Gemma, Vintage Perfection [Banned Retro]

For quite a while I’ve been wanting to get a brown or burgundy vintage style handbag. Wanting it to be medium-sized means modern high street stores likely wouldn’t have what I’m looking for, as even when they lean into vintage inspirations they often then make it comically small (what is going on with the tiny bag trend right now?! Do not understand) or on the larger size, like a tote bag. Considering I already have a burgundy faux croc tote sized bag that I rarely reach for because it is so large, I was being very specific in only buying precisely what I was looking for and not something ‘near enough,’ as I sometimes do when I get frustrated shopping on a budget. Well, my prayers were finally answered when I stumbled across this Gemma bag by Banned Retro. In fact, I loved the style so much I also snapped it up in the green. Sorry, did I mention shopping on a budget? Er, just forget that bit while we look at my TWO BEAUTIFUL NEW HANDBAGS.

Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for reviewPinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review

Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review

Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for reviewPinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review

Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review Pinup Miss Amy May models the Banned Retro Gemma faux croc vintage style handbag for review

Bags: Brown and Green Gemma bags by Banned Retro
Dress: Manuella-Amber dress gifted by Miss Candyfloss
Shoes: Green Amethyst heels by Hotter
Brooch: Vintage

Available additionally in black (see! I do have some restraint!) the Gemma handbag is simple and chic in that way vintage handbags just accomplish better than modern designs. Sporting faux croc on the triangular front flap and smooth faux leather on the remainder of the body, it plays with mixed textures in a manner I find visually satisfying. The upper flap fastens with a magnetic closure, nice and easy, and the bag comes with an attachment shoulder strap in case you prefer hands-free wear.

Inside there’s 2 compartments created by a separating inner wall, with an additional pocket in each section, an open wall pocket in the front and a zipped wall pocket in the back. There’s also a zipped pocket on the outer back of the bag, decorated with a gold heart pendant branded ‘Banned Retro.’ All the metal accents are gold toned. The handle is faux croc and does fit over my hand in order to be worn on the wrist, should I need to. The green bag is a rich green, forest toned rather than olive or kelly. The brown bag, however, is definitely burgundy to my eye, with a red toned warmth that pushes it out of brown territory and into maroon. That’s perfect for me, as I specifically wanted a burgundy bag and ordered it because I would be happy for it to be either burgundy or brown when it turned up in person, but if you are looking for a true brown it’s worth noting its obvious red tone. The bag is 16cm tall, excluding the handle, 27cm wide, and 8cm deep. The shoulder strap is 60-120cm long.

The Gemma handbag comes in green, ‘brown’ (really, burgundy), and black. I might have snapped up the final bags in the green and brown on Banned Retro’s own site, as they’ve since gone out of stock in those colours as far as I can tell, but Banned Retro have stockists all over the world, so a quick Google showed me these bags are still available at Top Vintage, Bowler Vintage, Succubus, Inked Fashion and others.

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Disclaimer: The dress worn as part of this outfit was gifted to me by Miss Candyfloss in exchange for a previous review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals. 

COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone and safely in a secluded outdoors area with no other individuals present, thus practising strict social distancing measures in an effort to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

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