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how toFriday, 16 April 2021

A.W.A.K.E. Mode Bags: A Size & Styling Guide


Chances are you’ve seen an A.W.A.K.E. Mode bag on Instagram. From Lucy to Liv, Anouk to Gretta, these cool-girl silhouettes look so comfy they could double-up as an on-the-go pillow.


London-based A.W.A.K.E. Mode (which stands as an acronym for ‘All Wonderful Adventures Kindle Enthusiasm’) has been leading the path towards puffy pouches since 2012. Functioning as the influencer’s trusty sidekick, each bag balances conceptual storytelling with bursts of Japanese art and culture.


Founder Natalia Alaverdian offers her distinct voice with sleek clothing too, which has been developed through her career of styling, art direction, and fashion photography.


While bags have been described as an ‘egg-in-a-hole,’ ‘a waffle,’ and a ‘sculptural moon,’ their unique structure has been responsible for it reaching such Insta-worthy, artsy heights. Using negative space as a handle, A.W.A.K.E. serves its interpretation of the pillow clutch trend — with oversized and plush pieces to curate many a memorable, minimalist look. What's even better? They're a sustainable option, crafted from vegan leather with a timeless appeal.


With a range of sizes in the Lucy bag and Liv clutch, you’ll want the perfect proportion to suit your lifestyle. We spoke to six women whose egg-like bags have been spotted on the street style scene. 


Right down to the last lipstick, they’ve spilled the classic ‘what’s in my bag?’ to teach you a thing or two about sizing and styling. Learn how much you can fit inside, and scroll for the A.W.A.K.E. Mode bags you won’t be able to keep your hands off.

Liv clutch bag


Holly Pan (@hollyhpan)

Based in Washington DC


What do you love about A.W.A.K.E. Mode? And how does the brand tie into your personal style?


“What always attracts my attention to A.W.A.K.E. Mode designs are their strong silhouettes and architectural details. They remind me of traditional costumes and artefacts from the East. This unique DNA makes them great fashion statements — each design is like an art piece.”


“The first A.W.A.K.E. Mode design I bought was a pair of navy tartan trousers that were super fitted with a slight flare and generously frilled bottom — it was love at first sight. The design was everything I wanted in a garment: classic print and colour, beautiful tailoring, great fabric, and most important of all, something unique but elegant. Fast forward to today, I still love A.W.A.K.E. Mode for the same reasons I did years ago.”
“A.W.A.K.E. Mode also separates itself from other labels by embracing sustainable fashion, using more eco-friendly fabrics in its designs, such as the vegan leather for its latest handbag collection.”


“I love colours, prints, patterns, and different textures, and my personal style always involves one or two of the said elements. When I put together a look, I don't follow any particular rules, but more if the look is aesthetically pleasing to me — if it will make me feel beautiful and powerful.”



“Because I have the habit of trying to match handbags with outfits, I always find myself moving stuff from one bag to another. Gradually, I have a few essentials I must carry, like lip gloss, an eyebrow pencil, car keys, card case, and a pair of sunnies.”


“Bags that fit all of the above have an advantage over those that don't when it comes to what I pick to carry. It is definitely a plus when it can hold my phone, too. This A.W.A.K.E. Mode Liv clutch is shallow but long. It could fit all my essentials and the phone but it will be a little bulky then. I will carry the phone in my hand and tuck the bag under my arm most of the time.”



“Neutral is having a HUGE moment this year. This bag is the perfect nude, and the grid quilting is also right on-trend. It complements any classy neutral look by adding a good note of texture. With today's outfit, my focus is on texture play: the smooth satin, rough silk raffia, and velvety quilted vegan leather. There is also a sub-element of print mix but overall, the mix of texture makes the whole look interesting.”
“The long clutch style of this bag also makes it a great piece to carry from day-to-night. Besides the demonstrated semi-formal look, I would also love to pair it with a minimal, clean silhouette such as a power suit, oversized or tailored, or a button-down and trousers combo. The bag will render some structure to a fluid look, but it will amplify a power look.”

