Every season brings a wave of handbag frenzy; the shapes, the sizes, the colour for the season, textures, straps, buckles, pockets…the works. Accessories are bread and butter to the designer, a handbag is possibly the most essential piece in a woman’s wardrobe. It is essential; at least its what I say to justify spending £500 and then some on one. Don’t try to tell me any different. Over the past seasons there has been a shift in the style of bags women carry; the oversize is gradually being phased out for more ample and malleable silhouettes. I’m a purveyor of oversize bags and whilst they may be fading away, they’ll always remain essential because you can throw everything in it and go…although when it comes to searching for the keys that’s a completely different story. For AW’13 the new shapes are smaller or more contained, some are slouchy but for the most part, structure is key. There’s an element of retro at play with rounded vintage inspired shapes, the pillbox clutch is still holding strong for evening and and the oversize clutch is emerging as an alternative to the oversize handbag. Dior went all out with its cute shoe monograms on bags and the Chanel lego purse is just such fun. All in all, there is a lot to like and love when these babies hit the shops. Save now and invest in one.