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YSL Fall 2024 via Samuel Ellis Scheinman
YSL Fall 2024 via Samuel Ellis Scheinman

Midway through women’s fashion month, an intriguing trend is emerging: swim caps-inspired headgear is making a splash from all angles. And have you taken the plunge into personalizing your bag with kitschy keychains from the souvenir shop? This week, we’re talking about accessories that are giving us life, prompting us to pose and ooh and ahh in front of the mirror. Charon discusses swim cap core, Stephanie raves about messy, over-accessorized bags.

Stephanie: “In middle school, I rocked a very 90s beige crossbody bag, lugging it to school filled with my supplies. I adorned it initially with just one furry keychain, but soon, it resembled a miniature farm hanging from my shoulder. Reflecting on that era, I still don’t like to look back on photos from that time; it marks what I can only describe as my least glamorous phase (even thinking about it brings back childhood trauma). Back then, I hadn’t quite figured out how to manage my curly hair, I wore oval-shaped optical glasses, and worst of all, endured the era of removable braces (the very uncool predecessor to Invisalign).

In today's fashion landscape, however, there’s a certain nostalgia that heals my inner child, as Miu Miu resurrects the allure of speckled oval glasses, while stylist Lotta Volkova boldly flaunts no less than five furry keychains adorning her bags. As I pack for Paris Fashion Week, contemplating which bags to bring, I love how freeing the SS24 shows were when it comes to bag styling. Ludicrously capacious bags filled to the brim, or even overflowing with everyday essentials, are the way to wear your bag now. At Miu Miu, bags exuded an office-bag energy, with pumps and ballerinas peeking out, ready for the transition from day to night. Meanwhile, Bottega Veneta presented its oversized straw beach bag, spilling out cover-up shirts, jeans, and newspapers, embodying the carefree spirit of a day by the shore.

 via Suzanne Koller 

As I prepare for days that commence with early morning shows and culminate in post-midnight afterparties, I eagerly embrace the prospect of carrying my largest bag, filling it to the brim with all my essentials and making it into a look. And the resurgence of keychains is tempting; a glance at Suzanne Koller, one of fashion's chicest icons, and her beautifully decorated bag instantly evokes memories of Balenciaga’s SS24 runway, where models strutted with oversized bags adorned with an assortment of metal keychains, including the obligatory Eiffel Tower trinket, most likely bought at Trocadéro.

The concept of hyper-personalized bags is far from novel; its roots trace back to Jane Birkin, the eponymous muse behind the iconic Hermès bag. Birkin transformed her bag into a canvas, using it to champion various charitable causes and political movements, such as her support for Myanmar freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi. Each sighting of Birkin with her namesake bag was a testament to her eclectic style, adorned with an ever-changing array of beads, rabbit keychains, or ribbons, serving as a tangible expression of her beliefs. Maybe I’ll turn my jewelry drawer upside down to see if I can find some beads or bows to attach to my Hermès Kelly bag tonight, and I might even stop by the local souvenir shop to see if there’s anything fun. Also very tempted to invest in a designer keychain, as always Ssense has the best selection, see here, here, here and here.”

 DOUBLET Silver 10 Words Keychain Belt, PRADA Large buckle bag , KNWLS, Stained cream ss1 jacket (on sale) and BALENCIAGA Double front draped jeans 

Charon: “In the accessories phenomenon that we really have to discuss, which is starting to feel like the elephant in the room, and I'm actually all for it: the swim cap. At the beginning of this year, in '2024 Wardrobe Intentions: Loud Budgeting, Gloves, And Silver Highlighting,' we pointed out a silver sequin Maison Margiela beanie (more swim cap than a beanie and unfortunately sold out) that has lived a rather fabulous life on social media ever since. Leandra Cohen and Jalil Johnson were the first to give it a try. While I do own a few bold silver accessories, I don't see myself wearing this specific beanie-swim cap. Yet. Not that I'm not scouring the internet upside-down to find my own suitable candidate. You wouldn't think so, but it feels like a rather seasonless accessory. Still, in sun-drenched South Africa, I believe a swim cap would look pretty damn good combined with bare legs and an oversized shirt, and without taking things too literally, a swim cap does look great with bathing suits too. But, as showcased all over the Fall 2024 runways, I can't unsee my new favorite/desired headwear paired with a heavy wool winter coat or sweater. 

Prada Fall 2024 Menswear

The so-called 'swimcapcore' trend was seen at buzzy New York label Fforme and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Melitta Baumeister, featuring shrunken skullcaps and sporty scuba hoods. Jil Sander showcased Lego hairstyle hats that might be deemed unflattering, alongside beaded hats that leave me doubtful. Earlier this year, Prada Fall 2024 Men’s collection gave me butterflies, meaning I pretty much screenshotted every look. Miuccia and Raf proved that a swim cap can indeed complement a day-to-day ensemble. It's fair to say swim caps are a perennial Miuccia Prada classic; remember Prada’s A/W11 fuzzy, chinstrap caps inspired by aviator-style swimming hats (also here) and Miu Miu's S/S17 flower-adorned swim caps? Pretty unforgettable. 

While the term 'swimcapcore' evokes Y2K nostalgia, Anthony Vaccarello demonstrated earlier this week in Paris that a carefully wrapped stocking around your head can exude utter chicness. In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent himself made the female chest visible with his pioneering sheer look, subtly veiled with see-through silk-cigaline, thus birthing the nude look. Today, while the transparent look may feel almost too familiar and not as refreshing, I'm delighted to see it transcending into headwear. So, count me in. 

SAINT LAURENT leather hat, MAISON MARGIELA Green v-neck vest, Y/PROJECT Grey/beige souffle shorts (or try these) and THE ROW Margaux 17 buckled leather tote

Undoubtedly, my affinity for hats runs deep (I've been obsessed with cowboy hats as long as I can remember—I see you, Pharrell Williams, but let's save that discussion for a more fitting occasion), so I may have been an easy sell. While awaiting the Fall 2024 arrivals, these, these (budget friendly option) and these swim cap-inspired caps are definitely on my list."

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