Dolce & Gabbana’s campaign imagery is always heavily evocative. But for SS13 they took their iconic Sicilian glamour to a new level, mixing it up with beachside stripes, patterned headscarves and this season’s unexpected hit: the raffia bag.
Reinvented with a sense of carnival frivolity, this new take on raffia dispels all association with the humble picnic basket. At M Missoni a pair of embroidered lips sealed the deal on a striped shoulder bag, while Anya Hindmarch teamed the textile with delicate shell details. At once electric and nostalgic – who doesn’t associate raffia with high summer? - these bags subscribe to the ‘more is more’ philosophy. A fiesta mood crept in at Balenciaga, too, with a colour-splattered weave on a classic clutch.
|Dolce & Gabbana|
Back at Dolce & Gabbana, every runway look was more extravagant than the last. Festooned with 3D florals, ornamental padlocks and hot house embroidery, the bags unquestionably stole the show. Their intoxicating colours and penchant for raffia spilled over onto shoulder-grazing earrings, two-tone belts and helter-skelter wedges – the Dolce girl embodies sun-soaked drama from head to toe.
But there’s more than one way to do raffia this summer. For a more minimal take on the trend look to Pierre Hardy’s block heel sandal, finished with buttery black leather, or break out Burberry’s Whipstitch bag with its individually plaited ribbons and alligator trim. Diane von Furstenberg added metallic sheens and pastel shades to her woven clutches, while Lanvin incorporated raffia into a jewel-toned, multi-textile tote.
The High Street is following suit with a host of revelry-ready pieces that beg for a festival outing. But why not turn expectations on their head, and pair raffia accessories with a more sophisticated look? Anthropologie’s jewellery adds new-season excitement to summer staples, and Reiss has brought out a pair of watermelon-pink raffia heels. A punch of sun-bleached basket weave – the one-time reserve of kitschy tourists – has made a high-impact return at every level. Have fun with it while it lasts.