I’m headed to Marrakech next week. A good friend of mine lived there for many years and offered up the immediate advice: “Watch your purse!”
So, I’ve been on the eternal quest for a small ‘safety proof’ bag that doesn’t make me look like: a/ A Mid-Western soccer mom, b/ Bear Grylls’ girl or c/ A door-to-door caviar delivery service.
My first stop was London’s Portobello Rd. and the world-famous market where I found many tarnished, tattered buckle bags that were a tad bit overpriced for their condition. I learned something new as well (as a half-Brit). I had no idea those brown buckle bags were synonymous with Portobello.
I discovered this after a visit to Aspinal of London, a shop that carries wallets, business card holders, traditional diaries, luggage and so on. They’re a great bet for the ‘more-dash-than-cash’ crowd as they have some integrity but are not top shelf in terms of pricing.
Below, behold their ‘Portobello saddle bag.’
Not really my thing but I liked seeing this after the saddle bag extravaganza on Portobello Rd. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m a big fan of brown and caramel. So I really fancied their men’s executive laptop and business case (below).
In so many cases (no pun intended), the men’s travel or bag/accessory gear at these retailers far surpasses the heavy-handed and overly fashion-forward looks of the women’s gear–in my humble opinion.
Another men’s bag that goes beyond metrosexual allure (I personally think it could look just as fashionable on a woman’s physique) is the Burberry medium grainy leather crossbody bag. It’s the perfect alternative to a Portobello-bought Portobello buckle bag. And it looks like it should keep sticky fingers at bay with its buckle (assuming it’s a real buckle and not a faux front for a magnetised clasp).
Moving ahead and into the funkier, less traditional realm, Paul Smith does some great canvas ‘artwork’ bags that you’ve probably seen bobbing around town–whether you’re in LA, New York, London, Hong Kong or Tokyo. I like the men’s Mini interior holdall pictured below.
I hadn’t spotted his little homage to my hometown of Los Angeles before but think it’s pretty cool as well–a-la David Hockney.
And finally, something about as practical as white carpet in a wine tasting room–but I had to add it in for its sheer fabulousness–the Bottega Veneta Canova Marcopolo Trolley. If you can keep it white and pristine it means you’re flying in the right class of service–constantly.