matter crafted out of metal, lacquer or velvet, embellished with gems, mother of pearls or featherweight feathers, these jewelry-worthy pieces never fail in to bring splendor and pomp around.
When heading to a luxurious soiree and feeling in lack of jewelry nothing can better save the day than a dainty minaudière especially as you have those Dolce & Gabbana sweet nothings at your disposal, chock-a-block with crystals to form pretty floral embellishments or Giorgio Armani sleek metallic charmers with tiny gems spread over the surface.
10. Day & Night Clutches and Envelope Bags
Once clutches were meant for special events only to work solely with evening gowns. Gone are those days; clutches are now copious and versatile enough to work both for daily life and evening soirees.
The fall 2016 handbag trends bring in day and night clutches starting from those elongated leather clutches at Balenciaga to those tweed printed charmers at Chanel or those slip-through quilted ones at Valentino. Just stow away your best makeup goodies and clutch your clutch.
11. Spicy Baguette Bags
Baguette is meant not only to pay homage to your gustatory predilections, but also to your fashionable essence fluctuations. This compact handbag inaugurated by Fendi in 1997 makes one of the lovely fall 2016 handbag trends happening here and there throughout the whole month either slung over the shoulder or held nonchalantly in hand.
We see pretty colorblocked reptile skin baguette bags at Burberry and other unique versions in saccharine shades at Bottega Veneta. A range of suede versions appears at Christian Dior as well and some ruffled innovations at Fendi, of course.
12. Handbags with Metallic Effects
Metallic shimmer and glimmer is all focused to bring about another stunning handbag trend we are all so enthused to get hands on soon. Apart from metallic-effect clothing pieces delivered in abundance down the runways of late, metallic handbags also have their powerful say in here igniting anything futuristic or apocalyptic.
Silvery handbags are marched out from Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Lanvin in disparate designs and styles, while gold-pleated numbers are sneaking to us from Proenza Schouler, Gucci, Loewe and Off-White.
For more enlivening metallic shades come and get a lavender bag from Marc Jacobs and rainbow-effect metallic hand turners from Louis Vuitton.
13. Half-Moon and Hobo Bags
These two handbag styles, both amounting to the same crescent shape but different from each other in terms of materials they are crafted out of, have been widely used by many a designer this year as well. Apart from being an arm candy so pleasant to just look at, these handbags are spacious enough to shelter as many things as are necessary in a span of day.
Most importantly you have so many styles, materials and shades at your disposal – black lacquered and brown velvet hobos at 3.1 Phillip Lim, a white braided one at Altuzarra, black and green leather half-moons at Boss, a couple of short strap slouchy ones at Celine and Louis Vuitton and some pretty staples coming into view at Loewe.
At Lemaire a half-moon stunner nigh reaches a real half-moon category through its blindingly bright yellow shade, while at Celine we observe a model in a square shape but with a crescent shape at top section. But those colorblocked half-moon bags we have spotted at Boss are really ace of aces in this category.
14. Leave It Open
There is no denying that many fashion designers might have left their fall 2016 handbags open intentionally on the runway not for demonstrating a new way of carrying them, but just to show off the interior designs of their creations to the onlookers. Regardless of their motives we fall head over heels in love with this cool handbag trend (at least no fret any more when you forget to zip your baguette bag or leave your saddle bag flab swing backwards).
While there are some doubts regarding other fashion houses, Dior’s shoulder bag left open to unfold and show off a purse pocket is beyond the shadow of a doubt to be also a strong propaganda to carry them right that way down the streets.
We see Jonathan Anderson’s carry-all slouchy creations for Loewe, unzipped from the middle part and exposing their extra space to hide more things, but admit that when not so many things are necessary to carry, it would be cool to unzip and zip along.
The same way we highly appreciate Anya Hindmarch’s solution to unzip messenger bags thus forming a lip-shape illusion at the top section.
15. Bags with Swinging Tassels & Fringing
Number one western style barometer, tassels are yet again making their way through the fashion world albeit not in so much volume as last year, yet swinging and jumping on the fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbags as well.
Altuzarra’s saddle bags are flaunting wisps of tassels here and there on straps or on flaps, while the iridescent wisps of tassels are aligned in apple-pie order on straps at Elie Saab.
16. Bucking up with Bucket Bags
Bucking up the trend is at times cool but not when it comes to bucking up with bucket bags. With or without drawstrings, spacious or miniature, they always gravitate towards us greatly.
The leading fashion designers come out as the perfect adepts of female leanings and predilections afresh catering us to a modicum of bucket bags for the upcoming chilly seasons. 3.1 Phillip Lim is surely leading the pack with its leather bucket bags with drawstrings and in shipshape compact state, while at Marni we get an eyeful of that drawstring-less brown furry bucket bag to tote on so many occasions.
