We all know someone with a handbag obsession. Although, if we’re completely honest, most of us ARE that person with the handbag obsession.
I think my infatuation started when I was young. I remember my mum’s handbag being very symbolic. There it stood, a quilted leather Chanel dupe with a gold chain, always in the same place; the stoic anchor of the household. And you would never dare enter your mother’s handbag. If she needed something from it she’d just utter that classic line I’ve heard so many times on TV – “Laura, fetch me my handbag”. I once saw an episode of the Simpsons where Marge said the same and it was then that I realised a woman’s handbag was a very integral thing indeed. Inside the handbag lies the inner workings of every owner: her soul, her secrets, her survival. Even the Queen always carries her handbag…
My first foray into handbag territory was on holiday, through the markets on the Costa del Sol, where I’d buy cheap and cheerful bags and begin building a colossal collection. I’d coordinate them with my outfit or simply use them to pep up my all black school uniform, it was the only way I could make a fashion statement amongst a sea of polyester jumpers and striped ties.
Once I reached my late-twenties I started to let go of the volume, preferring quality over quantity. Like most, I was sweet-talked by soft leather, entranced by that aroma when you pull a good handbag it from its dust bag. To this day that smell is a reminiscent reminder of my childhood.
And so we come to Radley. I saw their dog symbol on my mother’s purse when I was small. I wondered who the mysterious terrier was and why he or she seemed to be doing the rounds all over my mum’s collection of accessories. It was also a reminder of the Westies that were in my life growing up. So when I decided to upgrade my collection, it was inevitable that one day, it would include a Radley bag.
Lured by the catwalk’s ever evident obsession with the 70s, I was seduced by the Willow leather and suede tote. There’s something about a tote that screams understated elegance as you sling it over your arm and go about your business; the soft, slouchy leather moulds into a relaxed, nonchalant silhouette that makes me feel like a French girl. Velvet also elevates the day to day; bringing its own sumptuous splash of luxury to a classic.
And yes, when I take it out of its dustbag it smells divine, and when I see the little Radley Scottie he makes me smile. And I’ll forever be excited to utter those words… “now, fetch me my handbag”.
This post was created in collaboration with Radley.