Elementary school recess is back and it wants you to play. Artificial candy colors that look like they could induce a toothache have usurped the reign of muted hues, while forgotten childhood relics like Lite Brite are inspiring a resurgence of all things shimmering and tactile. During NYFW, there was a rise in iridescent fabrics, beading, and shimmer — ostentatious handbags with tchotchke appeal are the first definitive wave of the trend in action.
In this return to the aesthetics of innocence, all things shiny and cute rule the playground. It's time to enter a cartoon world of your own making with the help from lines like Susan Alexandra and Shrimps, who are transforming the gaudy and garish into something worth desiring. Below, peep three different styles that blend the best of kindergarten art project days into something functional.
When I look at Susan Alexandra's vivid-as-hell beaded bags, I get the feeling that she probably thew the best sleepover parties at her school. Her patterns and color ways — all deliciously synthetic and buoyant — are something that I would have begged my parents to buy me as a kid, and as an adult, I can say they're downright fun. She nails both the childhood nostalgia factor and evokes the image of a slightly off-kilter but ultimately good hearted, kitschy aunt.
Los Angeles-based line STAUD is making a name for itself with clean cuts and feminine silhouettes that stay refreshingly creative. Take their bucket bag as an example — the classic handbag gets a crazy playful spin with rope netting that holds a literal leather bucket in its place. They say your inner child never really dies or something like that, and with this bag, everyone will know it, too
Thumbnail via Susan Alexandra's Instagram.