Straw accessories make me think of some smouldering Sicilian babe slinking down to the market to buy oranges with a basket hooked over her arm and driving the local lads wild. They speak of sunshine and romance, lavender-scented air and hitting the beach with your bag stuffed with books, wine, bread and cheese.
The brilliant thing about a straw bag or basket is you can buy them from anywhere and easily customise and batter them up a bit so they look like some fabulous treasure you found in a sleepy little seaside town on the Med – buy one on the high street and just lie, my friends, lie your hearts out. For some serious Marie Antoinette-ish faux-rustic designer examples, look to Dolce & Gabbana, Anya Hindmarch or Chanel – why not? This is fashion, we’re allowed to fantasise.
But things shouldn’t become too twee – let’s not roam too far down the road that leads to peasant skirts and off-the-shoulder cotton smocks and such, well, at least not all worn at the same time. That’s why I love my Marc by Marc straw satchel – the neon orange leather strap and trim gives it a bit of ‘tude, it subverts all the hippy-dippy clichés.
Think of a Chanel-clad Diane Kruger sauntering along the Croisette to a chic game of petanque with her rustic wicker basket dangling from her wrist – YES, I want to live this life please.
Let the (window)shopping begin...
I adore Dolce & Gabbana's ad sun-soaked campaign for SS/13 which stars the ridiculously hot Monica Belluci and was shot on their home island of Sicily. With its colourful raffia flowers their little shoulder bag is the epitome of ridiculous rustic designer chic and I LURVE it.
The pretty ice cream colours on this large straw shopper from Sensi Studio are really unusual and it has a nice soft look.
Topshop have kept things simple, adding silver straps to their neutral paper straw shopper.
And H&M's roomy straw bag is an absolute steal at £12.99 - loop a jaunty vintage silk scarf through the handles, give it a few kicks to 'age' it and pretend it's vintage.
H&M have also come up trumps with a selection of straw clutches - I love the pale gold of this one, but it's also available in lilac and leopard!
I love the bold colour combinations Gap have chosen for their straw totes. I like doubling up my hand luggage with my beach bag and both of these look roomy and sturdy enough to comfortably carry ALL my holiday reading, towel, bottle of water etc etc...
And to finish, let's indulge in a little more day-dreaming with Anya Hindmarch's gorgeously colourful straw tote and clutch. That pink and jade embroidery is so beautiful and I loved the frayed detailing.