After each season of new collections that span from New York to Paris, it’s customary for publications and retailers alike to begin to hypothesize what will be the latest iteration of the It bag. Judging from the range of new handbag trends for Fall/Winter 2020, there are number of contenders in the race for top spot.
One common theme among fall’s biggest handbag trends was the range of rich texture — a reflection of the season's best ready to wear, too. This included the use of soft velvet in seasonal jewel tones, thick metal chains that replaced traditional straps, and bursts of pink plumes that looked wild and elegant all at once.
And instead of sticking to an extreme like 2019's impossibly tiny Le Chiquito bag from Jacquemus, fall 2020 offered options both compact and practically oversized. There were hard-shell, brightly colored clutches that provided a handheld approach to evening styling (but daytime, too, if preferred). And on flip side, many designers took the opportunity to not only create a bigger bag silhouette, but they went as far as making elevated weekender options. One can assume they're, quite literally, for those going places. Ahead, see what else the runway has in store for you this fall.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: Linking Up
While it was hard to miss an appearance of Bottega Veneta’s The Chain Pouch on the streets outside of shows this season, inside, the heavy metal theme was taking on a whole new life. Chains specifically became the statement accent on bags across multiple runways including Boss who used links for a strap, Ulla Johnson who chose a daintier and longer version, and JW Anderson who interpreted the detail to be more about beauty than function.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: The Proper Tote
Taking a minimal turn, one of the most popular styles of the season was a pared back purse with a simple top clasp. Christian Dior, Jil Sander, and Prada each favored this somewhat prim and proper style, offering the masses a bag that’s really not a trend so much as it is an updated classic.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: Tickled Pink
Plush shearling and playful plumes were used on handbag styles from New York to Paris. And yet it’s hard to ignore a certain color preference that emerged: a burst of pink fluffiness. Claudia Li, Altuzarra, and Marques Almeida each presented a whimsy, playful, and optimistic option.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: Geometry Class
In some ways the fall 2020 runways were a refresher course on right angles, parallel lines, and all things geometry. Some designers chose straight-forward shapes, like Paco Rabanne’s circle bag, while labels like Coperni and Celine opted for triangle-cut-out, square designs, and trapezoidal clutches, respectively.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: Hard Shells
Over the past few years, clutches haven’t gotten as much attention as hands-free options like belt bags or pouches you can wear around your neck with a lanyard-like strap (which will still be around for fall 2020). However, small hard-shell options were prevalent on the runway too this season. Hand-held gems were tiny, but hard to miss in the collections for Bottega Veneta, Oscar de la Renta, and Balenciaga.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: Escape Artist
The collections for fall suggested that women have places to go, people to see, and they need a bag that supports it. At Gabriela Hearst, a sleek knit dress was paired with an oversize printed duffle, at Marni models wore top-handle doctors bags that could fit a weekend’s worth of clothing, and at Area, duffle bags matched precisely to a tailored ensemble — something camouflage in case you’d like to slip away unnoticed.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: Mixed Messages
Autumnal textures and colors were best showcased on handbags that blended them all together. Each brand chose their own method: chevron stripes at Miu Miu, paneling at Versace, and a mosaic of colors at Alexander McQueen, topped with horse-shaped detailing. These patchwork leather designs are vintage revisited.
Fall 2020 Runway Handbag Trends: Plush Touch
When temperatures drop again next fall, it’s a cue for the velvet season to begin. The smooth fabric was key among quilted, slightly puffy clutches by Burberry, Dries Van Noten, and Chanel, each which incorporated either jewel tone colors, moody floral patterns, or crystal accents.