I have a massive thing for hard cased or structural bags. Whether it’s a wicker box purse, a vintage-style acrylic handbag, a sturdy frame handbag or a well structured clutch, I always just find them to be so interesting and chic. One of my particular favourites within this field is the somewhat new trend of the book clutchbag.
Bags that look like books are just too cute for me to handle, bookworm that I am. I’ve fawned over many of them, but I kept waiting for the specific cover art that would best suit my wardrobe. Over time my bookcase continually overflowed but nothing novel was being added to my bag collection. I kept waiting. And then earlier this year, while modelling for Vendula London‘s AW16 line, I discovered they were offering a new book clutch for this season, and a gorgeous one at that. The time had come!
Vendula have offered at least one book cover clutch bag before, but there’s something so dreamy and romantic about this new style that sold me–perhaps it’s merely the title ‘The Little Book of Love Stories,’ perhaps it’s the floral and gold scroll artwork appliques mounted atop a luxe velvet cover. Maybe it’s the faux-leather spine. The collage of pages design on the lining fabric inside. Altogether it makes for a bag that’s perfect for this time of year, when dark cozy evenings spent over lingering dinners and ending snuggled on the sofa make everything feel a bit closer and softer and lovely. And this bag, this bag is lovely.
The entire Downton range was inspired by the great architecture and eccentricity present in the great country houses of Britain, as reflected in the popular and beloved show Downton Abbey. The whole range is produced in black and shades of purple, with emphasis on portraits, antique furnishings and a touch of royalty
Despite being a clutch bag, this purse is surprisingly roomy, which delights me as nothing infuriates me more than a clutch that can’t fit anything more than my phone and a bank card. As with all Vendula’s pieces, it’s sensible and well thought out inside, with zip pocket acting as a partition to split the bag into two sections. I love that this cuts down on the rooting around necessary, especially as there’s also a handy little inner pocket mounted against one of the sides for you to keep safe your smallest loose essentials. The dimensions of this bag are 18cm across, 12cm tall and 6cm deep, so it’s as substantial as your most verbose volume.
This bag makes me think of great romances and fairy tales, and that’s never a bad thing. The velvet and embroidery of the cover design make it a really tactile piece, which feels as luxurious as it looks. Whenever I wear it out it draws people’s attention, gaining compliments as well as the occasional embarrassed request to touch it. And while this bag can function as a handheld clutch bag, it comes with a sturdy detachable strap that allows you to wear it over your shoulder or across the body if you prefer. Vendula always think these little details all the way through, producing bags that are as practical to use as they are pretty to peruse, and it makes such a big difference to the experience of wearing them.
The Downton Book Cover Clutch Bag comes in both black and purple and costs £67.60. Vendula London ship internationally and have their own London shop, as well as a plethora of stockists.