In the series “What I Loved Yesterday,” Harper’s Bazaar editors highlight one standout look from the previous day at London Fashion Week.
One day during New York Fashion Week, I accidentally ran out of the house without a purse. I felt naked and had an uncontrollable urge to explain what I’d done to everyone I encountered, while clutching my phone close to my chest; it contained my credit cards and driver’s license in a bunny-covered Wildflower case. To me, a purse was a symbol: The first time I used a purse to go out with my friends in middle school, I felt like a woman. And the first time I bought a really nice purse for myself, I felt like a real grown-up. It has never occurred to me to leave the house without one.
That is, until a few days later, during London Fashion Week, when I watched Simone Rocha’s Spring 2024 show from afar. On the runway, some models held onto beaded stems of long flowers with clenched fists, while others held real pink roses, and some carried a small bag with a beaded or living rose lying across the top.
I couldn’t stop thinking about those beaded blossoms, and I wasn’t alone. Online, people have expressed a love for them as well, without agreeing on what to call them. They aren’t bags or a clutch; their petals don’t open up to reveal a hidden pocket or chamber. (Say what you will about the kookiness of JW Anderson’s viral pigeon bag, but it has proven practical enough to fit lipsticks, pens, and plenty of cards.)
They don’t fall into a traditional jewelry category, either. Rather, Simone Rocha’s beaded flowers are more akin to a toy you’d see a child carrying around than to a bag, and that feels perfectly in line with Rocha’s signature frothy feminine fantasy, where bows, tulle, and more bows reign supreme.
Despite the existential crisis I had while not carrying a purse, I still had everything I needed held in my hand. And Simone Rocha’s show made me realize that could be something beautiful. There’s something undeniably freeing about walking around holding onto just a flower, and maybe that’s a feeling Rocha wants us to experience.
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