But we are giving the award of the most lovely bucket bag to that compact miniature one spotted at Dolce & Gabbana with a lock turning it into a riddle wrapped up in an enigma.
17. All Eyes on Straps and Handles
The fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbag trends frequently leave us all eyes on the straps and handles relegating the handbag itself to the background. It’s worth following Fendi’s advice to tote those trapezoid handbags or baguettes from the top handles leaving those wavy, iridescent shoulder straps swinging demonstratively.
We see ethnic scarves twirled to become lovely top handles of Louis Vuitton snow white bags and black boxy ones; many creatively knotted straps at Celine in shades different from handbags themselves thus creating lovely contrasts and a handful of soft furry straps at Alexander McQueen and Calvin Klein Collection.
And overlooking that bleached yellow stunner with a safety pin top handle at Vionnet is nigh impossible.
18. Cowgirling with Saddle Bags
It will be a cold day in July when we stop admiring knee-high boots + saddle back combination in the fall/winter seasons. Come on; clap hands with glee, as the fall 2016 handbag trends are again bringing back the saddle bags both in their original brown leather versions and in other unique designs and you again have a chance to cowgirl.
Saddle bags make a team with nigh every look at Altuzarra in different colors whether in leather or suede, with tassels or with braided surface, with leather or chain straps. We see saddle bags at Celine as well carried not over the shoulder but wrapped around the wrist, many tasseled charmers at Elie Saab and a thread of leather or floral canvas saddle bags at Miu Miu.
19. Printed and Embellished Handbags
If there is one fall 2016 handbag trend begetting intensive binge-watching, that is the trend of printed and embellished handbags happening everywhere up hill and down dale.
Dolce & Gabbana is calling the tune with its myriads of sophisticated exemplars – fairy-tale boxy pieces and other handbag styles all encrusted with gems, floral embellishments and prints, optical illusion and houndstooth prints and goodness knows what else. Alessandro Michele’s creations for Gucci concede D&G in no way in terms of prints and embellishments.
We see a range of Dionysus City bags with some botanical and abstract embroidery or with some bejeweled panoply but also other staples showing some zigzag and psychedelic patters.
At Christopher Kane you will find lovely crocheted flowers attached here and there, at Dries Van Noten velvet clutches are all decorated with tender feathers, at Fendi it is all about kaleidoscopic and optical illusion views, while at Salvatore Ferragamo iridescent stripes and zigzags come into view.
The list of trendsetters lengthens including Giorgio Armani, Miu Miu, Prada, Proenza Schoulder, Dries Van Noten, Chanel, Christian Dior and many others.
20. Vintage Frame Handbags and Purses
When we mention ‘vintage’ while talking about the fall 2016 handbag trends, frame sophisticated models come into mind instantly. But not only into mind; into view as well especially as the fall/ winter 2016 handbags are on the go.
Sorting frame handbags and purses by ascending order we can start from those delicate purses at Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Coach, Marni and Tommy Hilfiger, smoothly moving to Alexander McQueen leather and furry pieces to that blue reptile skin handbag at Bottega Veneta and in the long run ending at Mansur Gavriel to get an eyeful of those vibrant yellow and red top handled glamor-engenders.
21. Trapezoid-Shaped Handbags Aplenty
We are again thrown in the thick of geometry with trapezoid-shaped handbags for fall 2016 sneaking to us from right and left, from up and down shaping up another inspiring 2016 bag trend. Mr. Lagerfeld’s wavy and ruffled creations for Fendi are saturated with trapezoid-shaped handbags, monochromatic or printed, leather or furry, spacious or itsy-bitsy.
We catch many trapezoid top-handled handbags at Gucci as well, a couple of floral printed stunners at Giorgio Armani and carry-all totes at Boss to go out as a well-equipped girl.
22. Hello, Matchy-Matchy!
While the majority of fashion designers try to create pretty color and print contrasts through their fall 2016 collections, many designers are embracing the matchy-matchy options with vim and vigor. Matchy-matchy might imply matching clothing with boots, hats or handbags.
Need the whole caboodle in perfect match? No doubt, Chanel is ruling here delivering a range of printed tweed looks entirely matched both in shades and in textures including handbags, of course.
At Barbara Bui we see red plaid jumpsuit + cross-body bag combinations and another polka dot dress + scarf + clutch combo at Elie Saab, while at Miu Miu the floral outerwear and saddle bags are singing absolutely the same tune. Many fall 2016 handbags perfectly matching with clothing have been spotted at Anna Sui, Calvin Klein Collection and Emilio Pucci as well.
