Micro bags, move aside. Okay not really because those are just too cute to be true, but we’re about to let you in on a trend that you’ll surely endear to — feast your eyes on baguette bags and dumpling bags, this season’s mouth-watering It Bags.
Though both celebrated for their likeness to comfort food we also love, these are in no way related; in fact, you might argue that the roomy, soft silhouette of the dumpling bag is a distinct contrast to the sharp sensibilities of the baguette. However, both accessories happen to be growing in popularity, and you’ll see why shortly.
Still, any discussion here would be remiss if we didn’t first mention the bags that started this current trend. First, the Fendi Baguette, an unexpectedly roomy shoulder bag style launched last year that caused a resurgence of the late 90s baguette trend, while also making clasping our bags under our armpits breezily cool.
As for the dumpling, we’d have to give credit to Bottega Veneta’s The Pouch, a soft and voluminous oversized clutch, notable for its smooth leather that’s quite a departure from the iconic intrecciato weave. Sure, these aren’t bread and butter issues we’re talking about, though they do leave us with an appetite for more. Here, we’re serving a brief history of these popular silhouettes, and the finest selection of baguette and dumpling bags, for your consumption.
Fendi Baguette Bag
Sex and the City. Enough said. Gen Zs may find it difficult to grasp the sartorial influence of the TV show and its female protagonists, Carrie Bradshaw in particular, but we’re no strangers here. The Baguette’s multiple appearances in the series, from the late 90s to early aughts, really cemented its It Bag status.
A product of that generation, style icons including Sarah Jessica Parker (who plays Bradshaw), Mischa Barton, and Paris Hilton all had a teeny shoulder bag tucked under their arms, just like how the French pastry would be carried. The look: small silhouette, usually flat, short strap, and either a zip or flap closure. 22 years later, we’re still swooning after the baguette bag. These days, you’ll see Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid sporting similar designs.
For this era, Fendi reimagines the original 1997 Baguette with a far more practical design. The comeback version of the chic Fendi Baguette does retain a lot of the earlier silhouette, from the boxy structure to the flap, clasp, strap and double F closure. There’s now a detachable shoulder strap though, which means you can sling it across. The biggest departure might be in the leather versions, featuring an all-over FF motif in embossed leather, perhaps a nod to logomania though not over-the-top.
Apart from nappa leather, there are variations including multicolour fabric, denim, canvas, raffia, embroidery and more, as well as nano, mini, and large sizes. Fendi has so far been releasing new versions of the bag since the re-launch in Spring 2019, so sit tight if you still haven’t found any that you like, which is near impossible really.
Bottega Veneta — The Pouch
We can’t talk about Bottega without mentioning the word “intrecciato weave”, but creative director Daniel Lee obviously wants to challenge that. Since he took the helm, the arrival of #NewBottega saw padded, oversized bags including last year’s cushy Padded Cassette, though the likeable style has been eclipsed by the overwhelming demand of another — The Pouch.
Simply titled, and also introduced in Spring 2019, it was one of Lee’s first two designs for the brand, aside from the Maxi Cabat. Details include a fluffy, voluminous silhouette and soft folds of smooth nappa leather that hides its rigid clasp frame. Why are we calling it the Dumpling then? Precisely because of the bag’s roomy interior and the gathered folds at the top, which resemble the pinched closure and pleats of a dumpling. There may not be any direct throwback references here, but we like to think of this as a close cousin of the slouchy Boho, popularised by the Olsen twins in the 2000s.
The beauty of it is that you want to carry it oh-so-casually about your day, no matter how impractical that sounds. Since its first introduction, we’ve of course gotten more variations beyond soft buttery leather — a keen favourite is The Chain Pouch, with a square ring chain shoulder strap in metal hardware delightfully opposing the slouchy clutch, that nails edgy and relaxed in one effortless swoop. No wonder it’s the often the outfit-completing accessory on many a style influencer. From bright pops of colours, neutral tones, mini pouches worn crossbody, and yes, woven leather, the infinite variety makes this a winner we constantly want to talk about.
