Saturday, 3 April 2010


Bags are a fabulous accessory, and not just for carrying around all your essentials (and some non-essentials too, if your bag is anything like mine) but they can also be an extension of your personality. Just because they are used for practical purposes doesn't mean that they have to look utilitarian. They can be classy, elegant, ornamental, fun, have attitude........the list goes on and on.

Some women covet bags the way others covet shoes, sometimes paying thousands of pounds for a luxury designer piece after waiting months or years for the pleasure (apparently the Hermes Birkin has a waiting list of around 6 years)! Buying a vintage bag is a quicker and less expensive way of achieving exclusive style, and is an easy way of adding a unique twist to a contemporary outfit and making you stand out of the crowd.

Vintage bags are usually in plentiful supply at vintage fairs and this is a great place to pick them up as you have such a fantastic choice and you can compare prices, mix and match them to other items that you purchase, and ask the seller about the origins and history of your chosen bag. Our next Vintage Sunday at the Empire is only 8 days away so this week we will be showing what kind of vintage treasures visitors can expect to find.

Here are some of my favourite bags that I have purchased at various vintage fairs.

I bought this adorable Scottie Dog bag for my daughter from a fabulous seller, called Betty Bankhead, at our Christmas Vintage Fair. I wish I had kept him for myself!

The 1950s crocheted bag on the left is one of my favourites - it has an unusual, but simple, opening mechanism and the colourful wooden beading resembles bunches of cherries. As well as being pretty it is quite roomy inside which is a big bonus. The orange beaded bag is the latest addition to my bag collection - a birthday present from my lovely friend Kelly.

The bag at the front of the picture is another of my favourites - black patent with orange snakeskin panels - it is so striking and always gets some envious glances when I take it out. The rigid handle folds away so it can be used as a clutch and there is also a clip-on chain strap so it is really three bags in one. The brown snakeskin bag was a present from another friend.

This large 1960s woven bag is my most recent vintage bag purchase - I bought it from the fabulous ladies at Jel Vintage at the last Empire Vintage Fair. Their bag collection is fabulous and it was difficult to make a choice. I will definitely be stopping by their stall next week to indulge my bag addiction.

Lorraine and Julie of Jel Vintage

Betty Bankhead and Jel Vintage will be exhibiting at the next Vintage Sunday at the Empire - Sunday 11th April, the Empire Music Hall, Belfast - 12 Noon to 4.30pm. Don't miss your chance to bag a piece of vintage arm candy!

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