Tag Archive: Bags

Feb 17 2015

Introducing: Village England – Gorgeous Handbag Brand

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I love discovering new handbag brands, because there is no such thing as too many bags, and I love it even more when it is discovered through the power of social media from a great conversation, and I adore it even more when the brand is British. So let me introduce Village England, a new-ish British accessories brand that is on the quest to design the perfect bag and I think looking at the autumn/winter 2015 collection they have cracked it. 

What I love about this label, other than the fab styles, has to be the passion of the founders, Eddie Knevett, the former head of accessories at department store House of Fraser, and Julia Dobson, the former UK boss for LVMH-owned French brand Céline, who both really just want to make quality bags that are not only functional but also fashionable, oh and I have to say I love that they like me love pockets!!!

I kindly got a preview of their up-coming AW15 collection and I basically fell in love with everything, from their use of the dreamiest full-grain natural leather, it is that sort of leather that you just know is going to age beautifully, to the little details such as the stirrup buckle and the fact that each bag is named after a village in England. 

The collection is huge – you have everything from cute mini cross-body bags in an array of gorgeous colours to slouchy bucket bags that will carry everything and even classic totes. The beauty isn’t just in the styles, the colours or the quality, but also the fact that the majority of Village England’s bags sell for less than £300, which when you feel them you will understand is a bargain. 

The brand also has a cute ‘Made in England’ collection, which is dreamy, a little more expensive than the other pieces, but hey dreamy doesn’t come cheap!!! 

It is hard to pick a favourite from the new collection, I love the stirrup detailing on the cross-body styles and pouches that red saddlebag beauty has to be mine, but I think the styles I loved most had to be the cracked mirrored leather ones. I don’t think my photos do this beauty justice, but it comes in a rucksack **want**, a tote **want**, a cross body pouch that has a detachable strap to turn it into a clutch **want** and a gorgeous bucket bag **surprise, I also want**. What surprised me the most, not that I liked the finish, I am a magpie I like anything shiny, but how soft it was, you look at it and think it will be rough, maybe because it looks like broken glass, but it is the complete opposite and basically it meant I loved it even more. 

What I think Village England does beautifully, other than the quality, has to be the fact they have considered all ages, I think there is something that would grab the attention of most women, yet they haven’t strayed away from their core values of making a bag that is functional yet pretty, because let’s be honest no one is going to buy a bag that is ugly yet practical. I do love a brand that isn’t afraid of colour, as yes we all love black handbags, but we also want bright beauties as well. 

Have you discovered Village England yet? I would love to know your thoughts on the British brand.

Village-england-3 Village-england-13 Village-england-7 Village-england-8 Village-england-19 Village-england-9 Village-england-14 Village-england-1 Village-england-20Shop my current favourites: 

Apr 07 2014

Store Loving: Inside Osprey London’s Regent Street Flagship

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There is something special about Osprey London, not only because it makes great handbags that I adore, or the fact that it really does champion British manufacturing and design, but because it is very much a family run business with founder and creative director Graeme Ellisdon at the helm, his wife Alex curating the amazing jewellery collections, and even his son Jack is on hand in the store’s Saddlery Cafe.

Much like the brand’s St Alban’s store, the Regent Street store utilises the amazing Grade II listed building, which was once a Barclay’s bank, to showcase the eclectic mix of leather accessories, jewellery, interior pieces, even knitted toys and food. Everything about the store interior is divine – from the solid oak doors at the entrance to the exquisite chandeliers and the stainless steel staircase and that’s without talking about the brand’s diverse selection of interior pieces such as gorgeous arm chairs, antique picture frames and a fun choice of cushions.

There is very much a “home” feel to the store, which is apparently the vibe that Graeme was going for, with the upstairs set out more like a fashion store with its walls covered with gorgeous leather bags and display cabinets filled with handmade jewellery, while downstairs brings a slice of the countryside into central London. I love that the store is a destination, I think I could have spent hours just picking up every last item, there is really so many things I didn’t even know I wanted for the house!!!

As well as buying gorgeous handbags and pieces for the home, the flagship also houses an informal cafe area in the style of the Saddlery Cafe at St Albans, think cute bone china tea cups, delicious cakes and one of the best hot chocolates ever. I also love that the sitting areas are situated within the former bank’s vaults – super cosy and I can’t wait to do tea and cake there soon.

