Hi!

One of the great fashion must-haves that most men just don’t get is the handbag. They don’t realise how a bag can make or break an outfit, or what an instant confidence boost a really good bag will give a woman, the moment she picks it up.

So I thought it would be good to take a quick look at some of the very latest offerings from the very top names.

If there’s one key trend that’s on its way in, it has to be the big fur bag like these ones from Blugirl and Louis Vuitton. They’re eye catching, they’re tons of fun with those crazy, cartoon colours and they’re surprisingly practical because they’re so roomy.

Perhaps crucially – and sadly for the mainline designers – it will be awfully easy to produce cheap and cheerful versions of this kind of design. Take a tip from me and watch out for them absolutely flooding your local street markets in the coming months!

If you like the look but think it might be just a bit too wacky for you, there are some beautiful but slightly more understated versions of it, like this one from Emilio Pucci.

By the way, to balance this look, it’s vital that the finish and all the non-fur elements like the clasp, the fingerplate and the straps are high quality and luxurious. Otherwise, it all gets just a little bit too schoolgirl. These bags are all perfect examples of how to get it right.

Right at the other end of the spectrum, new bags from Chanel, Moschino and Gianfranco Ferre are classic, elegant, small and supremely sophisticated.

But you wouldn’t call any of them anonymous; they’ll all get noticed and admired, especially that Moschino number with the traffic light colour and the characteristic chunky nameplate. No one’s going to miss that!

The Ferre bag is particularly upmarket with its subtle colour, highly structured proportions and exotic croc skin. A real diva’s choice.

And the little one from Chanel simply takes the ultra-distinctive Chanel vibe and re-creates it yet again with that unique style that gets women flocking.

Going in another direction, Gucci have come up with a big, floppy tote bag in deliciously soft leather with that Regency flower pattern, reminiscent of a smart Parisian salon, that’s very hot just now.

And MiuMiu have continued on their mission to just have fun with this terrific, retro design that looks like it was inspired by – what? A bowling bag? A doctor’s bag? An old fashioned lunchbox? Who knows!  I just know it’s stunningly original and a real head-turner.

I love the big, loopy handle, the tough looking silver clasp and the daring, head-on clash of colours. But it’s that wonderful finish to the leather that really takes it out of the ordinary and lifts it up by several notches.