Good old Blighty, it does a lot of things very well, and it's come to light that one of its MAJOR skills is designing handbags.
As a nation we are obsessed with our arm candy, so carrying the right one is important. Check out our guide to the best British handbags below and be prepared to feel an overwhelming urge to go shopping.
Based in Central London, Milli Millu is your go-to brand for super chic, super luxe leather bags. They are designed by Harvard graduate Mireia Llusia-Lindh and are named after various cities around the world. Made from buttery soft leather and ponyskin, each and every bag is one we want to own… like, now. Another thing that we totally love about this brand is the ‘A Bag, A Life’ project it does with SOS Children’s Villages charity. For every bag sold they fund a life-saving vaccines pack for a child in need.
Prices start at: £275
Lost Property of London
Lost Property of London take salvaged fabrics and make very cool bags out of them. Whether it be an old sailing boat sail or a coffee sack, they will turn it into something you want hanging off your arm. Our Beauty Features Editor Jess Lacey is a huge fan. ‘They’re so understated and that’s what makes them so cool. With the feel of an urban beach bag, they’re slouchy, stylish and totally not try-hard.’
Prices start at: £105
This season has seen a bit of a reinvention for the fabulous Lulu Guinness. Everybody has been spotted with her ‘Lips’ clutch and now clever Lulu has moved on and produced an AW14 range of highly desirable bags that are fresh and different. The key bag is The London, and is made in a factory in Hackney. We love the monochrome and the soft oversized shape. Fun fact: the clever Dalmation print is made up of spots and mini lips.
Prices start at: £150
Launched in 2012 to the international press during Paris Fashion Week, Golden Lane entered the FashionSphere with a bang. Soft pastels, strong primaries and spangly metallics, there was something for everyone. This brand has gone from strength to strength – having collaborated with Richard Nicholl – and are now firmly on the map. We’ll take one in every colour thank you, Golden Lane!
Prices start at: £135
Each bag that these guys produce is totally handmade and hand-finished by a team of specialists, so each bag is completely unique. Marie Claire’s Fashion Editor Lucia Debieux can’t get enough of them, saying: ‘I am all over the minimal fastenings and the block neutural shades. These bags scream expensive but they’re actually at a price tag we can afford.’ Find them at Avenue32.com.
Prices start at: £100
You might think of this as a shoe brand, with celeb fans including Eva Mendes, Taylor Swift and Miranda Kerr, but think again. Bionda Castana‘s divine clutches are well worth a look. Designer duo Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman have created slouchy, soft oversized pieces in soft pastels and clashing reds, teamed with chunky clasps and fastenings.
Prices start at: £675
This is a truly iconic British brand with some serious heritage – and they’re based in a National Park in the West Sussex Downs (yes, we do have job envy). The collections are upbeat, fun and classic in equal measures, these are the sort of bags that will make any outfit look done, which, in our eyes, is a winner. Check out the bestselling ‘Marylebone’ tote and ‘The Brook Street’ bag – both eye-wateringly chic. Also, everything in its collection can be monogrammed, and we have a slight obsession with writing our names on things here at MC HQ, so it’s tick, tick, tick to Aspinal!
Prices start at: £195
Stow London is a newbie, and has a small collection of super-practical yet luxe products that you should really have a look at. ‘The Isabella’ is its bag offering, and a very nice one it is too. Our Fashion Director, Jayne Pickering, is an airport pro and swears by this small cross body bag for travelling. It’s perfect for passports and airport essentials.
Prices start at: £150
Not a bad bag, eh? (Sorry.)
Apologies if you now have a huge urge to go and buy a handbag…