Bags at the ready

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman’s life is simply incomplete without that special someone on her arm, whether they be tall, small, square or round, dark or coloured, complex or simple, Christopher Kane or Saint Laurent. Yes, a woman’s handbag really is her biggest necessity, and above all, it has to have character. With this in mind, Chiara Thomas decided to look at a variety of this season’s best catches, catering to each individual taste and desire.  With these must-have suggestions, your spring is sorted.

By Day

Diane Von Furstenberg

For flirtatious daytime glamour, look no further than this Diane Von Furstenberg Carolina lips clutch in lilac. Crafted in sultry snake-textured leather and accented with a high fashion punch in the form of a gold lips feature, this unique clutch boasts style both inside and out: the piece is lined in dark-brown grosgrain for the ultimate colour pop effect against its lilac exterior. Retailing at £316, this oversized clutch is the perfect investment towards your city-errands outfit this spring, adding sophisticated daytime funk to a great pair of navy denim jeans and a pastel-green blazer.

Tory Burch

If you prefer a more exotic, Mediterranean feel then this Tory Burch beachy Norah bucket tote bag is set to be your new Latin love. Inspired by the colours, spirit and lifestyle of the Mediterranean coasts, the intriguing £329creation celebrates different fabric cuts in the form of woven raffia, pompoms and turquoise fringe – altogether resembling the idyllic colour tones of the Mediterranean Sea. Finished off with delicious double leather top handles, this statement piece would go perfectly with this season’s favourite trends including Ibicencan dresses or a fabulous white blazer.

Anya Hindmarch

You may enjoy a little historical insight, in which case this delightful Anya Hindmarch tonal leather Courtney Damask clutch in mustard is a treat. With its design inspired by the luxurious interiors of Georgian architecture, this standout piece infuses classic with modern, conservative with youthful edge and fine detailing with bold colour like no other of its kind. Boasting an eye-catching leather tassel – which takes eight hours to make by hand and which is comprised of a plethora of contrasting-coloured threads – and a sensational suede interior lining, this clutch’s attention to detail is worthy of its £395price tag. A delight of the clutch world, this would look perfect with a pair of cropped white trousers and a dark magenta silk shirt.

Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin’s spring/summer 2013 collection of unique-strap bags is sure to catch your eye this season, with this cotton creation in Caraibes cobalt set to whisk you off to the foreign shores of your imagination. In the words of Mr. Louboutin himself, this design gives “language to the upper body,” helping to emphasise the most sensual part of the female body: her shoulders. Priced at £1,035, this piece is so much more than a bag: delightfully crafted with two mirror-effect colourways and delighting in a bazin and patent body, this strong statement piece would be breath-taking coupled with a sleeveless LBD or a killer pair of cropped cobalt trousers and a simple white flowy tee.


For a more dark, handsome and built option, however, Mulberry never fails to impress. This Cut out Flower Tote in classic navy is a British treasure. Inspired by the rural English spring, this £1,150 gem parades gorgeous flower detailing in the metal flower feet on the base, the flower postman’s lock and the laser-cut flower detailing throughout the body. Fun, feminine and flirtatious, Mulberry sure knows the way to a woman’s heart.

By Night 


If you easily succumb to the Italian charm, then Valentino’s Naked Rockstud bag in transparent PVC and pale pink Napa leather will steal your heart in the blink of an eye. Beautifully adorned in pyramidal macro studs in gold metal with fabulous flirtation taking place between its sheer fabrics, this £1,082 design by artistic directors, Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, is as exquisite as the aristocratic culture of Rome from which it takes its inspiration. Being so discreet in colour, this particular piece can be worn easily with most shades on the spectrum; however, by law of contrast, the unique detailing and design of the bag would benefit from a richer colour tone of outfit, such as a burgundy dress.

Matthew Williamson

Often, it is the finest of details that make the biggest impact, and Matthew Williamson’s emerald green Swarovski crystal-embellished clutch is a great example of this. This bag can whisk you off on an exotic holiday just with one glimpse of its fantastic array of ethnic elements embedded upon the goat suede exterior. For instance, this creation showcases multi-coloured beads and sequins, peacock feathers and extrinsic neon yellow touches. Retailing at £850, this clutch is the ultimate in exclusivity and a timeless treasure to be paired with black leather.


This season fashion house, Lanvin, have released the Arpège Minaudière clutch in celebration of the 85th anniversary of the brand’s eternal Arpège fragrance. The luscious bottle clutch is made of hand-polished black enamel, topped with a golden clasp and a ravishing serpent handle. Garnering much vintage-inspired nostalgia coupled with an ardent appreciation of the finer things in fashion, this £2,075 majestic delight is the female dream, ideally-paired with bold monochrome fashion pieces.

Oscar de la Renta

Nothing adds an aura of seductive elegance to your evening outfit quite like a spot of rouge – and Oscar de la Renta’s Gardenia envelope clutch is here to do just that. Capable of freshening up any outfit, this £1,050 snakeskin Grafton clutch carries strong hints of de la Renta’s Caribbean heritage and its colourful carnival culture. Business or pleasure? Both; the Gardenia is the ideal addition to the life of a businesswoman, combining high-end style with being perfectly-sized to fit an iPad. Pair the clutch with a navy dress for a striking evening look.

Charlotte Olympia

Lending support to the increasingly-popular spring/summer 2013 oriental-influence trend is Charlotte Olympia’s £895 Pandora Hula clutch box, coated in tropical bamboo stalks dyed in midnight black. The original design of the clutch also offers the option to enclose the bamboo handle within its box structure via the easy manipulation of the magnetic fastening, spoiling you with two innovative clutch designs in one. Toying with contrasting fabrics when putting the royal Pandora Hula clutch to an outfit, such as leather or silk, will add a richness of textures to your look.

Chiara Thomas

Thomas is a fashion journalist. She spends her time between London, Barcelona and Brussels, contributing articles for Cosmopolitan UK and Metropolitan Magazine Barcelona, as well as being style columnist to The 405 Magazine and current subeditor of Stylobal Magazine.

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