In case you didn’t know, I have a thing for bags, in most cases the bigger the better. Finding myself in leather luxe heaven at the Radley SS13 press preview, it was all I could do not to run around the room in excitement touching everything and trying everything on to see how well it would go with my ensemble.
The iconic British brand has themed its new season offerings into clear compartments, the first being colour. Curated with impeccable finesse, the pocket bag has been reimagined in all the colours of the rainbow alongside the Chiltern tote and Mini. Turning red for a chic philanthropic exclusive, Radley continues its support of the British Heart Foundation with a limited edition red Pocket Bag launching in February to coincide with British Heart Month. All sales will be donated to the charity. From the Jackson Pollock-esque canvas serving as backdrop to the leather colour spectrum on display; the Radley summer outlook is bright and beautiful.
Colour weaves its way across the SS13 line as the Hastings, Bartley and Aldgate designs are all treated to vibrant pops of tomato red, grass green and deep blue. Pale pinks and rich chocolate browns complement classic tans and mustards, in shapes that are everything from slouchy to structured and textured with mock croc, woven leather and embossed detail. Particular designs to note are the Rollesby, Weaver and Fenworthy, for their workmanship and sartorial status. The Rollesby was created using just one piece of supple leather, hand-woven over and across itself many times to achieve the intricate hand-finished, textured effect. This detail and technique was also used across the Weaver tote bag range and is a striking accent on the half-moon Fenworthy design.
Art and travel set the scene for the collection preview as many of the brand’s heritage designs have been updated to cater to the beloved Mini-Break (made famous by Bridget Jones in the early Noughties). Laura Bailey’s spring summer collaboration with the brand is set to drop in May 2013, featuring a light-weight summer canvas with vintage-look leather trim across the collection to which she has added a travel holdall and mini shoulder bag.
Purses and mini shapes are perched atop stacks of classic literary works and the Lily Broad range (pictured with Mini Fashionista a.k.a. Denny Lily) is brought to life via retro street signs for iconic London destinations, including Brick Lane, Carnaby Street and Golden Square. Stopping to picture the pastimes of decades gone by, I could imagine boarding the train to London, leather bag containing boiled sweets and a tattered copy of Jane Eyre, watching as the British countryside gave way to the hustle and bustle of the city. Radley’s exquisite craftsmanship and innovative vision has that magical effect, transforming a simple accessory into stories of romance, adventure and mystery.