The word 'handbag' only came into use in the early decades of the twentieth century, although we know that from medieval times fashionable men and women carried small 'purses', frequently embroidered and adorned with jewels as an indication of status and wealth. From the 1920s women became more independent, fashions became more unrestrained - and the modern handbag quickly established itself as an essential accessory. 'Vintage' handbags are now eminently collectable, from handmade beaded examples of the 1920s to the more casual designs of the '60s, from the austerity bags of the war years to the haute couture designs of the 1950s.
Such vintage handbags can be worn as a unique fashion statement or as part of a period outfit. Festivals recreating a bygone era encourage visitors to wear authentic clothes and accessories and in our retro range we replicate the styles of previous decades, allowing our clients to 'step back in time'.
At Myrtles Bags we sympathetically restore worn out handbags to their original condition wherever this is possible. If this cannot be done then we 'repurpose' those parts of a bag that can be saved. Reworking an aged object - usually by hand - that has once been an intimate part of someone's else's life, and is destined to be so again, is hugely satisfying. By layering materials, combining textures, or by the judicious use of applique - or reverse applique, where material is cut away to reveal what lies underneath - we can breathe new life into tired fabric.
Where a retro bag is made from contemporary fabric this is carefully selected in order to add authenticity. All the parts of the handbag are in keeping with the period, and wherever possible we incorporate at least one original element from the decade. This might be in the form of an antique brooch or an old-fashioned locket, a charm or motif, beading or even a sample of embroidery.
So if you want a handbag to complete your outfit from a previous era, or as an expression of your own unique fashion sense, you can be assured that we can satisfy your requirements, whether through our online store or bespoke service.