Inspired by my Marrakech Wardrobe!

Inspired by my Marrakech Wardrobe, the SS2012 trends, Carrie Bradshaw  and the Sex and the City 2 wardrobe…

Easy Breezy...

Up until three or four blog posts ago I had been slightly reluctant to post photos of myself on Charms of a Dandizette – I suppose because this blog isn’t really about what I look like. Having said that, as well as being concerned about fashion,  Charms of a Dandizette is also about my personal style. So, I thought my next Marrakech inspired post, this one,  should be about my wardrobe approach to my week in the Moroccan city.

I set myself a little fashion task for my trip, which was to implement as many of the season’s trends into my holiday wardrobe as financially, physically and tastefully possible. So neatly packed away in my powder pink Marrakech suitcase was a white Broderie Anglaise top, of course inspired by Marc Jacobs’ sweetly designed spring summer 2012 Louis Vuitton collection. Bravely I purchased three bra-lets, borrowed from the midriff baring trend that filtered across the catwalk’s of Italian fashion houses, from Dolce and Gabbana and Prada, to Versace and Miu Miu. I say ‘bravely’, because I didn’t do not even one sit up or even attempt to decrease my calorie consumption in preparation for midrif baring – but c’est la vie! My bra-lets were cleverly selected to nod towards several trends; a mint green bra-let  lends itself toward the sherbet pastel colours currently being donned all over the high street, most commonly in the form of skinny jeans. And a scarf print bra-let, the pattern taking inspiration from the ancestral Versace patterns, which D and G also took inspiration from for their ss2012 collection, which saw tiny skirts and makeshift bra tops appear very 90s Versace.

I did a significant amount of research into appropriate dress for a Marrakech visit, to find out what was suitable to wear in this particular Muslim country. Of course, a lot of the information I found online was conflicting – some sites advised to cover shoulders, others said cover legs and others said you could wear whatever you liked. I thought best to cover my legs – I suppose because of my belief that legs are a far more overtly sexual than arms.

I took most of my inspiration from Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe in Sex and the City 2 and invested in lots of jewellery, even more eyeliner and lots of long flowing skirts and dresses in beautiful materials. The wonderful thing about billowing floor length dresses and skirts is, I felt no pressure whatsoever to wear heels and therefore I never – not once – the entire holiday. I stress this, because this is somewhat of a revelation for me! I packed two pairs of heels and didn’t remove either of them from their shoe bags. The other wonderful thing about length is, when worn in beautiful materials, it’s instantly glamorous! So with the glamour volume turned up, heels probably would have been overkill! Yes, me, the queen of bling can even identify overkill!

So for my discovery of overkill, for my week in flat shoes, for my courage to don a bra-let and for my time in Marrakech  I feel proud!

So, here’s some snaps of the Marrakech wardrobe!

AZAR in Marrakech
At Azar in Marrakech, wearing a black open back strappy top from Zara and patterned skirt from River Island
At the Palais Charhamane Marrakech
At the Palais Charhamane Marrakech wearing black Miss Selfridge skirt and medallion scarf print crop top from Topshop
Le Jardin Majorelle - YSL Love Post Cards Marrakech
At Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech wearing my mum’s Broderie Anglais button back top from Next (this top is 30 years old!) Floral shorts from H and M
Atlas Medina Resort and Spa Marrakech
At the Atlas Medina Resort and Spa Marrakech, wearing pleated Primark maxi dress, woven clutch bag from Primark and earrings from Primark too! (Good old Primark!)
Atlas Medina Resort and Spa Marrakech
At the Atlas Medina Resort and Spa Marrakech, wearing royal blue Topshop dress and enamel peacock chain from H and M.
Sahara at Atlas Medina Resort and Spa Marrakech
I am sure my sister won’t want to be on my blog..but she looks so nice I had to put this pic in. She’s wearing peach sheer trousers from Forever 21, bangle from H and M and watch by  Michael Kors Watch
Gueliz Marrakech
Wearing royal blue dress from Topshop in Gueliz. This is a great picture! I love the striking blue and the whimsicality of the dress against the city…

Make everything in life inspirational! Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Bag, Borrow or Steal

The handbag has become an essential accessory for women since the 1920’s, there’s something extremely powerful about this exclusively female relationship with her luggage.

