Friday, 28 March 2014

A french affair changed my life

I know I have documented it here before, I love vintage.

I am not a die hard for it, I always search for cheaper pieces and carefully look after what I have. I mix it all with high street and charity/ ebay finds. I would like to share with you my collections of leather bags. Found through trawling charity shops, ebay or the odd vintage shop/fair. I have never paid more than £25.00 (minus my satchel) for anything here. I do not believe in spending a lot of money to achieve my own style.

Do not get me wrong, I daydream of the beautiful clothes in Vogue and some featured in my favourite blog. Sadly its not quite me. I am often told, I am unique, original ect, I do not agree. I just wear things the way I want. I am not afraid to embrace the things, I like and to try new non trend driving things.

The way I dress and accessories has developed out of time and some heinous mistakes.

It was 2010 and a late Saturday afternoon. I had been fruitlessly rummaging through many vintage offerings, all to expensive or in shocking condition (or sadly way out of my price range).

I found a small stall somewhere in the middle of this madness, she was selling a few lovely pieces. I bought a black and white gingham, some lovely earrings and I found it!

A lovely french 1970's bag, in tan leather. I took it home and researched how to restore some luster to its tired self. I took to my local cobbler (always befriend a local cobbler, they give excellent advice and help!).

He recommended leather cream and saddle soap. He also top it up from time to time with shoe polish. 
I went off, with my products and it worked! I used this lovely bag until the closure gave way (the lining was fairly knackered when I purchased it). I sought how to fix it and no-one could offer help or advice. I eventually found a cobbler in Gloucester who for the princely sum of £2.00, took on the challenge and fixed it with replacement leather on the inside. I had my bag back.

Now this lovely item started an obsession for vintage leather. I have not looked back.
My 1st vintage bag


I used to live in Gloucester and always enjoyed scouring the charity shops for a bargain or two. I found a lovely boho style bag in tan leather for £7.00. It was the kind of bag that was the in thing in 2003/ Sienna Miller at her height of boho invasion. Originally it had 6 inches of fringing and a large rose on the front. I took it home and took off the rose and removed the fringing.

I re-threaded the holes from the fringing with a piece of the thread and made it look like a blanket stitch. The front of the bag had decorative holes with thread running through, I plaited the thread through to change the look of it. It was given a make over and polish, many people offered to borrow it on a permanent basis! I love its simplicity and shape.

It was a great investment and looks so different from when I bought it.

Next came some small bags found on ebay (of course!) These were for day to day wear and nights out. (I admit I looked high and low for the mini pale bag as my sister Louise had just bought a fantastic one online and I couldn't make off with it!)


They are small and lovely and go with everything!

In 2012, I went to Portugal and fell in love with some of the bags a gentleman was selling in the town square however, the leather quality was not what I had hoped so I looked for something upon my return. I was in Urban Outfitters and I saw a beautiful bag on the display (I had to literally beg to buy it, their policy if it's pinned down not no way!)

Its vintage (of course) and beautifully preserved and the engraving it amazing. The leather is thick and has been well looked after. It is so simple and lovely (though not quite big enough for my kindle)

Even my sister Louise liked and wanted it (usually a good sign).

Next came my satchel backpack, I have featured on this blog before, its chestnut coloured leather and in amazing condition.


This bag always makes me smile as I have wanted one since I was a kid. Older people often stop me and exclaim they had one just like it at school. Even my Dad! I used it non stop for a year, until I saw it needed a break.

Next came a few knick knacks

A crocodile effect leather satchel, compact mirror (1960's) and handkerchief case. I also found a lizard skin purse/ clutch in a charity shop. Another purse and a Tosphop (the only non vintage) purse.





It is rather cool to have accessories(by admisson I am not a girly person, however these have my heart)

I have recently purchased two further bags from ebay, both are unusual, one I featured last month, I love the metal handle (even if the weigh bruised my fingers), I added a shoulder chain to make it easier to wear and to avoid further abuse of fingers. It has a great boxy shape and holds a lot.


Last but not least the last bag I will be getting for a long time, its a Grace Kelly style vintage bag in amazing condition, someone at work had a lovely 1950's patent leather bag, this made me curious to what was on ebay, as I normally go for more unusual styles.


Isn't she beautiful!

All of these bags have required TLC (hints and tips can be found here), many people do not appreciate , vintage leather requires care and love. You need to water proof it, and regularly maintain the softness. Leather dries out, so always keep an eye on it. It is nice to share a bit of love

My Husband has kindly made a home for all of these lovelies in our hallway