House of Fraser is the gift that keeps on giving; not satisfied with launching incredible ready to wear catwalk collections, the legendary retail multi-brand has now extended its reign to becoming a bag maestro with over 600 new bags for its Spring/Summer 2016 range. From pale ice blue cross body’s to designer leather totes House of Fraser has a bag to suit every occasion. Previously I had worked with House of Fraser last autumn [ Read HERE] so when I was asked to ‘front’ their Spring/Summer 2016 campaign it was a no brainer that I would say yes.House of Fraser is the epitome of hybrid design ; infusing classic elegance with street style cool the Spring/Summer 2016 campaign is inspired by colourful minimalism. With a simple structured design featuring zip details and practical pockets, it would be easy to ignore HOF’s eponymous selection of bags if it was not for its commitment to colour. Hues of blue reign the march with ice blues and cobalt’s creating the perfect colour contrast while Micheal Kors’s coral travel bag and Biba’s fuchsia pouchette ticked all the right colour boxes. House of Fraser’s ability to mix and match different brands at discounted prices while retaining the sheer ‘cool’ of the catwalk is an impossible talent to beat and is part of House of Fraser’s impeccable charm.
While acidic brights might have made up a large portion of House of Fraser’s S/S 16 campaign naturally I was drawn to a colour that I felt identified with the ethos of spring: pastel/ice blue. Named as Pantone’s colour of the year, House of Fraser’s homage to ‘Serenity’ was showcased through two bags: Accessorize’s Marianne Soft Tote Bag in Blue and Dorothy Perkin’s Suedette Clutch in Blue (Sold Out). Both bags were chosen for two different occasions; Marianne’s large size combined with functional front zip and large storage space makes it ideal for everyday use and is large enough to fit a 15inch laptop, makeup, a book, purse and other additional extras that you may need whereas the suedette clutch is ideal for nights out when you want a bag that will not weigh you down but has enough space to fit the essentials. But more on Marianne, the ideal arm candy to elevate even the most basic of outfits, the ‘Serenity’ inspired hue is the ideal shade to pair with ‘Rose Quartz’ and ‘Duck Egg’ blue accents. The ability to mix and match colours is not the only attractive feature that Marianne has to offer; Surprisingly spacious Marianne’s soft-structured design features a detachable zip-up pouch that is ideal for storing lipsticks, a small notebook and pens with a zipped pocket on the exterior, two carry handles and a detachable shoulder strap.
As someone who lives her life on the go I needed a bag that was stylish but practical and could work with the majority of my outfits in my wardrobe. A quick rifle through my wardrobe showed that my S/S ‘wear’ was made up of the pastel collective: Baby Blue & Pink, which I used to pair together circa 2013 before Pantone officially made it ‘cool’. When choosing your ‘functional’ handbag it is important to consider the following: price, quality, storage and style and at £39.00 Marianne is a lot more expensive than I would usually purchase- mainly because I always manage to spill makeup/pens you name it- but its classic design and delightful colour makes the upmarket price tag worth it. Of course you could invest in a designer handbag but if you are as clumsy as I am then Marianne suits that happy medium price range. If blue is not your colour preference Marianne also comes in a monochromatic palate of ‘cream’ and ‘black’ perfect for the mod lovin’ 60’s chick with her mind on the money.
Pros– The ‘Serenity’ hue makes it an investment worth making because it is cost effective and goes with the majority of the clothes in my wardrobe – The adjustable shoulder strap makes it ideal for when you are transforming your handbag into a workspace suitable for storing laptops and tablets. – The three colours are muted enough to be accessible for work but vivid enough for ‘play’ – It’s made from 100% Polyurethane Cons – Stains easily but this is most likely due to the colour and does come off ( with a lot of scrubbing) when you clean it with a soft, dry cloth.Handbag Rating 4.5/5
Stay tuned for part II: Dorothy Perkins Suedette Clutch next week Would you buy a handbag from House of Fraser?
Photography- Jumanna Khanom Skirt & Jacket – H& M / Bangle & Ring – Kaytie Wu / Heels- Missguided