I’d like to begin by saying that I generally try to make an effort to appreciate innovation, even when it might lack in functionality. If no one attempts innovation in the first place, then we never have any new concepts for designers to eventually incorporate into bags that we can use in our everyday lives. Which is why I like the Miu Miu Basket Tote, at least in theory, if not in practice.
I think the uses for this bag, as it is, are fairly low. It would be an awfully chic grocery tote, should you need to run around the corner to grab a few things to make dinner. It might also make a decent pool tote, if you folded up your towel in the bottom to prevent your iPod headphones from dangling out. Miu Miu usually errs on the safe side with their bags so its nice to see them do something a bit different, but they fall short on practicality here. This bag would have been both innovative and functional if they had included some sort of soft leather lining inside - maybe in a cream or light grey, for maximum contrast. I would have left the lining loose instead of sticking it to the frame throughout the bag, which would leave the cage effect intact. That way, not only is the idea intact, but the bag is highly usable too. Miu Miu is halfway there, and I kind of like the idea so far. Buy through Bluefly for $660.
JUST when you thought you didn't need another bag, a new collaboration comes along to tempt those purse strings: Sara Berman has teamed up with Isabella Oliver 365 - the ready-to-wear line from maternitywear label Isabella Oliver - to create a capsule collection of patent leather and silk satin handbags.
"Vanessa and I both love our Sara Berman bags so it felt right to do this collaboration with Sara and Aimee," says co-founder of Isabella Oliver 365, Baukjen de Swaan Arons. "From a commercial perspective, we wanted to add a few bags to our collection as our customers often ask for this."
The first time Isabella Oliver has branched out into bags, expect a series of practical tote, weekender and clutch styles streaming with ruffles.
"Obviously our bags reflect our clothing line and have a strong associated handwriting. The look is individual and feminine with a splash of rock 'n' roll. Strong, structural shapes and fabulous leathers are set off by the bold, feminine detailing. An unusual combination which works together to create a new, fresh aesthetic," explains designer Sara Berman, who runs her eponymous fashion label with business partner and sister, Aimee.
Prices from £160. Visit //www.isabellaoliver.com for further information.