The luxury handbag possesses a hypnotic force that has the ability to turn the most average, sane and grounded woman into an embarrassingly obnoxious victim of capitalism, so far she will go as to rent a handbag as she would her home. It was in Sex and The City when I first became aware of the borrowing of luxury handbags; Jennifer Hudson, playing Louise from St Louis carried about her rented Vuitton denim patchwork bowling bag and seemed just as excited about this bag she was paying rent for as if she’d worked blood, sweat and tears for it and it were hers to keep.
Admittedly, luxury is not available to us all and we may possibly never afford an Hermes Croc Kelly, let’s be brutally honest here, most of us won’t ever afford an Hermes bag period, let alone any crocodile, python or ostrich skin bag – regardless of the designer. We can dream, we can aspire and we can admire, there’s honestly nothing wrong with that – but when we begin to fool ourselves and the world with ‘Bag Borrowing,’ do we need to aspire or dream anymore? Luxury is no longer a lifestyle, but a borrowed experience. Avelle, the online luxury rental site Louise rents her patchwork Vuitton from, prides itself on opening up the gate to luxury fashion, “It gives customers greater access to a vast inventory of luxury accessories and the opportunity to indulge in more, more often,” says Lynn Ridenour, senior vice president of marketing.
Economist, Veblen theorised that the increase in accessibility and availability of a product eventually diminishes its desirability. Isn’t the whole point of the luxury handbag its rarity and expensiveness, the fantasy and the great sense of pleasure we feel when we finally get to have a slice of that luxuriously fantastical pie? We love the luxury handbag for its longevity, the stories it will tell when it’s thirty years old, the new life it will have when we hand it down to our daughters and the sheer ownership of a piece of art and fashion history. The luxury handbag doesn’t seem so whimsical or substantial when we have to hand it back at the end of the lease, hundreds of pounds poorer. In actual fact, all this bag rental phenomenon does is kill the luxury for everyone – the borrower, the luxury bag owner and the bag itself. Of course there’s one link in the chain that strengthens and that is of course, the bag lord or lady.
I adore luxury handbags and spend hours figuring out how I can alter my lifestyle temporarily, in order to save for a beautifully crafted, calf’s skin handbag with cold, gold hardware. I have to compromise the Gucci tribute bags or the Judith Leiber bejewelled clutches for bags that are timeless and suitable for most occasions, but I always feel good about making and owning my purchase. Louise from St Louis waltzed around New York City, unemployed, with a rental, gimmicky Vuitton bag in tow.
In my opinion, a penny spent on this kind of bag, rental or bought, is an ultimate waste – fashion theorists believe the exhibition of waste and uselessness is an occurrence familiar to the wealthy or those that wish to appear so. Maybe this is the beauty of Avelle, the opportunity to display wealth and luxury with the woman’s most significant and indicative item of dress, without ever having to be too pragmatic about the purchase. However I’d always rather commit to just the one bag, that will dent my bank balance and reduce my social life – a bag that I can be proud of because it’s a luxury, it’s expensive and it’s mine.

Winter Sale Shopping – Essentials

Winter Wardrobe Addendum
So…we near Christmas time slowly but surely and the sales are even closer on our heels. If you haven’t completed your winter wardrobe just yet, then the sales are the best time to make your wardrobe addendums.

Don’t waste time buying anonymous garments unless you really need them. Polo necks, black t-shirts and vests can always be bought for less than £10 in shops like Zara, Hennes and Primark. There’s no point wasting sale shopping money on garments that remain relatively cheap throughout the season and aren’t making much of a statement.
Look out for garments that might be considered a ‘Trend Piece’ that could possibly disappear this time next year.
Gucci RTW- a/w 09/10

Sequined embellished garb, Blazers, Leggings and Evening tops – I always refrain from having too much going on on the upper part of my body – particularly in shiny, light reflecting materials, which can risk making you look like a sparkling elephant. I would look out for sequins in muted colours for this part of the body or choose sequined jackets and boleros as opposed to tops.

Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Shoulder padded jumpers and dresses – I have an inkling that like the over the knee boot, skinny jeans and leggings – the shoulder pad trend might stick with us for a moment. I wouldn’t worry too much if you have fallen in love with the embellished shoulder and are buying only padded upper garments. On the other hand you could always head to John Lewis and get yourself a pair of shoulder pads that you can slot into all the tops you own. John Lewis has barely been able to hold onto their shoulder pads this year.

Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Louis Vuitton RTW a/w 09/10Boots are always a good find this time of the year – of course if anyone manages to get hold of a decent pair of ‘V Boots’ in the sale then that is the ultimate find! The best pair i’ve spotted are in Topshop, they’ve already sold out once this season and are now on their second run, with only two sizes left! These boots are on and off the shelves so quickly i doubt that Topshop will need to put them in the sale. Aldo have a couple of ‘V Boots’ in the sale, be warned most of these aren’t real leather.
Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Coats and Jackets are always on the top of my list in the sales, you can get loads more for your money and of course if you purchase right you can have yourself a ‘Forever Killer Coat’. I always recommend Zara for Catwalk style coats. This season Marc Jacobs is the man dominating the inspiration for my wardrobe with his winter 2009/10 collection. I’ll be looking out for capes (with full length sleeves only)*, coats and jackets with embellished or enhanced shoulders.
Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10
For those that are avid wearers of black, bright bold coloured coats are a must have in this collection – don’t be afraid to be bright and definitely be prepared to turn heads – especially in this dream of a coat.
Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Another trendy must have is Velvet. We saw velvet trousers on the catwalk three years ago, however this trend disappeared fairly quickly. The cyclical nature of fashion would have it that trends are making their comebacks much quicker than they used to, trends can disappear and reappear in a matter of years now. Velvet has to be of good quality, especially to create the shiny looks that are all over this season’s catwalk. When buying velvet think SHINY SHINY!
Louis Vuitton RTW a/w 09/10

Accessories are so important this winter, so make sure you accessorise this season, Fashionistas! Many don’t consider this element of dress to be essential, but when it’s cold and bleak outside and fashionistas want to be warm and sparkly there is no better way to do this than adorn yourself in some shimmery winter armour.

Louis Vuitton RTW a/w 09/10

The catwalk would have it that jewellery has been played down this winter, the look is definitely more focussed on a sharper, classier look leaning towards power dressing rather than overtly glamorous and blingy. Keep your ensembles clean and tidy by wearing a few pieces of huge statement making pieces, rather than too much jewellery which can counteract the sharpness of your outfit and ultimately take the attention away from you.
Key jewellery pieces this season are jewelled bibs, which can be bought for less than £5 in Primark, hefty neckwear and of course ridiculously oversized rings. Topshop and Miss Selfridges are my favourite for some serious metal hardware.

Burberry Porsum RTW a/w 09/10

Winter Warmers are now officially as important as your coat. As i grow older the coat just doesn’t seem to insulate me as sufficiently as i need. It’s all about ear muffs, snoods, armlets, fingerless gloves and gloves that make their way all the way up to your elbows.
If you don’t have a snood already then snood yourself now – these are the best things on the planet right now! Hennes have a good selection of snoods that will no doubt be in the sale at some point this week as the sale products expand.

ASOS a/w 09/10

*Armlets are perfect if you’re the owner of cropped or three quarter length sleeve coats and capes. The armlet is great because you can pull them over your fingers when not needing your hands, but don’t have to freeze your forearms when needing to change the song on your mp3 player or searching in your handbag for keys – see how efficient and considerate fashion is becoming?

Gloves this season are big – really? What i mean is, magic gloves for a pound just aren’t cutting it anymore. Leather gloves are as sophisticated and timeless as a Burberry Mac.

Louis Vuitton a/w 09/10

Primark have a whole range of leather gloves, suede, coloured, short, long, embellished, you name it. I do like the idea of matching the colour of your coat to your gloves, it just adds that extra little detail and shows you have taken the time to pay that bit more attention. If you only wear black coats, then how about trying a pair of hot pink or scarlet red leather gloves. Marc Jacobs has once again incorporated gloves into his catwalk this season.

Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Balenciaga RTW a/w 09/10
Hoisery – I’m searching for a look alike pair of Marc Jacobs paisley print pink and green tights – hideous?? I love them. This season is all about adorning your legs, so tights have either got to be 100 denier or printed, sparkling, laced or coloured.

Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Primark have an amazing selection of fashion tights, their quality is as good as a pair of Pretty Pollys. If you are really loving the whole tights phenomenon then Henry Holland has an amazing variety of quirky tights. Balenciaga featured a pair of sheer spotted tights in their show this season, these tights are perfect for adding that extra sexy edge to an ensemble without having to freeze your pins off completely as you would in a pair of lace tights. Checkout Accessorize and ASOS for Balenciaga look alikes.

Balenciaga RTW a/w 09/10


Christmas is probably not the best time to be giving shopaholics personal buying tips… but shop – you know you want to, just shop wisely!

Marc Jacobs RTW a/w 09/10

Fabulations and the Joie de Vivre

 

 

Today is the first day of the rest of what is going to be my fabulous summer…

Today is the first day of the rest of what is going to be my fabulous summer. The weather is beautiful and although some days grey has pretty much decided to stay warm. Barbecues and drinks in gardens are in abundance, weddings are being planned and holidays and honeymoons are being taken or heavily awaited upon!
Yes – today, although I’m finding it particularly hard to be completely exultant considering my Sicilian is a minute away from boarding his plane back to Sicily without a return ticket – is a very exciting day!
Summer is the time for FABULOUSNESS and although I have been pulled up on my excessive use of this word by the Sicilian, I don’t care. Firstly he’s not here anymore and secondly very seldom does he read my work anyway.
He asks me what I’ll do while he’s gone, I pull my sunglasses down my nose and look over the rim for effect and simply say, of course with a hint of a joke, ‘Be fabulous.’ He can’t help but laugh, he doesn’t know that part of me and every other woman’s life is seriously concerned with being fabulous. And when better to be fabulous, than in the fabulous summer?
Of course if we could be we’d be fabulous all the time in all aspects of life, our dream jobs would pay our dream salaries, we’d drive dream cars, we’d reside in dream houses in dream locations, we’d have our dream bodies and ridiculously dreamy boyfriend’s.

Nobody can be completely fabulous…

Unfortunately most of us are old enough and sane enough to know that nobody can be completely fabulous. I would like to believe that I am a fabulous writer – But I do not make a fabulous wage. I would like to believe I am a fabulous shopper – But can not shop in fabulous shops – (at least not all the time).
Amy Winehouse is a fabulous singer – But her addiction to intoxication, not so fabulous. See my revelation – or should I say FABULATION?!
And as we get older I think we concern ourselves far more with the importance of being fabulous, I suppose being fabulous coincides with success. I’m guessing if you feel successful then no doubt you should feel pretty fabulous.

Her career requires her to look young, healthy and glamorous…

I have a collection of friends who all are pretty much buying that one way ticket to fabulous; Friends that only date rich men, footballers or models, others that only wear designer clothes and shop in shops just because they’re expensive, others that refuse to wear one outfit twice and friends that only go to exclusive clubs and bars. All of these idiosyncrasies make us feel extraordinary, special – fabulous.
I won’t name any names, I’ll call them Angel Rae and Kimmie Parker – these two are concerned less with how to accumulate fabulous things and focus more on a fabulous lifestyle.
Angel Rae is an air hostess, her career is consumed by looking young, healthy and glamorous, staying in hotels and ordering room service, travelling the world, shopping globally – her tailor is located in Dehli and her favourite shop in America, she’s chin wagged with a seriously intoxicated singers weed dealer and plans gatherings in Barbados. She has very little time for boyfriends and when in London spends her time getting manicures, waxing and clubbing in Crystal. She’s rarely depressed or saddened, she loves her job which completely defines her life – therefore she loves this too. Sounds fabulous? – I think so.

