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Women's Fashion / Collections Digest

Fashion Week: The Clutch Bag Trend

Unique documentation of men's and women's fashion collections

The Clutch at Céline A/W12 and Prada A/W11
The Clutch at Céline A/W12 and Prada A/W11 Illustrations by Tom Baxter

Following our recent two-coat trend tip, next up is guidance on how to carry one's bag. Whatever style of bag you own – be it a satchel, a tote or a baguette – the way to carry it is a clutch; tight under one's arm and close to the body...

Following our recent two-coat trend tip, next up is guidance on how to carry one's bag. Whatever style of bag you own – be it a satchel, a tote or a baguette – the way to carry it is a clutch; tight under one's arm and close to the body.

In the past few weeks, numerous examples have been spotted on the autumn/winter 2012 catwalks. Céline and Balenciaga (document holders scooped under the arms of the models); Loewe (boxy handbags with straps, held against the models' hips); and Viktor & Rolf (fur satchel-style bags clutched by the model, with handle hanging loose over their wrist). And evidence that the trend translates from the catwalk to the street: Jane Birkin was spotted outside the Hermès show with her namesake bag nestled in the crook of her arm.

"This week, Jane Birkin was spotted outside the Hermès show with her namesake bag nestled in the crook of her arm"

The most interesting trends are those that have developed over a few seasons. Cast your mind back to last autumn/winter, when Miuccia Prada had her girls clutching the season's iconic snakeskin bag. Some thought the styling technique came from the collection's ladylike theme, others considered it body armour; Prada's power women? For spring/summer 2012, Balenciaga's bags had a strap to slip one's hand through to aid in the all-important clutch carrying.

At 3.1 Phillip Lim, one of the stalwarts of the trend, special carrying straps has been incorporated since autumn/winter 2011 and has been a styling and design consideration ever since. Taking the trend once step further and acknowledging the modern woman's need for functionality, the American label debuted its genius 31 Hour bag: a leather tote which features a fold-over lip and a large zipper enclosure.

Text by Laura Bradley

Laura Bradley is the Editor of anothermag.com. She is a writer specialising in fashion, fragrance, arts and culture and contributes to NOWNESS, Dazed & Confused and The Gourmand.

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