Posts tagged ‘Mulberry’

June 21, 2013

What’s in your handbag?

Regular blog readers might remember me writing a ‘what’s in your handbag’ post ages ago. Shortly after which the bag in question, along with its contents, was stolen from my kitchen. Thankfully it was all insured, and therefore replaced with shiny new things! Huzzah!

I’m choosing not to think that lightening can strike twice and so I’m risking writing a new version of that post, because, if you’re as nosy as I am, the contents of a handbag are fascinating …

So, here goes.

The bag that I carry around switches between a silver Cambridge Satchel, a Mary Katrantzou for Longchamp tote, and a brown leather satchel that my Dad gave me to replace my beloved stolen Mulberry Antony. Each of the bags is useful for different occasions, but the one I have today is the brown leather one. Simple, logo-free and with enough pockets for me to endlessly think I’ve lost something, this bag is perfect for slinging across my shoulders and leaving my hands free for important things like ice-cream eating, hand-holding (romantically with my other half, or to stop my kids jumping into a lake) or endless Tweeting.

I like to carry a lot of stuff. So, small fancy bags are not really any good for me and this list really does prove it!


Inside the bag:

  • Suncream. I used some chemical peel pads earlier this year and although they’ve improved my skin lots, they have left it very sensitive to the sun. Daily suncream is essential now. This one is by ROC.
  • Moleskine diary and fineliner pen. Because although I love technology, nothing beats pen and paper.
  • My purse. I love, love, love this purse. It was made for me by the talented Abi of ‘Sew You’ and it’s large enough to hold my keys, lipbalm, iPhone earphones, and a tiny box of dental floss as well as my cash and cards. After my last one was stolen, she sent me a free replacement, which just proves how fabulous she is.
  • Lifeventure water bottle. Reason enough for a giant bag! I carry water with me all the time after a kidney infection earlier this year, and the bottle – bought for me by my beloved – is with me every day.
  • My essential make-up kit: Rodial Glam Balm, Nars Sheer Glow foundation (in Mont Blanc, which just shows you how pale I am!) classic Maybelline Great Lash mascara, a very old Shu Uemura eyeshadow in Medium Brown, YSL Touche Eclat, Kevyn Aucoin eye pencil (one of the best I’ve ever used) and finally, lip gloss in Jean Queen from Lipstick Queen which is the perfect everyday pink.  Most of this haul was bought from my local Space NK
  • A packet of Chewits. Because you never know when the Chewit Monster might strike! Remember him? Actually, I have to confess that, having discovered them in my bag when I emptied it to take the photo, I’m eating them right now, as I type.  I quite often have a little something sugary in my bag. To placate my children – what a mother – or to to give me a little energy boost at 3pm. I know, I know, I should be eating fruit or almonds or something. But I’m not.
  • A magazine. In this case, the wonderful stationery-special issue 17 of Uppercase. For many, many reasons. It has a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover, for a start! Scratch’n’sniff! I know that at the age of 37, I should have grown out of such things, but it’s cherry, so therefore brilliant. I always have something to read in my bag. Being a public transport user, I never know when I’ll end up stuck somewhere and I prefer my reading material in print, not via e-reader. Books never die.
  • A Rapha musette. A gift from my lovely boyfriend, this little bag is often with me so that I don’t have to use carrier bags in shops.
  • And finally, my beloved iPhone 5. At 64GB, this is worth more than my car and I love it almost as though it were my third child. I’m not even joking (much) about that. My addiction to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and, I confess here … Happy Street … mean that I never want to be without it.

So, that little lot is worth quite a lot. A quick tally up shows that replacing it would cost me roughly £950. Mostly because of the unlocked iPhone, to be honest but even the make-up would cost me a fair bit to replace in one go. That’s actually quite a surprise. I’d better go and check that insurance policy …

This post will be entered into a Money Supermarket competition. 

