Out go sombre leather handbags, and in come designer clutches and totes embellished with semi-precious stones. If you are a woman who likes to accessorise with bags, bling is the word this season.
Most designers are going for semi-precious stones like quartz, smoky topaz, coral and turquoise and amethyst to embellish clutches or bags in neutral colours like dull gold, black grey, red and green.
"The market for designer bags has become very good now. Everybody is aware and they like to match their bags with their outfits," said Shelina Kukar, designer Art-Apparel and Accessories.
Kukar, along with co-designer Camelia Dalal, have given a modern touch to evening bags by embellishing them with semi-precious stones and crystals. They also have bags fitted with kundan pieces so that it can match the jewellery.
Mumbai-based designer Meera Mahadevia, whose client list includes big names like Sridevi, Hema Malini and Rekha, says the market for designer bags is booming.
"Accessory was given a stepmotherly treatment before. It was not connected with fashion so much. But now the market is booming. Big totes are very much in and clutches are always eternal. These bags compliment the overall attire," she said.
Her designs mostly include minakari (enamel work) from Fatehpur and she embellishes them with stones like unpolished ruby and emerald.
"We even get orders to design bags with bridal lehengas," she added.
These days women prefer clutches as they are easy to carry and go with traditional as well as western wear. Clutches embedded with Swarovski crystals and genuine pearls are finding prominence among fashionistas.
"These clutches give a classy look to your evening attire, adding a sense of elegance and style," said Ritu Manchanda, a housewife.
This new class of fashionistas is not only spending generously on accessories, it is even looking for variety as a result of which embroidered evening bags are also becoming popular. Women are often seen carrying zari and zardozi handbags at wedding receptions.
Kritika, a student of Pearl Academy of Fashion, says: "Women are looking for bags that help them stand out. They are looking for bags that have a westernised contemporary look, easy to carry and yet stylish."
Nidhi Sharma, who works in an IT firm, said: "Such bags make a fashion statement. And even if you are wearing a simple outfit, these blingy bag works as an embellishment. However, the effect only comes when teamed up correctly with the outfit."
The price range varies with the kind of work on them. The range starts from Rs.1,000 and can go up to Rs.10,000 and above. Some of the bags with genuine rubies, corals and emeralds cost anywhere between Rs.80,000 and Rs.90,000.