I joined tPF about 2 months ago, and I have loved sitting looking at everyone's beautiful collections and hearing the stories about how their individual pieces came into their lives.
Given that I have enjoyed everyone else's collections so much, I thought that I would share my modest, but ever-growing collection too.
I want to tell the stories behind some of my bags, so my apologies if I bore you - the good news is, there will be lots of pictures too, so you can just scroll down and look at them if you want to! :) Also, I have been a bit lazy and just taken pictures in-situ in my display cases, so the pictures aren't the best quality - sorry!
Anyway, hopefully you will enjoy looking, and please feel free to ask any questions - I will answer any I am able to.
So... In the spirit of starting from the *very* beginning...
I bought this handbag when I was 16. I had just received my first pay packet from my weekend job, and had gone shopping with a friend. I saw this handbag and fell in love with it.
I instantly got on the phone to my mum to ask her if I was okay to buy it, and trying to justify spending 'so much money' on a handbag. It was £50. After much deliberation, and convincing myself that it would be okay to spend so much money on a handbag, I made the purchase and little 16-year-old me was delighted.
It makes me laugh now to look back on this... Suddenly £50 on a handbag seems like such a bargain!
So, I was quite content with my cute little DKNY handbag, but it had planted a seed. I left school and got my first full-time job, working in admin at the local College.
Again, it was my first full-time pay packet that funded this purchase, and I allowed myself the full amount of my wages to spend on a 'treat' before I started paying for my share of the bills.
I stalked this handbag online for a long time, and hit the 'order' button online as soon as my wages hit the bank...
And he arrived 3 days before my 17th birthday - in March 2005. A beautiful Dior saddle bag, or 'Dougie' as he is known.
I bought him and everyone (family and colleagues) said 'ooh, it's just a phase spending such silly money on handbags'. Well, Dougie is now 7 and a half years old, and I am still spending silly money on handbags, so I guess it wasn't a phase after all.
My next handbag was another Dior, a gift from my mum in November 2005, 'just because'...
The Dior Flight bag in tan.
Sadly, the handle on this bag snapped not long after purchase (only recently fixed thanks to the advice of a wonderful tPFer!), and Dougie has started to lose the leather around the edge of the handle, so my love affair with Dior was over, almost as soon as it had started. I decided to try something else...
And so I decided to try Vuitton. I had lusted after this bag since seeing Jessica Simpson take hers camping in an episode of Newlyweds, and had been saving up hard so I could buy it. I was a little bit short, so my darling grandma made up the rest for me so I could buy it in time for Christmas 2005...
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 Multicolore.
I had this delivered to my grandma's house and was a bit disappointed when I saw it. It was too 'structured', a bit too 'boxy' and not slouchy like the Jessica Simpson one that had inspired me. Thankfully, I grew to love it and over time as it started to 'slouch' it became my favourite.
I try and tell myself my next purchase was 'practical', as I had some paperwork I needed to start transporting with me. Actually, I just saw it online and thought the colour was gorgeous, so it got ordered...
There is a proper story behind my next one... February 2010 and I was in Liverpool for a concert with my boyfriend (now husband) of 4 months. We had been to the Cricket Boutique on our first day there, and I spotted this handbag in the 'sale' pile and fell in love. I had other priorities to be spending my money on at that point, so managed to resist, even though there was about £1000 off and it was a complete bargain.
Anyways, I moved on from the handbag, we had a great night in Liverpool and the next day, we were wandering round the shops again, making random conversation. Part of that conversation was 'who knew the correct line from I Will Survive?' and we had a bet with each other. Whoever was wrong would buy the other person a Liverpool-based gift. I was right.
I told Hubby that I wanted an 'I Love Liverpool' t-shirt as my gift, so he disappeared for about half an hour to purchase one, while I killed some time window-shopping. Anyway, he finally got back and handed me a bag with an 'I Love Liverpool' t-shirt in... But, wrapped up inside my t-shirt, was the gorgeous bag I had seen in Cricket the day before.
The stunning Chloe Irina blue with gold chain shoulder bag.
I was left crying like a baby in the middle of Liverpool and this gorgeous piece quickly became my new favourite.
My next two purchases were pre-loved from eBay. I have never had them authenticated, but used a lot of helpful guides to help me self-authenticate. I am 99.9% convinced that they are real. If you look at these pictures and do not think they are real, I don't think I want to know, as I paid enough for them to need them to be real... :-/
Louis Vuitton Keepall 45, shown here with my Alexander McQueen black and white skull scarf. This Keepall was a 22nd birthday gift from my Hubby (still boyfriend at this point) in March 2010, but we couldn't justify buying it new and paying full price as I did intend to (and do) use it for travel, so it was going to get a little bit bashed up (so far he has been to Belgium, Rome, Mexico and Jamaica).
Fendi Spy bag in cognac. Another eBay purchase, a birthday present to myself in March 2010. Again, this has not been formally authenticated, but does come with the receipt showing it was purchased at the Sloane Street Fendi store in March 2006. Again, this is another workhorse bag, and has been thrown about a little bit.
2011 was a year that flew by without a handbag purchase (bought a house together instead!), but did manage to produce another gorgeous pair of shoes...
Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120. An anniversary gift from my Hubby... He is insistent he will buy me a pair of Louboutins each wedding anniversary. One day I hope to have 60 pairs of Louboutins, purely because it means I will have spent an amazing 60 years with him. :) These shoes are stunning, but so high I actually can't walk very well in them and, sadly, they only get used for restaurant trips, when I can be guaranteed not to need to walk very far! Lol.
2012 is, seemingly, the year when I am fully reigniting my handbag passion. The 'big' things in life are done, so now I can start saving up for handbags and fun things again. :)
This next bag was first met in Cancun, Mexico in March this year. I was so distracted by the stunning colour, I walked into a mirror in the Vuitton boutique in Luxury Avenue. Hubby was with me and we would have bought it there and then, but the price difference (£300 more to purchase in Mexico) just wouldn't justify it.
However, with lots of phone calls to Vuitton Customer Services we managed to track one down in Leeds, and travelled there to get it... So, with a contribution from myself and Hubby, this handbag came into my life 4 days before my 24th birthday...
Alma in Epi Citron. The 3 days when she had to sit in my closet waiting for my birthday and I wasn't allowed her were torture! Lol. She is the first handbag that I have 'babied'. The leather just seems a little bit delicate, so she is a going out handbag, rather than a daily use. Hopefully this will wear off soon, she is so gorgeous she deserves to be out and about a lot more!