March 19, 2012


This isn’t the post I thought I would be writing today. In fact, it’s not a post I thought I’d be writing ever. On Saturday, someone walked into my house, picked up my beloved Mulberry bag, and walked out again. We were all in the house, sitting a mere 20 feet away in the next room, or, in the case of my children, upstairs in bed.

Upon seeing that the back door was open, the first thing my husband did was run upstairs to check on our kids, so don’t think that I haven’t thought about the absolute worst that could have happened. Really, I know that someone just took advantage of us leaving the back door unlocked after we’d opened it to let the kids catch hailstones in a bowl earlier in the evening. I still feel a bit sick thinking that they could have tried that door many times before, and finally been rewarded by our forgetfulness.

After a truly dreadful recent event, I have had lots of good fortune recently. I have met lots of new people, kindled some new friendships and invested time in older, important ones. I’ve been to wonderful events, had lovely family time and even won a competition. So, there is a part of me that thinks this happened just so I didn’t get too big for my boots. As if the Universe was redressing the balance. Giving me something bad, so that I make sure I appreciate the good.

In being the victim of some really horrible behaviour, I have actually had my faith in the overall goodness of people restored by the reactions of others. From my lovely friends both virtual and in real life, I have had nothing but support and kindness. They have sworn on my behalf, given out hugs, made cups of tea (essential in any kind of British crisis) gone out and searched the local area and on Ebay for signs of my stuff. One lovely soul spent half the morning getting my work laptop extracted from the cupboard in which it was locked (my key was taken) and my boss let me work a short day so I could deal with everything. When I went in the library to tell them that I needed new cards, the lovely librarian gave me my reserved books without charge, simply because she is wonderful. Of course, the books I had reserved were all Agatha Raisin crime novels.

Many of us do love a crime novel. Mainly though, the appeal is in the solution. At the end of a crime novel, especially old favourites like Agatha Christie, we can be assured that justice will be meted out and the bad guys will get what they deserve. Sadly, real life does not often provide us with tidy and satisfying solutions. I doubt the person who stole my things will ever be caught, which makes the whole thing more difficult to live with. There is an episode of ‘The Good Life’ television programme (after which this blog is lovingly named), in which Tom and Barbara’s house is broken into. Because they have nothing worth stealing, the perpetrators simply trash the place. They refuse to back down, saying that what happened was not their failure, it was someone else’s. What has just happened to me is not my failure. I admit that I’m shaken, sad and angry but I will not be beaten by it. I will not let my overwhelming faith in people be ruined by the failure of one.

So, now I’ve got that out of my system, let’s move onto happier things, shall we?

February 24, 2012

In Bed is the New Front Row: London Fashion Week.

As I write this, London Fashion Week is just coming to a close.

Fashion is a subject that I return to time and time again. I love it. I used to work in fashion retail, in between veterinary nursing and my degree at agricultural college. An odd mix, I grant you, and one that probably ensures that I will never be on the Front Row at any catwalk show in the near future. That, and the fact that I’m a thirty-five year old woman with two small kids and a 9-5 job doing something completely different. Oh, and despite a wish list as long as my arm,  no money to spend.

But as luck would have it, I no longer have to sit on the Front Row to see some of the catwalk shows unfolding before my eyes, at the very same time as the people who were actually invited! The wonders of technology, together with some kind of democratisation of fashion and (whisper it) a desire to be profitable in uncertain economic times have led to live-streaming. Lovely live-streaming, which means that I can sit in bed with a cup of tea, and watch the fashion as it happens. In bed is the new Front Row, as the fabulous @Bettymagazine tweeted to me the other day ( I know, I’m name dropping, I might get a ticket one of these days…)

I’ve spoken before about the speed of the fashion industry being a bit of a pain – and at the moment, I’m still not yet wearing the spring and summer pastel frocks I was promised and I’m already thinking about the clothing I might be wearing in the bloody winter. This is because, despite my protestations that everything needs to just slow down a bit, I am still drawn like a moth to a flame, towards the whole thing.

