Nothing says summer like a crochet dress, a pair of gladiator sandals and a beach-sized raffia bag that’s just as practical as it is pretty — but for spring/summer 2020, raffia became far more than a seaside staple. The straw-like fiber was one of the season’s most sought-after materials, whether woven into wide-brim hats, bucket bags or strappy sandals made for sunbaked days.
Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana and Dior all gave their nod of approval with belts twisted from the unruly texture, carriers crafted from straw and elevated with a signature logo, and embroidered dresses entwined in weaves of undone palms.
The mood was almost unfinished, as if to shine a spotlight on and admire every stray strand and frayed edge in a season that saw many designers lean toward a natural focus. From earthy palettes to eco-friendly fabrics and collections inspired by the flora and fauna, the noteworthy trends of the summer called upon the planet’s wild wonders.
As a plant-derived fiber that’s both durable and biodegradable, raffia fits into fashion’s growing focus on sustainability and is also a trend that encourages us to upcycle, reuse and rummage through the wardrobe. On the streets, the fashion pack recycled raffia summer styles from years gone by and made them current with contemporary Bottega Veneta pumps or embellished Prada shoes and fresh denim cuts.
For your own take on the trend, pull an old straw hat and style it with seashell earrings and an easy-to-wear white dress, or elevate a tired basket bag with a silky print scarf that gives it a new lease of life. Shop sustainably and invest in new season silhouette that can live in your wardrobe for years to come; from Loewe’s rustic raffia tote bag to Coach’s versatile espadrilles.
GET THE LOOK
With travel potentially on pause this summer, a staycation and a chic straw carryall is the next best thing. Here are the raffia accessories to buy now and keep wearing for seasons to come.
- Images: GoRunway.com