What’s in the bag?

Being a nosy thing, I’m obsessed with what people carry in their handbags. While googling www.bagladies.co.uk (a site selling £3000 crocodile skin bags if anyone’s interested) I happened upon another site, www.bagladies.nl. Oh gosh, this site is full of photos of people’s bags and their contents! Here’s what’s in mine:
Antoni & Alison purse used as camera case
Muji pens
Cutler & Gross sunglasses
Louis Vuitton mini-organiser
Cacharel heart purse
Eley Kishimoto clutch used as a make-up bag
Stila lip gloss
Hello Kitty work I-d card holder
While we’re on the subject, it appears the outsize bag trend has spawned something of a monster. For after throwing everything into it, another small bag is needed to contain those essential everyday items that otherwise get swallowed up. My brolly, magazine and make-up bag go in the jumbo tote (black patent Marc by MJ since you ask) while the phone, lip balm, pens and purse go in a small Coach shoulder bag for instant fumble-free access. Hmm, is this a clever conspiracy by the bag meisters I wonder?

What’s in your bag?

Eye spy

What’s worse than sunglasses in clubs? Losing a pair of sunglasses in a club. Ok, the club in question was Secret Sundaze last Sunday which has an outdoor terrace, very Ibiza DC10 with euro-chic ravers a-plenty and barely enough room to swing a mouse. I wore my vintage-off-Ebay Rayban aviators but took them off for a sojourn inside. And where did I put them? Dangling from my jeans front pocket. Doh! Sure enough when I came out again they were nowhere to be found. Cue forlornly searching the ground which is by now a raging sea of Converse and wedges and not even a broken shard of lense to be seen. The strange thing was everyone I looked at was wearing Raybans, MY Rayban aviators I kid you not. So I decided not to mourn and quickly came to terms with my loss.

But which way now? Certainly not the Wayfarer (white or otherwise) – too victimy. Oversized Hollywood-chic? Too 2006. Balanciaga’s robot shades? No thanks, I don’t work in a science lab. I’m feeling a pull towards Oliver Goldsmith’s bespoke sunnies. They have the all-important credible heritage (Goldsmith supplied the Sinatras, Hepburns and Stones of yesteryear) and you can choose all the components yourself. The clincher? You can also have your name on them so if you lose them they might even find their way back to you.

Retro rehash

If I was the entrepreneurial type I could make a killing by thinking ahead and cashing in on the various retro revivals that are now par for the course. The 90s revival is the next logical step so I could surely make a fortune rehashing minimalism, Britpop and…hang on a sec, just what did the 90s stand for? Minimalism, yes I guess that didn’t really exist before but Britpop? That in itself was a rehash of the 60s (Oasis/Beatles) and 70s (Blur/Jam/Madness) was it not? What else did the 90s give us? Celebrity culture? Bling? Well, I said I wasn’t the entrepreneurial type but I think there is a germ of an idea there somewhere.

Kate vs Lily…and getting to grips with the techno revolution

So who won the style wars betwixt Kate Moss at TopShop and Lilly Allen at New Look? On the one hand the Kate Moss collection was none too exciting – skinny jeans, waistcoats and studded belts – don’t they sell those already at TopShop? On the other hand, OTT prom dresses at New Look -where on earth do you wear them if you haven’t got a prom to go to? I guess we’re hard to please but it does seem like the Lily collection is going to be a surprising success. I must say, the quality is rather good for £50 and you are getting something you’d never otherwise find at New Look.

On another note I had a couple of hours to kill before the Lily launch on Tuesday so I went to Liberty’s Art Cafe to work on my blog. When my friend rang and I told her what I was doing she said “oh, have you got your laptop?”. “No,” I said, “I’m writing it in longhand and I’ll type it up later.” She thought that defied the point of blogging but I disagree. Sometimes I’m in the mood to write and others I’m not, and I haven’t always got the laptop with me. Plus I like sitting in cafes and writing in longhand. I guess as much as I try to embrace the techno revolution, deep down I’m an old fashion girl at heart.

The fast fashion backlash

Cheap chic, doncha just love it? Well actually, no I don’t. Where once New Look, TopShop and H&M ruled, now it’s Primark, Peacocks and George that high street snobs delight in flaunting to their pals – ‘Look, £5 from Primarni!’ Yet, multiply those £5 tops and £10 dresses by 15 (two tops on payday, a quick lunchtime fix frock, another Friday evening frock to wear at the weekend…you see where this is going don’t you?), and that’s around £100 a month wasted on throwaway tat that you’ll be bored of before you’ve got it home. (more…)

Posh punk remembered

Poor Issy Blow has died. A pillar of English eccentricity she was the posh punk responsible for putting unique Brits like Alexander McQueen, Stella Tennant and Philip Treacy on the style map. The exact details of her death are still uncertain. Some say it was ovarian cancer, others suggest she poisoned herself after bouts of depression and following an accident (or previous suicide attempt) which meant she was unable to wear high heels. One thing is for sure, this unique creative genius will not be forgotten.

She’s back

Who couldn’t love an author who suggests colour coordinating your book jackets to your clothes? My favourite film director Miranda July, she of Me And You And Everyone We Know has a book of short stories out this month called No One Belongs Here More Than You. (noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com) These pics are from her website and she is scheduled to do a talk at the Serpentine Gallery on June 4th.

About man bags and other accoutrements

Even though I confess to having an All Saints leather jacket I’m not really an All Saints kind of girl. I dunno, all that deconstructed jersey and faux rock chick styling just seems a bit over-played. But I have to eat my words when it comes to their menswear. Not menswear for guys you understand, I mean menswear for ME! My first must-have from their autumn winter preview had to be the wallets – I have a bit of a fetish for those credit-card holders on a lanyard and these are nicely understated. Then there are the mens scarves. I’m talking grey/black silk leopard print, black silk with tiny lime hearts, cerise silk squares with red piping. Yes, these are all mens! And don’t even get me started on the man bags – fabulous totes in nylon and leather – nicely sized but not too ‘statement’. Then there are the thin sloppy joe tshirts and stripy vests – just the right cut for a boy-girl fit to go with jeans and cowboy boots Kirsten Dunst/Johnny Borrell style.

Actually, there were some winning womenswear looks. Namely the necklaces which will look good worn on their own or tangled up together and the denim corset dress (which is nowhere near as chavvy as it sounds). Thanks to the generous £100 voucher press gift I can indulge in some of these when they hit the shops later in the year.

Barbour bites back

Barbour is the latest British heritage brand hoping to ‘do a Burberry’. It’s autumn/winter preview showed some nice steps in the right direction. A fitted silk quilted jacket which I image will go down a storm with its Japanese fans, a multi pocketed waxed jacket that owes more than a nod to Belstaff, and a quilted nylon Mulberry-esque handbag. Barbour is considering doing a link up with a designer which I’m sure won’t harm its profile. My money’s on Luella Bartley or Paul Smith.