Top-handle bags are having a major moment right now. The first famous top-handler was the Kelly bag; designed in the 1930s and originally known as “Sac à dépêches,” it was aptly renamed for the Princess of Monaco in 1954. Not only did Grace fall in love with the bag the moment she laid eyes on it, she used the east-west style to hide her first pregnancy from prying eyes. Actually, the famed Hermès bag was a saddle-holder before it was adopted and adapted by women as a glamorous handbag (the Birkin, its equally famous cousin, was a horse-feeder bag). It looks like current designers want to pay homage to the quintessential top handle. Here, some modern takes on the classic shape:
1. Dolce & Gabbana Brown Pebbled Leather Miss Sicily Large Bag: The duo has been stepping up their bag game, and I’m loving the restraint their showcasing on the Miss Sicily, now with delicately stitched edges. On Ssense for $2,995.
2. Saint Laurent Moujik Tote: Saint Laurent seems to love a good top handle as much as they do a Courtney Love-worthy babydoll dress. I say go with the bag, as it’s infinitely chicer. On Farfetch for $2,412.
3. Proenza Schouler Buckle Bag: Proenza is all grown up! Think of their bold, briefcase-inspired Buckle bag as the more youthful answer to a Delvaux signature. On Farfetch for $1,950.
4. Delvaux Brilliant Double Poignee: Speaking of Delvaux, luxury doesn’t get much more quietly effective than this, especially in luscious, creamy nude leather. On Farfetch for $8,348.