I never thought a flat bag would appeal to me. After all, structure and interesting details are both literally and figuratively what give an accessory depth. But after lugging one heavy bag after another dangling with silly nonsense, I found myself seeking a sleek bag that packs well, is easy to store, and won’t cause my shoulders to slump in awkward discomfort for the summer. Conveniently enough, Guillaume Henry had exactly the same idea in mind. His latest design for the House ofNina Ricci, the Irrisor tote, is about as simple and clean as a bag can get. And lightweight to boot. Elongated handles and shape with slightly curved edges, the classic tote gets a modern yet feminine update. In comparison to fur balls, eye balls, and monsters (all of which I still adore), this is a pleasantly sophisticated alternative. But is it practical? Mais, oui! I tested out all three sizes of Nina Ricci’s new shape and discovered endless possibilities for the most versatile tote of the season. Here’s how I’ll be carrying each size…
The lightweight medium size fits my iPhone and MacBook perfectly. It’s like a laptop sleeve with handles. There’s also an interior pocket so that my iPhone won’t get scratched banging on the MacBook (Yes, I think about these things). Dimensions: 12″ w x 15” h. From $850 and up here..
The small size just begs to be taken out on the town on casual summer nights when your crystal-embellished hard case clutch feels awkward. Walking into a party with a brightly colored flat bag swinging on your arm or shoulder shows that you’re cocktail savvy, a quality that gives you the ability to roam around with rosé and hors d’oeuvres in hand all night (both of which are essentials, of course). More about styling this bag in Part Deux this weekend. Dimensions: 10″ w x 13″ h. From $690 and up.
For Weekends or Travel
I love the large size! Thanks to a hidden gusset on the bottom that allows the bag to expand, this weekender holds everything you actually need without any of the bulk. I recently took it to the movies after a day by the pool; I had a change of clothes for my son, my trusty Hermés cashmere shawl (it’s always freezing indoors during the summer months), and multiple snacks – because I am Chinese and in case of emergency, never leave the house without enough food for two. Dimensions: 16” w x 15” h. From $1150 and up.
See more Nina Ricci Irrisor Bags at Barneys New York.
I have my laptop in the medium size day tote, can you tell? I went to lunch like this, excused myself to the ladies’ room to respond to an urgent issue that the iPhone could not handle, and no one was the wiser. In case you’re wondering, I am wearing Rosie Assoulin top, House of Holland jeans, and the London denim platform sandals from Michael Kors (sorry it’s sold out).