The fact that I’m wearing sunglasses in these photos will predate them somewhat, but I’ve been trying out a couple of new-to-me accessories brands over the last few weeks and I have to say I think they’re pretty perfect for autumn. This Harlequin bag, handmade by Harriet Sanders and these metallic python pumps from Jemima Vine, are both helping me to embrace the new season, not just because of their muted shades but because they’re just so easy, comfortable and simply well made. And that’s the thing about autumn isn’t it – you want a bit of luxury, softness, comfort and pleasure when it comes to this time of year. Well especially at this time of year!
London College of Fashion graduate and independent designer, Harriet Sanders makes her handbags by hand from ethically-sourced Italian leather and her range varies from statement purses and personalised clutches to chic rucksacks and duffel bags. I love the fact that you can order things to be made bespoke, using the online customisation form. For example, I chose dark grey and navy leather for my bag with a light blue interior, which is always a nice effect when I open the bag (I must be careful with biros!). It’s soft, sumptuous and feels like it was made with love and care in Harriet’s Cheltenham-based studio. Take a look at the growing range online and read Harriet’s story here.
Another British brand that delivers on the feel-good factor as well as looks is Jemima Vine shoes, launched in 2012. As a card-carrying devotee of flats, I still know that not all styles are easy on the feet, especially as I always wear them without socks. But hands down, these shoes must be some of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn, right from the get go.
As with most really well-made things, they focus on one perfected design – in this case, the Edie pump – and offer it in a small but well chosen choice of styles. As soon as I slipped my feet in them I could tell they were special. One look at the sole and I wasn’t surprised to know they had been handcrafted in Spain (they know what they’re doing when it comes to shoes). And my mum, who is used to seeing my feet shod in a variety of footwear (I inherited my love of shoes from her I think) immediately exclaimed at how beautiful they were and demanded a closer inspection! All I’ll say is, now I know why they call this style of shoe a slipper!!
All of this leads me to conclude that in fact you can buy style and comfort, it just costs a little more sometimes!