They frequented Soho and Shoreditch house…

Kimmie Parker on the other hand is a student, like myself she wishes to build a career that is as infinite and as fabulous as you make it. She has always had it in mind to work in a field which brings her loads of fabulous perks. Her ex boyfriend was an actor, they frequented Soho and Shoreditch house, hobnobbed with the aspiring creatives and attended film screenings and premiers.
Kimmie, while she’s not studying works for a household Italian designer and spots Naomi Campbell and Sienna Miller from her shop window. She is completely connected in the world of fabulous retail and never pays full price for those fabulous forever purchases. Kimmie Parker recently told me after splitting with her actor boyfriend, ‘Oh I met a man at the Hogan party.’ I told her I thought it was too soon for her to be searching for men already, she replied, ‘Oh he’s gay.’ So then my next comment was, ‘So – what’s he going to do for you?’ Kimmie replied, ‘He knows lots of fabulous people that can get us in to lots of fabulous places where we can meet lots more fabulous people.’ Kimmie Parker is a networker and understands the importance of assimilation and association. She’s a theatre goer, a party goer, a shopper, a fashionista and determined to cater for her fabulous pallet. On nights out drinking in London Angel Rae tells me how much she loves Kimmie and how great she is, ‘She just seems to have no issues.’

Her sole ambition in life was to be rich…

Lila Carr, a friend of a cousin was at a barbecue on Sunday that I attended, she told me her sole ambition in life was to be rich and apart from sleeping her way to the top she was quite happy to do pretty much anything she needed to get there. She told me her life is accustomed to getting her hair and nails done twice a week, to driving a top of the range German car, eating out or getting take away every day and living in Canary Wharf.
‘I don’t have time for passions, for creativity or art.’ She told me she just needed a pay cheque and the best way she could get the kind of pay cheque she needed was to work in sales. I never asked her what her pay cheque was, but she assured me, ‘Trust me – I sell.’ I never doubted her for a second. She pulled out a book from her Louis Vuitton speedy bag, it was entitled,‘I Will be a Millionaire.’
I guess that that was Lila Carr’s idea of fabulous – money.

‘So, what does it mean to you, then – this fabulous life?’

‘So, what does it mean to you, then – this fabulous life?’ My Sicilian asks me.
I am glad that he has become intrigued by my pondering and hope he can endure the endless deliberating I am about to undergo.
The Hills and The City, Runs House, Desperate Housewives, Jackie Collins’ books and Vogue – these all feature characters with fabulous lives. Let’s not forget the queen of fabulous life, Sex and the City.
None of these fictitious or reality characters are happy all the time, their lives aren’t perfect, Carrie Bradshaw didn’t own her house and struggled to find love, but her passion was sex, relationships and writing, so she made that her career – that was fabulous, Mr Big was fabulous, her shoe collection was fabulous and she lived in Manhattan and that was fabulous too.

Anything we can aspire to is usually fabulous, I aspire to have a career like Candace Bushnell (Carrie Bradshaw), Lauren Conrad or Whitney Port. I aspire to have a life like some of the journalists in Vogue who in their articles just seem to have it all – PLUS free clothes.
Of course money can buy you all the things you need for a fabulous life – Holidays, Fine Wining and Dining, Bulgari Jewellery, Cartier Time Pieces, Bentley’s with Chauffeurs and children in Private Schools. But now so consumed with becoming a writer I know that recognition for my talent is far more fabulous at this point in my life than a pay cheque for work I am less consumed with. I suppose unlike Lila Carr, my grand plan for fabulousness isn’t to make money, but to become a writer, which in turn should make me money. The difference is you can be a fabulous writer without having the fabulous trinkets, of course if you said you were giving me a chauffeur driven Bentley and a book deal that would be doubly fabulous!

Once you have that, what isn’t fabulous?

So – after my deliberating I have decided that being fabulous is having that Joie de Vivre. Once you have that, what isn’t fabulous? Getting dressed is a fashion show, the pavement is a Catwalk, a glass of wine is an evening in a bar with conversation, laughter and amazing company, eating is a dinner party, a restaurant that serves your favourite food or a beautiful home cooked meal with family, you look and feel a million fabulous pounds and being gifted with multi tasking you do all of this while being dressed incredibly fabulously (of course).