So, what have I managed to see?

Mulberry: Emma Hill’s show, influenced, as far as I could tell, by ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ (although that might just an indicator of how far my life is removed from what is fashionable) was beautiful. Too much fur for my liking – I would never wear it – but the colours and textures of the tweed and lace pieces were stunning, and I am finding myself thinking even more about how the hell I could wear orange, a colour I love, but which does not love me. Most of the Twitter chat around this show was centred around the new Mulberry bag – the Del Rey – which, named after Lana, is a beautifully classic number which will be available in the Autumn. Seriously, Lana Del Rey has been around for about half an hour and she’s got a Vogue cover and a Mulberry bag? That’s some work…

McQ: Livestreamed via their Facebook page, this was a bit less successful, purely because of the way the formatting had been designed. Having said that, it was still easy enough to see that I want everything in this collection. Suiting reminiscent of the war years in olive green and burgundy, incredible petticoated dresses with floral applique and the most beautiful finale by the bride, Kristen McMenamy, it was shiver-down-the-spine wonderful and felt like Sarah Burton had returned to the McQueen archive, and brought the best of it, with her own twists, to the catwalk again.

Mary Katrantzou: One of my very favourite designers ( I wrote about her prints here) and  the toast of the fashion industry with collaborations with both Top Shop and one of my perennial favourites, Longchamp. Now, I’ll say here, that this live streaming was a bit of a nightmare to watch, clashing as it did with the school run (honestly, what were they thinking?)  Still, I kind of managed it. And, WOW, was it worth it. For the first time, the Parisian couture embroiderers, Lesage, have worked with a London designer and the addition of this incredible embroidery to the  intricate and unique digital prints brought a whole new dimension to her work. An amazing collection and one that cements her position at the very top of the fashion industry.

So, in bed is the new Front Row. It’s been a pleasure to see some of the the Autumn Winter 2012 collections on the catwalk. Now all I need to do is work out how I’m going to afford some of them…

September 7, 2011

My Daily Uniform.

I’ve never posted an outfit photograph before, but this photo taken by David at Sandsend on our camping weekend pretty much sums up my daily wardrobe. I tend to wear a uniform of sorts. I try to shop so that everything in my wardrobe can be worn with everything else, which means that there is always something that I can throw on without much thought, and that I can chase after my two year old son in! It’s mostly black or other neutrals, and as I’ve written before, very rarely do I wear a print or anything bold. I’m going to try to change that, but it will mean that I have to put more thought into my daily uniform…

I am wearing:

Navy wool cardigan and trousers from Gap.

Cream (washable!) vest top with broderie anglaise edging from J Crew at Net A Porter.

Mulberry Antony bag, which is usually slung diagonally over my body so I can run around without losing it. The hands-free bag is a totally necessity when you have two small kids. Honestly, I have worn this bag every day since my lovely husband bought it for me one Christmas.  So, as far as fashion maths is concerned (which, as we all know, is cost divided by number of times worn) it’s one of the best bargains ever!

3.1 Phillip Lim sunglasses – giant glasses hide a multitude of sleepless nights, especially useful after sleeping in a soaking wet tent, which was my misfortune the night before this photo was taken.

A grumpy expression. Hmm…again I think this is lack of sleep. Or possibly hunger. We got fish and chips shortly after this was taken which were lovely.

Ash high-tops, I love Ash shoes, they’re always a slightly quirky but comfortable choice. Is it wrong that I need comfortable shoes? I do buy heels too, but I wear them less often, my life just isn’t cut out for them at them moment. The current season of Ash high tops are available from and I’ve already got my eye on this pair.

Seal Virgin High Top Leather Trainer by Ash

Ash | Seal Virgin High Top Leather Trainer by Ash.

What is your daily uniform?  Are there pieces of clothing that you couldn’t live without? Do you find it liberating or stifling to wear the same thing every day?