Woven, straw and raffia bags are the trend of the moment – no longer used just for beach days, but now a high fashion must-have piece for the Spring/Summer season. These bags are blowing up, and it’s a chance for consumers to support local business. The art of creating such bags can be seen all over Cape Town and South Africa. The variety in size, shape and dye of the bag, means that there are endless possibilities to such designs.
Most of my bags are petite, vintage finds that are often too small for my summer essentials. I love these larger bags for my warm weather adventures as they fit in everything I need, while still maintaining a solid structure, something I love as often time’s oversized material bags can look very casual.
The transformation of this item has come with a transformation in style, as well as price. I fell in love with these bags, mostly because of the fact that one can very easily find this local, hand-made product throughout Cape Town. All of the bags in this piece were handmade and sold locally. My bags included a plain, natural woven bag, a checker effect in black and a larger brown, diagonal effect. The colours of each bag inspired my the clour palette and essence of each outfit.
The brown diagonal pattern inspired a warm, charismatic outfit. The addition of the brown and gold scarf added a vintage feel that complimented the oversized vintage tweed jacket; both picking up the warm tones of the bag. The tweed jacket was styled for summer, rolling up the sleeves and pairing it with light summer colours and fabrics. The addition of trendy, slender framed sunglasses created an edgy feel. The brown pattern of this bag lends itself to the richer neutral colours of summer; a deep chestnut brown is most definitely one of my favourites.
The plain, natural colour had the most beautiful natural variations that include light pastels within the blade. This is definitely an extremely versatile palette that can be translated in any way; I chose to pick up the faint lilac hints and the natural beige. I created a classic outfit that matched the classic structure and colour of the bag. The soft colours gave a summer feel, while the exaggerated golf peak added a quirky edge. There is nothing more elegant than a silk scarf; tying one of these around any bag elevates a look. I love this classic bag for being a blank, versatile canvas.
The black checker bag, gave me a classic, yet playful feel. I knew that my key outfit piece would be something minimalist and black; to match the bags colouring, but also anchor the busy pattern. The black “wrap” style dress is a classic piece in my wardrobe as it is easy to dress up or down, depending on what you chose to wear underneath and what accessories you pair with the outfit. I love the refined finished of this dress for a more formal take on the “summer dress”. The flowy sleeved linen shirt continued the classic effect while the hat added a youthful and trendy touch. This black checker bag is great for minimalist summer looks, especially those wardrobes with a darker palette.
This item is extremely versatile in its styling and fits with almost any Spring/Summer look. This classic piece is not only being reinvented, but it is incorporating the growing consciousness of locally made products. This must-have piece is open to your creative vision, and it is these trends that are the most fun.
Written By: Nicola Kruger