Every once in awhile a bag comes along that really taps into the fashion zeitgeist. Enter Los Angeles based brand Cult Gaia’s Ark bag (below) which is a favourite bag of many a fashion blogger along with A-list celebs including Jessica Alba, Michelle Williams and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. A refreshing change from your usual ‘it’ bag which typically comes with a four figure designer brand price tag, the Ark bag starts at an affordable $150. In keeping with the trend towards adopting pieces in natural fabrics, the Ark is made from bamboo giving it an earthy touch, however its sculptural style keeps it completely contemporary. If the style isn’t quite your thing Cult Gaia have also introduced a crossbody bag and a top handle bag which looks ultra modern and would be a definite talking point each outing it had.
If you’re going to splurge on a designer handbag it’s important to make sure you get it right. After all you are spending thousands of dollars so it’s not a fashion purchase to be done without some planning first. Here are some things to consider before buying:
Think of your lifestyle and the bag’s functionality
What kind of lifestyle do you have? For me I have to carry everything from Sophia’s lunch to nappies and my phone and wallet so I need something that’s a bit bigger so I can carry everything with me. While you may love the look of a small handbag if you need to carry a lot of things on a day to day basis there’s no point going for something tiny if it means you’re not going to be able to fit all your essentials. Tailor your bag to suit your lifestyle and needs. Also, it may seem a small detail but consider the handles on your bag. I like two handles on a bag – smaller handles so I can just carry it on my arm and a longer strap so I can carry it on my shoulder. Having the option to do both expands the use of your bag.
Keep it simple
If you’re going to have just one bag that you’re going to carry all the time make sure to stick to neutral colours so it’s easy to work back with your wardrobe. Also I’d stick with plain leather as something like patent leather can easily date. I’d also keep detailing to a minimum. Avoid lots of buckles and studs and keep it quite streamlined.
Consider the brand
If I was going to splurge I would definitely go for Céline, Balenciaga, Jil Sander or Chanel because they do classic, timeless bags. If you’re going to have a bag that you use every single day you want a classic style. I think you can splurge on a bag if it’s something that can be used every single day.
Steer clear of the ‘it’ bag
When it comes to bags I like to have something that no one else has. If there is an ‘it’ bag I steer away from it, but I might get inspired by a brand and choose something that is within that collection If you can afford to have a new designer bag each season then definitely consider the ‘it’ bag. If however, you are buying a designer handbag that’s intended to see you through season after season I’d steer clear of the ‘it’ bag and opt for something that’s not as common.
Make sure the bag won’t date
I will often always ask a shop assistant if they’re continuing a particular type of bag the following season because some are just one-offs and I think that really dates a bag. Buy a bag that’s a signature style to the brand because then it is recurring every season rather than being the 2015 summer bag which everyone will know is a couple of years old. An example of a signature style is something like Chanel’s 2.55 black quilted leather handbags. It’s a bag that’s done every season which means it won’t date and it’s great quality so it lasts year after year. I know I’ve had my Chanel bag for 10 years and I still wear it all the time so the cost per wear is great! If you’re going for more fashion forward brands such as Balenciaga and Céline then definitely steer clear of the bag of the season.
Tell me – what designer bag do you have your eye on?
Photography: Tamika Keioske