Virtual goes live at the SS’21 fashion shows

The first fashion shows post lockdown and things have changed. How these changes might influence the industry going forwards will be interesting to watch and experience. SS’21 saw a some designers presenting their collections virtually and it was all about video production, with others braving the established format with runways and a few creating a mix of the physical and virtual! But whatever the media and access, the main fashion capitals from New York to Milan didn’t disappoint on bag fashion for SS’21. Here’s the low down on the bag trends to note:

The key trends of SS’21

Usually I spot on average 5 trends. For SS’21, we’re keeping it simple and focusing on the three themes that shone through across the fashion capitals:

  • it’s about toning – the bag matches the outfit; it no longer has to be a colour pop accent but for spring and summer, let the bag be integral to the overall outfit
  • it’s about pastels – of course there are pastels, it’s spring and summer, however, a pastel bag isn’t to blend, it is to stand out, be it through it’s size or shape
  • it’s about oversizing on your shoulder bag or tote bag. And this doesn’t have to mean going large but being much more creative and exploring through textures that match outfit elements.

Tone it baby!

How about this selection of sizes and textures of the bags – choose whatever shape you like but make your bag reflect your outfit; from a perfect match like Ulla Johnson, to a translation of a theme by Simone Rocha.

Pastel hues

Gentle and fresh pinks, blues and greens were spotted. Whilst there isn’t a shape trend, these pastel bags aren’t to be missed – they have a presence of their own. You can choose to fully integrate the bag and match the shade with the rest of the outfit, as seen with Alyx in New York or give the bag a size or structure so it has a personality of its own – turn to Max Mara in Milan or Coperni in Paris.

Beauty in the beast!

Whether it’s a shoulder bag or a tote bag, make it big and make it connect to your outfit. The connection could come from similar textures, see Molly Goddard’s skirt and bag texture, colour as per Salvatore Ferragamo and fabric as per Eudon Choi. Well done Fendi – is there a box or baguette under there!

With over 20 bags to inspire next year’s Spring and Summer wardrobe, the good news is there are only 3 key trends – easy and there is no shape or size dominating – freedom. So next year it’s changing, it’s less about the accent but more about making your bag connect to the rest of your outfit. If this is the influence of a more virtual world of fashion collections…I like it. How long this freedom of styles last who knows, or was Jamiroquai foretelling the future when Jay Kay sang, ‘…Of this virtual insanity, we’re livin’ in, has got to change, yeah, things, will never be the same’.

If you’re looking for the trends for this season, AW’20/1, check out

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