FASHION / String Quartet

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The Independent Culture
IT'S SUMMERTIME, and that trusty matt-black rucksack suddenly feels too heavy. A string bag is all you can bear to shrug over one shoulder. Fortunately, this season's crop of straw and string bags is a vintage one, coming in everything from wicker (with signature criss-cross chains, by Chanel) to flimsy straw creations too light to hang a hefty price tag on, by Oasis. Here are four of the best from hundreds on offer in the high street, posh shops and seaside tourist shops, where they have always had novelty appeal. Of course, apart from their lightness, these bags are anything but practical. Pencils pop from the sides, bus passes flutter on to the pavement, favourite lipsticks wiggle their way free and are lost. But impracticality has never stood in the way of fashion - which explains why the little white string shopper by Prada (at pounds 75 perhaps the most expensive granny bag ever) has already become the must-have among the fashion pack.

This page: white string bag by Prada, pounds 75, from Joseph, 77 Fulham Road, London SW3

Opposite page, top: open-work shell trim bag, pounds 19, at Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1. Starfish, pounds 1.95 each, and abalone, pounds 2.95 each, from a selection at the Conran Shop, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 (O71-589 74O1)

Left: dark brown straw make-up bag, pounds 9.99, and tan straw pouch, pounds 3.99, from a selection at Oasis, 292 Regent Street, London W1, and branches nationwide. Twigs, pounds 1.75 a bunch, from the Conran Shop, as before

Far left: straw bag with red fleck, in three sizes, from pounds 17.50, by Ally Capellino, 95 Wardour Street, London W1

This page: white string bag by Prada, pounds 75, from Joseph, 77 Fulham Road, London SW3

Opposite page, top: open-work shell trim bag, pounds 19, at Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1. Starfish, pounds 1.95 each, and abalone, pounds 2.95 each, from a selection at the Conran Shop, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 (O71-589 74O1)

Left: dark brown straw make-up bag, pounds 9.99, and tan straw pouch, pounds 3.99, from a selection at Oasis, 292 Regent Street, London W1, and branches nationwide. Twigs, pounds 1.75 a bunch, from the Conran Shop, as before

Far left: straw bag with red fleck, in three sizes, from pounds 17.50, by Ally Capellino, 95 Wardour Street, London W1

(Photographs omitted)

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