The MICHAEL Michael Kors Selma handbag was by my side for most of 2013. It’s a great size, perfect for travel (there are lots of practical little pockets inside), and at £350 it’s pretty reasonable in price when you compare it to other designer bags. If you’re looking for an end-of-year treat Selma should be your go-to gal! But if all your money is going towards Christmas presents right now I have good news: I’ve found a lookalike tote on the high street for £35…
With new designs like the ‘Willow’, ‘Primrose’ and ‘Del Rey’ – plus fresh colour-ways for Autumn/Winter 2013 – you’d be forgiven for forgetting about Mulberry’s classic Bayswater design. The handbag is practical and timeless, but the lack of zippers, bows and star power has meant it’s failed to attract much attention lately. However, that’s all about to change, as Mulberry have just released a new take on their iconic style: the Bayswater Shoulder bag.
The classic Mulberry Bayswater in lilac for AW13 and the new Bayswater Shoulder bag in aubergine
For Autumn/Winter 2013 the Bayswater handbag has been scaled down and redeveloped. The new design still features the signature postman’s lock hardware, but is significantly smaller, and has a long, cross-body shoulder strap instead of than the usual rounded handles. It’s polished and grown up, like the original design, but hints to the relaxed style of the ‘Alexa’ and ‘Bryn’ bags. Currently there are five colour options – black, taupe, midnight blue, bright red and aubergine – and I have a feeling it won’t be long until we spot this design on Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Palermo and Katie Holmes.
Are you a fan of the new Mulberry Bayswater Shoulder bag? Or do you prefer the classic Bayswater design? Let me know…
The Mulberry Bayswater Shoulder bag starts at £1,100 and is coming soon to mulberry.com.
My way of thinking may be a little closed-minded here, but when it comes to handbag purchases I’d rather invest in big name designers, rather than little known brands, as that way I know the bag is more likely to become an investment that I’ll have in my wardrobe for years to come. However, this Autumn/Winter there are a handful of exciting up-and-coming handbag designers stealing my attention, and I think it could be time to break my big-brand-only habit. So here are four names you need to know for A/W 2013. Snap their designs up now, before they go global and hike up their price points…
Who: Paula Cademartori
The Back Story: Italian-Brazilian designer Paula Cademartori started her career at Versace, before launching her eponymous handbag collection in September 2010.
For Fans Of: Colour-blocking! Paula’s designs are super-unique, but fans of Jérôme Dreyfuss, Anya Hindmarch, Fendi and Chloé should be impressed.
The Back Story: Founded by husband-and-wife duo, Ela and Martin Aldorsson, this accessories brand already counts Gwyneth Paltrow as a fan. Their signature piece is the M.I.L.C.K clutch, which holds all the essentials - money, i.D, lipstick, cell phone, keys – and nothing more.
For Fans Of: Valentino’s Rockstud collection and Clare Vivier’s fuss-free leather clutches.
Where to Buy: Online at elabyela.com. I’m still waiting on a UK stockist. Matches, N-A-P, My-Wardrobe… what’s taking you so long?
Who: Tonya Hawkes
The Back Story: Before launching her namesake label, Tonya worked at Donna Karan and DKNY in New York, and was creative director at Furla. Looking at her punky clutch bags you’d struggle to make that connection though…
For Fans Of: Alexander McQueen, Lanvin and Christian Louboutin. So basically anyone who likes to make a statement!
Where to Buy: Tonya Hawkes is new to My-Wardrobe this season, and I have a feeling the stockist will now start multiplying.
Who: Elena Ghisellini
The Back Story: Italian-born Elena started her fashion career in the jewellery department at Bulgari, before making the switch to leather goods. Alongside her own handbag collection she also consults for a number of brands, including Givenchy.
For Fans Of: Givenchy! Elena’s namesake designs have a similar vibe to Givenchy’s must-have handbags, but with a slightly more ladylike twist.
What do you make of the line-up of up-and-coming handbag designers for fall 2013? Let me know your favourites…
Celebrity endorsements and brand-partnerships have changed a lot over the last few years. It’s now no longer enough for a star to merely appear in an ad or say they like a certain product – they have to bring some of their personality to the collaboration for it to be taken seriously. Beyoncé is a perfect example: she’s not just the face of Pepsi but their current “creative director” as well. This mentality has worked its way into the fashion industry, and we’re seeing some really cool partnerships forming.
British actress Rosamund Pike is the current face of L.K.Bennett, and for Autumn/Winter 2013 she’s designed a capsule collection of handbags for the brand. I know what you’re thinking, not another celebrity-turned-designer, but this isn’t the case here. Rosamund isn’t giving up on the day job, and the bags she created with the L.K.Bennett design team are truly gorgeous. Inspired by classic British films – particularly Darling staring Julie Christie – Rosamund created one signature shape, a sixties-inspired leather bowler bag. The design comes in three sizes and six colour choices: white, navy, green, orange, black and chocolate/black. It also has a handy cross-body strap which you can attach when needed.
At the collection launch, which took place in London last month, Rosamund spoke passionately about the handbag, pointing out all the little details that reflect her personality. The bag’s zip is shaped like a safety pin – an idea taken from the safety pin earring she wears everyday – and each style has two tiny stitches of neon pink thread on the front pocket. She explained it was her way of bringing some controlled chaos to the classic design.
The Rosaumnd Pike L.K.Bennett handbag collection arrives online and in stores on July 17th, with prices ranging from £350 – £495. To join the waiting list head to lkbennett.com. Do you like the Rosamund Pike L.K.Bennett handbag?
Like the rest of the fashion-focused female population I love a designer handbag; but I really hate the habit luxury brands have got into, where once a design becomes “hot” the price is instantly raised by £100 each season. It’s now virtually impossible to find a stylish, well-made handbag with a designer label for less than £1,500. Unless you opt for a cheaper branded canvas shopper, of course – but even those are horribly overpriced!
So with this in mind I set myself a challenge to find five of the best designer handbags for under £500. I won’t lie, it was pretty difficult, as most ‘entry level’ designs are fairly basic. But I think I’ve pulled together a pretty good selection. Take a look at the edit below and let me know which handbags are your favourites…
Shop the Edit: 1. Grey leather tote, £430, by See by Chloé | 2. Black ‘Selma’ satchel, £315 by MICHAEL Michael Kors | 3. Mini shoulder bag, £210, by Diane von Furstenberg | 4. Blue ‘Hillier’ hobo bag, £350, by Marc by Marc Jacobs | 5. Mint mini ‘Tanner’ bag, £240, by Coach
Personally I’d go for the MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Selma’ bag in black if I was looking for a day-to-day work bag. The DVF cross-body is my favourite option for evenings and weekends. And if you’re looking for a statement trend handbag you can’t go wrong with the Coach ‘Tanner’ design in mint.
And don’t forget about the Elizabeth and James handbag collection, which launches this Autumn/Winter. The line has a fabulous high-fashion vibe and all of the bags are close to the £500 mark. I’m SO excited for the bags to hit stores!
Are you also sick of overpriced designer handbags? And are there any great designs/labels that I’ve overlooked here?