So, here’s to a fabulous summer, fabulous outfits and most importantly to the Joy of Life X x

 

A Sicilian Winter Visit…

A visit to Catania Sicily and the handbag trend…
 
Emma Watson Burberry Campaign
 
I once wrote a poem in a poetry class at University about an evening out with my girlfriends, I wrote about the drinks we drank, the men issues we discussed and the Gucci bags we carried. My teacher asked me, ‘What do these Gucci bags symbolise?’ Typical poetry teacher question, I thought to myself and explained to her that they symbolise nothing, ‘They are just bags.’ She then said to me, ‘If they are just bags, there is no need to state that they are Gucci bags. Let’s be honest…,’ She continued, ‘these are little tokens of status.’
Five years ago when she made this statement I would have agreed – ninety nine percent of the reason I bought the bag was because it was Gucci and I definitely would not have purchased it had it been the exact same bag not designed by Gucci or another high end designer. Prior to my visit to Sicily I had proudly developed the attitude that high end designer bags were no longer of such importance, the key factor was the design of the bag. I very rarely carried a designer bag and when I did it wasn’t because it was Gucci or Dior, it was because I simply liked the design of the bag, it complimented my outfit and most importantly, it was already in my wardrobe. I happily carried beautiful leather bags from TK Maxx and never felt less stylish or fashionable because it wasn’t designed by a high end designer.

In Italy high fashion designer bags are in abundance – it’s almost a sin not to have one. Women swing their designer hand bags like a brownie sticks their badges to a sash. The bag is really that serious in Italy and bottom line is – it must be designer. Many of the times I have visited ninety nine point nine percent of the time I would not have been carrying a high fashion designer bag. I hoped that people would think I was dressed so impeccably well they’d naturally assume that my bag was designed by a high fashion designer or they’d just think that I was alternative and too cool to carry a designer bag. However it would seem that if you want to qualify as the fashion concerned, stylish woman in Italy there are a few things you have to get on board with –and carrying a designer bag is definitely one of them. As they say, ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!’ I suppose fashion is not a race that I’m prepared to lose and the Italians are way way up there with the true tasteful sense of dress – so adopting their style can’t be so much of a backwards move… or can it? Part of me can’t help thinking that it is!

In Sicily it’s not just about carrying a nice high fashion designer hand bag – the Chloe Padlock bag or the YSL down town bag, huge in London – wouldn’t have survived a second in the places I frequented in Sicily. These are up to the minute, beautiful, sexy bags, far more beautiful than a Louis Vuitton Monogram printed canvas speedy bag or a Burberry Check mini messenger bag. However, drinking on a Thursday night in Central Catania Sicily in a club that is essentially a designer bathroom show room by day and a club by night I stand with my partner and take in the Sicilian fashion trend. Now, this club is hosted by one of the top hosts in Catania, he also owns Studio 54 (which is a club I frequented during my summer in Catania) – he is the host of parties, wine bars and clubs to a relatively selective crowd – The London equivalent would be China Whites on a members night. China Whites on a members night would be inhabited by two kinds of women; the modestly dressed after work woman and the woman out for a night out, spruced up and sparkling. The difference between the two, aside from those that I have just mentioned, aside from the suit, strappy shoes and alcohol consumption would be, of course The Handbag.

A woman out for a night out in London does not carry a hand bag – she clutches a clutch, the tiniest, most impractical of bags for any woman; some may be embellished with jewels, some may be expensive, others may not, some are vintage, some are satin, some are bright others are black, very few are covered in a Logo’d designer print and almost always they are worn to compliment an outfit. Studio 54, The Bathroom Show room – a designer bag hung from every woman’s body – whether it be held by handles in their hand or slung over their shoulder. These were not the tiny, impractical China White occupants’ bags – No. What were these bags? They were ‘Status Tokens’, Louis Vuitton Monogram and Burberry Check everywhere, almost mimicking the attitude of a chav (of course the style of a Sicilian woman ‘logo or no logo’ is far from anything remotely close to resembling that of a chav). And if the bag wasn’t plastered with a Logo all over it, you could assure it had such a huge featured logo that Stevie Wonder could identify the designer!