Large Lucy tote bag


Coco Bassey (@cocobassey)

Based in New York City & Atlanta


What do you love about A.W.A.K.E. Mode? And how does the brand tie into your personal style?

“A.W.A.K.E. Mode is right up my alley when it comes to my personal style — taking wardrobe basics, and adding a unique elevated twist to them. Every accessory and clothing piece is both interesting and editorial!”


“Comfort and versatility are key when it comes to my personal style. I tend to gravitate towards neutrals, warm tones, and well-tailored pieces that can work with other items in my closet. If I were to use words to describe my personal style, they would be: simple, comfortable, and elevated.”



Oh, the Lucy bag fits everything! I love it so much, and the cushioning helps if I'm carrying anything fragile on the go, like my camera. For an evening out, I don't need much more than my keys, wallet, and phone... but I've also found that my bag fits my 13-inch MacBook Pro when I'm out and in between meetings during the day.”



“It's not often that I wear ‘big’ bags in the evening, but something about this one told me that it HAD to make its debut on a girls' evening at dinner. I paired my A.W.A.K.E. Mode bag with a lace cami and wrap skirt — super chic, but understated enough for my bag to be the focal point of my look.”


“If I could describe the A.W.A.K.E. mode aesthetic in one word, it would be ‘polished’ — and who wouldn't want to look like that? You don't always need loud colour to stand out… sometimes it can just be about a thoughtfully curated outfit that looks like it's made just for you.”

Liv padded clutch bag


Fer Medina (@fermedina)

Based in Mexico


What do you love about A.W.A.K.E. Mode? And how does the brand tie into your personal style?

“What I like the most about A.W.A.K.E. Mode is its modern, minimalistic and neutral style. I love the fact that the brand experiments with texture, shape and colour. The fabric they use in their bags and shoes ensure things are timeless, while skirts and dresses have an artsy, feminine aesthetic.”


“The way I dress daily is a combination of styles. I would describe it as effortless chic and minimalist with a touch of class. Most of the time I use a very neutral colour palette, adding accessories to harmonise the look. I enjoy giving that wow touch with rings or necklaces, earrings or sunglasses. I love bags, and A.W.A.K.E. Mode is always a staple option.”



“I’m into small handbags, which is why this bag it's perfect for me. It’s a small bag to take everywhere, but it also fits everything I need on the inside.”


“In my bag you will always find my favourite lipstick, my wallet, phone and a great pair of sunglasses! I must confess that I bring my phone charger everywhere! And nowadays, my anti-bacterial gel has become an essential.”



“I chose a white Liv padded clutch bag. My first outfit is a casual green olive silk dress — with an open back — styled with nude sandals and a messy bun to make it appear laid-back (and, so the bag is the focal point).”


“For my second outfit, I’m wearing a yellow and white squares dress, styled with sunglasses and the handbag, again as the focal point. You could run errands with the A.W.A.K.E. Mode bag, but also wear it on a night out.”

Bo quilted clutch bag


Julia Comil (@juliacomil)

Based in LA


What do you love about A.W.A.K.E. Mode? And how does the brand tie into your personal style?

“A.W.A.K.E. Mode clothes are especially modern and sophisticated, but also easy to wear in everyday life. I want everything this brand has to offer.


“I love structured silhouettes. My style is effortless chic with an edgy touch. I love a very modern silhouette or a ‘70s-inspired outfit, but it has to fit with my minimal lifestyle and — at the same time — look a bit ‘different’.” 



“The Bo quilted clutch bag fits my usual belongings. I am a minimalist, so this includes my credit card holder, phone, phone power bank, keys, hand sanitiser, and hair comb.”



“This bag goes with everything because of its neutral colour. I like its round and quilted form and the beautiful buttery vegan leather. I wear it with my favourite summer dress from Nanushka and my heels from Bottega Veneta. The bag makes the look stand out and gives a cool-girl touch.”


