From a trompe l’oeil paint can to a handbag with wheels, the standout accessories of the holiday season are imbued with no shortage of whimsy. The Italian designer Alessandro Michele, who stepped down from his role as creative director of Gucci last month, has long embodied that mood with his maximalist aesthetic, employing clashing prints and unexpected, often Surrealist accessories. Those looking to try out that style could not go wrong with the miniature bag pictured above, which was part of the brand’s 2023 cruise collection. The purse, which hangs from a goldtone chain strap, resembles a plump, ripe strawberry — a cheerful reminder of warmer seasons to come.
A similarly playful spirit animated Hedi Slimane’s 2023 spring men’s collection for Celine, titled Dysfunctional Bauhaus, which included a number of pieces featuring work from the estate of the Swiss conceptual artist David Weiss. This weekender bag, crafted in the house’s Triomphe logo-print canvas with black calfskin accents, is emblazoned with an image of a giant wave by Weiss reminiscent of those depicted in Edo-period Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings.
Louis Vuitton is making a splash of a different kind with a monogrammed bucket bag designed to resemble a paint can, including a metal handle and warning labels. Made from coated canvas and cowhide leather and available in a range of vibrant colors, such as deep plum and bright orange, the design nods to the brand’s heritage: Printed on the label are the address of Louis Vuitton’s Paris headquarters and the year in which the house was founded, 1854.
Prada also embraced its history this season, releasing an embroidered fabric bag in a green-and-black geometric pattern that echoes the brand’s iconic triangular logo, first introduced on trunks by the company’s founder, Mario Prada, in 1913. Replete with Prada’s signature Saffiano leather tag, the graphic tote — appropriately named Symbole — feels emblematic of the house’s enduring legacy.
In the 1910s, Émile-Maurice Hermès, then the director of his family’s namesake brand, came across the zipper for the first time, during a tour of North American car factories. Inspired by the elegance of both the fastener and the automobile, he released the Bolide carryall, which was the first bag to use a zip closure, in 1923. The brand’s humorous new iteration makes that inspiration literal by including toy wheels on the base of the bag, which, for added joy, can be accessorised with a miniature version of the same design.
Tennis is a familiar theme for Chanel; throughout its history the house has offered apparel inspired by the sport, and even tennis balls stamped with its famous double-C logo. For its 2023 cruise collection, the brand reintroduced rackets housed in lambskin cases and to accompany them, it released smaller novelty versions of the bags containing racket-shaped hand mirrors — perfect for checking your look in between sets.
For those looking to bring style to other forms of exercise, Fendi has included a characteristically luxurious take on a classic hiking boot in its men’s holiday capsule collection. Made in black nylon with tone-on-tone pony hair accents and dark gray nubuck leather detailing around the ankle, the shoes match the season with their ice blue corded laces.
Similarly wintry in feel, with a midnight blue face and alligator strap, is Patek Philippe’s newest ladies’ moon phase watch. Its sunburst dial features white gold-applied Breguet numerals, while the bezel displays 132 diamonds in a lacelike Dentelle setting. Sparkling and celebratory but also rigorously functional, it’s a piece designed to last for a lifetime of holiday parties and beyond.