I have always loved the design of the Mulberry Giselle by Luella Bartley. The leather is sublime – smooth, thick, harness leather that shows hardly any wear, even after years.
I have had my brown Giselle for many many years. It has been rained on, snowed on, had kittens climbing all over it, and it looks as good as new.
In about 2000, Luella Bartley had some handbag designs but no money. So Mulberry agreed to make the bags for her. I think this was around 2001. Mulberry was a well-established brand but seen as rather staid and fusty. Their scotchgrain leather wore like a dream but you were more likely to see someone in Wellies (before they became trendy), a headscarf and Barbour carrying a Mulberry than a celebrity. This was before the Bayswater, before the Roxanne and the Alexa and before Mulberry became so trendy.
These bags were beautiful and made for one season only. There were canvas multi-pocketed bags in this collection as well and I almost got into a fight for one at Dickins and Jones in London 🙂
A large east-westish type bag with short handles. Unlined with one internal zipper pocket. 4 ‘feet’ under the bag. Flapover closure. Made of brown harness leather with white stitching.
Absolutely beautiful to look at. Not too heavy. The leather is magnificent – never shows marks, rain, scuffs, scratches. Mine is about 13 years old and looks as good as new. The workmanship is better than any Mulberry bag I have ever seen. The complicated straps don’t make it difficult to get in and out. It’s like a bondage Hermés Birkin so I just leave the straps loose and it looks good.
The short straps.
I have now found a really nice black one for a bargain price on eBay. I have a saved search for black Giselles but many of the bags that are being sold as Mulberry Luella Giselles are actually Luella Giselles so this one was a nice surprise, especially at the price (£89).
I have not bought a bag since my Marc Jacobs backpack about 9 months ago and had not planned this one but I knew if I passed I would kick myself.