Pandemic dressing taught us the ease of stripped-back accessorising as we swapped shoulder bags stuffed with a host of everyday accoutrements for a simple card holder and keys tucked into trousers or a puffer jacket. But, as a new razzle-dazzle world invites us to amp up our ensembles and add flair to function, how do we hold onto that pared-back practicality? 

We suggest looking to pieces that dovetail extravagance and utility, with Madrid-based house Loewe demonstrating this equilibrium most skilfully for A/W21. Inspired by escapist fashion, creative director Jonathan Anderson conjured up voluminous, dreamlike silhouettes in bold tones, like zigzag-stripe blouses, voluminous sleeve jackets, glittering gowns and gently poufing dresses, accentuated with silk tassels, metallic fringing and folds of fabric. The brand also took this attitude towards its A/W 2021 menswear offering, drawing on pieces by the queer multi-hyphenate artist Joe Brainard, such as pansy motifs and typographic collages, and celebrating ballooning shapes, including tent size trousers and diaphonous cardigans.

Loewe bracelet doubles as clutch

For women, this was a collection for a new normal, where knockout style still prevails. Loewe’s looks were also layered up with bracelets, formed from sensuous folds of coloured Nappa leather, which draped across the skin in vivid tones of sunshine yellow, aquamarine and optic white. On closer inspection, the brand’s curvaceous cuff was actually a tiny tubular bag, which fastened around the wrist with gold hardware engraved with Loewe anagram plaques.

This clutch-cum-evening bracelet, a miniature take on hybrid design, means that the next time you have the chance to dance, you won’t need to worry about your bag being left unattended. Your wrist warmer will stylishly stow away all your after-hours bits and bobs while you boogie. Functional yet flauntworthy, this is an accessory that nods to the pared-back learnings of lockdown while exhibiting a farsighted flair for the future. §