“I wear this outfit when I have a meeting or go out with friends — be it brunch, lunch or an after-work drink. This bag also elevates many other effortless outfits (denim jeans and a white shirt, a trench or a suit). It’s a fashion statement!” 

Large Lucy tote bag


Maria Alia (@mariaalia)

Based in Brooklyn


What do you love about A.W.A.K.E. Mode? And how does the brand tie into your personal style?

“I discovered A.W.A.K.E. Mode a little over two years ago and instantly became enamoured with the brand's unconventional takes on classic pieces. Their bags are always exciting and unexpected. My personal style is an ever-evolving marriage of cool, contemporary and experimental — it’s also vintage-inspired.”



“The large Lucy tote bag is so spacious! I can typically fit my wallet, a water bottle, my keys, lip balm, hand sanitiser, phone, and a portable charger with space to spare. It also fits my 12-inch MacBook, which was such a pleasant surprise. It's perfectly oversized and puffy. Bonus: the faux leather looks and feels super luxurious.”



“I wanted to put together a look that I would wear for a late summer afternoon or evening in the city. It's so comfy and fun to carry. I would bring this to daytime outings, business meetings, lunches, and then be able to transition it for more glam nighttime events and dinners. This bag is a statement on its own, and I wanted to let it have its moment!”


Gretta quilted clutch


Sissy Sainte-Marie Chacon (@sissysaintemarie)

Based in LA


What do you love about A.W.A.K.E. Mode? And how does the brand tie into your personal style?

A.W.A.K.E. Mode always does something unexpected. They are ahead of the curve with bold design, interesting colour combinations and fresh presentation of the collections. The brand first came onto my radar in Spring 2016. I remember that season’s lookbook with adventurous layering, zebra print and pink paired with orange. My favourite look of the next season involved jeans tucked into white western boots, a big shearling jacket and a model with pigtail French braids. They followed that up with a look involving mint and rust, statement buttons, and dramatic sleeves, which stood out to me.


I have loved watching Natalia’s collection develop and always look forward to what she does next. 


I’m not the minimalist I like to believe I am — even though I love earth tones and neutrals and the idea of timeless essentials. I’m quite often drawn in by pieces which are a bit humorous. I’ve been wearing more colour these days — orange, lime, and sky blue — and animal prints. I do like to be comfortable and 99% elegant, but I usually can’t help but peacock with some element of my outfit. I’ve tried to have tasteful restraint but it often feels stifling and I just can’t be tamed.



I typically carry my wallet, my iPhone, hand sanitiser and sunglasses. It can fit all my essentials, plus a sunglasses case which is how I prefer to carry my sunglasses so they don’t get scratched, but I can’t fit a case in a mini bag. It can also fit a good old fashioned spiral notepad and pen — my favourite method for keeping lists, sketching looks and writing down my ideas.



I’m wearing a Dijon mustard-coloured suit from Low Classic and butter yellow square toe heels with my A.W.A.K.E. bag. 


My grandmother used to buy her blouses based on where she would wear them - ‘this is a good going-to-the-grocery store blouse’, ‘this is a good going-to-bingo-blouse’. I think this would be a good everyday bag, a good ‘going to the grocery store’ bag, a ‘meeting colleagues for lunch’ bag, but also a good bag to fold over as a clutch for fancier occasions, like dinners and drinks with friends. For now, it’s perfect for occasional outdoor acai bowl eating with my husband and for fun Instagram content shot at home. 


I like this A.W.A.K.E. bag because of the oversized quilting which alludes to ‘old school rich lady’ bags but in a sort of... funny way. I like that it's nylon, not leather, so it feels a little more casual and sporty but still special because of the unique design. I also like the cream colour. Surprisingly I rarely use black or dark brown bags, finding cream, tan and beige to be the ideal neutral bag colours for my wardrobe. 


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