Arts & Collections covers fine art, auction records, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world's finest items.
Unique in its broad international coverage of both arts and cultural events, Arts & Collections covers fine art from antiquity to modern times, auction records, a special sale preview by Sotheby’s, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world's finest items.
Modern Collectables
Image via Kwan Brothers
Image via Kwan Brothers

The Art of the Statement Bag

When you’re out and about on the street there are three things people notice about you first: your coat, your bag and your shoes. With these three items you can really make a statement whether that’s through style or colour. We decided to take a look at the statement handbag to see what has been fashionable through the ages, and what you should look for when buying a bag.

History of handbags

In the early days of the handbag, they were used almost exclusively for practical reasons. Small pouches made of soft material were used to carry coins and very little else. The Scottish would use sporran—a tradition that still survives today. In the 17th and 18th centuries, women were expected to be able to sew and embroider as part of their education for marriage, and so would often create intricately designed small bags to carry around.

The handbag as we know it today came about during the industrial revolution when travel by rail became popular with the public. Women struggled with their limited options for luggage, and so a variety of bags from clutches to tote bags were put on sale that were made to withstand travel.

Make a statement

When buying a handbag, questions run through your mind. Do you go big and bold or play it safe? Do you splash out? A bag can be an investment—it can tie together an outfit or make you stand out from a crowd. Good quality bags are made to last for a long time if you treat them right.

This season colour is flourishing in fashion. In both the London and New York spring fashion weeks, cherry tomato red and lime punch green were picked out as significant colours for the season by Pantone. Vogue have highlighted the up-and-coming trend of ‘paintbox brights’, and recommend that fashionistas adopt a head-to-toe colour splash for the ultimate confidence boost. Why not take up these trends with a colourful bag?

Material matters

No matter what trends come and go, leather is seen as the gold standard for handbag materials. Genuine leather is worlds apart from synthetic materials due to its rich texture and elegant finish. Each piece of leather is unique as no two textures are ever exactly identical.

There are several different types of leather you can get. The types you’ll find most commonly are:

  • Cattle
  • Lamb
  • Ostrich
  • Snake
  • Crocodile

Each comes with its own unique qualities and texture. Cattle leather is the most common, while crocodile leather in particular is a classic elegant leather that is well sought after. Due to the size of a crocodile, the leather is great for handbags as you’ll be able to get a good finish with minimal unnecessary joins.

KWANPEN handbags are renowned for appearing in gala events and formal occasions. This year, the brand challenges the norm by introducing designs that fit any occasions and tastes.

More understated looking than KWANPEN’s iconic handbags such as the Raffles Classic, the designs in the City Collections and Edge Collection are meant to be the perfect companions for women seeking convenient yet utterly luxurious day bags.

These designs will be coveted by ladies looking for effortlessly stylish bags to carry their essentials while moving around bustling cities.

Whether you are looking for a mini shoulder bag or organised top-handle handbag for your life on the go, KWANPEN has the accessory that fits best your lifestyle.

To view the full collection, visit www.KWANPEN.com

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