Thursday, 28 July 2011

Mulberry’s new Carter handbag

 Mulberry has launched its new Carter bag, coming in a range of sizes from mini, midi and double handled version. It is not clear where the name Carter has come from and what its objective is, but the name has a masculine ring to it, which seems a little odd for a feminine handbag. I get images of Michael Caine from the 1971 film ‘Get Carter’ and imagine him hitting one over the head with the handbag.
                                                        Image from

The Carter has received enthusiastic support from the fashion critics, so far be it for Luxury Hedonist to put a spoke in its wheels. However, despite being extremely well made and presented in a range of interesting colours, the bag is probably too much like those nondescript handbags secretaries used to carry in the 1980’s, which used to hide, rather than show their personalities. The word most associated with the Carter seems to be ‘safe’ rather than ‘elegant’ and most critics have been ‘kind’ rather than really analytical, although that might seem rather mean.
Does the Carter have the ‘Wow’ factor, the ‘Je ne sais quoi’ of handbags? This is normally immediately apparent in a bag, which of course is visible to the human eye. It is a bit like love at first sight. Does it shout out at you, or niggle you with its charm and whisper ‘buy me’? Will it make an impact on the street, will other ladies give you an admiring glance as you walk by, or sprint up to you from across the road to ask you what it is, and where you bought it from? Or will the holder have a secret smug smile, which tells the world you have something special in your hands, an object which attracts a vile amount of those twin, but contrasting emotions, jealousy and admiration?

No, I am afraid the answers to the questions are no, no and no. It doesn’t, it won’t and it can’t. But that is probably because it is safe; its lines do not protrude differently to so many bags of the past. It doesn’t create a fuss, the bag does not scream or shout or create a tantrum. It does not pout, seduce or tantalise. Which is probably just as well as Mulberry is a company is on a roll at the moment, announcing shop roll-outs as quickly as its profit increases, so the launch of a safe bag to add to its already impressive collection is probably just what the shareholders needed.

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