The year was 1998 and I took my mini gray backpack from the Gap literally everywhere I went. By the time I threw it away years later, I had used it so much it looked like the dog got hold of it. Only problem? I didn’t have a dog. But good to know I was on to something, because as we approach the fall season, backpacks are back but chicer than ever. In fact, our own Leah Melby pointed out earlier this week that buying a backpack is what you should put on your fall fashion shopping list. Well, celebs have now jumped on that bandwagon too thanks to Donatienne handbag designer Nikki Erwin, who hosted an intimate soiree at her Beverly Hills home with friends Haylie Duff, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and others.
Guests enjoyed a healthy and delicious brunch, courtesy of Haylie Duff (make sure to find her decadent recipes in her new cookbook, The Real Girl’s Kitchen). Emmanuelle Chriqui talked about the amazing time she had filming the upcoming Entourage movie and also executive-producing her new Web series, Cleaners on Crackle with David Arquette and Gina Gershon. On the right is Donatienne designer Nikki Erwin looking radiant in pale pink!
Erwin, a California native who debuted her premiere collection for Donatienne in 2011, was inspired by her coastal upbringing and laid-back lifestyle. She also wanted to make bags that combined functionality with a stunning aesthetic (such as her fall-winter backpack!). She puts so much attention into each bag that only a limited number of each design is available. And although she’s gravitated toward pastels and bright colors for previous collections, this fall is all about the striking contrast of black and white, but with signature fringe and structured detailing.
We asked celebs: What bags will you be wearing for fall and why?
Haylie Duff: “Well, the Bad Choices Good Photos bag is named the Haylie bag, so I’m very excited about it! I love Donatienne’s backpacks because they are hands-free for fall. She’s really done it well, and you don’t find that with a lot of backpack designs. It’s flattering and flat.”
Emmanuelle Chriqui: “The fringe bag. I’m obsessed! It’s amazing for summer or for winter.
Jennifer Meyer: “I’ll be carrying a Donatienne! I love Nikki Erwin. She was my first employee ever, and I’m obsessed with these bags. I love a black bag. You can’t go wrong, and it never goes out of style. I’ve been using a suede bag forever, but a classic, leather, black bag is always in.
Jen Meyer accented her own necklace design with a Miu Miu top. “It’s a nice happy color!” she raved. Did you know that early on in Jen’s career, she was Glamour‘s West Coast beauty and fashion editor?
Jessica Szohr: “I’m really excited about backpacks for fall. It’s fun whether you’re going to an event or going out at night. They just look so chic. I’m also into very simple, leather little bags with thin straps.”