Jane Birkin may be most famously associated with one particular, the extremely covetable Hermes bag, but it is another one of the style icon's totes of choice that is making major waves in the fashion world this season: the basket bag.
In the '70s, Birkin was photographed all around Paris, toting her woven basket, paired with perfectly slouchy jeans, a classic t-shirt, and, of course, rumpled bedhead that many mere mortals have tried, and failed, to recreate. The bag itself was structured, open at the top, and, frankly, barely different than a typical basket that your mother might have used to store discarded magazines in your childhood home.
This season's iterations of the trend have captured the essence of Birkin's look—summery, carefree, playful—and adopted it to 2017's style standards: a bit smaller, a bit more whimsical, and altogether more practical.
Arguably the most popular take on the trend, and the pièce de résistance of this renaissance, is Cult Gaia's Ark bag, a structured, half-moon shaped bag that has quickly become a must-have with the Instagram set. The Los Angeles-based brand struck gold with the silhouette, done in bamboo, which has already been carried by celebrities such as Jessica Alba. The brand is now offering the piece in several variations beyond the natural original, including several acrylic versions, and even a tortoise shell take. To capture the wood aesthetic of the original, Cult Gaia is also offering two new shapes in the material: the Lilleth, a handmade, duffel-bag shaped piece that is completely collapsable, and the Babe, a woven straw purse in the shape of a pig.
Cult Gaia is not the only brand to offer chic iterations of the trend, however. Mark Cross has several styles of bags done in rattan, a woven palm, including it's ever popular Box bag and a special collaboration with Harley Viera Newton, which pairs a classic shape done primarily in the natural material with pebble grain leather in assorted colors. Edie Parker's Brett Heyman has also branched out—no pun intended—from her popular acrylic minaudières with the Jane, a shoulder bad inspired by Birkin, while Brazillian designer Marcia Kemp of Nannacay has created an endless array of whimsical hand-woven bags, incorporating fun details such as neon coloring and pom-pom tassels. Even major fashion houses like Prada and Balenciaga have gotten on the trend, proving this summer is truly all about the woven bag.
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