Thoughtfully designed handbags don’t always demand a complicated or constructed outfit; in fact it’s quite the opposite. When Sarah Haran began designing handbags, she was inspired by function and form, as well as “colour and clean lines”, so the accessories would speak for themselves.
These elements make her designs functional and versatile, and easily translatable from situation to situation. It’s not often you can take a tote from a long flight to a 5-star restaurant, or a cross-body clutch from sports day to the club (if you’re so inclined).
Sarah designs with women’s handbag habits in mind. We usually have one we use for nearly everything, and then some peripheral supporting actors who come out for particular outfits or occasions. To get the best wear out of each item, the designs have to be timeless and innovate how a bag can be used, so they translate from occasion to occasion and place to place.
Colours so bold they work anywhere
You’d be hard pressed to find an accessory quite like the Carlina shoulder bag. Made from South African Springbok hide and Italian leather, then dyed yellow, electric blue, hot pink, orange or deep black. It’s irresistibly strokeable.
Many shoppers’ opt for black because it’s assumed to be versatile, but if you’re already fond of muted, dark colours, you can afford to introduce some brightness. You should in fact treat it as a matter of wardrobe-related urgency. Out of all the VVA styles, this is the one available in the fewest colours, because only the most pigmented and striking will do.
The Carlina is practical and roomy enough to take to the office or on a flight as hand luggage, and it’s a compliment-attracter you could also bring to any bar, restaurant or hotel. It would be a waste to just save it for best.
A proverbial Tardis by your side
Nights out are plagued by impracticality. Where are you going to put your coat when you take it off? Does it even go with your outfit? No, forget it, leave it at home and freeze. You put everything in a clutch that doesn’t look quite as dainty when you’ve finished with it, but you like it too much to leave it unused.
All too often we compartmentalise our wardrobes and refuse to let them mix. Restaurants, bars, and nights out are when these divides become a hindrance. The trusty bag you take to the office surely can’t come with you when you’re at play, even if it has the perfect number of pockets…?
The VVA Ivy leather pouch is a deceptively spacious bag and has the flexibility of a chain strap. Your after-dark elegance won’t be ruined by anything bulky, but you still have room for paracetamol and your purse. Sarah Haran works hard to make sure a piece “innovates how the bag can be used”. Very often, particularly with high street handbags, the only thought put into the interior is the colour of the lining.
Be brave with detail
Practical does not mean boring. (Once more for the people in the back – practical does not mean boring). Turning up to the school play in head to toe leopard print is not the same as wearing a pair of leopard print flats – you’re allowed pretty much anything in moderation if you’re wearing it with style.
Your simple navy work tote needs a lime green fox fur pom pom (‘need’ being the operative word). These bright details show off your taste and personality in any setting, without becoming inappropriate if you need to be professional. It’s the style equivalent of having a light tan, but no one can tell why you look so healthy all of a sudden.
If you don’t necessarily want to be known for wearing ‘loud colours’, you need to balance your propensity for violets and fuchsias with neutral tones, blacks and grey. Let your love of colour come out in the Poppy leather satchel in pink, and that all black outfit will act as the most appropriate canvas.
The VVA range is available from our sister site Foxley’s Emporium.
Read more about VVA by Sarah Haran.