Until recently I worked in a large office tower and every morning I’d see dozens of women (including myself!) coming to work with multiple mismatched bags. A purse, a tote bag, maybe a lunch bag and a gym bag. We’d all stand at the elevator, smile at each other and roll our eyes as if to say, “Oh yeah, I know what this looks like, but honestly, I need all this stuff.” So it was with a song in my heart that I watched the SS19 runway collections featuring models on the catwalk carrying not one but several coordinated bags meant to be carried and worn together.
Chanel kicked things off with its two bag situation on the beautiful indoor seaside runway. Models in iconic Chanel suits wore quilted shoulder bags over each shoulder (and carried their beautiful Chanel slingbacks for another wink at reality.) Cynics complained that Chanel just wanted to sell more bags, but for many of us carrying more than one handbag isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. So if you have to carry around a lot of bags, why not look good doing it?
Multi-bag choices aren’t limited to same-size bags, either. I was taken with Fendi’s approach to multiple bags. In a show appropriately titled “Urban Jungle,” models carried a large Fendi tote bag layered together with the small baguette. It seemed to me like a stylish version of the configuration most already carry, all rolled up into a stylish set that looks good on a shoulder, on top of a desk, or perched on a chair in a conference room.
However not everyone is a fan of the ultra-coordinated look, and like a little more variety when it comes to bags and accessories. In the course of a busy day, it’s not absolutely necessary to carry everything you own to everyplace you go. That’s why I am completely in love with Givenchy’s combo of a smaller handbag paired with a larger portfolio for work papers and maybe a laptop. This is because I spend most of my day running up and down the halls to meetings or just grabbing my wallet to get a latte or a snack from the bodega across the street. Tory Burch is ubiquitous in my workplace—and one of my first designer bag and shoe purchases—so it was nice to see my weekday go-to showing multiple bags in her SS19 shows that work together. Pairing a large tote and a medium-size cross-body with the smaller bags and wrislets I already own creates a co-ordinated but not matchy-matchy look.
Stylish doesn’t always mean just one style or a head to toe look—not in clothing and definitely not with handbags. Loewe’s pairing of hip length bucket bags with below the hip totes in a variety of fabrics and patterns also seems like another good solution for a commute that requires the movement of large items (laptops, yoga mats, extra shoes, books) from one location to another.
Designers have been creating and styling multiple bags on its models for a few seasons even though many of us have been working this look for much longer than that. However, they’re just beginning to seriously think how one person might wear several bags at once. Even if I scoop up all the new Givenchy coordinated bags, my takeaway from the SS19 runway looks is that I should approach my daily bag ensemble the same way I approach the rest of my wardrobe and that’s some exciting next level dressing for sure.
[Photos via Vogue Runway]