Need a cheap-and-chic antidote to the luxury handbag? Take the simple string bag, or rather, the net bag. This Fashion Week, the modest mesh piece has made several cameos on the street, as well as on the runway. In London, well-heeled women wore the netted carryall in an easygoing way: One showgoer sported a pared-back white version, wrapped around the wrist, and another Phil Oh subject carried a more elevated take that boasted leather strap handles.
As for the collections, cool-girl label Hillier Bartley included a string bag made from loosely formed, black netting. The basic also appeared in the Fall 2017 Vetements lookbook: A woman held a yellow one to carry her purse and a few apples, while another model let the netted portion hang from a tiny, ladylike purse. Fun fact: The netting indeed comes attached to the “granny bag.” (And how genius is that? One can carry their valuables in the purse and the rest of their daily tchotchkes in the could-stand-to-lose-them netted half.)
Unsurprisingly, the no-frills bag has an inexpensive history. According to The Line—where you can conveniently buy a net bag for $18 dollars—the intertwined piece is referred to as filet in France and was originally made for fisherman. (Internationally, it’s associated with water: In Japan, clammers have used them.) In the Soviet Union, the bag was referred to as an avoska and was a precursor to the flamboyant plastic bags that appeared in the region in the ’90s. As for these days? A clever purse-meets-net-bag from Vetements costs a pretty penny—up to $3,465 to be specific. A less expensive version comes courtesy of Staud: The label describes their cotton net as moreau macrame and the whole thing will cost you a cool $375. Not into the deep-pocket prices? The tried-and-true standard net bag historically beloved by Russian babushkas and French fisherman alike will put you back roughly $8 on Amazon. Casting a wide net has never felt better.