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Item of the week: the party bag

By Rachel Douglass


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(From left) Image: Núnoo, Karl Lagerfeld, Dorothee Schumacher

What it is:

From sequins to metallic materials, party bags were one of the ‘it’ bags for the SS23, popping up on runways at every fashion week to add a bit of zhuzh to collections. The style was typically defined by shoulder bags, mostly smaller in size, with short straps that were often embellished or utilised a chain. The comeback of the party bag ties in with the resurgence of nightlife and eveningwear, which has seen a strong return due to the global winding down of the pandemic.

Image: Núnoo

Why you’ll want it:

The party bag is a must-have item for customers who are nightlife enthusiasts and need a practical addition to their partywear wardrobe. Not only that, but the accessory style can be linked to a number of other trends that are already defining the coming year, including ‘Barbiecore’ and eveningwear, both of which have seen glossy, sequin styles, largely inspired by Y2K fashion, come back into trend. Next to the resurgence of eveningwear, Barbiecore stands out as a trend that is set to continue having influence in 2023 fashion, as seen in the popularity of pink and sequined items that have taken over in the industry.

Image: Stella McCartney

Where we’ve seen it:

Among the slew of designers tackling this trend, many stuck to the core essence of ‘Barbiecore’, defined by pink, sequin or sparkly purses that shone among their lines. Brands that opted for this style included Versace, Fendi and Tom Ford, which further adapted the look using recognisable shapes and a contrasting green for its patterned shoulder bag. Meanwhile, gold was another popular tone throughout the fashion weeks. The shade was utilised by Diesel, for bags that took the appearance of a gold plated material, and Chanel, which transformed its signature handbags into pearl and wire designs, offering an alternative to the party bag trend.

Image: Madewell

How to style it:

The party bag was made to be the statement piece for a night out look, working well with just about any eveningwear attire that may be adopted by consumers. For gold or silver sparkles, pair the bag with colours that compliment the tones. For gold, that could be black, dark brown, olive green or beige, while for silver, lighter colours and pastels work best. Meanwhile, bags in other statement tones, like pink or neon green, can also contrast with complimentary colours, but work best alongside matching hues, resulting in a monochrome outfit.

Image: Karl Lagerfeld

The party bag is the perfect accessory for the evening, not just elevating an outfit but also adding a bit of fun to the wardrobe. Next to its link to trends, the bag style holds some weight in SS23 collections, making it one of the season’s ‘it’ bags.

Image: Michael Kors

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.

Item of the Week