If you are down the Piccadilly Circus end of Regent Street then trust me you have to pop by for a look, not only will you probably leave with a new handbag or necklace, but you will pick up lots of pinnable ideas for your home, I have my eye on a £5k multicoloured sofa.

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How cure is Boris? This beauty was knitted in the UK and I love how each one comes with their own mini Osprey London cross-body bag. I seriously need one of these beauties. osprey-london-regent-st-12osprey-london-regent-st-3 osprey-london-regent-st-1 osprey-london-regent-st-18

Love these metallic handbags – so different for the brand but they really do make a statement.

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Osprey London, 27 Regent Street, London (on the corner of Regent Street and Jeremy Street, opposite Lilywhite’s).

Sep 07 2013

AW13 Preview: Primark Has The Trends Covered

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Each season Primark seems to be developing its offering, it is a high street store that is no longer just for picking up basics such as boyfriends tees, or a statement piece of jewellery for a night out – this is a shop that is has really upped its game to bring shoppers the latest trends at affordable prices.

For most, me included, trends can be a little scary, they are mostly out of people’s comfort zones and you are never sure how long they are going to last. What I love about Primark is that it is a place where you can test out a trend, save a few bob along the way, while still looking good.

For autumn/winter 2013 there are several key trends to look out for – from the pink invasion to 90’s grunge, sporty and minimal, as well as punk. Some are easier than others, for instant adding a touch of pink to your wardrobe is probably the easiest to wear, and I love that Primark has a lovely selection from sugary hues to vibrant bold pinks, so whether you want to make a statement in a pink coat, or add a touch of pink with a gorgeous jumper or a tailored pair of trousers – there will be a lot of options.

Minimal and sporty is also a trend that’s easy to master, you will probably already have a lot of options in your wardrobe as it is a continuation from a spring/summer trend. In Primark you will find pieces with an elegant edge – from block coloured dresses, to coats with contrasting panels, as well as some cute sparkly trainers.

One of my favourite trends for autumn/winter has to be the return of the 90’s grunge, think lots of tartan, crackled leather, lace up boots, and statement jewellery.

Whether you are updating your wardrobe with some key staples or adding a few statement pieces – trust me pop into Primark you may be surprised with what you come out with!!!

What are you thoughts on Primark’s autumn/winter 2013 collection? 

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For more pictures from the Primark autumn/winter 2013 preview head on over to my Facebook page.

Jul 26 2013

Label Lust: British Designer Sophie Hulme

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Sophie Hulme, might be relative new to the fashion scene, but this is an emerging designer with a big future that has been catching a lot of attention and is one of my current label lusts – I seem to have a long list of her collection in my wishlist!!!

Everything from her quirky charms, I still have my gold dinosaur from a few seasons back, to her structured bags adorned with her signature gold plates and rivets around the handles, to her ready-to-wear collection that has a pared back androgynous aesthetic with a sense of humour – this is a designer who has a distinctive style while still offering something timeless.

What I love about Sophie Hulme, other than the humorous elements that she adds into her collections like the monster charm above, has to be the fact that her designs are minimal and logo free and that they are recognisable on her signature style alone – the gorgeous luxurious gold armour-inspired hardware, which for such a young designer is a bold, but clever move.

For me, it is all about her boxy tote, it is more than just an ‘It’ bag, it is more like a classic-in-the-making, I really do believe that her signature minimalistic style is timeless and will see this bag in years to come sitting along the Hermes Birkin, the Chanel 2.55, the Lady Dior, and Mulberry’s Bayswater. I think I would want this beauty in a black or navy blue, a classic dark colour, but I love that for her Resort 14 collection she has added it in a vibrant coral hue.

As well as loving all of her bags, did you spy the pink clutch below – it is a thing of beauty, I love her quirky charms from the dinosaur to the whistle, I want them all, but most of all from my visit around the Polly & King showroom I was totally blown away by how her ready-to-wear line, which uses the handbag details of the rivets, chains, and gold plates to add a modern touch to classic pieces such as a white tee and a trench coat.

I know I am gushing but I just can’t help but love her timeless designs – I am seriously saving up my pennies to treat myself to one of her structured totes!!!

Are you a fan of Sophie Hulme? 

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Jul 01 2013

AW13 Campaign: Nicole Kidman For Jimmy Choo

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I have been waiting for these campaign shots since the news broke that Nicole Kidman was the new face of Jimmy Choo just before Cannes and they haven’t disappointed. Captured by photographer Mikael Jansson, Nicole is oozing sex appeal as a Hitchcock heroine, complete with a fab fringed bob.

