26 Jun 2018

Raffia, Baskets And All Things Woven

Baskets, Raffia and All Things Woven on vickiarcher.com

Raffia is having a resurgence this summer.

Bags, espadrilles and hats, woven and fabricated in some form or other are out and about; girls have swapped the leather for the woven and the tote for the basket.

Jane Birkin was the queen of the basket – she carried one winter and summer. Birkin made them look appropriate whether she was arm in arm with Serge Gainsbourg on the streets of Paris or running around in Saint Tropez.

I have always loved a basket and if there is one item I search for in local markets, it is a basket. If you are doing the market rounds in southern France this year be sure to pick up one of the circular styles proving popular. They are super cute, come in a variety of sizes and perfect for this season’s look. My lovely friend Valerie had one, decorated with a pretty scarf around the handle when I saw her in Saint Rémy last week.

Which brings me to this.

Fashion is fickle and I realise more and more how important our spend is.

I will adopt the basket and raffia trend but not in an expensive or enduring way. It is not investment dressing and nor is it a look I will want to keep forever. I like it and it’s an ideal chance to relax into summer mode but on a cost per wear basis, it won’t make it. All things woven are beautiful and there are many to love but they don’t need to be at the higher end of designer prices.

A woven piece – a basket handbag or a pair of slides – can bring up to the minute the most classic of outfits and this is where I think this season’s weaves come into their own.

Wear last decade’s dress with this year’s fad. That’s what I’m doing. xv

All Things Woven

one of each please

benny string shopper   ||  nannacay rafia  ||  nannacay stripe ||  snail straw  ||    carrie forbes raffia  ||  cult gaia round ||  straw circle

makes a great change from my sneakers

marlowe loafer   ||  soludos raffia mule  ||  lucky brand mule  ||  sophia webster raffia slide  ||  bora bora pom pom slipper

images jane birkin and serge gainsbourg

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Things come and go. I just got rid of a TON of baskets that were in my French-inspired kitchen that unfortunately, were collecting dust! But I did hang on to three of them I love, so I didn’t abandon them entirely! I have a fabulous, genuine vintage French wooden basket that makes the statement. Oh, these trends; we must combine what we love whether it’s classic, trend/fad or simply what we enjoy.

Donna D

Jane Birkin’s fabulous basket was popular when I was growing up…called “the crab-pot” basket we all had one and tied a pretty scarf on it as well! We took them everywhere..to the beach, the Picnic Races, or shopping in the city…and that was forty years ago!


The old is new again! I have a circular straw bag that I couldn’t part with 20 years ago and now it is back in style. Nothing says summer like a straw bag and espadrilles.

Taste of France

The round ones are everywhere. So cute.
I had a basket bag a few years ago and it fell apart from use. That happens with natural materials. I also had a bamboo bag that eventually disintegrated. To me, that’s OK, because it’s from use and not from boredom. Although the bamboo bag was exquisite and I’m sad not to have it any longer!
I have other baskets that are much, much older–sisal from Kenya (30 years!!!) and my sometimes-market baskets (15 years). I very likely will get a basket for my daily bag very soon.
At least they aren’t plastic!!!

Sari Hotchkiss

This is disappointing-most of the links showed the items as sold out.


Mine are working bar a couple.. yesterday they were all in stock.. I will update to find some others.


We are having to take bags and baskets to the Supermarkets now in Victoria, Australia. Yes … the plastic bag is over. So your basket will come in handy if you venture back Vicki :) !!

Linda B

I didn’t invest a ton of money, but did invest a good chunk of time crocheting a raffia bag for this summer! I’m loving it.

Tara Dillard

Have been a basket case since buying my first at Neiman-Marcus, Dallas, ca. 1977. It wasn’t for sale, it was holding Christmas ornaments… I forced them to sell it to me. Still use that basket several times/week. Holds a load of things for working jobsites with my Garden Design clients. Cover the loaded basket with piece of fabric as protection from sun/heat/wind, and MEN.

Who knew, men love a woman with a basket. Wish I had kept a journal for all these decades, Baskets & Men. They feel so free to talk to a woman with a basket, more, saying witty things. “You got something in there for me little girl?”, “Did you bring brownies?”, “Got a puppy in there?”, “Now I know women are basket cases.”, “What’s in your basket?”, and etc.

Most days are a 1 basket day, some days it goes up to a 4 basket day. More baskets, more varied job duties, Design/Lecture/Lunch in the van/Construction flags-string. All baskets with a piece of vintage designer fabric.

Never heard of Jane Birkin until recently.

Began collecting historic baskets, some dating back to 19th century. All, bought at thrift stores.

Husband says a lot when we’re out/about, “Where’s your basket?” He knows I’ll always have pen/paper, chapstick, kleenex, fruit, something he dropped in….

Using a basket for a purse has conjured many conversations at cash registers in many states & countries ! Basket people unite. Alas, bought a couple more vintage baskets this week….that part must STOP.

Appreciate all your topics, have ordered several things from your links. You’ve become one of my ‘delegated’ brains. Trust your advice.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


I’m a huge Jane Birkin fan . If it wasn’t for her carrying baskets , we might see them only used for groceries.
Dress The Part


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