Lineapelle (Summer 2018)

I’ve recently returned from Lineapelle in Milan and thought I’d share my impressions on the emerging trends for Summer 2018. The first day was relatively quiet, so it was easier to look around the fair and see the colours, materials and trends.  As you’d expect from Lineapelle, there was a great deal of innovation and new development in leathers, particularly in the finishing.  A common theme was the mixing of different materials, textures and tones, which was inspiring and really made one think about the season with new energy.

Here are some of my first impressions of the fair:

  • Shine/sheen – patents, eighties wet look finishes and metallics in all colourings
  • Woven leathers – mixing tone on tone, combining different finishes and drawing inspiration from antique tiling
  • Printed leathers and synthetics – painterly florals and blurred florals. Stripes and camouflage are still selling well.
  • Focus on the back of materials – whether playing with colour, texture, or bonding with different fabrics to make it double faced.
  • Colour – the strength of blue, especially cobalt, mixed with the tones of brown.
  • Tone on tones – really lush saturated tones ranging from vibrant oranges and pinks to meadow greens.

The Size Issue

This season’s bags come in all different sizes from micro-mini’s that can just about carry a phone, credit card and keys, to larger everyday bags for everything else you might need during the day. On the catwalks for the summer, designers suggest you can always carry an extra bag but not just the obvious practical solution of a shopper/tote – for Celine its a very individual classic frame bag. Although the shopper/tote is still very important, there’s no clear trend on how to carry or even wear them, as they vary so greatly ( you can actually have the kitchen sink with you! ) in size and material construction .

Velvet Crush for Autumn

velvetsVelvet’s in all forms from quilted, to embossed and adorned, is one of the key fabrics for the season. Picking up on a mix of fabric influences from the eighties, the bags range from the obvious evening and occasion pieces to the everyday functional. Many have a contrasting trims, which range from exotic prints to patents.
Velvet is such a luxurious fabric, but there is several reasons why bags aren’t generally made of this material. As with any fabric with a pile, you can get serious shading issues. It is also easy to crush and mark while in manufacture. Exposure to rain leaves a mineral deposit that has to be removed as soon as possible. If you find yourself caught without an umbrella and your bag gets drenched, blot it dry using an absorbent towel. If you find your bag stains, try steaming carefully but not directly on the fabric, pat dry with a cloth and finish with a soft brush.

Making Shapes in Spring

Spring BagsAfter all the boxy styles from previous seasons, curves and circles look clean and fresh for the coming season. From hard forms from Mansur Gavriel to the soft curve of Victoria Beckham,and the fun of the new gathered roomy bag from H&M.

The Colour Red?


Autumn is here and looking back at last year’s colours it seems as though we are still infatuated with red. Tones of warm reds from russet through burgundy, with the contrasting and complimentary hues of ochre and browns – all great leather colours. Porter magazine shows the continuation of these colours but with a lot more individuality, playing with textures and finishes. This season there is a real mix of nostalgic ideas from the seventies and eighties – town versus heritage country looks, details with tassels and fringing. Without thinking about what you your bag is saying, is this a road sign to the future?

Red is a classic colour especially the warmer brick and burgundy tones but what will happen next winter? Apart from all the warmth and nostalgia, could this be the perfect foil for the darker sombre shadows of winter?

The Long Tall Story

long story


Elongated silhouettes and how to carry a bag is important this Spring. Carrying your bag in new stylish ways has been seen on the catwalks for the past couple of years.  Handles and straps are not just practical but also function as decorative detail. The same handbag can serve different purposes, carried on the shoulder for every day use, or as a clutch for evenings. With designers showing their new collections over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how the new bags will be worn on the catwalks.


The Colours of Autumn



Autumn is now here and the shops are emphasising  the rich deep tones of claret to warm madder and red.

These colours are seen in handbags  from the luxury brands through to high street stores – mainly because red is a great colour and sells well.  But what makes this season different is that they are promoting more than one shade, showing real confidence with this colour range .




The Style of Italy

padovaI have just been exploring for myself  the stye of Italy, how they mix in perfect harmony their rich cultural heritage with artisan design and modern day developments.  The Shop IVO  Milan   is the perfect example of this,  located in Padova or Padua – a town you could easily miss being so close to Venice. It is well worth a visit  for the old botanical gardens and the beautiful colours seen in Giotto’s  frescos.  Padova is a great location for a new course I’ll be teaching in September involving  all aspects of the handbag industry. We’ll be visiting companies who want to share, show and discuss their unique expertise.  Of course if you want to get a taste of Italian style from the second world war to present day there’s still time to see The Glamour of Italian at the V & A.


Spring Florals


Even though  it’s still January our passion for Spring and  love  flora can be seen on the high street and in Designer ranges. Gucci  with the fresh look of the British countryside. Flowers can be seen  as needlepoint embroideries, printed and applique for every occasion. Its a really fresh look  the designers are really showing  different  styles of illustration from sketchy flowers to classic blooms. As there are so many flower prints in garments is this to give a real mix of different  patterns or for the  consumer who only wants to carry flowers?



The Year of the Back Pack?

back packThe term backpack was first used in  the USA  in 1910 . The backpack, which is normally seen as a practical  nylon/canvas bag on a back of a tourist or student  has for the last few years been going through a transformation from  the stylish leather  of Alexander Wang  to Chanel’s  graffiti  backpack to the very versatile Zara bag that can be used as a shopper . This is definitely on trend for Spring/Summer 2014.