If you too, for a large part of 2007 and maybe even a slice of 2008, spent most of your waking hours lusting after a canvas tote bag, then come in for a cuddle. We did it, comrade, we started the efficiency revolution! A canvas tote bag wasn’t just a canvas tote bag – it was a political statement (I had one that said ‘Puppies not Politics’), an inflatable magic pocket, a bottomless Mary Poppins/Hermione’s handbag that had undergone an Undetectable Extension Charm. There were months when I exclusively carried a tote bag, keys and coins jangling under various half-eaten Pret sandwiches, amongst acrylic paint tubes I picked up at the Uni shop. As a ‘flaneur’, it was a must-have item, because the point of it was that it collected evidence of an entire day’s worth of curiosity (knick-knacks).
Fast forward a decade, bag trends have come and gone, all the shapes and sizes. I now mysteriously have enough canvas tote bags to make soup from, but it still stands that none of my bags have proved as practical. I mean, have you tried shoving an aubergine into an Olympia Le Tan book clutch? (Actually, don’t say that on a date.) Enter Smythson, whose pale blue featherweight notebooks I have time and time again poured my heart, ideas and indecipherable scribbles onto, with the new Kingly Tote. The new butter-soft leather bag is an embodiment of their delicate yet resilient stationery, which comes in black or the legendary Nile Blue of the brand’s shopping bags. Stop, drop and roll it up, stick a loaf of bread in there next to your gym clothes (microwave pizza for me), whip it out when the airline nags your about excess luggage weight. Viva la revolucion!
Artist at heart
Four years of art school will teach you a thing or two about transporting odd-shaped/sized books and equipment but at the end of the day nothing works better than a sturdy tote.
Top – Jaeha. Skirt – Celine
I don’t know this (yet?), but I’ve been told by reliable sources (i.e most friends on my Facebook wall) that the Kingly makes a stellar mum bag. To keep mum things, apparently, like snacks and broomsticks if you’re Korean. I kid.
Layer a bunch of anemones on top of a freshly baked bread loaf from Pavilion, and finish with a light sprinkling of change. Bacon butty optional.
art & creative direction SHINI PARK
assistant photographer SIMON SCHMIDT in collaboration with SMYTHSON