 

These are not the bags that you see carried down the Catwalk, these are not the bags that a Londoner would particularly boast about. In London we go crazy over ‘IT’ bags; a snake skin Hermes Birkin, a Croc Kelly bag, a Fendi Spy bag, a Gucci Tassel bag or the Miu Miu Matelasse bag– I couldn’t help thinking that in Sicily bags were desired just because they were a designer bag with a logo. Let’s put it into context, the bags I have just listed are high fashion bags, you know these bags not because you like to look nice and like to go shopping, but because you have an interest in fashion. The bags I have listed are almost double the price of a Louis Vuitton Speedy bag (which was the most prevalent of all the bags carried) – so, is it worthwhile to invest in a high end designer bag that you want everyone to know is a high end designer bag without the obvious Logo print?

Probably not.

I was in a bar called Tinkite (Sicilian for ‘everything’) in Siracusa, with my partner, his friend, the manager of Papini and a girl who we had met in the bar. She told me a story about her visit to a high end fashion retail store. She said she walked in the shop carrying a Pollini (logo’d) bag – she told me that in Sicily it is very normal that when you shop you are fussed over by sales assistant’s, Papini’s manager agrees, filling in; this is the way Italian’s like to shop. The girl carries on to say that she couldn’t have got an assistant’s attention if she’d of whistled. She goes on to say that she returns to the shop a few days later carrying a Channel bag, the sales assistants, she says, flocked to her like sheep to a shepherd. She believed it was due to the bag she was carrying. Can bags have this much impact? Part of me, ashamedly understands that they can.

I have tried to analyse the attitude of the Sicilian Logo bag carrying woman – surely she does not go into Burberry and buy a Burberry check bag because it’s the nicest in the shop. And then I realise – there is no Burberry in Sicily, there’s also no Emporio Armani, Fendi, Louis Vuitton or any other high end designer store. What they do have in Sicily are shops that have the mandate to sell designers in certain regions of the island, so it is probably almost never that you would walk into a shop in Sicily and see a designer’s full season, instead what you get is a selection of goods that the buyer for the shop knows will sell well. Secondly – it would appear that the majority of Sicilian’s, both men and women are concerned with elegance and class. They are not worried about frills, golden buckles, jewels or tassels – my senses tell me they prefer a simplicity; a classy and sophisticated look. They are never dressed overtly sexy, but nevertheless always carry themselves with a sexy, rich, elegant style. Point being, with a look that is almost timeless and definitely classic they needn’t worry about purchasing an up to the minute ‘high fashion’ bag. The bags they carry are the bags that Louis Vuitton and Burberry will stock season through season – the staple bag which never goes in or out of fashion. If it is for this reason that the Logo Bag Carrying is the trend, then it’s a technique I like and definitely a trend I would recommend to any fashion loving, ordinary waged person. I don’t necessarily like the fact that it ‘needs’ to be logo printed – but definitely agree it should be classic.

I enter Papini, a high end fashion retailer, with the mandate to sell Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Miu Miu, Balenciaga and many others I may not have noticed. I was undecided between two bags – one with a logo print and the other with a statement huge gold buckle (I am a sucker for gold trimmings). ‘I prefer the logo bag,’ the shop assistant says, she says something to my boyfriend in Italian, he translates, ‘She says if you’re only buying one bag then go for the logo one. You can grow tired of the buckles on the other bag. This one (points to the logo’d bag) is timeless.’
In the end I bought myself the bag the sales assistant had suggested (a plain black logo’d Fendi bag) and a Balenciaga wallet, ‘You can use these for life,’ my boyfriend said to me and to be quite frank that was exactly what I wanted to hear. I’m an average girl on an average wage – I can’t afford to spend the money I’m spending on a bag that’s only going to last me a season – Logo or no logo!