Elle Ferguson carries the Oroton Forte Tote with a (now sold out) strap she co-designed Credit: Instagram @elleferguson

If the old saying ‘you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes’ is true, then surely the same could be claimed for a woman and her favourite handbags. Now that spring’s arrived, it’s the ideal time to update your treat yourself to a wardrobe update or three, and the simplest – not to mention most practical – way to do that is with a careful bag investment.

In the same way that fashion is influenced by the big international runway shows, so too do accessories answer to new season trends. So what are the biggest trends when it comes to bag shapes, colours, styles and novelty statement elements? We asked Australian expert Pia Wessels, who heads up the design studio at Oroton for her in-the-know guidance.

Oroton Design Studio Manager Pia Wessels Credit: Supplied

What do you consider the biggest bag hue of the season? The hottest colour mix right now in my opinion is vibrant red and pink sand, which were seen at the latest fashion week shows. This combination is amazing. I like to wear my Pink Sand Forte Clutch for day to night with red nails.

Oroton, Forte Croco Clutch in Pink Sand, $395. SHOP NOW

What’s the Hottest bag shape or style right now? The must-have bag of the season is the Forte Medium Tote, which is an instant outfit updater with the trapeze bag shape, and leather and chain strap that can be worn four different ways. This style can be dressed up or down with the removable chain strap.

Oroton, Forte Medium Tote in Vibrant Red, $495. SHOP NOW

And the biggest thing in statement handles? Our black and white webbing strap is a real game changer – taking one of our classic styles, like the Forte Tote, and adding that bit of fashion magic.

Oroton, Forte Stripe Webbing Strap, $95. SHOP NOW

What’s your favourite novelty feature of the season? I’m in love with our limited edition Empire Mini Satchel in black. This style uses Italian snake embossed leather and one of my favourite details of this season – whipstitching on the chain – and also has a removable tassel.

Oroton, Empire Limited Mini Satchel, $895. SHOP NOW

What should we look for in a great investment piece we’ll be carrying for years? The shape of the bag is key and also choosing a style that will work back with many different outfits. We introduced one of our key seasonal shapes in the Maison Shopper tote which is so classic and timeless. I like wearing mine with the long cross-body strap, cropped jeans and loafers.

Oroton, Maison Shopper Tote in Black, $495. SHOP NOW

what’s your personal favourite statement evening bag this season? I like a small pouch for a night out, the Avalon Puzzle Wristlet Pouch features our new Matisse-inspired print and adds a fun pop of colour to my favourite black suede dress.

Oroton, Avalon Puzzle Wristlet in White, $95. SHOP NOW

and for daytime? The best style for every day is the Avalon Tote in Galaxy – it’s made from soft pebble grain cow leather that drapes and wears in really well. It’s soft and slouchy and fits all of my sketchbooks, swatches and vintage finds that I’m always carrying around with me.

Oroton, Avalon Tote in Galaxy, $395. SHOP NOW

Produced in association with Oroton