Portrayed as the “seductive protagonist”, Nicole looks incredible in these autumn/winter 2013 campaign images for the luxury footwear brand, sporting sexy stilettos, caged booties, and thigh-high boots, as well as a gorgeous selection of bags.

As well as adoring Nicole in this campaign, I just love the sexy film noir feel to it, with the classic car, the sinister mist rolling in, and her dramatic femme fatale look. This has to be one of the most best Jimmy Choo campaigns I have seen.

The print images are striking, but the short film that accompanies the campaign is amazing, Nicole really does strong and glamorous to perfection.

AW13-Jimmy-choo-nicole-3 AW13-Jimmy-choo-nicole-4 AW13-Jimmy-choo-nicole-5 AW13-Jimmy-choo-nicole-6[Pics: Jimmy Choo]

Jun 24 2013

Bag Lust: Coach’s Autumn/Winter 2013 Preview

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I always ‘um and ah’ about posting press day pictures, I worry that they will come across as lazy posts, but I have been going over some of my pictures from my autumn/winter 2013 showroom visits and I had to share what’s coming up for American label, Coach.

For me, bags are the ultimate designer purchase, granted some do cost a couple of hundred pounds but each and every one, especially if they are made of leather and are classic in their design, make great investments – not just in financial terms but also for your wardrobe.

Just this weekend I reorganised the mountain of bags I own, each in their own dust bag, each padded to keep their shape, and each looking nearly as good as the day I bought or was given it. I generally stick to classic shapes, so the current ‘It’ bag isn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean just neutral colours my collection is filled with vibrant blues, pinks, and reds, as well as a number of black, tan and even a white one – basically I look at handbags as a great way to jazz up an outfit so collecting all the colours in the rainbow is definitely a goal.

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One brand not currently represented in my collection is Coach, which I most certainly need to look into immediately – especially after seeing their impressive autumn/winter 2013 collection.

One of the pieces that really stood out for me at the press day, other than all the tassels, had to be this gorgeous mustard yellow bag, which kind of reminds me of a modern-day take of a Doctors bag. I love everything from the colour to the silver clasps, the large size and the textured leather.

Now I am not sure on the price, but I am going to guess that it is around the £500 mark, sounds a lot but just think how many pieces in your wardrobe this beauty would enhance. It would perfectly go with a little black dress, jeans and a white shirt, or even a floral jumpsuit. I know black might be the preferred choice when it comes to handbags but I really do love a colourful bag.

The rest of the collection was just as lust worthy, filled with vibrant reds, exquisite textured pieces, vibrant prints, and even a hot pink clutch that has also been added to my wishlist.

If you haven’t checked out Coach’s flagship on New Bond Street in London, or on Regent Street – do – this is a brand filled with options from adorable clutches to fashion week super-sized totes and best of all they generally come in every shade of the colour spectrum – so there is always something to suit your mood.

Are you a Coach fan? Do let me know which style you are lusting over…

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Jun 11 2013

Clothes I Love: Moschino Cheap and Chic Resort 2014 Collection

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I have been lusting over the Moschino Cheap and Chic pre-spring/summer 2014 collection for a few weeks now, trying to decide which pieces were my favourite, its hard when I love all the sherbet colours, the daisy prints, the lace detailing, and the quirky handbags.

Inspired by the 60s/70s, I just love the candy-coated world of Moschino’s Cheap and Chic resort collection, where the clothes are oh so ladylike in their detailing, whether it’s a touch of lace around the collar, adorable puff shelves, or a piano fringed hemline, this collection is divine.

As well as the girlie dresses, the statement printed coat, and the lace overlay skirt, the collection is also filled with floral printed trousers, crochet maxi dresses, and adorable blouses. It is kind of mixes two personalities – the flowers in her hair festival chick with a romantic, feminine ladylike character. It is this clash of personality that gives this charming girlie collection an added care-free attitude, which totally comes through in the accessories and styling with the cool open-toe mesh booties, the daisy adorned biker boots, mirrored aviators and quirky handbags.

Not only do I love/want all the clothes, especially the dresses, I also adore the bags, which are amazing and quirky with my three stand outs being the oversized Menu clutch that is reminiscence of the statement Charlotte Olympia and Olympia Le-Tan clutches, as well as the daisy and watering can shoulder bags.

Oh to be a Moschino Cheap and Chic gal!!!

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[Pics: Moschino]
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