And now, options. If the above two might be slightly out of your price range, or you’re simply looking for something less mainstream, we’ve also rounded up a couple of bags that pay tribute to the Baguette and Dumpling silhouettes.
Baguette Shoulder Bag
We have to talk about Prada and Louis Vuitton whenever “baguette bag” comes up too — the former’s black Nylon Shoulder Bag was a cult classic in the 2000s, up there with Louis Vuitton’s monogram Pochette. Is it any wonder then that we now have reimagined designs that heavily reference those classics?
1. PRADA RE-EDITION 2005 NYLON SHOULDER BAG
2. BY FAR RACHEL PATENT LEATHER SHOULDER BAG, $591
3. YSL SAINT LAURENT JAMIE 99 “CARRÉ RIVE GAUCHE” 99 IN LAMBSKIN AND SUEDE, $3,390
4. LOUIS VUITTON POUCHETTE ACCESSOIRES IN MONOGRAM, $865
Also worthy of mention is By Far’s ‘Rachel’ bag, inspired by the ones Jennifer Aniston’s character wore on-screen in Friends, and made contemporary with a patent leather finish and sleek, minimalist shape.
1. DANSE LENTE BAGUETTE CROCODILE-EFFECT LEATHER SHOULDER BAG, $265
2. LITTLE LIFFNER BAGUETTE MINI LEATHER SHOULDER BAG, $570
3. JW PEI GABBI BAG IN NUTELLA, USD79
4. Oroton Camille Two-Tone Leather Shoulder Bag, $371
Elsewhere, we’ve also come to admire the sternness of the Danse Lente and Little Liffner shoulder bag designs, presented in mini styles so they’re more cute weekend accessory than boardroom meeting. JW Pei, on the other hand, sees a softer, gathered turn, which makes it similar to a dumpling style, though wrapped around a rigid and distinct frame that we’d still classify as “baguette”.
Just like how you’ve got xiao long baos, mantous, and gyozas, the definition of a “dumpling bag” gets a bit looser when you compare across its different interpretations. What we’re looking for is really volume that’s cinched at the top. Two wildly popular styles include Gabriela Hearst’s rounded mini bag with a slim top handle, loved by everyone from Meghan Markle to Zoë Kravitz, and Mansur Gavriel’s Cloud Clutch, which sees the brand venturing beyond bucket bags to embrace a soft yet supple style, with a ruched magnetic closure and shaped like a cloud.
1. GABRIELA HEARST DEMI BAG, $2,620
2. MANSUR GAVRIEL CLOUD CLUTCH IN BLU, $960
3. LING WU BUBBLE 10″ PYTHON WARM SAND, USD630
4. ELLEME PARIS BAOZI IN BEIGE / CARAMEL, USD495
There’s also love for Elleme Paris’ Baozi, which feels like a more workwear style thanks to that rounded top handle, or local label Ling Wu’s Bubble clutch, a custom-made piece perfectly proportioned for just the essentials, and a day-to-night bag that can be switched up with a gold chain.
1. NANUSHKA INDA MINI KNOTTED SHELL TOTE, $134
2. YUZEFI BOM MINI LEATHER TOTE, $442
3. LING WU LE SAC VELVET DUSTY PINK, USD350
4. BOTTEGA VENETA JODIE MINI KNOTTED LEATHER TOTE, $1,843
For Nanushka’s mini bag design, the gentle arch is soothing, while it’s also made from durable black shell that’s knotted at the side. On the other hand, Yuzefi prefers a boxy silhouette, though with gathers and a drawstring design at the top for its closure. The other two slouchy, knotted designs from Ling Wu and Bottega Veneta may be the furthest among our picks for the “dumpling bag” style, but there’s something about its wrapped silhouette that makes it highly relevant as well.