23. Bon Voyage Handbags
If asked to describe the fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbag trends in one word, what would be your answer? Mine would undeniably be ADVENTURES! So it comes as no surprise to see many bon-voyage-wishing travel bags on recent runways starting from those leather top handled handbags at Trussardi to square suitcase-style ones at Louis Vuitton.
24. Searching for Unique Colorblocks
Never stay blocked in some place but fling yourself into colorblocks much as contemporary fashion designers are doing at this juncture. Colorblocked handbags indubitably stand head and shoulders above monochromatic versions.
Just a glance at those diplomatic and half-moon handbags by Boss, a whole lot of classic ones by Versace and a couple of shoulder bags by Tory Burch and you will be completely swept off your feet!
25. Top Handled Classic Handbags
The classic and elegant style is never gone and even at this eclectic fashion moment it is alive and kicking as never. Among those designers bringing forth classic handbags for fall 2016 is undeniably Mr. Armani showing his sleek black top handled creations at the Giorgio Armani fall 2016 ready-to-wear runway show.
We see many classic plaid arm candies in taupe shade at Ralph Lauren, a handful of compact jewel-toned trapezoid handbags at Prada and some cocoa brown or blush pink classic handbags at Louis Vuitton.
26. Lots of Chain Straps
Chain strap handbags have always been showing stable presence on the runways season after season. The fall/ winter 2016-2017 handbag trends come as another term to inhabit jingling straps on a range of bags.
Starting from fine chain straps at Dolce & Gabbana to those chunky ones at Versace or Marni, these metallic straps look in pretty contrast with snowy winter albeit threatening to freeze your open shoulder – just another manifestation of power and fortitude.
27. Oversized Handbags
Regardless of the itsy-bitsy handbags predominating on the fall 2016 runways, oversized handbags peeping out here and there make another handbag trend vigorously commanding to load your bag and set off to a two-day vacation quite unexpectedly on Friday after the tense working day.
With those Balenciaga rainbow-colored oversized totes it would be more than funny and hilarious, while with REAL GUCCI it is all about constant eyes on you and millions of heads turned. You can also spy some massive staples at Chanel, Acne Studios, Christopher Kane or Loewe.
28. Velvety Handbags
The delicate and shimmering velvet works like a charm currently and for a long time yet in the future, no two ways about it. The latest ready-to-wear collections have had it made in the shade pushing forward velvety fashion in all its shades possible, even appearing on the fall/ winter 2016-2017 shoes.
So it has become viral for the fall 2016 handbags as well. After all, what can be more enlivening than constantly touching delicate velvet when winter chill is trying to freeze your body and soul?
Velvet makes a chapter of Stella McCartney’s fall 2016 collection thus also touching those charming totes in blackest black and night blue. Burgundy velvet handbags crop up at Dries Van Noten and Miu Miu, but what makes our heart go pitter-patter are those khaki green velvet clutches spotted at Dries Van Noten that are all decorated with feathers.
29. The Smaller, The Trendier
Itty-bitty handbags and purses happen in the fall/winter 2016 collections in such a high frequency and in so many pretty designs that we are literally on the verge to leave behind our bestie carry-all bags and hit it off with those tiny stunners.
Those lovely purses of cigarette box size at Chanel and Boss or those mini cross-body bags at Kenzo have enough space to lodge the most essential things of ours but that heart-shaped golden cross-body at Saint Laurent or those minikins at Mulberry are hardly to admit a single lipstick. All in all, we say strong Yes to the itty-bitty bag trend.
30. Freaky and Eccentric Bag Designs
Just in case you hanker for leveraging looks in a New York minute, here come those freaky and eccentric fall 2016 handbags that made us freak out many a time and oft when the fashion month was in full blast. Even if some of us find them out-and-out inappropriate to carry in real life, looking at them only is more than enough to blow away the cobwebs.
You might find the most eccentric fall 2016 handbags at Dolce & Gabbana, for sure – a mini chandelier bag and another manikin in the form of Cinderella’s after-spell carriage, a range of boxy handbags either in the form of horizontally aligned books or presenting a small fragment as if cut from a soft boudoir sofa.
We catch a freaky yellow handbag in the form of a thread spool at Chanel, a mysterious diary-book-shaped clutch at Prada and a handful of ghostly samples at Anya Hindmarch.
And you might even take the fall 2016 fashion month as an exceptional period to pay homage to your dogomania essence – grab those realistic dog-shaped fluffy handbags from Jeremy Scott and Thom Browne and pat them on and on throughout the chilly seasons.
Photos courtesy of Vogue