Whilst I adore all manner of clothing, shoes and accessories, I must admit I am not a huge bag person. I know that for many women, bags are their Achilles heel (because clothes are mine). I completely understand that $500 or $1,500 or $3,000 is nothing to spend on a piece of functional luxury you enjoy for many years (decades if you’re kind to your bag!) and I would never begrudge someone for indulging in their passion. I certainly appreciate the beauty of a splendid handbag: I have always said that when I win the lottery I will buy myself a Bottega Veneta (an intrecciato, perhaps this one, or this one, or this one, in either ‘Mallow’ or ‘Atlantic’); I have always loved what Marc Jacobs does; and Stella McCartney’s are so fun and so cool. I am just not really someone who has her internal fire lit upon sighting the latest Balenciaga, nor do I lust after a Chanel. I don’t spends hours trawling the internet for my next handbag purchase or feel I have to have the latest “It” bag. I don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about my next handbag fix and whilst I always consider how to incorporate a handbag into my outfit (ahem: black does not go with everything), I don’t always see it as the exclamation point to my dress statement.
When I do purchase bags, I tend to gravitate to the more niche bag designers (Khirma Eliazov, Devi Kroell, R&Y Augousti, Lauren Merkin) or bags by ready-to-wear designers whose accessories complement their range but who are not focussed on bringing out the next-big-thing in bags (Jason Wu, Donna Karan Collection [not DKNY], Temperley, Erotokritos). My most recent bag purchase is not only one that fits the latter description but is one that took me a bit by surprise as the style is not one I’d normally gravitate towards. I tend to prefer oversize or slouchy because I need my bags to sit snugly under my arm and fit everything but the kitchen sink. This new bag is small and structured and features a long body strap.
Presenting Roland Mouret’s “Paris-Paris” frame pouch bag in burgundy kidskin.
If you don’t know Roland Mouret, creator of the much-copied Galaxy dress (favoured by Victoria Beckham, Scarlett Johansson and Rachel Weisz), then please acquaint yourself tout suite. His creations are ultra-feminine, super-sleek and very elegant. He is renowned for his superbly structured dresses that flatter and enhance a woman’s shape. Accessories are a relatively new territory for this designer – he only started producing bags as of his Autumn/Winter 2013 collection. The “Paris-Paris” bag first appeared on that particular runway, slung nonchalantly around onto the backs of his models (so as not to interrupt the lines of the clothing, of course), as seen below.
Images sourced from Style.com
Of his debut bag collection, Mouret said, “Do you start with the market or do you design a guilty pleasure? I decided to go with the guilty pleasure”. I’m so glad he did! Of his design inspiration, he said, “The collection has a heavy mix of French attitude, making them the perfect complement to the Roland Mouret woman”. Indeed (and who doesn’t want a touch of French in them?!?).
So how much did I snag this beauty for? The “Paris-Paris” bag retailed for £1,495 (though here, on Boutique1, it retailed for US$1,946). However, I paid for mine a mere US$76, authentic and in near perfect condition, on eBay (and this at the moment equates to approximately AU$96). Yep, you read that right. So why would I shop anywhere else but eBay?
So, what to pair with my new bag? I think this one will look best elevating a casual jeans-n-tee ensemble. I can envisage it in particular with a flared mid-blue jean, dark-coloured block-heeled boots and a fitted jumper. If I was to pair it with a dress, something diaphanous and bohemian in a printed silk chiffon would look so elegant. Likewise, I think it would work well in a corporate setting with a sleek fitted midi dress (the two long proportions are more appropriate for work than short and long) in block colours, something by Mouret himself perhaps?!!? *wink wink, any excuse*
Have you heard of Roland Mouret’s bags? What are your thoughts?