The woven bag may once have been an accessory for the beach or market only, but in 2018, fashion has taken it into every arena. The straw and raffia pieces we’re seeing on celebrities and office workers alike this summer are not only holdalls into which you can chuck a bottle of sunscreen or a loaf of bread, but chic, embellished totes, rattan clutches and elaborate cross-body pouches.
The art of weaving bags from natural materials – dried grass or bamboo, for example – is millennia-old, with basketry techniques dating back at least to ancient Egypt. It was in the 1950s, though, that the straw tote came to be seen as a stylish item associated with luxurious travel, sold in holiday destinations as a chic souvenir. In London, The Eaton Bag Company purveyed desirable raffia bags and woven trunks, while across the Atlantic, cane bags woven in Nantucket became a vacation status symbol for wealthy Americans. Audrey Hepburn, who lived in Holland and Belgium as a child, often carried a basket.
You could take her to the beach, or you could take her to the office
There was a time when woven wicker or raffia bags were reserved purely for beach vacations and Instagram photos on those said beach vacations.
Yet as wanderlust-ing from the city in the light of travel restrictions is our new reality, we’ve taken to the urban environment to bring a little vacay fun to our style.
This is the charm of the basket bag, too. Weekend trips and a bikini? Working in a coffee shop with jeans and a t-shirt? Brunch with the girls and a sun dress? Granted, a basket bag is not suited to every occasion, but it’s a lot more versatile than you may think.
A litre of lemonade, Lysol, and your laptop
Beyond style versatility, the basket bag is also versatile in terms of what it can hold.
Extremely durable, it’s a bag (or best friend) that can accompany you on many journeys. Lug your groceries or your notebook and laptop. Fill it with shopping (and go plastic-free as you should), and revel in the comfort of having something of a tote bag with a bit more edge and strength.
Personalisation reaches new charms
You can personalise a basket bag in many ways, be it with a scarf tied around the handles to suit your mood, or with added charms to dangle from them.
Yet perhaps what sets apart personalised basket bags from other bags is the level of customisation you could implement. Get your name printed, stitched, embroidered, or even woven into the material. The options are many and plenty.
What’s different to many personalised luxury leather goods too is that with the basket bag this often goes beyond mere initials. It could sport ‘LVG’ but it could also sport a random word like ‘Weekend’ or ‘Tomato’. Really cheeky.
Leather and baskets: a match made in heaven
Basket bags have a charm of their own and the wicker is undoubtedly the star, but consider the match made in heaven that is a basket bag with leather detailing. Case in point: the basket bags brought to the world stage by Loewe. We adore.