The Handbook
The Handbook

As the only guy on the team it naturally falls to me to step up as the magazine’s handbag correspondent again… And tell you about one of this autumn’s hit exhibitions, Bags: Inside Out at the V&A.

I actually once had to buy a Birkin bag. It wasn’t for me (and, sadly, it wasn’t my £7,000) but for work I had to basically visit the Hermès shop on Bond Street to the point where I was eyeing up the rules on squatters’ rights. But after six weeks of being on first name terms with the security detail at the high end shop the snooty staff finally relented and allowed me to buy a bag that Victoria Beckham clearly didn’t fancy. Handmade in Italy, the bag was, in my opinion, y’know, alright…



Which is why they didn’t get me to curate the latest blockbuster exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Bags: Inside Out charts the rise of the handbag, from  an Elizabethan purse to the first Hermès Birkin, to Churchill’s red box.

Showcasing the best of craftsmanship, design and function, the exhibition launches in November, so bags of time to grab a ticket. Geddit?

As the only guy on the team it naturally falls to me to step up as the magazine's handbag correspondent again...

It’s not just antiques, either, bags worn by Kate Moss and Alexa Chung bring us nearly up-to-date, while the 300 bags on display will also feature military backpacks, Mulberry and Fendi accessories.

The original Birkin bag was designed specially for actress Jane Birkin by Hermès chairman Jean-Louis Dumas, who met her on a flight between Paris to London in the early 80s and then-and-there sketched the most famous cult handbag in history.

The original 1984 bag is there to view, along with many more. The real question, though, is have they got Rishi’s rucksack?